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Skilled Manual Labor Critical To US STEM Dominance

nblender Re:Welders make 150k??? (351 comments)

My water well guy said "Plumbing's easy. Even a plumber can do it."

5 hours ago

iPad Fever Is Officially Cooling

nblender I can't justify the cost. (277 comments)

I have a few tablets. But they serve specific purposes. They're not general purpose machines. One operates as a Plex remote in the livingroom. One lives in the kitchen to display recipes, or check out the days weather at breakfast; or maybe reference a wikipedia article while chatting at breakfast. These are specific tasks for which a $150 ASUS Memo Pad 7 suffices perfectly. These are not tasks that need a $1000 phondleslab.

5 hours ago

Skilled Manual Labor Critical To US STEM Dominance

nblender Re:Welders make 150k??? (351 comments)

I beg to differ. I plumbed my entire house myself but had to call an actual plumber for some permit specific stuff. The guy I called was a junior plumber and he charged me $70/hr. He was the only one I could find who wasn't swamped, working 60hour weeks. He was also cheaper than the 60hr/week guys who quoted me $90+/hr. Starting to look like embedded firmware isn't the dream job after all.. At least I can bite my nails.

The junior guy who came out to do my hookup looked at the rest of the plumbing and said "Nice, who did you get to do that?", referring to all of my work. When I told him it was me, he was impressed and said I should come work for him. Plumbing is fairly easy, definitely not $70/hour worth of complicated..

This is western canada, and last summer. The guy who drilled my water well charged me $145/hr but he has a service rig and probably doesn't pull 40hr weeks.


Netflix Plans To Raise Prices By "$1 or $2 a Month"

nblender Re:Not Necessarily A Bad Thing (194 comments)

I don't subscribe to Netflix. However, It's true that I watch more TV in the winter than in the summer. I don't generally have a lot of free time in the summer. So if I were a netflix subscriber, I could see myself being 'one of those'.

2 days ago

I expect to retire ...

nblender Re:how many of these people don't want to retire? (323 comments)

Many people are cynical and are quick to say 'never'. I've probably done it in the past... Realistically, now that I'm in my late 40's, and the way things are shaping up, I could probably retire when I'm 55 with a small annual income... But I didn't vote '55'. But to your point, I might have a change of career at around 55 which will allow me to spend more time doing the things I want to do while augmenting my investment income with small amounts of revenue... Semi-retirement if you will.

Many people have a view that retirement is pina-coladas on the beach until they die... To me, that's already death.

4 days ago

Snowden Queries Putin On Live TV Regarding Russian Internet Surveillance

nblender Re:Voluntary? (395 comments)

Alternatively, Snowden could have information that proves Puten is lying and he's laid out a very public trap...

Though his likelihood of dying in a mysterious car accident would increase exponentially...

about a week ago

Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

nblender Re:Nonsense (293 comments)

you're right. It's funny, reading this. I can see the douchebag admin that I was over 20 years ago... I did this sort of 'rub my nuts in your face' kind of thing all the time...Then I learned to embrace the beauracracy creatively and watch it passively... Things in my career got better after that.

We used to have to fill out timesheets once a week and hand them to our department admin assistant. I wrote a script that generated my timesheet for me using cron with input from a config file that defined charge codes and percentages... (20% of my time was to be spent on FOO, 35% on BAR, 40% on BAZ, etc)... The timesheets had random hours that over time averaged out to the correct percentages. Another config file denoted the statutory holidays. Every monday morning my timesheet appeared on the printer next to the admin assistant and she would promptly type it into the management system. I put the script in a central repository of tools used by engineering staff... Soon others discovered the script and started using it. Inside of a year, there were over 100 engineering staff using the script. I eventuallly caught shit and was ordered to remove my script and was seen as a trouble maker...

later I discovered, I get paid the same if I follow the beauracracy or fight it... If I follow it, it amuses me and I am less stressed. Being less stressed, and less of a douchebag has led to me having a more lucrative career. Now I'm an embedded firmware developer... I still have beauracracy; it's just different... I give my opinion once, when asked, and then I do it the way they want... Usually, later, I get paid again to do it my way when their way doesn't work. The experienced project managers now don't interfere and trust me to just get it done and don't micromanage me...

about a week ago

Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

nblender Re:SCCM (293 comments)

What I've observed at the customer site that I've been at for 6+ years is that some mid-level administrator will realize his/her job is becoming obsolete so he/she writes a white-paper for management outlining a huge problem that is waiting to bite the company (that upper management might be personally liable for should it ever come to pass)... Management has a bit of a freakout and generates new policy. Voila, author of white-paper is seen to be the resident expert on this problem and is put in charge of handling it. A new department is born and people are hired/transferred. It used to be ISO-900x that drove this stuff, then SOCS came around and provided even better fodder...

about a week ago

Student Records Kids Who Bully Him, Then Gets Threatened With Wiretapping Charge

nblender Re:Rewarding the bullies... (797 comments)

I'd thought of that... It's just not within my son's nature so I didn't feel he'd be able to pull it off... In retrospect it was a good thing. The bully is a 'hockey kid'... The son of a 'hockey kid'. He's been taught how to fight and enjoys it. So had my son reached up and slugged him, the bully would have enjoyed it and come right back...

We saw the dad in the local grocery store last year walking around with his little monster... Dad had a big black eye... It was hockey season so he probably got it playing... Nice role model.

I take solace in the fact that one day that kid will be pumping gas into my son's car.

about a week ago

Pollution In China Could Be Driving Freak Weather In US

nblender Re:Polution tax (158 comments)

Because the 'Product of USA' things I can buy have still been manufactured in China, but final assembly and packaging was done in the US and the price was marked up accordingly...

about a week ago

Student Records Kids Who Bully Him, Then Gets Threatened With Wiretapping Charge

nblender Re:Rewarding the bullies... (797 comments)

I also was endlessly bullied durings gr 6-9 in an era where you were told "Just ignore them and they'll leave you alone" (they didn't)... When it started happening to my son, we immediately reacted and went to the principal... Her reaction? "Well, your son is rather meek and introverted. My kids were like that until I put them in Hockey and that changed their lives.. You should put your son in Hockey.". When we insisted she do something about the bullying, we were told she wasn't able to do anything unless the bully's parents agreed there was a problem (they didn't)... The most she could do was keep the kids separated. The end result was that the bully raced out during recess and started playing with my son's friends... Due to the mandatory separation rule, my son was effectively ostracized. He would try to play with other kids but the bully would just wander on over when the teachers weren't watching... So in essence, my son was punished for going to authorities.

Eventually we shifted him out of that neighborhood school and into a charter school; where he's much happier and has boatloads of friends.

There's a lot of lip-service being paid to 'zero tolerance'... I haven't seen any actions.

about a week ago

This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

nblender Re:Sci-Fi? (275 comments)

I remember seeing Captain Piccard signing daily status reports on something that I now recognize as a 10" tablet.

Gene Roddenberry was a time traveller from 2030. He was a washed up historical fiction screen writer so he procured a trip on a black market time machine and came back to the era he loved the most and wrote Star Trek.

about two weeks ago

Yahoo DMARC Implementation Breaks Most Mailing Lists

nblender just what I need .... (83 comments)

More ammunition for the members of various online communities I participate in for switching to some stupid forum...

about two weeks ago

Raspberry Pi's Eben Upton: How We're Turning Everyone Into DIY Hackers

nblender Re:Am I getting old? (90 comments)

Me too. But when it comes to TV, I just bought the easiest thing because when it comes to watching TV, I just want it to work because by then I'm already too mentally exhausted to screw around with it... My mentally-useful hours are spent either working or tinkering with interesting (to me) things... I don't want TV to be a hobby. TV is how I shut my brain off at the end of the day so I can fall asleep.

about two weeks ago

Apple, Google, and Amazon's Quest For One Remote Control Is Futile

nblender chromecast + plex (130 comments)

I said this in another thread... But in short, I bought a chromecast ($39), installed Plex on it, and gave my wife a tablet... She prefers it over the remote. She can browse content on the tablet, and then hit 'play', the TV is the remote display for the tablet. If the tablet had IR, she could lose the remote entirely but as it is, she still needs the remote to turn on the TV and set the Volume. In fact, she says I can remove the Acer Veriton that _was_ her Plex frontend (and the keyboard as well)...

about two weeks ago

Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

nblender Re:I have this "problem" (224 comments)

I had to check the username to make sure I didn't post that... Except I got hooked on Usenet in 1985... But alas... I haven't "read" a book in probably 15 years... I do miss those days.. My wife and I used to vacation at a cabin on a lake... We'd pack a bin-box full of books and plow through the entire box in a week... Then I developed hobbies, we had a kid, bought our own cottage, and now if I'm not working on something, I feel like I'm wasting time... I'm trying to re-learn how to relax and hope to be able to read a book again soon. I'm also forcing myself to really _read_ long articles instead of skimming them...

Problem I have when I read something long, is my mind wanders and I don't realize that's what's happened... I suddenly find myself 2 chapters beyond what I can last remember and I've been thinking about the oil leak on my truck, or what pattern I'm going to layout the kitchen backsplash....

about two weeks ago

New Service Lets You Hitch a Ride With Private Planes For Cost of Tank of Gas

nblender Re:um... (269 comments)

How do you know when there's a pilot in your slashdot thread?

He'll tell you.

(sorry, couldn't resist).

about two weeks ago

The Verge: Google Is Working on a TV Box Of Its Own

nblender Re:Here we go again (117 comments)

I just transitioned my wife to a Chromecast with Plex installed. I think that might be what you want.

Years ago I started with a shuttle PC running Gentoo and VLC with a custom backend to my hauppauge capture cards. It worked well but WAF (wife-acceptance-factor) was very low. Over the years, transitioned through MythTV, XBMC, and now Plex... We've dropped our cable boxes (even though we still pay for cable), and have switched entirely to locally hosted media and streaming from Plex 'channels'... All of our music, photos, home videos are also available on Plex. I removed the Acer Veriton behind my wife's TV, plugged in the Chromecast, and installed plex on a tablet. She now uses the tablet as the 'remote' (no more keyboard on the couch). On the tablet, she can scroll through the video collection and or streaming 'channels', hit 'play', and content appears on her TV. She can pause, ffwd, frwd, all on the tablet.

I can't speak to your audio handling requirements as we are not a hi-fidelity household.

about three weeks ago

Tesla Model S Has Hidden Ethernet Port, User Runs Firefox On the 17" Screen

nblender Re:Telnet? Are you kidding? (208 comments)

It doesn't have to be 'telnetd'... Or rather, an interactive login port. It could be a non-interactive debug logging port that you connect to with telnet or netcat... I've done that sort of thing...

about three weeks ago


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