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Oregon Sues Oracle For "Abysmal" Healthcare Website

PrimaryConsult Re:Hire Engineers as Employees. (210 comments)

That's what we do with Oracle and we're actually doing pretty well with them. We only let them build the dev environment, train our staff, and create documentation. The other environments are built entirely by the people they trained using the documentation provided, and once we are confident we can rebuild the system even if Oracle vanished off the face of the earth, we send the consultants on their way. This approach should be done with *any* vendor though.

about a week ago
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Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

PrimaryConsult Re:Infrastructure? (726 comments)

The config overwriting used to annoy me as well, but the universal solution is to chattr +i the file that keeps getting overwritten. There's often an added bonus that whatever keeps overwriting it generates an error logged to the console or syslog whenever it tries again, providing a nice breadcrumb to figure out what's overwriting it.

about a week ago
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Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

PrimaryConsult Re:Surprise? (579 comments)

Maybe they were doing it wrong but it was easy to get freecell to run by copying the .exe into a different folder and calling it notepad.exe...

about two weeks ago
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California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

PrimaryConsult Re:Screwed... (327 comments)

1/2: It's more expensive and behind schedule *because* of the red tape and NIMBYism.
3: Certainly feasible, considering they built highways to connect these same cities. Also, it will be popular considering the pokey slow train and megabuses that connect the same cities sell out regularly.
4: You know that the money would never go to that purpose. And in 20 years when this thing is finally done, the cost of air travel will undoubtedly have gone up. So what you are essentially arguing here is that the poor should be priced out of speedy transportation within their own state.

about two weeks ago
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Every Day Is Goof-Off-At-Work Day At the US Patent and Trademark Office

PrimaryConsult Re:Where do I sign up? (327 comments)

A *properly run* government office will use the work from home days and other perks that are not in the union contract as incentives to keep employees working at a decent pace. If they have to re-apply for those perks every quarter, and poor performance means denial, people won't slack.

Some places will use desk locations and shift hours as other motivators... to find the competent employees, look for the ones with a desk by the window or who's hours begin before 8.

I recall one small agency had an entire floor where they sent all of the problem employees, assigned to do only unrewarding repetitive work. Work that provided no useful or transferable experience. Bad managers were sent there to manage the bad employees. They even had a few nicknames for the floor, names that when spoken would immediately get a slacker back to work.

Bottom line: creativity is required on management's part but as long as there is wiggle room, what happened at the USPTO can be prevented without any drastic changes to the actual rules.

about two weeks ago
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The Hidden Cost of Your New Xfinity Router

PrimaryConsult Re:Comcast engineer here (224 comments)

Similar anecdote here, but a DOT engineer in our state was forced out when he complimented his agency on their response to a major storm. After the (predictable) public outcry, along with some lawyers offering to take up the case as he may not have even violated the rules, they doubled-down on ruining this guy's life by revealing things from his past disciplinary record that had already been addressed in order to try and vilify him in the press.

Moral: Even if you have only nice and helpful things to say, don't say anything at all.

about three weeks ago
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The Hidden Cost of Your New Xfinity Router

PrimaryConsult Re:Service in exchange for a free modem? (224 comments)

Your taxes will pay for a road somewhere that you are not using. Similarly, while you wouldn't use *your own* hotspot's free wifi, you could use someone else's while away from home, and they could use yours.

about three weeks ago
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Expensive Hotels Really Do Have Faster Wi-Fi

PrimaryConsult Re:How much is due to Congestion (72 comments)

My Japan wifi experience was: amazing speeds, 20 hours a day, completely unusable for 4 hours a day. Fortunately there was an ethernet port - far more valuable to me than wifi.

about three weeks ago
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Expensive Hotels Really Do Have Faster Wi-Fi

PrimaryConsult Re: How much is due to Congestion (72 comments)

The wifi on Southwest may be a joke but the free DirecTV is good enough IFE for me... I can go without email for 5 hours.

about three weeks ago
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Idiot Leaves Driver's Seat In Self-Driving Infiniti, On the Highway

PrimaryConsult Re:EU-laws (406 comments)

We have a lot of "fallen rock zones" and deer along our highways - if someone is following too closely at night it means they are stupid and the safest response is to immediately change the situation by gradually slowing down to the point where they pass you (unless you're illegally driving in the passing lane, in which case someone following closely means gtf out of the way).

about three weeks ago
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Idiot Leaves Driver's Seat In Self-Driving Infiniti, On the Highway

PrimaryConsult Re:Submission with a spelling error, say it isn't (406 comments)

Hit submit too early: if jaywalkers start getting hit by autonomous vehicles, they'll probably require a driver in the driver's seat to periodically hit some sort of deadman's button at random intervals, or restrict autonomous vehicles to 15 MPH or some such nonesense...

about three weeks ago
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Idiot Leaves Driver's Seat In Self-Driving Infiniti, On the Highway

PrimaryConsult Re:Submission with a spelling error, say it isn't (406 comments)

Not if places take New York city's approach - when the number of jaywalkers killed on a road gets to be what local politicians deem "excessive", they have either:
1 - The speed limit reduced
2 - A traffic lane converted to either parking or a bicycle lane
3 - Fences installed in the middle of the roadway, such that the jaywalkers now spend more time in the roadway walking around the fence

Recently they successfully managed to get the state to allow the city's "default" (unposted) speed limit to become 25 instead of the statewide minimum default of 30. In light traffic most cars go 40.

about three weeks ago
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Japan To Offer $20,000 Subsidy For Fuel-Cell Cars

PrimaryConsult Re:Why isn't the U.S. doing things like this? (156 comments)

But they're not doing it for all cars, just *specific* cars. When there's a $1 off coupon on Coke products available, does Pepsi suddenly cost $1 more? No, but Pepsi now has to try harder to match.

Similarly, all this does is knock $20k off the price of the fuel efficient car, making the $20k Gas Guzzlers and $45k alternate fuel cars closer in price.

about a month ago
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World Health Organization Calls For Decriminalization of Drug Use

PrimaryConsult Re:Finally! (474 comments)

I had a silly idea regarding this while visiting California last year. If you've ever walked the streets of either SF or LA at night, you will undoubtedly have found an experience with the homeless similar to that of a zombie movie, except instead of chanting "brains" they're chanting "change". So, once the war on drugs has been ended, some prisons could be converted to compulsory overnight housing: if you do not have a permanent address, and are found unconscious in a public location (either due to sleep or whatever), you get a free bus ride to a former prison for a good night's sleep. The same buses could take you back to the city you were picked up in the morning if you so desire, or you can stick around for 3 hots and a cot (maybe some job counseling and medical care), grab a later bus, whatever. The only prison industry jobs lost would be guard-related. All the administrative, catering, medical, and transport jobs would be retained. Some homeless people have a slightly better life (many of them are too proud/stupid/mentally ill to ask for help but if forced, they'd accept it), and American cities would have an overall better quality of life for all involved.

about a month ago
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The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train

PrimaryConsult Re:The death of trains (195 comments)

They didn't call JR East, but they did call JR Central, and that is why as unlikely as it seems I have a good feeling about Texas. Professionals are in charge, not politicians.

about a month and a half ago
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The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train

PrimaryConsult Re:Railroads killed by the government... (195 comments)

By your logic, a fast food restaurant "loses money" by providing beverage cups. Yet for some reason, restaurants that make customers bring their own cups are practically unheard of.

For that second sentence,
s/restaurant/long distance railroad
s/cups/food
.

about a month and a half ago
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The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train

PrimaryConsult Re:A Century Ago (195 comments)

They are also harder to figure out. It's pretty easy to figure out a streetcar / light rail line: the station is the big thing with the platform, it travels along the tracks.

With a bus you need to know where the stops are; with a train line, you can just walk until you find the tracks, then walk on the road nearby until you find the station.

If you see a station near your point of origin and a station at your destination, you already know a lot of useful information about the transit system without needing to look anything up.

You see trains every so often so you subconsciously absorb whether they run weekends, how late, etc.

With buses there are more variables to consider (is that bus I saw out of service, does it normally run on this route, etc).

In addition to usage based service changes, a bus route can be diverted to random alternate streets for events. The train route can't, so they divert the special events away from the tracks.

about a month and a half ago
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The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

PrimaryConsult Re:Why is this news? (443 comments)

Adding to this: some towns will have laws that allow bicycle riding on sidewalks provided they travel no faster than jogging speed. So you can "become a pedestrian" without even getting off the bike. At some of the more problematic "smart" lights, cyclists simply slow down and use the crosswalk, then back into the road.

That said, ones that run red lights while in the road annoy me. It usually means I have to pass the same cyclist *twice*, since they will have passed me at the red light.

about a month and a half ago
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Mayors of Atlanta & New Orleans: Uber Will Knock-Out Taxi Industry

PrimaryConsult Re:Good? (273 comments)

If Uber drivers are private cars, then only a small proportion of them will be able to carry wheelchairs. If they follow the free market, they will charge more. So instead of getting a $20 cab ride to the doctor or a theater, a wheelchair rider may have to pay $50 or $100.

The solution to this is for a company to start up that only caters to disabled passengers, charges the same rates as the other companies, and gets a subsidy from the city. The point is largely moot anyway: many cities already have something like this (though you usually have to call a day in advance), in the form of paratransit services which offer door to door for slightly more than a standard bus fare.

about 2 months ago
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Google, Detroit Split On Autonomous Cars

PrimaryConsult Re:Ego (236 comments)

The same goal can be accomplished with better public transportation. If every city > 500k population had a well designed rail system, many more people would be able to use their phones while commuting. I wonder if Google went into that field, would they have less opposition? A "google subway" would also make a great network of tunnels for running fiber...

about 2 months ago

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