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Comment: Re:Is this really good news? (Score 1) 226

That's the whole point, they don't pay people 30-50$ an hour to "drive a forklift" they where paying it because the union contract required x% pay increase each year of service, and the forklift guys had been there for 20+ years still driving a forklift (the ~30 ones). the ~50$ was a different plant, where operators who had been there for 20-30 years who could no longer physically do the work required by operations (long standing, heavy lifting, etc.) where assigned to be the forklift drivers as it was a job within their physical abilities and was used as a "golden job before retirement" this was also exasperated by the fact that they had bad policies around promoting from within from the shop floor. It didn't mater your skills or years of service or knowledge of the business, if you didn't have a 4 year degree you couldn't be salary, and you could't be a supervisor as that was salary only, let alone a production/process engineer or a manger. So if you were an operator or a technician and you didn't have a 4 year there was no where to go but within the hourly positions.. Yet they would still get the annual pay increases even though the job did not show the value of that raise.

Its bad policy & management of the workforce and the distribution of talent which can have a very profound effect on the labor rates which translates to a cost of good sold. which can cause the viability of producing local vs producing oversees comes into question.

Comment: Re:Is this really good news? (Score 4, Insightful) 226

Yes it is. Stop viewing it as crushing wages and more a normalization of wages. It takes time to cycle out bad habits from manufacturing companies here int he US (and in some part due to labor unions although unions are not all bad).

For example i've seen plants where people work their way up, as they have more years, and as they gain higher pay, they move to different jobs. But the reality is you shouldn't have a 30-50$/h person driving a fork lift. But due to the way they organize them selves and their people that is what you see.

I'm all for a fair wage for a fair job. But that wage should be based on the contribution to the goals, to the product. And as someone moves up in rake and wage they should be expected to contribute more value.

The mentality that everyone is entitled to an x% wage increase for every year of service for the simple fact of being there doesn't make sense. Doing it because they increase their knowledge and skills that can be contributed back to the organization does make sense.

The off shoring of jobs to 3rd world conuntries for manufacturing due to cheap labor that they could abuse is also a failing of the company, but it is made possiable in part by the 1st world workers not being able to show the value added for the ratesthey command. As this balance equalizes the rates and contribution should also. At that point (and what seems to be happening) is that the offshore people are starting to command more for the value they are giving, and with that there comes the question of if the difference in labor costs justifies the increase in logistics cost. There is a tipping point where the difference will cause the Jobs to move back, and be more distributed.

When it comes to logistics costs, unless you are in extreme high capital investment processes (thing IC Fabrication) normally the Cost of Goods Sold (non-capital) are they moving costs which are lowest when you do manufacturing within the region of sale. By the labor gap closing, the best place to increase margin is to make adjustments to the logistics costs, which means changing how you do business.

But over all this is good, this is a very good thing. the closer all global labor markets are, the more likely the manufacturing will be to distributed so that you are preforming the work in the region of sale. once this happens the supply & demand for any given region should level out, and you should see better balanced net imports/exports. Rather than any single economy being unbalanced. once you get balanced then the life of the average worker will on average get better and more stable.

Again, this is a very good thing, it is a long and ever changing road, but just like the universe this is, as the nature of all things, a move towards less entropy and is natural in any system.

Comment: Re:I have worked at a few ISPs (Score 1) 246

by Amouth (#47709519) Attached to: Comcast Training Materials Leaked

From this view of the business firm, in turn, comes an obvious conclusion: somehow release those who are technically and imaginatively proficient from the restraints imposed by the business system and there will be unprecedented productivity and wealth in the economy."

From Bridging the Gap Between Stewards and Creators.

We had that for a short while, example would be bell labs.. then the business got greedy and killed innovation.

You know it's interesting when you look at organizations, people seem to think that innovation is focused in start-ups but once they get large you can't have it, but this just isn't true. If you look at a lot of the really successful organizations (compare Market Cap vs. Head count) you will see a trend where the culture values the thoughts and ideas of the engineers, the problem solvers, over that of the sales, market, MBA crowd. The business group is there to watch, and see what they can monetize, but they do not control the problem solvers, they just figure out how to sell what they are creating. (Apple, Google, Intel, + many more). Sadly it is just so damn rare that it says that way.. i applaud the few that have kept it going.

Comment: Re:Interessting in any case (Score 5, Insightful) 109

by Amouth (#47380673) Attached to: Can the NSA Really Track You Through Power Lines?

While the article, you, and i'm sure more to come keep mentioning the need to "place senors" the reality is any Utility company worth it's salt already has this data logged as part of normal operations through SCADA/DCS systems.

This systems monitor (and log) so many different variables that it forces the companies to store everything in databases for reference & analysis. When it comes to power generation nearly all power generation is done by a "utility" company all of which are heavy government regulated. In a lot of areas it is actually the government which determines bill rates and adjustments to generation capacities (or at least responsible for the play book the operators work by).

It would be far easier and less far fetched to believe that the NSA would have access to theses logs/DBs for what ever use they wanted. Especially with most major power generation sites being covered under FERC regulations and several of the regulation requirements for Reliability requires operators to track and monitor this exact data that the NSA would need.

And trust me when i say that these sites log everything and keep it incase of an Audit. The consequences for failing to be able to provide the data in case of an Audit or Incident Investigation is worse (for the company) than just about any incident would be. They log it, they keep it, even if they will will never look at it again, because the government might come asking for it (and they will give it when asked with no questions as they are required to by regulations).

Honestly going this route i'd say compared to the wiretapping network the NSA has put together, this would be trivial for them to do (not cheap or quick, just not all that difficult).

Comment: Re:Where are the 3.5" SSDs? (Score 4, Informative) 264

by Amouth (#46907663) Attached to: SanDisk Announces 4TB SSD, Plans For 8TB Next Year

there are a few reasons they don't make 3.5's

1: physical size isn't an issue, for the sizes they release that people are willing to pay for it all fits nicely in 2.5
2: 2.5's work in more devices, including in desktops where 3.5's live. if noting is forcing the 3.5 usage then it would be bad for them to artificially handicap them selves.

now for your commend on larger physical drives being cheaper. Flash does not work the way that normal dries to.

Normal platter drives the areal density directly impacts pricing as it drives the platter surface to be smoother, the film to be more evenly distributed, the head to be more sensitive, the accurater to be more precise, all things that cause higher precision that drive up costs as it increases failure rates and manufacturing defects causing product failure.

Now in the flash world. they use the same silicon lithography that they use for making all other chips. there are two costs involved here.

1: the one time sunk cost of the lithography tech (22nm, 19nm, 14nm...) This cost is spread across everything that goes though it. And in reality evens out to no cost increase for the final product because the more you spend the smaller the feature the more end product you can get out per raw product put in.
2: the cost of the raw material in. It does not matter what level of lithography you are using the raw material is nearly exactly the same (some require doping but costs are on par with each other). So in fact your larger lithographic methods become more expensive to produce product once there is newer tech on the market.

No please note that in the CPU world where you have complex logic sets and designs there is an added cost for the newer lithography as it adds to the design costs. but for flash sets there is nearly zero impact form this as it is such a simple circuit design.

Comment: Re:Don't Misunderstand Me... (Score 3, Insightful) 548

by Amouth (#46904971) Attached to: Reason Suggests DoJ Closing Porn Stars' Bank Accounts

The question is "high risk of what?"

The answer is credit card fraud.

they might not have the tightest security when it comes to detecting fraudulent transactions

If this was true, then it should be the industry that goes after the company not the DOJ.. PCI-DSS is extremely clear on what the company needs to do to be able to process credit cards. If they are getting ripped off or that company is by action enabling fraud to happen then that company is liable for the charges and fees.

Trust me i've gone through PCI-DSS certification, and it isn't easy.. but it is extremely clear what the ramifications are for failure.

Comment: Re:video of the road (Score 2) 187

by Amouth (#46745463) Attached to: First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands

For the temperature, it depends on where you live. If they are covered with snow & Ice then it is obvious, and if the temp is below 0C then it's obvious. but where i live we have a lot of humid wind and bridges. This means you can have black ice when it is 40F or below. funny thing about black ice is it doesn't cover up the road, unless you can catch a glare off of it you can't tell it's there till you hit it.

I think it would be nice to have a color change at least on bridges to show that the surface is below freezing, to warn drivers that there is a strong possibility of black ice.

wouldn't work for most places, but would be really useful for where i live.

Comment: Re:video of the road (Score 2) 187

by Amouth (#46745031) Attached to: First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands

Wish i had mod points, first useful example of the actual thing.

They do look quite nice, and i'd love to have them where i live, and if they can get rid of the light pollution by reducing the number of street lights i'd be all for them (and willing to pay extra for it too).

Personally i see more value in the temperature sensitive idea, i'd love to see coloration showing up on roads and bridges when the surface temps get down to freezing. Where i live we don't get a lot of snow and ice, but when we do it shuts the place down because people don't know how to spot, avoid, and/or handle it. Giving a visual indication that conditions are right for ice/black ice would be wonderful.

Comment: Re:A simple solution (Score 2) 97

by Amouth (#46675247) Attached to: FCC Orders Comcast To Stop Labeling Equipment Rental a Service Fee

I remember a few years ago when they did the black out of the world cup in the US. we had a computer setup back in my area streaming the World Cup in ASCII. It was actually quite good and you could follow the game fairly easily.. At one point we had 3-4 of us standing around watching it..

"I may be synthetic, but I'm not stupid" -- the artificial person, from _Aliens_