Monthly Archives: November 2011

They Upgraded It And Now It Sucks

This is a disturbing trend.  A corporation “upgrades” their product.  The new version is inferior to the old version.

The new delicious sucks!  I stopped using it.  I switched to Firefox’s bookmark feature plus hand-edited html.  I should write my own delicious clone.

My father uses Chase.  They upgraded their “buy stocks by phone” system and now it’s worse.  They upgraded their monthly statement design, and the new version gives less information than their old version.

When we first got Time-Warner cable, the cable box worked fine.  They upgraded their software, and it started crashing once a week.  They patched the software and it started working better.  Also, the cable signal frquently glitches, which started happening about 2 years ago.  I can record a show, only to see that the cable glitches made it unwatchable.  Then, we upgraded to an HD TV and got an HD cable box.  The “new” cable box crashes every few days.  We literally have to unplug it and let it reboot.

The landline telephone stopped working.  They did fix it, but now only one phone rings instead of both.

The new UI for Google Analytics and Blogger is inferior to the old version.  The new Analytics UI was so awful to use, that I just stopped using it.  (I should install piwik here.)

This is a common problem.  It’s very disturbing.  Very often, the “new and improved” product is inferior to the old version.

FSK Asks – Trackback Spam?

The growmap plugin really handled my comment spam. It’s severely reduced, but not zero.

I also have a problem with trackback spam.

I’m seriously considering disabling trackbacks completely.  I have zero real trackbacks.

Do you have any suggestions for dealing with trackback spam?

Reader Mail – 11/20/2011 To 11/26/2011

Due to a defect in the rawr plugin, this post is formatted wrong if you view it on my blog homepage. It does come out right if you view it as a single post or in the RSS reader. I'm going to fix that eventually, but I have less free time now that I have a new job.
David Z commented on FSK Vs. Comment Spam.
If you're running wordpress there is nothing better than the Akismet plugin. It is free for non-commercial use. It is like 99.9% right with very, very few false positives.

However, if I put ads on my blog, then I need to pay for Akismet, $5/month. That rules out Akismet.

It would be stupid for me to make $4/month from ads and then pay $5/month for Akismet.

I'm planning to put ads up soon. I'm waiting to build up my website a little more. Also, with a new job, I have less blogging time.

Esse commented on Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez.
Yeah, this sort of high profile violence thing is a poor choice except as a last measure, by which I mean the last thing you ever do as a free man or an alive one.

Malcolm X once said "Any time you know you're within the law, within your legal rights, within your moral rights, in accord with justice, then die for what you believe in. But don't die alone. Let your dying be reciprocal. This is what is meant by equality. What's good for the goose is good for the gander."

In other words, if one is going to fire a gun, they should do it seriously, and not just as a token action that squanders their life. If you are going to fall on your sword for nothing, that is a waste.

One problem is that, if I did decide to "go postal", there's no way I could get all the people who I know deserve it, before I got caught. Other strategies are better.

That's why I like agorism and promoting freedom. That attacks the system that lets evil people steal, without directly hurting anyone and without much risk.

Anonymous Coward commented on Test Driven Development Personality Analysis.
A long time ago I met a recruitment consultant. He told me that he aimed to give better service than the vast majority of other recruiters as a means of getting repeat business.

In fact this guy was worst than the rest because he totally sold me down the river to a venture capital company with no software and no customers (the hiring manager effectively lied to me) and I got fired after making the company loads of money. He was friends with management and he must have know what was doing on there i.e. no customers and no software.

Anyway he told me that the software industry is like the FASHION INDUSTRY.

FSK may be seeing a symptom of this. Now the fashion is test driven development. The last fashion was Agile development. Some old fashions were UML or Waterfall.

Companies should hire people good at writing code. But stupid managers need to make themselves feel useful and this means being the clever clogs that recommend silly methods that have nice books written about them.

Esse commented on Test Driven Development Personality Analysis.

If you have a large enough codebase that one person can not hold it all in his head at once, then someone making a lot of changes to code is going to badly break it in hard to detect ways unless you have module testing in the form of regression tests at a fine enough level to instantly detect bad changes. One can leave working code alone and avoid this, but then one ends up with the big ball of mud pattern and it becomes impossible to fix bugs or make even small changes without inadvertently breaking things in subtle ways anyway. One solution to this is allow for refactoring things to redesign in place before making major changes to it, but to do this safely requires that one have comprehensive tests. The thing is though that people won't write tests after the fact when stuff is working, so to get it to happen you have to require that tests be written first, before the code.

So that's why they are doing this. If they aren't doing the whole set of things though, it's all pointless. The testing is to support the ability of one person to refactor code written by another without breaking it.

Esse commented on Test Driven Development Personality Analysis.

BTW, my post is not to advocate but explain the reasoning and set of circumstances that led some to advocate doing this.

Of course as your post hints at, a gigantic problem with this is if you can write tests before you write code you must know exactly what the code does and be writing to a spec that is completely nailed down and which has been thrown over the wall from the architect to the analyst and then from the analyst to the coder.

If it turns out that The Code Is The Design, and the developer is also the person who makes it all work, then it's obviously not possible to write tests first most of the time because we don't yet know how something is going to work.

One solution to this problem is to, as you say, have someone such as a QA department write the tests, to test functionality as described by the technical writer who interviews the developer or just looks at the code. But most companies don't even have QA. It's really funny when they'll be going on about the necessity for heavy methodology and they don't have a QA department that is capable of writing tests to check the code.

Esse commented on Test Driven Development Personality Analysis.

(note: "thrown over the wall from the architect to the analyst and then from the analyst to the coder" of course means Waterfall methodology or BDUF)

Your insight about whether they can explain it back to you is the key. If they don't understand WHY they are advocating building tests first, then they aren't qualified to be advocating it and should just let people do whatever.

Anonymous Coward commented on Test Driven Development Personality Analysis.

Methodology fanboys don't realize that a certain methodology of works for certain types of software.

Suppose you are writing a new type of 3d engine or a complicated parser or are doing experimental stuff in trying to write a totally better type of software... Then the software is so complicated and so time-comsuming and the problems so difficult then having to do up-front tests won't really help you.

I agree with the need for tests in large amounts of software, but if the piece of software you are writing is really advanced and difficult, it may be better just to get the thing working first and solve the problems first. Some software is so difficult you only know the problems once you start the work. Business analysts can't help with this kind of work because they don't understand it.

I never said that I was opposed to automated testing. My complaint was against "tests first, code later" or "test-driven development".

I had two people advocate for "test drive development" in my recent job interview cycle. Both of them seemed like fools.

The key insight is that, when I express skepticism, they dismiss me rather than try to explain to me why it's a good idea.

My new job is the opposite extreme. They don't have a QA server. They don't have a dev server; their other developer directly edited production. I asked them to set up a QA/dev environment on my PC, and they didn't know how to set it up and configure it.

If you never do a restore, then you're never doing a backup!

Jerome commented on Test Driven Development Personality Analysis.

"Test Driven Development" is a buzz word.

However, there are some techniques I've picked up over the years that might be considered "Test Driven Development".

I write test code at the same time I write my code (not before) I might write a little code than write a little test harness code to execute that code to be sure it's working properly and than repeat.

I try to isolate code that accesses external resources (database, web services, etc) so that I can test the logic in the code without having those resources available all the time.

RonnieP commented on Unemployment Law.
I would be more offended that the New York law seems to encourage a potential employer to underpay you. If the potential employer was going to offer the same amount you were making before for the position, but knew if he offered 82% of what you were making that you would be forced to take it, I would think many employers would choose to pay the lesser amount, even if they were willing to pay more before finding out about your umeployment history. I mean why not? You can't say no...

Anonymous Coward commented on Unemployment Law.

I've had some sleazy employers before.

In fact the last two companies I worked for still owe me money!

The very last company I worked for are real scumbags and I avoid them like dog dirt in the street. The owner wrapped himself up in a tissue of lies and I'm sure told different sets of lies to different people at different times. Not a nice character to have to deal with.

The second last company I worked for also owes me money. They are getting a bad reputation with former staff openly saying bad things about them. However they are not total scum. I did write to them saying by law they owe me money. From memory it is between one to two thousand dollars. They ignored my letter.

My work history might be a bit better that yours - apart from my current self-employment which I'm sure counts against me! I have a collection of early jobs that lasted a year, but more recently have stayed much longer in jobs. However the reason I stayed so long in my last job (a real scummy horrible place) was simply because if I resigned I knew every new employer would complain about my work history.

My regret is now that I didn't leave sooner. The owner was a psychopath and I have suffered mentally for staying so long.

Anonymous Coward commented on Unemployment Law.

I wonder if a US company fires a h1b non-immigrant worker that they don't have to pay extra employment tax, as h1b non-immigrant workers are not entitled to any unemployment benefits if their job ends.

I could refuse the job, but then I'd lose my unemployment benefit.

The risk of underpaying me is that I might find a better job. However, switching jobs isn't easy. Quite frankly, nobody wants to hire someone who's older than them, more experienced than them, and smarter than them. My options are severely limited. I don't have much negotiating leverage.

Hopefully, they'll start making more money from their website in a few months, and will be able to pay me more. In this case, I sincerely believe that their limitation is "We don't have the cashflow to justify a high salary!"

Anonymous Coward commented on Express Or Local?.
If you are writing software, can't you spend a few days at home doing the same work?

Actually there are real advantages in actually going to work and having all the workers in the same room or building.

In one job, all the other software developers in my group spent several days at home PRETENDING TO WORK. I went into the office every day. As a result I was asked to do much more work and asked to help out with other projects.

By helping out with other projects I helped the company in a big way.

Just minutes before I got fired, one manager told me the work I had done had really helped the company. Obviously at that time I didn't know I would be fired minutes later.

Ironically all my co-workers that PRETENDED to work from home, AND were hired solely on the basis of being friends with a couple of manager, kept their jobs. I got fired.

By coincidence (ha!) only the non-managerial workers that had been in the company long enough to get share options were fired!

One fired worker was re-hired as a contractor via a third-party company. After a while he realized his new pay did not cover his rent and he had to leave London and give up his new part-time job.

I'd rather actually go to work than stay at home all day.

Many employers are hostile to working at home for that reason. You can't tell if someone's really working or fooling around. The real problem is that most employers can't evaluate productivity. If you can't evaluate how well people are working, at least you can count the number of hours they're in the office.

NBA Players, Owners Reach Deal?

This story made no sense.  The NBA players and owners reached a tentative deal.  This settles the antitrust lawsuit and starts a new CBA.  The players would have to ratify the CBA and reform the union, as part of the settlement.

Here’s the bit that confuses me.  The new deal is almost exactly the same as the one the players refused two weeks ago.  What is Billy Hunter doing?

Billy Hunter is doing CYA to try and save his job.  He’s telling the players “Look at this great deal I negotiated!” rather than “I totally bent over for David Stern.”

That’s the problem with a State union.  The union leader’s primary goal is to protect his job as State middleman.  Advocating for workers comes second.

This is ridiculous.  The players could have accepted this 2 weeks ago, and saved 6/82 of their salary (playing a 72 game season instead of 66 games).  They got almost nothing for holding out 2 weeks.

It might be rational for players to accept this offer.  If they refuse to ratify the deal, then there may not be a season.  If they’re still negotiating in August 2012, the owners may not make a better offer.  They may not have won in an antitrust lawsuit, and the lawsuit would not have been resolved in time to save the season.

State union negotiations are a game of chicken.  That isn’t the way a free market negotiation works.  It’s a creation of the State.  Due to the way State labor law works and the State basketball monopoly, each side has to act like they’re willing to ruin the season, in order to get concessions from the other side.

It might make sense for the players to ratify this CBA and re-unionize.  They should fire Billy Hunter.

Express Or Local?

When I was in high school, it took me about 45-50 minutes to commute to midtown during rush hour.  That was taking a local train all the way, due to construction on the Manhattan Bridge.

Now, it takes me more than an hour to commute an equivalent distance!

If I take a local train the whole way, it takes me 60-65 minutes!

If I take an express train, it isn’t any faster.  First, the N is local in Manhattan, which decreases the savings I would get from the N.  Second, the trains all get backed up at DeKalb Avenue and into the Manhattan Bridge.  There’s no benefit to taking the express when it gets stuck for 10-15 minutes.

The Manhattan Bridge is falling apart.  To conserve the bridge, the MTA adopted a policy “At most one train can be on the bridge in each direction at a time.”  However, that means that trains back up on both sides of the bridge.

The express trains interleave at DeKalb Avenue.  The N goes along 4th avenue in Brooklyn and then up Broadway in Manhattan.  The D goes along 4th avenue and then up 6th Avenue.  The Q goes along the Brighton line and then up Broadway.  The B goes along the Brighton line and then up 6th Avenue.

Do you see the problem?  If a B train gets delayed, then it backs up at DeKalb avenue.  The D train gets stuck at DeKalb avenue.  This causes the N to also get backed up, because it can’t pass the D.

Under normal circumstances, the backup would occur on the Manhattan Bridge.  However, the MTA has a policy “Trains can’t wait on the Manhattan Bridge”.  This means that the backup occurs at DeKalb Avenue (the stop before the Manhattan Bridge).  This also means that any delay affects *ALL* trains, rather than just 6th avenue or Broadway.

If *ANY* of a D, N, Q, or B gets delayed, then the N gets delayed.  The result is that there’s no benefit to taking the express.

As another complication, sometimes there’s so many people that I wouldn’t fit on the express train.  (I’m not pushy enough and I don’t like squeezing in.)  The MTA cut back on the number of trains, even during peak rush hour.  On the local train, I can usually get a seat.

After a couple of tries, I took the express and discovered that it wasn’t much faster than the local.  It’s at best 5-10 minutes faster, and it’s frequently not faster.

If I take the local train, at least I can get a seat and use my phone on the train.  I’m giving up on taking an express.

That is an interesting symptom of the decline.  In 1992, it took me 45-50 minutes to commute to midtown during rush hour.  Now, it takes me 60-65 minutes.  The Manhattan Bridge is falling apart, due to lack of maintenance.  Even for an apples-to-apples comparison (local all the way), it was 15-20 minutes faster 20 years ago, to go an equivalent distance!  (I got off at a different stop in Manhattan in high school, but it really is an equivalent distance trip.)

Wendy’s, Costco, And Hyperinflation

I went to Wendy’s and got a single combo.  It was almost $10!  That’s a huge price rise.  It was less than $8 recently, but I wasn’t keeping track.

My sister got a Cosctco card.  I went there with my parents.  They comparison shop and know all the prices.  I don’t bother.  The cost of my time is greater than the savings from shopping around and clipping coupons.  My parents are retired, and have nothing else to do.

In many cases, the price was higher in Costco than in the supermarket!  Superficially, that makes no sense.  When you think about it, it’s a symptom of hyperinflation.  Do you understand why?

In the supermarket, the owner only raises the price when he restocks and see that the price increased.  Costco turns over its inventory rapidly.  Therefore, Costco’s prices are much more sensitive to hyperinflation, compared to a regular supermarket.

When prices go up, Costco raises its prices immediately, whereas a supermarket might not raise them for a few months.  Therefore, in a time of high inflation, Costco prices are greater than the supermarket price.

That was amusing.  Wendy’s jacked up its price.  Costco prices are higher than supermarket prices, because Costco prices are more sensitive to inflation.  Those are interesting indications of hyperinflation.

Zygna Demands Employees Give Back Unvested Options

This story was offensive. Zygna makes games for FaceBook and other platforms. Zygna has been very successful. They may have an IPO soon.

Some early Zygna employees have unvested options that are very valuable! Zygna is demanding that those employees give back their unvested options, or they will be fired!

This quote is offensive.

In order to determine which employees would be asked to give stock back, Pincus and his executives tried to pinpoint workers whose contributions to Zynga–in the execs’ eyes–didn’t necessarily justify the potential cash windfall they could receive when the company went public, the Journal claims. One Journal source said that Zynga executives were especially concerned with not creating a “Google chef” scenario.

Summarizing, “Options may make some of our early employees very wealthy. We don’t want that to happen, so we’re taking back their unvested options.”

Isn’t that the whole point of working at a startup? If the startup is successful, then you get a lot of money? Why would any ever accept a lower salary to work at a startup? Why would anyone ever work ridiculous hours at a startup? If the startup is successful, then management will use loopholes to cheat you!

This is legal due to a technicality. They are “at will” employees, and these are unvested options. So, Zygna can fire them without giving a reason, and they lose their unvested options. Instead, Zygna is demanding concessions or be outright fired.

There is another interesting technicality. Most options have a clause that say “Options must be exercised within 90 days if you’re fired or quit.” If an employee refused to renegotiate and was fired, then he would have to come up with the cash to pay for the option exercise, or lose them. Zygna isn’t public yet, so the shares are not liquid.

With a public corporation, you can exercise-and-sell your options, without putting up any cash. You can’t do that with a pro-IPO corporation. In that case, your only option is to put up the cash, exercise, and hold onto the shares until the IPO.  There are some markets where pre-IPO shares are traded, but you may not get a good price.  Also, if you’re fired and force to exercise the options, you lose a lot of the benefit, because you lose the time value (ability to not exercise if the price crashes) and basis value (the fact that you don’t have to put up the exercise money until later).

I don’t understand why any Zygna employee would keep working there, after getting robbed by management like that.

FaceBook did the exact same thing. However, they outright fired the employees rather than demanding they forfeit their options.  Why would you want to keep someone there as an employee, after you rob them?

That is extremely sleazy.  The startup is successful and you think you’re making a lot of money.  Then, management demands you give the options back.  Why would anybody be motivated to keep working hard, after management rob you like that?

I wonder if management told the early Zygna employees that, when they offered them a job? “We’re offering you $X of incentive options as part of your employment agreement. But, if the startup is really successful, we’re going to cheat you and weasel out of paying.”

When you get options at a startup, you don’t get “unlimited upside”. If the startup is very successful, then you will be cheated. You can be fired and then you lose your unvested options. As an “at-will” employee, management doesn’t have to give a reason when they fire you; if necessary, they can fabricate a reason.  As a minority shareholder, you have little protection. The CEO can waste your equity, by hiring his unqualified friends at high salaries.

As a startup employee, you don’t have a call option. You really have a call spread. If the startup fails, you get nothing. If the startup is wildly successful, then management will cheat you. Therefore, you only have limited upside, when you get options or equity in a startup. Really, it should be an “incentive call spread” and not an “incentive option”.

Why would anyone ever take a reduced salary to work at a startup? You’re an idiot if you think you will cash out for a fortune. If the startup is successful, then management cheat you.

Unemployment Law

I’ve worked for quite a few sleazy employers.  Now, I have a history of switching jobs too many times.  My last job was almost 2 years, but I had a lot of short-term stints before that.

One interviewer said “I’m concerned to hire you.  If we have to fire you, we may be on the hook for your unemployment claim.”

The employer pays unemployment taxes.  The tax is based on the amount of claims by ex-employees.  This provides a disincentive for employers to hire someone, because their unemployment tax might increase if they’re forced to fire someone.

Employers are taxed based on amount of claims.  There’s a flaw in this algorithm.

If you hire someone who was formerly receiving unemployment, you should receive a credit against your unemployment tax!  As far as I can tell, the law doesn’t provide for this.  The State is eager to tax, but the State rarely gives credit back.

Because my new employer hired me, they saved my ex-employer money in unemployment claims.  Technically, my new employer should get a credit, because they saved the State unemployment money paid out.

My new employer is paying me less than my old employer, *BUT* they are paying me just barely enough that I would have lost my unemployment benefit if I refused the job.  That was amusing.  I would have taken it anyway, even if it was a little less.  (The law in NY is that you must take any job offer that’s at least 80% of your last job, or you lose eligibility.  They offered me 81% of my last salary.)

That is an amusing quirk of State law.  If you hire someone who was formerly receiving unemployment benefits, you should get a tax credit!  The unemployment tax is a disincentive for hiring someone.  The State will raise your taxes if you hire someone and then fire them, which penalizes companies who ambitiously hire people.  In the UK and Europe it’s far worse than in the USA, but there are also taxes on hiring in the USA also.

Reader Mail – 11/13/2011 To 11/19/2011

Due to a defect in the rawr (raw html) plugin, the formatting is wrong if you view this on my blog homepage. If you view the post as a single page or in an RSS reader, it will come out right. I'm trying to figure that out.
Anonymous commented on Don't Give Your SSN to Headhunters And Recruiters!.
That won't matter so much soon. There are plenty of single moms and people that don't change their name anymore. Plus if you are from some hispanic countries, you get a hyphenated last name that is both of your parents' names anyway. No mystery there.

Anonymous Coward commented on Groupon IPO And Naked Short Selling.
I have used a discount service, perhaps similar to Groupon, but only for software.

Essentially the discount company ask you to market and advertise the discount day on your website. On their website they have a product page taken from information on your website. Essentially they get a 20 - 30% cut of a deeply discounted software product.

At the time I pretty much had a unique software product and the competition was way behind me. In other words, people could buy from me or not and if they really need the software they would have to buy it from my sooner or later.

The first time I did this discount I got well over 30 sales in one day, well above my normal average. But I sold at a huge discount. My actual returns weren't that much higher.

It doesn't take much to see that the discount company is doing very little real work and living off the risks you take.

Anonymous Coward commented on Groupon IPO And Naked Short Selling.

At most these discount companies might be good for raising awareness of your product, but the way the company I dealt with worked, they relied on your to advertise the discount day on your website.

I made well over 30 sales in one day, because I already had a high traffic website!

John Lux commented on Groupon IPO And Naked Short Selling.

You have exactly nailed the short selling of new issues. As a former market maker in IPOs, I can tell you that the shorts are always looking at IPOs because the underwriters and the company often try to push the price as high as possible, resulting in later declines after the initial enthusiasm. Good point on naked shorts.
This is a defect-by-design in the stock clearing and settlement system. The banks set the system up this way on purpose, because it lets them steal.

Another interesting thing I noticed at my now-ex employer was naked short selling in ETFs, sometimes $1B or larger positions. That is clearcut market manipulation.

dionysusal commented on NBA CBA Arithmetic.
The players have all the power. The fans go to and tune into the games to see the players, not the owners. Players (and former players) have enough money to start their own league. Of course, the State (and it's stupid "laws") is no doubt preventing this from happening.

Really Cowardly Anonymous commented on NBA CBA Arithmetic.

Would that were true, dionysusal. However, modern sport seems to me to be very much like the old Roman gladiatorial games. Slaves competed as a spectacle for the masses, and while the best did quite well for themselves and were the superstars of their day (it is mostly a myth that defeated gladiators were killed), the real money was always made by the slave-owners who provided the fighters. Even with football (by which I mean soccer) players' wages are frequently cited as ridiculous but the owners of the big teams probably make at least as much back all the time. And a lot of them don't do very much other than forking over an investment now and then.

Really Cowardly Anonymous commented on Reader Mail - 11/06/2011 To 11/12/2011.

When you do reader mail, how would you feel about putting a break of some sort between a comment and your reply to it? Sometimes it can be quite tricky to tell which is mail and which is your reply, without going back to the original post (which defeats the point of reader mail).

Keep up the good work mate.

Really Cowardly Anonymous commented on Reader Mail - 11/06/2011 To 11/12/2011.

Sorry, I take that back.

It does show up obviously when I view the reader mail post on its own. It's only when I look at the post from the front page of the blog (as I usually do) that it seems your formatting doesn't show up right.

No, that is a bug. It's a defect in the rawr plugin. Should I try and figure it out? Should I leave it as-is?

I wrote a PHP script that generates the "Reader Mail" template for me. However, WordPress has weird post mungling rules, when you have a combination of {blockquote} tags and CRs.

Therefore, I installed the rawr plugin. That enables me to post as raw html. The "Reader Mail" posts are in raw html.

My PHP script reads the WP comments table and generates the "Reader Mail" template for me. The output is plain html. Via the rawr plugin, I use plain html for that one post only.

It was easier for me to get WordPress to handle raw html, than for me to get WordPress to handle the Reader Mail template without mungling it.

Checking now:

- It works when you visit the post directly.

- It works in Google Reader.

- Only in my blog homepage, does the rawr plugin seem to be defective.

My options are:

- Leave it alone.

- Try to fix it.

- Try to get the rawr plugin writer to fix it.

Really Cowardly Anonymous commented on Reader Mail - 11/06/2011 To 11/12/2011.

If you can fix it it would be great (as I think I'm not the only one who prefers to scroll down the front page to see all recent posts at once) but on the other hand it's not really worth losing too much sleep over if the fix gets quite complex. Though I guess if you wanted to release the plugin for others you'd pretty much have to fix that if it's reasonably doable.

I have no idea how to fix it. I'd have to go through the PHP and figure it out.

I might try another raw html plugin.

Anonymous Coward commented on Another Fannie Mae Bailout - $5 Trillion And Counting.
Houses should just be treated as a utility where people need to live.

Instead banks, estate agents, government, landlords, buy-to-let schemes and local government all want to cash in.

Property prices and rents are far too high.

People in the UK look at property as a way to make money without working. Witness the various media reports and house prices increasing more in one year than a whole year's salary.

If someone is your family dies in the UK, you are saddled with a ridiculous 40% tax on your property. The government should have fixed this.

If two sisters live together and one sister dies, the UK government will kick the surviving sister out onto the street and take her house.

David Cameron, wake up now and fix this!

Anonymous 2274 commented on FSK Vs. Comment Spam.
As I mentioned before; I really recommend using the Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin. It adds a little checkbox that needs to be checked in order to submit a comment that a bot cannot detect. Once I added it on my sites; my comment spam has gone down to zero.

You are correct. Growmap worked perfectly so far.

It was getting ridiculous. I had 50+ spam comments per day.


No, I'm still getting spam, albeit less. I'm going to try other things also.

Saurabh commented on Added GrowMap Anti Spam Plugin.
Good to know that it works (I read your comment in previous post). Also just testing that if I can comment or not.
Growmap greatly reduced spam, but not 100% eliminated.

I suspect that some spammers configured their spambot to compensate for the growmap plugin, running the client-side javascript. However, spammers tend to be lazy. Even though I have been getting spam comments, none of them have showed up on the blog itself.

I also noticed some trackback spam, but that wasn't serious. That's only a few per week.

ScottH commented on Employed Again!.
Congratulations! You're going to have fun - there are so many ways revisions can drop through the cracks and not get to the people who need them.

I had one job where our installer called from a store that was supposed to open in two days to tell me we had a problem; the stockroom he was standing in did not look anything like the room on the drawings. Doors were in different places and the entire shape of the room was nothing like his drawings.

Turns out the client had completely redesigned the store after our stockroom layout had been submitted and approved but forgot to forward us the new set of drawings. I spent a frantic hour and a half figuring out how to fit as much of the material on-site into the room (got about 70% to fit), the installer put it together and shipped the leftovers back and the construction manager went home to change out of her soiled clothes.

Construction gets pretty darn exciting sometimes.

thomasblair commented on Employed Again!.


Congrats on the new job. I'll be excited to hear updates about this job as I work in the mechanical contracting business and we are currently working with some shit software. I'd be curious to hear more details and would love to exchange some ideas with you. Feel free to email anytime.

Once I get started, I could give you their information. I'm still not 100% sure what it is. It seems like a version control system specialized for construction.

Saurabh commented on Employed Again!.

Congratulations! and Good luck.

Robert commented on Employed Again!.

Congratulations on the new job man!!
I'll see how it goes. It isn't amazing. It's a lower salary than my last job.

Still, it's enough to pay for food and rent. It's better than staying home all day. Maybe they'll bump me up once they see how awesome I am and they make more money from their website.

My jobsearch was very interesting. It's a illustration of why the economy is falling apart. Most interviewers don't say "Wow! FSK is awesome! I'd love to have him working here!" Instead they say "Uh oh! FSK is smarter than me! If I hire him, then my boss will replace me with FSK!" Of course, nobody will ever explicitly say that. They make up other excuses.