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Comment: Re:Hyperbole Sunday (Score 1) 178

by BarbaraHudson (#48954369) Attached to: The NFL Wants You To Think These Things Are Illegal

Football especially, where all those players are regularly inflicting chronic brain damage on themselves with every head-first impact, in addition to the occasional broken bones and other traumatic injuries that take them off the field

So I guess those stories of going to a football game and seeing a hockey match break out are true :-)

Comment: Re:The real disaster (Score 1) 57

by BarbaraHudson (#48954347) Attached to: Nuclear Safety Push To Be Softened After US Objections

Where is Blinky the 3-eyed fish when you need him?

Just because we've gotten lucky so far (if you discount TMI and Chernobyl and Fukushima) doesn't mean we shouldn't do better. The better the standards, the more acceptable it becomes. This is the political reality of nuclear power, and you can scream FUD all you won't it won't change that reality.

Comment: Re:Starting to unravel? It never was raveled. (Score 1) 4

by BarbaraHudson (#48954309) Attached to: Free Trade starting to unravel.

On a side note, I never believed the NAFTA hype. I read the actual Free Trade agreement and it stunk. I brought a copy of it to Ottawa and spent a week trying to explain why it was bad. I couldn't find a single politician who had read it, but they were all so certain that it was a good thing. Ignorance really is bliss, I guess, even when it's willful ignorance.

Comment: Re:Starting to unravel? It never was raveled. (Score 1) 4

by BarbaraHudson (#48954291) Attached to: Free Trade starting to unravel.

Absolutely not. The one thing we don't need is yet more bureaucrats and politicians.

Just bring back tariffs on imports from countries that compete unfairly by not having decent regulation. See my reply here. It worked before. It can work again. But you're right - looking at the stats since NAFTA, it was never raveled in the first place. And of course, it's kind of ironic that the country with the least open economy (China) is going to pass the US soon.

Comment: Re:Ireland will love this (Score 1) 472

Of course, various studies have shown that in trade between countries with highly restrictive import rules and high tariffs and countries with limited import rules and tariffs, it is the latter which fair better economically

The studies are kind of flawed (to say the least) when looked at through the lens of reality. Look at the US. NAFTA was signed in 1994, so that's a good place to start, Since then, major parts of the economy hollowed out, and China is poised to pass the US as the #1 world economy. China, of course, has more trade restrictions. So imposing trade restrictions seems to have worked quite well for them.

In 1994, the United States' national debt was $4.692 trillion. It's expected to be $18.713 trillion this year. In 1994, the US trade deficit was $151 billion. Last year, it was $661 billion. So in 20 years, the deficit has ballooned by almost 4x the total amount for the previous 200 years.

Worse is that in 1994, US imports only exceeded that year's exports by 30%. Today, it's 50%. It's quite simply getting worse no matter how you look at it. And then we can also point to the decline of the middle class, not because they've benefited, but because they've joined the ranks of the poor.

So, how's that free trade working for you again?

Comment: Re:This is not new. (Score 1) 175

by BarbaraHudson (#48954099) Attached to: Can Students Have Too Much Tech?

A lot of the stuff you buy today is simply not repairable by tinkering around. To repair my toaster, I had to drill the rivets out of the bottom and replace them with screws, then figure out what was wrong. Repairing my microwave by taking it apart got me a couple more years out of it, but last year it would have cost more just for the part than the whole thing had originally cost, so I got a new one for half the price I paid for the old one. I've got a 15-year-old desktop computer taking up space that I will get around to tossing, same as I've tossed other computers over the last 25 years. At some point they're just not worth fixing. Not when I can buy a new laptop with 4x the (much faster) ram and 4 cores just for the cost of the ram and equivalent hard drive (and I'd still be stuck with a single core 32 bit cpu).

There's a cost-benefit curve associated with electronics that is different from most everything else because of the rapid pace of improvements and lowering costs. Just like I stopped fixing people's vcrs (remember those things) when they were going for $25 new.

About the only thing that hasn't been obsoleted is fixing bicycles. It seems that nobody else knows how to fix a flat - or if they do, they do it wrong and wonder why their "fix" only lasted a few hours.

Comment: Re:This is not new. (Score 1) 175

by BarbaraHudson (#48953917) Attached to: Can Students Have Too Much Tech?

Your first argument is a real over-reach. Why not give them exposure to cosmetology, cleaning bedpans, running heavy equipment, etc. Hey, get real - we're talking kids in grades 5 to 8. NOBODY is going to make a lifetime decision based on that, and people shouldn't be making career choices based on what they've been exposed to in class at ANY age. Life doesn't really work like that.

Also, the vast majority of people in other crafts are not obsoleted by the time they're 40 and have to look for another trade, so no, programmers do NOT face the same problems as other professions, except maybe fashion models.

Programming wasn't a "young persons job" until way too many people got into it - it was called the tech bubble for a reason. It's one reason "kiddie languages" are so popular with "programmers" - there is no way 99% of the programmers out there could make it with just assembler and c.

And no - when "be valuable to your employer" means working all sorts of crazy hours with impossible deadlines all the time has become the norm because the whole industry is f*d up, at one point you'll be thrown under the bus because someone above you has screwed the pooch and is looking to be seen as doing something about it. This industry is too full of people who, whenever they promise too much and you deliver, take it as permission to make even more outlandish promises rather than realize the they just dodged a bullet.

I think the best advice I didn't take was "If you enjoy doing something, don't turn it into work - that will take the fun out of it." While I miss it, in a way I'm relieved that I'm out of it, even if it meant losing most of my vision for a few years.

Of course, your turn will come. Just give it time.

Comment: Re:Different markets... (Score 1) 409

by BarbaraHudson (#48953065) Attached to: How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft

and their latest bendable phone

What part of "it's not really bendable" did you have a hard time understanding, wanker?

That's the whole problem - it's not bendable, so when it bends, it's due to a design defect. Apple knew about this during development and had placed reinforcing on both sides, but it was compromised by the cut-outs for the external buttons. So, bendy-phone.

Comment: Re:Ireland will love this (Score 1) 472

I think that this is a first step to, if not dismantling those agreements, rendering them more or less irrelevant. The EU and OECD are also looking at ways to close up the loopholes. There are really only two options - fix this, or realize that in the race to the bottom there will always be players willing to play musical chairs.

Some people are going to shout "protectionism", but I think that the lower and middle classes are realizing that some things are worth protecting.

Comment: Re:Color me surprised (Score 1) 39

by BarbaraHudson (#48952679) Attached to: Test Shows Big Data Text Analysis Inconsistent, Inaccurate

That's a nice strawman argument you got going there.

People who have an understanding of their business will achieve far better results than a random distribution. The CEO of Ford saw it coming several years in advance, and prepared (via tens of billions of borrowing against every company asset, including their logo) to have enough funds to weather it out, while changing their product line-up to match the new reality.

There is no "silver bullet" to replace competence.

Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value.