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Comment: Re:Today's business class is the 70s' economy clas (Score 4, Interesting) 819

If you are in the US, please let your company know that they're risking a worker's comp suit by refusing to purchase you the legroom that you need. Protecting the health of employees on the job is not optional. They may not have the same obligation if you're overweight (unless squeezing into the seat is also injuring you), but if you are incurring injuries during the execution of your job responsibilities then the company needs to do what it takes to prevent that from happening, up to and including eliminating travel from your job responsibilities.

People also need to be aware of their body type when booking on their own dime. Cattle class is fine for a couple hours if you're less than 5'10" and less than 160 lbs. I'm small enough to fly across the US in standard economy. But if you're too big to fit in a standard seat, you need to do the right thing for *your* health and comfort.

Comment: Re:Recession != bubble (Score 1) 154

by JoshWurzel (#47079517) Attached to: Agree or Disagree: We are in another tech bubble.

What metric are you using to call their market valuations outsized?

Facebook's market cap is 155B, and last year their revenue was 8B (EBIDTA 4B).
Google's market cap is 371B, and last year their revenue was 60B (EBIDTA 18B).
Apple's market cap is 523B, and last year their revenue was 170B (EBIDTA 55B).

Comment: WhatsApp is not evidence of a bubble (Score 3, Interesting) 154

by JoshWurzel (#47079391) Attached to: Agree or Disagree: We are in another tech bubble.

I was listening to NPR a few weeks ago and the guest speaker brought up an interesting point:

The last bubble was characterized by *everyone* thinking that everything tech-related was awesome ( is a perfect example). We were all heavily invested in these stupid companies that lacked profits, revenues, or even business models. When they turned out to be worthless, we all suffered.

WhatsApp/Nest/Occulus, on the other hand, are being purchased by other companies, regardless of public opinion. The impact if those purchases turn out to be worthless is negligible, comparing to the entire public investing in those worthless companies through our 401k's & mutual funds tracking various indices.

We expect that the companies who spend their money unwisely will get punished by sell-offs and dropping stock prices while companies who invest wisely will be rewarded with bullish behavior, as it should be.

CEO's make stupid decisions all the time. Their flights of fancy, though newsworthy, do not reflect the attitude of the world.

Comment: Re:Colour me confused (Score 2) 165

by JoshWurzel (#45848759) Attached to: Congressman Accepts BitCoin For His US Senate Run

First, copper is a better conductor than gold (~16 nOhms/m vs. ~24nOhms/m, lower is better). Gold is primarily used as plating because it doesn't corrode. But that doesn't really impact the value of your question.

When a core material like gold changes price, the impact to the consumer depends on the rate and absolute value of the price changes.

If the total impact to the product's price is small or sudden, then it is either passed on to the customer or absorbed by the manufacturer. There isn't a lot of gold in a typical consumer product, for example, but there is enough to make a wild swing in gold prices noticeable to the supply/operations groups.

If the price increase is really large or forecast to take place over an entire product development cycle, then the designers will take a long look at the tradeoffs and decide if they want to make a cheaper product or a more expensive product.

Comment: Don't confuse 'A' Players with Prima Donnas! (Score 3, Insightful) 397

by JoshWurzel (#45782375) Attached to: Netflix: Non-'A' Players Unworthy of Jobs

I'm seeing a lot of posts spouting the idea that 'A' players come with a lot of trade-offs. That's incorrect. Those posters are thinking of prima donnas.

Think about it like this: Are you an 'A' student if you got a perfect score on your math test and a zero on your history test? No. You're just good at math.

True 'A' players are hard to find. But they aren't unicorns. A true 'A' player has the following qualities:
-technical competence
-detail oriented: your creative solution isn't finished until the detail work is complete.
-cross-functional diplomatic skills, and at least a superficial understanding of the work that people around him do.
-quick learner
-able to prioritize tasks
-positive attitude
-executes quickly & effectively (aka "works smart, not hard")
-can handle the bureaucracy of your work environment (startup/megacorp/whatever)

That probably sounds like a lot to ask of one person, but people with this list of skills exist. They just take a bit longer to find and its admittedly tough to identify them all in an interview.

Maybe you don't have all those skills yourself. That's ok. But it means that if I hire you, I have to hire other people to get those skills. Netflix has decided that its worth their time to look for the whole package.

Comment: Re:Great for presenting, not for creating. (Score 1) 109

by JoshWurzel (#44785345) Attached to: Elon Musk Shows His Vision of Holographic Design Technology

The point of my post is that its already being done better with today's technology and that this proposal is not an improvement. Currently, mechanical designers & engineers are using a combination of a 2D & a 3D mouse. The 3D mouse handles the pan/scan/zoom on a large-screen LCD and the 2D handles the fine control challenges. The 3D mouse is not technically necessary, as the same functionality can also be achieved using modifier keys in combination with the standard mouse, but it does make things smoother. So really this system isn't solving any problems.

If we really want to do it better than today, we need some sort of eye-tracking and/or brain-scanning to eliminate the lag of accurate selection. But there are still a lot of challenges, such as gorilla arm which posters noted. There's no clear solution to the fact that humans aren't design to hold up their arms for 8 hours a day...except maybe modifying ourselves!

Comment: Great for presenting, not for creating. (Score 3, Informative) 109

by JoshWurzel (#44784581) Attached to: Elon Musk Shows His Vision of Holographic Design Technology

I'm a fairly regular (though not extremely skilled) user of 3D CAD software. I suspect that this would extend the time to perform simple tasks when compared with a 2D & a 3D (space) mouse.

The fact that Elon Musk doesn't design a part in his demo is telling. That part is VERY simple to create in today's UIs: a simple revolve of a cross section with a couple of patterned extrusions around the circumference. I see 5 distinct operations, and a more experienced person could probably make it in less. Just a couple minutes for even an amateur like me.

I think other 3D users will agree with me that this will increase the time for common tasks like selecting edges for radius/chamfer/draft and the critical sketching/dimensioning of cross sections for extrusion. A mouse pointer is so precise. To get the same level of accuracy with this system, you'd have to zoom in several times to make sure the correct feature/surface/edge is selected before you can perform any operation.

Creating the 2D drawings, which are still required for actual production, will also take much longer with a system like this.

There are many analogies for non-3D users, such as art programs or scale model/figure painting. I bet this is very similar to a programmer watching Johnny Mnemonic or Swordfish and saying "yeah, hacking doesn't work like that, that's ridiculous".

I've pre-ordered a Myo Armband and I'm hopeful that I can make it do some cool things with my CAD station. But for now I don't see this as anything more than a way to show your Director or VP the cool work you've been doing or communicate issues/challenges in the mechanical design to non-MechE's.

Comment: Here's my review (Score 5, Informative) 126

by JoshWurzel (#39767687) Attached to: Ph.D Webcomic Gets Adapted Into Feature Film

I read a lot of webcomics and I always buy the printed compilations and other goodies. So I buying the DVD a good use of money to support the art of webcomics from which I derive much entertainment. That said, in my opinion, the movie was only so-so.

1) hit many great jokes from the strip - the conference in hawaii, Tajel's hippie-ness, lab role stereotypes, trying to secure funding, etc.
2) I thought male leads more-or-less matched their hand-drawn counterparts
3) I also thought DVD extras were entertaining, particularly the commentary

1) the main character had two different haircuts! Thought it was two different characters at one point! I found it really distracting.
2) sound quality was awful
3) acting for the main characters wasn't great, and was flat out awful for all the non-main characters
4) the female leads were not well matched to their hand-drawn counterparts. This is more of a nit-pick than a real flaw. The girl playing Tajel was gorgeous, though!
5) I thought Tajel & Slackenery's roles were marginalized, while Cecila's romance was given unnecessary prominence. I'll agree that Cecila and the unnamed main character are the "leads", but in the comic they don't dominate like they did in the movie.

Bottom line: the movie was made by students, with students, for students. And I think it showed. I don't recommend it for people who aren't fans of the strip. But for people who are fans of the strip I found it to be a good use of an hour, if for no other reason then seeing your favorite strips acted out live.

Comment: Re:Why I play (Score 2) 301

by JoshWurzel (#39538999) Attached to: To me, lotteries represent ...

I did the same. The pool wasn't just "people at work", they were all people *on my team*. So not only would I have been the only guy who didn't win, I'd have been stuck with all their work! Double-whammy! No way was I gonna stick around for that train wreck.

I'm not playing to win. I'm buying very cheap insurance against my life totally sucking.

There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly. -- Publius Terentius Afer (Terence)