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The American Workday, By Profession

neminem Re:9 to 5 is a myth (145 comments)

Employers are, however, allowed to fire a person for any reason (other than obviously the usual set of racist, sexist, etc. reason), or for no reason at all. This includes the reason of "we require you to take an hour lunch break and you haven't been doing that". So whether or not you're required to by law is irrelevant, just whether or not the company *claims* that you're required to by law and are going to enforce that possibly-incorrect interpretation.

10 hours ago
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Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

neminem Re:Let me get this straight (333 comments)

Ignorance of what? I have a choice between a single crappy dsl provider, and a single crappy cable internet provider. They're both terrible, and at this point, no matter what awful crap Verizon puts me through, I feel stuck with them because I know if I cancel, I'll probably be days to weeks without internet again as Charter screws up installation and turn-on just as badly as Verizon did (necessitating taking what was supposed to be a couple hours, and ended up being an entire day, off work trying to find someone, anyone who could actually fix the completely-their-fault issue that resulted in the installation guy basically throwing his hands up in confusion and leaving. After which day I still didn't have internet for about a week and a half.)

So what ignorance exactly? I have exactly 0 power to change any of that, without about 20 gajillion dollars and some senators in my pocket.

2 days ago
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California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

neminem Good! (503 comments)

I am all for a self-driving car. I really hope my current car lasts until we can purchase decent self-driving cars, and I will be happy to purchase one for a price that I wouldn't really consider buying anything else short of houses.

But I want to be able to take entirely manual control back at any time, using a completely non-electronic, fully-mechanical override. I would hope to never have to actually *do* that, but I wouldn't trust any car that didn't have that *available*. Even if I completely trust the pseudo-AI to not bug out and do something crazy, which I wouldn't immediately but certainly could after using it for a while and not having any issues with it... I would *not* trust that some hacker couldn't find some way to hack in somehow and mess with things. Thus, I would want to trust in my ability to perform a manual override and completely temporarily shunt the computer systems off to a place where they couldn't control the car at all.

I am entirely willing to accept the minor inconvenience of hardware UI elements (i.e. steering wheel, pedals, etc.) getting in the way of aesthetics, and the slight additional cost of manufacturing said UI elements. And I'm *glad* they're pushing for that to be law, or else nobody would actually do it, even as an option - we've seen a number of examples of things I'd love to be able to pay for (phones with physical keyboards, 16:10 laptop screens), but nobody makes them because they're slightly more expensive to make, and companies feel the drive to make everything as cheap as possible and not even give the option. :(

3 days ago
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Predictive Modeling To Increase Responsivity of Streamed Games

neminem Re:bad name (119 comments)

And apparently you don't know anything about pop culture, or else are being willfully obtuse? It's pretty clear they didn't name it after the car, but after a particular famous *use* of the car to travel through time. Doesn't matter how crappy your car is, if it's also a time machine.

3 days ago
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Anomaly Triggers Self-Destruct For SpaceX Falcon 9 Test Flight

neminem Re:Anomaly? (113 comments)

Seriously, slashdot, wtf? It's 2014, you're nominally a tech site for geeks, and you still don't support unicode characters? That should be a basic requirement of all websites at this point.

4 days ago
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Anomaly Triggers Self-Destruct For SpaceX Falcon 9 Test Flight

neminem Re:Anomaly? (113 comments)

Quoth:
aÂnomÂaÂly
É(TM)ËnÃmÉ(TM)lÄ"/
noun
Something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected.

I'd say a rocket exploding for no good reason is definitely a bug, but also pretty freaking unexpected.

4 days ago
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Tor Browser Security Under Scrutiny

neminem Re:Not surprising... (80 comments)

I also feel the same way about Tor as I do about DuckDuckGo: great ideas in theory, but way too much of a pain to use, given that I don't really have anything terribly important to hide.

about two weeks ago
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Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

neminem Re:Blind coding for the blind (726 comments)

Screw that. It is *definitely* about the UX. Linux doesn't even need to court the everyday "I don't know how to get pictures off my digital camera even though it's been explained to me 500 times" crowd to make some inroads into the desktop market. It'd be enough to make better inroads in the computer enthusiast world, the sort of people who know what they're doing, and are happy to mod their OSes to a certain extent, but who still *also* use their computers mainly to get things done.

I'd love to run Linux as a primary OS, but I've tried all kinds of distros, and there has not been a single desktop environment that felt robust and professional, where things were in places I'd expect and everything just worked without a lot of unnecessary fiddling and looking up of vague error messages. That is completely a UX issue. (Ok, yes, some of those error messages requiring fiddling were also device support-related, but still.)

The kernel is great, yes. So is Win8's. The UX is where Win8 failed, and it's where Linux (of various flavors) has been failing too.

about two weeks ago
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At Home with Tim O'Reilly (Videos 1 and 2 of 6)

neminem Re:"maker" is the worst fucking word (11 comments)

I disagree. Maker is a totally great word. Makers are those with magical anti-entropy powers, who devote their lives to stymying the plots of the Unmaker. It's a pretty common trope, and a good word for that sort of character.

(On the other hand, the definition used in *this* article, is as dumb as you are arguing. I just like to imagine that people using the word are using it in the OSC definition, thus making articles just *so* much more entertaining.)

about two weeks ago
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MIT Considers Whether Courses Are Outdated

neminem Re:OB xkcd (205 comments)

I actually did know a guy in college who majored in "science". Specifically, he was crazy intense and managed to swing a double major in physics and biochem, but we all just joked that he was majoring in "science".

about three weeks ago
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Hotel Charges Guests $500 For Bad Online Reviews

neminem Re:There are ways of posting bad reviews (183 comments)

i.e. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmw...

Which works, though I would have had more fun going the other direction, being like "This was a FANTASTIC HOTEL. Its food was DEFINITELY NOT TERRIBLE, and when I went to check in, the guy at the front desk definitely did NOT spend half an hour ignoring me to instead post pictures on facebook. There was NOT a roach problem, and the toilet in the bathroom definitely did NOT stop up a bunch of times."

about three weeks ago
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Interviews: Ask James Cameron About The Deepsea Challenge 3D Movie

neminem I just reread OSC's The Abyss yesterday (45 comments)

Deep down, were you secretly holding out just a tiny bit of hope that if you got down to the bottom, you'd find Builders or something like them? I know I would be.

about three weeks ago
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Comcast Confessions

neminem Re:well (234 comments)

Your second hypothesis might well be true, as that is kind of what drives publicly-traded companies. None of the handful of companies I could think of off the top of my head are public. Most notably, the Sprint MVNO Ting, which could easily charge more than they do and still be one of the cheapest around, and who totally don't technically NEED to make it so easy to talk to a competent person on the phone if you call them for help (nobody else does...).

Fresh & Easy, the west coast supermarket chain, also came to mind, though sadly their prices have been going up and variety and quality has gone down slightly since Tesco sold them to a US investor. (It was previously our favorite market by far for a number of reasons; now they're more on par with Trader Joe's, which still isn't terrible, but they used to be so much better. Of course, they also were, as a Tesco CEO said before they sold it, "hemorrhaging money". Apparently they could only accept that for so long.)

To my knowledge, though, Ting is definitely making decent profits. They could just probably make *more* profit if they wanted to cut some corners and raise their prices (as opposed to what they did a few months ago, which was to randomly decide to *lower* their prices even more).

about a month ago
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Comcast Confessions

neminem Re:well (234 comments)

There are - there are *occasional* corporations that actually seem to be driven by the desire to share their love of a great product and delivering that product to their customers. It's rare, but I can think of a few. Granted, they tend to also be much smaller corporations than the Comcasts of the world, but that doesn't mean they have to be tiny local companies.

about a month ago
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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

neminem Re:The Credit Report/Credit Score system is FAIL (570 comments)

I do agree that credit scores are flawed in that *some* (not all) of the various measures that go into them, it don't perfectly reflect a person's actual credit trustworthiness. It's a decent approximation, but it's often treated as a hard number rather than an approximation, and that's always lame.

I do *not* agree on your statement that "try taking out a credit card and then RELIGIOUSLY paying back the full amount every month for many years. They hate you for it. Your credit score is still basically zero."

I did that - had a credit card when I left for college, which I used exclusively for only those items that my parents said they'd pay for. After 4 years of that, I graduated, went to buy a new car, and when my mom told the dealer she'd be happy to cosign if it would help, the dealer person said don't even bother, your son's credit is amazing for a 21 year old. She looked almost shocked. That's all I did - had one credit card for like 5 years, and paid it off every month, with no other debt. (Well, other than a bunch of college debt, which I suppose probably also helped, since that was also getting paid every month but was still an active debt rather than rotating. So I suppose it's not a perfect experiment.)

about a month ago
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

neminem Re:Why will no carrier make them available? (544 comments)

"Are you kidding? 16:10 is a retarded aspect ratio for a laptop screen. For one thing, most movies are 16:9, so 16:10 gives you bars on the edges. But even if you don't watch movies, 16:10 sucks ass because you lose vertical space"

Huh? I think you're confusing that statement with its antithesis. Yes, movies are 16:9, which means in 16:10, you get bars on the top and bottom - bars that are perfect for popping up UI elements without those elements covering up your movie, which is sort of nice.

Regardless, as you say, most of the things I do on a computer are not "watching a movie", at which point I like space both horizontal and vertical. How exactly does going from 1920x1200 to 1920x1080 give me additional vertical space?

Meanwhile, I'm obviously not saying "all phones should have physical keyboards". That would be silly. Some people don't want or need them, and that's great. I'm saying "phones with physical keyboards should still exist, because some people do want them and would like to be able to still purchase them". What is so wrong with allowing people the ability to purchase things they would like to purchase?

about a month ago
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

neminem Re:Why will no carrier make them available? (544 comments)

Conveniently, my name is nobody (in Latin), because I do indeed want it.

Why is it that people can't believe that other people might want different things than they do, for legitimate reasons, and that anyone who wants something other than what they want has to be "misguided and wrong"? I *like* slideout phones. I like them a lot. I would much rather buy a older used phone with a slideout keyboard than a newer shinier phone that doesn't have one, and will be about as sad when they disappear completely from even the used market, as I was when 16:10 laptop screens disappeared - another thing that marketers try to brainwash us, and have apparently somewhat succeeded, into thinking are inferior, when no they fracking are not.

Ok, maybe they're a little bit more expensive to manufacture, so, pass that on to the customer? Don't manufacturers *want* things that are more expensive to manufacture, so they can pass that difference (with markup) on? It is so much easier to type on a physical keyboard than a virtual one, it's not even funny. Meanwhile, I've dropped my phone (with a physical keyboard) sooo often - hasn't broken yet. My phone is also waaaay smaller, and waaaay lighter than many notable phones that have been selling like crazy.

Yes, it does make it a little bigger and heavier. You know what really makes a phone bigger and heavier? A larger screen, but nobody is screaming that phones must be tiny. Personally I think phablets are dumb, but I don't think anyone who wants a phablet is "misguided and wrong".

about a month ago

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