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Comment: Re:Hot Glue Guns (Score 1) 175

by Pharmboy (#48615937) Attached to: 3D Printer?

And they can't afford $500 for a phone or $800 on a game console but they still do. $1000 is within reach of enough people to be called "consumer grade". That doesn't mean everyone can afford it. Not everyone can even afford a computer, but we still consider them consumer goods.

Comment: Re:Cocoa futures (Score 1) 323

by Pharmboy (#48397525) Attached to: MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

That was my thinking. Maybe we have giant silos of cacao, and those are dwindling, although I lack the imagination to think this is literally true. The whole premise looks like a reason to raise prices and profits.

If the world is eating more chocolate, it means the world is getting richer. Not many in China would be eating chocolate regularly 20 years ago, Same could be said of other areas.

Regardless, the math doesn't add up, particularly the future estimations of us consuming a million tons more than we make. The only place you see that kind of math is typically in the Ministry of Truth.

Comment: It's more than that (Score 5, Insightful) 158

by Phroggy (#48231853) Attached to: The Problem With Positive Thinking

Positive people are dangerous. Because they assume everything is going to be fine, they fail to plan for things to go wrong, and then after you're stuck cleaning up the mess they caused, they sweep it all under the rug and act like everything went smoothly - so not only do you get no recognition for your heroic efforts to fix everything, but they're fully confident in their ability to handle the next situation just as well as the last.

But nobody wants to listen to the pessimists, because they're so negative.

Comment: UNIX certification (Score 1, Offtopic) 13

by Phroggy (#48217587) Attached to: SMART Begins Live Public Robocar Tests In Singapore

The article makes a big deal of Mac OS X's UNIX certification. Although it didn't hurt, the certification really had nothing to do with the rise in popularity of the Mac. Using open source code certainly allowed Apple to take advantage of (and then build upon) the cool stuff we've enjoyed on Linux for years, but what broke Microsoft's stranglehold on the consumer mindset was really the iPod, and later the iPhone. That's what made people think that buying a Mac might be a viable alternative to Windows. Of course once they made the switch, users were able to see that the technology really works, but without the iPod, most people would never have considered the Mac as an option.

There were other factors at work too:

  • Poor support for Vista when it launched made people desperate for an alternative
  • The rising popularity of Firefox made web developers stop building sites that only worked in IE on Windows

Comment: Re:Government involvement (Score 1) 346

I agree that smaller government isn't "the" answer, but smaller is easier to keep an eye on, and much of the "smaller" means that things instead get shifted to the state or local level. Frankly, I like that, because I can easily go downtown, or easy enough to the state capital, but when D.C. is in charge, there is zero chance of being heard. I would rather be a tiny voice here in NC than a non-existent one in DC.

Comment: Re:Janitors and landscapers next? (Score 1) 134

by Phroggy (#48080229) Attached to: Google's Security Guards Are Now Officially Google Employees

Not sure, but I think Google does hire its chefs directly. I thought I saw a job posting for one once on Google's careers website, but I could be wrong.

I once met a guy (at OSCON) who said he was on the hiring committee for Google's chefs. I certainly got the impression they are employees.

Comment: Re:Oh good (Score 1) 907

by Pharmboy (#47997069) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

No, it was called a Senior Airman. Very few Sr.Amn went to NCO school and took the rank of buck sgt. before just going for staff, so the majority of E4s were Airman tier, not NCO tier. Sr. Amn and Buck paid the same, both being E4, with the only difference being NCO school and tier, plus some advantages (priority) if you wanted to separate rats and quarters and were single. Oh, and the star on your sleeve was silver instead of blue, although that isn't a perk, just an indication you were an NCO.

Note that most of the "exceptional" airmen back then would simply go below the zone (make E5/Staff Sgt. in less than 4 years) rather than seek buck sgt. Bucks were fairly rare for a variety of reasons, including the above.

Yes, I was in the Air Force. So was most of my family.

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