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Comment: Re:The Keystone Pipeline already exists (Score 5, Insightful) 431

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) 431

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?


Comment: Re:Hey, no worries. It's no big deal (Score 1) 149

Not saying that this judge is deserving of a doxxing, but I would like to point out his trial history:

Which includes almost $300,000 in civil forfeiture cases in southern Texas. Those cases most folks refer to as "state-sanctioned highway robbery".


Comment: Re:What are they doing to that truck!?! (Score 1) 129

by RingDev (#49090905) Attached to: Delivery Drones: More Feasible If They Come By Truck

Some fedex driver posted a 'day in the life of' blog and mentioned his 150+ mile daily route. Base salary of a fedex driver is ~$13/hr. Call it $20 as costs (tax/benies/sick/vacation/etc), that puts it at $160/day. Which is right about $1/mile.

But here's the rub, the article claims that switching from a Diesel truck to an electric truck takes their operating expenses from $1/mile to $0.30/mile.

If labor is already $1/mile, then they are either doing absolutely no maintenance and using no fuel on the Diesel and they have hired illegal immigrants to drive the electrics that they are charging up on stolen electricity, or....

labor is not included in the numbers they provided.

I'll let you choose which you feel is correct ;)


Comment: Re:What are they doing to that truck!?! (Score 4, Interesting) 129

by RingDev (#49089461) Attached to: Delivery Drones: More Feasible If They Come By Truck

The full block from TFA:

An electric truck is already a step up in efficiency and environmental responsibility from traditional internal combustion trucks, with a delivery cost to the shipping company of 30 cents per mile (compared to roughly a dollar per mile with diesel).

they're claiming a 70% cost reduction by going to an electric truck. Same driver, same parcel load, same mileage, ect...

Which would imply that their Diesel fuel + Diesel specific maintenance costs them 70 cents per mile MORE than their electricity and electric specific maintenance.

If they can put that same driver in an electric vehicle and do the same deliveries for 30 cents a mile, I'm thinking that they are doing something really wrong with the Diesel vehicles.

The big wear and tear that they will see over my horse truck is brakes. But even if you figure they drop $1000 on rotors, pads, and labor for brake jobs, every year, they're still putting probably 50k miles a year on those trucks. Which works out to be 2 cents per mile. And that's the hardest hit area.

You could toss in the tranny (although it should be holding up for much more than a single year of stop and go). But even if they're only getting 1 year out of a tranny, and they drop $5k for a new tranny installed each year, that's still only 10 cents a mile.

Suspension, power steering, tires, etc... would all be taking the same abuse whether you're in a Diesel or an electric.

To be spending $0.70/mile on a vehicle putting down 50k+ miles a year, means spending over $35,000 a year on vehicle maintenance.

To put that into scope, a Ford e-350 stripped chassis (your basic commercial delivery frame) MSRPs for $25,000. Jump up to an e-350 cutaway (your standard UHaul truck) for $30,000. Even if they blow $15k on a custom cab/body, you're still looking at a $40,000 vehicle. How the heck are they blowing over $35,000 a year maintaining a $40,000 vehicle?


Comment: Re:really? (Score 1) 129

by RingDev (#49089091) Attached to: Delivery Drones: More Feasible If They Come By Truck

I would assume that the goal would be to pull into a subdivision, park, and then let the drone(s) deliver a half dozen parcels to residence in that subdivision.

Or identify packages that cannot be drone delivered (shape/size/weight), drive to those locations, and have drones launching/returning for the smaller packages while the driver is en route with the big stuff.


Comment: What are they doing to that truck!?! (Score 4, Informative) 129

by RingDev (#49089027) Attached to: Delivery Drones: More Feasible If They Come By Truck

From TFA:
"A delivery truck costs roughly a dollar per mile with diesel."

I have a 1997 F-250 that pulls a fully loaded 3-horse slant load goose neck trailer and even with amorting out the depreciation over mileage, including tires and maintenance, and obviously Diesel fuel, I'm no where's close to $1/mile.

We don't put nearly as many miles on the truck as a delivery truck, so they are likely seeing higher maintenance costs, but with so many miles their amorted costs are going to be way lower per mile driven.

If they're looking to save costs and they're currently spending $1/mile on their trucks, I think there are some low hanging fruit they could tackle before jumping to drones.


Comment: Re:Business problem != technology problem (Score 2) 343

by RingDev (#49074745) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Version Control For Non-Developers?

Actually you can do diffing of MS Office docs via SharePoint. Makes picking out when people try to ninja requirement changes into a spec super easy to see ;)

There are horrible, horrible things people try to do in SharePoint, but storage/organization, versioning, and collaboration of MS Office documents is actually something it does really, really well.


Comment: Re:It's a vast field.... (Score 1) 809

by RingDev (#49051809) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Portion of Developers Are Bad At What They Do?

Ha, that's funny. I was disliked by the senior leadership at my last company because they felt that I didn't work my employees hard enough (expectation was a 42+ hour average work week, my team hovered just over 41)

If one person is really into technology, and they come into work with a bunch of coworkers that are completely disinterested in advancing their knowledge, they will either quickly burn out, or leave.

But if I get two people who are like minded, they come to work and bounce ideas off of each other.

I've found that getting 3 of these people together is where it really takes off. At 3 you have enough to make a majority rule, you have enough that even if someone is busy or uninterested for a bit, the cycle continues, you have enough that they start to carry some weight. It switches from 'those noisy kids and their new fangled technology' to 'the guys/gals that are setting the technical roadmap'.

I don't need everyone to be of that mindset, but I'd rather herd cats of a team of people pushing the envelope than have to walk around kicking complacent people in the seat of the pants.


Comment: Re:It's a vast field.... (Score 1) 809

by RingDev (#49051757) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Portion of Developers Are Bad At What They Do?

Interesting, I can understand that point of view to an extent.

For example, I'm just wrapping up a massive hiring spree for a very specific project. Almost 30 new contractors (Mainframe devs, Java devs, BAs, PMs, etc...) and yeah, we put out very specific technical questions. Because in this case I have very specific, highly focused, unit testable deliveries I need to hit. None of it is system re-engineering, it's all just flipping from one ERP to another and having to adjust workflows and integrations.

But I have another posting coming up where I need someone to work on a composite system that requires GIS, Java, and .Net expertise. Getting a trifecta like that on a resume is damn near impossible, and if someone were to have all three, they would be able to charge a mint for it. Instead, I'm going to be looking for someone with GIS/.Net experience (ESRi focuses primarily on .Net) with additional generalist skills and an aptitude for new technologies. Someone that can jump into the Java side of the house, and stand on their own two feet in short order.

Even my last hire I was looking for a Java dev, but I wanted someone with experience in CI, or at least familiar with the concepts. Sure, having Jenkins, Maven, and Sonar experience would be a bonus, but I'd take someone who understands and has played with GIT/AppVayor.

Toss in someone who shows interest/excitement in abstraction, automation, code organization, etc... and you've got a winner.

As long as they can answer the basics. I've had people claiming 8 years of experience in Java that can't tell me what the 4 member access modifiers are. I had one guy tell me that the 'M' in MVC was the database. I don't even bother with things like Stack vs Heap or thread safe vs synchronized until after they can give me a rough description of the difference between a JAR, WAR, and EAR. Sadly, some people don't get that far. And I would be much more lenient of college grads and people jumping into Java for the first time, but for folks claiming 8+ years of Java experience, these things should be long since encountered.


Comment: Re:It's a vast field.... (Score 4, Insightful) 809

by RingDev (#49050265) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Portion of Developers Are Bad At What They Do?

The beauty of this post is that in 2 sentences you have just educated any readers lacking this knowledge to the point that the OP's interview question could be answered.

This is the danger of specific knowledge questions. Knowing the answer of the top of your head is largely immaterial. Google is just a finger stroke away. And thanks to JITC (Just in time Comprehension) specific knowledge is less critical than general knowledge and thought process.

I have a couple of things I like to look for in an interview. I like to know what a person is passionate about. A person who really enjoys coding, who works on open source projects on the side, does game mods, toys with the latest new technologies, etc... is likely someone who is always going to be pushing for a better solution.

I also have a white board exercise I like to do because it has an easy answer but can be thrown a curve ball based on inputs. Most folks miss the curve ball, so when we point it out, we can see how they debug code.

Those two general points helped to form one of the greatest development teams I've ever worked with. There were days where it took a lot of cat herding to keep some of them on task, but most of the time, you put a problem in front of them, and they will attack it with vigor and get you a solid product at the end of the day.


Comment: Re:Why not get someone to make it for you? (Score 1) 96

by RingDev (#49017971) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Automated Tool To OCR CCGs Like Magic: the Gathering?

It gets even more interesting when the last digit is a 5. Accounting rules kick in and you round towards the nearest even number so $22.995 = $23, but $22.985 = $22.98.

This one threw me for a loop when I first hit it as there are some programming languages that the default Math.Round function follows to RNE (round nearest even) definition.


Comment: Re:Write Once Run Anywhere Can Work (Score 1) 78

by RingDev (#48993303) Attached to: Facebook Brings React Native To Native Mobile Development

My understanding in this case (which may be incorrect) is that they are doing OS specific versions of React.js to allow them to take advantage of different OS optimizations.

For anyone leveraging React.js, it would still be write-once/run-anywhere assuming that those developers do not also intend to leverage OS optimizations. Or, if they are intending on switching languages/platforms, the port would be significantly easier because even though the code in React changes based on OS, the API remains the same.


Comment: Exactly! (Score 5, Insightful) 224

by RingDev (#48939449) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

The worst offender is the flex-fuel E85 crap. If you want to run ethanol, run ethanol, build up an engine that is designed to take advantage of it's anti-det properties and runs dramatically higher compression for waaaaay better efficiency. And we definitely shouldn't be doing it with corn (Corn requires nitrogen fertilizer, largely negating the total energy boon of ethanol). We should be looking at switch grass and other fast-growing high yield options that can generate vastly more ethanol per acre with dramatically less costs.

Bio Diesel I actually like, sulfur is all but forgotten, and the increased lubricity actually makes it easier on your engine. But the idea of trying to convert a soy crop to BD100 is going to be dumb. Recycling waste vegitable oil from the food processing industry on the other hand, reduces waste and taps into an existing supply.

Even looking at different sectors than just automotive. I have a couple of dairy farming buddies that use methane recovery from their manure processing system to power generators for electricity around the farm. Less raw methane escaping to the atmosphere, and again it's a by-product of the existing manure processing system.

The linked article sure reads like a shill for the oil industry, but it doesn't discount the point that we need to look at using the appropriate tool for the job. Sometimes that will be biofuels.


Information is the inverse of entropy.