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Comment: Re:The title game (Score 1) 105

Actually, there are professional engineering licenses in many US states. They are only really only valuable in the civil engineering field. As an ME, I sat for the "Fundamentals of Engineering" (FE) exam. Passing that exam allowed me to register as an "engineer in training". However, I've found that certification carries little to no value in my field, and so I never went on to get my PE.

I suspect most H1-B candidates went to school in the US under student visas. They likely have taken the FE exam as well, so I doubt it would have much impact.

Comment: Re:The title game (Score 1) 105

Absolutely, this doesn't just apply to software engineers in Silicon Valley. Looking through the data, I see the same thing for all kinds of engineers in the Midwest. There are "Senior Engineer Design" people making $93k ($73k prevailing), while a "Technical Specialist Advanced Systems Design" makes $80k ($66k prevailing). These are arguably the same position, but the "Engineer" title makes more money.

Comment: Re:Powerpoint is not documentation (Score 1) 318

by Thelasko (#49782801) Attached to: Why PowerPoint Should Be Banned
Unfortunately, PowerPoint has become the de facto standard for documentation in many companies. Forget about it being used in presentations. Most times PowerPoint files are sent throughout the company without any accompaniment. Presentations are expected to be readable as reports instead of visual aids! It's terrible!

Comment: Re:3.5 million truckers (Score 1) 615

by Thelasko (#49721587) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks
From what I understand, the benefit of autonomous truck driving is not eliminating the drivers, it's fuel economy. By having a convoy of trucks spaced optimally apart, the trailing trucks can benefit from the aerodynamic "draft" created by the first truck. Humans simply aren't capable of maintaining those gaps safely.

Comment: Re:Always have a redundancy (Score 2) 105

by Thelasko (#49676957) Attached to: ISS Crew Stuck In Orbit While Russia Assesses Rocket
I'm not aware of any seats on a CRS Dragon. However, I do remember an astronaut stating that a human stowaway would make it safely to earth aboard one. It certainly has some life support systems, because it carries mice to ISS.

I think since the Space Shuttle program, NASA has become much more concerned with safety. Therefore, a Dragon 1 with seats won't do. They want redundancy, specifically abort capability from the launch pad to orbit. Which is something the Space Shuttle never had. Before Challenger, it was LEO or die.

I wouldn't be surprised if NASA has a secret evacuation plan that involves using a Dragon as a lifeboat.

Comment: Re:Elephant in the room... (Score 1) 395

by Thelasko (#49647823) Attached to: 25 Percent of Cars Cause 90 Percent of Air Pollution

Which is a stupid cash grab really, as my 2002 tests just as good now as it ever did.

Not really, vehicles deteriorate and may begin to fail emissions standards. You are lucky to have a dependable vehicle that gets the same results after all these years. They are usually testing to see if your vehicle is functioning properly. In Illinois they just do an OBD scan to make sure no fault codes are present for the O2 sensor and catalytic convertor. However, even a perfectly maintained vehicle should show some deterioration in emissions performance.

Comment: Re:Well Cash for Clunkers certainly didn't help in (Score 1) 395

by Thelasko (#49647779) Attached to: 25 Percent of Cars Cause 90 Percent of Air Pollution

We're talking about a bunch of sloppy old pickup trucks with little or no emissions controls, usually literally nothing but one O2 sensor, an EGR, a PCV, and a catalyst.

I develop vehicle emissions system for a living. An O2 sensor and a catalyst will get rid of the vast majority of emissions from a spark ignited vehicle. Little or no emissions controls would mean 1970s era cars. Think carburetor and no catalytic convertor.

Comment: Re:Batteries with Solar Systems = No Net-metering (Score 3, Informative) 317

by Thelasko (#49611723) Attached to: Tesla's Household Battery: Costs, Prices, and Tradeoffs

No, SolarCity doesn't lease the panels back to you - they sell the power from the panels to you. And they control the rate you pay and have the ability to raise it annually (up to 2.9% per annum).

Solar city has a variety of financial plans available. I believe you are referring to the "SolarPPA" option, but leasing panels is also an option.

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