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Jim Douglas
Attended British Columbia Institute of Technology
Lives in Vancouver
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Jim Douglas

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Jim Douglas

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The "you owe taxes and you need to give us money now" scams are upping their game. This victim did think to verify that the numbers reported on call display (spoofed, of course) matched the alleged government agencies, and they had enough personal information to seem credible. Scams like this make me reconsider my opposition to capital punishment.

http://www.tricitynews.com/news/coquitlam-man-victim-of-tax-scam-1.2166080
A Coquitlam man is devastated after losing $8,000 to a Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) scammer. The scam — in which a person claims to be from the CRA and demands payment for taxes owed, . . .
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The IRS probably has slightly different procedures.  CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) does call, but they'll establish their legitimacy, and they invite you to call back (on a number you can independently verify) if you have any concerns.  I've had a few calls from them over the years when they've had minor questions. They'll never phone to demand immediate payment from anyone under any circumstances.

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/lrts/2015/l150610-eng.html
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Jim Douglas

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I like my iPad, but Apple should have serious competition to keep them on their toes.  Sadly, the Pixel C is probably not that competition.

I believe that tablets can be used for productivity work, and I make a point of using the tablets I evaluate to write a good portion of their own review. Unfortunately, despite its supposed focus on productivity with its keyboard accessory, I couldn’t safely write any of this on the Pixel C because the software is simply not stable or usable. I have completely lost track of the number of instances where apps would crash, the tablet would lock up for minutes, or the entire operating system would crash and the tablet would reboot. It’s such an unstable experience that I have no idea how it ever shipped in this state, and it seems like Google either didn’t do enough testing or simply ignored the results of testing in order to meet their promised holiday ship date. These issues make it unsafe for me to attempt to write any documents on the Pixel C, as I fear that it will crash without warning and my work will be lost. It’s no secret that Google originally intended for the Pixel C to run a touch-optimized version of Chrome OS which would work with the combination of the touch screen and the keyboard. However the Android build that is currently shipping on the device is not usable for any of the tablet’s intended purposes, and certainly not acceptable for a $500 device.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/9972/the-google-pixel-c-review/8
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+Jim Douglas The Book is, uhm, strangely designed. The regular Surface seems to be more mature.
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A phrase that shouldn't even exist: "Child Identity Theft".

A child’s Social Security number can be used by identity thieves to apply for government benefits, open bank and credit card accounts, apply for a loan or utility service, or rent a place to live. Why would ID thieves wish to assume a child’s identity? Because that child is (likely) a clean slate, which translates to plenty of available credit down the road. In addition, minors generally aren’t in the habit of checking their credit reports or even the existence of one, and most parents don’t find out about the crime until the child approaches the age of 18 (or well after).

http://krebsonsecurity.com/2016/01/the-lowdown-on-freezing-your-kids-credit/
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“We’re going to get Apple to build their damn computers in this country instead of other countries.”

Good luck with that.

http://gizmodo.com/trump-says-he-will-force-apple-to-manufacture-in-the-us-1753626111
GOP candidate and angry sweet potato Donald Trump claims he’ll be able to change Apple’s entire manufacturing system if he is elected president. I’ll give Trump this: He’s great at shouting impossible nonsense.
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Sure we build drones and satellites but those are military projects: the usual concerns over price or scald don't enter into it. 
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Not cool, Charlie Hebdo. That's not a cartoon character, that's a real family's dead child.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/charlie-hebdo-alan-kurdi-cartoon-1.3403085
French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has sparked controversy once again with a cartoon, this time suggesting that drowned Syrian refugee boy Alan Kurdi, had he grown up, would have been like the sexual attackers in Cologne, Germany, on New Year's Eve.
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Yeah, satire needs to punch up, to public figures, or to imaginary characters, like deities. Not to children. And the "satire" here strikes me as ham-fisted and racist -- a toddler would have grown up to be a rapist because he's somehow comparable to a small group of refugees in Germany on New Years? (Also, the Kurdi family are my neighbours, living just a few miles from here; this isn't abstract.)
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Make Disney bleed.  They didn't even try to pretend they were doing anything other than replacing their American IT staff with cheaper foreign replacements.

Two former IT workers at Disney have sued, saying that Disney broke the law when it hired cheaper foreign replacements, then fired its current IT department. Disney IT employees were told they would be kept on for 90 days in order to train their replacements, who were H-1B visa holders, according to the complaints. The workers were told "if they did not stay and train they would not get a bonus and severance, which most employees reluctantly accepted."

H-1B visas are supposed to be used in situations where a job cannot be filled by a US worker with equal or better qualifications. Employers hiring with H-1B must agree to "labor condition statements," which state that the hiring won't cause the employer to displace US workers. Those statements must be filed with the Department of Labor before the employer can file an H-1B visa petition.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/01/ex-disney-it-workers-sue-after-being-forced-to-train-their-own-h-1b-replacements/
Anger at Disney over last year's hiring of foreign IT workers won't relent.
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"H-1B visas are supposed to be used in situations where a job cannot be filled by a US worker with equal or better qualifications." Exactly. If they had US workers who could do the job, how did they get the visas in the first place?  The workers should be able to get the government to revoke the visas and there should be a hefty fine.

My dad used to work for Waste Management.  He knew everything one needed to know to do his job but they fired him after 27 years saying his position suddenly required a college degree, just so they could avoid paying the 30 year retirement.  He did manage to get some retirement benefit when they decided his 27 years had exceeded 30 years with the overtime.
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Jim Douglas

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He made sushi at home using raw salmon he bought at a grocery store and within an hour he was in the emergency room, according to a new Canadian study.
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Parasites in fish are the rule, not the exception. 'Grocery store salmon' is... just salmon. 
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The computer is worthless before its first cup of coffee.

http://thedailywtf.com/articles/blame-the-computer
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