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Comment Not really a spot scarcity economy (Score 1) 536

1. Star Trek was a TV show, where wasting valuable time on inconsequential things isn't done. They did not need to explain how they got stuff, they just got it. Plus, pocket on the uniforms would have ruined the look.

2. Even so, there was still evidence of some sort of medium of exchange and way to establish value. People did thing that produced valuable items, and had things that did not appear to be what they made, which implies there would be some way to establish value and determine what is a worthwhile rate of exchange for other items.

3. Academics write papers because that is the currency the value...

Comment Re:Sensational but misleading headline? Not on /. (Score 1) 416

It's fraud pure and simple. How are you to know what the actual emissions are? Are they going to give you a device to put on your tail pipe so you can measure the emissions? No they're not. Manufacturers are fighting changes to the tests that would make them real world tests. So yes, fraud.

While the real world may not mirror the test, that is not the manufacturers fault no fraud on their part. It's up to the government to decide what are the minimum standards and how they want to test; the manufacturers then get to decide how they will meet those standards. Absent cheating like VW did the manufacturers are doing nothing wrong; especially since the standard setters already know their numbers are bogus but lack the will to make changes. Any fraud is on the part of the legislatures who fail to fix the problem due to a lack of political will.

Comment Re:Not surprising and can you blame them? (Score 1) 416

Is this true for all tests or only those put forward by political parties you disagree with?

Are the EIT, PE and medical boards also worthless?

There is nothing wrong with teaching to a well written test.

Vey true, and having a test that reasonably accurately assesses the kownledge of an applicant regarding a relevant set of required knowledge to be minimally qualified to carry out a job is worthwhile. Unfortunately, some standardized test do not do that but are used simply because it is easy to get a number.

Better than teaching to the whim of the HS teachers. Who I must remind you are the dregs of college students.

Some may be, but there are plenty who go or went into teaching because they loved it and had other options but felt they were called to teach. Unfortunately, many of those are bolting at the first chance they get and telling kids who want to be teachers to do anything else because all they'll get is a terrible, thankless job for low pay. In the end, we'll get people who can't do anything else.

Comment Re:Not surprising and can you blame them? (Score 1) 416

The law says "pass this test" so they pass the test.

How is this different than standardized testing in schools? The state says "pass this test" so the teachers train the kids to pass the test.

Do they actually LEARN anything useful for the real world?

Do these cars actually have low emissions when driven in the real world??

You be the judge.

Which is the fundamental problem with many metrics used to judge success. People measure an outcome without think about what they really want to accomplish. You want me to hit X? Ok, I'll hit X. Oh, you really wanted me to do Y which might stop me from hitting X? Sorry, I got rewarded for hitting X so Y got run over in the process. Thank you for playing, better luck next time, and I have some lovely parting gifts for you...

Comment Re:Realism (Score 1, Troll) 416

Is there some compelling reason why these tests aren't being conducted in realistic conditions in the first place?

Jobs. No government wants to all of a sudden have car manufacturers have to stop making diesels until they can comply and thus or lay off workers or require cash injections to stave off bankruptcy. In auditor, given the fuel cost advantage of diesel over gas the car buying public is likely to be upset. Since politicians neither want to piss off companies or voters they prefer to pretend the problem doesn't exist and delay changes through the beuracratic process know as "Studying the problem to come up with a report" to ensure real changes do not get made while giving the appearance of taking action.

Comment Sensational but misleading headline? Not on /. (Score 1) 416

It's no big secret that manufacturers do everything they can to make sure a car passes the test regime; that is not illegal as long as they don't do something VW does even though the test configuration may not represent what the real world emissions will be. There is a big difference between optimizing a design so that it passes a test and, in theory at lest, if the vehicle is maintained and driven the same way was in the the test conditions will have the same emissions and designing a system to perform one way during a test and then bypass the controls on actual vehicles. One is good engineering and the other is criminal. Part of the problem is the test design doesn't really simulate real world driving conditions and if they changed the tests cars wouldn't pass and then they'd have to lower the standards to much indignation and outrage from politicians and the public. So we all play a silly little game and don't ask embarrassing questions.

Comment Re:BTC vs bitcoin (Score 1) 71

I guess 20-30 years would be enough to prove that it' a viable currency in the long term.

even if BTC as a currency never gets any useful due to exchange rate instabilities, bitcoin the protocole is already extremely useful. (absence of a central authority being instead distributed across the whole network, and thus freedom to chose any provider for both ends (customer and merchant) of a transaction - both don't need to have accounts at PayPal, or at the Visa / MasterCard duopoly, etc.)

Exactly. Currency, to be viable, must be a reliable store of value. Large swings in value negate that, even as it makes it a useful speculative investment. The protocol is useful for what it provides, but that can be replicated by any number of currencies should someone want to so do. As long as there is a way to immediately convert BitCoin to real money you'll be able to buy things with it; if only because all it is acting as is an intermediary to facilitate the transaction and thus unlikely to see any significant change in value from the time a payment is made to when the receiver converts the BitCoin to dollars, Euros, or whatever. As soon as liquidity becomes a problem BitCoin, as a transaction system, will cease to be useful for most transactions and the ability to instantaneously convert large amount of BitCoin to real money has always been one of the hurdles to overcome. It may be all well and good that someone has say $20 million in Bitcoin but since they couldn't go to an exchange and say send $20 million to my bank and have the transaction go through right away like any other wire transfer is a problem; especially since that $20 million could be worth a lot less the next day or so as yo parcel out the transactions in small enough amounts the exchanges could handle.

Comment Re:Cultural? (Score 3, Interesting) 479

This is when corporate lawyers start echoing the standard refrains of "Don't destroy any records", "where is your search warrant" and "don't talk to investigators or the press without a lawyer present" lines to everybody.

Somebody is likely going to jail, or at least facing criminal charges in both the EU and the USA.... Expect there to be a lot of finger pointing from here on out.

I agree withe everything up to "don't talk to investigators or the press without a lawyer present." Never forget that a corporate lawyer doesn't represent you, he or she is their to protect the corporation and will throw you under the bus at the first opportunity. Anytime a lawyer is sent to "help" the first thing to ask is "Who you represent?" followed by "are you my lawyer?" and "is everything we say confidential and privileged?" if the answer to the last two isn't yes and yes they are not on your side.

Comment Re:Cultural? (Score 1) 479

I need to agree. Germans take a lot of pride in Engineering as a culture. To say the German Engineers took short cuts just to pass US tests seems more unlikely than a strict Wink-Wink-Nudge-Nundge from the Bosses to the engineers with the side effect of or-else.

Befehl ist befehl. While they may not have direct orders to do something the pressure to "fix the problem" and not bother with telling me the details sounds like what may have happened. At any rate, I would find the executives' argument weak; especially for a screw up as big as this. Someone senior will have to take the fall, if only to prevent a slow drip, drip , drip of revelation that brings down the entire executive team and potentially VW.

Comment Re:fair competition (Score 1) 239

But again; even if uber is terrible and dangerous, why should we be treated like infants and not allowed to make up our own minds? Also continuing with the uber is a death trap; then other companies could come along in a free market and offer safer drives. People would probably choose them instead. Free market. Just like all the other vendors in London who don't have quotas. Restaurants, lawyers, dentists, clothing stores. All of those businesses would probably love a quota eliminating new competition. But it wouldn't serve the public at all. But if this monopoly had never been set up and competition had always been allowed we would not be having this discussion and Uber would be having trouble making any headway in London, it would simply be one more competitor in a competitive market.

As someone who works in a place with minimal cab regulation and thus maximum competition I welcome Uber's entry. I've gotten cabs with drivers who don't even know the local area, cabs with dash warning lights beyond just check engine, and fares weren't cheap. All it takes is a car and a sign asking taxi to be a cab; plus a sticker indicating you've paid the airport tax (gov't wants their cut) so Uber is a step up.

Comment Re:Not just a technical management problem. (Score 1) 152

I see this as a wider problem, not just with managers. It is no different than the problem I have seen with many developers/programmers who are unwilling to learn (to the point of fighting it) the business that they are developing software for. Most developers develop software for some business other than for other developers and refusing to educate yourself about the business that you are developing for limits the usefulness of those resources. Similarly, Managers managing technical people should learn what they are managing - though they don't necessarily have to worry about the details of it. Of course the smaller the company the more knowledge technically that manager should have since there is less room for specialization.

Exactly. It's not about having mangers who are great programmers/admins/etc., rather it is the ability to understand the concepts and thus be able to talk intelligently with their staff and explain what they are doing to more senior leadership. Your point about programmers understanding the business needs of their customers is spot on, although many programmers will decry the need to so do. I recently got involved in yet another iT project, despite my great desire to avoid them at any cost, and after explaining in great detail exactly what we are looking for, including detailed data descriptions including data types and input rules, process flows, screen mockups etc, the programmer came back with a very detailed overview of the calendaring function he was building for us. Trouble is, I neither need nor want a calendar function, I want what I described. Yes, the software has really neat calendaring abilities but I really don't give a damn how cool they are because ether don't do what I need. Far too often both sides of the table seem unable to talk in a language the other understands and get a common understanding of what is needed.

As for the CFO not having a financial background, of course they have one but they also understand and probably have been involved in operations and other line/staff functions and understand what they do. Similarly, a CIO should have the same breadth of experience.

Comment Re:LoJack (Score 2) 100

It amazes me just how many people (criminals especially) just don't get this.

In Hollywood movies, the criminals are usually brilliant masterminds, because that makes for an interesting story. But, in real life, most criminals are pretty stupid.

Yup. As my cop friends say, "We only catch the stupid ones." One detective I know told me whenever they had a breaking that match a certain profile they'd go find "John" and ask him if he did it. If he did, he'd fess up and ask how did they know? The say because the last 10 times we had a burglary like this you did, so we decided to save some time and see if you did this one as well. Another favorite was the guy who, good citizen he was, called in a crime in progress form a payphone. Trouble was the crime he was reporting was occurring 10 blocks away. He was surprised when the cops caught him in progress of committing a crime and told them they were supposed to be at a crime 10 blocks away.

The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.