Monthly Archives: October 2012

Taxes And Profit Margins

I’ve heard some people say “When I started a business, I didn’t think about taxes. Taxes don’t affect my business decisions.” This is an excuse for higher tax rates.

That is nonsense. Taxes are a cost. They should be factored into every decision.

If taxes don’t affect business decisions, then why does every large corporation use offshore accounts and other accounting tricks?!

Suppose a business has a profit margin of 5%. If taxes are raised 10%, that business now has a loss of 5%.  Higher taxes turn a profitable business into an unprofitable business.

You must consider all the direct and indirect taxes a business pays. Most people only consider corporate income taxes. There are many other taxes.

There is the cost of a license, if a business requires a license. Most businesses require a license.

There are sales taxes. If customers pay a sales tax of 8.5%, that’s money taken away from purchases. If customers didn’t pay the 8.5% tax, they would have more money to spend.

There are income taxes on employee salaries. If there were no income taxes, salaries could be lower and workers would have the same take-home salary. Remember to include the employer-paid Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment tax. If businesses are required to buy employees health insurance, that is another tax.

There is the cost of regulation compliance. In State tax calculations, that does not count as tax paid. It is an expense. Most businesses pay a lot of money just to make sure they are following the payroll tax law correctly.

For many businesses, especially tech-based startups, there’s the patent tax. If you have a successful business, then other people may threaten you with a patent lawsuit. It’s cheaper to settle than go to trial. If you go to trial and win, you normally don’t recover legal fees and the time spent on the lawsuit. The threat of a patent lawsuit is a tax. It reduces the reward for success.

A pro-State troll says “Don’t infringe any patents and you have nothing to worry about.” Most patents are vague and the legal system is corrupt. Frequently, the victim in a patent lawsuit never heard about the patent until he was being sued.

All these taxes reduce the reward for starting a successful business. With high taxes, the reward for success is less. Notice that the business is nickled-and-dimed by many small taxes added together, rather than one huge tax.

It’s a “seen vs. unseen” fallacy.  Nobody sees the businesses that aren’t started due to high taxes. People only see large corporations that receive massive State subsidies, and they think that’s the natural outcome of a free market. With high taxes and high corruption, the most profitable businesses are those large enough to cash in on State subsidies.

A pro-State troll says “Taxes never affected someone’s decision to start a business.” For a Ponzi-based business like Facebook, Zygna, Groupon, and LinkedIn, taxes don’t matter much, because the underlying business model is fraud. For a business with real goods and services, margins usually are thin. Taxes are a huge cost. High tax rates change a profitable business into an unprofitable one.

Government-Funded Arenas And The NHL Lockout

Almost every major professional sports team plays in a government-funded arena. That is a huge State subsidy to sports league owners.

If NHL owners had to pay for their own stadium, that would be a lot of idle capital during a lockout. With no arena expense, the owners’ biggest expense is salary. With zero capital expenses, that make a lockout less costly.

For example, the Barclays center cost $1B. However, no NHL team plays there. In other cities, arenas would cost less. Suppose that the typical NHL arena cost $500M, and is shared with an NBA team.

Most arenas are shared with an NBA team. The arena holds other events on other days. However, during a lockout, it’s hard to schedule other high-paying events on short notice. If the arena costs $500M, the NHL fraction of the cost is approximately $150M.

The capital cost of each arena is approximately $150M. There are 30 teams. The NHL’s total arena capital expense should be $4.5B. In 2011, NHL revenue was $3B.

However, actual profits are much less. With a profit margin of 10%-20%, NHL profit would be approximately $300M-$600M. That’s a profit rate of approximately 10% compared to the capital cost of the arena.

If sports leagues had to pay for their own arenas, it would barely be a profitable business! The State assumes the capital expense. That is a huge State subsidy to sports owners.

Sports are bread and circuses, keeping the masses complacent. Also, sports league owners are billionaires and insiders. They can afford to lobby, in exchange for a State subsidy. If I start an entertainment business, I wouldn’t get the government to pay my capital expenses. That gives sports leagues an unfair advantage over smaller entertainment businesses.

The government finances sports league owners during a lockout, by paying for their stadiums and reducing their capital expense to practically nothing. With almost no capital expense, their biggest expense is player salaries. If owners had to pay for their own stadiums, a lockout would cost a *LOT* more money, due to the large amount of idle capital, the arena expense.

Almost all professional sports leagues play in government-financed arenas. That makes them more profitable. That subsidy also encourages owners to lock out their players. With State-financed arenas, owners don’t have idle capital during a work stoppage, making a lockout more financially attractive.

Outback Steakhouse – Good To Bad To Good – Another Classic Pump And Dump

Five years ago, I went to Outback Steakhouse and it was good. The quality deteriorated and I stopped going. A few weeks ago, I gave Outback Steakhouse another try, and the quality was good again.

Now that I have more emotional awareness, I’m better at detecting lousy food. I have less tolerance for rotten food. Like Gordon Ramsay, I can usually nearly instantly detect bad food. At its point of lowest quality, Outback Steakhouse had pretty bad food.

At one of my jobs, in 2008, there was an Outback Steakhouse on the ground floor. It was a huge office building. At lunchtime, the Outback Steakhouse was empty. It should have been packed. None of the workers in the building ate there, because the food was lousy.

Here are some interesting links, regarding Outback Steakhouse’s recent history.  Summarizing, in 2006, Outback Steakhouse was taken private. In 2009, Outback Steakhouse filed for bankruptcy. In 2012, it was taken public again.

Bain Capital leads the group of banksters profiting via Outback Steakhouse and financial tricks.

Outback Steakhouse is currently in the “pump” phase of the “pump and dump” cycle. With share lockout periods about to expire, insiders and Bain Capital are about to dump their overpriced shares on unsuspecting fools.

Negative real interest rates fuel hedge fund profits. Negative interest rates make financial tricks more profitable than running a stable business. That’s the reason it’s profitable to buy a business, load it up with debt, declare bankruptcy, and go public again.

Did the 2009 bankruptcy mean that Bain Capital lost money on the leveraged buyout? That isn’t necessarily true. Even though the buyout offer was for $3.2B, most of that was borrowed money. In a leveraged buyout. the target corporation finances its own buyout, as the hedge fend loads it up with debt. The hedge fund pays itself a huge dividend immediately after the buyout, getting most of its investment back. The hedge fund also gets a huge management fee, for running the business.

For example, suppose the leveraged buyout price is $3.2B. The hedge fund might only put up $500M and borrow the remaining $2.7B. The buyout target is the collateral for the loan. Shortly after the buyout, the hedge fund pays itself a dividend of $300M or more, leaving it a net investment of only $200M. If there is an inflationary boom, the buyout target increases in value to $10B. The hedge fund made a profit of $6.8B on a $200M investment in a few years. That’s a ridiculously high rate of return.

Even if there is a recession and no inflationary boom, the hedge fund can come out ahead. They pay themselves a huge dividend immediately after the buyout closes. There is a potential huge profit and at worst a small loss.

The hedge fund doesn’t do any real work. They’re exploiting the State subsidy of negative real interest rates. The hedge fund borrows at 5%-10%, while true inflation is 20%-30% or more.

This also is the reason that every corporation must have a lot of debt on its balance sheet. If a corporation had no debt, it would be a leveraged buyout target. Only huge corporations like Apple, Google, and Microsoft can afford to have huge cash reserves, because they’re too big to be a leveraged buyout target.

After a leveraged buyout, profits initially rise. Costs are cut. R&D budgets are slashed. It takes customers awhile to realize that the quality is gone, and stop going.

In a restaurant, when you switch to lousy food, it takes awhile for customers to leave. The first time you serve someone bad food, the customer thinks “They had a bad day. It used to be good, so I’ll give them another chance.” Eventually, customers abandon the restaurant. In the meantime, the restaurant gets an earnings boost.

Due to the way stocks and businesses are evaluated, any short-term earnings boost is extrapolated for the next 5-20 years. If the restaurant gets an brief earnings boost by cutting quality, that really increases the valuation. The valuation increase is a lot more than the short-term earnings boost, due to the effect of using a P/E multiplier to value businesses.  The hedge fund can borrow more money at the higher valuation, taking out as much cash as possible and paying itself a huge dividend.

With a high debt burden and lousy food, there’s a bankruptcy filing. The hedge fund (or another hedge fund) buys up all the bonds at a huge discount. They get control of the business after the bankruptcy.

The hedge fund maximizes its profit by having a severe bankruptcy crash! They get to buy low and sell high! Who loses? The loss comes from other banks and hedge funds, tricked into buying overpriced bonds. For example, a pension fund may have a huge loss buying overpriced bonds, while the hedge fund makes a huge profit.  The bondhonders sometimes come out ahead, when there’s an inflationary boom that makes the leverage and debt pay off.  The bonds pay junk/high interest rates, so the gains might offset the losses.  Again, that is possible because interest rates are negative.  A real return of 4-8% is a negative inflation-adjusted return, but it’s better than other bond investments.

With a leveraged buyout hedge fund, each deal is a separate corporation. Even though one business declares bankruptcy, that doesn’t affect the other businesses the hedge fund owns. The hedge fund also exploits the State subsidy of limited liability incorporation. Limited liability enables the hedge fund to declare bankruptcy and default.

If there is an inflationary boom, the hedge fund skips the bankruptcy part of the cycle. With lots of debt, high leverage, and high inflation, the hedge fund makes huge profits. The hedge fund takes the business public again via an IPO, and cashes out for a huge profit. In this case, the bondholders make a nice profit. They were earning high junk interest rates.

Then the hedge fund switched from lousy food to good food. Earnings skyrocket, and customers come back. They remember that the restaurant used to be good, so advertising or coupons entice them to try again.  Again, current earnings boost is extrapolated for the next 5-20 years.  By switching from lousy food to decent food, there’s a one-time earnings boost as customers return, *BUT* valuing a business by the 2nd or 3rd derivative of earnings gives that business a *HUGE* valuation.

At this point, the hedge fund has an IPO and sells the corporation back to an unsuspecting public. By restoring quality, the corporation has huge earnings growth. Clueless investors extrapolate, anticipating that high earnings growth will continue indefinitely.  Earnings only need to be padded for 2-3 quarters, and unsuspecting investors can be tricked into buying the shares.

Outback Steakhouse recently had its IPO. It’s at the “pump” phase of the pump and dump cycle. By switching to quality food and other accounting tricks, the hedge fund tricks clueless investors into buying. The high share price only needs to be maintained for 6 months, until share lock-up agreements expire and the hedge fund dumps its shares. Eventually, the share price tanks, the business is taken private in another leveraged buyout, and the cycle continues again.

For Outback Steakhouse, Bain Capital is profiting via financial tricks. This pattern applies to most leveraged buyouts. The blame lies not with Bain Capital. Bain Capital is merely exploiting the corrupt system that already exists; if they weren’t doing it, someone else would.  (However, banksters will always lobby against real reform.)  The blame lies with a corrupt monetary system. Negative real interest rates fuel hedge fund profits. Negative interest rates make it profitable to buy out a business and load it with debt.

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.

GCW Zero – Linux Gaming Handhelds Vs. Android Gaming Handhelds

There’s a new Linux gaming handheld, the GCW Zero. Compared to the Open Pandora, the price is reasonable. The price of the GCW Zero is $120+shipping. The Open Pandora is $500+shipping, $700+shipping for the 1GHz version.

If you’re interested in these non-mainstream gaming handhelds, the Obscure Handhelds blog is a good place to learn about them.

The best mobile games are old consoles, played in an emulator. I’m referring to Atari2600/Atari800/C64/Dosbox/MAME/NES/SNES/N64/GB/GBC/GBA/SEGA MASTER/SEGA GENESIS/GAME GEAR/PSX. (However, PSX and N64 handheld emulation varies in quality, depending in the hardware. It wasn’t clear if PSX and N64 work on the GCW Zero with 0 frameskip and 100% speed.) Both the Android and Linux gaming handhelds use emulation to get a large game library.

Technically, it’s illegal to download rom images via BitTorrent and play them in an emulator. It isn’t enforced, and if someone sued you, you might successfully argue that the copyright was abandoned. There’s no legal way to buy a collection of “all NES rom images”. Theoretically, I could hunt down old copies and buy them, but that money goes to collectors and not the original developers. I spend more time playing old games I liked, than exploring new ones.

I’m currently using my Motorola Droid 3 (Android) phone for gaming on the subway. I’m exploring other options.

I considered and rejected the idea of getting an old hacked PSP. The SONY memory cards are much more expensive than generic sd cards.

First, I’ll discuss the Droid 3. There are lots of flaws.

The external micro sd card is buried behind the back cover. That makes it hard to swap sd cards. With 16GB external sd and 16GB internal, that isn’t enough space to carry the full library of games I’d like.

I should buy an SD card case and swap memory cards. Unfortunately, the Droid 3 makes it hard to swap memory cards.  When I bought my Droid 3 phone, two 16GB micro SD cards cost less than one 32GB card.  I thought that I’d buy 2 cards and swap, but the Droid 3 design makes it hard.

The Droid 3 has *LOUSY* battery life, especially for something CPU-intesive like emulation. I only get 1.5-2 hours, requiring a recharge during the day. The battery is buried behind the back cover, making it hard to carry a spare battery. The Droid 4 is even worse regarding battery. For the Droid 4, Motorola made the stupid design decision of including a non-removable battery. If the Droid 5 has the same flaw, I might avoid it when it’s time to upgrade.  The Android OS crashes on me once a month, requiring a battery removal and hard OS reset.

The Droid 3 keyboard is not suitable for gaming. If I need multiple simultaneous keypresses, such as moving diagonally, or move+run+jump in Super Mario Brothers, then it doesn’t work well.

The emulators are low-quality. I’m using Yongzh’s *oid emulators (NESoid, Gameboid, etc.) I’m considering buying fpse, Dosbox Turbo, and the *.emu emulators. However, buying emulators comes close to the cost of a GCW Zero!

I don’t understand the proliferation of Android gaming handhelds. Why use Android OS when you can use a proper Linux OS? The Android OS is lousy for emulation. All code must run via the Java virtual machine, rather than run natively. There is C for Android, but it also compiles to Java bytecode rather than a native binary.

At this point, a troll says “Running bytecode in a JVM is just as fast as natively compiled C.” That hasn’t been my experience actually using it. I’ve heard a lot of people swear that just-in-time compiled bytecode is just as fast as natively compiled code, but my experiences with Java and .NET was that they were very slow and inefficient.  Also, Android doesn’t give apps direct control of the screen, sound, and input, leading to problems. The Android OS has other stupid design decisions, in addition to “all user code runs in the JVM”.

Why would anyone put Android OS on a gaming handheld, rather than Linux?

The Android handhelds also have a bizarre feature. Many have an “analog nub”, but it’s mapped to the D-Pad. Does the Android OS support analog game controller input? It’s a boneheaded design decision, to include an analog nub but map it to the same input as the D-pad.

The GCW Zero has a true analog nub. However, that only matters for some Dosbox games, N64, some PSX games, and some native LInux games. The Open Pandora has two analog nubs.

With the GCW Zero and Open Pandora, the emulators are 100% open-source, ports of other open-source emulators. The GCW Zero runs all Dingoo software, giving it a good library from the start. On Android, I have to pay for the best emulators (or root my phone and try hacked copies). Most of the good Android emulator ports are for-pay.

The GCW Zero does not have a keyboard. That would be a problem, because I could not use it for blogging. No keyboard would be a problem for Atari800/C64/Dosbox. It might be better to get the GCW Zero and the keyboard controller made by the Open Pandora team (iControlPad2), rather than getting an Open Pandora.

The GCW Zero costs only $120 compared to $700 for the 1GHz Open Pandora. That’s more than 5x cheaper! I’m much more willing to risk $120 on a handheld purchase, than $700.

Open Pandora screwed over the early preorders, making them wait for years. They are using profits from new sales to cover the loss on early preorders, because they are honoring the original preorder price. If new sales fund old orders, then shouldn’t the price should come down once all the old orders are filled?

For both the GCW Zero and Open Pandora, if I wait to buy, I should be able to get cheaper prices or more powerful hardware. However, if nobody buys the current version, there won’t be any sequels!

There’s another advantage of Open Pandora compared to Android. It’d be easier to write code on the Open Pandora. I could try writing a game while on the subway. However, with the right tools I might be able to code on the Android.

Here are the possibilities I am considering:

  1. Stick with Android, and buy the better for-pay emulators.
  2. Get the GCW Zero, but keep the Android phone for blogging.
  3. Get the GCW Zero, and the iControlPad2 made by the Open Pandora team.
  4. Get an Open Pandora, and downgrade to a non-smartphone when my contract expires.
  5. Get the GCW Zero, and later upgrade to an Open Pandora or GCW Zero v2.0.

I never understood the proliferation of Android gaming handhelds.  Android OS is a lousy choice.  Why use Android and cripple your device, when you can use Linux?

The GCW Zero is an interesting mobile gaming alternative. It’s cheaper than my Droid 3 and an Open Pandora. With a proper controller and a Linux OS, it should be better for gaming than my Droid 3. The only negative is the lack of keyboard, which I use for blogging on my phone. However, it’s best to wait until non-GCW-insiders have the handheld, for an unbiased review.

Headhunter Information Trolling

Many headhunters post fake ads.  They post the ad to collect resumes, rather than having a specific opening that matches the ad.

On most Internet job boards, you don’t always know who is posting the ad.  Even if you say “I refuse to answer ads by X.”, you could always be responding to a fake ad.  One headhunter even said “Why are you sending me a resume even though I spoke with you already?”  I replied “Put your name in the ad, and I’ll know to not answer.”

Many sleazy headhunters ask “Tell me all the places you’ve interviewed and the hiring manager, so I don’t double-submit you.”  They are merely fishing for information, trying to find out who else is hiring.  I always say “I haven’t had any other interviews.”, even if that’s a lie.  I’m offended when a headhunter is fishing for leads, rather than trying to help me.  Besides, any non-sleazy employer works with only a few headhunters and has policies to prevent double-submissions.

I recently found a short-term contract.  I stopped sending out resumes.

There are a few headhunters that I haven’t heard from in months.  Now, they’re calling me.

It’s obvious what happened.  They saw I stopped responding to their fake ads.  They realized I found a job.

They want to find out where I’m working, so they can try to place other people with the same client!  They are calling me now.  They aren’t interesting in placing me.  They are merely trolling for information, trying to find out where I’m actually working.

Workplace Caste System

At my new job, I’m working at a huge bank. There’s an obvious workplace caste system

There are 4 types of offices on the floor.

At the lowest tier is an open area. Desks are packed together closely with no space or privacy. This is where I’m sitting.

At the next tier are cubicles.

At the next tier are offices, located by the windows on the side.

At the highest tier is the corner office. It’s also larger than the other offices.

In the lobby, they have a janitor mopping the floor all day. The expression on his face says “I can’t believe I’m such a pathetic loser that this is the best job I can get. Is this all life has to offer for me?” It’s also a brilliant mind-control method, although I don’t know if anyone did it on purpose. When a janitor is mopping the floor all day, that’s a subtle reminder to everyone else, “No matter how much your job sucks, at least you aren’t this pathetic loser.”

Once in awhile, I see one of the higher-ranking managers. If I smile at them, their reaction says “How dare low-ranking scum like you be friendly with me!” That’s offensive. It’s a symptom that the leaders have evil tendencies and an exaggerated sense of their self-importance. If you’re working on the same floor as someone, you should be somewhat friendly.

A bank workplace has a clearcut caste system. Legally, everyone is equal, but some people are more equal than others.

“State Gambling Supports Schools!” Fnord

I saw a commercial that said “Support racetracks and casino gambling in New York! The tax revenue from gambling supports schools!” That’s a clever trick. By using the revenue for schools, that justifies the State gambling monopoly.

“We use the gambling revenue for schools!” is a distraction. Suppose that casino tax revenue is $100M/year. That money is added to the school budget *BUT* the government reduces the school budget allocation by $100M.

Once government has tax revenue, they may use it for any purpose they want. Even if a specific tax is allocated to X, that merely reduces the money that would otherwise be allocated to X. That is a common propaganda trick, a tax increase allocated for a specific purpose, confusing people into supporting it.

Gambling is not evil. The State gambling monopoly is evil.

Gambling is a consensual contract between two adults. They should be free to do whatever they want. The “benefit” of outlawing gambling is not “It’s immoral!” By outlawing non-approved gambling, that subsidizes the State-licensed gambling cartel.

State casinos and racetracks are given a State license, with limited competition. Due to the monopoly/oligopoly, State gambling offers worse odds and earns higher revenues, compared to what a free market casino would offer. Part of this revenue goes to the State tax fund. A greater amount goes to corruption. That money goes to salaries for executives, lobbying, and bribes.

Once in awhile, State police crack down on an unlicensed gambling business. It can be high-stakes poker, sports gambling, or other gambling. The State media says “Gambling is immoral and should be stopped!”, justifying the raid, kidnapping, and theft. In reality, State insiders are cracking down on competition to their gambling monopoly. Morality cloaks the monopoly perk granted by the State.

Whenever police shut down “unlicensed gambling”, they are protecting the State gambling monopoly. The people who operate the State gambling monopoly earn economic rent due to the lack of competition. This stolen money is shared between the executives and politicians.

Some of the gambling tax revenue is allocated to specific projects. That’s a fnord, helping to make the gambling monopoly seem beneficial. If a specific tax is allocated to X, that merely reduces the money that would otherwise be allocated to X. That’s a common trick. People can be tricked into supporting a tax increase, if it’s for a specific purpose.

Reader Mail – 09/23/2012 To 09/29/2012

Khadija commented on About FSK.
I came across your old blog on superheroes not killing.

I can give a pretty straightforward explanation:

Before WW2 superheroes and pulp heroes were usually independent vigilantes, who might work with the police but usually spent just as much time fighting and avoiding them. They weren't afraid to slap a judge or a mayor around, and would kill thugs almost casually. A major theme of pre-WW2 superhero comics was some villain or another trying to embroil the U.S. in the continental wars.

WW2 changed all that. Superhero comics, in order to be allowed to be printed, were more or less forced to convert into propaganda rags for the American and British murderers. What economic pressure didn't do brain-dead statist ideology did.

Of course, the superheroes killed plenty of Nazis. It was after WW2 when the 'comics code authority' was implemented, essentially similar to the rating system of today; a ridiculous and arbitrary set of rules in order to keep the State from doing something even worse.

It is out of these two events - WW2 and the Comics Code Authority - that we get the superhero who cooperates with the police, has moderately left-wing/pro-democracy political views and doesn't kill people who clearly deserve it. This is also why almost every exception to the rule ends up being a supervillain (Supreme Power comes to mind).

It's so entrenched with the major players in the industry, along with the mainstream leftism that typifies most artists and writers in America or Europe, that it is pretty much impossible to expect a repeal before the copyright scam collapses. A few exceptions exist (Punisher being a noteworthy example), and these are more or less floating aberrations which are ignored by the cognitive dissonance which most people are expert at.

That is the problem when a few media corporations control all publishing. It leads to censorship. If your ideas are non-approved, you don't get published. That's the reason almost no celebrity publicly criticizes the IRS or Federal Reserve. If they did, the mainstream media would never promote them.

The Internet changes the equation somewhat. However, the mainstream media wields a lot of influence. It's almost impossible to reach a large audience without mainstream media support.

Almost everything that was written in the 20th century is copyrighted and owned by some corporation. Characters like Superman and Batman should be in the public domain. If I wrote and sold my own Superman or Batman story, I would be sued.

It's ironic that Disney's early movies were based on public domain stories, and now they're one of the biggest advocates for stricter copyright law and copyright extensions.

I'm offended that most superheroes act like an extension of the State.

8==D--(-_-) commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.
At least I don't come across as many smug assholes in the PHP community.

It's really hard to want to try it at all without being afraid I'll wind up as arrogant and douchy as you.

There's a lot of amateurs because it's the language of choice for the vast majority of web developers, and subsequently wannabe developers. It's like how Mac partially receives less viruses only because it is less common.

At the end of the day, it's a personal choice, like Coke vs Pepsi. Stop trying to make it a fucking war.

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

With nosql, you lose transactions and all the other nice things your rdbms does for you.

Actually, this is not true. I know one nosql database, Mnesia that is fully ACID:

DRK commented on Motorola Droid 4 Mistake - No Removable Battery.
Let me add, my son's Droid4 went nuts last night. Out of the blue playing LOUD music at full volume ---- we could not turn off the droid nor control the audio volume. He panicked and tried to remove the battery, only to tear the battery flex harness in killing the phone. Now I find we cannot buy a replacement repair battery either.

There is NO user Master RESET button on the Droid4 to disconnect the battery from the Droid for a hard turn off/reset. In this the Droid4 is a crap design in not allowing battery power removal to invoke a hard reset!!! Sr. Test/MFG EE w/MS-EET.

I have a Droid-X and I find I need to do a hard master reset about ever two weeks due to it going into some funky operation. A hard battery removal reset always fixes it!!!

Ron Helwig commented on Business Insider Trolls Against Gold.
"You can get 1/10 or 1/4 or 1/2 oz silver coins from APMEX, which is good if you’re using silver as barter money. APMEX fractional silver is a better deal than Shire Silver."

If you're talking about investments, yes using APMEX is a better deal than Shire Silver. But Shire Silver isn't meant to be used as an investment. Its meant to be used as a currency or barter tool.

No one except hardcore gold/silverbugs are going to use traditional bullion for trade. Its too inconvenient, bulky, heavy, and the smaller coins are difficult for people to use. For example, how many times have you dropped a penny or dime on the floor only to have it roll under the store counter?

The masses moved to paper because for most purposes it is superior to coins. They don't really care about inflation as long as its low and relatively consistent - even if in the long term it is very harmful. And even if we could temporarily get people back to using coins during a SHTF scenario, as things settle out people will desire a return to the convenience of paper. And of course, the typical "Problem! Reaction! Solution!" solution of the banksters would have everyone returning to a system that gives them control. That is where Shire Silver really shines. It breaks the cycle of control by giving the people a precious metal based currency that is approximately as convenient as paper.

And seriously, ounces are retarded.

There are lots of defects with Shire Silver.

Silver rounds are a much cheaper cost per ounce than Shire Silver. I don't see the point of paying the substantial premium for Shire Silver.

Shire silver still is based on FRNs as money, according to this link. 1 gram = $2, 5 grams = $10. That is wrong thinking. The exchange rate from silver to FRN should be floating and not fixed.

1 troy ounce is 31.1 grams. 1/10 fractional APMEX round is $4.67 right now. To get 3.11 grams of shire silver, that costs $6.22. Shire silver is 33% more expensive than generic silver rounds.

It isn't that hard to convert from grams, troy ounces, or FRNs. I know how to multiply and divide and use a calculator. Fortunately for you, the people who use Shire Silver are mathematically and economically illiterate. They are idiots for paying such a huge premium to generic silver rounds.

Shire Silver is another scam like the Liberty Dollar, charging people ridiculous premiums compared to generic silver rounds. You're exploiting people who want to use gold and silver as money, and charging ridiculous markups.

I don't see the advantage of cards vs. rounds. I could always laminate or protect my rounds. Even if cards are better, it isn't worth a 33% premium.

1/10 of an ounce is small enough to make change for most transactions.

And seriously, you are retarded and anyone who uses Shire Silver is retarded. Shame on you for overcharging people for silver. Shame on the people who use them, for getting fooled so easily.

Anonymous Coward commented on Shire Silver Is A Scam!.
I prefer silver coins with a matt or satin finish compared to reflective and shiny.

Ron Helwig commented on Shire Silver Is A Scam!.

Wow, you got a bunch wrong.

First, the exchange rate does float. Watch the price for a while and it'll be obvious. Duh. Maybe actually read about it on the MSRP page?

The markup on the 5 gram card is the same as on the half gram card because that's required for it to be a workable currency. I used to make them different, with the 5 gram being at a lower premium than the 1 gram, but people complained. Besides, making the 5 gram cards is way more work - trying to place the strips of silver nicely is a pain. But then you wouldn't know until you tried it, and that takes work; something you probably don't understand.

As far as the premium being too high, how much do you complain when you order a salad? After all, most salads are priced higher than the spot price of lettuce. Even then, if you compare equivalent products Shire Silver does well. Heck, they're selling a one gram silver bar for $9 ( ) so how does that not deserve being labeled a scammer?

And just because you might not see the benefit in laminating the metal into thin cards that fit well into wallets doesn't mean that other people don't. Merely not accepting the value does not make something a scam. Is a Ferrari a scam just because I think the price is too high for me?

Shire Silver is NOT intended to be used for investing. We've made that clear. If you want to buy a bunch of metal to sit in a safe then go buy something else. But the kind of silver you'd stick in a safe for eventual redemption is not appropriate for everyday trade, and pretty much no one is going to use that on an ongoing basis. That's where Shire Silver shines. You can have some with you all the time without it being a pain in the ass. Comparing a half gram card's markup to that of an ounce bar doesn't make sense. They're different markets. Its like comparing a car's value for travelling to visit the relatives on the other side of the country to that of a bicycle used for a short business commute.

"1/10 of an ounce is small enough to make change for most transactions. APMEX fractional silver is intended for use as barter money." - that made me laugh. You pointed out that 1/10th ounce is almost $5, which is no where near small enough to be change for an everyday transaction. Besides, no one is going to haul those around all the time. Seriously, just think about the ramifications of trying to use rounds. Do you think people will return to using pouches or coinpurses tied to their belts?

And just so your other two readers know, we never would have found out about this backwater on the web if it wasn't for Google Alerts. It scans the web, doing a search for specified terms, letting watchers know about instances of the term. I thought about not responding since almost no one is going to read your post anyway, but the Internet remembers and people can search. There's more I could write, but if anyone cares they can check for themselves and I've spent enough time on this as it is.

c la commented on Shire Silver Is A Scam!.

Interesting silvershire website is no longer active, needs to renew with godaddy.

sounds like a shady company, only playing into peoples fears and ignorance. In my opinion... silver will only be used for barter in isolated instances. we will always have a fiat currency, less a mass population decrease. via ww3, famine, or disease. Otherwise it is simply a hedge against the endless money printing going on worldwide.

Consider this. Today if I went into any retail store and tried to pay in silver they would turn me away. However, today at this very minute I could use my silver to trade for goods with individuals. Neighbors, friends ect... anyone who knows what the current value of silver is.

Conclusion... Silver is only a hedge against a shrinking dollar. It has real value but lacks liquidity. Recommendation... Trade any dollar you don't need to spend into silver(as close to spot price as you can find). Also Keep dollars on hand because in the event of an economic collapse, Credit and debit cards will be the first thing to stop working. Retailers won't accept silver in the early stages cash only! Then they will just close there doors because of the uncertainty and wait untill the new system emerges. During this time ur silver will be worthless, people will only want to trade for tangable goods they are no longer able to get at the market, food, medicine, ect... Dollars will also be worthless. This is where silver has the edge, as the new system emerges silver will have retained its value, along with all other comodities (gas, food, oil, ect...) and you will be able to trade your silver for the new FIAT currecy, as the dollar will no-longer exist. Basically you need to diversify! Most in Silver/Gold, keep some dollars for the transitional period (or natural disasters, where power outages occur) Oh! and don't forget to stalk up on food and clean water. Guns and Ammo should have been a forgon conclusion.

c la:

The best place for long-term savings is in physical silver/gold/platinum. Platinum is impossible to counterfeit, compared to gold and silver. Another advantage of metal is portability. If you need to leave in a hurry, you can take your savings with you.

In a potential SHTF scenario, you should keep some small-denomination silver, in case you need it as barter money.

If you keep your long-term savings in physical metal, you limit your loss to theft via inflation. It's too inconvenient to live without any State paper money at all.

Ron Helwig:

I can tell by your hostile tone that this is an important subject and I am right. Shire Silver is essentially the same scam as the Liberty Dollar, charging ridiculous premiums to spot silver.

The Liberty Dollar changed its "official price" when the melt value came close to the face amount. When silver reached $8/oz, the Liberty Dollar moved from $10/oz to $20/oz. When silver reached $16/oz, the Liberty Dollar would have moved to $50/oz. Shire Silver does periodically change the "official price", but always leaves a huge premium.

To be most honest, the exchange rate between silver and State paper money should float daily. With Shire Silver and the Liberty Dollar, the exchange rate does not float daily, because the premium is ridiculously high.

Let's review the actual cost of the 1 gram card. I'll stick with the numbers in the original post, where spot silver is $34.55/oz and the 1 gram "Shire Silver" card costs $2. There are 31.1 grams per troy ounce. The silver content costs $1.11.

If you buy silver wire in bulk, you pay a premium of only 5%-10% to spot silver. For example, this source seems to sell silver wire for an 11% premium to spot. You can do better if you shop around. If you know someone with the right tools, you can make your own silver wire.

So, the silver wire costs $1.22 per $2 card.

You can buy laminating machine blanks for $20 per thousand. So, the laminating machine blank costs $0.02 per $2 card. The paper insert also costs less than $0.02 per card. If you include the depreciation of your lamination machine, printer, and equipment, the total laminating cost is less than $0.08 per card.

So, the actual cost is $1.30 per $2 1-gram card.

The remaining cost is labor, $0.70 per $2 card. If you have a good setup, you should be able to make 30+ card per hour. That's an effective salary of $21 per hour. That's a pretty nice salary.

The 5 ounce cards are an even bigger bargain for you. The silver cost is the same percentage, $6.10 per $10 card.

The cost of lamination is the same, $0.08 per $10 card. The raw materials are $6.18 per 5-gram card.

Your labor is $3.82 per $10 5-gram card. If you can make 30 per hour, your salary is $114 per hour!

That's a pretty sweet deal. If you can trick people into buying your overpriced Shire Silver cards, that's a really nice salary. My estimate of 30 card per hour is conservative. I bet you can make more than that per hour, unless you're as stupid as your customers.

When I estimate the actual costs of your Shire Silver card, you're obviously ripping off your customers.

Also, the 5-gram card should not be 5x the price of the 1-gram card, especially when the card has such a huge labor cost. If the "labor cost" of the card is 0.5 grams of silver, then the "5-gram" card should have only 3 grams of silver. Then five 1-gram cards would have the same value as one 5-gram card.

APEX fractional silver has the same defect. Five 1/10 oz silver rounds are worth more than one 1/2 oz round.

I considered the possibility of using copper rounds for change. I could not find any reasonably-priced copper rounds.

Regarding the other points in your trolling comment.

It is invalid to compare the 1 gram Shire Silver to the 1 gram trinkets on APMEX. Those are intended as collectible/numismatic, and not for use as bullion or barter money.

The salad analogy is invalid. A better analogy is one store sells a salad for $2 and another store sells the same salad for $3. The salads are identical (portion size, quality, store location, etc.). Obviously, the $2 salad is a better deal. Every business, including APMEX, charges more than the cost of raw materials. My complaint is that Shire Silver is ridiculously overpriced compared to the cost of raw materials and labor.

If the store owner prices his goods in terms of silver, prices in multiples of 0.1 ounce, then silver as barter money should work. You can always use State money for change.

The best fractional silver/gold system is E-Gold and E-Silver. That was ruined by State violence, and not because it's a bad idea. Ideally, you should be able to get a bank account denominated in gold and silver, then use it as easily as writing a check or a debit card.

When the Internet first became popular, some E-Gold businesses started. The laws were changed to make such a business illegal and unprofitable. The biggest risk of E-Gold is that your metal will be stolen by criminals wearing badges and uniforms. There is the risk of theft by ordinary criminals. There is the risk of theft by the bank, via fraud or fractional reserves.

I don't understand why you're insulting my reader volume. My website has an Alexa rank of 850k (300k in the USA). Shire Silver has an Alexa rank of 2.8M. has an Alexa Rank of 1.3M (250k in the USA). I have a much better Alexa rank than your website, and a comparable Alexa rank to The Alexa Rank probably underestimates my true readership, because my regular readers probably won't install the Alexa spying toolbar.

According to Piwik, I have ~150 regular readers. According to my raw Apache logs, I have ~500 regular readers, but I don't filter out bots from the raw Apache log script.

If laminated silver wire really is the wave of the future, there will be competitors who undercut you on price.

I stand by my original analysis. Shire Silver is priced at a ridiculous markup compared to the raw materials and labor. You are hostile to my post, because I pointed out your scam. Just like Bernard von Nothaus, you are exploiting people who want to use an alternate currency, but are too stupid to analyze things. Shire Silver is inferior to APMEX fractional silver, for people who want to use silver as barter money. When I buy something, I typically spend $10 or more, so APMEX fractional silver would suffice. If necessary, change can be made with State money.

Anonymous Coward commented on New Job! - Data Analyst.
Congratulations on getting the job, although it isn't a good job for you.

As you say you are free to do creative work in your free time. Hopefully your job won't sap your creative energy and leave you free to do what you want at the weekends.

I just hate recruitment for software developers. It is just an insane buzzword bingo.

I hate dealing with fools that act as job gate-keepers.

As you prefer they prefer to interview people for months rather than just take someone and let them learn new skills in the first month.

I got contacted by a big company recruiter a few months ago. I program in C# and haven't programmed in Java and C/C++ for many years, although I did do lots of programming in those languages. I wanted the recruiter to contact the interviewing team to see whether they would make allowances for a C# programmer, but it seems I couldn't get him to consider this point. Just another stupid waste!

It's a "good enough for now" job. It isn't a dream job.

Reasons it is a bad job:

- I'm ridiculously overqualified. It's a waste of my abilities. However, I've also been ridiculously overqualified for all the programmer jobs I've had.

- It's useless experience if I go back to a wage slave programmer job. However, if I get experience in language X, that has zero value applying for jobs using Y.

Reasons it's a good job:

- Maybe I should make a career switch from programmer to data analyst?

- The pay is decent, comparable to my last few programmer jobs.

- I'm old enough for age discrimination to start mattering. I'm not that old! A 25-30 year old evil hiring manager will never hire someone older, more experienced, and smarter.

- For a programmer job, you need an exact skills match. For this job, they are spending a *MONTH* showing me how to use the programs. There must be a shortage of data analysts, if the employer is willing to do this.

- In programming interviews, I'm insulted by many of these questions. I have a CS degree from a top university and 10+ years of experience, and they're asking me basic skills questions and trivia about obscure language features? Sample stupid questions are "Q: multiple inheritance in C++" I don't use multiple inheritance, and you normally shouldn't. "Q: In C#.NET, what happens if you edit a collection while looping over it." Seriously, what kind of idiots edit a collection while you're looping over it?

- A lot of people say "There's a shortage of programmers!" If that were really true, employers would be willing to hire people who aren't a perfect skills match.

- I suspect the programmer job market is flooded with mediocre workers, and evil management. If you're an evil manager, it's easier to try to extract productivity out of mediocre people, than hire someone talented. As a really talented person, I'm different and therefore rejected.

- If a mediocre evil programmer is looking for a job, he'll lie on his resume. He'll say he has 20 years of .NET experience if that's what the ad requests. Liars have an advantage over me, because they pass the keyword screening phase.

- In 50+ interviews over the past few years, not a single employer has said "Wow! FSK is really smart! I want him working for me!" I know I'm really talented, but employers don't appreciate it. In fact, most evil managers feel threatened when they see I'm competent.

- It's better than staying home all day. Seriously, I've had zero traction in my search for a computer programmer job. It's time to try something else.

- I can still write software in my free time. With a non-programming job, maybe I'll be more motivated to work on personal projects? The only drawback is that I have very little time left over after working.

I've never heard of a programming job where they let people learn on the job. It's always a demand for an exact skills match.

Why leave a job open for months, instead of hiring someone and letting them learn? If you're an evil manager, it's an ego boost when lots of people are sucking up to you and begging for a job.

Anonymous Coward commented on New Job! - Data Analyst.

You seem to express more elegantly that I could in writing, my own exact thoughts about ludicrous software developer recruitment.

You have a bunch of fools in big tech companies doing very little that is really productive and defining themselves as clever because they got through the recruitment process rather than actually doing real, useful work. They cannot do real useful work because the companies they work for only exist through monopolies.

The initial founders did the difficult technical work. Eventually the company ends up hiring dumb cannon fodder. They congratulate themselves on how clever they are.

But we only know the HARD TRUTH.


Profit is not stealing via a monopoly position.

Who is more clever? The person who makes a huge salary while stealing and destroying wealth? The person who builds a business, only for others to steal it via taxes and other tricks?

In a real sense, the evil parasite is more "clever", until the entire system collapses under increasing corruption.

When a VC invests, he wants a good Ponzi or a business that can survive on inertia once its run by idiots. Examples of a good Ponzi are FaceBook, Twitter, Groupon, etc. Examples of businesses that are sustainable via the State once idiots take over are eBay, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, GM, Google, etc.

It might be a bad idea to build a genuinely profitable business (unless you do it agorist-style), because then you're only feeding State crime.

Justin commented on New Job! - Data Analyst.

Grats FSK. Be good, survive to the end, and parlay this into something better :)

It's a 3 month contract, with the possibility of an extension.

I'm starting to wonder about "I'm ridiculously overqualified." They gave us a bunch of instructions.

- If A, do X.

- If B, do Y.

- If C, do Z.

My coworkers are saying "If B, do X.", and I'm having a hard time explaining it to them.

Anonymous Coward commented on New Job! - Data Analyst.

> Examples of businesses that are sustainable via the State

>once idiots take over are eBay, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, GM,

>Google, etc.

The Google clowns have an interesting business model.

They seem to have given up trying to write any more useful software (i.e. Google clown search) and are just about buying in stuff with a check book.

The Google Clowns purchased the Android operating system (itself based on Linux) from another company.

The Google Clowns then give away the Android operating system FOR FREE to hardware manufacturers of smartphones such as Samsung and Motorola.

They presumably hope to get some payback from buying and giving away free at a later date. Someone else will in effect by paying for the Android operating system. This could be advertisers.

The Google Clowns are about a big check book funded by advertisers.

If the Google Search is good, then there is less need for a producer of a good product to pay for an advert.

Herein lies the conflick. If the Google Clown is a good and honest clown, it won't make as much money. What should a clown do?

Anyway there are a bunch of arrogant clowns and they have given up writing software and they just take code from Konqueror for "their" Chrome web browser and buy in stuff as they need it.

They aren't really a technology company anymore.

They are just a shell that is only capable of moving money from advertisers to third party companies writing real software.

Google has one big cash cow. That's the search engine and search advertising. Google loses money on everything else they do.

Really, Google should stick to that, and pay out all the profits as dividends.

For the CEO of a big corporation, the goal is empire-building. As a large corporation, Google can borrow at artificially low rates. Hedge funds borrow cheaply and buy shares of Google, making it easy for Google to finance buyouts by issuing new shares.

Because Google may borrow at negative real interest rates, the incentive is for the CEO to buy up as much stuff as he can, rather than return profits to shareholders. The bigger Google is, the more executives can leech via salary and option grants.

Google has become another boring big tech corporation, rather than truly innovating.