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Comment Re:Why not overseas .... (Score 1) 121

While I tend to agree with you over the long term, over the short term safety is quite often correlated with higher expenses. And people tend to devalue long term gains. Much management won't look beyond the next quarter.

More directly to the point ANY change in procedures will be associated with a short term cost. And, in addition, most managers resent any limits on their ability to control their employees...even limits they don't intend to approach. (And some of the reasons for such resentment are quite valid, though others aren't.)

Comment Re:Why not overseas .... (Score 1) 121

Do I think *who* in America would be richer if we produced more t-shirts and fewer aircraft and CPUs?

While the parent argument is not totally bogus, it's unfairly presuming that the wealth of a country distributes equally.

That said, increasing automation is rapidly making all this irrelevant. A headline just yesterday declared that BOTH "America" and India were losing jobs to automation. If India is losing jobs to automation, it's rather hard to believe that low wages will retain jobs.

Comment Re:Energy in? (Score 1) 154

Methanol is a well known starter compound for numerous synthetic pathways. I believe that in WWII it was used in Germany to power cars (though how often I don't know.)

I will agree that methanol would be a terrible jet fuel. It is not only low in energy density, it absorbs water like a sponge.

OTOH, many model aircraft used to use methanol for fuel, so it not totally unreasonable as a drone fuel.

Comment Re:Energy in? (Score 1) 154

In a different article (possibly about a different project) it was explicitly stated that the cost would currently be prohibitive, but that if oil ran out this could be a useful replacement.

I would be very surprised if the same caveat didn't apply to this project, presuming it's not the same project.

Comment Re:The one lesson developers should learn (Score 1) 39

Contracts aren't necessarily worth any more than the paper they are written on. What are your enforcement powers? How expensive is it to enforce the contract? Do you trust the party that wrote the contract to honestly tell you what it means? (Do they even know?) Etc.

Once you make yourself dependent on someone else, you are dependent on them. A contract *MAY* give you the tools to damage them somewhat if they disregard it, but that won't give you back your lost time and effort. It may well not even pay your attorney's fees.

Comment Re:FTFY (Score 1) 39

While you are technically correct, people who are not invested in a company won't follow the details of internal politics...in fact those are usually hidden even from those that do, so as a short-cut technique for figuring out how much to trust a company you attend to its externally visible actions. This does require that you treat the company as an entity, and ignore the details about who decided what...but that's usually secret anyway.

So yes, this is an invalid way to think about a company. It is, however, a useful tool. And if corporations can be ruled to be legally persons, it seems improper to castigate someone using that same shortcut in a non-detrimental to citizens way.

Comment Re:Surprised? (Score 1) 571

I've generally avoided MS software because of reliability problems. MSWord is an exception, and, yes, I've had documents that wouldn't transfer between versions of MSWord. They were actually worse about it than Apple. I will admit that that was a rare event, but it happened. Eventually someone published a way to work around it, but that was after it no longer mattered to me.

Most of the problems, however, were with 3rd party proprietary file formats. Companies that went out of business, companies that discontinued a product, companies with incompatible file formats between versions, and no way to convert, etc. And it wasn't relatively rare applications like CNC, I'm talking about graphics programs designed for children to use, music score editing programs, various other things along the same line. (Sometimes the program would be picked up again a few years later, but that was a rare event, and usually by the time it had happened I'd already had to switch to something else. And at least once the new version wouldn't read the files from the old version...I didn't usually even check, so I don't really know how frequent that was.)

Open file formats have been a life-saver, and even when Linux was a pain to use (1998-200? .. varies depending on the application) they were more than enough recompense.

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