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Comment: Re:forensic 'science' (Score 1) 135

by Thangodin (#47858167) Attached to: New DNA Analysis On Old Blood Pegs Aaron Kosminski As Jack the Ripper

There is also the fact that Kosminski's personality profile fits that of a serial killer, he had a deep hatred of women, and he was a butcher (and had a knife that matched the cuts). Being a Polish Jew, Kosminski was a likely match for the person who left the 'Jewes' graffiti. This being the case, and with the already prevalent anger against Jews and immigrants in the wake of the murder and the news of the graffiti, it seems likely that the police actually knew they had their man, but did not want to prosecute him publicly for fear of starting an anti-Jewish progrom in London. So they locked him away and made certain that he could never get out.

Shortly after the anniversary of the murders, there was a television special where several experts were asked to weigh in on who the killer was. The most qualified person on the panel, a woman who worked on investigations of serial murderers, said that Kosminski was the obvious suspect, but the audience went with the Queen's Doctor theory because of a TV special that offered that theory--despite the fact that at the time of the murders, said Doctor had already suffered a stroke, and had lost the use of one of his hands. Conspiracy theories always favor the most powerful agencies for events of broad prominence; this is why large government conspiracies are always favored over individual (Lee Harvey Oswald) or small group (Al Quaeda) actors.

Comment: Re:If you can be replaced for $10/hour... (Score 2) 441

by Thangodin (#47733845) Attached to: Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

There is something going on here that no one seems to be talking about: the collapse of markets.

Karl Marx made one chilling prediction: when the workers did not have the money to buy the goods they produced, markets would collapse and capitalism itself would collapse. Henry Ford beat Marx when he paid his workers an unheard of $5 a day, creating in a single stroke the blue collar middle class and a market for his own goods. And this made America an economic powerhouse, not just for it power to produce, but for its power to consume. Gaining entry into that market is sufficient to make other nations bend over backward. It is the main well of American soft power.

Until now.

With the growth of capital intensive, rather than labor intensive, manufacturing, the wealth from the manufacturing industry is concentrated in a few hands, and markets continue to shrink even as productive capacity grows. Marx has become relevant again. In the early 2000's, when I heard about the shenanigans in the banking industry, I pessimistically predicted that these idiots would make Marx relevant again. And they have. Now I'm afraid that our new aristocracy will make Lenin relevant again. And believe me, you don't want to make Lenin relevant.

So that means we are going to have to employ people, and pay them a decent wage. Yes, even those that are less than the best and brightest, because being less than bright, they will find stupid ways to make money, most of which will land them in jail. And we have a burgeoning prison industry that would love that, but the prison industry is bankrupting us. Where once we had employment for ditch diggers and farmhands, now those jobs are done by machines. So, yes, we need to find something that they can do, and pay them for it. And it would cost far less to employ the barely literate as street sweepers and park gardeners, with a decent wage, than to house them all in prisons.

If you think you are immune to this trend, please keep in mind that one of the main thrusts of high tech research now is AI. Medicine and law are already within the scope of work that can be partially automated by AI, but the goal is to produce systems that can produce code on demand. And then, we will all discover what the blue collar worker had been experiencing for decades.

But the one percent cannot support capitalism, certainly not when they're own markets are dying.

We need to figure this out. And soon.

Comment: Re:Taking responsibility? Ha! (Score 1) 511

by Thangodin (#47562489) Attached to: Suddenly Visible: Illicit Drugs As Part of Silicon Valley Culture

When I was with a startup during the dot com era, it seemed to me that the worker bees were on speed, while the executives were on coke. I could see what the worker bees were doing, but nothing else could explain the decisions made at the upper levels. The incentives were pretty obvious--long hours without sleep, and demand to be 'on' regardless of circumstance, and the arrogance that comes with mastering a small domain and thinking you've mastered everything (see Dunning-Kruger.)

Personally, when I was tired, what I craved was sleep. But that was frowned upon. You can see why so many did drugs.

Arrogance, though, is a major consideration. Notice the parent comment: If you take drugs and get addicted... but no one plans to get addicted. Oh, take drugs by all means, just don't get addicted. They take drugs to cope, and as they are masters of the universe, they could not possibly get addicted. Besides, it's just to meet this deadline... and the next... and the next...

The entire culture is a massive fuck-up. Tired people make mistakes, and mistakes cost money. In the 1850's they discovered that 40 hours a week was the sweet spot for productivity, and every generation since has had to discover the same thing the hard way. I cannot count the number of projects I have seen crash and burn because of this bullshit.

But fuck it. We're John Galt. We can do anything. Just another bump to get me through...

How's that working out?

Comment: Re: has this ever worked? (Score 1) 190

by oatworm (#47012309) Attached to: Could High Bay-Area Prices Make Sacramento the Next Big Startup Hub?
Huh - guess not. I know they have a large office of some sort out there, though - some of their hiring ads bleed over out here. Dentrix support is also based out of SLC (Henry Schein?); used to call out there pretty frequently when I was doing IG support for dental offices.

The University of Utah was one of the original ARPANET nodes back in the '70s, so there's been some tech out there for a while now.

Comment: Re:has this ever worked? (Score 3, Insightful) 190

by oatworm (#47011595) Attached to: Could High Bay-Area Prices Make Sacramento the Next Big Startup Hub?
Speaking as a Reno resident (It's Sacramento, only with hookers and blackjack!), I don't like Sacramento's chances, and it's not because I think Reno's chances are any better. Part of the problem is that there won't be a "next Bay Area" - not just one, anyway. The Bay Area's preeminence in the tech industry was kind of a fluke, which resulted from a combination of various factors (strong academic interest from Stanford and Cal, defense industries sprouting up in the area, good weather, and so on). These days, the tech industry is decentralizing, which is why you have "tech corridors" in places like Raleigh-Durham, Austin, Salt Lake City (Symantec is based there), Las Vegas (Zappos), Seattle, Portland (thanks, cheap hydroelectric power!), Los Angeles ("Silicon Beach" - I remember when Venice was a ghetto), Boston... and these are just the places in this country.

The other part of the problem is that Sacramento's biggest claims to fame at this point are that it's the state capital of California (*shrug*) and it's kind of close to the Bay Area (so is Vallejo, Vacaville and Antioch). The climate is miserable (think Texas weather, only with a little less humidity, no hurricanes and without the weird bugs), the neighborhoods are extremely hit-and-miss, the culture is getting better but is still more or less non-existent, California's tax and business codes are pretty obnoxious, the physical infrastructure in Sacramento isn't quite Stockton bad but there's definitely room for improvement... yeah. Sacramento's not bad, but it's not good, either.

Don't get me wrong, I think Sacramento will get some startups to set up shop there. Some of them will probably succeed. I don't think they're going to take over the world out there, though. Venture capitalists would rather go to Denver, Seattle, Portland or Las Vegas than Sacramento, and if you're going by plane, you're not saving that much time by going to Sacramento over either of those other places.

Comment: Good. (Score 1) 148

by oatworm (#46845223) Attached to: Lumina: PC-BSD's Own Desktop Environment
This is actually a good thing for PC-BSD for a variety of reasons. First, KDE's support for BSD is spotty - try mounting NTFS volumes using Dolphin in PC-BSD. You can't because KDE uses Linux-style mount options instead of BSD's. Also, KDE is (L)GPL, which BSD has been trying to avoid lately (hence Clang, LLVM, etc.).

I'm concerned that iXsystems and the community is biting off a bit more than they can chew - Canonical's having issues getting Unity out the door and, though I don't have either of their financials in front of me, my assumption would be that Canonical is a much bigger company with a much bigger community of developers behind them. However, if PC-BSD is going to get the stability and ease of use that's necessary to be a compelling desktop alternative for all but a few hobby enthusiasts, they're either going to have to maintain a BSD-friendly port of KDE or roll their own desktop manager.

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