Monthly Archives: April 2012

Reader Mail – 04/22/2012 To 04/28/2012

Note: Due to a defect in the rawr plugin, the formatting for this post shows up wrong on the blog homepage, but it does show up correctly if you view it as a single post or in a RSS reader.
John commented on Test Driven Development Personality Analysis.
I once worked at a big company who did 'test driven development'. The analysts wrote tests for every module, and handed them over to the developers. A typical test might read: if parameter A is 2, and parameter B is 3, then the module should return 5.

All the programmers at the company were boys. The management decided they were a bunch of flaky, undisciplined prima donnas. So they hired a girl - let's call her Stella.

Stella was a marvel. All her code was absolutely perfect. It checked in, and never broke the build. It flew through all the automated tests without a single flaw. And she was amazingly fast. Meanwhile, the boys were constantly running late, and checking in code that either broke the build, or failed the tests.

Stella was given a commendation, a bonus and a glowing reference, and swiftly joined another firm. The boys struggled on, and some months later, the program was completed, tested and deployed into production. It wasn't long before the customers noticed the program was giving nonsensical results.

The source code was retrieved, and someone reviewed Stella's code for the first time. Every one of her modules, hundreds of them, contained one statement which simply returned the expected test results, for example:

IF ParameterA = 2 AND ParameterB = 3 THEN RETURN 5

That is a good story.

No matter what performance review metric you use, someone will always find a way to game it.

"Test driven development" is stupid. How can you write tests before the code?

Automated testing is good. The best tests cover problems that actually occurred once.

When I did QA, I reviewed the code. I came up with specific tests that illustrated bugs I found.

Another amusing lesson is "When you do a lousy job and con people, switch jobs before your results catch up with you."

Justin commented on Twitter Vs. Patent Trolls.
Well aside from the fact that I've written sparc assemblers and others, the problem snowflake solves is not as simple as you make it sound. Non coordinated id generation that is roughly time ordered that is horizontally scalable? I'm not convinced I could do that while dreaming. Keep in mind this isn't a hash, its a unique id. I guess you could argue their 64bit limit is self imposed and a bad idea.

That was my point. Why does each twitter message need a unique 64 bit integer id? They made a stupid design decision in one place, and came up with the snowflake algorithm to work around it.

Anonymous Coward commented on Amusing Baseball Image.
Off-topic, but a very good talk by George Carlin about the USA, freedom and how we don't have any choice as both political parties are the same.

Liviu commented on Diablo 3 Requires An Internet Connection.
They should allow separate single player chars that you can't play online but still allow you to play without an internet connection.

Anonymous Coward commented on Muni-Meter Legal Loophole.
I live in the United Kingdom.

We have to purchase residents' parking permits if we want to park a car outside our very own houses. That was introduced something like 20 years ago.

Anonymous Coward commented on Muni-Meter Legal Loophole.

The traffic wardens (they are now called community enforcement officers) have trouble catching motorists out.

So they wait for builders to park in a street and while they are busy unloading their van, they fix a ticket to their vehicle.

One parking warden in our street openly admitted his job is now effectively to prey on builders when they visit to repair residential properties.

Effectively this is an extra tax on getting your house repaired!

Anonymous Coward commented on Muni-Meter Legal Loophole.

Working for a local council in the United Kingdom is a very profitable job.

Planning permission results in a rather nice stream of cash for individuals.

The managers and executives are on salaries of hundreds of thousands of pounds a year, if not millions.

They have gold plated pensions.

And all they have to do is collect the rubbish every two weeks!!!!

Where there is muck, there is brass! But it doesn't take much brains just dump all the rubbish in a big hole.

That's the problem with parking and traffic laws. They are used as a revenue enhancer rather than for enforcement.

If the policeman has a ticket quota, the incentive is to write lots of questionable tickets.

If you get a ticket for $100, the incentive is to pay it rather than contest it. If you contest the ticket, you must take a day off work, worth more than $100. If you contest the ticket, you probably won't win.

Tickets are a stealth tax increase, rather than for enforcement.

Coward #56 commented on Muni-Meter Legal Loophole.

Off-topic, but the Artist Taxi Driver has done so well on this one. I'm sure a minute or two went by before he raised his voice. The video is about the UK government committing crimes and the police doing precisely nothing about it.

Anonymous Coward commented on NBA Union Corruption.
I don't follow industrial action news closely. However whenever there is a union strike in the United Kingdom, the company management usually takes the union to court on the grounds that they didn't follow procedure to the letter when taking a vote whether to strike or not.

I'm sure High Court legal action is very expensive and must cost the workers a lot of money.

The legal professional are high paid parasites. They suck money out of every aspect of life.

Anonymous Coward commented on State Media Inconsistent Standard.
It is also inconsistent that if a club member bends the law they get a free pass. Little people get stomped upon.

The Artist Taxi Driver discusses the Bribery Act 2010

David Laws MP cheats on expenses but gets a free pass

Woman jailed for the "crime" of earning a low, irregular salary of between

200 - 800 pounds a month. I would suspect most of her government benefit went on housing benefit i.e. to her Landlord not directly to her.

So basically if you are a little person you go to jail. But if you are in government you get a free pass.

Anonymous Coward commented on State Media Inconsistent Standard.

Off-topic, but related to a previous post by FSK on software hiring.

Anonymous Coward commented on State Media Inconsistent Standard.

Off-topic, but it is interesting to compare FSK's views with that of the cartoon below. They seem well aligned.

Norman Maltoff also had a famous website about H1-Bs and the myth of a software engineer shortage.

Also, a "shortage of workers qualified to do X" really means "people don't want to pay the fair market salary".

An employer will demand 5 years of experience in .NET. That excludes a lot of people. A good programmer with less experience in .NET specifically can do the job. Unfortunately, hiring managers don't think that way.

I agree that software engineer is a dead-end job, unless you become self-employed. Most of my experience counts for zero when looking for a job. When dealing with evil hiring managers, it's frustrating. I'm shocked that no hiring managers think "Wow! FSK is a really good programmer! I want him to work for me!" I know that I'm near the top end of the ability scale.

Another "advantage" of younger workers is that they're easier to push around. I've been around the block a few times, and I know when someone else is acting like a twit.

State Media Inconsistent Standard

Whenever a woman makes a rape accusation, the mainstream media refuses to publish the name and face of the accuser.

This story was surprising.  They published the name and photo of the prostitute involved in the Secret Service scandal.

Originally, the published photos of her had her face blurred out.  Now, they’re showing her name and face.  However, this isn’t a false rape accusation.  This woman was legally working as a prostitute, and the Secret Service agent refused to pay his bill.  (Prostitution is legal in some parts of Columbia.)

They did publish the name of the agent who started the scandal, by refusing to pay his bill.

I always thought it was unfair.  When a woman makes a false rape accusation, her anonymity is protected.  The man’s reputation is ruined, even if he is never convicted.  If a woman makes a false rape accusation, that’s OK, and her anonymity must be protected, lest other women be reluctant to make false rape accusations.  If a woman is working as a prostitute, it’s OK to publish her photo and embarrass her.

NBA Union Corruption

This story was interesting.  NBA Players’ Association executive director Billy Hunter sought a $7M-$9M investment for Interstate Net Bank.  Billy Hunter’s son, Todd Hunter, has connections to that bank.

Todd Hunter also works for Prim Capital.  Prim Capital has a $2.5M consulting contract with the NBAPA.

That’s the problem with State unions.  The union leader is more concerned with lining his pockets, than advocating for workers.  The union leader is more interested in protecting his turf, than advocating for workers.

Back when unions were illegal, unions were effective.  The State recognizes and regulates unions.  The union leader is just another State bureaucrat, rather than a sincere advocate for workers.

In the recent CBA negotiations, the players’ union totally caved to the owners.  The union leaders have an incentive to say that a lousy contract is a fair deal, because they want to keep their jobs.  If the entire season was lost to a lockout, the union leaders are risking their jobs.  With a new contract, the union leaders are secure in their jobs for another 6-10 years.

Here’s another aspect of NBA union corruption.  Many NBA union leaders later get jobs working for the NBA.  The union leader isn’t going to advocate too hard for players, if he’s going to get a cushy job with the NBA later.

The union leader controls a lot of money he doesn’t own.  The union leader controls union dues payments.  Sometimes, the union leader controls the pension fund.  This is the usual Principal-Agent problem.  The incentive is for the union leader to give lucrative contracts to his friends and relatives, rather than spending that money wisely.  The union leader controls money that he doesn’t own, providing an opportunity for theft and corruption.

This happens in almost every State bureaucracy.  One example is the GSA scandal. The GSA wasted nearly $1M on a Las Vegas conference.  The people who ran the conference made a nice profit at taxpayer expense.  The GSA chief controlled money that he didn’t own, providing an incentive for waste and corruption.

This happens in almost every union.  The union leader gives lucrative consulting contracts to his friends and relatives.  Many NBA players are angry at their union, after the lousy contract.  Normally, nobody would investigate.  This time, some people did, because they were angry about the new CBA.

This isn’t “one bad apple”.  Whenever a State leader controls money that he doesn’t own, the incentive is for corruption and waste.

Metta World Peace?

I was reading some sports stories, and saw a bit about “Metta World Peace” elbowing someone in the face.  I was wondering “WTF?  Who is that?”  It was Ron Artest.  He changed his name, because his old name had such a lousy reputation.

He was suspended for 7 games, the last regular season game and the first 6 playoff games.

That leads to an obvious loophole.  The Lakers can take 6 games to win their first-round series, guaranteeing he will be back from his suspension for the next series.  The Lakers should be huge favorites in their first-round match, but the second-round match will be close.  The second-round series is against the same team that got elbowed (Oklahoma).

A more accurate suspension would be “5 regular-season games, carried over to next season, plus the first round of the playoffs, plus the first two games of the next series.”  Then, the Lakers would not be tempted to draw out their first-round playoff series to use up the suspension.

Baseball treats suspensions differently.  If a player is suspended at the end of the regular season, the suspension carries over to the next season, even if the team makes the playoffs.

Baseball has another weird rule.  Players can appeal a suspension, then drop their appeal at a time convenient for the team.  For example, if a starting pitcher is suspended for 5 games, he can appeal, ptich his next start, then drop his appeal and serve the suspension at his convenience.  If the team has an off day during the suspension, they don’t even have to call someone up from the minors to fill in.

Another interesting bit is that “Metta World Peace” is now an advocate for mental health issues.  However, it’s the usual “Treat mental illness with symptom-suppressing drugs.”  I’ve had a favorable reaction to Seroquel, but severe negative reactions to the other drugs I was forced to take.  Even if “Seroquel is the right drug for FSK!” is true, why did it take several hospitalizations and more than 10 different psychiatrists, before I found one that tried Seroquel?  The mental health industry pretends to be scientific, but it really isn’t.

The suspension of “Metta World Peace” has an obvious loophole.  The Lakers can drag out their first-round series to six games, so that he’s available for the second round.  The loophole may be intentional, so that a star player is available for the 2nd round matchup, against the same team and player he elbowed.

Muni-Meter Legal Loophole

At my last job, I worked on a side street. They have Muni-Meters. It’s mostly trucks making deliveries and pickups.

I saw a meter maid giving out a ticket. The driver complained that the Muni-Meter was broken. The meter maid said that isn’t a valid defense. He’s required to walk to the next one.

I didn’t say anything. I should have. There’s an interesting legal loophole for Muni-Meters.  However, I’m not 100% sure this is correct.

There’s a “grace period” of 5-15 minutes. (I’m not sure exactly.)  If you get parking ticket with timestamp “2:55″, and you have a Muni-Meter receipt with a timestamp of “2:59″, that’s an absolute defense. You can contest the ticket and win.

The “grace period” solves a problem with Muni Meters. You can park your car and go to the Muni Meter. You get a parking ticket while you’re making the purchase. That was a common enough problem, that a specific exemption was added to the law.

If you are parked at a Muni-Meter spot and see a meter maid giving you a ticket, run to the Muni-Meter and purchase a parking ticket. If the timestamp is close, you can contest the ticket and win. Don’t waste time arguing with the meter maid.

I should have given the driver a helpful tip. I knew about that loophole. I said nothing.  However, I’m not 100% sure that’s correct.

Diablo 3 Requires An Internet Connection

Diablo 3 is coming out.  They made a controversial decision.  Diablo 3 requires an Internet connection to play, even for single-player mode.

There are some advantages of “You always need an internet connection to play.”  It allows people to use the same characters in multiplayer and singleplayer, because the server is sure that the player didn’t cheat.

One advantage is “fighting piracy”.  If you have an “illegal” copy of the game, you can’t connect to the server.  However, some people are already reverse-engineering the server protocol, and will write their own server.  There are “World of Warcraft” servers not run by Blizzard.

There are some negatives.  What if you have an unreliable Internet connection?  What if you have a slow connection?

What happens 5-10 years from now, if Blizzard goes bankrupt or decides to stop operating the server?  There are old DRM products that are worthless, because the company operating the DRM server failed or shut down the server.

I also don’t like it when a game forces you to play multiplayer.  I had that problem in Diablo 2.  I was playing a spellcaster, and I came across a boss with magic resistance, extra HPs, and regeneration.  (This was on hard difficulty, where bosses randomly get extra abilities.  That combination was unbeatable.)  I couldn’t kill it and got stuck and frustrated.  I had to play multiplayer, and use a warrior to get past that point.

I usually don’t buy games right away when they’re released.  I wait a few years, and you can get the game+expansion combo relatively cheap.

I’m more interested in “Torchlight 2″ than “Diablo 3″.

I’m annoyed that “Diablo 3″ requires an always-on internet connection.  I’m not going to buy it for a few years, and maybe not at all.  One good aspect is that it prevents cheating in multiplayer.  It’s offensive that you can’t play singleplayer without connecting to their server.  It’s an excessively-intrusive DRM.  The only solution is to refuse to buy.

Reader Mail – 04/15/2012 To 04/21/2012

Note: Due to a defect in the rawr plugin, the formatting for this post shows up wrong on the blog homepage, but it does show up correctly if you view it as a single post or in a RSS reader.
Anon commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.
Most of this article is based on false assumptions and things that are outright not true. Since everyone has google, I'm not going to bother explaining why, but, really this article is fiction.
That's a common troll response. "You're wrong, but I'm not going to waste time explaining why."
silver commented on Ron Paul's Competing Currencies Proposal - A Simple Way To Reintroduce Gold And Silver As Money.
I truly love your site.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you develop this website yourself?

Please reply back as I'm hoping to create my very own site and want to find out where you got this from or what the theme is named. Thanks!

This is the "simplemarket" theme. I also added some custom PHP.

Fellow Traveler commented on State Sanctioned Murder In Florida - Trayvon Martin.
(I am the author.)

FYI, the client software, long term, is meant to be p2p. This is because the wallets need to compare notes on the public mint files from various servers.

There isn't a "central server" per se, although that is the simplest configuration, but we're aiming for a "federated" model, like Diaspora. That is, many servers, many issuers, each server has many currencies, each issuer has issued on many transaction servers, each user has a list of servers and issuers, etc. You can also distribute a currency over many issuers (via baskets.) You can also convert currencies into other currencies (on markets) and you can also exchange on/off of any server using Bitcoins.

OT also features "destruction of account history" meaning that no account history must be stored other than the last signed receipt, yet all parties can prove which instruments are valid and which transactions have closed. This same mechanism also insures that transactions are unforgeable. Even the server cannot change your balance unless it gets your signature first. We are moving into an era of cheap, "low trust" servers that run across multiple jurisdictions and on anonymous networks.

OT also features "chaumian blinding," which is untraceable digital cash.

FYI: I agree with you on Ripple, which is basically an implementation of "credit lines" (forming a payments network.) Some future version of my software will do this also.

I also agree with you on gold and silver.

You should consider, however, that gold and Bitcoin share many properties. Both are scarce yet minable, value-dense, divisible, recognizable, durable, difficult to counterfeit, liquid, useful as a medium of exchange, and so on.

Bitcoin also has the additional properties that it is censorship-resistant, and your funds cannot be frozen or confiscated by any authorities.

While you are correct that Bitcoin is publicly-auditable, keep in mind that anonymity layers can be added vis-a-vis, for example, my own software. Similarly, while Bitcoin itself is not suited for micro-transactions, the blockchain can still function as the reserves for a micro-transaction system which is then processed on a normal transaction server such as OT.

Many things are becoming possible.

Actually, Bitcoin isn't seizure-proof. Here is one example. Police are cracking down on the fiat-to-Bitcoin exchanges, making it hard to transfer State money in and out of Bitcoin.

Also, every Bitcoin client has a copy of every transaction. Police can run a Bitcoin client, and then track every single transaction. If they track every single Bitcoin, they can figure out identities.

Justin commented on Best Buy Problems.
I worked there so I can attest to the fact that Best Buy is a terrible place to be an employee and that is why all the intelligent workers left. They make you work unreasonable hours for no pay, and they expect you to sell their crappy extended warranties. There is no commission so they use intimidation to "convince" you that the customer would be better of with them.

withheld commented on Best Buy Problems.

For a small fee to join Amazon prime you will get free two-day shipping on all fulfilled-by-amazon items - a good portion of what you can buy on Amazon. I don't know how they do it, but it makes going to best buy no longer necessary.

By the way, you should know better than collect information such as email addresses - there is no benefit for you and nothing good can come of it for your readers. Neither should you force people to enable scripts to leave feedback. Before you had control of your server, you were forced to do what they did (although you were a fool enough to buy into the google 'hand over your customer list' campaign known as adwords). Now you have no such excuse. You seem to have a glimmer of understanding, but continue to disappoint me with ongoing foolishness.

You don't have to leave an E-Mail address. It should work if you leave it blank.

I had a comment spam problem, and added the "growmap anti-spam plugin", which eliminated 98% of the comment spam. That requires a script to work.

There is a problem with ordering from Amazon. I don't have anyone to take deliveries for me.

Justin commented on Income Tax Mailing Address?.
"It’s also amusing, that a tax return is an “obeying orders” exercise." Its even more amusing to me that people thing that the money they pay in tax is "used" for public works. They never considered all public spending is financed, the tax only exists to enmesh you in the system, nothing more.

Anonymous Coward commented on George Zimmerman Charged With 2nd Degree Murder.
In the United Kingdom there is a belief that if you call the police, the police will arrest the victims of the crime (source: multiple mainstream media stories).

For example if a group of teenagers terrorizes the occupants of a house over a long period of time and the householders do anything at all to upset the aggressors, the police will arrest the victims or at the least give them a warning.

For example a female model that appears in Marks & Spencer television commercials and posts saw a man in her garden one night-time. She was in her kitchen. She picked up a knife as she was scared. She phoned the police. The police gave her a warning for picking up a knife in her own kitchen!

That's not what happened in the Trayvon Martin murder. George Zimmerman is claiming self-defense, even though he started the confrontation with Trayvon Martin.

Anonymous Coward commented on George Zimmerman Charged With 2nd Degree Murder.

Thank you for your reply. But I understand the situation.

> Trayvon Martin didn’t trust the police.

I was illustrating the lack of trust in the police. A neighbour of ours was having his house burgled and the burglar was still there. He called the police and they refused to come out.

Justin commented on George Zimmerman Charged With 2nd Degree Murder.

FSK they might be doing 2nd degree so they can offer a manslaughter plea, is that possible?

They aren't going to offer a plea, because this is a high-profile trial.

Coward #99 commented on Twitter Vs. Patent Trolls.
From my small experience of using Twitter, I don't think Twitter has done anything of great intellectual merit. Sure lots of people use Twitter. Sure Twitter spotted a hole in the market. Sure Twitter can be useful. Sure Twitter have done well.

But there is nothing of great intellectual merit about the software powering Twitter.

Did Twitter create a new sorting algorithm? Did Twitter create a new kind of database? Did Twitter create a new type of central processing unit? No.

Patents have nothing to do with intellectual merit. Patents are about abusing the legal system and legal extortion.

Twitter needs patents, as a defense if sued. Otherwise, a patent troll would have an easier time shaking down Twitter.

An "obvious software idea" plus some fancy legal arguments equals a patent and a patent lawsuit and a potential loss of millions of dollars.

Justin commented on Twitter Vs. Patent Trolls.


That is needed only due to other flaws in Twitter's design. For example (userid, seq_id) would be a better system to uniquely identify messages.

Coward #99 commented on Twitter Vs. Patent Trolls.

I looked up your snowflake URL.

You have got to be kidding me! Bull****.

Any software developer could do that in his/her sleep.

Obviously you don't come from a real difficult technology background such as writing compilers or parsers.

Coward #99 commented on Twitter Vs. Patent Trolls.

Off-topic, but addressing FSK's previous comment that Ron Paul isn't going to win.

withheld commented on Twitter Vs. Patent Trolls.

Putting aside the fact that there is no such thing as 'intellectual property'...

Actually it is not that expensive to file a patent. You can do it yourself (if you are neat and smart) for a few hundred dollars, or with an idiot lawyer for a few thousand FRNs and a few frustrating months (if you are good at explaining your idea to a complete moron, a skill you should develop if you want to be an inventor).

The expensive part comes after you have a patent. If someone blatantly steps on your patent, it will cost you about a million FRNs to defend it in court, every time. Assuming your business pulls $10,000,000 per year or more from that patent alone, 10% overhead is another tax. If you are like most wannabees, you are a fool to play this game.

Once again, this is a tool for corporations to keep the little guy out of the game. Don't even think about it. Think small and fast, and when a big corporation steals your idea (you should be so lucky - MOYIAS - most of your ideas are sh*t), have another business ready to deploy.

Another "unique id" that would work is (user_id, timestamp) or (user_id, timestamp, message hash).

Due to stupid system design, Twitter has a "requirement" that each message has a unique ID, and IDs are not assigned sequentially due to massive parallelism.

Twitter at one point was using "Ruby on Rails".

There is one common misconception. By itself, an idea is practically worthless. What matters is execution.

I saw an amusing Craigslist ad today. It said "We have a brilliant idea for a business. We're looking for a programmer to implement our idea. We demand you sign a NDA before we tell you anything about it. We want you to work for us for equity-only (i.e. for free) and be a minority shareholder. Once our business starts generating cashflow, we might decide to start paying you, and then you'll be rich!" There are a couple of huge mistakes. If you have a brilliant idea for a business, it's worth nothing if you don't have technical ability. If you don't have technical ability, it's likely that your idea is stupid. If you make someone sign an NDA for an interview, right away that puts you in the "clueless twit" category. I once saw an NDA that contained a broad non-compete agreement, before they even told me any details of the business! Working for equity-only is stupid. As a minority shareholder, there's too many ways to get cheated.

I can imagine signing their NDA, not working with them, and then getting sued 5 years later when I do something vaguely related to their stupid idea.

Anonymous Coward commented on Where Are The Intelligent Hiring Managers.
I have wondered exactly the same things myself.

During the first 5 or so years of my "career" in software, I could easily get hired.

Now it is so difficult I have given up. All that happens is between 1 - 4 days of my time are wasted in test after test. I do well in the tests. Then I hear nothing back.

Recruiters are stupid scumbags as well that just get in the way.

I work for myself now. Lots of people purchase my software. In fact several companies that won't even hire me, use my software!!!!!

In one classic case, a big famous company put me through about 2 days of tests and interviews. I got all the questions the manager asked me correct. The manager got impatient when I didn't get one answer out fast enough, but that was all. After the manager's interview I had two more interviews, one of which was very difficult.

I didn't get the job. The manager lied about a question I had got correct. On my way back to the airport, 10 new copies of my software had sold.

So it the space of the time it took Microsoft to reject me, 10 other companies had purchased my software.

My advice is to listen to Ennio Morricone's The Platinum Collection Compact Disk #3. It won't change the bad hiring manager sitution, but it will make you feel temporarily better while you listen to it.

no thanks fbi commented on Where Are The Intelligent Hiring Managers.

That's too bad. It would be interesting to know the details. Did you make any good contacts to move forward?

Maybe you should move to the west coast? A change of scenery, different people, different businesses. Plus, you'd live close to me!!

Anonymous Coward commented on Where Are The Intelligent Hiring Managers.

>That’s too bad. It would be interesting to know the details. Did you make any good

>contacts to move forward?

I'm not sure if you are commenting on my comment or about the original post by FSK.

I had several interviews that day. One was with the manager of the group. Throughout the interview I got every question asked of me correct. Then at the very end of the interview I was asked another question. After a while of working out on their whiteboard I got the correct answer. I said it out loud.

The manager then said he was in a hurry as he had to interview someone else. He then said the answer to the question out loud, which was just a re-phrased version of what I had just said.

That was it. Nothing more was said of that question.

Then after two more interviews, the recruiter said the manager had called a meeting and that he hadn't been invited, which he seemed annoyed about. He said I hadn't got the job because I failed on the very last question with the manager. I queried this at the time.

Maybe the manager didn't lie. Maybe his concentration lapsed. Maybe he was looking for an answer matching exactly the words for the official answer to the question. Maybe he didn't follow my working.

If I was disqualified for the very last question the manager asked me, then why did I have to have two more interviews and why was my performance in them irrelevant?

This whole thing was dumb, as I had multiple interviews and not getting one question right (in fact I did get it right!) in amongst a large number of interviews is silly.

It seems wrong that the manager should pack the interview jammed packed with questions, then say at the end of it he has to leave quickly and then ignore my correct answer.

But how annoying. Because I had to travel to a foreign country, this episode would have taken up 4 days of my time in total (with preparations etc). Even if you get the questions correct, there is no job at the end of it.

It is wrong to place so much emphasis on technical questioning, when at the end of the day it doesn't matter one damn!

Jason commented on Where Are The Intelligent Hiring Managers.

FSK, I hope you will eventually get serious and at least try to become independent - work as a free lancer etc.

You are afraid of trying but - what do you have to lose? I know several IT people who became independent - and none who failed. They may not be rich but they are free to choose how and how much they work.

You are lucky that you are a programmer as it would be much harder for e.g. a scientist..

My prediction is that your chances to keep any job (where you are owned by a company and most likely not happy anyway) are slim in the current paradigm. There are websites that post jobs for free lancers - go ahead!

You may also find that that way your talent of independent thinking has better chances to become an asset rather than a liability or time bomb.

Right now, getting another wage slave job is my only option.

Longer-term, I'm thinking about starting my own business.

Amusing Baseball Image

I was watching the “Live Box Score” on Yahoo Sports for yesterday’s Yankees-Red Sox game.  This image was pretty funny.

Yankee Pitching To Yankee

Aceves used to pitch for the Yankees, but he was cut and signed with the Red Sox as a free agent.  Yahoo Sports doesn’t have a current picture.

Text Message Spam

I already wrote about premium text messaging fraud.  I have another problem now.  I’m getting spam text messages.

I don’t have a text messaging plan.  Each spam text message costs me $0.20!  I’m getting 1-2 per month now.  It’s enough to be annoying, but not so much that I want to waste an hour on the phone with Verizon to block text messaging.

Even more offensive, the spam text message costs the phone company almost nothing, but I’m being charged $0.20 each!

I used to be able to block all text messages from the webpage.  Now, you have to call Verizon to enable the block.

Text message spam is annoying.  Not only is it spam, but I have to pay for it!

Games With Randomly Generated Content

There’s a new indie RPG game coming out.  It’s “Legend of Grimrock”.  However, I noticed a big flaw.  The game has no provision for randomly generated content.

I like games with randomly generated levels.  This keeps the game interesting once you’ve beaten it.

Examples of such games are “Shattered Colony“, Mr. Driller, Nethack, Angband, and Torchlight.

The trend now is to make a game like a movie.  The idea is “You play the game for 40 hours, and then you buy a new one.”  If a game is good, I’d like to play it again, but that’s not interesting if the game doesn’t have random levels.

Games are much more interesting when they have random levels.  If it has a good random map generator, you can play it may times.  I was disappointed that “Legend of Grimrock” didn’t have a random map generator, but one may be added later.