Yearly Archives: 2012

Reader Mail – 12/23/2012 To 12/29/2012

Poobah commented on Rise Of Legends - No Patch Server! - v2.5 patch.
I downloaded it... now what? all it has is the blank file and no way to extract it or to apply the download. If you could give a step by step from after the download that would help

You need a program called 7zip to extract it. I said that in a previous comment.

Anonymous Coward commented on Reader Mail - 12/16/2012 To 12/22/2012.
Happy Christmas!

Thank you for producing your blog. You are doing a public service. It is important to describe in detail how government and banks steal from us, otherwise it can be dismissed.

Martin Schleier commented on Reader Mail - 12/16/2012 To 12/22/2012.

I stumbled across this webblog topic about something which happend in 1922...

It sort of reminded me of you and your blog.


So yeah, maybe it has some answers for what you're looking for... Or at least it provides a new POV about this whole crazy psycho business.

At first, I thought it was spam. Now, I see it's on-topic.

If you are working somewhere and getting paid for it, you should try to answer all reasonable requests. However, there's a point where you say no (i.e., work 10 hours a day for a long time). There's a point where you walk away (i.e., your boss is an abusive jerk). There's a point where you realize someone is clueless and not worth your time (i.e., they talk about design patterns or node.js, and have no real useful skills).

Another example is the Welfare State. It is extremely damaging. It is damaging to the people who are taxed to pay for it. It is damaging to the recipients, who get used to handouts rather than working. It's like someone who feeds stray cats and wonders why there are so many cats hanging around.

Some pro-State troll might say "Taxes don't drain productive workers. That money is returned to the economy." It is returned to the economy, but it goes to insiders. If I had a rebate of all the taxes I'd ever paid, I could afford to start my own business with money left over.

I had an interesting interview recently. The main boss seemed to have good business sense in his nontechnical area. He was trying to make an Internet-based business, but had hired the wrong people and wasted a lot of money. My preliminary analysis was "Your existing code sucks. I'll start over and make something better quickly." He had a reasonable business plan. I've seen a lot of websites in his area, all of which sucked. Everyone thinks they have a brilliant revolutionary idea, but then hires an incompetent twit to execute.

It's interesting to see the hostility to some of my comments! The hostility to the posts on node.js, Design Patterns, and TDD is an important point. They say "FSK doesn't like these things because he is unqualified." Actually, I noticed that stupid people hide behind bad ideas, because they let them hide their incompetence. It's easier to spout buzzwords than deliver a working product.

I've fallen behind on posting. I'm hoping for my motivation to return soon.

Martin Schleier commented on Reader Mail - 12/16/2012 To 12/22/2012.

At first, I thought it was spam. Now, I see it’s on-topic.

well, a preview button would have helped ;)... Anyway I did confirm that I wasn't a spammer, so by definition it wasn't spam.

Another example is the Welfare State. It is extremely damaging. It is damaging to the people who are taxed to pay for it. It is damaging to the recipients, who get used to handouts rather than working. It’s like someone who feeds stray cats and wonders why there are so many cats hanging around.

well, I'm not from USA but from Europe [Yeah, that land-mass which gave the world the Welfare State]. However, here we don't think of the welfare state as damaging. In fact, the idea came about because of the destruction of WW1 and WW2 a lot of [good and bad] people had suddenly become "stray cats". So the state had to intervene to help the people to help themselves. Otherwise WW3 would have happend, because everyone had weapons and believe me, no one was affraid anymore to use them!

Now - even after almost 70 years - this is still resounding in the culture and in the people. But it's not easy to get help, you don't extend your arm and open your palm. You have to go through heaps of paper to get help. This seems to be different in the US, where people seem to be much more "accomodating". In Western Europe you can walk by the hobos on the street without getting a bad conscience [especially during the christmas season]. Simply because it was soley their decision to be on the street. And any time they want, they can get help to get a roof and a bed, but it's not the "soft pillow" you describe. You have to do something to maintain it... And yes, we gladly pay taxes for it [even if it's an illusion and some/most/all of it goes into the pockets of shady politicians like Berlusconi and big companies] because that way we can all say: "We gave it at the office [or in our case state]".

Of course, the American Culture is different, so you might not agree with this at

all. But that's OK.

It’s interesting to see the hostility to some of my comments! The hostility to the posts on node.js, Design Patterns, and TDD is an important point. They say “FSK doesn’t like these things because he is unqualified.” Actually, I noticed that stupid people hide behind bad ideas, because they let them hide their incompetence. It’s easier to spout buzzwords than deliver a working product.

Well, in your schools they tell us that "computer science" was, is and always will be "science" and "software engineering" is likewise "engineering". So, you have to approach any "new (or old, forgotten)" technology with reasonable doubt, but also with an open mind. So, there is a case of node.js, design pattern, TDD. But as with everything it needs to be properly applied and executed for it to work [of course, this translates into... it's never done and bits are missing!]. But it always helps knowing this because if you talk to people about this stuff and they don't know the "scientific" way then you can instantly "retort" any criticism about qualtification.

[Of course, this doesn't work in the US. People there aren't so snobby and there are lots of self-taught execs, which don't know and never cared about "science" and "engineering", because "it is always in the way" and "no one got time for that".]

Man... what a load of ****. :-D

Actually, some spammers have updated their scripts to account for the growmap anti-spam plugin. It isn't completely foolproof and I'm looking for something else.

In my experience, people who talk about node.js, design patterns, and TDD tend to be clueless, rather than people who really know what they're doing. I'm pretty good at evaluating people's ability.

Martin Schleier commented on Reader Mail - 12/16/2012 To 12/22/2012.

Another example is the Welfare State. It is extremely damaging. It is damaging to the people who are taxed to pay for it. It is damaging to the recipients, who get used to handouts rather than working. It’s like someone who feeds stray cats and wonders why there are so many cats hanging around.

Some pro-State troll might say “Taxes don’t drain productive workers. That money is returned to the economy.” It is returned to the economy, but it goes to insiders. If I had a rebate of all the taxes I’d ever paid, I could afford to start my own business with money left over.

well, I see two different things here. People who live of the welfare state are usually poor... furthermore they didn't make the laws, they just living by them. And some of them quite successfully/abusive. But as I said, they didn't make the rules. So, it's not their fault if they found a way to exploit the system. In fact, I would applaud them for their intelligence, cunning and ingenuity even though if it is totally against the grain [of course, these "smart and clever exploiters" should not be confused with frauds and ruthless criminals. And of course, this is

only relevant if they managed not to get caught! If you want someone to blame, then blame those who allowed/allows it and don't do anything against it, even though they know full well what's happening.].

Now for "insiders", the situation is different. They can make their own rules, so one might say they are above the law. Of course, in this case I agree there is not much you can do... Except keep up the "good work", ranting about it all day long and stay on the track once a movement gains momentum [This worked before! In Tunisia, In Libya, In Egypt, In East Germany, In France, In Spain, In India and also in the US].

Good Luck and Goodbye!

Martin Schleier commented on Reader Mail - 12/16/2012 To 12/22/2012.


Actually, some spammers have updated their scripts to account for the growmap anti-spam plugin. It isn’t completely foolproof and I’m looking for something else.

In my experience, people who talk about node.js, design patterns, and TDD tend to be clueless, rather than people who really know what they’re doing. I’m pretty good at evaluating people’s ability.

Well, if you think you have the ability to evaluating other people's programming capabilities. You should go into HR and start to write your exploits on dailywtf, or else it'll be just another semi-useless skill.

Even though I'm great at evaluating technical ability, that doesn't mean I'm able to get a job as a hiring manager or recruiter.

In fact, HR and headhunters are responsible for most of the problems plaguing technical hiring. They have promoted the idea that keyword screening is the best way to hire people. That enables technically illiterate people to screen resumes.

When resumes are filtered by keywords and not technical ability, that also favors liars. If you lie on your resume, you get more interviews. Those keywords are not relevant for the job, so it doesn't matter.

Unless you're a top programmer yourself, it's very hard/impossible to tell the difference between a great programmer and a great liar. In a corrupt economy, the liars have a great advantage. They force the competent and honest people out of the market.

Anonymous Coward commented on I'm Sick Of Hearing About The Fiscal Cliff.
If your government clowns created the money for themselves from thin air, instead of borrowing it at interest from the bankers, who create it from thin air, THEN at least the government won't be on the hook to pay interest to the banksters.

The bankers are not truly private businesses operating in a free market. They have a government license to print money from thin air and then charge the government interest on it.

This is a huge perk.

Anonymous Coward commented on I'm Sick Of Hearing About The Fiscal Cliff.

I watched the Max Keiser show recently.

If you have ever wondered why our fool of the United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cam-Moron gives so much of our money away to help foreign countries, it is because millions of pounds of that cash ends up in the hands of British ex-civil servants acting as consultants.

Money for the boys.

I’m Sick Of Hearing About The Fiscal Cliff

I already wrote about the fiscal cliff. On the news, the fiscal cliff is all they’re talking about. My father watches the Communism Channel (CNBC) all day, and they have him all excited about the fiscal cliff.

The fiscal cliff is a fake crisis. It’s an emergency created by politicians and the State. When they made the last compromise for taxes, the budget, and the debt ceiling, they put an unusual loophole in the law. If a compromise is not reached by the end of the year, then huge tax hikes and spending cuts take effect.

Hurricane Sandy was a real emergency. The “fiscal cliff” is a fake emergency. It’s an arbitrary deadline that politicians imposed on themselves.

The “fiscal cliff” actually refers to two separate laws. When the “Bush tax cuts” were extended last time, they expired at the end of this year. If Congress does not change the law again, there will be a huge tax increase.

When politicians cut taxes, they only make a temporary cut. That enables them to pass a new law a few years later, when the first law expires. With inflation and progressive tax rates, there’s a tax hike every year even if Congress does nothing. Inflation pushes people into higher tax brackets, even though salary increases and interest rates don’t keep pace with true inflation.

The “fiscal cliff” also refers to the debt ceiling compromise. When Congress last raised the debt limit, they didn’t reach a full budget compromise. The law said that if Congress doesn’t reach a deal, huge spending cuts take effect.

The “debt ceiling” is another arbitrary limit. In a paper monetary system, the national debt is just a number on a piece of paper. The Federal government can have an arbitrarily large deficit and debt. The only cost is inflation. The government can raise money through explicit taxes, or the indirect inflation tax.

The problem with the “debt ceiling” is that Congress authorizes spending at a certain rate. In a separate law, Congress authorizes borrowing to finance that spending. If Congress simultaneously passed a budget and raised the debt limit, it wouldn’t be a crisis.

There’s one simple point that illustrates how the fiscal cliff is a fake crisis. If Congress wanted to, they could change the law. It only takes a majority vote. The problem is that both sides are stubborn and refuse to compromise. It’s a game of chicken, much like the NHL labor negotiations. There’s no incentive for either side to make any concessions until the last minute.

The fiscal cliff gives the “news” something “exciting” to talk about. It’s a fake crisis and not a real crisis. By creating a law with an arbitrary deadline, that lets politicians seem important. That enables politicians to make deals as the deadline nears. I’m tired of hearing people talk about the “fiscal cliff” all the time, when it’s entirely a fake crisis.

When browsing my piwik, I found something interesting. Someone cited my original fiscal cliff post.

Reader Mail – 12/16/2012 To 12/22/2012

Mario commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.
Javascript not modular?

Guess what, I implemented the same logic in a library I developed in about one hour. Seems like you are just wrong.

Mario commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.

Author of this blog post, sorry but I cannot trust in someone that calls parasites and psychopats people that understand someone that he does not.

As a previous poster said... You just seems insecure at something totally new, which you simply cannot understand, that is taking over and probably threatening your fields of knowledge. I just see lack of experience speaking here.

klapse commented on Open Pandora, PSP, or Android?.
I don't understand why you think it is an abomination - it serves the smartphone purpose quite well IMO.

For myself I prefer the desktop-like linux experience of the OpenPandora. New orders are shipped with NO WAITING from The emulators are top-notch and webbrowsing is very good.

If you like linux you will love the OpenPandora.

I have two complaints with Android.

First, the user is not given root access. You can root your phone, but I don't like systems that are designed to be locked down.

Second, it's based on Java. I've heard many people swear that just-in-time (JIT) compiled bytecode is just as fast as natively compiled code. That hasn't been my experience actually using it. For example, MAME4Droid has obvious lag when the garbage collector runs. (There is C/C++ on Android, but it compiles to bytecode rather than a native binary.) Because users are not given root access, all apps are bytecode rather than native binaries.

I am seriously considering an Open Pandora. I probably will wait a few years to see if the price comes down or the product survives. (Update: The price of the 1GHz version just decreased by $90, from $699 to $609.)

commented on Design Patterns Suck!.
Vlad: you are fucked up retard!! Design patterns are at most an obvious banality designed to act as a layer of jargon meant to raise the level of entry into crappy corporate "IT" jobs.

Chesty03 commented on Do Disabled Veterans Deserve Respect?.
You do indeed sound like a disgruntled coward. Your words are full of anger and vindictiveness, as though some vet actually came to your home and kicked you in the nuts. Maybe we should have sat on the sidelines and waited for cowards like you or your brothers, sisters, friends to be drafted instead. We go so that no one else is forced to. Your ungrateful and I bet your borderline sociopathic

Chesty03 commented on Do Disabled Veterans Deserve Respect?.

Im relieved to see that this blog is mainly just the same ass holes going back and forth sucking each other off about there isolated ideals, thanks for confirming that there are a few ungrateful cowards like you out there

China’s “Wealth Management Products” Fraud – Hua Xia Bank and Pu Tingting

Someone asked me to research the scandal involving China’s “Wealth Management Products” (WMPs).  Cynically, “WMP” stands for “Weapons of Mass Ponzi”.  Here are some links.

A WMP is a “guaranteed” investment with a high rate of return, typically 4-5% or 10%.  (China has higher inflation than the USA, making 5% not as attractive as it would be in the USA.)  However, banks are not required to list the WMPs as liabilities on their balance sheets.  It’s a system designed for abuse.  It’s a type of “shadow banking system”.

So what we’re talking about is billions of dollars of investor money floating on and off (mostly) small Chinese bank balance sheets and flowing through China’s under regulated, underground banking system.

The big Chinese banks have voiced their concern. The Bank of China’s chairman called WMPs a Ponzi scheme right out.

There are similar products to WMPs in the USA.  They are called “structured products” or “structured finance”.  A guaranteed high return would be too obvious.  Instead, they’re linked to other assets, with a cap and floor on gains and losses.  One example is “A 1 year structured product linked to Yahoo stock paying a 3% yield.  For every 1% that Yahoo goes up or down, the value of the structured product goes up or down 0.5%.  The gain is limited to 10% of the gain in Yahoo stock, and the loss is limited to 10% of the loss.”  Structured products are fancy derivatives designed to hide the profits for the bank.  The bank issuing the structured product hedges with options, futures, swaps, and other derivatives, making a guaranteed profit.  Following my example, the bank could hedge with options and make a guaranteed profit.

In effect, the bank is borrowing money from the structured product buyer at a cheap rate.  Even worse, the structured products are unsecured notes.  If the bank goes bankrupt, the structured finance investors become unsecured creditors of the bank.  If you buy a structured finance product in the USA, you are lending the bank money as an unsecured creditor.  The bank uses the proceeds of the structured product sale to finance its other operations.

Amusingly, the SEC passed a rule saying that, whenever a bank sells a structured finance product, they must also submit a Python program that shows how the valuation rule works.

You’re an idiot if you buy a structured product in the USA.  The returns are lousy compared to just buying the underlying and some options, *AND* you’re an unsecured creditor of the bank.  Similarly, you’re an idiot to invest in a WMP in China.  There’s no such thing as a high guaranteed return.  Usually, it’s a Ponzi.  Sometimes, the WMP seller makes risky bets, knowing they can declare bankruptcy if their gamble fails.

The current scandal involves Hua Xia Bank and Pu Tingting.  As usual, the blame will be put on one person, rather than blaming a corrupt system.

The advertised yield on the product issued by Hua Xia Bank was 11-13 percent over one year, more than triple the one year, state mandated 3 percent deposit rate.

Allegedly, Pu Tingting was not authorized to sell those WMPs. Hua Xia bank claims they are not responsible for the default and loss. Will China’s government bail out the investors who lost money? Will they be stuck holding the bag? Whoever knows can profit. Someone can buy up the notes cheaply, and then lobby for a bailout.  Pu Tingting was an employee of Hua Xia bank.  That makes them partially responsible, although China’s government can do whatever they want to resolve any problem.

When you’re running a Ponzi scam, you need a steady stream of suckers to keep it going. With the implosion at Hua Xia, people might pull their money out of *ALL* WMPs in China. This will cause other defaults. Also in a Ponzi, the first people to withdraw profit (or lose less). Knowing a crash is coming, insiders who withdraw early may do well.

A pro-State troll says “HAHAHA!!  This proves regulation is needed!”  The State causes and exacerbates the problem.  With a policy of high inflation, investors are forced to chase returns.  A guaranteed 5% return seems juicy, but when inflation is 20%-30% or more it isn’t that great and it’s believable.  High inflation forces people to invest their savings, enabling criminals to trick stupid people.  With gold as money, you can hold gold and be practically guaranteed to preserve your purchasing power.  Sound money enables financially clueless people to protect themselves, by holding physical metal.

Another problem is limited liability incorporation, which limits losses in a scam.  Paradoxically, the State protects Ponzi scammers, putting them in the relative safety of prison, rather than getting lynched by their victims.  Another problem is the bailout economy and “too big to fail”, limiting losses.  For example, the SIPC coverage limit was retroactively raised to $1M, protecting some of Bernard Madoff’s politically connected victims.  Similarly, China’s government may decide to bail out Hua Xia and the WMP investors.

Another problem is that most of the leaders in our society are criminally insane.  This enables Ponzi scammers to fit in well with the leaders, because they have the same personality type.  Then, the Ponzi scammer’s victims feel comfortable.  “He must be an honest person.  Otherwise, all the insiders he hangs out with would have noticed that there’s something wrong with him.”

Another problem is that banksers write financial regulations, and then other banksters are hired to implement and enforce the law.  The WMP problem in China is exacerbated by laws that China already has.  China’s government controls interest rates.  China allowed the banks to not include the WMPs in their books.

In the USA, the government indirectly fixes the guaranteed rate of return via the Federal Reserve.  There is no law forbidding higher returns, but it’s impossible due to inflation and market volatility, the expansion and contraction of the money supply.  In China, the government has explicit limits.

China has a “modern” economy like the USA.  The WMP products are pretty flagrant Ponzis.  By offering a high guaranteed return and placing them off the banks’ balance sheet, it’s a system designed for scammers.  The USA’s “structured finance” products are similar to WMPs, but the extra complexity helps hide what’s actually happening.  The only “advantage” of a more sophisticated financial sector is that financial crimes are hidden under more layers of derivatives and complicated calculations.

Costco, Target, and BJ’s

This weekend, I went to Costco, Target, and BJ’s.  It was interesting to compare the stores.

At Costco, most of the employees seemed intelligent and motivated to do a good job.  Even though the store was packed, the inventory was neatly organized on the shelves.

Even though Costco has good employees now, there’s no guarantee that will continue.  A few years ago, Best Buy had good employees.  Now, nobody working there seems to care.  If there’s a management change, Costco can go down the tubes like other retailers.

At Target, the employees didn’t seem to care much.  The inventory on the shelves was not organized well.

At BJ’s, I was not impressed.  It was as if someone thought “Let’s build a store that looks like Costco.”, but they didn’t do anything else.  Costco picks good products, BJ’s did not.  At BJ’s, most of the employees were not motivated.  The store layout was not well organized, even though it was an attempt to look like Costco.

It was interesting to compare the difference between a great business and mediocre ones.  It makes a big difference when the employees are motivated.  However, there will eventually be a management change and Costco won’t be good anymore.

Reader Mail – 12/09/2012 To 12/15/2012

Mike McNeil commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.
You weren't fired for not being a team player, you were fired because it takes you a day to set up a LAMP stack.

Mike McNeil commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.

Well I agree with the former. As a PHP/LAMP guy for most of the early part of my career, who is now a rapid, relentless supporter of Node.js, I'd ask you to reconsider your stance. Happy to walk through direct benefits and the experience I've had running my realtime studio and using Node.js-- I'm on skype @balderdashy.

Anonymous Coward commented on LA Port Strike.
Just as an aside, all libel actions in the United Kingdom have to be in the high court.

The high court is very, very expensive.

This means that only rich people can sue for libel. In the UK the onus is on the defendant to prove his/her statements correct.

If you are poor you cannot sue for libel, nor can you say anything that might get you sued for libel.

It this way, the law is only for the rich in the UK.

Anonymous Coward commented on LA Port Strike.

I forgot to say that in the United Kingdom if you want to sue someone in the high court, then your lawyers (or the court) will ask for tens to hundreds of thousands of pounds in advance fees and deposits before they will do anything.

So if you want to sue someone (maybe they libeled you or maybe they stole from you and the case isn't a simple, low-value one) you are bang out of luck in the UK.

You need to be very, very rich to have the protection of the law.

Richard Evans commented on LA Port Strike.

I don't know what it's like in the U.K. and admit it. I have no idea where you are getting your disinformation from, but the reason employers hire back the striking workers is not a matter of law. It is because all unions make that stipulation in their contracts. They would be grossly negligent if they did not include such a requirement. Corporations have quite a bit of power. It is logical to expect that some economic force would arise in the opposite direction. I have had jobs in similar fields that have been both union and non union and essentially from the workers point of view the system under a union is generally a better deal. Any where there is a lot of wealth or money flowing expect questionably creative way to be invented in order for some one to grab a slice of the pie. When the baker gets no pie. no pies will be made or twinkies.

It's called the National Labor Relations Act, you stupid troll. Employers are legally obligated to hire back strikers after a State-approved strike in a State-approved union.

I don't like linking to Wikipedia, but it's the best source for this.

Here's another link.

So why haven't they all been fired? You may not realize it, but even non-union American workers have the right to strike and take other actions to protest and try to improve working conditions, and they can't be fired in retaliation.

Anonymous Coward commented on LA Port Strike.

> When the baker gets no pie. no pies will be made or twinkies.

Ha! That rule obviously didn't apply to me for the first decade of my life working in the software industry.

I worked hard and was careful. My employers made large amounts of money. I was always shy about asking for money and should have angled to get pay rises on switching jobs. I got very little out of it for myself.

I was smart, but not smart for my own benefit.

Anonymous Coward commented on LA Port Strike.

>When a union starts making ridiculous demands, the employer should be

>allowed to fire all of them and hire replacements.

The salary of $87K is high and perhaps these union employees have too good a deal. Employers should be able to do something about this.

But in general employers have too much power.

Do you remember in 2001? Customer Service Representatives tried to group together to protest against unfair working hours. I know about They do push people too much. So what did the management clowns do? They fired the Seattle customer service reps en masse and to some extent hired replacements in a foreign country. I heard some customers were shocked at the drop in customer service quality.

Employers do have too much power. There needs to be a counter-balance.

There was no happy ending for the fired Seattle customeer service reps. does not like unions.

Joe commented on LA Port Strike.

Hey FSK, these folks are counting on the LA/Long Beach ports keeping their monopoly rents.

The real story a few years from now will be how ports in Mexico (such as Ensenada) are taking the majority of LA/Long Beach port traffic. Chinese companies are investing in expanding some Mexican ports with the encouragement of Mexican governments. NAFTA will allow the free movement of these goods northbound and the railroad/trucking industry is poised to provide those conduits.

It's already taking shape and just a matter of time before things reach critical mass.

Egor commented on I Bought Some Games.
Why don't you just get a job? Why are you unemployed? Why have you been fired numerous times? Why does reading six months worth of your posts give me the impression that you are "offended" by almost everything in the world? You obviously hate any company you could ever work for, hate all the people in any office you could ever work in, so why do you persist in trying to be a corporate wage slave?

Most jobs are lousy, but occasionally there's someone who appreciates me. At my last job, my direct boss seemed to appreciate me. However, the scum at "Bigtime Evil Consulting" wanted to get rid of me to cover up bugs in their software.

I'm in the top 1%-0.01%+ of ability. Instead of being a benefit, it's a handicap. No matter what they say, a manager never wants to hire someone smarter and more experienced. There are many more people who think "Uh oh! FSK is too smart! I'd better get rid of him!" than people who think "Wow! FSK is smart! I want him working for me!" That's hard for someone who's average or above average to understand.

It's a symptom of a corrupt economy. Most middle managers have evil tendencies. They are much more evil than the overall population. If you aren't the type of person who will backstab someone smarter than you, then you don't get to be a manager.

My long-term goal is to start my own business. In the short-term, I need another wage slave job.

Anonymous Coward commented on Josh Brent And Drunk Driving.
I went to the cinema lately. I won't mention the name of the film, just in case the vague messages I recount may act as spoilers (they won't).

1) A man is told to stop stealing and instead get a job, perhaps a government job. The man is derisive. I thought the film was saying all government jobs are paid for by theft or at the least taking from other people.

2) If you stand up to someone or are not afraid, then you will be pleasantly surprised with the results. The aggressor will back down.

3) Nobody can make you do anything. If someone threatens you with violence, then they still can't make you do anything.

Philip Kilner commented on Josh Brent And Drunk Driving.

A person's intentions *DO* matter.

You have so lost your moral compass that I must stop following this blog now. I have persevered due to my interest in the different thinking of people with autistic spectrum disorders, but this is too much for me.


Following "intentions matter", it was OK for Jon Corzine to steal $1.6B from his customers, because it was an accident and he didn't do it on purpose.

A drunk driving accident isn't different from pulling out a gun and killing someone on purpose. Either way, the victim is dead.

Also, the drunk driver made the decision to get drunk and drive. It's completely different from a regular accident. A loss due to a regular accident should be covered by insurance. If you're a drunk driver, you should be personally responsible. For a drunk driver, insurance should still reimburse the victim, but then collect from the criminal.

"Intentions matter" is used as a "get out of jail free" card for insiders.

Every time someone says "You suck! I'm not reading anymore!", that's how I know it's an important subject.

Philip Kilner commented on Josh Brent And Drunk Driving.

Re. Jon Corzine, wasn't saying the "unintentional" crime was not a crime. I would argue that an action with the same outcome may have a graduated degree of culpability - imagine (all other things being equal) pulling the trigger on a revolver and shooting someone in the head: if the person is in plain sight and you have done it deliberately that's very very bad and evil, if the person is on the other side of a wall and you have just fired carelessly into the wall that is very bad and negligent, if you are on a shooting range and the person is hiding behind a target that's bad but accidental.

Pure accidents, by definition, are not crimes. Crimes include both those where the criminal is simply evil and those where s/he is negligent.

Re. ' “Intentions matter” is used as a “get out of jail free” card for insiders ', that may be true *some* of the time, but that is not to say that evil intent is not an aggravating factor in criminal responsibility.

Re. ' “You suck!" ', to be fair I did not say any such thing, and I certainly agree that this stuff *does* matter.

You use English (or rather American English, I guess), in a very striking way, and you use the phrase "it offends me that..." a good deal. Well, I'd not go so far to say that it offends me, but I can say that it makes me feel icky to think that there are people walking around who genuinely feel that a premeditated, intentional crime is no worse than the same crime committed out of negligence. Who, to my simple way of thinking, can look evil in the face and not be able to tell the difference between it and it and criminal negligence. I've enjoyed reading you blog - your way of thinking and expressing yourself is very striking, we share many concerns, and whilst I strongly disagree with much of what you say, I agree equally strongly with some of it.

The problem with this piece is not your choice of subject or your overall position, which I understand to be that the guy got away surprisingly and inappropriately lightly, both in terms of sentence and of his treatment by the team. The problem with this piece is a frankly frightening oversimplification of a complex distinction that casually discounts the difference between malice and negligence.

Jason Beam commented on Josh Brent And Drunk Driving.

I can see both of your points. I think FSK has a point claiming that drunk driving is NOT negligence but taking a significant risk consciously.

We are missing some important information here though: How much drinking was involved and the particular circumstances. Also the guy decided to drive with a drunk driver which makes him partially guilty too in my opinion.

I believe with too little reliable information it is not possible to judge this particular case fairly.

However, it is easy to see how FSKs argument can be applied in many cases and would deserve some consideration / fixing.

FSK has an amazing ability to identify possible flaws in our society and explain the issue in simple terms and few words. I love reading his posts as he challenges my own critical thinking. What is better than critical thinking about critical thinking :)

Occasionally I find a flaw in his reasoning which makes me feel good and proves he is human and genuine.

I just wished be posts more often again and gets well, and finally decides to go independent (contractor).

Jason Beam commented on Josh Brent And Drunk Driving.

To be fair, I think if the distinction between manslaughter and murder is to be removed we have a problem defining and determining the degree of negligence. I can see high degree of negligence in conscious (significantly) drunk driving and causing an accident. However, the accident could have also happened without alcohol - who determines this? What about accidents in martial arts, or encouraging someone to do a bungy jump without properly determining the safety record of the organizer first?

In practice it is probably easier and fairer to consider the intention than trying to fairly estimate the degree of negligence. However, the thought is great and I learned a lot reflecting on this. Thank you both :)

Egor commented on Josh Brent And Drunk Driving.

"I have persevered due to my interest in the different thinking of people with autistic spectrum disorders,"

What the fuck? "Autism" is a just a name that quacks call kids who don't talk as much as society wants them to. It's not even a real medical condition. If you think it is, show me your test results.

I favor compensation-based justice and not punishment-based justice. The financial compensation for murder is the same whether the murder was intentional, gross negligence, or an accident. For an accident, insurance will cover almost all of the loss. For murder and criminal negligence, insurance should never cover the loss (but the victim's heirs still get paid). The insurer must collect from the criminal.

For an intentional murder or criminal negligence, punitive damages could be added in addition to compensation.

Drunk driving is criminal negligence.

There also is partial criminal negligence. For example, someone who was barely legally drunk might be 50% criminally negligent in a drunk driving accident. In that case, he has to pay 50% of the loss and insurance covers the remaining 50%.

Josh Brent was *REALLY* drunk. The victim was also partially responsible, being a passenger. This is different from a drunk driver killing someone in another car. However, someone else could have been seriously injured.

Even if you are an independent contractor, you're still a type of employee. Ideally, I should have my own business.

My posting motivation has been less recently. I wonder if I'm still recovering from the hospitalization. I wonder if the new drugs affect my motivation to blog.

Jason Beam commented on Josh Brent And Drunk Driving.

Egor, I agree with you. In the current growth paradigm, society will continue to come up with new diseases but it will be harder and the nonsense of it more obvious. Active kids need to take drugs to treat their "hyperactivity", quiet kids against "autism", loosing hair is a "disease", so is having a non average breast size (free surgery for girls in the UK). Not being able to sleep more than 6-10 hours - no problem take sleeping pills (many elderly people)? Fear of public speaking - we have the pill!

I just wait for the pill to treat fear of terrorism - but that would treat a lot of other diseases based on fear and reduce the profit.

I am very much for free market - minarchism or - anarchism. At least there should be a serious public discussion (Stefan Moleneaux versus Chomsky versus Obama would be hot) and people like FSK or Toby Russel ( in the audience asking questions!

A real free market could solve many problems but I am not sure about planned obsolescence and the creation of new needs to sustain perpetual growth. Both democracy and a free market assume people have a near free will and can decide mostly in a rational way. Pharmacology, psychology, advertising and the hijacking of science and the media in general by profits are challenging this assumption today.

"Planned obsolescence" and "artifically creating new needs" is a symptom of a corrupt State economy. That problem might not occur in a really free market.

For example, when you have a monopoly, you maximize profits by making a product that breaks after a few years and needs to be replaced. If a competitor makes a higher quality product, you can borrow from banksters at negative real interest rates and buy them out, and a restricted market makes it hard for new competitors to enter the market. In a really free market, quality will be rewarded more.

With symptom-suppressing drugs, profits are maximized when the patient takes the drug for the rest of their life. It doesn't matter if the underlying problem is cured or not.

What system better handles a mixture of intelligent people and fools? In a democracy, everyone is stuck with the majority choice. In a really free market, I can still get what I want if the majority makes bad choices.

Josh Brent And Drunk Driving

This story is interesting. A Dallas Cowboys football player, Josh Brent, murdered a teammate in a drunk driving accident.

I say “murder” and not “manslaughter”. It makes no difference if you kill someone on purpose, or through your own incompetence. That’s a defect of the “justice” system, that a person’s intentions matter. That loophole enables insiders to get away with many crimes, because they would never do something bad on purpose.

The move Wednesday came a day after a memorial service for practice squad player Jerry Brown, Brent’s close friend who was killed in a car accident when Brent was driving. Brent is facing an intoxicated manslaughter charge related to the accident Saturday morning, and is free on bond.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones says the team wants to be able to stay in contact with Brent, and for the player to stay in contact with teammates. Jones says those things are important.

Surprisingly, the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones even paid for his bail, when he was arrested after the accident.

Brent’s attorney called the bond amount excessive and beyond what the team had authorized him to post.

I don’t understand that at all. He just killed a teammate, and his team is paying for his bail? He was placed on the “non-football injury list”, which makes him ineligible for the rest of the season. He should spend some time in jail. It is offensive, that the NFL commissioner didn’t hand down a harsh suspension for Josh Brent.

Josh Brent should get a harsher sentence than Plaxico Burress and Michael Vick. Plaxico Burress only hurt himself.  “Possession of a gun” is not a real crime. Michael Vick hurt/killed dogs, which is much less serious than killing a person.

The penalty for drunk driving is generally much lower than it should be. It is offensive that someone can go to jail longer for “possession of (certain) drugs” than for killing someone in a drunk driving accident. I’m surprised that the Cowboys are still supporting Josh Brent, especially when he isn’t playing again this season and maybe not for a few years. It depends on what kind of plea bargain deal he gets, and if the NFL commissioner gives a harsh suspension.

I Bought Some Games

Recently, I made a few game purchases.

I bought Torchlight 2 for $20. It’s only available as a download. You can’t buy a physical copy.

The developers had an interesting point. They said “If we sell a game in a store, we only get a couple dollars on a $40 game. If we sell a download, we get to keep the full purchase price.”

I liked Torchlight 1. Torchlight 2 was definitely worth $20. I like the randomly generated dungeons. That adds a lot of replayability. Without randomly generated content, it isn’t interesting to play a game after you beat it once.

In Torchlight 1, the maps were randomly generated but linear. Torchlight 2 has better map generation, with open outdoor areas and branching dungeons.

The only negative is that they don’t give skill respec potions, and you don’t get enough skill points to try all the skills. I decided that, after beating the game, I’ll use the console to cheat and give myself extra skill points. Otherwise, I’d have to play the same class multiple times to try out all the skills.

They promised to release modding tools, but that hasn’t been released yet. I hope the devs aren’t thinking “HAHAHA! You bought it already! We don’t have to finish the mod tool we promised!” If people are serious about making good mods, it could be worth playing again with mods.

I also bought some Android games.

I got Deadly Dungeons, another action RPG with random dungeons. I bought Monsters Ate My Condo, an interesting puzzle game. They were only $1 each.

When a game only costs $1, you don’t have to spend too many hours playing it to get your money’s worth. For Torchlight 2, I already spent enough hours playing it to be worth $20.

There is a sequel to MAMC, Super Monsters Ate My Condo. It has an annoying feature. In addition to buying the game, you can pay money for powerups to use in the game. You can also earn in-game money by playing, but it’s tempting to use the money. I hate games that let you pay cash for powerups.

I bought fpse, a PlayStation emulator. I also bought Dosbox Turbo, for emulating old Dos games. Some of the best mobile games are old games, played in an emulator.

Several of the games I tried didn’t work in fpse. I tried Devil Dice and Pro Pinball Timeshock, both of which didn’t work.

Dosbox Turbo worked fine, although there was one confusing bit. The default .conf file that ships with Dosbox Turbo is not the same as the .conf file it uses if you specify an invalid .config file! It’s also different than the one that comes with the Windows version of Dosbox. It took some figuring for why the sound randomly worked and didn’t work! I had the soundblaster card configured. It turns out you also need the speaker, because some really old games only use the default PC speaker!

When I get a new phone, Google Play let’s you transfer the games to your new phone. I’m probably going to get a Droid 5 from Motorola.

I’ve been updating my blog less frequently. I’m still recovering from my hospitalization. I’ve been more interested in playing games than blogging. That should wear off.

Also, my primary blogging time was while commuting on the subway. I’m unemployed again, so I don’t write on the subway. When I do take the subway for something, I get some posts written. There is no hiring in December. Hopefully, I can find something in early 2013.

Reader Mail – 12/02/2012 To 12/08/2012

Come on commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.
Nearly every language has something that it does very well. Is node.js a great tool to use for a massive enterprise level site with lots of logic? Nope not alone it isn't. However it does do websockets very well making it a great choice for your websockets layer. With a good design you can have several languages work in tandem to use them where they are shine and end up with a product that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Your php chainsaw may solve every problem you run into but I promise it waste a lot of resources doing it for certain cases and in those cases leaves behind some ugly code someone has to maintain.

magallanes commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.

Javascript IS UGLY.

Example: Classes. Classes in javascripts are function in disguise. And the classes are not quite encapsulated.

Ok, OOP is not quite needing for programming, modular programming is also an option. But, guess that?, Javascript is neither modular.

Vlad commented on Design Patterns Suck!.
I thought you were just plain stupid from the other rants i read on your blog, but this one makes you a retard. Really? Design patterns are useless?

If you are a real "programmer" as you claim to be, than you are using them without even knowing. I bet you used a singleton at least once in your sorry ass "career". And yes, that's a design pattern you morron!

And stop posting comments as anonymous on your own posts. It's obvious

Gamer commented on Rise Of Legends - No Patch Server! - v2.5 patch.
i have patch but this is only working windows xp sp2................

100% working

Gamer commented on Rise Of Legends - No Patch Server! - v2.5 patch.

my email

Gamer commented on Rise Of Legends - No Patch Server! - v2.5 patch.

i have patch 100% working but only windows xp sp2..........

my email

patch link

Anonymous Coward commented on Best Buy - Declining Quality.
When I did interview a few years ago, I found that small companies try to copy the interview practices of larger companies such as Microsoft, Amazon and Google. I once had a set of interviews at Microsoft, UK and it total, spread across different days and pre-interview tests, had to answer something like 16 programming questions! By the sixteenth question, I was getting tired and, as it was needlessly lengthy, and didn't answer it. Two weeks later their Human Resources woman telephoned me and said that the manager said I was too stupid to realize I got the last question incorrect. In actual fact I didn't get it wrong, I didn't even start to answer it, because my mind just gave up.

What I am trying to say, is that companies make the interview process an ABSURD ENDURANCE TEST OF NEVER ENDING QUESTIONS.

Or in your case, asking obscure questions.







Another offensive bit is the programming assignment. Do you really expect me to spend a day or two implementing something just for an interview? I used to do such silliness, but it never led to an interview or offer, so I stopped.

Anonymous Coward commented on Reader Mail - 11/25/2012 To 12/01/2012.
A couple of years ago I read one of Steve Yegge's blog posts. He working at ClownnWorld Google. Google as in the place that took the code from the web browser Konqueror and reworked it into Chrome. Google as in the place that bought in the Android operating system and the StreetView rendered from another company. Google as in the place that has links with the Indian company InfoSpace. Just do a web search from InfoSpace and ClickFraud. Google as in the place that a university professor wondered why they took so long to corrupt click fraud about a decade or so agao.

Anyway Steve Yegge said that the employees in Google tend to only hire people exactly like themselves and so it can take 2 - 3 attempts to get a job at Google.

When I went for an interview in Microsoft, ClownWorld, Denmark, the recruiter said it can take 3 attempts to get a job at Microsoft and he himself had to apply several times before he got his job.

Now the whole interview process is lengthy. You can easily have interviews with at least 6 different people. The interview process can take weeks to months to complete. It can easily take up 2 - 4 days of your time. Interviewers expect you to complete up to 4 assignments before the face-to-face interviews and even to study certain topics.

Who can spend weeks in interviews to get a job?

If you monetize the time, you can see that it costs you thousands of dollars to get a job at either Microsoft or ClownWorld Google.

Google, as in the clowns that had to buy in Android and had to use Konqueror code in their Chrome web browser.

Hey, are Google actually supposed to be software developers?

Anonymous Coward commented on Reader Mail - 11/25/2012 To 12/01/2012.

Perhaps FSK should be happy he didn't get a job at ClownWorld.

I suggest you read the following article.

It is one of many articles on this topic.

It is a pity you can get more money by clowning around that by being straight up.

Anonymous Coward commented on Reader Mail - 11/25/2012 To 12/01/2012.

Although I have been verbose and ranty in my previous posts on Google, Microsoft et all and their hiring practices, there is a serious point to make.

You go through a tedious, lengthy testing process. You most certainly wouldn't want to go through it again. You will have interviews with easily 6 different people.

You can have 5 of those people giving favourable reports, but you don't get the job because the manager wants someone local, someone for his home country, someone with 5 years Java experience, someone younger, someone with less experience than him etc.

Then if you want another chance at a job, you have to go through the same tedious tunnel of technical interviews again. But you know in your heart how well you do means diddly squat to some extent.

*** My point is that Google and Microsoft should store your interview results and use them again and ensure that your next interviews can be a bit shorter. ***

Why not? Everything else is cached in software development.

As I run my own business I have made the decision that I would prefer to enhance my own software to write another product in the time wasted on interviews.

Why waste a week? Why waste all the nice software I could write for myself instead of having my efforts wasted on silly interview questions.

Besides I have recently launched some rather cool unique code, that can't have been copied from anywhere because it it virtually almost unique in the world.

Why can't the clowns look at my executable software on the Internet that has sold up to 35 copies a day?

Are these people complete idiots?

Anonymous Coward commented on Reader Mail - 11/25/2012 To 12/01/2012.

This is how the interview process works at Google, UK and Microsoft, Europe.

1) The recruiter tries to pick someone who went to a good or elite university or someone that worked at a famous tech company with a reputed difficult interview process. This way he or she does not look like a fool that picked a dumb candidate and also he/she has a good chance of getting through.

2) The hiring manager or team has no or little say in who gets interviewed - it is the mainly non-technical recruiter.

3) The interview process is tedious, lengthy and takes weeks to months to complete. The interview process is mainly all technical questions.

4) The interview candidate may do very well and as a result expects to get a job offer because the interview process is virtually all technical questions. Almost nothing else at all. So what else can he/she be judged on?

5) The hiring manager or team may have an unwritten criteria that has nothing to do with all the interview questions being asked. It may be that they won't hire anyone without 5 years Java experience and so that rules out a majority of candidates using Microsoft technology. They may want someone that lives local. They may feel a certain candidate won't fit in with the local population. Who knows? It may be they want someone exactly like them with exactly the same technical background.

6) The candidate then gets rejected (or is simply not told of the result at all - this happened to me after both Google and Microsoft interviews. The recruiter didn't contact me at all!). The candidate is then confused as he/she thought the interview process went well.

7) Both employees at Google and Microsoft state you may have to interview on three different occasions to get a job as the interview process is designed to have false negatives. But if a candidate has done very well in the technical questions the first time around, is he/she likely to go again?

8) The questions is that should the hiring manager or team pick the candidates to interview rather than the recruiter as this would save the candidates' time? Why go through days of testing, if you have no real chance of getting the job and this can easily be decided in a few minutes just by inspection of the resume/CV?

Anonymous Coward commented on LA Port Strike.
I currently live in the United Kingdom.

I'm not sure what the point is of having law in the workplace.

If you sue your employer (or soon to be previous employer) in an Industrial Tribunal, you will never work again in that field.

A BBC documentary about a real-life case about a female employee that was forced out of her bank after getting pregnant made that point as well.

Even if the law is on your side, is you sue an employer YOU WILL NEVER WORK AGAIN IN THAT FIELD.


I also heard that one union declared a strike in the United Kingdom. Their employer went to the high court and got their strike declared illegal on a technicality.

Well the problem with that is the high court is expensive. Eventually the union won the legal case.

But involving the law in strike in the United Kingdom means that you have to have a wealthy trade union to afford the legal bills in order to strike.

LA Port Strike

This story was interesting.  There was a strike that halted work at a port in LA.  The clerical workers were striking over attempts to outsource their jobs.  The other workers refused to cross the picket line, and all port at the dock halted.  The main issue was attempts to outsource their jobs.  The strike was finally settled.

The clerks, who make an average base salary of $87,000 a year, have some of the best-paying blue-collar jobs in the nation. When vacation, pension and other benefits are factored in, the employers said, their annual compensation package reached $165,000 a year.

That’s pretty lucrative!  That’s more than double what I get paid!  (when I do have a job; I’m currently unemployed.)

This is the infamous Longshoreman’s union.  They negotiated way-above-market salaries for their workers, due to their ability to cripple the ports when they strike

At one time, the Longshoreman’s union was a lot of people.  All the labor was manual.  Now, with automation, there are many fewer jobs.  As a concession to allow the automation, the Longshoreman’s union reduced the number of jobs, but drastically raised the salary per worker.

This problem is created by the State law the regulates union.  What’s the problem?  When workers have a State-recognized union and they strike, the employer is forced to hire back all the workers when the strike ends.  The employer can’t say “You’re all fired!  We’re hiring replacements!”

This reduces the incentive to hire and train replacements.  With the legal obligation to hire back strikers, then the replacements must be fired when the strike ends.

Actually, with the ridiculously high contract, the employer could refuse to offer a contract, hire replacements, and then hire back the old workers and pay them to do nothing.  That would be one way to reduce the power of the union.  The employer would waste the workers’ salaries for a few years, but eventually inflation would erode the value of the salary.  After a few years with no contract, the employer can unilaterally impose new rules.

When a union starts making ridiculous demands, the employer should be allowed to fire all of them and hire replacements.  Workers should be allowed to quit en masse, but it should also be legal to hire permanent replacements.  State law gives the union extra power, due to the requirement that strikers must be hired back when the strike ends.