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Comment Re:Sigh (Score 2) 583

First, "The Kurds" is a pretty wide brush. There are several factions of Kurds that have different agendas. I.e. Iraqi Kurds are not lock step with Turkish Kurds.

Second, it's not like the Turkish Kurdish con flight just started. It's been going on for decades. It was pretty common in the 90s for the US Air Force conducting surveillance on Iraq to bug out when the Turks decided to go on an indiscriminate bombing run. The US has been turning a blind eye to that region for a very long time.

Third, the Turks are doing the same thing as the Russians are doing. For the media they are tough on ISIS, but in reality they are just continuing their Air War on various Kurdish groups.

Fourth, you can't win a war using just air power.

Comment H1B No Longer Cheap (Score 1) 607

H1B's contractors now cost more than $100K (although the actual person doing the work gets a fraction of that money). The reason is there's a shortage. Supply and demand. That's why companies are pushing to list the H1B caps.

No one looks at how we go into this situation. Around the 2000s the bean counters had a choice between adding more college hires and H1B/Off-shore resources. They cost a similar amount of money, but a H1B resource can be leveraged because they need an employer to sponsor their visa. Thus begins the cycle. No one is hiring the next generation of workers and the hole gets bigger and bigger.

Between 2005 and 2011 I didn't work in a single shop that had programming Interns or college hires (I consult and see a lot of large IT shops). As H1B and offshore rates ratcheted up companies were forced to look at college hiring again. So naturally the first thing congress wants to do is entirely remove H1B caps* (This by the way has bi-partisan support).

Back in my world I make a crap-ton of money with On-Shoring projects. Companies that tried it the 2000s are pulling development back into the US. We cost a lot more than off-shore workers, but the we get so much more done with a significantly higher degree of success.

Comment Sadly The Car Companies Owe The Dealers (Score 1) 439

In the early age of the auto industry dealer franchise fees were used to fund the start up costs. In exchange for those funds certain rules and agreements were made to ensure those investments were protected. Otherwise a car maker could simply put the dealer out of business once their cars became common place. That's why the auto dealer franchise laws exist in the first place. Even foreign auto makers used the franchise fees to fund their US expansions.

Tesla on the other hand never took a dime of franchise fee. From that standpoint I think they should be exempt.

Comment NASA Built Silicon Valley (Score 4, Interesting) 76

In the dawn of Silicon Valley the fabs counted on NASA and Military orders. For quite a long time they could count on 70+% of the production going towards NASA and military contracts. Almost no one else could afford the products at the time. Eventually Intel broke that mold by making a huge bet that they could slash the product costs and a wave of volume would follow to make the price point profitable. It was a huge risk.

Comment Board Printing with Pick and Place is the Future (Score 1) 196

One of the Tech Crunch 2015 winners was Voltara V-One. Target price is sub-$2k (eventually) for a machine that will do 2-layer PCB printing, insulation curing, solder paste dispensing and reflow. Might be expensive for the home user, but I can see Maker workshops installing them.

It's not even the first PCB printer, there are several on the market already in the $3K range.

Comment Happens All The Time (Score 3, Interesting) 43

The only thing that's weird about that is that is wasn't while leaving the company. Typically financial advisors do a data dumb of their clients and holding when they decide to switch to a different firm. The moment the advisor puts in notice a whole team of people work to contact customers to get permission to move so that the assets can be re-papered under the new firm. It's not unusual for a team to meet with an advisor and personally fly the paperwork/data back to the home office in order to speed up the transition.

Comment It's About Warranty Repairs (Score 1) 411

Experts are thinking it has a lot more to do with reducing wear and tear on the very expensive Diesel Particulate Filter (DPS). The majority of states have testing requirements and under the CA 7/70 and Federal 8/80 emissions control warranty rules VW would likely be on the hook to fix any issues.

Comment Re:Amortization, Medical Interpetation, Bistromath (Score 1) 311

Sure, the cost of the machine has come down, but the cost the provider charges to use the machine continues to rise. Yes, there's heavy negotiate between provider and insurer but actual prices are driven on U&C (Usual and Customary) for the market. Unless there's a rouge provider in the market that lowers costs the U&C contracts are all about inflation adjustments.

Comment Re:PET, CAT and MRIs Are Cheap. We Overpay in the (Score 1) 311

That's a nice opinion, but the facts are there are plenty of first world countries that have private health insurance that delivery the same quality of care for a fraction of the price. The commonality is price controls. When someone needs urgent medical attention they are in no position to shop prices.

I've consulted for many health insurance companies. I've worked specifically around cost of care and price transparency. Let's look at this statement:

"Your $1500 MRI is not a fair market price. That price contains a massive subsidy for people on government programs."

So how exactly does a hospital subsidize a gov't program? Most of them are not-for-profits and pay no taxes. Most Hospitals are fine with people on gov't programs because they usually have insurance of some sort. They charge $1500 for the MRI because it's not an open market.

What brings costs up is greed and inefficiency. Massachusetts was once the poster child for out of control health care costs. While people tout RomneyCare for bringing down costs in actuality that did very little to control costs. What did get costs under control was gov't restrictions passed years after he left office on health care premium increases. That forced insurance companies, hospitals, drug makers, medical device suppliers and doctors to renegotiate contracts. They went from being the state with the highest rise in health care costs to one of the lowest. Starve the beast and somehow they found a way to all make money.

Comment Re:PET, CAT and MRIs Are Cheap. We Overpay in the (Score 3, Interesting) 311

Typically in Europe the MRI/CT imaging machine run 2-3 times as long daily. The capital cost of the machine can be spread much further. It's not uncommon in the USA to see the machines run from 7am to 1pm. The same thing applies to Operating Theaters US vs Europe too.

While I can understand this in more rural areas of the United States it holds true in dense urban areas as well.

Money is the root of all evil, and man needs roots.