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Comment: Re:Usable in Australia (Score 1, Informative) 310

by TapeCutter (#49608881) Attached to: Tesla's Household Battery: Costs, Prices, and Tradeoffs

Depending on where the units were placed, it's quite possible that the operating temperature would exceed 43 degrees even if the ambient temperature was below that.

Yes, official temperature readings measure the air temperature and are always taken in the shade. When the weatherman says the temp is 43deg, it's more like 53deg in direct sunlight.

Comment: Close enough to free (Score 1) 125

by TapeCutter (#49603625) Attached to: Should Developers Still Pay For Game Engines?
All of these engine releases of late seem to have very reasonable terms. From the Unreal Engine 4 FAQ

How much do I have to pay for Unreal Engine 4?
UE4 is free to use, with a 5% royalty on gross product revenue after the first $3,000 per game per calendar quarter from commercial products. Read the EULA FAQ for more details.
I’m a consultant. Do I owe royalties on consulting fees?
No.

I think the reason for this is they all want to become the defacto-standard, they are all very keen to create a developer community around their toolset. Personally I like the UE4 / PhysX sales model since you don't pay until you make money from it. I'm interested in playing with these engines as a hobby but have no interest in writing a commercial game, If I was serious about developing and selling games, the license fees for any of the popular engines would be a very minor concern, it's a great example of a capitalist "win-win".

Selling model content to use in these engines is where the money is for individual devs/artists, kind of like the people who sold shovels during the gold rush. IIRC UE4 has some sort of public marketplace where you can release/sell models you have created.

Comment: Re:PS (Score 1) 353

I think you're saying the same thing with different words. Yes the target is the EPA, and the method employed is to put (inconvenient) Science on a short leash.

I have no idea if the claims in the article are accurate or not

I suspect the article is full of half-truths, for example, legal aid for nutjobs to sue the government is nothing new, nor are the funds limited to green groups.

Comment: unexamined prejudice (Score 3, Insightful) 300

Men are constantly portrayed in both advertising and entertainment as buffoons and simpletons when they are anywhere near the kitchen, the kids, or the laundry. Everyone laughs when a man is kicked in the balls by a woman in a TV show/commercial. Where's the fake outrage about that violent sexisim in the name of humour?

I strongly suspect the paper was a "joke", and the reviewer was sarcastically reflecting the paper's bias back at the authors.

Comment: Re:Auction off the H1B slots to highest bidder (Score 1) 631

by Copid (#49587661) Attached to: Disney Replaces Longtime IT Staff With H-1B Workers
Just make the H1B slot an expiring license (say 5 years). Auction it off at the beginning and allow it to be resold on the open market until it expires. Then you can stop bothering with questions about pay gaps and other nonsense. If there's a $10K per year arbitrage opportunity, the market will quickly sort it out.

We could use the spot price of visas at different maturities as a "yield curve" to see what the predictions are for future technical labor demand and as an indicator for how tight labor demand is right now. Best of all, the visas will be used on rock stars who are actually worth importing rather than being doled out more or less at random.

Comment: Re:Any wage? (Score 1) 631

by Copid (#49587601) Attached to: Disney Replaces Longtime IT Staff With H-1B Workers

H1B fees and legal expenses are not cheap, nor is paying international relocation expenses for a candidate and his/her family, so we're certainly not saving money by hiring H1B's.

You just described the alternative of paying enough to make your total package competitive as being too expensive. It sounds like you're saving money by that any reasonable definition, even after the government and lawyers take their share. If it wasn't cheaper than raising your pay rates, you wouldn't be doing it.

That being said, I'm willing to grant that a company that hires PhD level people is much more likely to run into a real hard limit when it comes to finding subject matter experts, and they're the types of operations that the H1B system is supposed to work for on paper. If we did the sensible thing and auctioned off H1B slots and allowed them to be resold on an open market, those are probably the types of companies that would buy them.

Comment: PS (Score 5, Insightful) 353

Shouldn't we want them to be basing policy on publicly available data?

This is an excellent example of how well-crafted political propaganda works. The act of introducing the bill implies the EPA are not already basing policy on publicly available data, opposing the bill implies you want to hide something from the public. Even if the bill fails to pass, it has already succeeded as a propaganda piece.

Make no mistake, this is a far-right attempt to put Science on a short leash.

Comment: Senator Snowball Inhofe.. (Score 1, Insightful) 353

..is as usual relying on the ignorance of the public. For example one of the long time complaints about the "hockey stick" from the deniers in the US senate was that a small portion of the raw data could not be published due to (default) copyright terms imposed by the french and a couple of other geographically small nations. The data was available but you had to go to the French government and wait six months to get it. There are lots of other cases where data is collected from industry and individuals where those supplying the data do not want the raw data published for legal, commercial, or personal reasons. The basic rule of research is you take what data you can get and publish what you are allowed to by those who supply it.

A more useful law would be to force anti-science "charities" such as the heartland institute to reveal their accounts to the public, if the IPCC and EPA can do it why can't a tax exempt no-think tank do the same?

Comment: Re:EPA has exceeded safe limits, needs curbing (Score 3, Insightful) 353

Pollutant = A resource in the wrong place, as in "do not pollute my scotch with water". The evidence of harm caused by 1/2 trillion tons of CO2 in the wrong place may not be clear to you, but it is to almost everyone who has actually looked at it with a scientific eye. AFAICT the senate republicans think an appropriate mission for the EPA is to STFU and mow the whitehouse lawn.

Comment: Re:The correct decision (Score 1) 355

by Copid (#49573383) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class
I'd agree with this, but for better or worse, going to a university provides not just an education but a credential. What other people do may not really affect my education as long as they're not being disruptive, but if my university graduates a bunch of people who clearly didn't learn anything, it erodes the value of the credential. Having an engineering degree from a school that has a reputation for graduating engineers who can't do basic algebra is barely better than having no degree at all when it comes to getting your resume noticed. Allowing a university with a decent reputation to turn into a diploma mill does a major disservice to all of your alumni.

Comment: Re:The correct decision (Score 4, Insightful) 355

by Copid (#49570671) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class
It's really too bad he didn't hang in there until the end and give legitimate supportable F grades to most of the class while showing good faith by giving appropriate grades to decent students. Getting an F that sticks stings a lot more than making news while your professor melts down and having your grade adjusted by the university.

I'd love to see a world where professors hand out failing grades more liberally. I got really sick of seeing cheaters and whiners get their way when I was in college.

Comment: Re:You're not willing to pay (Score 1) 285

I'm wondering what percentage of the price of a basket of strawberries is the labor to pick them. Assume that a good picker can pick, say, an average of 30 strawberries a minute if you include the time it takes to empty baskets and walk around to different rows of plants. What does that work out to in human touch time per basket? I'm thinking the cost of that basket is land, shipping, fertilizer, varous capital, and various labor. It seems like far too much is made of the harvesting effort just because it's the most visible and probably the most physically taxing.

Comment: Re:Google's projects aren't afterthoughts (mostly) (Score 1) 359

by Copid (#49564533) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed
How does it fit with Facebook's business model? Not sure. But if I were facebook, I'd be very concerned about my business model going away if there's an unpredictable shift in peoples' preferences WRT social networking. It seems like a lot of eggs to have in that one basket even though network effects are on their side right now. If I was sitting on a ridiculous amount of money with that one narrow business model, I'd be diversifying left and right. Maybe not at the $2B for Oculus pricepoint, but I'd be doing something like it.

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