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Comment: Senate bill will get watered down like House bill (Score 1) 79

by billstewart (#47560267) Attached to: Senate Bill Would Ban Most Bulk Surveillance

The House bill started out as a strong pro-privacy bill that made a few concessions to NSA spying. By the time it was done with amendments, all that was left were the concessions to NSA spying and a bunch of nice but useless speechmaking. Obama may be talking positively now, but the pro-surveillance folks in the Senate will try to gut the bill, and anything that makes it past them will get trashed in the House-Senate joint resolution process.

Comment: Cell and battery production in same plant (Score 3, Informative) 49

by Animats (#47559917) Attached to: Tesla and Panasonic Have Reached an Agreement On the Gigafactory

The Tesla/Panasonic plan gets cell and battery production back into the same plant. The battery industry has, for a while, had a model where cells were made in one country (usually Japan, Taiwan or S. Korea, or at least with machinery from there) and assembled into device-specific battery packs near where the end device was produced (usually China or the US.) For the Chevy Volt, the cells come frm LG Chem in Korea, and the battery packs are assembled at the Brownstown, MI Battery Assembly plant.

There's no good reason to do it that way now that the era of cheap labor in China is over. As a rule of thumb, labor has to be 4x cheaper to justify offshoring. The coastal provinces in China have reached that level with respect to US/Japan wages.

Done right, this isn't labor-intensive. Brownstown has only 100 workers in a 400,000 square foot plant, and they're doing battery assembly, which is the more labor-intensive part of the operation. Tesla claims to need 6,500 employees for their 10 million square foot plant, but they're probably counting construction-phase employees.

+ - 35% of (American) Adults Have Debt "In Collections"

Submitted by meeotch
meeotch (524339) writes "According to a new study by the Urban Institute, 35% of U.S. adults with a credit history (91% of the adult population of the U.S.) have debt "in collections" — a status generally not acquired until payments are at least 180 days past due. Debt problems seem to be worse in the South, with states hovering in the 40%+ range, while the Northeast has it better, at less than 30%. The study's authors claim their findings actually underrepresent low-income consumers, because "adults without a credit file are more likely to be financially disadvantaged."

Oddly, only 5% of adults have debt 30-180 days past due. This latter fact is partially accounted for by the fact that a broader range of debt can enter "in collections" status than "past due" status (e.g. parking tickets)... But also perhaps demonstrates that as one falls far enough along the debt spiral, escape becomes impossible. Particularly in the case of high-interest debt such as credit cards — the issuers of which cluster in states such as South Dakota, following a 1978 Supreme Court ruling that found that states' usury laws did not apply to banks headquartered in other states.

Even taking into account the folks to lost a parking ticket under their passenger seat, 35% is a pretty shocking number. Anyone have other theories why this number is so much higher than the 5% of people who are just "late"? How about some napkin math on the debt spiral? (And unfortunately, cue the inevitable geek snobbery about how people in debt must be "idiots".)"

Comment: "Beginning of mainstream 3D printing" (Score 2, Insightful) 45

by Animats (#47559309) Attached to: 3-D Printing Comes To Amazon

But this could be the beginning of mainstream 3D printing.

We heard that when Staples did it.

Amazon's 3D printed product offerings are rather lame. They're not offering any of the more advanced 3D printing processes; for that you have to go to Shapeways. All you can get from Amazon is plastic junk.

Comment: 3D Printing Issue. (Score 2) 45

by jellomizer (#47559255) Attached to: 3-D Printing Comes To Amazon

The real issue right now with 3D Printing, most of the stuff you can print is stuff most people really don't need.

The last time I wished I could have a 3D printer was to replace a Worm Gear for my Garage Door Opener. That was about 6 Months ago.

For decoration, I really don't want Cheap Plastic decorations, and a new phone case isn't that interesting either.

Right now 3D Printing is really still for industry.

Comment: Re:Oe noes! A compiler bug! (Score 1) 690

by sjames (#47559011) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"

Given the limited information, it's hard for me to speculate, but if you were using MMX it's quite likely the compiler went into gray areas of the spec when optimizing.

In any event, that is not a case of you defanging the AMD crippler and then b ad things happen.

Recognizing that courts don't always get tech matters right, multiple courts and regulatory bodies have found that Intel implemented the crippler as an illeg al business strategic move rather than for technical reasons and have ordered th em to stop it.

More recently, icc was caught detecting that it was compiling a benchmark and generating code that skipped some of the computation if it detected an Intel CP U. It seems to be part of a pattern of behavior.

Given that, I'd say the preponderance suggests the intel compiler is a poor c hoice of compiler unless you intend to use it only on GenuineIntel AND you valid ate the results by running an intel compiler version against a non-intel compile d binary and make sure the results match.

Comment: Re:Lemme guess... (Score 1) 128

by jellomizer (#47558785) Attached to: How Gygax Lost Control of TSR and D&D

Wow the problems of the world are based on a particular Academic degree?
You know Slashdot blame the MBA for a lot of the problems of the world. However I haven't ran into too many of them. A lot of the bosses making these type of decisions don't have an MBA, but some other degree. BA in History, or Arts, BS in Computer Science or Physics...

Also a lot of those MBA are not the ones in charge, but can be the Tech guy next to you doing coding as well.

Comment: No new tools. Low-budget operation (Score 2) 54

All they're offering are some existing tools, ones you can get for free. The main ones are the Clang static analyzer and Cppcheck. They're not offering free access to some of the better, and expensive, commercial tools.

Cppcheck is basically a list of common errors, expressed as rules with regular expressions. Clang is a little more advanced, but it's still looking for a short list of local bugs. Neither will detect all, or even most, buffer overflows. They'll detect the use of "strcpy", but not a wrong size to "strncpy".

Comment: Wrong way to end (Score 1) 90

Ugh, I always hated those stories in which the Axis powers invade America. They never had any plans to do so. Germany wanted a continental empire going East until the Ural mountains. Japan wanted a resource area for itself, and never really figured out where its final objective was (Australia? India? Hawaii?) before the disaster at Midway happened and all plans went on hold. Italy...Mare Nostrum. They just wanted to dominate the Mediterranean.

None of them had any plans involving the U.S. homeland. Hitler foresaw war with the Americans, but not until the 1980s. The Axis powers meeting at the Mississippi River had zero basis in any kind of historical events.

Do molecular biologists wear designer genes?