Reader Mail – 06/02/2013 To 06/08/2013

thisguy commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.
You should write books!

That's on my list of things todo.

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

Alot of your analysis is terrible, and your premises suck. True, there's was alot of hype around Ruby and Rails, then Python and Django, now JS and Node.js. The exaggerated amount of hype doesn't mean any of them suck. There are phenomenal successes and fantastic failures that involve all of these technologies, because in the end, picking a good technology won't build the product for you.

By the way, you have obviously succumbed to the anti-Node hype, seeing as how you claim Node.js can't use more than 1 core. It can - you spawn more processes and use message-passing between them, just like you would to parallelize Ruby or Python. It's actually quite easy to run parallel processes on Node (and Ruby and Python...).

Node of course also has the advantage of leveraging the V8 interpreter, which is very, very quick (for a dynamic interpreted language that is). If you know Javascript well enough (or one of the languages that compiles down to it), Node.js is a great choice - fast, lots of libraries, good design, easy to set up/be productive.

Good programmers will probably be successful using just about any technology - Ruby, Python, PHP, Perl, Java, Scala, .NET, Clojure, Node.js, Haskell, even Common Lisp and OCaml. Bad programmers will just blame the technology when they fail, and will probably write shitty generic code in a 'safe' technology (usually some MS technology that gives them alot of hand-holding...).

Kevin R Wise commented on Do Disabled Veterans Deserve Respect?.
You are a stupid person and that is okay. I was injured severely defending your right to free speech. What you people don't realize is that we fight on other countries soil so that the wars stay their and do not come to our soil. As a person that has been all over the world and in countries that do nto have free speech, you should thank a soldier every day that we were their to stand up and fight. Without men and women like us we would be a British State, or speaking Japanese. Without us you guys would have nothing.

I went in knowing the risks and now am medically retired. If you have an issue with that tough shit. I believe in free speech and know with certainty that without us there would be none.

Brian commented on Rise Of Legends - No Patch Server! - v2.5 patch.
Thanks for this mate.

Steve Gaffney commented on Don't Sign An NDA Before A Programming Job Interview.
Thank you for this information. I will definitely keep it in mind while job searching/interviewing.

MikeB commented on Yahoo Will Buy Tumblr And Ruin It.
Flickr is better than ever now...

MikeB commented on How To Win A Stock Picking Contest.
In a contest where there is no real money lost, of course you should take the highest reward risk. That doesn't mean the same trader will take the same risk with real money. A smart trader knows the difference - when to take a risk and when to play it smart.

I definitely don't want someone "smart" like Jon Corzine managing my money.

Whenever you are playing with other people's money, the incentive is to take unnecessary risks, because you get to keep the profit when you're right and it's not your loss when you're wrong.

Anonymous commented on Reader Mail - 05/19/2013 To 05/25/2013.
One theme of your blog is that government monopolies and forced taxation is bad.

I think that healthcare should be provided by the government and paid for our of taxation. Some decades ago the National Health Service probably worked well in the UK.

But successive Labour and Conservative governments have wrecked it with increased bureaucracy and increasing privatization, such that hospitals are paying more and more of their budget to private firms to do very little. Effectively the NHS is a cash cow for their friends.

I was born in the United Kingdom and have a UK passport. I have lived here most of my life and pay the high taxes here. If you add up all the taxes we pay probably 60% of our income.

Yet I am trying to see a National Health doctor for a minor ailment. I can't.

My registered GP now works privately and has a locum filling in for him. It was a waste of time seeing him. I then went to the hospital up the road where they have a walk in clinic. THIS IS IN THE SMALL AREA OF LONDON IS WAS BORN IN. Yet this hospital tells me I am not in their catchment area. They only told me this just before my registered appointment so it effectively just wasted my time when I could actually have been trying to get another appointment.

There was a debate on the BBC television programme Question Time about whether it is right that illegal immigrants over here access our National Health Service for free. What a joke? I am a UK citizen paying UK taxes and I can't access out National Health System.

I am told I can't even attend the walk in clinic of the nearest hospital (and incidentally right in the small area of London I was born in) because I am outside their catchment area.

You are wrong. The main reason healthcare is expensive is that the State artificially restricts the supply of doctors, via the licensing cartel. Nationalized healthcare is a patch for a State-cause problem, the artificial shortage of doctors due to licensing requirements.

You're making the classic fallacy. The government causes a problem (undersupply of doctors and high prices). The solution is to give the government more power, via nationalized health care.

Anonymous commented on Reader Mail - 05/19/2013 To 05/25/2013.

I did hear somewhere (probably a comment on that a lot of A level students with straight A grades tried to get into a UK medical school, but found there weren't the places.

The result of this is that a substantial number of our doctors have to be imported from abroad.

If I didn't have to pay 60% of my income in taxes (due to tax law in the UK I can get hit with very large tax bills due to increasing property prices with taxes proportional to market values), then I would have the money to see a private doctor.

What seems to happen is that a private company builds a hospital or clinic at a vastly increased cost and so the NHS trust (government) has to keep paying this private company vast amounts of money each year (for ever or at least 30 years into the future). The results is there is no money actually to treat and see patients. All the money ploughed into the NHS from taxpayers goes straight out again to private companies and the banks they have taken out loans from.

Effectively a big pile of money is given away to private companies. The NHS falls apart. The staff of the private companies have the money to pay privately - everybody else is subsidizing them and as a result too poor to pay privately.

The banksters and their cronies end up the only people in the UK that can afford healthcare.

In the USA, each hospital is given monopoly access to 911 calls in a given region. If a group of doctors try to open a new hospital, then the OTHER HOSPITALS are the ones who lobby against opening it, preserving their cartel.

There are many qualified students who don't get into ANY medical school. There are people who want to work as a doctor, but are denied access to the profession by the licensing cartel. When you talk about high prices for healthcare, it's pointless to not also discuss the licensing cartel for doctors.

Theo commented on Who Would Forget To Repair The Roads?.
We have institutionalized 'that's not my table.'

ylabidi commented on Is The Go Programming Language Worth Learning?.
If your prime concern is something that will get you a job in the next 5-10 years, you probably should stick to Java or C#. Most of the enterprise development is done on top of these 2 platforms (J2EE and .NET) and if any major shift to a new platform is to happen, it's going to take some years, which leaves you enough time to recycle.

I do think however, that your premise for why to learn a language or a framework within a language's ecosystem is a bit shallow. There is more to learning a language than its popularity or performance.

1- First of all, performance is relative. It's not a mandatory requirement for all application domains. Of course there is always an expectation for a reasonable performance, but then again "how much reasonable is" depends on the requirements at hand.

2- Comparing Ruby, Java, Python or C++ to each other is meaningless. Each of these language came into being, and is used now, to solve more or less overlapping sets of problems. You'll almost never see a web application developed in C++. However you'll find web application developed in Python, Java and Ruby. Python and Ruby are mostly used for prototyping, rapid development and scripting. That's why you'll find them used a lot in startups. Twitter's back-end for example, was first developed in Ruby, then it was migrated to Java and Scala, once the service gained visibility, user-base, and performance became an issue. This example also tells you, that there is room to using more than one language within the life-cycle of one single product. And you might even use more than one language concurrently to develop different components for the same product.

3- The language shapes to a certain extent, the way you reason about the problems you are trying to solve. And learning a well-designed high-level language will introduce you to a set of constructs, abstractions, patterns that will help you model the problem in a minimalist/concise/efficient way. And at the end of the day, even if you have to develop your solution in a lower level language, you'll know what constructs and abstractions might make your life easier and use libraries that you wouldn't know they exist otherwise. And ultimately that's what makes you a better programmer and one worth hiring. It's not the language you know or think you know, it's your proficiency in reasoning about problems in an abstract way and your ability to choose the right tool for the job.

If my goal is to get a job, the only concern appears to be keyword matching on resumes.

The higher-level languages have their pros and cons. My experience with .NET and Java indicated that the performance slowdown can be a LOT more than 2x or 3x, especially for something calculation-intensive or data-intensive. If I were the head programmer for a startup (I doubt that I'll ever have the opportunity unless I bootstrap my own business), I would use a higher-level language to start and then rewrite the performance-critical parts in lower-level languages.

The other advantage of higher-level languages is the libraries that come packed with the language or addons. For example, it would be difficult to do the equivalent of PHP's file_get_contents (from a URL) in C/C++. However, I've had bad experiences with many packages, when the functionality I wanted didn't exactly match what the package provided, or I wind up getting stuck due to a bug in the package I'm using. In those cases, I usually wind up having to rewrite it myself.

I haven't met a single hiring manager who tried to evaluate overall ability, rather than just matching # of years experience in each language. Of course, I may not even make it to that stage of the interview, due to a lack of proper keywords on my resume.

Nobody is interested in a candidate who has a lot of experience, but not in the specific languages the employer is using. I should lie on my resume. Then, I'd have a lot more opportunities.

I'm pretty sure that I could learn any of these newer languages as needed. I'm concerned that, 5 years from now, something else will become popular, and then I'll be stuck with more useless experience on my resume. Even though Microsoft is heavily pushing .NET now, in a couple of years they may have something new that completely replaces .NET.

There's 100+ languages and frameworks out there, and every job ad DEMANDS EXPERIENCE IN THAT LANGUAGE AND FRAMEWORK. I don't just need C# experience; I also need LINQ experience. I don't just need Java experience; I also need Hibernate experience. Which should I invest time in learning? If I pick the wrong thing, I'm wasting my time. Even if something is popular now, that's no guarantee it will still be used 5 years from now.

It gets ridiculous after awhile. Some employer demand git experience. I've used subversion a lot, but that experience doesn't count. I specifically need git experience.

I agree that Java and C# are above-average choices. They're popular, good enough, but nothing special. However, most "senior" level Java and C# jobs require 5+ years of experience IN THOSE LANGUAGES, PLUS WHATEVER ADD-ONS THE EMPLOYER IS USING, and I've only used them a little. I'm "underqualified" for a senior programmer job, due to lack of the "correct" experience. I'm "overqualified" for an entry-level job. Therefore, it's hard for me to find any job at all.

ylabidi commented on Is The Go Programming Language Worth Learning?.

There is a reason why an employer would consider an experience with git as a mandatory requirement if your only experience with source code management tools is subversion. Git is a distributed source code management system and it enable a set of workflows completely different from those enabled by subversion. And some employers might consider the learning curve of a new scm/workflow as an overhead not worth investing for. If you had an experience with mercurial for example, I am sure a manager who knows what he/she's doing, will consider your application, because an experience with mercurial is transferable to git without much overhead.

Again statements like "The higher-level languages have their pros and cons" should be tied to a specific context. Pros and cons with respect to what exactly ? All is relative to a context.

Also I think you should rethink your approach to the whole notion of a career in software development, if you want to be successful in it. Since the inception of software development, newer languages overtaking older ones, newer design/analysis/programming paradigms overtaking older ones, older languages/paradigms coming back into fashion once more, is the normal trend. What's happening now, is that cycles are increasingly shortening.

And hoping for one single language or paradigm to be your ticket throughout your career is not realistic and nor is it practical. Software engineering like any other business is about solving problems. To solve problems there are fundamentals you should know about and master. The implementation technology, however is changing all the time. And that change is driven by practical needs. And in the case of software engineering, the needs revolve around 2 major axes:

1- accommodating newer hardware and newer paradigms of using the hardware

2- shortening the gap between how programmers think about software and how a machine understands it.

And I don't see any of these 2 goals being achieved anytime soon.

Bottom line, if you want to work in software development you have to accept the fact, that a minimum of continuous learning is not a luxury, it's must. And learning is not only about languages, it's about also about the fundamentals, about how the industry is changing on different scales, about the innards of software engineering, about the perception end-users have about how a software is used. All of that does have a direct impact, on software engineering.

For a typical team of 5-10 people, the differences between git and subversion are negligible. With git, you can do fancy stuff with branches and merges, but my experience is that it's always a headache. It's impossible to write a program that merges differences 100% perfectly, leading to problems.

I did give a context of higher-level languages pros and cons, things that are calculation-intensive and data-intensive. For those, the higher-level languages have much worse performance than I expected.

I don't object to learning new languages. My complaint is that I already need WORK EXPERIENCE in whatever the employer is using. Everyone says "learning it on your own doesn't count". Plus, there are so many things, which should I focus on? Overall skills are what's most important, but every employer focuses on keyword screening.

I am nearly certain that if I had 5+ years of experience in Java or .NET, I would have no trouble finding a job. It's all about the keywords. However, 5 years ago, I did not predict that they would be so popular. I should have done what some of my coworkers did, write key systems in .NET with lousy performance so they could pad their resume.

Software isn't like fashion, where a different style is popular every week. If experienced people are kicked to the curb every 5-10 years, then of course every recycled old trick like continuation-passing-style-callbacks seems hot and exciting. You need to keep churning the popular style to change with the fads? If you have high emotional intelligence and low logical intelligence, you follow the fads. There are some universal truths about software. The skills I learned on older projects are relevant for projects in newer languages, although employers don't value that experience.

You certainly sound like the clueless hiring managers on most of my interviews. I don't fit into the modern "software engineering" culture because it's dominated by twits like you. It's the "bad money drives out good money" problem. If almost all the leaders in an industry are evil and incompetent, then the best people are driven from the field.

ylabidi commented on Is The Go Programming Language Worth Learning?.

All I am saying is: change is the rule everywhere. You can embrace it and move on with your life, or you can keep whining about how great you are and how people are too dumb to see it :-).

And by the way I am not a manager. I am a developer :-). And If I was manager I wouldn't hire you. Not because you lack experience or talent. But because you lack adaptability and open-mindedness.

You completely missed the point of my post, which is "What should I spend my limited time and resources learning? Go? Something else?" I've always learned things as needed, but employers demand I have an exact keyword match for their job.

Why are you so eager to convince me that I'm a loser who deserves to never have another software job?

ylabidi commented on Is The Go Programming Language Worth Learning?.

I know what your post is about :-), and I answered that question. But I do think the question itself underlies what might be the real problem, of why you're finding it hard to find a job in the first place. And I am throwing in my 2 cents, hoping that it might be of help. And I am sorry if this turns out to offending for you and I'll cut it here.

Good luck!

Every employer asks for # years of experience in each language. I haven't been asked any programming theory questions or algorithms questions. I am aware that learning overall software skills is best if you value ability, but every employer focuses on keywords. The only reason I'm focusing on resume keywords is that's what the people doing the hiring are looking for.

I'm stuck now, because my resume keywords are considered obsolete. I need to add more current keywords, but which ones?

My skills for understanding requirements, going through legacy code and understanding/debugging, and understanding business logic should be valuable in any language. I have not found any employer who asks values that.

When was the last time you looked for a new job? Have you ever looked at any job boards?

ylabidi commented on Is The Go Programming Language Worth Learning?.

I've changed twice over the last 3 years, and I might do it again if the current experience turns out to be unsatisfying for me.

There is also something you should pay attention to. You chose an employer, the same way they chose you. Employers are not all keen on finding an exact match to a check-list. Some of them will take a risk (either by necessity or by intent) to invest on someone if he/she shows the aptitudes and willingness to learn and step outside the trail. I'll agree with you, those are not easy to find. But you'll eventually stumble on them. And all you need to do, is being methodical and perseverant, in your job search. I know this is not easy when the practicalities of life, are weighing in, but it's worth doing.

It also gets harder when you get older. I know it shouldn't matter, but I see it on his face when the hiring manager sees that I'm older than him. I'm not that old, but age discrimination starts to kick in at 40. People say "Why should we hire you when we can hire a recent college grad, or hire an H1-B visa who has to leave the country if we fire him?" They say "If we're going to hire someone who isn't a perfect match and let them learn on the job, why not hire a recent college grad instead of FSK?"

I have made some bad decisions, picking jobs that I knew weren't that great, but I needed a job. Then, it sticks with you, because you're only as good as whatever you worked on in your most recent job.

Dave commented on Is The Go Programming Language Worth Learning?.

Hey man,

The reason you're not getting jobs is because you're not a pleasant person. It would be a nightmare to work with someone like you. You are not an open-minded or flexible person. You are mostly negative. And you are not someone who questions his own assumptions. You think you're right all the time and know everything, but it's so clear to anyone who reads your posts how limited you really are.

You are not a mature person, and you need a little more of that "emotional intelligence" you seem to deride. When you become a more well-rounded person, then you will begin to see the folly of your ways and you might get a job.

Stop thinking you know everything and rethink your assumptions.

How much of my blog have you read? According to my piwik logs, you only read my post on "Test Driven Development" and this one.

I am open-minded. I'm also willing to call out a stupid idea as stupid. I'm much more polite at work and on interviews.

Actually, I might be too well-rounded. Most people want someone they can push around, rather than someone who's able to think for themselves. I don't find into the box of clueless abusable worker anymore, so that makes it harder.

It's much easier to think "FSK is having a hard time finding a job because he's a pathetic loser." rather than "There is a fundamental structural problem with the job market."

I don't understand why a post on "Should I learn Go?" degenerated into a discussion of "FSK can't find a job because he's so unqualified."

Here's an example from a recent interview.

Startup founder: We hired an outsourcing firm in India to develop version 1.0 of our product. We want to hire someone to put the final finishing touches so we can release.

[FSK mental translation: The Indian outsourcing company gave them a barely functional turd, but they're too clueless to notice.]

Startup founder: Look at our product and tell us what you think.

[FSK finds a bunch of obvious bugs and flaws.]

FSK: I noticed that you're planning to charge $20/month to subscribers. How many subscribers do you need to cover your expenses and get a decent ROI for invested capital? Is your potential market that large?

Startup founder: (angry) We're only looking for a code monkey. We don't want someone negative about our product.

FSK: I'm just doing my due diligence. I don't want to work for someone who's going broke in a few months.

Startup founder: You aren't the right person for us.

FSK: Goodbye.

Was I being "overly negative"? Or, was I asking reasonable questions, and they got offended because their best answer was "Duh! We don't know what we're doing!"? It's better to avoid working for clueless people, so I don't mind offending them. Besides, they thought they had an almost-done product, but it was pretty obvious that the Indian firm delivered a POS that met their spec closely enough to get paid.

If someone's dumb enough to start a software business without a technical co-founder who will implement version 1.0 (MVP) by themselves, then they deserve to fail and get ripped off by a shady outsourcing company. It's a bad idea to work for someone that clueless. My "rude negative questions" helped me discover that they were clueless about the business-side of their startup as well, entering a market where their revenue could never cover their expenses.

MikeB commented on Is The Go Programming Language Worth Learning?.

I just read one of your blog posts from 2011, deriding Node.js and complaining about getting a job. Now it's 2013, and you're still complaining about not having a job.

Guess what, there's a shitload of Javascript jobs available. Many of them are Node.js jobs. And many of those are for established companies who aren't bankrupt, and some of them are for startups which may or may not go bankrupt.

And concerning your algorithm that's slow in JS, maybe your algorithm is just slow? If I write a recursive fibonacci algorithm in Ruby it takes 10 seconds to calculate the 40th number. If I write an iterative fibonacci algorithm in Ruby I can calculate the millionth number in a few seconds.

As for Go, yes learn it. Although I think Rust may be a better language, and Mozilla's technologies are more likely to stick (Javascript for example), so maybe learn that. Learn whatever helps you build whatever you want to build for yourself. If your only concern is getting a job though, maybe suck it up and just use Node.js and Javascript? First you should probably fix your attitude though.

As for 'slow languages', check out what Javascript is capable of: Not too shabby if you ask me...

There are a lot of Javascript jobs, but they require several years of Javascript experience already, and I've mostly done back-end work. Also, they don't just require Javascript experience, but also whatever framework they're using around it.

I'm not eager to work in node.js or Rails, because then I'd have to work with hipsters and jerks like you.

There's a certain personality type that's attracted to node.js and Rails, because they evaluate the hype and not the technical merit. It's best for me to avoid such scum.

That's a common pattern. People who have a bad attitude accuse me of having a bad attitude.

My algorithm was not slow. It was a brute-force approach to solving a Video Poker hand by checking all the cases. It ran in milliseconds in C/C++, but 5+ seconds in Javascript. That makes me wary to use Javascript for anything serious, and makes me question the intelligence of people who say that Javascript is fast.

MikeB commented on Is The Go Programming Language Worth Learning?.

It's relative. Javascript is slow compared to native code, fast compared to other dynamic languages. Fast enough for robust servers, and in the browser fast enough for fairly complex games, though nowhere near C++ performance.

And sometimes results are more important that technical perfection or merit. I do quite a few scripts in Ruby, why? Because I can accomplish what I want with throwaway scripts that I can program in a few minutes, who cares if I need to wait 5 minutes for them to finish... I'll get a coffee, chill, and still be well ahead of where I'd be writing it in a statically typed OO language like C++ or Java. If I need to write something that requires serious performance, I'll use OCaml and get performance closer to C++, with alot less effort. .

You also mentioned finance in several of your posts, why not get another programming job in the finance industry? They pay well, and generally go for 'safe' languages like C/C++, .NET, Java, etc...

I've used Perl and PHP for short scripts. I've never seen a job ad mention OCaml.

The financial industry is still a lousy job market. Most of the C/C++ stuff has moved on to .NET, and I've only used .NET a little. Similarly, I've only used Java a little. Most .NET or Java jobs require 3-5+ years of experience, but I've only used them a little.

The C/C++ jobs usually are in a UNIX/Linux context, and I've mostly used C/C++ on Windows. It's silly, but I don't get past the keyword screening phrase for C++/Linux jobs, because my experience is C++/Windows.

MikeB commented on Is The Go Programming Language Worth Learning?.

Yeah, OCaml is quite obscure - great language, great compiler, very productive (and fast!), but also very different from C++/Java/C#... A few large corporations use it internally, but not many.

Why not brush up on your Unix/Linux knowledge? It really isn't that difficult, all my machines are Linux, even my non-tech literate wife can use our home machines with ease. Going from C++/Windows to C++/Linux should be a fairly easy transition.

I'm already pretty knowledgeable with UNIX/Linux. It's just that employers want you to already have job experience, and not my ability to learn on my own. The only difference between C++/Windows and C++/Linux would be learning the UNIX-style socket and multithreading libraries (literally, changing one library call for another), plus the lack of some MS-specific classes (mostly CString, but I wrote my own version once).

It makes no difference if I read up on the small differences between C++/UNIX and C++/Windows. It only counts if I already have work experience in that area. That's what the people doing the keyword filtering say.

Anonymous commented on Incompetent Verizon Wireless Store Employees.
I saw two National Health Service General Practitioners very briefly in the past two months.

I came in with a glaring strange defect in my body. It won't kill me anytime soon, nor does it stop me doing anything.

Both GPs couldn't bother to question me about how this could possibly have started. Neither offered any advice on how to fix it.

The presentation of the symptoms is an obvious clue as to how it happened, but both doctors couldn't be bothered to ask or follow up or make any conclusions.

It was obvious they wanted to say as little as possible and do nothing.

I made a proper appointment with a walk-in-GP-clinic at the nearest National Health Hospital (incidentally in the same area and trust I was born in), but just before the appointment they phoned to tell me I wasn't in their catchment area.

Doctors have to train for 5 - 7 years and learn all about how the body works in an almost molecular and cellular level. Yet all that training and they were completely useless - or didn't care.

I used Google to find out about my symptoms. Most articles say if you have my symptoms you should see a doctor. I saw two and both were as good as asleep.

It was difficult, because there is so much information and so many different things can cause the problem I have.

Anyway this is what I found out:

3% of the population suffer from what I have at the moment. 10% of the population suffer form a related problem at some point in their lives. It usually lasts for a few weeks or months and then goes away. If you change your environment, lifestyle and what you eat it most certainly will be fixed. I am missing out the specifics for the sake of my privacy. Also there are cheap pharmaceuticals that can help fix the problem or at least some of the causes. Also there are many natural plant derived supplements that will help available from any high-street health store.

I have made some of the necessary changes. It is hard to give a figure, but about 40% of my symptoms have gone in just over 1 week.

It didn't need surgery or huge expense to fix my problem. Just some common sense advice that even prehistoric man and animals knew about.

It is a pity that two National Health Service doctors couldn't be bothered to give me some common sense advice to fix my physical problems. Perhaps their training was to academic and didn't cover the commonplace problems that affect a considerable percentage of the population at some point in their lives.

I did look at complaints about the UK National Health Service and one person commented that perhaps the UK has a lot of doctors pushed into the profession by their parents instead of having a real vocation for the work i.e. actually caring about people.

So 6 - 7 years of training and studies were completely pointless. They can't even pose the following question in their mind:

"Why should a perfectly healthy body start to spontaneously malfunction? What could have been the cause? The symptoms are strange and obviously a big handle in finding out what had caused it."

My conclusion is both doctors did not have working, questioning and functioning minds, yet had both managed to pass 6 - 7 years of study!

Anonymous commented on Incompetent Verizon Wireless Store Employees.

If I was cynical I would say, National Health doctors purposely give bad service to encourage you to pay to go privately.

It seems in vogue at the moment for NHS doctors to claim a government salary (from 60% taxation), give each NHS patient 5 minutes time and run a private business on the side.

I remember visiting my NHS doctor several years ago and handing him a report from a medical practitioner paid for with private money. The report would have told him what was going wrong with my body and why. The uncaring doctor refused to accept the report from me and just said to leave it with reception. He never followed up. That was my third visit with the same problem and it was obvious he just couldn't care.

Remember that doctors get paid based on the amount of stuff they do to you, and not based on whether or not you get better.

Anonymous commented on Incompetent Verizon Wireless Store Employees.

This time I registered with a National Health Service GP centre definitely in the right catchment area.

The building in a National Health Trust one.

The doctors are employed by the National Health Service i.e. from government/taxpayers' money.

Yet their website says if you pay them cash you can see them privately.

This is immoral. The building is paid for by taxpayers. Private practice there for cash should be banned as it is subsidized by the taxpayers.

Why should government salaried doctors be allowed to work for cash on the side privately in government provided buildings?

Anonymous Coward commented on Incompetent Verizon Wireless Store Employees.

The theme of this post is incompetent employees, but perhaps my comment here may be stretching the theme slightly.

In Google Adwords (customers pay to display their adverts on the Google search page and optionally on third party websites) you can specify a daily maximum budget.

I have found that every day Google exceeds my daily maximum budget. Even over a month, this never averages out i.e. pay less one day and more on the other.

I have seen posts by other Google advertisers saying that Google regularly exceeds their maximum daily budget.

Is this programming incompetence? Given Google has many servers and localized web search pages i.e,, the cumulative daily spend has to be coordinated across different machines, such that adding one more clicked advert does not exceed the maximum daily allowance. This is a concurrency issue to do with accessing shared data.

Why can't Google get this right? Google code obviously has bugs in it. It does not work as you would expect it to. Why can't Google get a concurrency issue correct?

FSK states he has been to two interviews at ClownLand, sorry Google. Many people state that Google asks them technical questions. Is this intellectual dishonesty? Google can't even get their own code to work.

It is not point a Google employee asking a difficult question, when Google itself can't write concurrency code that works.

Perhaps if FSK goes to another interview at ClownLand, he can ask this clowns why their code is broken? Perhaps FSK could ask his interviewers to write code on a white-board that actually works for this problem?


Anonymous Coward commented on Mark Zuckerberg Has High Approval Rating Among Facebook Employees.
How much profit does Facebook make?

Are their adverts working out?

According to Yahoo Finance, Facebook is making a profit of $0.05 per share. That is a profit, but not enough to justify a share price of $23.

Allegedly, some advertisers are getting frustrated with Facebook, claiming the return on ads isn't worth it.

Anonymous Coward commented on Mark Zuckerberg Has High Approval Rating Among Facebook Employees.

All large companies are guilty of bad things of various kinds, but Microsoft Advertising seems to work for me at the moment.

One of my websites used to be near the very top of the 1st page on Google. It was at the top for over 7 years. This isn't surprising. I have a vast number of links from real people that love my software. My software was the first reliable piece of software in its genre. I practically made the genre.

Costs on Google advertising have risen from $0.05 to $0.75 - $2 plus. In a bang, my website fell drastically on Google natural search results earlier this year. Google ad costs went up again.

Google really are trying to break the economics of my business. They downrank my website and then jack up the advertising costs again. I've seen other people make the same observations.

Advertising with Microsoft is easily an order of magnitude cheaper than Google. Yes, has less traffic, but the cheaper costs make up for it. With Google Adwords, you have to constantly watch and tweak and watch out for keyword combinations that are cheaper.

Google Adwords is an insane game. You have to spend days playing silly games with Google to try to get economic advertising out of it. It just a vast, silly waste of time. Keywords on are so much cheaper, you don't have to play silly games trying to find out how to make advertising economic.

Just by giving Microsoft Adcentre a small amount of money everyday, I am getting real, diverse web traffic back to my website to the numbers I got last year before evil Google downranked my website.

Money is flowing in again to normal levels.

Google really are greedy pigs. They are just not reasonable.

At best their auctions for keywords are opaque.

JKD commented on FSK Asks - Android Virtual Keyboard Apps?.
Would really recommend the Dvorak keyboard. I find it very fast to use on phone though don't use Dvorak anywhere else....yet.

Also, there's an app called SlideIT that's supposed to be very nice for typing. I downloaded it but never used it since Dvorak works perfectly for me. Cheers

I'm not so sure about Dvorak. That's a layout optimized for touch typing, and not for phone usage.

My biggest complaint about my new phone is that I can't type without looking at the phone. I'm looking for a layout with big keys so I can type without getting dizzy on the subway.


FYI: I picked Hacker Keyboard. The clincher feature was being able to adjust the size and hide rows in landscape mode. Now, I can have the landscape mode take up almost the whole screen, but leave a little bit so I can see what I'm editing.

Also, Hacker Keyboard works with DosBox Turbo.

MP commented on FSK Asks - Android Virtual Keyboard Apps?.

I've also used Thumb Keyboard, which has a few nice options. It looks like Hacker's Keyboard is better now than when I tried it last though.

John Rambo commented on FSK Asks - Android Virtual Keyboard Apps?.


this is John Rambo, Anti-Feminist Soldier. I am posting this on behalf of Peter-Andrew: Nolan© also now known as Joschua-Brandon: Boehm©. I am doing this because, as a young men who knows Peter well, I know he has our best interests at heart.


It is well known that five years ago, April 2008, I spent a month suicidal as I went through the process of disowning my former children. When I came out of that rather unpleasant experience I contacted other men who had been similarly affected. I realized that many men were killing themselves because of the criminal abuse of the family law courts all across the western English speaking world.

As a direct result of this experience, and my compassion for my fellow men, I made a vow in June 2008 to re-introduce the rule of law into Australia and Ireland. Naturally, at the time I made the vow I had no idea how that might be done. We call it “throw your hat over the wall”. You make the vow and “figure it out later”.

Along the way I have talked to many tens of thousands of men, perhaps as many as 100,000 men have seen at least one comment by me one way or another. What I heard from men in 2008 was that they were DESPERATE for a remedy for the crimes being committed against them in the family courts. They were DESPERATE to find a way to end the criminal effects of feminism on their lives. Because so many men told me the same thing I mistook this to mean they actually WANTED to solve the problems of the family courts and feminism. As I said. My mistake.

Through very extensive research and labour, and collaborating with the best and brightest, the remedy for both the family courts and feminism was proven on 2009-11-26. A mere 18 months after I was suicidal. The court meeting that I did on 2009-11-26 I regard as one of the finest achievements of my life. Regardless? The very men I risked my life to create a remedy for have ignored that remedy, preferring to whine, bitch, moan and complain because that is far more rewarding to them than actually solving their problems. If they solved their problems they would have nothing to whine, bitch, moan and complain about.

The remedy has now been available 2.5 times as long as it took to develop and has proved uniquely unpopular. I am hated for even talking about it. The blood of every man who kills himself due to criminal abuse in the family courts is on the hands of those perhaps 100,000+ men who have heard from me and done nothing. I did all I could. They did not. It is actually very simple.

The mechanism for men to free themselves now is the Mens Business Association. The MBA provides individual based services to get men out of the control grid. Such services may well save the mans life from suicide. Going forward? It is necessary to create second economy outside the control of any government entity. Why criminals in governments can dominate and control men via the economy they will continue to do so. There is no reason for them to stop. The MBA is the proposal of a second economy outside the control of the government. This is a NECESSARY ingredient for men to live in freedom.

Only a small percentage of men will want to live in freedom. Those men who want to live in freedom? You are invited to watch a short update on how we are going in our efforts to get the second economy going. Naturally? The second economy will grow just as quickly or slowly as men join in and contribute to it. Those who want to “stick with the government run economies”? You are welcome to do so. I wish you luck with that because you are going to need it.

best regards

your brother peter

MikeB commented on Stock Pick - Zillow.
Zillow does have a nice website. Not sure about their financials yet. Their revenue is quite low for a $2B company. They could however take off...

I'm personally more of a trader, mostly on Asian and European markets. My approach has been to time and trade already established companies, rather than gamble on startups. But that's just my comfort level.

Good luck with Z, your analysis does seem pretty decent - they could double up or better in the next few years, assuming they find a better way of monetizing their site.

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