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Comment: Re:How far back, perhaps (Score 1) 362

by BVis (#49472823) Attached to: Can Civilization Reboot Without Fossil Fuels?

Cost to build nuclear power plant (Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, Clarington, Ontario, Canada, per Wikipedia): $14.5 billion CAD in 1993, or $11.5 USD adjusted into today's currency
Cost to build semiconductor fab (according to Wikipedia): ~$3-4 billion

Solar also gets cheaper over time, as the capital investment at installation is recovered. Payroll costs are also significantly lower.
Nuclear, at least in the case of French reactors, gets more expensive over time.

We currently have no way in the USA to store nuclear waste outside of the stations themselves, at any price.

And we still haven't figured out the problem of private ownership; as long as there is a profit motive, every corner WILL be cut in the name of efficiency, safety be damned.

Comment: Re:How far back, perhaps (Score 1) 362

by BVis (#49469803) Attached to: Can Civilization Reboot Without Fossil Fuels?

Small problem with nuclear reactors after the apocalypse: I don't trust anyone to operate a nuclear reactor safely NOW, especially private industry. For-profit companies have an incentive to sacrifice quality in the name of profits. Then there's the problem of waste storage; There is no precedent for humans to maintain a facility for a long enough period of time for the waste to cease to be dangerous.

There are better ways to go that are much safer. I don't care what you say, nuclear is not the magic bullet. When solar panels have an accident, a panel or two falls off a pylon, and a solar energy spill is known as a "nice day". Wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, all of these are orders of magnitude less expensive to build and operate than nuclear reactors. How many people does it take to safely operate a nuclear reactor? Hundreds? Once construction is complete, maintenance of the new facilities is much simpler and can be accomplished with fewer staff. Photo-voltaic solar panels, with no moving parts, are the easiest of all.

Nuclear power is certainly an option. There are much better ones. All the energy we would ever need is pouring down on our surface from a nuclear reactor 93 million miles away. The difference between a fission plant and a fusion reactor millions of miles away is that nobody can get to the fusion reactor to skimp on safety.

Comment: Re:We have already figured most of this out. (Score 1) 362

by BVis (#49469705) Attached to: Can Civilization Reboot Without Fossil Fuels?

In other words: do not look for a technical solution for a social problem.

If we can use technology to overcome the social problems, we're halfway there. This will probably involve some arm-twisting, but IMHO some arms need twisting (and breaking) if we are ever to avoid the second Dark Age that seems to be on the horizon, at least in the USA. Some elected officials have been overtly advocating for a theocracy, insisting that the USA is a "Christian" nation, that the separation of church and state is not guaranteed by the Constitution or any other early documents. They're wrong, of course, as the Founding Fathers thought that government having no role in religion (and vice versa) was so important that it's the first phrase in the Bill of Rights.

TL;DR: Technology must force social change or we will never get anywhere.

Comment: Re: And it's not even an election year (Score 1) 407

by BVis (#49454443) Attached to: Ten US Senators Seek Investigation Into the Replacement of US Tech Workers

Not racism. I was describing the fact that compared to the USA, the places that a lot of these folks come from are much worse places to live, which is part of the reason they come here on H1-Bs.

And I'm not sure where you are working, but SW engineering salaries have quite literally exploded over the past 5 years or so. It's not at all uncommon to see $400-500k+ offers (including benefits) these days


Comment: Re:Managers need an algorithm for that? (Score 1) 210

Will they go out of business if you leave? Will they suddenly be unable to see a doctor, or pay the mortgage, or be unable to find work due to the fact that they were fired or are currently unemployed?

It's good planning on your part to have a cushion built up. But most people are living paycheck-to-paycheck, and are at most 3 or 4 paychecks away from bankruptcy. Your employer has a much greater ability to trash your entire lifestyle than you do to take the business down (especially if you no longer work there). You'll be buried in legal paper if you try.

Comment: Re:And it's not even an election year (Score 1) 407

When you allow them to act soley in their best interests, the world falls apart, because people are stupid selfish greedy short-sighted morons that would just as soon everyone else died so that they can get what they want. What people think is in their own self-interest is actually working against them, because they think that others must stop getting what is in THEIR self interest in order to get what they want. You get a race to the bottom where the only thing that happens is society is destroyed.

Comment: Re: And it's not even an election year (Score 1) 407

The companies that complain they can't hire the talent they need are really saying that hiring the talent they need would eat into the profits.

FTFY. Corporate profits are at all-time highs, companies are sitting on piles of cash that they COULD spend on salaries to ensure they attract top talent, but they'd rather spend it on lobbying for more H1-B visas.

Again, as has been covered on /. extensively, there is no shortage of American STEM graduates. Employers would rather bring over H1-Bs from Thirdworldhellholistan that they can pay 50% as much and work 100% harder. When you're not a citizen, and can be sent back pretty much at any time, you do what you're told instead of asking to be treated like a human being. Employers love that. They identify an H1-B that they can bring over, tailor the skill set for the job requirement such that that specific H1-B holder is the only one on the planet that has it, and then cry about not being able to find a native worker with that set.

Comment: Re:Managers need an algorithm for that? (Score 4, Informative) 210

by BVis (#49439397) Attached to: Netflix Algorithm Tells You When Your Best Employee Is About To Leave You

At-will means two things:

1) They can fire you with no notice and no reason at any time.
2) You can quit and walk out with no notice and no stated reason at any time.

On paper, that seems fair. However, it's tilted in the employer's favor because most of the time losing a job is much worse for the employee than it is for the employer.

Comment: Re:We already have this for employees (Score 1) 210

by BVis (#49439069) Attached to: Netflix Algorithm Tells You When Your Best Employee Is About To Leave You

I'm a salesperson and I am about to get this 5-6 figure comission. You dismiss me with no cause or a bogus one. I can still turn around and sue you for wrongful termination.

That's a little different. In that case your commission would be unpaid wages, and the DOL would be able to get involved.

Most of the time, though, their lawyers can beat up your lawyers.

Comment: Re:but it's ok to toss the lower class out anytime (Score 1) 210

by BVis (#49439037) Attached to: Netflix Algorithm Tells You When Your Best Employee Is About To Leave You

Sure, they write the checks. But it's the lower classes that do the actual work. Which would be fine, if the lower classes shared in any success the company had.

"Hey, I just created $x that's going to make us a billion dollars!"

That's it. The rich get richer off the hard work of other people.

Comment: Re:Managers need an algorithm for that? (Score 4, Informative) 210

by BVis (#49438703) Attached to: Netflix Algorithm Tells You When Your Best Employee Is About To Leave You

That works for European employers, it's much harder to fire someone in general than it is in the USA.

When a manager finds out someone is leaving, one of the following happens:

1) They're fired on the spot and escorted from the building;
2) The manager tries to guilt them into staying;
3) A pathetic counter-offer is made (nevermind that the reasons for leaving may not have anything to do with compensation);
4) A significant counter-offer is made (usually intended to keep the worker there just long enough to hire a replacement).

Occasionally what you describe happens. It's rare in my experience. Look at it from the employer's point of view; to this point in the employee's time there, they have been able to do pretty much whatever they want w/r/t the worker. No binding job descriptions, arbitrary re-assignment, (for exempt employees) forcing them to work 60, 70, 80 hour weeks with no extra pay, making them do the work of three people for a single salary, etc etc etc. The playing field is heavily tilted in their favor. So, it comes as a shock and an insult when the employee exercises the one right that US workers really have: They can quit. How DARE they! Don't they know that the company will only make 6 bazillion dollars instead of 6.5 if they leave? WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE SHAREHOLDERS!

Theory is gray, but the golden tree of life is green. -- Goethe