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Comment: Re:Billionaire saved by taxpayer (Score 2) 118

Student loans are the most secure loans made.

You cannot default on a student loan. You can be in bankruptcy, broke, homeless, unemployed, with kidney failure, and you still cannot default on your student loan. There are only two ways out: pay it off, or die. And seeing as how most folks incur student loans when they are 18-26, odds are strongly in favor of the lender.

You can refinance student loans, people didn't in the past because your student loan was at ~3%. When the House GOP refused to pass a continuation of the low rate program, they jumped to 6-7%. So at this point, if you have equity in your house, life insurance, or retirement fund, it may well be worth it to refi with a secured loan and get back to 3-5% APR.

Also, my credit union was just advertising new vehicle loans for 2.85% APR. And as far as secured loans go, vehicles suck on the secondary market, there's just too much depreciation as soon as you drive it off the lot. But if you're paying 7%, or the 18% number you mention, it's because your credit rating is likely crap. Heck, even my credit card is at 9%, and I'm sure there are better rates out there.


Comment: Re: And it's not even an election year (Score 1) 407

The positions are out there.

My last hiring blitz I had to bring in 28 contractors. Mainframe coders, Java devs, analysts, project managers, ETL/BI, reporting...

Trying to find 4 qualified Java developers took multiple postings. Sure, I'd get 40-100 resumes for each posting, but the majority were complete trash.

Most recently I've been looking for C#/Python/GIS devs.

And just yesterday I saw that Camelot Unchained was looking for a C# developer with threading knowledge and it's almost enough to make me quit my management life, move to DC, and get back into software development.

Getting a job as a good coder in Madison, WI isn't hard. Finding good labor available on the market in Madison WI... good luck.


Comment: One of the ones my son uses (Score 3, Informative) 315

by RingDev (#49442279) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Introduce a 7-Year-Old To Programming?

My kid loves this one:

I got him started on it when he was 10, and he completed all of the free levels in two weeks with minimal help after I worked with him through the first few.

Lots of other great recommendations here:

The board game one I've heard is good for younger kids, but once they have it down it's rather boring.


Comment: Re:Over exaggeration = fodder to the climate denie (Score 1) 304

by RingDev (#49430755) Attached to: Obama Says Climate Change Is Harming Americans' Health

There's a moving picture going on and this conversation is focusing on 1 frame.

The EPA is currently wrapped up in litigation over their legal authority to regulate CO2 emissions. One of the current arguments being put forward by the coal industry lobby is that even if AGW is real, it isn't having any immediate and measurable impact on the health of Americans. If there's no health concerns, then there's no reason fro the EPA to regulate.

So the President goes out and makes a statement, backed up by multiple research papers (someone posted links above if you're interested in digging into them and debating their merit), that say that no, in fact, AGW/AGCC is having a direct impact on the health of Americans.

Out of context, it seems like an odd thing to go on the stump about, but in the context of the EPA/coal industry court battles, it makes sense as the feds are trying to ensure the EPA retains it's legal authority to regulate CO2.


Comment: Learn to read before you blast (Score 3, Insightful) 179

by RingDev (#49314487) Attached to: WHO Report Links Weed Killer Ingredient To Cancer Risk

Uhh, did you even bother READING the article you linked?

"The Working Group classified glyphosate as âoeprobably carcinogenic to humansâ (Group 2A)."

The "Working Group" is:

"In March, 2015, 17 experts from 11 countries met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC; Lyon, France) to assess the carcinogenicity of the organophosphate pesticides tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon, and glyphosate"

NBC had nothing to do with the word "probably". The group of EXPERTS that met on the topic did.

Further more, if you actually read the article, and more importantly, the scientific studies they cite, you would probably realize a couple of things:
1) The concern is not for end consumers or even joe-schmoe gardener, it's for factory and field workers that are exposed to higher concentrations in greater volume than anything joe-schmoe would ever see.
2) Some of the studies are a bit tenuous. Sure, if you put a rat on an LD50-1 diet of glyphosate for their whole life, freaky things are going to happen.

Don't get me wrong, Monsanto is the fsking devil, just not for their work on glyphosate. Their business processes, the way they exploit farmers, their enforcement of IP, etc... is more than enough to warrant the hate that they deserve. But glyphosate, even with the risks we know about it, is so much better than the alternatives.


Comment: Re:Confusion (Score 3, Interesting) 90

by RingDev (#49293761) Attached to: Google: Our New System For Recognizing Faces Is the Best

The part that intrigues me is that they claim to return a name with the face.

This would imply that their facial recognition isn't just a image match, but that it looks at the context of the photos it finds to attempt to identify meta data about the people within it. Assuming that their facial recognition is no better than anyone else's recognition, by adding meta data to the calculation, especially given Google's propensity to collect and search meta data, it would seem likely that they use the meta data to make stronger identifications and find more reference photos of potential matches.

For example, if they do the first facial only search and come up with 10,000 possible matches, then they do meta searches on those 10,000 to find more pictures of them, then those pictures are compared for stronger 'training', you wind up with a much higher level of accuracy.


Comment: Re:Transparency in Government is good! (Score 2) 334

I don't believe there was anything barring people from reading it. I sat down over quite a few evenings at the time reviewing the proposed bill.

The rush where Pelosi and others were pushing for a vote was after the amendments had been completed. The bill was readily available for reading for months before then, and the amendments were available to read, but some individuals attempting to slow the passage down (until after Kennedy was out of the picture) were arguing that we should have delayed the passage until a complete new reading could be completed.

Don't get me wrong, I strongly detest the idea of legislation more than a couple of pages long written at a 6th grade reading level. But to claim that people "were not allowed to see or read" is factually untrue.


Comment: Re:Transparency in Government is good! (Score 4, Informative) 334

I believe you may be suffering from ODS.

The GOP introduced over 700 amendments to the ACA before it was put to the floor for a vote. Of those, 161 passed. Compared to the 36 Dem submitted amendments that passed.

To claim that the "GOP had nothing to do with the ACA" is verifiably untrue. To further claim that "They had no power to speak of at the time" highlights a complete lack of knowledge and understanding of how the legislative branch of our government works.


Comment: Re:Replicator prototype (Score 5, Interesting) 132

by RingDev (#49250991) Attached to: New Molecular 3D Printer Can Create Billions of Compounds

If I am reading this correctly, no. It does not appear to have significant value at the production level. The cost per quantity is astronomical. But what it can be used for is rapid prototyping. Say you have an idea for a new doping agent for a photovoltaic cell. Previously, you would have to either manually concoct the agent, or you would have to design a production system to make it for you. Both of which are incredibly time and financially intensive, especially for something that is just a theory. This machine would allow you to "print" a small batch of your agent, enough to do a proof of concept so that you can determine if it is worth moving forward with a production system to produce it more efficiently.


Comment: Re:The Keystone Pipeline already exists (Score 5, Insightful) 437

by RingDev (#49122411) Attached to: Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

"Nope - because oil is a world market"

Correct, except that it costs money to move. Having a continuous pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf Coast makes it dramatically cheaper to get the crude to the world market. Having the line terminate in Chicago makes it cheaper to refine and distribute regionally. This offsets shipping costs of bringing imported fuels in to the middle of the country. While oil as a whole is a fungible commodity in the concept of investment and pricing, the realistic implementation of it is still dependent on infrastructure and transportation.

"It will certainly reduce prices in the US by increasing the global oil supply."

The XL pipeline doesn't alter the world's supply. The same oil is already being pumped and refined, it just makes it cheaper to get to higher priced markets. It would reduce prices in the US if it were more profitable to sell in the US, which is largely what we currently see with the Keystone pipeline terminating in Chicago. With the termination point in the Gulf, the reduced cost of international distribution allows a greater profit to be earned by shipping it to other countries.

"Becoming a net exporter of oil would be terriffic"

And the XL pipeline would have no meaningful impact here. This is Canadian oil.

"and because we'd no longer have a strategic interest in the Middle-East "

The US doesn't currently have any strategic oil interests of our own in the Middle-East, and the XL pipeline would not impact that. The US only imports ~1/4 of our total oil consumption, the vast majority of that comes from Canada and Central America because it's closer and cheaper than floating barges over from Saudi Arabia.

Europe on the other hand, has extremely limited oil supplies, they are quite dependent on Russia, the eastern block states, and the Middle East for their fuel. And the XL pipeline, even with direct access to the coast, isn't going to push enough oil to offset any sort of major disruption from Saudi Arabia or Russia.

So in closing, no, the XL pipeline would not change us into a net exporter, it would not reduce gas prices in the US, and it would not have a meaningful impact on the global oil supply.


Comment: The Keystone Pipeline already exists (Score 5, Informative) 437

by RingDev (#49122163) Attached to: Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

This bill would move forward with the XL portion of the pipeline. The Keystone pipeline currently terminates at the refineries near Chicago, Il. The XL portion of the pipeline would extends the line to the Gulf Coast, allowing for the oil to be more easily re-sold on the world market as opposed to being land locked into the US market.

The XL portion was never meant to reduce oil prices in the US, it was meant to increase profit margins by reducing costs to transport the oil and oil products to higher priced markets.

Can we take down the environmentalism straw man yet?


Science is to computer science as hydrodynamics is to plumbing.