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Can Valve's 'Bossless' Company Model Work Elsewhere?

gizmonic Re:It requires the right kind people (522 comments)

Have you ever worked for a Fortune 500 company, or any company with more than 10k employees spread across several states?

Most companies adopt pay grades, and assign certain pay grades to certain job titles. This is your base salary range, which is then adjusted by the cost of living for your location. You have to make at least the minimum of the range, and can never make more than the maximum. The only way to go up once you've capped out, is to get a new job title (ie, promotion).

When a company is faced with a large number of employees, that becomes the easiest way to make sure people are being paid fairly across the board. It doesn't matter what race, gender, ethnicity, etc, you are; if you are Job Title A at Pay Grade 15, you will always be making between $x and $y.

I'm not saying it's the best solution, but it is dead simple, easy to implement and about as bullet-proof from lawsuits as you can get. Could they come up with something better? Most likely. But if this works, why spend time and effort on something that may not (at the same time opening you up to discriminatory salary lawsuits)?

Anyway, none of that is an argument FOR the practice, just an explanation of why it exists.

about a year and a half ago
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3D Printable Ammo Clip Skirts New Proposed Gun Laws

gizmonic Re:Blood is on the NRA Hands (1862 comments)

Do you know what has more power than your democratically elected government? The Constitution. That document, you see, is the Supreme Law of the Land. Nothing can supersede it. Anything that attempts to do so is, by definition, unconstitutional, and thus illegal. If it needs changing, then you can hold a Constitutional Convention, and add or remove Amendments to it, thus altering it. Again, anything else is unconstitutional.

What If a President decided to sign an executive order banning women or blacks or gays from voting, would that be legal? What if they banned a religion? Or shut down the presses, or passed laws allowing anyone who criticized them to be arrested? Are those all legal valid laws just because they were made executive orders by some democratically elected president? What if Congress did the same? Sure, unlike an executive order, Congress is actually supposed to make laws. So, if they passed the above laws, would that make them all legal? What if the Supreme Court upheld them when contested? Does that make it legal? Or would the Supreme Court have committed treason?

Democracy is merely mob rule, that's why the architects of our nation didn't create one. We are a Constitutional Republic, meaning a Republic where the Representatives are ruled by a defined document, namely the Constitution.

Do you know what the military oath is? "... I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; ... " They are not taking an oath to protect you, your home, your land, our country, our government, not any of it. They are protecting the Constitution. Now, they also continue with, "and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me" but that is followed by the immediate caveat, "according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." The last bit of religious stuff aside, the Uniform Code of Military Justice specifically requires you NOT to obey an unlawful order. Any order that goes against the Constitution is unlawful, and under the UCMJ you are required NOT to obey it, even if given by the current democratically elected President. At some point, the people in the military will have to ask themselves just how seriously they take that oath to defend the Constitution against domestic enemies.

The only "fucking traitors" are the ones who think they can piss all over the Constitution, or supersede it without due authority. If the President actually signs an executive order banning any type of guns, it's not only illegal and unconstitutional, but treasonous. The Supreme Court upholding it makes it no less so. You are free to defend that bullshit all you want if it comes to an actual insurrection, but if the men and women in the military aren't full of shit, they'll be to be on our side, not yours, when it all goes down.

So, long story short, good luck with that.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Is Your New Years Eve Tradition?

gizmonic Re:DISCOVERY CHANNEL (256 comments)

No, they're still mostly crap. I remember when TLC and Discovery were worth watching before they became the home improvement channels. Kinda how I loved the History channel which then turned into the UFO/Bigfoot/X-Files channel.

Now, if your local cable company has the Smithsonian Channel, it might be worth getting for that. Everything History and Discovery used to be rolled into one. I'd recommend giving it a try if they have it in your line-up.

about 2 years ago
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The Promo Bay Blocked By UK ISPs

gizmonic Re:This has been the plan all along. (132 comments)

Yes, the ability to purchase the one good song on an album and not having to pay $15.99 for the one song you like and the other 9-12 pieces of crap they called music had absolutely no impact on that. Neither did the fact that the economy took a huge downturn for a lot of industries when the .com bubble burst. Then get hit with 9-11, a recession, and the housing crash. That couldn't have a single thing to do with it. Yeah, it was ALL piracy's fault. Damn Napster.

about 2 years ago
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EFF To Ask Judge To Rule That Universal Abused the DMCA

gizmonic Re:EFF is stretching it (139 comments)

If you care about a tight interpretation of the Constitution it's pretty obvious that copyright is well beyond its stated intent.

Exactly. Originally copyright was 7 years. Think about this for a minute. If you published a creative work, be it a book, painting, play, piece of music, in 1776, exactly how much distribution could you expect to get in a mere 7 years. It took 2 months just to cross the Atlantic. I mean, with today's global digital distribution, that equates to like 3 minutes. :P

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Video Monitors For Areas That Are Off the Grid?

gizmonic Re:Deer cams (340 comments)

Here's what I've never understood. If the thief is going to sue for injury, why not plead no contest in court, allow the judge to make the ruling for the thief, and then turn around and immediately sue him for trespassing, for the total amount the thief won, since his trespassing caused those actual damages? Even better would be to file for treble damages, since in trespassing, the thief was willfully negligent in his actions. The instant I owe any money for something you did while illegally on my property, I don't see how that doesn't immediately become actionable against you as damages for trespassing. IANAL, of course, so if any out there are, I'd love an explanation as to why this isn't possible. (At least, I am assuming it isn't, as I've never seen it done.)

more than 2 years ago
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Russian Opposition Figure Thinks Anti-Putin Movement Has Faltered

gizmonic Re:Just like the USA (144 comments)

So really, what is it that bothers you so much about providing healthcare coverage?

I'll bite on this one. It's not the coverage, it's the way in which it was implemented. I know what I am paying for my healthcare at work, and I know what my company pays (it's a 25% / 75% split). So, take my plan (which, btw, is the most expensive one offered as my wife has asthma and we tend to need services more than others), and multiply that by 25 million (as my plan covers 2 people). Guess what? You could have covered all uninsured 50 million people (which includes people not here legally) for slightly more than what the Universal Health Care Act is supposed to cost. And that assumes you're paying my price, which, with a group of 50,000,000, you very likely wouldn't be. At even 75% of what I pay, you'd have 100% coverage for about 80-85% of the yearly cost of the UHCA without having to change a single other thing.

So, from a simple financial standpoint, it makes no sense whatsoever to make a law that requires thousands of IRS agents to be hired when you could have done it cheaper and easier simply buying a private plan for everyone who didn't have one. But, that's just it. This wasn't about healthcare coverage, it was 100% about control. The government wants to control every aspect of our lives, as it thinks it knows better than us what is good for us. And they don't want private plans, they want single payer coverage, because they're stuck on the firm belief that an evil private corporation can't ever do anything better than the benevolent government. Cause they've managed everything else so well financially so far, right?

Do you even know WHY your job pays for your health care in the US? Because there was a time when the government stepped in and mandated pay freezes for everyone. But benefits weren't considered pay, so to win people over to work for them, companies started offering free health coverage, since they couldn't offer competitive salaries. Over time, it digressed into what we have today, where the only affordable plan is the one your company offers, and even if you decided to buy a different one, the premiums wouldn't count as tax deductible since that only works for buying your employer's plan. So, in the end, I am not my Insurer's customer, my employer is, and the insurer knows they don't have to keep me happy, they only have to keep my employer happy, as I don't have a choice. Funny how government regulation and meddling in private affairs has led us to the point we are now, yet we have people claiming it's all capitalism's fault and we need yet more regulation to fix it.

If you truly wanted to fix healthcare, instead of passing a law that "we have to pass to find out what's in it" you'd decouple healthcare from employment, and allow people to buy any plan from anywhere. Unfettered capitalism isn't the answer though. You'd still need some regulation to cover pre-existing conditions as well as something to handle people who can afford coverage and don't buy it, along with the last bit of paying for coverage for those who can't afford it. You'd end up with a cheaper system, that cost the government less, and provided universal coverage (while allowing people to willfully exclude themselves and suffer their own consequences of that exclusion) and everyone would be happy.

But like I said, this was never about universal coverage, it was always 100% about control. If not, why did McDonald's get a pass from having to provide coverage to their minimum wage employees, which this whole thing was supposed to help?

That's what bothers me about it.

more than 2 years ago
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Plans For Widespread Monitoring of Communication In Europe Revealed

gizmonic Re:Just use encryption. (166 comments)

The problem with that here in the USA is that people are completely clueless about their rights. The Fifth Amendment is there to protect the innocent from over zealous prosecution. The second someone on a jury buys the "why use it if you have nothing to hide" argument, they've essentially bought into the defendant being guilty and needing to prove innocence. Unfortunately, most of them can't think a thought deeper than the last 30 second commercial they saw, so good luck getting them to comprehend something with that level of importance.

more than 2 years ago
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Bill "The Science Guy" Nye Says Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children

gizmonic Re:Yes! (1774 comments)

Mommy, what did they do in Sodom that was sinful?

Actually, if the church answered this honestly, it might in fact make for a better society. Indeed, most of the sins of Sodom seem to be everything the Occupy Whatevers are complaining about, and what most people see as problematic in our society in general today:

Ezekiel 16:49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.

Sodomy is not even mentioned, unless one assumes the "committed abomination" refers to it. Even if that *is* what it's referring to, it's almost as if it was added as an afterthought. And all the rest of it, America is pretty guilty of today. Imagine how much better this country would be if we weren't?

I'm not saying there's nothing in the bible that's bad, by any means, but, there's also plenty that's good when people aren't using it for a weapon. That's probably true of nearly any religious book, really.

about 2 years ago
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Software Engineering Has Its Own Political Axis From Conservative To Liberal

gizmonic Re:Risk management? (283 comments)

Sorry, but politics is about fear management, not conservatism, or liberalism. "The Republicans want dirty air and water and want to take away grandma's healthcare" is just as much of a fear management technique as "The Democrats want to steal all your money for the lazy and take away your guns" is. And until one can recognize that BOTH sides play that game to rob us ALL blind, they're part of the problem instead of the solution.

more than 2 years ago
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This Is What Wall Street's Terrifying Robot Invasion Looks Like

gizmonic Re:Luddite (443 comments)

Is death in the public interest?

I know this is offtopic, but since you asked the question, I feel compelled to answer it. Yes, death is, in fact, in the public interest. The fact that life is finite is what gives it meaning. And on a less existential, more practical point, with no death, the population simply explodes out of control. And since you can't die, you end up with a growing mass of starving people on a barren rock of a planet like so many bacteria piled up in a petri dish. So yes, by all means, death is very much in the public interest. Take your turn at life, and move on so someone else can take theirs.

(Note, I take no issue with the gist of your post, just this one point.)

more than 2 years ago
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Australian Sex Party May Sue Google Over Ad Refusal

gizmonic Re:There is no problem (183 comments)

Why?

Because a bunch of people who think they know what's better for you than you do decided it. Kinda like how most laws get passed.

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft Apologizes For Inserting Naughty Phrase Into Linux Kernel

gizmonic Re:0xB16B00B5 (897 comments)

You don't make the assumption that your co-workers are all going to feel the same way as you on any potentially charged issue.

No, they don't and won't. The question is whether everyone involved is emotionally and mentally mature enough to be able to discuss those types of topics without taking any disagreement personally. At my job, everyone in my group can handle discussing pretty much any topic with the knowledge that we don't all agree, won't all agree, and we all respect each other's opinions and beliefs. Thus, we can have discussions that enlighten us all with varying viewpoints, but the concepts of which, based on your postings here, would likely have you offended (and, if you are an HR-caller, calling HR as fast as you could). Thankfully, none of us are like that, and it makes work interesting and fun. I can't imagine working in such a cold sterile spirit killing workspace where the most you could discuss is the weather, and maybe a sports team, assuming it's not too violent a sport that others find offensive. :P

As to the actual subject, none of our female developers would be offended by $bigboobs or anything like it, unless they felt someone specifically directed it at them. Likewise, none of the males would be upset by $tinydickloser or anything either, again, with the caveat that it wasn't directed at them. Granted, it'd never get past code review simply for lack of professionalism, but that's beside the point. None of us would see that as offensive or an attack. It'd be seen as childish and immature, sure, but not directly offensive.

Which brings me to my last point. When you don't see yourself as a victim, those things aren't viewed as attacks. When you see yourself as a victim, then everything is an attack. If someone disagrees with you, it might be because they simply have a different idea, and not have anything to do with your gender, or skin color, or sexual preference, or religion, or political leanings or whatever. And that disagreement is just that, a disagreement, not a personal attack like most of America seems to think today.

I highly doubt anything I just said will change your opinion on anything, and I've read your posts, and I know they haven't changed mine. Nice thing is, it's those differences that keep things interesting, and we don't HAVE to agree. It's perfectly okay for two people to hold different ideas. The world doesn't need to be wedged into the same pinhole. But that doesn't mean we can't share our ideas with each other.

more than 2 years ago
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Georgia Apple Store Refuses To Sell iPad To Iranian-American Teen

gizmonic Re:Poetic Justice (1116 comments)

Wait a second - she told WSBTV that she intented to commit a criminal offense that carries a penalty of up to 20 years in jail? Shouldn't she be thanking the store clerk who prevented her from doing so?

Actually, sounds more like a confession of a conspiracy to commit the criminal offense to me. She could, in theory, get the 20 years anyway. Never trust any government not to make a dick move.

more than 2 years ago
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Discovery Channel Crashes a Boeing 727 For Science Documentary

gizmonic Re:Well... (281 comments)

LOL. I know. I especially love that line. I can't help but have flashbacks of Norm McDonald on SNL with the "Or so the Germans would have us believe" every time I hear them say it.

more than 2 years ago
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CIOs Dismissed As Techies Without Business Savvy By CEOs

gizmonic Re:IT = Janitorial Services (269 comments)

They may help you keep the business you have, but just about nothing IT can do will sell one more unit of product, or add one new customer.

Umm, what?!?! Even if IT isn't customer facing, they can still make internal tools and resources to help the salesforce. Sure, IT itself may never make a sale directly, but when the sales person in the field is able to pull up data and information compiled by IT, or use a tool IT created, to help land a customer, then IT most certainly did in fact do something to help sell more product.

Personally, I think the bigger issue is the historical disconnect between IT and Sales. The CEO feels that and it lessens the perceived value of IT. But, when IT and Sales can work together, you can create some extremely powerful sales tools that will absolutely impact revenue. And when you do, the CEO will take notice. But that requires a CIO and IT staff that can work with Sales to help get that done.

At my company, if Sales has an ask, we talk and see how to best do what they're looking for. And if I think of something that might be useful, I'll approach Sales and ask if my idea would be of any use to them. If so, we'll hammer out details and add it to the project list. And because of that willingness to work together, we've created stuff that absolutely drives business. And that flexibility has kept my whole team employed through 4 different buyouts over the past 10 years.

Yes, IT has to keep the servers up and the desktops running and virus free, and that's not glamorous, and doesn't make for spectacular headlines. But IT can go far beyond that, and needs to if it wants a serious place in the business beyond just "janitors." And maybe if the CIO doesn't understand that, then the CEO's derision is justified.

more than 2 years ago
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The Supreme Court To Rule On Monsanto Seed Patents

gizmonic Re:Could this be a good thing? (372 comments)

In a world where 94 percent of soybeans in circulation are descended from Monsanto's genetically engineered seeds, it might be hard for farmers who didn't want Monsanto's seeds even to buy seeds that were not patent encumbered.

Doesn't that render it close enough to a monopoly for the government to be able to step in and regulate it?

Natural evolution, bigger is usually better, but the bigger the spider, the more likely you are to see and squish it. Sometimes you get too big and it's all over for you.

And if 94% doesn't cut it, let's just pollute that last 6% for them.

more than 2 years ago
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Tough Tests Flunk Good Programming Job Candidates

gizmonic Re:It doesn't even test what is relevant. (743 comments)

Are you willing to admit you are wrong or don't know something? If so, how readily?

This is one of the single biggest things I look for when interviewing. I don't expect everyone to know everything, no one can. But someone who will fake knowing something and try to bullshit you will only lead to disaster later. If I am liking a candidate, and things are going well, I'll eventually toss in a question or two that I don't expect them to be able to answer. If you tell me you don't know, we're good. Tell me you dont know and ask me what the answer is, we're better. Bullshit me and I'll give you a chance to back out of it. Keep bullshitting me after the lifeline, and it's pretty much over right there. You'd be amazed how many people will bullshit. Last round of interviews, one candidate was doing awesome, and was becoming my favorite for the job until we hit this point. After the initial failure, I told him, it was okay, I know it wasn't on his resume and I didn't expect him to know it, and it wasn't critical to the job, I was just seeing if he had any experience in it. He then continued to make stuff up for several minutes until I finally cut him off. I don't care how good you are, if you haven't mastered "I don't know," you're pretty much worthless to me. I've seen the damage that crap can do, and I don't need it.

about 3 years ago
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How To Catch a Laptop Thief?

gizmonic Re:apple will make this interesting (485 comments)

Yes, they will. My wife's iPhone was stolen, and I was able to pinpoint it to an exact address. Called my local cops, gave them the info, and they contacted the cops in the city the phone was in. 20 minutes later I had a call from one of those cops on the way to the house who asked me to re-enable it (I had disabled it via AT&T's website after my texts asking them to return it went unanswered) so if they denied having it he could call and see if he heard it ringing. As it was, before he could even speak, when they opened the door, they said, "You're here for the phone, right?" We had it back within maybe 3 hours of losing it. So, yeah, when you can tell them exactly where it is, they will go look for it. At least where I live (Chicago suburbs). YMMV.

more than 3 years ago
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Is There a Hearing Aid Price Bubble?

gizmonic Re:Since no one ever buys them... (698 comments)

Okay, I'll bite on this, because I just had a house fire. I won't mention the insurance company by name (if you want to know, ask me) but they have been unbelievably helpful. I've used them for years despite being higher priced than their competitors because of the service I've received and how helpful everyone has been over the claims I've had in the past. We've had a few hiccups along the way with rebuilding the house, and not a single one was due to the insurance company, in fact, they 've stepped in and helped smooth them out from time to time.

Now granted, that's not Health Insurance, but it is an insurance company, and I really have thought that they were doing heir best to do their job. Sure, their main function is to pay for everything, but they've definitely gone far beyond that. :)

But as for health insurance, no, I don't really ever recall thinking that, but then, the previous company we had was more helpful than the current one they switched us to, which is pretty useless.

more than 3 years ago

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