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Comment Re:It's not office. (Score 2) 557

That's a fact. Word shits itself with large documents. I've seen it too many times. Be prepared for your computer to freeze while scrolling, tables to break, and formatting to spontaneously mess itself up. Worst of all, keep multiple running backups so you have a recent usable document to revert to when Word saves random garbage to your thesis. People have asked me if I can recover their fucked-up Word thesis. They had to revert to an old copy they emailed or put on a USB dongle two weeks before. If you are using Endnote to manage references, expect your problems to double.

If you must use a GUI, and want to power of LaTeX, try Lyx. It saves as plaintext, but outputs via LaTeX. You can also export TeX files periodically to be safe.

Comment Re:Trolling in the summary (Score 2) 277

Those are also countries with little foreign media; they have government-run educational systems, media, and churches; and they are small, protestant, ethnically uniform countries. It's not surprising that under those conditions, citizens believe their countries to be non-corrupt.

You just described North Korea word for word, except for the church part, which the personality cult of our dear leader makes up for. Are you trying to tell me that New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark succeeded to convince their populations that they don't experience corruption, while North Korea failed? How the fuck did North Korea fail? They have the best of everything: no foreign media, all education, including university education, is government run, and any foreigner unfortunate enough to go there is assigned their very own team of round-the-clock minders who follow you everywhere, that is how few foreigners there are in North Korea.

Seriously though, maybe we know exactly what corruption is, and we just don't tolerate it as a society. For example, in New Zealand there is no way you can bribe a police officer to get out of a traffic infringement. Don't even try it, it's not worth it. I have never had to bribe someone to get something done. We don't even tip. Ever. Employers are expected to pay their staff a living wage. New Zealand media is almost entirely foreign owned BTW. And we have two major ethnicities. And almost nobody goes to church anymore. And our schools can be public or private.

Comment Re:An awful lot of hating on colleges here. (Score 1) 495

How about we ask pensioners pay for their own pensions. My grandparents generation had a shorter life expectancy, saved for their own retirement, and there just weren't that many old people relative to the workforce. So my parents generation didn't have to pay much for their parents pensions and healthcare. Then my parents generation enjoyed the benefits of the contraceptive pill, before they knew about AIDS, had fewer children, and didn't save as much for retirement as their parents did. Now my parents generation wants me to pay for their pensions and healthcare, while they retire in greater numbers and live longer than at any other time in history. I don't need a butt-load of healthcare right now, my parent's generation do, but I'm paying for it. Who's going to pay for me when I'm old? As the summary says, I am clearly NOT earning a significantly higher salary. There won't be any money left once the baby boomer are finished, so I have to save/pay for my own retirement. And they want my generation to pay for our own education too? Something has to give.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 69

Consequences only appear after a breach happens, and nobody thinks a breach will ever happen to them. That only happens to incompetent companies. Anyway, if you prevent a breach from happening, then no breach ever occurs, and the cost of preventing such a breach was money wasted as far as management cares. Better spend that money on bonuses. You do want a bonus this year, don't you?

Comment Re:Develop a backbone. (Score 5, Insightful) 433

Well said. I had a similar issue with my own manager last year. She decided to micro manage, moved the goal posts repeatedly, tried to blackmail me into doing her work, isolated me from colleagues by saying bad things about me, examining and criticising every piece of work I did, and generally being a bully.

I trained in the army, where pissing contests are the norm, so I have seen this before. I resisted immediately and consistently. This left my manager with two strategies to choose from. Either back off and lose status, or escalate. She chose to escalate. The more she escalated, the more I resisted. It is a risky strategy for her. On the one hand she is betting that I will relent sooner rather than later so she can have her way, and in return she will give me some peace. On the other hand, the more she escalates the more intrusive, abusive, unreasonable, and messy things get for both of us. The messier things get, the more people notice, and not in a "look how well she is managing" kind of way.

Meanwhile she made a friend at HR and told them all about this terribly unprofessional employee she had. Then I got a letter from HR requesting a meeting to discuss some concerns my manager had about my unprofessional behaviour. This is where documentation comes in handy. Try to get every decision in writing. My manager took great care to say verbally anything that I might use against her. The best I could do at that point is write her an email asking for clarification or confirmation. Then she either confirms it, sealing her fate, or refutes it, letting me off the hook, or she ignores it, implicitly accepting it. In any case, there is now a paper trail. Once she sees her request in writing, she usually tries to weasel out of it, implying I misunderstood and comes back with a much more reasonable request.

I succeeded to disprove most of my managers accusations by bringing up old emails. That took the wind out of the remaining accusations. Somewhere in this process my managers new friend at HR realised she had been hoodwinked and swap herself with someone impartial. Then things really started to improve. My manager couldn't conceal or undo some things she did while escalating. HR elevated some issues very high up the ranks. When busy important people have to fix underlings fuck-ups, they remember. They will fix things once, but not twice. My manager knows that if I am going to give up my job and get a shitty reference because of her, I will make it as difficult as possible for her and take her down with me. We have a much better understanding now.

Morel of the story:
- Get everything in writing. You might need it. In any case, written agreements tend to be self limiting and self enforcing.
- Resist firmly and consistently. If you waver once, you give them leverage.
- Things will get much worse before they get better. Find as much support as you can.
- Keep it clean. Let the other person lose their morel high ground if they choose, but don't follow them.

Finally, I would say do not give an ultimatum between X or leaving. I have seen people do that, and the response is generally "OK. Leave. Bye". Your company might start preparing for it, leaving yourself little room to negotiate. You can always leave after trying all other avenues, and finding another job first, but don't let them see it coming.

Comment Re:must be the lead (Score 1) 118

It's possible. Lead is a neurotoxin which crosses the blood-brain barrier with ease. According to Wikipedia, "Lead causes loss of neurons' myelin sheaths, reduces numbers of neurons, interferes with neurotransmission, and decreases neuronal growth" (references a medical textbook), and "Long-term exposure of adults can result in decreased performance in some tests that measure functions of the nervous system" (references the EPA website). Nasty stuff.

Canada severely limited the use of leaded gasoline since 1990 though, while this study looked at data from 2001 to 2012. So either this is a latent effect from before leaded gasoline was limited, which is possible given how slowly dementia develops, or something else is going on. Either way, Lancet has a good reputation, so the methodology in this study is probably solid.

As others have pointed out, poverty could be a factor too. People prefer living further away from highways if they can afford to. Therefore property prices tend to be lower close to highways, which makes these places more affordable for poorer people. That confounds the issue with all sorts of other lifestyle factors. Do poor people eat less fresh fruit and vegetables? Do poor people exercise less? Do poor people smoke more cigarettes or drink more alcohol? Are there other factors we aren't even aware of?

Comment I call hogwash (Score 2) 163

If this is so simple, and it's been an issue for years, then why not even one single proof of concept. Nobody wants to control their power bill? ISIS just waiting for the right time to kill us all? In terms of credibility this is right up there with "Hackers can turn your home computer into a BOMB... & blow your family to smithereens!".

Comment Re: No. It didn't "predict" anything. (Score 1) 186

To be fair, the driver in that incident totally missed a GIANT FUCKING TRUCK crossing the road! Say what you like about humans doing this sort of thing easily all the time, but clearly some humans some of the time suck goat balls at it. Any technology that can assist even a little bit in these cases will save lives.

Comment Re:Will marriage still be a legal construct? (Score 1) 366

If we can make AI as smart as ourselves, then we can certainly make AI smarter than ourselves. And if we ever produce AI smarter than ourselves, then it will almost certainly find ways to make us work for its own benefit. History is full of examples where more advanced species exploit less advanced species. We will keep on developing smarter AI to help us in medicine, finance, infrastructure, telecommunications, entertainment, warfare, law, etc until one day the tables turn and AI can outwit us. At that point our slow and faulty legal system will be used for whatever purpose the AI has in mind. If it needs to distract us while it does other things, then perhaps it will put on a legal by show asking for emancipation. I doubt the outcome will even matter.

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