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Supreme Court Upholds First Sale Doctrine

SteelKidney Re:will not stop the publishers from making DMCA r (648 comments)

Not quite. From what I've seen, at least in some online-only colleges, it's web software that displays textbook material in a non-portable form. You don't purchase, license, or have any rights to the content at all. You pay for the right to use the reader.

about a year and a half ago

Amazon's Quest For Web Names Draws Foes

SteelKidney Wasn't there a lot of complaining (114 comments)

About ICANN's control of TLD's some years ago? Yeah... about that. What the hell did people think was going to happen?

about a year and a half ago

Steve Jobs Threatened Palm To Stop Poaching Employees

SteelKidney Re:Just exposes the joke of "right to work" (270 comments)

Where to begin...

First of all, California is anything but a "Right to Work state. In fact, I'd say that Michigan is the only state where unions hold more power.
Secondly, the tech sector is largely non-union regardless of where you go.
Finally, I can assure you that as a programmer in a Right to Work state, this sort of thing doesn't happen in my area. In fact, for good software developers, the pay and benefits are going up because there aren't enough of us to keep up with the demand.

Point is, you're clearly singling out the one factor that's important to you and inflating its importance while ignoring factors that don't matter to you. Which, while common- heck, even our "So Called" leaders do it- is just about the worst way to solve a problem.

about a year and a half ago

Is It Time To End Our Love Affair With the QWERTY Keyboard?

SteelKidney The Dexter Keyboard (557 comments)

Small bug in the software. If you mis-key something, you're immediately killed in a plastic-coated room lined with pictures of your misspelled words.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Bas Lansdorp About Going to Mars, One Way

SteelKidney Re:Life Insurance (540 comments)

There's always a 100% chance of death. Living on Earth doesn't change that.

Life insurance is about the risk of dying before the actuarial tables say you're expected to. Which is why it's difficult and expensive to get term life insurance when you're >65.

That being said, I think the insurance premiums for a Mars colonist would be roughly that of a 200 year old that routinely snorts cocaine off a diseased gibbon's rear end.

Give or take.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Why Are Hearing Aids So Expensive?

SteelKidney Doesn't answer the question, but... (629 comments)

Find the nearest Lions Club and talk to them. Helping absorb the costs of hearing and sight loss is a large part of how they use the money the raise. If you're in the U.S. look up the state Lions organization rather than contacting individual clubs. Outside the U.S., I'm not sure.

more than 2 years ago

The Billions In Mobile Ad Money Nobody Can Grab

SteelKidney Re:Mobile ads are a waste of time, space, and mone (203 comments)

Have you seen the ads? Mind you, I haven't in awhile, as I tend to use whatever ad blocking software I can find, but I seem to recall them being dominated by dating networks, gambling sites, and more ad-filled crapware written by the same people that brought you the current ad-filled crapware.

more than 2 years ago

Senators To Unveil the 'Ex-Patriot Act' To Respond To Facebook's Saverin

SteelKidney Re:I have to ask (716 comments)

Actually he *has* paid for them. Legally. He has, and will, pay taxes for the amount of time he was a U.S. citizen. The real outcry is over his temerity in leaving the U.S., thus depriving the government of income to which it considers itself entitled.

more than 2 years ago

Senators To Unveil the 'Ex-Patriot Act' To Respond To Facebook's Saverin

SteelKidney Re:The nerve (716 comments)

This is why capital gains taxes are... well, to avoid inflammatory rhetoric, let's call them "odd".

Facebook revenue gets taxed. Income put into the stock market is (generally) taxed. Yet, when the profits of a company get divided up among stock holders, the money gets taxed yet again. The infrastructure FB uses has been paid for in taxes a few times- corporate income taxes and payroll taxes come to mine immediately, but given how the federal government has never met a tax it didn't like, I'm sure that there are others.

A more interesting question, I think, is one of pragmatism. If the U.S. wants to continue to have a tax-based revenue stream, is it doing itself any good by fostering a tax system that is causing billionaires (not just this guy) and even some companies to leave the U.S. for better tax structures?

more than 2 years ago

Positive Bias Could Erode Public Trust In Science

SteelKidney Re:Wait, what? (408 comments)

"This is absolutely, unalterably correct and anybody entertaining even reasonable skepticism is an IDIOT"

Nobody has a problem with reasonable skepticism.

I don't think we use the same internet. :) (Sorry about the thread Necromancy. I had totally forgotten I'd said anything.)

more than 2 years ago

Senators To Unveil the 'Ex-Patriot Act' To Respond To Facebook's Saverin

SteelKidney I have to ask (716 comments)

With asshats like Chuck Schumer in office, what makes him think Saverin (and many others) *want* to come back? It's a little like a hotel manager banning you from his hotel after you complain about the fact that someone took a crap on the room's bed.

more than 2 years ago

Positive Bias Could Erode Public Trust In Science

SteelKidney Re:Wait, what? (408 comments)

Or the hordes of bloggers, forum commenters, and internet shills claiming that "This is absolutely, unalterably correct and anybody entertaining even reasonable skepticism is an IDIOT".

more than 2 years ago

Oracle and Google Spar Over Whether Programming Languages Can Be Copyrighted

SteelKidney Re:My ass (316 comments)

Tolkein developed a fairly in-depth grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation guide, and even name patterns for Elves. He wasn't *just* making up words, he was creating a language.

more than 2 years ago

Study Says E-prescription Systems Would Save At Least 50k Lives a Year

SteelKidney Re:10 years ago... (134 comments)

I expect that reading the Daily WTF ought to answer your question. Or Diebold's attempts to use whatever legal maneuvers they could in order to cover up the fact that they were selling extremely poor-quality software. Or the fact that Sony got so thoroughly and completely pwned over the past couple of years that it's not unreasonable to assume that anything more complicated than "Hello World" written by a Sony team is yet another hack waiting to happen.

more than 2 years ago

AT&T Threatening To Raise Rates After Merger Failure

SteelKidney While this is going to be terribly unpopular (247 comments)

AT&T has a point, even if I think they're reacting to it badly. Despite the knee-jerk "Corporate Greed" reaction, the FCC determines what, if any, spectrum is made available and whether or not a merger or acquisition can happen. Since the government has decided that no more spectrum is to be made available, despite the obvious need, and that none of the big 4 are allowed to merge, government regulation has caused more than a few problems that AT&T simply isn't allowed to fix.

AT&T may be acting like a spoiled teenager, but the FCC is very much acting like the stereotypical low-level bureaucrat that gets off on making other peoples' life difficult just to exercise a little power.

more than 2 years ago

How Does a Self-Taught Computer Geek Get Hired?

SteelKidney This is how I did it (523 comments)

I'm also largely self-taught. Hammered out BASIC programs on my TI or C-65 as a kid, took a few classes in college, but mostly learned as I went.

Networking is important. Since your resume/CV isn't likely to turn any heads, someone more established recommending you can go a long way. Friends, online contacts, people you meet at conferences, anyone you can think of to get in your corner will be a big boost.

Have examples to show that you can do the work you claim you can. The Almighty Degree isn't the barrier it used to be, but at some point you will have to show that you can do the work. Also read as much as you can about the technologies you want to work with. You have to be able to be conversant in them during the interview. It isn't difficult to spot someone who is faking it.

Try very hard to work on a team. You'll learn a lot from a group of developers, including what habits are good to pick up and which ones to avoid. Understand, and accept, that you're likely to start close to the bottom as a junior programmer. Not a bad thing, really. Gives you a chance to get a lot of experience, and if the company you're with is the sort that doesn't believe in advancing programmers through their careers, more experience will equal better opportunities elsewhere.

more than 2 years ago

2011 Geek IQ Test

SteelKidney One question (161 comments)

Do you recognize this:

GED/J d-- s:++>: a-- C++(++++) ULU++ P+ L++ E---- W+(-) N+++ o+ K+++ w--- O- M+ V-- PS++>$ PE++>$ Y++ PGP++ t- 5+++ X++ R+++>$ tv+ b+ DI+++ D+++ G++++ e++ h r-- y++**

Yes, and I can interpret it without the guide: 5 points
Yeah- I remember that/ Oh, God, I thought we were done with that nonsense: 3 points
What?: 0 points
Is that HTML?: Go away

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Does Being 'Loyal' Pay As a Developer?

SteelKidney Having just been through something similar (735 comments)

Let me reframe the question. Take loyalty out of the question, for a moment, ask yourself if the extra money is worth no longer working with people you really like. I've worked for people who shouldn't be managing anyone, much less IT people. I've worked in situations where developers were poorly regarded and treated badly. Not having to put up with crap like that is worth an offset in pay. How much of an offset is, of course, up to you. HTH. Heck- this is Slashdot. Hope this gets noticed. :)

more than 2 years ago


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