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US Tech Firms Recruiting High Schoolers (And Younger)

andcal Re:Not new (253 comments)

What the really smart nerd will do today is find a paid internship, while still attending school, doing something that builds hireable skills.

about 2 months ago
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US Tech Firms Recruiting High Schoolers (And Younger)

andcal Re:Not new (253 comments)

the job or one like it will still be there when you graduate.

The job or one like it may still be there when you graduate, but the pay may well stagnate (or decrease) in that 4+ years, the position may have become a contract position with no benefits, and you may not be able to get an interview by then, because they are only targeting people just starting school, (since kids will work more hours for less). Oh, and in 4 years you may have student loans to pay back, so what seems like a lot of money now will now barely provide you any disposable income by then, with which to take ongoing training, since the company isn't training contractors. Welcome to the IT industry!

Or

The job or one like it is no longer there when you graduate, because the miracle of technology allowed all businesses to pay someone with a fraction of your cost of living to perform that business function for a fraction of the pay, even though the hidden cost to the company is much greater.

Or

The entire process has been farmed out as "piece work" on Amazon Mechanical Turk. You can still do the job, as long as you don't mind re-negotiating your terms every week or two.

That's my sarcastic post for the quarter. I feel better now. :)

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are Tech Job Requirements So Specific?

andcal Re:To hire specific people (465 comments)

What you are saying makes sense, but from what I hear from people who are on the recruiting and HR side, software culls down the mountain of applicants to a more manageable number based on the job description. I suspect these HR or recruiting people are not able to express the true weight of each of these complex and ever-changing requirements to the filter (else they might have become IT professionals instead), and thus a large fraction of well-qualified people are never even passed on to a human for a phone screen, due to the absence of a certain keyword from their resume which is not actually that important to the job itself.

about 10 months ago
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Digging Into the Legal Status of 3-D Printed Guns

andcal Re:Already legally settled (404 comments)

Where does a semi-automatic weapon even come into play here?

It doesn't. But why pass up an opportunity to propagate more confusion among the general public between fully-automatic and semi-automatic?

about a year and a half ago
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Digging Into the Legal Status of 3-D Printed Guns

andcal Re:Semi-automatic weapons (404 comments)

My thoughts as soon as I read that in the article: "I can't believe we still have reporters who don't know the difference between fully automatic and semi-automatic!"

Wait--Yes I can (willful ignorance, anyone?).

about a year and a half ago
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Digging Into the Legal Status of 3-D Printed Guns

andcal Re:Why does 3d printing matter (404 comments)

I just don't see how it matter what tech made the gun parts

Legally, it shouldn't matter. Practically, 3D printing has big implications for gun right/gun control.

I disagree. It took me a while to put my finger on it, but I finally worked it out. 3D printing is not a revolution, it's just popular. You can put a CNC mill together for between 1.5x and 2x the price of a hobbyist 3D printer. It will work with metal and it will produce a smoother and more accurate final product. Why is 3D printing being singled out when CNC mills are a much more viable problem?

Think about the difference between "pre-iPhone" (or "pre-Android") mobile devices, and the current app ecosystem that now exists. What was the "tipping point?" Some would argue that it was the next generation of technology, with development tools being advertised by the various organizations. Think about 3D printing being that next generation of computer-developed manufacturing. What plans are available online for making a gun or a magazine for a gun on a CNC platform? I don't know, because I have never looked, because I have never for one second thought I could afford a CNC setup. I have followed links from some of the 3D printing-hype articles, to look around a bit and see what is available for download on various 3D printing repositories. I already saw what happened to the prices of regular printers between 1996 and 2013, so it isn't too difficult for me to imagine being able to afford a 3D printer one day in the near future (regardless of the fact that I know the economics of printers being loss leaders, etc.).

3D printing changes the world so that making a gun no longer requires specialized equipment nor specialized skills. So from the gun-control point of view, there is a real risk of guns being made in secret, in a decentralized way that is hard to detect, and being trafficked outside the existing system of licensed dealers and background checks. So the old framework of gun-control laws won't work. A would-be criminal who can easily make his own gun neatly evades the whole system.

This simply isn't true. Home CNC has been around for over a decade, in the $2000-$10,000 range. The more DIY you want to get, the lower it goes. The software is open source (LinuxCNC) and the electronics are simple.

On the other hand, no one knows for sure what technological developments will come tomorrow. Some people may expect 3D printing to become significantly cheaper than the $2-10K range that point out exists for CNC technology. Also, when this happens, they could very well develop these extremely cheap 3D printers with drivers and applications to design new objects for Windows (along the lines of even "less specialized skills" required).
There is just a mindset difference between the hackers (very dedicated hobbyists with specialized skillsets) who used to build those Phreaking boxes for the phone system and script kiddies of the late 90s through today. For various and subtle reasons, 3D printing appeals to the latter more than CNC technology might. I am not familiar with the nitty-gritty enough to put my finger on it. CNC is inherently a subtractive process. 3D printing is in theory much more like a Star Trek transporter/replicator technology. This really appeals to geeks.

There big question is, what will replace the old legal model? There are many possible things the legislature could try, from giving up on gun control (unlikely) to trying to regulate the plans for gun parts (impractical, as we know from file sharing) to trying to clamp down on the printers themselves (scary).

This is a good question. The problem, though, is that the ship has sailed on controlling the printers. There are so many plans available from so many people (see file sharing) and the printers themselves are cobbled together from hobby electronics and parts you can buy at Home Depot.

This is exactly why 3D printing is more revolutionary than CNC. From what I have seen in other technological evolution, even the most "revolutionary" technology is really still an evolutionary technology that just reached a tipping point.

This is how the tech used to make the gun parts matters.

You may be right that someone in government will try and crack down on the printers themselves (Think of the children!), but it won't be long after that happens that someone with a CNC mill starts producing "controlled" items. The technology used is irrelevant.

I can totally see that happening also.

Thanks for the discourse. I have been trying to walk down this path mentally myself recently.

about a year and a half ago
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Monsanto Takes Home $23m From Small Farmers According To Report

andcal Re:Those greedy bastartds... (419 comments)


they OWN the patent to Roundup, right? So why do they need to charge coming and going??? why can't they just let the gene get into whatever seeds it can and then just make a killing selling Roundup since everyones crops will already be "Roundup Ready"?

Oh, that one is easy. Monsanto's last commercially relevant US patent to glyphosate expired in 2000

about a year and a half ago
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Jack Daniels Shows How To Write a Cease and Desist Letter

andcal Re:Classy (402 comments)

Companies can act this way towards one another, and they sometimes do, but it rarely gets noticed. This is the reason that I love social media (so that we can help it get noticed)! If you appreciate this, post this on your facebook and or linkedin account. Small things like letting others know about this small act adds up to make a difference. I know it is hard to draw the line between something like this and all of the dumb crap people post in their status updates all the time. You do what you want. But I suggest at least considering posting about positive things that you see in the world, instead of just negative ones. Spread the good word (literally)!

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft Files Patents for Virtual Game Controller

andcal Re:This is a bit too much (83 comments)

Because the kids lost 2 of the white roads and 1 of the blue cities. And probably some of the soldier cards. And one of the dice.

more than 2 years ago
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Google Vs. Microsoft: a Tale of Two Interviews

andcal Re:Ugh (215 comments)

I used to work at Microsoft (in 2 states other than Washington). There was one company that did the janitorial work. All the janitors worked for that company (not Microsoft). Another company did the Microsoft corporate security. All the security officers work for that company, not Microsoft. All the chefs and other kitchen workers are employed by another company (not Microsoft). The Microsoft Company Store is manned and managed by yet another company (not Microsoft). Even "half" of the people who worked in product support work for outside contracting companies, or as independent contractors. Since the sites I worked at provided mainly support (as opposed to product development), I can't say how many of the general population of the main Microsoft campuses were/are contractors or vendors. But I know the practice of hiring contractors and vendors was/is not exclusive to product support, because I see job postings all the time for contractor/vendor jobs within Microsoft product teams.
As low to the bottom of the corporate ladder as I was, in 2005, my rung was severed, and all of the front-line phone support was sent to India and Canada. So working for Microsoft at a minimum wage job is unlikely, if not impossible (unless things are really different in Washington state, or unless things have considerably changed where I was). I just worked at a Microsoft support site again for 9 months as a contractor, ending earlier this year, so I know they haven't changed in my state, at least.
having said all that, one likely can get a job at Microsoft for an admin-type position. I suspect those pay more than minimum wage, however, though maybe not that much more. I don't know if there is such a thing as a clerk at Microsoft, since automation through technology largely eliminated so many jobs of that type.

more than 2 years ago
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Why Making Facebook Private Won't Protect You

andcal Re:An easy solution (550 comments)

I have heard of people doing this, too. But that raises some theoretical questions:
Say I have 2 FB accounts: 1 for Friends and 1 for Authority.
First, my my parents may wonder why my cousin isn't on my friends list. So I could add my cousin (who is also a good friend of mine) to both lists, but then they would have to remember which one of my accounts is for friends and which one is for authority, so they don't tag the authority account on pics of our wild debauchery. That would be putting a burden on them.
I guess as long as your real life is cleanly divided into work and play, it might not be too hard, but if it does, anyone on both lists would have to remember not to post expletive-laced wall postings to the wrong account (assuming they agreed to care about this).

more than 2 years ago
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For Windows 8 Users, Stardock Revives the Start Menu

andcal Re:Validity? (370 comments)

I hated how hard it was to get to some utilities that I often use, but then one day I realized that I can just hit the windows key, and then type whatever it is that I want, and it magically opens (no hunting involved)
For instance:
Windows key-->"printers"-->Enter. Boom, there are my printers.
Windows Key-->"device manager"-->Enter. Boom. There is my device manager.
You can even do throwbacks like Windows Ket-->"add remove programs"-->Enter, and Boom. There is the Programs & Settings box (which replaced the Add/Remove dialog box).
It's not harder, it's just different. And with different comes the opportunity to be even more powerful.

more than 2 years ago
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Simulators Take the Humans Out of Hiring

andcal Re:or... (143 comments)

wow. I think everyone has been angry at someone in HR at some point or two in their lives. But if we eliminate HR completely, who will make sure we get paid?

more than 2 years ago
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Simulators Take the Humans Out of Hiring

andcal Re:Actually... (143 comments)

There are companies who are filling IT positions with people who don't already have 3-5 years experience doing the job? Where?please tell me!

more than 2 years ago
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Net Companies Consider the "Nuclear Option" To Combat SOPA

andcal Re:They can find better protets methods... (507 comments)

~15 years ago, I would have written off your examples as lunatic-fringe, tinfoil-hat-wearing and OMG-don't-you-have-anything-better-to-do-with-your-imagination, but events that have transpired in the past 15 or so years (starting with the signing into law of the DMCA in 1998) have convinced me otherwise.
I other words, I wouldn't put anything past our global corporation "people" who control billions of dollars (some of which are used to pay lobbyists, some of which are donated to candidates' election funds, and some of which are likely used for much worse purposes).

more than 2 years ago
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The Condescending UI

andcal Re:Users disagree with him (980 comments)

It took me a while to remember that the ribbon can be collapsed by double-clicking on any tab (the actual tab part). Once you know where the controls that you use are located, collapse the ribbon, and single-click a tab to open it for the duration of the command, and then after you click the command, it will snap back shut.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Alternatives To Tor Browser Bundle For Windows?

andcal OperaTor (201 comments)

I can't believe no one has said anything about OperaTor yet. Mostly because it's the only one I was aware of before this article
Is it because OperaTor doesn't appear to be in development anymore (as in dead).

more than 3 years ago
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The Chemical-Free Chemistry Kit

andcal what is a chemical anyway? (296 comments)

Will someone please define the word "chemical" for us?

more than 3 years ago
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Is the Number Up For the Residential Phone Book?

andcal conundrum (360 comments)

So, how do you call the power company when the electricity goes out? I mean the first time the electricity goes out, I mean (because by the time the electricity goes out for the second time, you will have looked up the number and put it in your cellphone.) Wait, no, you just look it up on your cellphone the first time, because your cellphone can access the internet.
I guess people with cellphones that can't access the internet to look up a number are becoming as rare as people with no cellphone and only a cordless phone on their landline.

more than 3 years ago
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Mobile 'Remote Wipe' Thwarts Secret Service

andcal I got the answer (383 comments)

The Secret Service can bring any phone they want to work on to my workplace, and work on it at their leisure. You can't get a wireless signal inside my building to save your life. Plenty of time to crack the phone without it being remotely disabled.

more than 4 years ago

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