Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:I can see this working! (Score 1) 280

by Moof123 (#49332019) Attached to: Ford's New Car Tech Prevents You From Accidentally Speeding

Tell me what the real speed limit is and I will follow it. Our highway speeds are set too low for the roads and the current car quality, so most folks drive 10 over in light traffic. Most of the times cops won't ticket there (unless they feel like it, equal protection under the law my ass), and many cops will angrily blow past traffic only going 10 over.

Try driving at the speed limit on I5 and you will be more likely to cause an accident than just going with the flow. Heck even Google wants to set their self driving cars to break the speed limit to be safer.

Comment: Re:Cruise control? (Score 5, Insightful) 280

by Moof123 (#49331959) Attached to: Ford's New Car Tech Prevents You From Accidentally Speeding

Pretty soon folks will get used to tuning out while driving (more than they already dangerously do), and when there is a crash it will be reasonable to argue that the automation was to blame.

We are rapidly turning drivers into only being partially in command. Some of the recent plane crashes caused by pilots with atrophied skills being faced with bad conditions and an autopilot that throws its hands up should be cautionary tales against this semi-automation.

Comment: Ugh, symptom, not the problem (Score 4, Informative) 1088

by Moof123 (#49295805) Attached to: Obama: Maybe It's Time For Mandatory Voting In US

Low turnout is a symptom, not the problem. Both parties are bought and paid for and are not very responsive to the rabble, so it is no surprise that most folks aren't very excited about elections anymore.

Most districts have been gerrymandered such that your vote does not matter, by design. If your district is 65% or more one party or the other thanks to disingenuous officials who rig the voting maps to keep their party in power there really is little reason to vote or even to keep believing the delusion that you are part of a good faith democratic system (you are decidedly not in the USA).

Finally, with a 2 party system with no minor parties of consequence I totally understand how a large and growing minority of voters cannot bring themselves to be affiliated with either party. The parties fight over issues rather than govern and there is no way to vote for "other" that will result in anything better than not voting at all. So it becomes a rational choice to not vote rather than wasting your time to cast a ballot that either does not matter, or for a party you very much do not approve of.

Comment: Re:Offshoring created an apprenticeship gap (Score 1) 154

EE is a career to avoid. The center of activity has moved to Asia, and will not be coming back anytime soon. It is fricking hard work for decent pay with poor job security. You end up as a nomad going from on dying company to the next, hoping the next job isn't going to wind up at a defense contractor in some crappy town in Texas. You can find better paying jobs that are not nearly as hard, and with a longer half life for you knowledge and skills.

It is fun work if you can get on a decent project, but those are getting harder and harder to find, and the choices of venue are getting fewer every year.

Comment: Offshoring created an apprenticeship gap (Score 4, Insightful) 154

15-20 years ago there were plenty of manufacturing jobs for EE's. It was a great way to learn how things were really put together, and in many cases it was the foundation of a good design engineering career. Places like HP/Agilent did a lot of their test an measurement RF/microwave career paths this way. A few years of keeping a production line that making RF/microwave widgets was a great way to learn the ropes and see how to (or not) make a good manufacturable design. Virtually all of that type of work is now offshored to Malaysia, China, and similar.

Much of the design work has been eaten up by better ADC's and DAC with gobs of FPGA's doing what used to be an art form. So now the minimum level of skill needed to work as a decently paid EE doing actual EE work is very very high.

Large numbers lost their jobs as the manufacturing went elsewhere and the engineers scurried to other jobs like programming, IT, etc to be able to feed themselves. There is a vacuum now between the EE graduates and the companies who need to hire more EE's. Companies want 5 years experience minimum to make sure you aren't a buffoon (and because they often simply have no entry level work to do), but there are very few entry level jobs to get that experience. So lots of fresh graduates find other work outside their EE degree. So lots of graduates, lots of job openings, and no good way to span the apprenticeship gap.

Comment: Re:Should they search the original areas again? (Score 1) 178

by Moof123 (#49215803) Attached to: MH370 Beacon Battery May Have Been Expired

Aviation parts have huge margins on them. My guess is that even an expired battery was only down less than 10% in capacity compared to spec. Achieving the amazing safety record that planes have requires that all parts be designed to have a high safety margin, and be replaced long before their are significantly degraded.

Comment: Re:Those without a timeline will be at an advantag (Score 1) 209

The author seemed delusional, especially on the point you make.

At an interview you are better off telling your story from scratch or by personal reputation than having to deal with someone who has already googled up some tidbits and let their mind fill in the blanks. Plenty of private details that will never affect your work performance (church affiliation, political party, age) can dramatically affect someones perception of you and are hard unseat (especially if you are unaware of how you have been judged).

I see a rich future for the already budding industry that massages your search results, and the concept that we will all have valuable timelines ignores that many will be skewed by manipulation.

"Be *excellent* to each other." -- Bill, or Ted, in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure