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Comment: As a pilot and aviation enthusiast... (Score 1) 88

I really rue the day that "r/c model aircraft" because a "drone". Suddenly, a toy is worth regulating, and it's become rather ridiculous.

Now we're talking about having to tether a model aircraft with a line, so that now we have entanglement issues?

Can somebody please add some reason?

Comment: I simply haven't seen it (Score 1) 401

by mcrbids (#47397617) Attached to: No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say

I'm a partner in a small software company. We employ 8 developers, 26 total staff. Our wages are midline, our benefits excellent, and our work environment is superb. I haven't seen *any* benefit from the H1B's.

And we've tried!

We really need people who can code. We have problems to solve, we need programmers to code answers to the problems. We really don't care about education credentials - if you can code, write reasonable answers to solve real problems, we're interested in you. We took a look at the H1B visa thing, and we were consistently disappointed. Gorgeous, impressive resumes for people with Masters or (gasp) even PHDs in computer science who couldn't write a SQL statement, recursive algorithm, or even factor a number. "Write me a function that replaces the word "apples" with "oranges" in a given input string was met with blank stares.

I don't know what they do, but I'm not interested in finding out. But if you want to live in NorCal and want a decent job at a small, securely growing software company... PM me!

Comment: But ugly as hell (Score 5, Insightful) 119

by mcrbids (#47351267) Attached to: Boston Trying Out Solar-Powered "Smart Benches" In Parks

So, you have this boxy thing mounted in the middle of the park bench. The promo photo has two attractive people awkwardly trying to look chic sitting next to something about he size of an old-school VCR bolted to the middle of the bench. Of course, you'd naturally stick your 32 oz triple malt latte on it, and any 9 year old with angry daddy issues will beat it with the nearest rock. Meanwhile, it provides no shade at all.

Great idea, utter failure in implementation. Instead:

1) Put the solar panel (even if small) on a pole OUT OF THE WAY so it lets you sit on the !@# seat, and provides at least a modicum of shade. Better yet, made the overhead cover the length of the bench so the shade is usable and you get some protection from light rain.

2) Put the USB charge port under the seat. This provides automatic protection from accidental strikes and also doesn't provide an automatic target for 9 year olds with angry daddy issues.

As it sits now, it's practically a show case example of some bad engineering product a la Dilbert.

Comment: Larry's probably right! (Score 1) 186

by mcrbids (#47337397) Attached to: Larry Page: Healthcare Data Mining Could Save 100,000 Lives a Year

One thing I know about the Googlites is that when they make a public statement like this, it's usually pretty conservative. Self-driving cars seemed like a pipe dream, but they're just about here, and it's for real.

In fact, Google has been working for years to use their information for predicting disease breakouts in a more general sense. If he says 100,000 lives, they've probably already done the math to support that statement.

Comment: Re:Jerk off material for the Greenies (Score 1) 96

by mcrbids (#47307683) Attached to: World's First Large-Scale Waste-to-Biofuels Facility Opens In Canada

It is true that landfills are often usable afterwards for parks and even houses!

It is also true that landfill locations have to be carefully surveyed for issues such as water runoff and geological stability in order to ensure that land fills don't pollute groundwater or leak toxic chemicals, etc. Nobody wants to live next to a landfill for the 10-40 years that they are open. They aren't pretty. They smell bad, and attract vermin. As we learn more about the real effects of land fills, we often find that even years after being closed, they are causing ongoing environmental damage that is very expensive. Many toxic "super fund" environmental disasters are previous dump sites.

And, if it's actually profitable recycle instead of dumping, are you really arguing that we should dump anyway?

Comment: Site gap, not air gap (Score 1) 387

by mcrbids (#47264175) Attached to: Code Spaces Hosting Shutting Down After Attacker Deletes All Data

IMHO:

1) Backups that don't get done automatically often don't get done regularly, so they should be automatically performed via scripts.

2) Offline isn't as important as offsite. Buildings catch fire, get flooded, disappear into sink holes, get hit by falling jet airplanes.

3) Security matters. Paranoia should be the order of the day.

Comment: 16" wheels are surprisingly useful (Score 1) 85

by mcrbids (#47252077) Attached to: Shawn Raymond's Tandem Bike is Shorter Than Yours (Video)

I'm a fan of foldable bikes. Think: Dahon and/or Bike Friday. They solve one of the biggest problems with bikes in conjunction with an automotive culture: getting "stuck" with a bike that you rode to work but won't be driving home with.

So, I've spent a lot of time on a 16" wheel on a Dahon Stowaway with performance tires, and a finely tuned internal 3-speed hub that made it into a surprisingly fast speed demon. I loved it - it was fast, casual, and convenient. Sadly, it was stolen.

The small, 16" wheels are surprisingly effective on commuter bike! No, you don't go off road on 16" wheels - but ask yourself: do you really do that much anyway?

Comment: Re:Very simple reason (Score 2) 377

by Leomania (#47250051) Attached to: Are US Hybrid Sales Peaking Already?

This.

The point made earlier by a poster regarding acceleration lag is very true, he described it perfectly. Other than that, the Prius is a great car. Mine has 160K miles on it and it runs the same as the day I bought it, and it has been more reliable than any other car I've ever owned (and I have owned many). Brake linings never replaced. Not a bunch of rattles and squeaks, although it's not the quietest care on noisy roads. I'm planning to take mine to 300K miles if at all possible, and I know others who feel the same - keep it as long as possible, there's no real reason to replace it.

Comment: Re:He continues to show himself to be ... (Score 1) 230

by mcrbids (#47197593) Attached to: Musk Will Open Up Tesla Supercharger Patents To Spur Development

How is this a dumb move? By making charging stations ubiquitous, Elon is paving the way for even more sales of their already popular electric cars.

Sometimes, it's really important to know what your *core competence* is, and what is not. With this move, it would seem that Tesla motors sees that it is in the business of selling cars, not fueling stations.

Them as has, gets.

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