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How Amazon Keeps Cutting AWS Prices: Cheapskate Culture

Slashdot Parent Re:does amazon AWS pay well? (140 comments)

'there is more to working at amazon, then money'.

A lot of companies say that. Doesn't necessarily mean that they underpay, they just don't want someone who will jump ship if some competitor offers them $5k more.

yesterday
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How Amazon Keeps Cutting AWS Prices: Cheapskate Culture

Slashdot Parent Re:AWS is NOT cheap (140 comments)

AWS is expensive, I can provide the equivalent of an m3.large

Oh, excellent! I need to analyze 5PB of data in a 1000 node Hadoop cluster, which I'll need for about a week. I'll need to start the analysis in 3 days. It's a bit of a last-minute rush job. What would you charge me for that?

What? You can't provide that infrastructure at any time at any price? Oh, rats. I guess I'll just have to use AWS.

yesterday
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The Best Parking Apps You've Never Heard Of and Why You Haven't

Slashdot Parent Correcting a few scooter misunderstandings (163 comments)

I am a scooter rider. In most places in the US, the following rules apply:

For scooters that are less than 50cc and cannot go faster than 35 mph:
    * You may park in the bike rack like a bike. In some places, you can even park on the sidewalk (!!) as long as it isn't obstructing pedestrian traffic.
    * Do not require a motorcycle or even a driver's license, but if you have a prior DUI, some states won't let you ride a scooter until your license gets reinstated.
    * Some states require you to register and title your scooter, some do not
    * You may or may not need a helmet and/or eye protection (in my state, you need both, and both are a good idea unless you like getting a rock or sand in your eyes while you're trying to drive).
    * May not go on the freeway, and you must drive them in the right lane unless you are turning left.
    * May not use bike paths, bike lanes, or any other resources designated for bicycles.
    * Do not require insurance

Any scooter that is 50cc or more, or can go over 35mph is a motorcycle. For a motorcycle:
    * You need a motorcycle license
    * You need to register and title your motorcycle and get any required inspections
    * You may not park in the bike racks nor engage in any other scooter "magic". The "magic" is for the under 50cc crowd.

Here's the gotcha of scooters: some people derestrict them, but this can be a bad idea, because let's say you derestrict your 50cc scoot and are going 45 in a 35mph zone. If caught, you are violating the following laws: speeding, driving without a license (assuming you have no motorcycle license), driving an unregistered motor vehicle, driving an uninspected vehicle, operating a motorcycle without a helmet/eyewear (if applicable). Is a cop really going to throw the book at you like that? Not likely, but it's still a big risk if the officer is behind on his or her monthly quota!

As for me, I have a derestricted 50cc scoot for the parking "magic", but I also have a motorcycle endorsement and registered my scoot, and I wear a helmet/eyewear, and I have insurance (it's super cheap, and scooter theft is rampant). So if I'm caught speeding, it's simple speeding and I guess I don't get it inspected, but that's a compliance ticket (if you get it inspected, then the ticket is dismissed). Technically, I shouldn't park in the bike rack because my scoot goes faster than 35mph, but the meter maid doesn't know that.

yesterday
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Can Web-Based Protests Be a Force for Change?

Slashdot Parent Re:Political protests in general don't work any mo (75 comments)

Look at how Occupy Wall Street fizzled out.

I think that OWS fizzled out because, while the occupiers correctly identified that there is something wrong with the political/economic power structure in this country, they never were able to articulate what they felt was wrong, and neither did they have any solutions in mind. Take the Washington DC OWS, for instance. The encampment was right on K street, yet nobody there could articulate their objection to the corporate lobbying and influence purchasing that was happening, quite literally, in the building across the street from them.

I guess every generation needs to punch their social action card, but the civil rights era and the Vietnam War era are long-since over. We had a good run in the 80s with Apartheid, but after that came, what, the WTO/IMF/World Bank protests? Good luck having any intellectual discourse with any of those nuts. A friend of mine from college, an economist no less, was part of those protests, so I said to myself, "Finally I can get a coherent explanation for what the fuck these protesters want!" When I asked my friend what the protests were all about, she said: "Beats me! I just think protesting is fun!"

Indeed.

2 days ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

Slashdot Parent Re:Ability to design and write software... (577 comments)

foundations laid down in the 5th and 6th grade of school

I always get a kick out of people who ask me how to get into programming. It usually goes something like this:
Them: "Hey, how do I make the jump into programming? I want to learn to code."
Me: "No, you don't. You are just sick of telling people to clear their cookies, restart their computer, and try again."
Them: "That's true, but I really want to program!"
Me: "If you really wanted to program, you'd be practicing programming right now instead of having this conversation. There are nearly zero barriers to entry with programming. You could fire up notepad and start programming. Little kids learn in elementary school. Here, let's go to github and start talking through a random open source project and I can explain why they did what they did to give you a jumping off point."
Them: "That sounds boring."
Me: ??

5 days ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

Slashdot Parent Re:It's California (720 comments)

Not if you have an expensive preexisting condition.

This problem was vastly overplayed. I've had to deal with it because my wife has an expensive preexisting condition.

Prior to ObamaCare, if you had an expensive preexisting condition, you basically had three decent options:
1. If you could work, get a job with group health insurance. Group health insurance was covered by HIPAA, which meant that insurance companies needed to cover preexisting conditions, as long as you maintained continuous coverage.

2. If you could not work, go on Medicare. (Yes, Medicare. Even if you're not old yet. If you're disabled and can't work, you qualify for Medicare.)

3. If you qualified to join a trade organization that offered health insurance (IEEE used to do this, but doesn't anymore), you could join their group plan and get a HIPAA-eligible plan which would cover your condition.

In our case, had my wife not made a miraculous recovery, she would have gone on Medicare since it was no cost to us (other than all of the money that we pay into Medicare!), and the rest of the family would have gotten coverage via a trade association (I was a Realtor at the time).

Preexisting conditions really weren't the big deal that people make it out to be.

5 days ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

Slashdot Parent Re:It's California (720 comments)

I am hardly surprised that insurance companies do not like the situation of having any additional regulation imposed upon them and will raise fees or do anything else they can do to protest and to discredit it.

The sharp increases in premiums aren't due to some sort of tantrum that the insurance industry is throwing due to regulations. It's not like the Department of Health and Human Services or the state insurance commissions sprang up overnight due to ObamaCare. Insurance has always be highly regulated. ObamaCare is actually a massive handout to the insurance industry, due to forcing people to buy their product.

The main drivers for the insurance premium increases are:
1. Elimination of choice in insurance plans. People who previously paid for their own preventative care and minor health issues and only insured against catastrophic events are no longer able to do so. All of a sudden, these people are paying way more for their healthcare than they used to because they are forced to buy more insurance than they need or want.

2. Elimination of risk pools. People who generally take good care of themselves are now in the same risk pool as the alcoholic, obese, biker down the street. Guess who's subsidizing whose bad choices?

If you've even hung around the emergency department of a hospital, you will have seen where the real cost of uninsured patients was going. Suddenly this cost is transferred from the hospital to subsidized plans.

ObamaCare makes this problem way worse due to the Medicaid expansion. ER visits are free under Medicaid, so ERs are now seeing an increase in nonemergent use as a result.

5 days ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

Slashdot Parent Re:It's California (720 comments)

There was a company that sold a "trash plan" and sent a sales person to my home. This plan was not written to provide useful medical coverage for a catastrophic condition such as an auto accident with severe injury.

To pick a nit, if you require medical attention after an auto accident, typically the at-fault driver's auto policy would need to cover that. Anyway, I'm not sure why you wasted your time having a salesperson to your home for a plan that your research already told you was designed never to pay a claim. Certainly such scams existed, but 30 seconds of googling can typically separate the good from the fraud.

The second was priced so prohibitively high that it seemed to be intended to deter the customer from purchase.

That may have been the high risk pool.

As for me, I had a great policy pre-ObamaCare through a real insurer that pays valid claims (Aetna). However, this year, my premiums more than doubled. When I called to ask what was going on since there was no change in any of my family members' health situations, they told me that my old plan was illegal now, but that my new plan was way better than my old plan so it's really a way better deal and how lucky I am to have ObamaCare. When I asked what was better about it, they said that my new plan now covers pregnancy, IVF, and a whole host of other things that I didn't have coverage for before due to nobody in my family being at risk for those (e.g. my wife can't have kids). When I asked what the price would be after I dropped those unnecessary coverages, they said that it's illegal to drop those coverages and that I would just have to pay for them due to ObamaCare.

Thanks, Obama.

5 days ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

Slashdot Parent Re:It's California (720 comments)

I am celebrating this event because This is the first time that Bruce Perens can get insurance coverage!

Are you saying that there was no insurer in CA that would have covered any of the three of you for any plan? Because I find that very hard to believe.

I'm not familiar with California, but every state that I've ever lived in has had a high risk pool that could not reject anybody. I'm guessing that CA also had a high risk pool, but you just didn't like the price, not that I blame you.

about a week ago
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New Service Lets You Hitch a Ride With Private Planes For Cost of Tank of Gas

Slashdot Parent Re:um... (269 comments)

You can't compare nominal numbers like that because there are many, many more vehicle miles traveled by auto than by airplane. Also, the air travel numbers include commercial planes, which comprise the vast majority of air miles traveled, and have different standards than General Aviation, which is what TFA is talking about.

General Aviation has 9x more fatalities annually than cars per vehicle mile traveled (link). I'll take my chances on the ground, thanks.

about a week ago
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New Service Lets You Hitch a Ride With Private Planes For Cost of Tank of Gas

Slashdot Parent Re:um... (269 comments)

General Aviation results in 9x more fatalities per mile traveled than driving (link). I'll take my chances on the ground, thanks.

about a week ago
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Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law

Slashdot Parent Re:Quid pro quo here. (1109 comments)

Donating to a single campaign for a single purpose (Prop 8) is different than donating to a politician. If you want to buy support of a politician on a single issue, it doesn't mean you endorse every single thing they've ever said or done.

Actually, the outrage was because he donated to Prop 8 and also donated to Pat Buchanan, so yes, his ouster was based in part on his support for a political candidate.

about a week ago
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Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law

Slashdot Parent Re:Bu the wasn't fired (1109 comments)

He fucking resigned.

Everything that I've read said that he was forced to resign.

about a week ago
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Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

Slashdot Parent Re:Equality? How about sports? (673 comments)

My alma mater lost its baseball program to title 9. Men's gymnastics and wrestling are an endangered species. Basically, if you like a sport that isn't football, and you have a penis, then no college athletics for you.

Title 9 can die in a fire, as far as I'm concerned.

about a week ago
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Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

Slashdot Parent Re:Why is that a problem? (673 comments)

I know five nurses, all woman. Two of them earn over $100K a year. Very few men work as nurses. Is that a problem that needs to be solved?

Blah blah blah blah privilege.

Blah blah blah blah microagression.

Blah blah blah blah rape culture.

Blah blah blah blah mansplaining.

Tra la la la, tra la la la ...

about a week ago
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Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

Slashdot Parent Re:The real lesson (673 comments)

This kind of crap is why women don't want to work in IT.

Yet I saw it all the time in college. You can't ask me to unsee what I clearly saw.

about a week ago
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To Reduce the Health Risk of Barbecuing Meat, Just Add Beer

Slashdot Parent Re:Marinade, add beer to the marinade (179 comments)

By the way, I should mention that many restaurants -- and home cooks too -- have switched to sous vide methods instead of using an oven, since it is faster and more precise.

My feelings exactly. Looked like a shitty version of sous vide to me, just begging to overcook the steak or at the very least, dry it out by having it in a hot oven for 3 hours!

Sous vide to the temperature of desired doneness, and then finish over thermonuclear heat (30 seconds per side) immediately prior to serving. I know you know that, but just for the benefit of others who might want to try.

about two weeks ago
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Federal Bill Would Criminalize Revenge Porn Websites

Slashdot Parent Re:Freedom of Speech? (328 comments)

Oh yeah, the First Amendment supports your right to do any or all of those, and a pig buzzed me at Mach 3 yesterday.

Yes, and you still have the right to do all of these things. You just don't have the right to do them without taking responsibility for your actions!

If you publish something defamatory, that's totally fine, legally. Nobody is going to prevent you from doing that. However, if you damage someone in the process, then you must compensate that person for the damage you caused.

about two weeks ago
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Federal Bill Would Criminalize Revenge Porn Websites

Slashdot Parent Re:Freedom of Speech? (328 comments)

Basically, if you're not photoshopping someone's head onto another body, revenge porn is not defamation.

Off the top of my head, there are several areas where revenge porn could potentially be of disputed legality.

The most obvious is that if she took the photo and sent it to you, she owns the copyright. If you distribute it without permission, then that is a blatant violation of her copyright.

If the revenge porn site charges for access, then that could be commercial use of the photo, and the rules are then different. No model release, then that could also be copyright violation.

If she's at all young-looking in the photo, she could claim that she was 17 when the photo was taken. A bit of a scorched earth tactic because she would technically be in violation of child porn laws too, but I wonder if a female revenge porn victim would really be prosecuted? I doubt it.

Lastly, revenge porn could still be considered defamation, since these revenge sites are rarely just photos. There's usually a direct or implied claim that the subject of the photos is "unchaste". By way of example, if you post a photo of an ex with a caption stating that she is a slut, that would be defamatory in many jurisdictions. I suppose you could argue in court that she really is a slut, the truth being a defense against defamation and all, but that might be difficult to prove and it would suck for the defendant if he does not prevail in this argument. To my knowledge, there is no legal standard of "sluttitude", so if a court found insufficient evidence to support the assertion that she is a slut, then the statement would be defamatory, per se (i.e. she wouldn't need to prove that being called a slut is defamatory in order to assert damages because most jurisdictions consider allegations of unchastity to be defamatory automatically).

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do Any Development Shops Build-Test-Deploy On A Cloud Service?

Slashdot Parent Re:EC2 likely too expensive.. (119 comments)

EC2 likely too expensive.. [...] If it's all Java / JVM, then look at the Cloudbees offering

You do realize that Cloudbees runs in EC2, right?

about two weeks ago

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