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Bela Bardak

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Recent posts by Bela Bardak

One word - sabotage. I suggest that outsourcing prove ineffective. This cannot be obvious, but non-cooperation may be the way to go for US workers.
14 years ago

Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:

I don't personally mind if people prefer to not eat a certain type of food (for me it's sprouts and cabbage), but what I DO mind is if they make a (semi-)religious issue out of it.
You were insinuating that vegitarianism should be forced upon the entire population of the world by force if needed, which makes it a religious issue.


Sounds good to me. We are the Borg. Resistance is Futile.....
14 years ago

Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:

with today's traffic jams we often go faster on the driveway than on the parkway so the naming was done with great foresight


You live in New Jersey?
14 years ago

Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
Class action suit? Man, with 80 million US viewers who experienced an emotional trauma during the half time, imagine the size of the settlement, -- it should surpass the Big Tobacco. People vs. Big Breast, -- that will be the trial of the century.


Oh god the trauma. I collapsed into a puddle of jelly that night and have still not recovered. I won't until my lawsuit is heard.....
And I didn't even watch the Super Bowl!
14 years ago

Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

I'll bet someone said something similar 20 years ago about C.
--Mark


Doubt it, Mark. They probably said it about mainframes. C was a very new language in 1983. I remember seeing the K&R book displayed in a bookstore window.
What happened is that as the tools got better the ambition of users grew also. It remains to be seen whether it happens this time as well.
14 years ago

Attack the person not the message how typical. The view of Sharptons is shared by many Democrats/Liberals. Listen to Kerry, Dean, Edwards they all say the rich are getting over. The top 10 percent pay 75% of income taxes. That is fact. They pay there fair share.


That is only the income tax, not the SS/payroll tax. When you factor the payroll tax in the share of total income taxation paid by the rich falls. If you were to call capital gains income their share would fall further.
Sharpton is full of nonsense but he may be confusing the total percentage of income tax paid with the marginal rate. The total percent of income tax paid by the top 1% may well be 34% or even higher but the marginal rate would be much lower than someone making less than 100K would pay if you count the payroll tax as an income tax and count the 'employer' portion of the payroll tax an income tax on the employee (as I do count them).
When you factor in capital gains which are not taxed unless and until the underlying asset is sold the inequity gets worse.
The problem with the Democrat's prescription is that it's not easy to tax investment because the rich will take their investment elsewhere or invest in economically irrational ways to gain tax shelters. My experience is that when you raise taxes on the 'rich' the rich don't end up paying the additional tax. The effect 'trickles down' to the earned income of the upper middle and middle classes who cannot shelter their income from the tax man effectively.
So whenever someone tells me they want to tax the 'rich' (but not me) I may honor their sincerity but I also know that any tax rise which really bites will wind up coming out of my hide. Good intentions notwithstanding...
There may be an exception in this election year. A rollback of the Bush tax cuts on dividends might well work. But my guess is that it won't happen. The Democrats would have to have a landslide victory and take decisive control of both the House and Senate, plus the Presidentcy. And the President would have to be willing to bite the bullet and repeal. Pretty unlikely....
14 years ago

Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:
That is what I am feeling after two rejects I received last couple of weeks.
Both needed a senior software developer. When I got into the interview, they started asking questions beyond my skillset(somewhat relevant, but things I haven't started working on due to demands on current job).
I have a feeling you need to know struts, JBoss, Weblogic clustering setup, database modelling etc to land in a job(in addition to your knowledge of J2EE, EJB, JMS etc etc).


Don't give up. You sound like you're still employed so that is something. If not formulate a plan to narrow the gap. They are looking for tie-breakers, and the fellow who sounds like he knows *something* will have the edge in this situation. So buy a good Struts book and do up a simple application to learn Struts 101 so you can BS convincingly. Disclaim any degree of expert knowledge but then show you've looked at it a bit. The better Weblogic books have a chapter on Weblogic clustering. Read and absorb a little of it. I prefer Zuffeletto's Weblogic Bible. Jboss? I like EJB in 21 days (Sams). It's not a JBoss book per-se, but has working examples complete with working deploy scripts for JBoss 3.0 and Weblogic 7.0.
DB modeling is a little harder. Get a decent Db book and read it. You may be surprised at how much you already know.
Understand one thing; the job market is very, very tough out there. There are a LOT of good candidates. I must have had 20 interviews over 8 months, perhaps 25. I felt I did well on perhaps 15 and would up with a grand total of 3 offers (two of which fell through for various reasons). Doing well in an interview therefore meant a 20% chance for me. YMMV.
14 years ago

Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:

Acutally two. The first time it happened, I actually invoked Godwin, but things just kept on going.


As I grok it Godwin's Law isn't something which anyone invokes - it's something which happens. It's the embodyment of the observation that once someone has invoked the N**i's or the F***ists (particularly comparing other posters or the other political persuasion to them) that thread is intellectually dead. Not physically dead, alas. Indeed the volume may go up for a while. It's that which eventually chokes off discussion even when the rational posters determine to ignore the cacaphony around them. The effort needed to filter out the nonsense becomes too great....
BTW, many people slide in and out of the irrational state fairly easily. Myself not excluded. Lately I've handled such situations by simply refusing to acknowledge the existance of the raving one until they return to a rational state. Some trollers are in a more or less permanent state of irrationality but that isn't a major problem around here. Yet.
[ February 09, 2004: Message edited by: Bela Bardak ]
14 years ago
There is basically one purpose to getting a PhD at least in most fields. Teaching in a college or university. The number of good. tenure-track positions is very, very low. And at least in the US those positions are pretty much reserved for the well-connected or specific minorities.
I looked into getting a PhD in IT or Business about 10 years ago, and found that it's an expensive way to enter a condition of indentured serfdom.
Matt, there are a few PhD millionaires. I think the founders of Inktomi were PhD's who decided to take the results of their research private. And there are others as well, but not too many.
14 years ago

Originally posted by Axel Janssen:
I haven't been in USA after being 10 years old. Here are my proposals:
1. very low private saving rate. Should be higher. Might pose a problem someday, when there will be less influx of capital.
2. better quality of public high schools
3. trying to solve international problems alone. Its too expensive.
I know some of you fear endless debate with european no-real-action-please discussion-aficionados and I see your point. But generally its better idea to look for common action.
4. environment. This summer I took my first bath in the huge river of my city (Rhein). I still remember the bad smell of the water when I was kid in 70ties. Now its clean enough to go for a swim they say.
5. find new ways in keeping productive jobs for people in world market where other countries are catching up (to ban outsourcing don't help. I am pro free markets)


A pretty good list, Alex. Some comments:

2. better quality of public high schools


This is a problem at the very low end more than above that. The worst high schools don't work well enough to get people into college where the US system really does much of it's work. I think it would be a very bad move to move major funding from tertiary to secondary schools in the US, because it would be moving the education funding further from the goal (an employable adult).

3. trying to solve international problems alone. Its too expensive.


Absolutely correct. We need to work with allies. Problem is that there aren't too many allies who either can or are willing to bring enough tools to the problem right now. For a variety of reasons. Japan has it's self-imposed limits on what it allows itself to do. Germany is in a similar situation although much more flexible. The biggest problem here is that Germany hasn't updated it's armed forces which still seem better configred to repel a Warsaw Pact tank invasion than fight information-based battles with light forces on the other side of the world.
During Kosovo it degenerated into a situation where a fair number of countries demanded a full say in the decisions but then could not help carry them out. Then pointed fingers at the US for getting it wrong! Think about the bombing of the Chinese Embassy for an example of the latter......

I know some of you fear endless debate with european no-real-action-please discussion-aficionados and I see your point. But generally its better idea to look for common action.


There are obvious answers to the problems. The EU countries can update their armed forces. But it will be painful because it involves a huge restructuring of the EU defense industry. And enormous costs.
Some of the EU's positions seem to involve a great deal of finger pointing or an effort to cherry-pick the easier parts of the job while leaving the US with the hard parts (and all the blame). The subject of the ICC and war crime tribunals in particular causes the red white and blue to see red!
Europe has this wonderful collegial decision-making style which ruminates for years on creating institutions. It's not perfect but has worked very very well since 1950. In Europe, among friends and allies. Europe produces great judges and diplomats. With the exception of the UK not great soldiers, at least not right now. The proposal seems to be that the EU decides where and when we go to war and then judges us for our war-crimes afterward (because that's what they do best). Somehow that seems slightly inequitable from the Yank POV......
Finally there is the (largely) European concept of democracy among nations. Everyone has a vote. France has a vote, UK has a vote, Germany has a vote. So do Luxemborg, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Greece, Portugal, etc. The US has one vote. Net result, the EU has 15 votes and the US 1 vote.
What could be fairer than that?!!!
From the yank POV it results in tilted treaties. Unfair to the US. Kyoto and ICC. The US gets thrown off of important UN comittees because of this kind of 'democracy'. We're getting pretty disgusted with it, but most Europeans don't get the point at all!
[ February 06, 2004: Message edited by: Bela Bardak ]
14 years ago

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Of course not! Every Moslem I have met wants to live peacefully and appreciates the freedoms of the West. The terrorists are a sick cult that needs to be destroyed.


My experience also. OTOH a few could be lying and really burn for vengeance and martyrdom. How can you tell, except after the fact?
14 years ago

Originally posted by Steven Broadbent:
Is it just my opinion or has this business always had a fair percentage of piss-takers, fantasists and cowboys - kinda the wild west of professions.


Yes. It was particularly pronounced in the ranks of independent consultants. Some were among the very best. Others didn't have the personality traits to be able to keep a steady job....
[ February 06, 2004: Message edited by: Bela Bardak ]
14 years ago

I saw a Wipro guy talking about the outsourcing of MMR and CAT scan intepretation to India - what are the legal implications of this??


Well that is MD work, so I suppose that if Wipro can hire doctors with US medical licenses to work for cheap in India they're in business.
I think it's proof that the Indian outsourcers may be taking their attention off of their core business to chase butterflys. Good news for unemployed westerners, bad news for their customers....
14 years ago
mark, I suggest you look for the 'Shadow' series, including 'Ender's Shadow', 'Shadow of the Hegemon', and 'Shadow Puppets'. They follow the story of Bean and Peter's older brother Peter and develop Petra also.
14 years ago

Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

I disagree. Most engineers don't know how to manage their careers and build marketable skillsets. Compare engineers with consultants, for example. Most consulting firms have quarterly or semi-annual reviews where they checkpoint the employees growth and plan growth in the next stage. Most engineers aren't even aware of skills outside of those which are technology based.


I agree - and disagree, Mark. I worked at a big 5 consulting company and didn't see that vaunted quarterly review - it didn't exist. The supply-chain consultants were as uncounseled as the tech guys were. You're possibly correct about the non-tech skills though. Depends on the guy. I'm not a presentation guy (too shy and fat) but turn out a mean manual or specification.

Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
Everyone needs to continue to grow, because the environment is constantly changing. However, that growth is not just in technology skills--and that's the mistake most engineers make.
(I write this from Chicago where I just interviewed for two MBA programs today, so take my advice as you will. :-)


Chicago and Northwestern? Good luck. I looked at MBA programs a few years ago and preferred Northwestern to Chicago. Though my favorite programs were UCLA, Berkeley, and the tech track at UT-Austin. Stanford was good too.
14 years ago