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Comment: Re:Or, just don't get married. (Score 1) 445

by Necron69 (#48135165) Attached to: Statisticians Uncover What Makes For a Stable Marriage

My last five years of taxes and my account would strongly disagree with you. If you both work and make good money, you will pay more in taxes after you get married. Without changing our deductions, my wife and I owed $7k the first year we were married, after both getting regular refunds (filing singly) for years beforehand.


Comment: Whatever pays the bills. (Score 1) 546

by Necron69 (#48130155) Attached to: Goodbye, World? 5 Languages That Might Not Be Long For This World

My company is wedded at the hip to a test automation system built in Perl that dates back to the early 2000s. I grumbled a bit about continuing to use this system after a review two years ago, but it isn't really that bad, and it pays me six figures a year. Perhaps, like COBOL, the rarer it gets, the more valuable the skills will be?

I'll probably get around to learning Python or Java one of these days. :)

- Necron69

Comment: Re:Practice colony in Antarctica first? (Score 1) 269

by Necron69 (#48106445) Attached to: MIT Study Finds Fault With Mars One Colony Concept

Very good points. If you think about it, humans are absolutely the _last_ 'component' of your colony you want to send up. Every last piece of technology sent along will have to be carefully designed for compatibility, standardization, and have a boatload of spare parts already on the ground before any humans arrive.

It will be a very long time before anyone is mining/smelting or running an electronics fab on Mars. OTOH, think business opportunity! :)

- Necron69

Comment: Re:Can someone explain to me (Score 2) 123

by Necron69 (#47874455) Attached to: SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

While I'll concede some truth to what you say about NASA, with SpaceX (and competitors) we will soon have bootstrapped the manned spaceflight industry enough such that no one will care anymore whether people like you make blanket statements about the value of manned spaceflight.

The only people's opinions that will matter will be the paying customers. Presumably, those willing (and waiting) to pay for a manned launch think there is a purpose and value to it.

If even a short trip off this tiny rock of a planet becomes affordable in my lifetime, I'll be buying.

- Necron69

Comment: Re:assholes everywhere (Score 1) 182

If you'd ever sat in a Beijing traffic jam next to their monstrous, smoke belching diesel trucks, you'd know that factories and power plants are only a part of the problem.

I've been there and air filters or not, I could not live in Beijing with my asthma. One can only imagine the future lung disease/cancer rates we are going to see.

- Necron69

Comment: Re:Stick to what you know (Score 2) 387

by Necron69 (#46037551) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: It's 2014 -- Which New Technologies Should I Learn?

I'd stick to embedded systems. There is more and more of it all the time, and a lot of it runs Linux/C. I graduated in '93, and moved to embedded systems (switches) six years ago. I really only program in C and Perl, but I make well over six figures, work only 40 hours a week, and live nowhere near Silicon Valley.

Let the kids chase the hot new stuff.

- Necron69

Comment: My experience (Score 2) 715

by Necron69 (#45941033) Attached to: How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?

About 10 years ago, I had moved all three of my kids to a local charter school after frustration with a particularly bad teacher at the local public elementary school, and the seeming unwillingness of the school administration to do anything about it. The local schools had also all switched to the 'new' matrix math method, which was particularly annoying to me.

For the first year or so, everything was fine. Then a series of administration scandals and teaching problems sent us running back to the public schools.

The problems:
1. The school administration decided it was ok to have a school staff member serve as security and carry a concealed weapon. Regardless of your stance on concealed carry, this was illegal in Colorado and against school district regulations.
2. The school principal and her husband, also a school employee, apparently embezzled over $50k from the school. They were forced to resign in disgrace and were being investigated for criminal charges.
3. The last straw was that in November of that year, my son's math teacher resigned for a 'real' teaching job. Through the remainder of that year, my son ended up having SEVEN different math teachers. He finished the year doing terrible in math, and never really recovered from that.

We later found out that staff turnover was something like 70% a year, and that the average teacher pay at the school was around $28k. (the lowest teacher pay in the district). Of course all the teachers were only there on short term contracts while they waited to get a real teaching job with a pension and benefits somewhere else.

This is no way to run an education system, and I won't be experimenting with charter schools again.


Comment: Re:AVOID?? (Score 1) 365

by Necron69 (#45747545) Attached to: How To Avoid a Scramble For the Moon and Its Resources

There is no environment to protect on the moon. It is dead, irradiated rocks and dirt, already pockmarked by billions of years of meteorite craters. Strip mine the hell out of it for whatever useful things we can find. Who the hell care what it _looks_ like?

It is lunacy like this that makes me realize that most "environmentalists" are really just anti-human.


Comment: Re:A tragedy in any other country is success here (Score 1) 894

by Necron69 (#45695837) Attached to: How the Lessons of Columbine Saved Lives At Arapahoe High School

All of those same legal provisions are in place here in Colorado. The shooter used a shotgun, not a handgun or an assault rifle. Being a legal adult, he legally bought the gun after passing his mandatory background check.

Background checks can't stop a first time offender with no criminal record, or mental health history.


Comment: Re:Military propaganda movie for home consumption (Score 1) 726

Although I enjoyed for what it was, it is an abomination to try to read anything of Heinlein's book in it. Only the vaguest of plot details and characters carry through and the message of Heinlein is completely, and totally lost in Verhoeven's film.

In the book, the 'bugs' were a highly technologically advanced race, who most certainly were a threat and most certainly had spaceflight. They had cities, for crying out loud.

Completely gone from the movie is the time the main character spends in officer training school. All lessons of values, honor, duty and morals are just gone from the movie.

BTW, the _Mobile_ Infantry is supposed to be mechanized with high tech, powered battle armor that puts them more on caliber with a tank division. They are not foot soldiers.

All that being said, the movie most clearly was a farce, but it was a terrible one and has very little in common with Heinlein's book of the same name.


Comment: Currency Validators? (Score 2) 162

by Necron69 (#45283163) Attached to: Hackers Break Currency Validator To Pass Any Paper As Valid Euro

Ok, dumb American here. Are 'currency validators' that common in Europe? The only thing that comes to mind here in the US is the 'dollar bill accepters' on vending or change machines. Other than those, I don't think I've ever seen a currency validator on a cash register anywhere. Occasionally, you get a sales clerk who will hold a $20 or $100 up to the light to look for the security strip (in American bills), but that's pretty much it over here.

- Necron69

"In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -- Carl Sagan, Cosmos