Reader Mail – 09/30/2012 To 10/06/2012

Silent-Hunter commented on Open Pandora, PSP, or Android?.
OpenPandora can actually run Android OS from an SD card. I don't think the official Google app store works though.

Why would anyone run Android OS on an Open Pandora?

Android OS is an abomination. I'm getting disgusted with my Droid 3. I'm looking into the Linux-based alternatives.

I'm considering at the GCW Zero as a promising Open Pandora alternative.

Joe commented on Quantitative Easing 3.
Just want to drop a line to let you know that I've been following your blog for a good bit now and enjoy the posts. What I think you have here is a nice collection of text which is helpful in describing what can be difficult to wrap one's head around.

While the banks get off easy for the preceding years of irrational exuberance (by many) thanks to the Fed's dilution of our common exchange medium in the form of new zeros to add to said banks' balance sheets, it really is the rest of us that pay in the form of reduced value for the things we have and continue to work for.

The beneficiary structures of the banks seem to be shouldering a disproportionally small share of the burden.

It's so simple it's complicated and yet so complicated it's simple. Ugh, how perverse. It's difficult to not think of this as anything but, as you put it, theft.

Anonymous Coward commented on New Job! - Data Analyst.
I don't really like the Google Clowns as a company.

I do advertise with them and over the years have given them a substantial income stream.

My product at the time it was launched was head and shoulders above the competition and so sold well. Despite being produced by a nobody it did well on its merits.

Money rolled in and really I was only concerned with dealing one tiny thing but trying to do it decently.

At a rough estimate, the Google Clown Adwords system provides 5% of my visitors, but takes 8% of my income stream.

So if I stopped advertising on the Clown system I should in theory make a bit more money. Inertia and the fact things are good has stopped me.

Other advertisers have said that Google Adwords is good but it isn't scaleable. I don't know why they said that, but I can guess from my experience.

If you increase your advertising budget it will simply suck off so much of your profit you will either have to put your prices up or stop.

I have a decent product with a lot of real people linking to my site and saying what a useful product I have.

But from my statistics, if I increase my budget it won't pay off.

In the early days I got hit with Click Fraud. I emailed the Google Clowns. They blew a raspberry in my face and I got canned replies from them. Fraud was obviously going on. An Indian screensaver website was swallowing my whole daily budget within a few seconds. The Google Clowns buried their head in the sand and kept my money.

Clowns look sinister.

Anonymous Coward commented on New Job! - Data Analyst.

I remember in the early days it was around 10 - 20 cents a click when advertising with the evil Google Clowns.

It meant you could sell cheap software doing useful tasks to the masses. You could sell cheap software and make up for it by selling to lots of people.

This should be the way to do things in the software world.

But the Google Clowns needed their bellies feeding.

Somehow the price of the clicks increased and increased and increased.

Now it is just plain silly.

I try to keep my running costs down to the bear minimum. I do lots myself and don't buy in systems for other people.

I can't see how my competitors could possibly pay for more expensive clicks or even properly afford the prices per click that I see at the moment.

The Google Clowns have expensive tastes and they are getting too greedy. But the Clowns would say that the market decides the price of the clicks.

The evil clowns send me lots of emails telling me to change my settings and let their evil software decide the price of clicks etc. The evil clowns don't want you to use manual controls in the Adwords system.

The clowns love money too much. Their adwords system wants to suck off too much money.

The clowns are ruining the Internet. What they are doing is like trawling the sea with huge nets and not worrying about sustainability.

Pay-per-click is an inherently defective advertising model. It leads to click fraud and other problems. Pay-per-impression is better.

Pay-per-click also favors spammers. If it's a spam ad, almost nobody clicks on it, and you don't pay as much.

My blog was unfairly banned from AdSense. I could never get it reviewed or appealed. If you have a small website, all it takes is one or two people to click on a bunch of ads, and you get banned from AdSense.

I considered writing a FireFox pluging that randomly clicked on ads, if a page had Google ads on it. If enough people used that plugin, it would ruin pay-per-click advertising.

Anonymous Coward commented on New Job! - Data Analyst.

>I considered writing a FireFox pluging that randomly clicked

>on ads, if a page had Google ads on it. If enough people used

>that plugin, it would ruin pay-per-click advertising.

The sick, evil, twisted Google Clowns are ruining Google Adwords themselves without any help.

I'm pretty much the only of the only two people in my field advertising with the Google Clowns a the moment. I've seen my competitors advertise with the Clowns and then after a few months they give up. The Clowns are too greedy.

By being too greedy the clowns are losing business.

Hopefully the clowns will self-destruct.

If everybody stopped throwing money away with their dodgy systems they would be forced to write a proper, affordable advertising system.

The Google Clowns should provide affordable advertising and decent natural search results. In my niche, search results are getting overrun with trash articles that suggest unworkable and unscaleable solutions to people that are only dealing with about 5 bits of data and can do everything by eye.

However in real life people and businesses have more than 5 customers!!!!! commented on "State Gambling Supports Schools!" Fnord.
Not only competition to state gambling monopoly is protected but also the monopoly of gambling private enclaves. This is nothing new as you have previously mentioned that ALL large business enjoy some kind of monopolistic perks.

Justin commented on Workplace Caste System.
In my experience this means that profit is only loosely correlated with job performance at that company.

Anonymous Coward commented on Workplace Caste System.

In past jobs, I've had to write code converting masses of financial transactions from one system into another. It was so long ago that I can't remember if the trades were worth tens of millions of tens of billions of dollars.

Anyway at the time I was sitting in an open area.

The company I worked for was mainly a software company but they also were branching out into the organization of training sessions.

So all the time I was trying to write this software dealing with billions of dollars, there was a man behind me on the telephone all day and talking in a very annoying voice.

I thought it was just plain stupid and that I could accomplish more if I had some peace and quiet. I think to make up for it to some extent I worked late evenings and weekends, which I don't recommend as a solution.

In another job, it was pretty much the same arrangement. I was writing software that would save manual computer work for several companies, but behind me were a group of people doing different work. Their work wasn't as intricate as mine and they often chatted for hours at a time about of all things sport.

I did ruin my concentration. The stupid thing was the company I was working for at the time had a few empty offices.

Paul commented on Workplace Caste System.

It's like when the elevator door opens, and they are all in business suits. I have to excuse myself, not dressed.

How many jobs have you had in the last 5 years? You are good at getting jobs, but not at staying at them. Take a pill.

I have had one software client for 14 years, and one for 5 years. I advertise on Craigslist about once a decade. There is no reason to be an employee, and you can work at home.

It's a large bank, so performance has nothing to do with profit at all. Who needs good software and good workers, when you can get the government to give you a bailout?

My job struggles are a symptom of a collapsing economy, rather than anything I'm doing wrong. My problem is getting backstabbed by coworkers and bosses threatened by my ability, rather than my ability to write good software.

It isn't that easy to start a software consulting business. That's more about salesmanship than writing and delivering good software.

Anonymous Coward commented on Workplace Caste System.

I've had quite a few jobs when I was working for companies, rather than for myself.

The reasons why I've had so many jobs are given below and also some reasons that apply to other people (not necessarily me).

1) My early jobs were low paid. They had long hours (much evening, night, early hours of the morning and weekend work) as well. Despite being obviously competent, new employers just tended to match my previous salary i.e. a crap salary followed me from one job to another. A survey has shown this rule applies to other people as well.

2) Jobs tended to use me for my existing skills and never gave me the opportunity to learn new skills. Only in a couple of jobs could I learn significant new stuff.

3) Recruitment consultants (scumbags) just tend to put you forward for almost exactly the same jobs you have had before. It takes a while to realize just what is happening.

4) The unspoken rule is that once you have a crap job you are never given a good job.

5) Most managers I've encountered either do nothing or create problems.

Now that I work for myself I have a reasonably stable income that is stable as measured across years. I have been very lucky though. It is a pity that the corporate environment couldn't offer me a stable job and make better use of me.

So why I am a success when I work for myself, but a company manager will view my 5 jobs in 10 years and say I am a complete failure?

Anonymous Coward commented on Workplace Caste System.

I think there is something about the software industry that sucks.

At the moment I make a decent living working for myself. In my niche, my customers say I have the best product. Certainly for several years I was head and shoulders above any competition.

When I was working in companies, I don't think I had one decent manager. Or if there was a manager that didn't cause any damage, then his superiors would mess up other parts of the company and (perhaps as a consequence) be mean with money.

Dishonest management, company policy to cut x% of employees every year and shifting blame onto workers for bad decisions (or a lack of decisions) is part of the course.

Towards the end of my "career" I had one interviewer comment on having 5 jobs in 10 years. This is not due to the employee, but rather the way the system works.

Anonymous Coward commented on Headhunter Information Trolling.
You are correct. All recruitment consultants care about is getting their fee as fast as possible. They don't care about your career at all. They will sell you down the river in a heartbeat.

About a decade ago (and maybe still today, who knows) there was a trend to have "bodyshops" in the "IT"/computer software area. A "bodyshop" hires people in the hope of re-selling them to other companies later as contractors. If the "bodyshop" does it incorrectly, they will end up hiring a bunch of people, paying them salaries for a few months and then firing them if they fail to place them. Given the way Human Resources looks up people that only have jobs for a few months, these "bodyshops" are career graveyards.

I had a conversation with a recruitment consultant about a decade ago and he told me that he knows that some bodyshops practically ruin peoples' careers.

I went to a few interviews at quite a well known brokage business. I did well in their written and oral tests. Unfortunately they wanted to prolong the interview process by having a pub meeting after the formal interviews.

In the meantime a recruitment consultant arranged an interview for me at a bodyshop. I didn't know it was a bodyshop at the time. I got a job offer.

I would have liked to wait and go to the final pub meeting at the brokage house.

I was dealing with two different recruitment consultants at the same company. I was told the job offer from the bodyshop was only valid for 1 day and I had to cancel my brokage interview. I was pressurized and like a fool gave up my last pub meeting interview.

The other recruitment consultant at the same company, told me that I had been sold down the river and the brokerage job was the job someone with my background should have taken.

A month later I realized the bodyshop didn't have any real work for me and I resigned.

I was unemployed by one bodyshop for a week. The owner thought "FSK has a great background! I'll place him easily!" However, he wasn't able to do anything. He was just placing my resume on Dice and the other job boards, which I could have done myself. I don't list that on my resume.

Anonymous Coward commented on Headhunter Information Trolling.

That is the thing. You must realize what is going on quickly. It is too easy for weeks to turn into a month. Bodyshops want to string things out so they decide when your job ends.

Annoyingly the bodyshop was associated with another company doing real software development for a product. But they wanted Windows programmers and at the time my experience was in C/C++ on Unix and Java programming. Only later did I branch into Windows programming. Another stupid waste.

When at the bodyshop I did contact other places I interviewed at just before, but I think one place said the job was filled and the other place didn't get back to me, which is a pity as the interviewer was full of praise for the kinds of work I had done in the past. He even was familiar with the last company I had worked at and commented that that company was run by strange people and that they had got rid of the good people and kept the strange ones! He wasn't just bull*ing as he knew who had worked at the company in the past and what exactly they were like.

The interview was at a bank and perhaps they knew about the company from its venture capital funding.

Anonymous Coward commented on Headhunter Information Trolling.

The problem is that interviews take up a lot of time with their hour long written tests and their multiple oral questions. You have to visit 2 - 3 times during the interview process.

When a crap job or a bodyshop comes along and you accept their bogus job offer, it really messes you around. You lose all the time you have spent interviewing at real places.

It just means crap places with short interview processes win out over good places with longer interview processes.

For my current job, it was only a phone interview, nothing else. That was suspicious. I suspected it was a scam to get my SSN and personal information, until the first day of work.

The boss seems happy so far. I'm learning how to use the lousy database programs, including the bugs and workarounds, and explaining it to everyone else.

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