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Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

MikeRT Parent's responsibility (653 comments)

If you aren't going to vaccinate your children, then you have no business taking them to a highly international, very crowded space on the East Coast. It's about as stupid as living in DC which has a huge, very cosmopolitan population and not vaccinating. What might be ok in small towns where the population isn't very mobile is utterly insane in such an area.

3 days ago
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IRS Warns of Downtime Risk As Congress Makes Cuts

MikeRT Gov't contractors are not paid by the hour (253 comments)

If you knew anything about gov't contracting, you'd know that they're salaried to the company and billed hourly to the government. This is why unpaid overtime is such a sensitive topic with government contractors. It is literally the company stealing the employee's job security. Let's say you have been budgeted 640 hours. That's 4 months of 40 hours a week. Doing 20 hours of unpaid overtime a week for a gov't contractor means you are going to be at risk of being laid off in about 11 weeks as opposed to 16 weeks.

4 days ago
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Blackberry CEO: Net Neutrality Means Mandating Cross-Platform Apps

MikeRT Well actually, he has a point (307 comments)

There is no limiting principle in the arguments for net neutrality generally that prevent this argument. If the argument is that I as a consumer have a right to not have my ISP discriminate against my choice of content providers, then where in that argument is the limiting principle that prevents me from forcing the content providers to provide the content on a device of my choosing rather than theirs? No appeals to "common sense." Where in the standard network neutrality "principles" do you find a concrete and rational basis for limiting the whole battle to the transport level?

Why should Verizon have to take all comers but Apple gets to build a walled garden that prevents Android users from making use of iMessage? Their property? Isn't that precisely what Verizon and Comcast argue about being able to prioritize traffic?

4 days ago
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IRS Warns of Downtime Risk As Congress Makes Cuts

MikeRT Cry me a river (253 comments)

The IRS is an unbelievably bloated agency. The FBI, whose jurisdiction is significantly more expansive and demanding, has barely 35,000 employees and a budget that's over $3B less and somehow it gets its work done. A colleague of mine knew some guys who had to work at the IRS as contractors. He said that toward contractors, the IRS is by far the most abusive agency he's ever seen. They routinely expected 60 hour work weeks from the contractors.

4 days ago
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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

MikeRT If that's what you want (637 comments)

Then switch from Java or Python to Groovy. It's got a REPL tool like Python and Ruby, compiles to Java bytecode with tight Java interop and usually looks more like Ruby or Python than most people's Java code. That and it's a substantially more marketable language than any dialect of BASIC.

about a week ago
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Lies, Damn Lies, and Tech Diversity Statistics

MikeRT It's not about equality (335 comments)

If it were, feminists would be beside themselves that by every metric, boys and men are losing out and the system favors girls and women. It doesn't matter what someone says they believe, just watch their actions. By the fruit they bear you will know their true character and priorities. Once you realize it's never been about equality, the only thing that matters is the question of whether some women have been truly unjustly denied opportunities. As a class issue, it's dead on arrival once you realize that equality was never the goal.

about two weeks ago
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Linus On Diversity and Niceness In Open Source

MikeRT Let's be blunt (359 comments)

In the US, there are two main problems with diversity:

1) Women don't really enjoy the work or the culture.
2) Non-Asian minorities tend to be at a severe disadvantage when it comes to the home life that gives whites and Asians early access and encouragement to get started.

Number two is reasonably remedied without radically changing the work or the culture. Number one isn't. Most women are simply never going to feel comfortable even in a polite but very competitive environment where they have to do the same sort of work as the respected men to get comparable respect. To many women, just showing up should entitle them to respect and encouragement, but Linus is correct here. Most people just don't give a damn that you're a woman in this field.

about two weeks ago
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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

MikeRT The issue will never be "solved" (479 comments)

This Wikipedia project is an excellent example of why this issue will never be "solved" to the satisfaction of those hell bent on seeing the number of women expanded. Briefly, for those who want a TL;DR take, the project's goal is to create a "safe space" for women where among other things, they don't have to deal with men "attacking them," "trashing them" or even really criticizing them.

There is something that all of the groups that demand a "safe space" all have in common and that's that they cannot function in a competitive workplace. If it's not completely "consensus-driven" without overt competition, they can't function. Most men and many women who do stick it out have no respect for this sort of person be it some male geek mentally stuck in high school even at the age of 30 or a woman who cannot bear normal male group dynamics.

And before someone tries to throw out a red herring about Linus Torvalds or some extreme case of sexual quid pro quo, I'd like to point out that most of the stories you see about why women leave come down to a few factors:

1. Uncomfortable with competitiveness.
2. Total lack of empathy with how men and certain types of women often see the world.
3. Not warmly, enthusiastically embraced as a "woman in STEM."

Just look at the Matt Taylor issue. If that is the sort of thing that makes you change your life direction, you don't deserve dreams. You're just too weak and pathetic of a human being to deserve even a day dream about where your life could go. That's so banal compared to real sexism like telling a woman that she has to advance on her back if she wants to advance at all that even uttering such a complaint takes you outside the realm of having anything authentic grievances.

about two weeks ago
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Obama Proposes 2 Years of Free Community College

MikeRT And what about those that don't graduate? (703 comments)

Setting aside the ridiculously low barrier that he established with a 2.5 GPA, what should happen to the majority of CC students that never graduate or go on to a 4 year college and graduate? If you can't complete a community college education, you're probably not someone worth investing in. Sure, there are people who get too caught up in responsibilities like work and children, but I doubt that honestly reprioritizing other responsibilities is the main reason I've seen graduation rates in the high 30s and low 40s at various times for community college.

about three weeks ago
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White House Responds To Petition To Fire Aaron Swartz's Prosecutor

MikeRT End all immunity for government employees (189 comments)

Especially prosecutors. Prosecutors, in fact, absolute civil immunity from the consequences of their courtroom hijinks. They can literally, with malice aforethought suborn perjury, withhold evidence that proves innocence (not just cast doubt) and other things and you cannot sue them. Why? The Supreme Court a long time ago ruled that if prosecutors could be sued into the ground for their courtroom conduct it would "unduly influence" their decisions to bring cases.

So you can sue a cop who beats you up because that's not within his training and there's no good faith defense. A prosecutor, legally trained with a JD, can intentionally commit a felony against you in a court of law and your only resources are as follows:

1. Plead with another prosecutor to prosecute him.
2. Get a friend/relative/street thug to meet him in the court parking lot with a baseball bat.

Because the civilized option 3) of taking matters into your own hands in a civil court is completely impossible and has been for a few decades.

about three weeks ago
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The Fire Phone Debacle and What It Means For Amazon's Future

MikeRT They're allowed to have a dud (155 comments)

Apple's released duds and no one gives them any crap. Amazon is using this time to try new avenues and good for them. I think their stock is way over priced, but as a company they're doing extremely well. They also threw a lot of money into Amazon Studios to start creating content for Amazon Prime streaming. An excellent idea that, if Bezos lets them do the things the existing providers are too risk averse to do, will result in huge dividends for the company down the road. You're not going to get that from a Target or a Walmart.

about three weeks ago
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Gun Rights Hacktivists To Fab 3D-Printed Guns At State Capitol

MikeRT How about they not act like they're a threat? (573 comments)

Well in the case of Michael Brown, he tried to violently disarm a police officer which is about one of the most threatening things you can possibly do to a police officer.

So what if the man was unarmed? You think unarmed men cannot be existential threats to people with guns? Tell that to anyone little woman with a small handgun who is facing a violent felon who outweighs her 50-100lb.

about three weeks ago
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US CTO Tries To Wean the White House Off Floppy Disks

MikeRT Nothing wrong with Blackberries (252 comments)

I have a Z10 running 10.2.X. It's a very nice phone and a good replacement for the piece of garbage my iPhone 4S turned into when I made the mistake of switching to iOS 7. Cost me $200 for a well-designed handset that has user-replaceable batteries, a mini-SD card slot that cheerfully takes a $25 64GB card and runs plenty of Android apps. Personally, I even find the OS to behave much like how I WISE iOS would behave (hint: UI is very similar, but has some nice Androidish features like a file manager that is very well designed).

What's the argument? Not a lot of apps? That's an argument in its favor with the federal government. Enterprise management is very easy and straight forward for the federal government too. BYOP has absolutely no place in the federal government.

about three weeks ago
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2014: The Year We Learned How Vulnerable Third-Party Code Libraries Are

MikeRT The real bug argument (255 comments)

Is that with FOSS, decent developers can fix bugs and keep moving on a deadline. We found an oversight in Apache Storm's HDFS integration that affected us, but not most users. So I patched it and sent it along. Had it been an Oracle product, not an Apache product, it would never have happened on a timeline acceptable to our schedule.

Security bugs? I like to throw this one out there at people who think big companies cannot unleash epic stupid on their paying customers that makes even most 0.0.1 projects on GitHub look production-ready.

about three weeks ago
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2015 Means EU Tax Increase On Cloud Storage, E-books and Smartphone Applications

MikeRT $1B in new tax revenue! (164 comments)

And how much in compliance costs? I've seen stats on the US federal income tax that put compliance costs at about $300B for businesses and individual filers. It's not necessarily the tax rate that hurts the economy so much as it is the paperwork burden. Tax rates may hurt, but they can at least be planned for in advance. It's all of the compliance work that costs incredible sums of money to keep everything in order.

about three weeks ago
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Sony Sends DMCA Notices Against Users Spreading Leaked Emails

MikeRT So let's get this straight (138 comments)

They'll suspend the accounts of people like Milo Yiannopoulos for holding the wrong views on things like GamerGate (Milo Yiannopoulos is hardly a troll or a stalker), but someone who is trafficking in stolen IP/personal details they'll reluctantly defend until someone from legal tells them that Twitter will probably get its ass reamed up and down the sidewalk in federal court if it continues to turn a blind eye. Got it.

about three weeks ago
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Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

MikeRT What Paul Graham doesn't get... (552 comments)

Is that most of us firmly get now that the H1B is about cheapening the value of the good and decent developers, not bringing in developers who are productive wunderkinden. That's why the anti-immigration tone in this country is going through the roof. Good for productivity? Why the fuck should the average American across the spectrum care about that if it doesn't translate into a better standard of living for them?

about 1 month ago
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Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

MikeRT The federal government has no jurisdiction (484 comments)

What Colorado does inside their borders is their business unless it violates an enumerated power. The Supreme Court can, and will, say whatever it wants on the matter, but the fact is that interstate commerce doesn't apply to marijuana that is bought, sold and used within a state's borders. If Texas wants to authorize the manufacture and sale to Texas residents fully automatic weapons with grenade launchers, the ATF cannot constitutionally stop them either. If California wants to legalize ritual mutilation of unborn kids at abortion clinics, that's their right as well. Interstate commerce does not apply.

about a month ago
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Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

MikeRT There's no peaceful and tolerant way out of this (580 comments)

The only way to end the "better safe than sorry" stupidity that results in all sorts of cowardice and mayhem from cops shooting on the slightest hint of "I was afeered for muh life" to this is to brutally punish that mentality in court in a very public way. Let the Sony shareholders financially rape the executives who reacted hysterically to such a non-threat. Start putting cops in prison for decades or death row left and right the way ordinary people would. Heck, when one someone starts advocating fundamentally subversive to the Bill of Rights legal changes, charge their ass with sedition and lock them up.

People tend to rediscover common sense when the penalty for choosing to not use it is swift and severe.

about a month ago
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Google Suggests Separating Students With 'Some CS Knowledge' From Novices

MikeRT Radical thought here (307 comments)

How about you just let these "seasoned programmers" test out of the introduction classes and jump directly into the non-intro classes? Can't have that, though, as that would promote inequality further by giving them a chance to take sophomore level classes as freshman. Oh the humanity...

about a month and a half ago

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