Reader Mail – 07/07/2013 To 07/13/2013

MP commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.
Had to show you this job description found on craigslist:

Node.js Software Engineer

San Francisco, California, United States

Are you considered “the man” with Node.js and Ruby on Rails? Do you create apps for fun?

My favorite part of most typical job ads is something like (from that ad):

Our client is one of the most sought after employers among startup focused developers. Not only will you be among some of the most elite developers and engineers

Nobody ever says "We're looking for mediocre performers who won't threaten their boos with their competence." Everyone always says that they only hire the best.

My new part-time job is interesting. After 50+ interviews of being treated like a clueless loser, at this job, they're saying "OMFG! I can't believe FSK is fixing all these problems and making it look easy!" For example, one critical bug that had the other programmer stumped was a 5 line fix. The other junior programmer is more interested in getting the opportunity to learn a lot from me, rather than backstabbing me.

Dan commented on North Dakota Voters Considered Repealing Property Tax.
I am not a fan of property taxes either. But it seems to me that you can't just have a vote on whether or not to pay property taxes, without having a corollary vote on whether or not to totally privatize non-legislative municipal operations.

What if this vote had passed? Then the constitution would permit people not to pay their taxes, but these people would still avail themselves of roads, sewers, parks, water treatment facilities, police, fire brigades and so on. Without a new organizational structure through which these same people who are no longer paying property tax could be charged for their use of these services, there would be no funding and therefore no services. Imagine if the city Fire Department ran out of money -- home insurance rates are dependent on the distance of a home to fire hydrants and to stations. I wonder if the money saved on no longer paying property taxes would end up being gobbled up in premium increases?

Of course you might argue, "The state does not apply every tax dollar collected to the building and maintenance of infrastructure anyway", and that is almost certainly true. But we are talking about taking the money applied from X% of taxes collected, to $0. And here more than many things, the law of unintended consequences absolutely applies.

A majority vote does not authorize theft via taxes. Even if 99.9% of the people favor taxes, taxation is still theft.

"Taxation is theft!" is a universal truth, like gravity. Just because it isn't the majority opinion right down, doesn't mean I'm wrong!

There are alternative structures for handling roads, sewers, parks, water, etc. You've been brainwashed to only see the pro-State viewpoint. These alternative methods are only theoretical right now, due to the State violence monopoly. Just because something hasn't been tried before doesn't mean it won't work!

That's one big problem with taxes. Once politicians have your money, they can spend it on whatever they want, including wasteful things. If you tried to steal $1 from everyone, it's impossible. With taxes and government, you can easily steal $1 from everyone, by lobbying politicians for favor. Each individual act of theft is "just $1 or $0.50 from everyone", but when you add them all up it's a lot of money.

Dan commented on GlaxoSmithKline Gets A Slap On The Wrist.
I hope you don't mind me going back and resurrecting some of your old posts. You have a direct and penetrating way of looking at things that I really enjoy.

Anyway, this is exactly what I thought should happen back during the DWH disasters, as well. Corporate death penalty. BP should not have been allowed to continue being an oil company after that.

"Too big to fail" applies to many sectors of capitalism, not just the banking industry.

No, I don't mind comments on old posts. That's why the "Reader Mail" posts let people see comments, even on old posts. I've been busy with my new job, with less blogging time.

If executives at corporations get caught committing fraud or hurting people, then there should be a "death penalty". In the case of pollution or drug fraud, then the plaintiffs become the new shareholders.

That's one of the worst principles of the "justice" system, namely "Fines and lawsuit damages should never be so big that a large corporation is bankrupted." Why not? If the crime is flagrant enough, then the shareholders and bondholders deserve to lose, for investing in a dishonest corporation. More importantly, the executives should lose their jobs.

At one time, if a corporation went bankrupt due to gross incompetence, then the executives would never get a good job ever again. At one time, if executives committed crimes, they were prosecuted. Now, insiders have nearly absolute immunity. Jon Corzine gets to start a new hedge fund after stealing $1.6B from customers.

Dan commented on Gold-Plated 10 oz Tungsten Bar.
Thing is, if you look at the example photographs accompanying these stories, there are two kinds: one of them has a gold bar filled with rods of tungsten, while the other has gold being peeled off of a tungsten wafer like the wrapper off of a candy bar.

The latter may have been produced the way you describe, using a pressed tungsten wafer, although I am inclined to wonder what the "Caramilk secret" is for this method. How do they position the bar in a mold so that a relatively uniform thickness of gold can coat it without leaving seams?

For the method with the bars -- and I can only judge with my eyes based on a photograph -- it seems like the bars fit a little too snugly into their holes. They may have been hammered into somewhat undersized holes. But then the counterfeiter would have to heal the gold bar after inserting the rods, and doing that without leaving a trace on what used to be an unblemished gold bar is also non-trivial. I won't say it's impossible but I can't think of a way to cover up any sign of tampering.

It seems to me it is enough to "debase" gold by word-of-mouth by simply floating the rumour that something like this is happening. Whether it really is, or not, hardly matters, because how many people are going to go drilling into their gold hoard to find out?

Allegedly, if you have a lot of experience dealing with physical gold, tungsten fakes are obvious.

There are other solutions, such as laminated gold coins where the laminating party gives assurance to the quality.

In large bars, fakes are more likely. For small denominations, faking isn't as profitable.

Anonymous commented on Reader Mail - 06/30/2013 To 07/06/2013.
Due to getting stung with click fraud on the display network some years ago, I turned it off in Google Adwords. I got a series of emails, perhaps automated, from Google screaming on how I should turn the display network back on. The display network is a third party collection of websites that Google uses to display advertisers' adverts on.

So I turned the display network back on as the cost per click is lower than on Google search pages i.e., etc.

Over the past year, my cost per click has risen to eye-watering rates and in the absence of direct competition. Unfortunately Google uses synonyms, where one word can substitute for another. If another advertiser uses broad matching (i.e. only 1 of the keywords in say a phrase of 4 keywords) then even if they are in an entirely different niche, Google will say they are competing with you and as such raise the cost of your clicks due to its auction process (ha!).

I've seen absurd outcomes. Companies with nothing to do with my goods come up when one of my phrases of 3 - 5 words is searched for. This may be a factor pushing up my costs to silly levels.

I contacted the Google clowns about their absurd pricing. I was told to turn off the display network as its typically low click rates was pushing up the price of my clicks. Worse than that the Google clowns said it will take a while for things to get back to normal i.e. I need to get a history of a better click rate. It seems if your keywords don't make enough revenue fast enough for the Google clowns, Google - the greedy pig - will then raise your costs per click. I was told the typically lower click rates on the display network was raising my costs on Google's front page. It is a pity all these bright people at ClownLand could not have separated these things out.

Google have been adding code over the years to maximize revenue. Every little thing is used to punish advertisers with higher costs. Google is not your partner in business in the sense if you do well, they in turn will make more money out of you. Google wishes to screw you out of as much money as fast as they can.

Beware of the Google clowns for they will make a desert of your business.

At my new part-time job, the owner is a Google ads addict. He says it's a great lead for customers in his niche.

Robert commented on Reader Mail - 06/30/2013 To 07/06/2013.

You need to change medication or get off of it or something. I remember back in the late 2000's to 2010 your blog was awesome and you were on fire. I used to wait for 12 noon every day for your next post, back when you talked about economics and freedom. The quality has gone down. What happened my friend??

I don't know. Maybe it is the medication? I'm taking a low dose now.

I did start taking my current medication in November 2010, so that could be it.

The problem is that, I can't stop taking it, because my parents would freakout if I refused.

Maybe I lost interest temporarily. I've been playing more computer games and I started working. Also, they took away the local train on the subway, so I don't get a seat to work on posts there.

Also, when I first discovered the freedom stuff, it was very exciting and interesting. Now, that's an old topic and it feels like I'm rehashing the same stuff over and over again.

Anonymous Coward commented on Reader Mail - 06/30/2013 To 07/06/2013.

How well can he trace a click on his advert to a sale?

How many visitors does he get from natural search results compared to paid adverts?

How much does he pay for one click?

I found that I was paying 10 - 15% of my monthly revenue to Google Adwords, but that was for 5 - 8 clicks per day, when my natural search results were giving me 200 visitors a day.

I'm a not saying Google Adwords doesn't work for everyone, but my opinion of them is of a greedy company and they still owe me several hundreds dollars from click fraud. I can't see how a decent company would keep money the owe to a long-term customer. It was just so obvious. I sell business software, but all my daily budget was getting used up in an instance at the start of every day and all the money was going to an Indian screensaver website. Strangely enough when I checked my webserver logs, no real visitors could be found.

Anonymous Coward commented on Reader Mail - 06/30/2013 To 07/06/2013.

Bing adverts cost $0.05 to $0.07 per click.

The greedy Google clowns charge me $0.75 to $5, although obviously I turn off the multiple dollar clicks. All this stupidity comes from a large company with nothing to do with me, using broad match keywords and Google's use of synonyms. For more of the time there is no competition on for adverts in my niche, which isn't surprising given the absurdly high cost compared to the cheap price of software in my niche.

You need to man-up and use a proper search engine that doesn't employ a bunch of baby clowns.

Try the search engines below, which will respect your privacy and not pass on what you are searching on to nice Uncle ODumber.

Anonymous Coward commented on Reader Mail - 06/30/2013 To 07/06/2013.

I saw one comment on the Daily Mail's website which sums up what I think of Google as well.

To paraphrase the commenter said that a number of businesses have been paying Google good money for years and yet Google screwed them all over with the "Panda" update to their search algorithm. A Google forum was full of posts from businesses screwed over by Google and yet the forum was also full of sycophantic posts. Eventually for some reason the forum developed bugs and nothing could be found there anymore easily.

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