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Comment: Companies can't create a diversified talent pool (Score 5, Insightful) 265

by Brannon (#47324501) Attached to: Tech Workforce Diversity At Facebook Similar To Google And Yahoo

out of thin air. The internal demographics of these large companies reflect the demographics of graduates in the relevant fields. The right answer is to get a more diversified college population in computer engineering and computer science, which requires getting more K-12 interest in those fields amongst underrepresented groups. And that's exactly what the big companies are doing--investing in programs that will build a more diversified pipeline of future employees.

The comparison against MLB is outrageously stupid. African-Americans were already playing baseball in high numbers in separate leagues; MLB just started poaching players from those leagues. Are you claiming that there are some all-female or all-black companies full of millions of computer engineers that Facebook could start hiring from tomorrow?

Comment: You are critically wrong about two things: (Score 1) 659

by Brannon (#47006315) Attached to: Future of Cars: Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Or Electric?

1. The Tesla recharges 180 miles in about 30 minutes, and getting better all the time. Other electric cars are catching up and there are emerging standards for DC quick charging.

2. Your driving pattern is not typical so it isn't at all predictive about the future of electric driving.

Comment: All indications point to battery electric. (Score 1) 659

by Brannon (#47006299) Attached to: Future of Cars: Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Or Electric?

Batteries halve in cost/kwh & kwh/kg about every 10 years. DC fast chargers are legit--Tesla can already charge at >5 miles/minute (120KW, planned increase to 135KW) with a rapidly growing charging infrastructure. Hydrogen refueling is just not enough of an improvement (neither is battery-swapping BTW--which always sounded ridiculous to me).

New economies of scale are starting to kick in, lots of new battery tech in the pipeline. Government regulations for 55mpg+ is only realistic with hybrid or full electric cars. It's already way cheaper to operate an electric car than a gas car--think about that. People who own electric cars love them. The Model S was named best car in the world by about a million publications.

We are just waiting for the gap in capital cost (vs. a gas car) to narrow and then it's game over for combustion driving. For those of you who haven't lived through a technology revolution before--this is what the beginning of it looks like. Maybe 20 years until >50% of all passenger miles driven in the US by new cars are driven under electric power.

Comment: I don't think you know what discrimination means. (Score 1) 673

by Brannon (#46715035) Attached to: Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

You also seem confused on 'laws' and possibly on 'gender'.

Offering a girl-specific incentive is not the same thing as discriminating against boys. Discrimination implies some scarcity coupled with biased allocation (i.e., 50 available slots and 40 of them go to girls). There is no scarcity in programming knowledge--anyone is free to learn. I don't understand any argument for how this discourages boys from learning programming. If anything this is intended to partially offset existing institutionalized discrimination against girls.

Now, about 'laws'. Google is a private company which is free to offer a sex-specific charity. Ever heard of the 'Boy Scouts'?

Comment: NYC (Score 4, Informative) 405

by Brannon (#46511119) Attached to: Paris Bans Half of All Cars On the Road

My experience is that people who live outside of NYC think that NYC == "Manhattan" while people who live inside NYC think that NYC == {Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Queens}. The latter is the official definition, but apart from that all the boroughs are strongly connected by subway (or ferry/subway in the case of Staten Island), sNYC taxis & busses, NYC income tax, NYC schools, a single mayor and government, and a number of cultural factors (walking culture, bodegas, etc.).

Which isn't to say that we're all one big happy family--people have strong allegiances to their borough, but I think most people in NYC feel like we are one city.

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