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Comments

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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

Whorhay Re:Funny thing about email (228 comments)

Yes, because I can rapidly analyze each one as it comes in while continuing to work on whatever work actually needs done. It represents a few seconds of distraction here and there at worst. When you come back from vacation though you know that somewhere in that heap is work that is important and you need to find it now. So you have to devote your time to sorting the huge pile of trash, and not getting something more productive done.

Part of the problem is probably the email client we use which doesn't allow for sorting of conversations and such. It does have a system for flagging high importance messages and such, but people use that all the time for stuff that isn't actually important and don't use it when it would be warranted. Of course the correct solution would be to eliminate the chaff in the first place but that front is rather hopeless.

yesterday
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

Whorhay Re:Funny thing about email (228 comments)

I've actually contemplated taking the delete approach when returning from a week of vacation. The reason for doing so is that we get an inordinate amount of crap email that isn't easily reducable by automated rules. I frequently come back from a week out of the office and have several thousand unread emails. Keeping up with that amount of crap as it comes in is a tolerable waste of time, but being forced to spend most of my first day back trying to sort through all that junk to find the one or two important items is a huge waste. Even when I'm only gone for a couple days it can result in several hours of fruitless email catchup.

2 days ago
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Email Is Not Going Anywhere

Whorhay Re:Duh. (235 comments)

Where I work we started using an IM client for all kinds of stuff that I'd rather see done via email. But I'm not management so my opinion is worthless. I prefer email in a business setting precisely because it provides a better audit trail, and at least with the software we use it is far easier to search and stuff. Anyways, just a month or so ago they dropped a nice little bomb, keeping up with the logs is way more work than they expected so they just aren't going to keep them longer than three months. Sometimes our business moves fast and sometimes slow, I can't count the number of times I've had to look up an email from more than a year ago.

3 days ago
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The Flight of Gifted Engineers From NASA

Whorhay Re:Another sign NASA is circling the drain ... (160 comments)

I'll grant you that the Federal Civil Service has some pretty good benefits. But the pay is not always one of them. I've known people that were hired away by contractors to work in the same shop for a 50% pay increase.

USAJOBS is pretty awful, partly that is a result of managers writing up the requirements when they have little to no expertise with the subject at hand. The feedback is horrendous, and sadly it used to be even worse.

4 days ago
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Cisco To Slash Up To 6,000 Jobs -- 8% of Its Workforce -- In "Reorganization"

Whorhay Re:He's also advocating for tax hikes for the rich (206 comments)

You are talking about sales or use taxes. And of course when you increase those suddenly spending on those items drops like a rock. And that is why sales and use taxes are generally hated by every class of consumer. And you'll see even consumers in the lowest income brackets deliberately avoiding having to pay it. Where I live the city has a total sales tax rate significantly higher than the neighboring communities, guess where everyone goes to make their big electronics purchases? The bottom line is that sales and use taxes are rather easy to dodge, especially on things like luxuries.

Income makes the most sense to tax because everyone has to have some kind of income. Even the Amish have income. How the income should be taxed is a good matter for debate in my opinion. A flat tax % is morally appealing because each person would then pay the same proportion of their income. But you can also morally argue that only the income above the absolute minimum for survival should be taxed. And then it's a relatively easy step from there to people making extraordinary amounts of money could afford to chip in a little more because they would arguably be much worse off in the event of anarchy prevailing or something, than the proles.

Personally I'm for all income being counted as income for the sake of taxes, abolishing capital gains as a special class. I'm for that tax rate being progressive. I think that the top rate should be higher than it currently is, but also not happen until a higher threshold is met. I think that the rate should scale more smoothly than it currently does. And I think that the amounts for standard deductions should be evaluated and adjusted better, which should enable the elimination of credits that result in actually paying out tax money that wasn't paid in the first place.

5 days ago
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Type 225 Words per Minute with a Stenographic Keyboard (Video)

Whorhay Re:The new and improved buggy whip (109 comments)

I would expect that wrist pain is more of a posture problem. I was reading up on Steno stuff recently and most of them have appeared to be pretty by for ergonomics in my opinion. That doesn't mean though that it couldn't be implemented in a much better way. I prefer to type with my forearms and elbows resting on the table surface with my wrists and hands being levered up to level with the keyboard. Most of the Steno machines I've seen appeared to be much to tall for this to work. But as one of the stenosaurus videos showed you can simply modify an existing keyboard to the same purpose so there isn't any reason you couldn't make a much lower steno machine.

Anyways I'm really interested in a single hand steno keyboard so that I can have full use of a keyboard with my right hand while still using the left for my mouse. Currently I have to take my hand off the mouse a lot or type akwardly all left handed.

about a week ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

Whorhay Re:How can you hire what doesn't exist? (557 comments)

Nailed it!

Anything that I want fast access to I will simply memorize the hot keys for. I don't need a mess of tiny icons always eating up screen space. The Ribbon is also far more cryptic than the old menus were. Whenever I need to use a feature that I don't commonly use I have to slowly visually evaluate each little icon to try and figure out what it does and if that is what I need.

about a week ago
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Getting IT Talent In Government Will Take Culture Change, Says Google Engineer

Whorhay Re:It's more than the tie (165 comments)

The salary even really depends on where you are at and how many jobs you've had. For me going from my first contract gig to GS was a very large pay increase. The pay raises were also significantly better and bonuses actually existed. Benefits were also all around better, and the vacation and sick time was impossibly better. Where I live as the sole bread winner in the family I bring in 50% more than the median household income. Of course I have friends who live in other parts of the country and I'd have to be 3 grades higher to come close to what they earn. Which is better really depends on what you want and where you decide to live.

about a week ago
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Silicon Valley Doesn't Have an Attitude Problem, OK?

Whorhay Re:SF Rents (260 comments)

Even where housing is much more affordable that is an excellent strategy. When I was single I purchased my home and rented room to some friends. They got incredibly low rent and I got more money for the mortgage.

about a week ago
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Point-and-Shoot: TrackingPoint's New Linux-Controlled AR-15s

Whorhay Re:A real-world aimbot (218 comments)

Not really an aim bot. Aimbots typically give you one button to press that aims the weapon, and it might fire with the same keypress. It doesn't matter where you were already aiming or looking when you press that button the screen snaps to a target.

This system requires actually sighting in on the target and tagging it with a laser range finding system. The system uses some fancy image recognition software to then keep track of the target within your sight picture. When you then pull and hold the trigger the gun will fire only once you have aligned the gun in such a way that the system calculates you are aimed on the previously designated target.

about a week ago
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Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

Whorhay Re:US (502 comments)

"There's a reason that jurisdiction applies. You can't be legally required to do something in one country, and then legally required by another country to not do it."

That is incorrect. It might not seem very fair but it is the way it is. Jurisdiction though does mean that one court can't force an action to take place in another courts jurisdiction like sending in the police for a raid. But they can certainly compel the concerned party to take action via penalties imposed within their own jurisdiction.

As an example there was a man who upon divorcing his wife was accused by her of hiding millions of dollars over seas. I seem to remember that there was no actual evidence that the money still existed but the judge ruled him in contempt of court for not producing it. He was then held in jail for a decade or more, with no possibility of release until he produced the money or evidence of it's non-existence.

Being a multinational does not exempt a company from abiding by all laws and legal requests of the countries where they operate. If such was the case Hobby Lobby would have just incorporated in a country that doesn't require healthcare for employees and called it a day.

about three weeks ago
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Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

Whorhay Re:Cuts both ways (502 comments)

That's easy to answer:

Google refuse to comply and accept whatever consequences the Chinese Courts were able to enforce on them. Which at the worst would be seizure of all Google assets in China and any other nation that China could convince to side with it.

If Google complied with the Chinese Courts and provide information that might violate US law, then they would have to accept the legal consequences of doing so here in the US. Which would likely mean being open to a civil lawsuit and possible criminal charges. The civil lawsuit could be for huge sums of money, although that is very unlikely. The criminal charges would at worst amount to some slap on the wrist fines and some negative publicity.

Either way I have no sympathy for any multinational that ends up in a legal bind like this. They made the choice to operate at a multinational level and part of that is the risk of conflicting laws and jurisdictions.

about three weeks ago
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Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

Whorhay Re:Applies oversea or applies to local access? (502 comments)

Meh, such is the risk of being a multinational corporation. Hell it's actually the same risk any corporation or individual takes on by living in any country. Regardless of where you are from you are subject to the current laws of that jurisdiction. In the case of multinationals they have deliberately made the decision to operate in many jurisdictions. They have small armies of lawyers to help keep things straight but there is always the risk that they will have to choose one jurisdictions laws over another and be liable for the consequences. The only thing they stand to potentially lose is what little positive repuation and physical assets they have in the jurisdiction that they don't pick. I've never seen a cake that let you eat it entirely and still posses it in all it's preconsumption glory.

about three weeks ago
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Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

Whorhay Re:The problem isn't color of one's skin... (514 comments)

I agree in general but that is not an absolute. We've seen ample evidence over the years of institutions like the police giving particular attention to black communities in a negative way. Simple possesion of an illegal narcotic is more likely to destroy your future job prospects as a young black man than if you belonged to any other ethnic group. And I don't know if that is because people of other ethnic groups treat them unfairly in the court system or if it is a self inflicted thing. I am always surprised by the extremely negative atitudes my succesful black co-workers have for any young black person who makes a poor decision. It's probably some mix of both those problems though.

about three weeks ago
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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Whorhay Re:Medical services need total billing clarity (570 comments)

I agree, they do seem to have writing bad forms down to an art. That said a large number of people using the same horrible form is better than them each writing their own equally horrible non-standard form and then insisting on having their form represented in the electronic system. They literally ended up with a database larger than Oracle could handle. They exceded the data file limit per table space some years ago, and it is estimated that 60% of that data is basically trash, but they have no good way of sorting it all out.

about three weeks ago
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Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

Whorhay Experience outside the valley (514 comments)

I can't speak for what it is like in Silicon Valley but where I work in the deep south I would estimate that at least 30% of my fellow tech workers are of African ancestry.

about three weeks ago
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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Whorhay Re:So! The game is rigged! (570 comments)

I would consider a car payment as an acceptable way of doing business. I wouldn't recommend a brand new car, but a good used car is a great option. I would rather accept the extra cost of a little interest on a $15000 purchase than take that much money out of investments of savings. The savings of course isn't going to be earning nearly as much interest as the loan but the point of savings is having an immediately available supply of cash in cash of emergency or job loss, I like to keep a six months supply. The rest goes into market indexed investments which for me have averaged nearly 20% in the last twelve months, and around 10% per year over the last decade. Both my car payment and mortgage are under 5%, paying for them in cash would be foolhardy.

about three weeks ago
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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Whorhay Re: credit scores (system broken) (570 comments)

I managed to build my credit without ever getting a co-sign, mainly because my Father hates the whole credit rating system and so refuses to participate. I remember going to get a cell phone and because I didn't have a credit history at all being required to pay several hundred dollars as a deposit, that happened a couple times in a five year period. At some point in there I took out a small, $2000, 18 month personal loan from my credit union to buy a used car with a 12% interest rate again because I had no credit history to speak of. That interest rate while ugly on the face of it wasn't all that bad as 12% on a couple grand that gets paid off fast isn't really much of an issue. So five years after first discovering I had no credit rating I wanted to buy a house. I went and spoke to a mortgage lender and as it turned out I now had a great credit rating, 780 or so. My only history was a couple cell phone contracts, that personal loan, my landline/DSL bill, and a steady job for 3 years. Getting a good credit rating isn't really very difficult it just takes some time and stability.

I carry a single credit card now with a relatively low limit for unforseeable circumstances. For example I've encountered at least one rental car place that would not accept a debit card no matter how high of a balance it had but insisted on a credit card instead. And a couple times I've tried to pay for something with my check card and had it fail because the credit unions system was down briefly.

about three weeks ago
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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Whorhay Re:Medical services need total billing clarity (570 comments)

That is correct but the system is still idiotic and has tons of room for improvement. The amount of effort that medical providers have to put into resolving billing is insane and we still get arcane statements on a regular basis. It seems that every insurance company uses different codes and terms for the same services. And doctors of all sorts insist on using different terms for the same services. This makes for a huge problem when it comes to whether or not something gets covered by insurance.

This kind of problem is actually part of why the Military Health System is so screwed up. The military is chronically short of qualified doctors and of course has to pay them more than luitenants to have any chance of attracting them. So they send them to a school where they learn how to salute and wear a uniform and then gives them a rank commensurate with their pay rather than experience. This makes for a lot of officer bloat in the military hospitals and clinics. The one thing the military is usually decent at, standardization, goes out the window because at least half of these officers doesn't want to use a standard form, or insists on mis-using the standard form. This results in duplicated data on a massive scale in the database system because you can't be sure which records are actually duplicates because no one follows a standard.

about three weeks ago
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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Whorhay Re:Past due not reported by companies (570 comments)

I actually had my gas shutoff a few years back because the gas companies electronic system was jacked. I had automatic payments setup for years, I believe 6 years of electronic payments without trouble. Then they changed the system or something and rather than emailing me or phoning the number on record they sent snail mail which I might read once every six months. So despite them sending me email on a regular basis the only way they tried to contact me in regards to payment was snail mail. IDIOTS.

The only bill I have now that isn't automatic is strangely enough my mortgage through a largely online bank. This bank insists that to set up automatic mortgage payments that I must snail mail a hard copy of a signed form. This bank will let you deposit checks with a cell phone photo and do all manner of other electronic banking, but you can't set up an automatic payment that way or over the phone. I've had mortgages through two other banks that had no problem establishing automatic payments either online or over the phone

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: VPN reviews and the new ISP six strikes Agreement

Whorhay Whorhay writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Whorhay (1319089) writes "In view of the news that many of the major ISPs in the USA are enacting a six strike agreement this week, I have developed a keen interest in using a VPN for my home internet connection. My google foo skills though are apparently lacking as I was not able to find much in the way of reviews for VPN services that didn't appear to be marketing chaff. So I'm turning to Slashdot to ask: What VPN services do you recommend and why?"
Link to Original Source
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DoJ asks Supreme Court to take up GPS tracking

Whorhay Whorhay writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Whorhay (1319089) writes "The DOJ has been directed by the Obama Administration to push the Supreme Court to take up the legality of Warrantless GPS Tracking. This on the heels of the a federal appeals court in Washington overturning the conviction of a man citing warrantless GPS tracking as violating his fourth ammendmant rights."
Link to Original Source

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