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ISP 'Six Strikes' Plan Delayed

TaggartAleslayer What bothers me (157 comments)

What bothers me about measures like this is how broad and intimidating they can be to the average user.

I see measures like this as nothing more than an intimidation tactic to force users into corporate marketplaces for everything. "I'm not sure if this download is going to get me a strike, so I better go pay for it on Amazon/iTunes/Google." This line of thinking is just going to cost the industry more in the long run. You don't piss off the masses with overbearing rules. The "let them eat cake" mentality is ultimately very self destructive.

more than 2 years ago
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Hans Reiser Sued By Own Kids For $15 Million

TaggartAleslayer Re:No hidden assets IMHO (265 comments)

Money does not cure mental illness or emotional instability.

more than 2 years ago
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Hans Reiser Sued By Own Kids For $15 Million

TaggartAleslayer Re:The lawyer of the kids gets a percentage? (265 comments)

The children's guardian (grandmother) initiated the lawsuit, in looking out for the best interest of the children. Were I in a similar situation, I would also use the full force of the law to ensure the assets were located and set aside for my wards.

That's just being a good guardian.

The lawyers are working pro bono, which you would know if you had read the article. It never ceases to amaze me that some people are willing to spew out hundreds of words, while jumping to some asinine conclusion, without taking the time to read the associated article.

more than 2 years ago
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Telefonica Shows Prototype Firefox OS Phone

TaggartAleslayer Probably change the name... (91 comments)

I don't think I know anyone that would want a Firefox phone. Maybe 5 years ago, but now the brand image just means memory leaks and bloated browsing. Your perception may vary, but I think the core audience that would support such an endeavor is increasingly turned off by the browser and brand itself.

more than 2 years ago
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Sea Level Rise Can't Be Stopped

TaggartAleslayer It's briefly touched upon in TFA (521 comments)

Does anyone have a map of affected low-lying areas? Can we get any visual depictions of the chaos to come?

People don't respond well to small numbers. Most can't understand the impact of them. Shouting, "The ocean will rise by 14cm!" only begs for the response of "Well that's only ankle deep..."

Can't we take what we've learned from marketing sodas to the masses and apply it to important doomsday scenarios like this? Where are all of the Don Drapers of the scientific world anyway?

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Defines Good Developer Culture?

TaggartAleslayer Re:Avoid UML, unit testing, instant messaging, Git (239 comments)

UML is critical for many difficult system interactions. A single diagram can save several refactors later.

Unit testing is critical for good code. The point isn't to reduce defects the first time out of the gate. It's to reduce the likelyhood of problems being introduced the n'th time you have to refactor or expand an area of your application and need reasonable assurance that the impact of the change doesn't have a large footprint. You can change or add what is needed, run your tests to green, and be fairly certain that the application functions as intended in all tested areas. Otherwise, you're relying on instinct to tell you what the real effect on the applicaiton may be.

Instant messaging depends entirely on the culture and nature of your group. If your team isn't colocated it can be invaluable for every day work.

Git is no more a fad than CVS, Subversion, SourceGear, VSS, or any other source control. Source control is necessary. Your particular flavor of it may differ depending on your product, IDE, and approach. I like Git, but use Subversion more. Neither is a wrong answer, depending on the situation.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Defines Good Developer Culture?

TaggartAleslayer Just my thoughts. (239 comments)

I've lead and followed in software development, ranging from junior guy to Sr. Development Manager. Here are a few points that I've picked up along the way that help:

- Clearly define career paths for your developers. It's ok if that path ends at some point. Not every position can lead to CEO, but there should be a clear bar for those wanting to grow.
- Create Individual Development Plans for your team members to help them reach those goals. Include realistic metrics, not vague "Do good!" statements
- Provide training as a normal part of business. Don't wait until you have to use a certain technology and then cram everyone into a room to learn it. Be proactive.
- Offer paid travel to conferences in place of training for those that prefer it. They usually come back with ideas or areas of focus to better process, development tools, and products.
- Don't let drama fester. If Bob is always leaving early and people are grumbling, talk to Bob.
- Don't resort to the mass-email to avoid confrontation. If Bob continues to be a problem, don't send a generic "Team members should be on time and leave on time" message to the group. There's no better way to kill team spirit than to lecture them all over the actions of a few or one.
- Don't get caught up in perks. Pay a reasonable salary, and be a fair company, and you won't need the goofy team builders.
- Don't let your employees walk all over you. If you need them there 40 hours a week, doing a professional job, tell them that. Don't bow to their will because you think it will make them happy. It often won't. What will make them happy is knowing what to expect. You can't let them show up at noon every day for three months and then decide to get pissed off about it. State the rules up front, keep them simple, enforce them every time, and be fair across the board.
- Remember that they're all grown damned adults. They are probably quirky in ways, but they wouldn't be there if they weren't also intelligent and valuable to your team as a whole. Treat them with respect in everything you do and you'll most likely get the same in return.
- Remember that you are there to support them, they aren't there to support you. They are there to deliver something for you, and your job is to help them achieve that. Flip the org chart upside down if it helps you remember.

I could go on for hours, but I'll cut it there.

more than 2 years ago
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Supreme Court: Affordable Care Act Is Constitutional

TaggartAleslayer Re:So from here on out ... (2416 comments)

In regards to George Washington, I was referring to the requirement that ship owners buy medical insurance for their sailors, not the gun law, though that does set precedent along the same lines.

I can't presume to know how the same founders would have voted on the ACA, but it wouldn't have been such a shocking ideal to them. They were more than familiar with the same issues we're still trying to sort out as a society.

more than 2 years ago
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Supreme Court: Affordable Care Act Is Constitutional

TaggartAleslayer Re:So from here on out ... (2416 comments)

George Washington signed into law the first mandate for health insurance in America. I personally don't think he'd have a problem with it, nor would the other 20 framers that passed the law. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/06/26/george-washingtons-individual-mandates/

Later, John Adams signed the first individual health insurance mandate into law because sailors were a drain on society due to unpaid hospital stays, which you might note, is a very relevant point in regards to the current discussion.

Liberty doesn't mean freedom from responsibility. Quite the opposite, actually. Our founding fathers knew that better than most care to admit.

more than 2 years ago
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Supreme Court: Affordable Care Act Is Constitutional

TaggartAleslayer Re:So from here on out ... (2416 comments)

It's actually going to be ok for you. That's part of the package. If you work for a company that has over 50 employees and they don't provide insurance, they will have to start offering it or pay a fee to help offset the cost of federally subsidized insurance that you might decide to take out.

If you work for an employer with less than 50 employees or one that decides to eat the fee and not to offer insurance, you can still opt to get a plan at the same rate as everyone else through an exchange.

If you're not on solid financial ground, but still above the poverty line, up to 400% over it to be precise, you'll be eligible for federal subsidies on that exchange plan that will keep the cost low enough for you to afford it. At 150% of the poverty line, you're looking at about $50/mo for a family of 4. I don't know your situation, but that's pretty cheap, and the scale slides down to free the closer to poverty you get.

If you can't afford that, you're likely near or below the poverty line and will qualify for Medicaid at no personal cost.

If you've explored all of those options and you still can't afford it, but make too much to qualify for Medicaid, you can get a waiver due to financial hardship and not pay a thing.

This was all considered and is part of the ACA. If you read up on your particular set of circumstances, you'll likely find that soon (if not now), you'll not only qualify for affordable insurance, but have a right to it.

You can also opt out if you so choose, and pay 1% (maximum) of your salary between now and 2016, and then 2.5% (maximum), which would be silly, because for that amount, with the exchanges and employer incentives, you're going to find a plan that will cover you.

This is the reason people like the plan when it's broken into parts. Most people don't realize how it truly is going to help them afford health care. You won't be forced to buy something expensive. You'll have the opportunity to have health care that you actually can afford.

And because we all love citations, Wikipedia is full of them. Feel free to correct me where I'm wrong, but please do so with fact and not pundit talking points on either side: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patient_Protection_and_Affordable_Care_Act

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft To Sell Its Own Windows RT Tablet

TaggartAleslayer Re:This summary is terrible (288 comments)

... it should have been "MSFT chose" instead of "choose". I believe that was the original complaint.

more than 2 years ago
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US Ordered To Hand Over Megaupload Documents

TaggartAleslayer Re:Dear USA (242 comments)

Calm down, chief. Resource supply and demand is driving up wages in China, making America a viable alternative for cheap, skilled labor again. There's no wishing or waiting for a natural phenomenon implied there, simply an observed fact as it pertains to the current situation.

I'm not sure how you linked that statement to a support of trickle-down economics, the invisible hand, or some belief that the market is controlled by magic, as I implied nothing of the sort. I simply stated my opinion that skilled laborer positions will likely begin to shift back to the US once wages reach a competitive level in China. None of that is an endorsement of any economic system or model, just my observations based upon what is happening in the world around us.

about 2 years ago
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US Ordered To Hand Over Megaupload Documents

TaggartAleslayer Re:Dear USA (242 comments)

The Chinese currency is currently, artificially, kept very low. It has been for a very long while. NPR Report from 2006 on Yaun manipulation

If the Yaun were more influenced by the market like the rest of the world, it would be balancing much quicker. The issue has very little to do with what US workers are willing to work for and more to do with what corporations are willing to pay. With the current unemployment rates in the US, you could stock a factory with minimum wage, skilled laborers, without an issue. But that still can't compete on a resource cost level with a stifled Yaun.

Even so, as skilled production work moves to China, wages continue to increase due to labor shortages. NY Times article on the wage and labor issue. It is starting to even out, and we'll likely see more jobs returning to US shores as an equilibrium as reached.

more than 2 years ago
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PlayStation 4 'Orbis' Rumors: AMD Hardware, Hostile To Used Games

TaggartAleslayer Re:Say it ain't so, Sony! (371 comments)

Third hand anecdotes are not very convincing arguments. The whole thing sounds entirely made up. Having a STEAM account wiped of legitimate games because it was hacked? Very doubtful.

about 2 years ago
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Is American Innovation Losing Its Shine?

TaggartAleslayer Re:Why? (625 comments)

The reason we have regulation, inspection, certification and licensing in place is because we, as a society, don't like people falling out of the sky. It's certainly not a good rule for keeping the market safe and stable.

Waiting for the market to self-correct after mass casualties is a huge step backwards for humanity as a whole. The reason we have rules and regulations is because we, as a people, determined that unnecessary loss of life is not acceptable in a modern world and we put measures in place to prevent such things.

Would you want to live in a world with no safety checks in place? In a modern society where you have to rely on complex machinery, medicines, and processed foods to simply survive? If you rode a horse and buggy to work, ate what you grew, and died at 30 from pneumonia it would be fine to remove all regulations from everything. But we don't. We rely on products created by others. The stability of our market, as well as our own safety, relies on having checks in place to give reasonable assurance that we won't die from simply trying to live in modern society.

more than 2 years ago
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Is American Innovation Losing Its Shine?

TaggartAleslayer Re:Do more with less (625 comments)

That intones that profit is the only worthwhile motivator. That's the current problem. If it doesn't make money, it isn't worth investing in.

There's a reason that Government subsidies for infrastructure are in place. Advancing society as a whole may not generate short-term profit. Corporations have a very limited view in if it isn't reflected on the Quarterly Report as a net gain, it's cast as being not worthwhile.

Government has traditionally served the purpose in funding otherwise unprofitable, but "good for the whole" endeavors. That's why Governments aren't "for profit" entities. There has to be a revenue stream for the betterment of the citizenry. You won't get that if there's a profit stipulation attached to every single decision.

more than 2 years ago
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Man Calls 911 To Fix Broken iPhone

TaggartAleslayer Re:Hey! (244 comments)

Zing!

more than 2 years ago
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Censored Religious Debate Video Released After Public Outrage

TaggartAleslayer Re:Dialog is good and all... (717 comments)

Exceptional rebuttal. I would mod you up if I had the points.

more than 2 years ago
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Square Enix Facing Big Losses For 2010

TaggartAleslayer Re:Everything they make sucks (210 comments)

I actually played all the way through. The world only opens up at the very end, just before the final confrontations. The problem is that the game was on rails for 90% of it. Had they started with the open world, instead of introducing it at 30 hours of play, it might have been a passable entry.

Even so, and after finishing it, I have no idea what the story was about. It's pretty sad when you're longing for the coherence of VI and VII.

Even with all of that, the spark is just missing. The little gems from the early entries are almost entirely gone. No canoe, no boat, no free-roaming airship, and there haven't been any appreciable mini-games or side-ventures in a long time. It's all so clinical and linear now that it hardly resembles the original franchise.

more than 3 years ago
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Enlisting Game Hackers Instead of Fighting Them

TaggartAleslayer Re:DRM is irrelevant (118 comments)

I never said it was a good or bad thing, just that it is how it is. There won't be a revolution against DRM because most people simply don't care.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Look Ma' No Glasses; Toshiba's New 3D TV

TaggartAleslayer TaggartAleslayer writes  |  more than 4 years ago

TaggartAleslayer (840739) writes "If you're anything like me, you scoff at the idea of paying $100 for a pair of awkward and uncomfortable shutter glasses just to enjoy 3D entertainment at home on a TV you already paid too much for. Luckily, there may be another option soon. "In what is likely to be a world first, Toshiba Corp. is planning to release before the end of 2010 a TV set that will enable viewers to enjoy 3-D images with the naked eye, company sources have said.""
Link to Original Source
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Astronomers Discover Waterworld

TaggartAleslayer TaggartAleslayer writes  |  more than 4 years ago

TaggartAleslayer (840739) writes "Astronomers said Wednesday that they had discovered a planet composed mostly of water.

Though not the most human friendly environment, with a 400 degree Fahrenheit surface temperature, its discovery has encouraged a growing feeling among astronomers that they are on the verge of a breakthrough and getting closer to finding a planet we could live on.

“This probably is not habitable, but it didn’t miss the habitable zone by that much,” said David Charbonneau of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who led the team that discovered the new planet and will reports its findings on Thursday in the journal Nature."

Link to Original Source
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Supreme Court Takes Texting Privacy Case

TaggartAleslayer TaggartAleslayer writes  |  more than 4 years ago

TaggartAleslayer (840739) writes "The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide whether a police department violated the constitutional privacy rights of an employee when it inspected personal text messages sent and received on a government pager.

The case opens a new frontier in Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, according to a three-judge panel of an appeals court that ruled in favor of the employee, a police sergeant on the Ontario, Calif., SWAT team."

Link to Original Source
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Walmart Makes Good on Smash Bros. Pricing SNAFU

TaggartAleslayer TaggartAleslayer writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TaggartAleslayer writes "Earlier this week Walmart.com listed Super Smash Bros. Melee for Wii at an unbelievable price of $19.82. Thousands of anxious shoppers took advantage of the error and were later met with a not-so-accurate email stating they, the shoppers, had chosen to cancel their own orders. A few emails and apologies later, it looks like everyone that tried to get the quick discount are at least going to get a condolence prize. Walmart is making amends by handing out $10 gift cards for use at Walmart.com to those affected by the site error."
Link to Original Source
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TaggartAleslayer TaggartAleslayer writes  |  about 8 years ago

HRGamer writes "I recently had a chance to speak with Sanya Weathers, Director of Community Relations and Mark Jacobs, Vice President and General Manager of EA Mythic, to talk a little bit about development life in Virginia, the EA merger, and Warhammer Online, their latest entry into online gaming. This is what they had to say."

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