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Comments

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Percentage of Self-Employed IT Workers Increasing

spiffmastercow Re:Is that including "contracters"? (138 comments)

I'm betting that 18% includes people forced onto contracts because many companies no longer hire full time employees or require "contract" work before making a full time offer.

It includes people who are tired of obtaining a "permanent" position only to have the entire department liquidated 2-3 years later. Repeatedly. As a contractor, I can have multiple clients, which makes it less likely for them to all "fire" me at the same time.

That's fine, I'm not talking about people in your situation. Personally I'd probably do the same if I didn't need a consistent stream of income and health insurance to support my family. But there are a large number of IT workers out there that are on "contract", but are treated as an employee. This is basically labor fraud, and it should be stopped.

about 9 months ago
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Percentage of Self-Employed IT Workers Increasing

spiffmastercow Is that including "contracters"? (138 comments)

I'm betting that 18% includes people forced onto contracts because many companies no longer hire full time employees or require "contract" work before making a full time offer.

about 9 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do You Run a Copy-Cat Installation At Home?

spiffmastercow Re:Next job? (308 comments)

Symmetric?

Yeah, I thought about that after posting. You are technically correct, the best kind of correct.

about 9 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do You Run a Copy-Cat Installation At Home?

spiffmastercow Re:Next job? (308 comments)

Most of my friends in the field have a similar experience, so either we all suck, or you're the one lucky enough to work for nicer employers than industry average.

Of course about half of the people in the field are going to be below average aren't they?

Only if the distribution is uniform.

about 9 months ago
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Multidrug Resistance Gene Released By Chinese Wastewater Treatment Plants

spiffmastercow Re:antibiotic used "preventively" in cattle (111 comments)

When the white man got to North America, they found the environment as full of resources as the Indians had found it when they got there over 10,000 years before.

Yeah, because there's no way of hunting more sustainable than what the Native Americans did: chase the herd of Bison off a fucking cliff so you could eat one or two of them.

about 9 months ago
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The Business of Attention Deficit Disorder

spiffmastercow Re: This is the Problem. (246 comments)

Nope. Everyone gets the same coverage. Its paid by your employer, you never see that money on your payslip even. There are no tiers. Taxes are high, but we actually get good stuff for it. Despite the taxes we have the one of the highest standards of living in the world.

There is private insurance that basically lets you cut the line in certain cases, mainly ailments where an operation isnt time critical. We do have a few small private specialist hospitals that accept patients that pay their own way, but they work within the system as well. I had an operation on one of these hospitals, paid for by the standard single-payer insurance. Worked just like on any other hospital.

Now if only you would start accepting immigrants from America so that we sane Americans could escape from the idiotic politicians elected by the ~55% of the population that thinks like Curunir_wolf.

about 9 months ago
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Surge In Litecoin Mining Leads To Graphics Card Shortage

spiffmastercow If you're trying to get in now, you're too late (213 comments)

I bought my R9 290 a week and a half ago, and even then I knew something was up with this, as cards started showing "out of stock". I paid $400, the going price at the time, and got it in last Monday. At the time I ordered, it looked like I could make $600/mo off of mining from it. Now it's close to $200/mo. I'll likely be able to eventually recover my initial cost, or sell right now on ebay for ~$200 profit and go back to my GTX 760, but the chance to make real money is long since over.

about 9 months ago
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Why Engineers Must Consider the Ethical Implications of Their Work

spiffmastercow Re:Doctors save soldiers (406 comments)

Saying an engineer shouldn't design a better weapon is like saying a doctor shouldn't treat a wounded soldier.

No, saying an engineer shouldn't design a better weapon is like saying a doctor shouldn't culture anthrax for the military to use as a weapon. I'm not particularly opposed to designing better weapons for the military (it will happen regardless), but it does seem engineers are held to different ethical standards than medical docs. Not necessarily better or worse standards, mind you, just standards more suited to the job they perform.

about 9 months ago
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The Brains of Men and Women Are 'Wired Differently'

spiffmastercow Re:Women in STEM (509 comments)

Don't fix what isn't broken is a good reason.

Please tell me you're not in IT, because clearly you don't know what preventative maintenance is.

about 10 months ago
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How Much Is Oracle To Blame For Healthcare IT Woes?

spiffmastercow Re:There is Oracle, and Oracle consultants (275 comments)

Baloney...well, mostly baloney. There are times when it makes sense to do things in house and there are times where it very much does not make sense. Why hire full time employees for project management, development, QA, etc for an 12 month project? Does you organization have the expertise to run such an effort? What do you do with everyone once the project is over? Yes, you will want your own technical staff to be part of the process. Yes, it may make sense to do the maintenance / support in house. Yes, you should never do time and materials but instead fixed bid with penalties (this does mean you will need to have a very good spec up front). Yes, you should get several bids and do your homework on the companies providing the bids. However, none of this precludes using an outside contractor.

The US government actually has a number of internal contractors, dev shops filled with federal employees that contract out to other agencies. I used to work for one, and despite the monumental amount of red tape we had to slog through to do our jobs, we had a reputation for finishing projects with a low budget and in a timely fashion. At one point we had a number of lobbyists trying to get congress to shut us down because we were taking contracts away from private companies that failed to deliver on their contracts. The resulting conflict of interest from this arrangement is generally less than from a private contractor.

about 10 months ago
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Female Software Engineers May Be Even Scarcer Than We Thought

spiffmastercow Re:This is a problem because....? (445 comments)

Don't get it. So women don't want to program. That's fine. Why do we feel the need to inflate the numbers? Feminism is an outdated concept by this point - and frankly, it doesn't apply to software engineering.

So that our future sons can get laid, and so that our future daughters get knocked up by smart douchebags instead of idiotic douchebags.

about 10 months ago
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A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP

spiffmastercow Re:Fucking rednecks (1030 comments)

The thing is, I can put solar on my house, and I will be to able to generate enough power, on occasion, to have some extra to put back on the grid. With the right configuration and local storage, I can even go off the grid. As a consumer, the other options you mention are things I can't do. Sure, solar is more expensive per KWH, but at least it's doable for lots of homeowners.

Separately, you may not have noticed that the Republicans have held effective veto power over new legislation in the Senate until just yesterday. Thus, making the claim the Republicans (even with a minority in the Senate) can be held somewhat responsible for lack of progress in the area seems reasonable.

They still have veto power on legislation, just not low-level court appointments.

about 10 months ago
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SnapChat Turns Down $3 Billion Offer From Facebook

spiffmastercow Re:Valuation is completely skewed.. (188 comments)

At one point Zynga was worth more than EA. i was guessing at MS vs FB though.

about 10 months ago
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SnapChat Turns Down $3 Billion Offer From Facebook

spiffmastercow Valuation is completely skewed.. (188 comments)

I really don't understand how the "new" tech companies command such a high price point for such worthless products. Somehow Twitter is worth more than Redhat, FB is worth more than MS, and Zynga is worth more than EA? I get that there is value in novelty, and that some of the older companies may not be innovating the way they used to, but how is it possible that something trivial like Snapchat is worth more than a couple mil?

about 10 months ago
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Bill Gates's Plan To Improve Our World

spiffmastercow Re:A reasonable critique of Gates's philanthropy (445 comments)

But yet there is still truth in the expression:

"Capitalism is the worst economic system devised by man but its better than anything else that has been tried."

That statement is obsolete. Look here for details.

about 10 months ago
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Stephen Elop Would Pull a Nokia On Microsoft

spiffmastercow Visual Studio for all platforms (292 comments)

Open VS to other platforms, provide a decent .NET implementation on those platforms, and support languages that weren't invented at MS. This, along with selling their enterprise software on other platforms, could make MS a lot of money.

about 10 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Tools For Managing Multiple Serial Console Servers?

spiffmastercow MRV (104 comments)

Not sure if this is what you mean, but we use an MRV server that has a bunch of serial ports and provides an SSH port corresponding to each serial port.

about 10 months ago
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Oil Recovery May Have Triggered Texas Tremors

spiffmastercow Re:From TFA (172 comments)

Until you can figure out why cigarettes causes lung cancer in on person, and not his neighbors who smoked similar amounts, it seems rather more likely that it wasn't the cigarettes that had anything to do with the cancer.

Yes, that's absolutely correct. And then studies were done that showed significant statistical correlations between smoking and lung cancer. If it turns out that 80% of the areas where this was done have sudden increases in seismic activity, then there is probably a connection. A single data point is not enough to draw conclusions.

I would bet every penny I own that such a study would prove at least probable causation. I grew up in Oklahoma (bordering Texas) and for 30 years I never experienced an earthquake there, until 2009 when they started happening on a very regular basis. Coincidentally, most of the epicenters happened to be located near drilling operations.

about 10 months ago
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Inmates Program Logistics App For Prison

spiffmastercow Re:Dear warden: (98 comments)

If you have inmates writing code, there has to be a continual auditing process. Food in prison is a commodity. It’s currency. Dear Warden: These inmates have done your job better than you have. They have saved me, the taxpayer, your boss, money. If these guys can streamline your own systems, I really don't give the least damn if they can live like kings (to the greatest extent possible while locked in a government cage). Fucking let them!.

Much as it might irritate you, you are no more the Warden's boss than you are the boss of the McDonald's employee who only gave you 1 sauce packet with your 20 piece "chicken" nuggets. You are a consumer, you are the indirect source of their income, and you are ultimately supposed to be served by both these things, but you are not the boss.

about a year ago
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Cable Lobbyist Tom Wheeler Confirmed As New FCC Chief

spiffmastercow Re:Regulatory capture (242 comments)

Just so we're clear here, you're claiming that the federal government has no business protecting individual constitutional rights, but has a vested interest in the radio spectrum?

No, can't say that I'm claiming that. Why are you asking?

Because that was your response to:

Abortion is another example. According to SCOTUS it's protected by the constitution. How are those southern states doing in regard to protecting that constitutional right? Or how well do you think New York will do in protecting gun rights if they didn't have to? The point here is that states will pick and choose what they want to implement if given the option.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Is it worth going for a graduate degree in the middle of your career?

spiffmastercow spiffmastercow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

spiffmastercow (1001386) writes "After nearly a decade of professional software development, my desire to work on something more interesting than business applications has pushed me toward looking into going back to school. I'd like to go into a graduate program for Computer Science, but I need to weigh my options very carefully. Is a Ph.D. a near-guarantee of a spot in a skunkworks type of job (MS Research and the like)? Is a MS just as good for this? How does the "letter of recommendation" requirement work if you haven't kept in touch with your professors?"
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Finding development work in another country

spiffmastercow spiffmastercow writes  |  more than 3 years ago

spiffmastercow (1001386) writes "I'm an experienced software developer who is fed up with the US, and would like to move my family to another country, preferably one where English is commonly spoken. What are some good resources for finding a job in another country prior to actually moving? How easily might I acquire relocation assistence? Are there any major pitfalls I should be aware of?"
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How to deal with a boss who is a bully?

spiffmastercow spiffmastercow writes  |  more than 4 years ago

spiffmastercow (1001386) writes "Last week I got a new project manager who has been more than a little abrasive. My first conversation with him involved a condescending quiz on how an n-tier architecture worked, and my second conversation with him involved him ordering me to rewrite a code generator because I had not written it in his language of choice. He makes it a point to publicly deride members of my team in meetings, and complaining about code that he's "too busy" to actually look at. How have you dealt with this situation?"
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Computer Science Master's -- M.C.S or M.S.?

spiffmastercow spiffmastercow writes  |  more than 4 years ago

spiffmastercow (1001386) writes "After discovering that my Computer Science BS basically only qualifies me to code web apps (at least in the eyes of employers), I have decided to go back to school for a Master's. I have two options available to me: an online M.C.S degree program (associated with a brick and mortar school), or an Applied Mathmatics M.S. degree from a local school, where I will have to take about a year and a half of classes just to meet the entrance requirements. So my question is. do employers care about the difference between M.C.S. and M.S.? Is the M.C.S. a detriment if I decide to continue on to get a Ph.D.?"
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SSDs in a SAN

spiffmastercow spiffmastercow writes  |  more than 5 years ago

spiffmastercow (1001386) writes "The company I work for has decided to upgrade our database to a clustered system, and we need a SAN. The database is fairly small (~30GB), but is built in such a way that searches are very IO intensive. We're considering SSDs for the drives. Has anyone had any experience using SSDs in a RAID or ZFS array? How well does it work? What are the drawbacks? Is drive wear as big of a problem as it once was with SSDs?"

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