Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Price won't come down (Score 1) 232

by dgatwood (#49609683) Attached to: Tesla's Household Battery: Costs, Prices, and Tradeoffs

But extracting either from seawater does not really make any sense. Some mid-east countries desalinate so they can pursue idiotic schemes to grow wheat in the desert, when they could just buy wheat for far less. California has a few desalination plants, because of dumb policies that vastly inflate the cost of water to urban consumers, while subsiding the delivery of rainwater to farmers growing rice and cotton in the desert.

Forget rice and cotton. We'd be happy if they'd stop growing alfalfa and almonds in the desert.... With that said, even if we got rid of that problem, eventually California's growing population would still require desalination. The drought simply moves that date closer in many places.

Comment: Re: Kill the entire H1B program (Score 1) 630

by dgatwood (#49604111) Attached to: Disney Replaces Longtime IT Staff With H-1B Workers

The H-1B program is different because H-1B workers who leave their jobs are also legally required to leave the country. This makes them captive labor, almost to the same extent that illegal immigrants are. IMO, we should make green cards easier to obtain and kill the H-1B program outright. By ensuring that foreign workers have similar employment mobility to native workers, it would reduce the ability of unscrupulous companies to bring in workers from overseas and pay them wages that are below the regional going rate. (They would still be able to do it, but they wouldn't be able to retain those employees, so they would eventually be forced to pay wages that are competitive within their geographical area.)

Comment: Re:AT&T Autopay - Ha! (Score 1) 230

In Germany, autopay comes with an authorization limit... basically, "if the bill is over X,€ don't autopay"

I'd prefer to see this on the autopay here in the states as well... because I'm fine with authorizing autopay for any bill less than $60... but if it reaches into the thousands, or even the hundreds, then I damn well don't want to authorize the autopay!

Comment: Re: Kill the entire H1B program (Score 1) 630

by dgatwood (#49591395) Attached to: Disney Replaces Longtime IT Staff With H-1B Workers

There's nothing xenophobic about wanting to stop the H-1B program from being a way to cut costs. If you truly need to bring in talent from overseas because you can't get it in the U.S., that's one thing, but if you are firing American workers and bringing in foreign workers to do the same job at a lower cost, that's quite another. It is abusing the system, and unfortunately, the H-1B system was practically designed to make such abuse easy.

Comment: Re:Uh, only doubled? (Score 3, Interesting) 160

by dgatwood (#49591045) Attached to: US Switches Air Traffic Control To New Computer System

So how does a 40 year old computer system get replaced and only doubles the number of flights capable of being tracked?

Tracking double the number of flights likely requires about 4x the about of computing power. A naive comparison grows at a rate of (n)(n-1)/2. You might be able to reduce that by not comparing aircraft that aren't going to be anywhere near each other (e.g. a plane in Washington D.C. cannot readily crash into a plane in Los Angeles, CA until they get close to halfway across the country), but still....

Comment: Re:Safari Does (Score 2) 152

That's true, but FireFox and Chrome don't maintain backwards compatibility forever, either. Firefox 16 and Chrome 21 are the last versions that support 10.5. And older, 32-bit-only machines are limited to Chrome 38 even if they're running 10.6.x. Otherwise, I think they're both still supporting 10.6.8 for now, but it is probably just a matter of time.

IIRC, they already don't support certain features on old operating systems. For example, Chrome supports WebGL only on 10.8 and later (unless they've changed that recently). So although the UI might be getting updated and security holes might be getting fixed, they're still not getting the full upgrade experience.

Comment: Re:Kill the entire H1B program (Score 5, Insightful) 630

by dgatwood (#49583365) Attached to: Disney Replaces Longtime IT Staff With H-1B Workers

Being anti-H-1B is progressive. Progressives generally believe that corporate abuse of workers is bad, and H-1Bs represent the ultimate pathway to worker abuse, by creating a class of people who cannot afford to demand equal pay (because if their employer terminates them, they have to leave the U.S.), who have a harder time moving from company to company (or at least who perceive themselves to have a harder time, which in practice is basically the same thing), and who therefore will end up working for substandard wages by local standards.

And then those H-1B workers end up depending on government subsidies, low-income housing, etc. because the cost of living in high-tech areas is based on typical salaries, not H-1B salaries. In effect, everyone else in the area pays to support these people, solely because their employers were too cheap to pay them properly.

Progressives tend to take a dim view of turning our country into a caste system. Just saying.

Comment: Re:Symmetry (Score 1) 301

All you have to do is put them on tables, with their wires stretching out across the living room floor. Sure, if you only use your laptop on a desks, it will never happen, but that's not how most people (outside of office environments) use laptops in the real world.

With that said, Apple's round plugs were way too big, and thus made great levers, so you didn't even have to trip over them to break them. Placing them on your lap in the wrong way was sufficient....

Comment: Re:Symmetry (Score 5, Informative) 301

Magsafe is crap, the cables look ugly and break in no time. They're also no faster to connect than say HP or Dell round power connectors.

Round power connectors are crap. The jacks stretch and stop making proper contact in no time. Apple used to use them back in the PowerBook days, and on the PB 145, I broke at least three cables and at least two or three jacks on the back of the device over the course of three or four years.

Magsafe connectors are a godsend by comparison. In the eight years or so that I've been using them, I've broken zero ports. And if you don't count the recycled MacBook Air cables that I was using with my rechargeable external power brick, I've also broken zero cables. (If you count those, I've broken two or three, but given that the external power brick company cut them off of dead power supplies, odds are good that they had been seriously abused long before I got them.)

Magsafe 2, however, is a train wreck. The contact surface is too small to have any real grip, so they tend to fall off while I'm moving my laptop from a tray table to my lap. That "upgrade" was a huge step backwards. That's the one thing I really miss about the pre-retina MacBook Pro, and I'd be more than happy to see Apple add an extra millimeter of thickness at the edge of their case (the center is plenty thick enough) to allow them to go back to the (far superior) earlier design. With that said, I did appreciate the lighter weight of the Retina MBP when one fell edge-first out of an overhead bin onto my head a few months ago... but I digress.

The new USB power connector is doubly bad, because it has all the same problems as the older, breakage-prone designs, plus it steals your ability to use your USB port without plugging in a clumsy adapter cable. The absolute last thing I want to do is have to carry around some weird splitter cable just so I can charge my laptop and a cell phone at the same time. And of course, as an iOS developer, I keep more than one cell phone connected to my laptop for much of the day, so the new MacBook really would be nightmarish from my perspective; I'm hopeful that Apple does not even *think* about taking their Pro line in that direction.

Comment: Re:Attempting with existing title was a mistake (Score 4, Funny) 239

by snowgirl (#49566523) Attached to: Valve Pulls the Plug On Paid Mods For Skyrim

If that was the case you would not have given them 25% and taken 75% for you and the game makers.

You know, I always hate how my grunt work for companies makes them 4 times the money they pay you. It's just greedy theft. We should start a movement where the means of production are owned by the workers rather than investors and management!

The perversity of nature is nowhere better demonstrated by the fact that, when exposed to the same atmosphere, bread becomes hard while crackers become soft.