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Comment: Re: Morale of the Story (Score 1) 194

Someone who is paying $10 for 5 stickers is not doing it for the stickers. They are
doing it for the hopeful chance that it suceeds. As they are basically doing a donation
there should be no problem with the "low stakes for high odds". For the 10% off retail
then it better be an amazing product ("good return") or a high chance of success otherwise
you need more than a 10% discount to account for the risk.

Comment: Re: Morale of the Story (Score 2) 194

Traditional investors don't call themselves "Venture Capital" for nothing. The venture and most of the time they lose money.

This should be the approach taken for any risky venture on kickstarter as well.
Assume that you might lose all your money. If you're only giving $10 then this isn't a big deal.
Yes, traditional investors do take risks but kickstarter does have the potential to take even
bigger risks as it can get 10k people to all give $10 to something that has a high probability of
failing but each person's risk is minimal even if it does fail.

Comment: Re:Time for the mega screens (Score 1) 162

by Wycliffe (#49163611) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Whiteboard Substitutes For Distributed Teams?

If they were good, they'd already be widely adopted.

The reason they aren't widely adopted has nothing to do with whether they are good or bad.
The reason thay aren't widely adopted is because most people just don't need one.
Alot of schools have installed smartboards. For the most part, I've never seen them use
the digitizer and defintely not enough to justify the cost. They are mostly used to show
movies and slides which could have been done at half the cost with a regular tv.

Comment: Re:Time for the mega screens (Score 1) 162

by Wycliffe (#49161689) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Whiteboard Substitutes For Distributed Teams?

The problem may be that the mega screens are (from what I've seen) video quality, and thus crazy expensive.

Nope. The cost of the display itself pales compared next to the cost of the digitizer.

Here is a relatively economical digitizer($600) that just connects to any tv/projector:
Here is a $500 projector that supports a light pen: and I know there are many more.
There is also the wii remote which is dirt cheap if a little bit of DIY.
These are not near the resolution of a professional digitizer but would still easily match the resolution of the typical dry erase marker
and you can attach them to any tv that you have lying around.

Comment: Re:Rocketboard (Score 1) 162

by Wycliffe (#49161635) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Whiteboard Substitutes For Distributed Teams?

In my own (quite extensive) experience working in distributed teams, you're almost never going to find the entire team using OS X; it's a near certainty that all OSs will be represented, so a single-platform solution is a non-starter, no matter how good it may be.

It really depends on what your budget is and how distributed your team is. If there are only 2-3 different locations
then getting a couple dedicated OS X boxes just for a distributed whiteboard would be worth it.
I also work on a distributed team and I have considered spending a weekend playing with the wii remote hack to
see if I could get it working as a whiteboard. 40" lcds are cheap enough that if it actually worked, I could easily
justifying buying one for everyone on the team (but I probably wouldn't have to as they all probably already have
a TV available). That's really what is needed, a cheap (under $500) device like the wii remote hack that you
can plug into two or more tvs and have them all be interactive. Touch screens are expensive so it would need
to be either something like the wii remote or a webcam to remain cost effective. It would also need to be easily
installed and callibrated.

Comment: Re:That is okay (Score 1) 301

You think being responsible for the literal lives of your passengers for 8 hours a day, needing to be alert the entire time is *less* responsibility and stress? You're out of your fucking mind.

Yes, I do. Driving is relaxing to me. And being able to clock out and go home would
be beyond awesome. To an introvert, being around a bunch of people is probably
stressful but people don't bother me. Crazy deadlines and work following me home
is what the main stresses of my job are. A typical bus driver has zero responsibility
once they go home. A programmer is on the hook if anything breaks after they clock
out (if they are even allowed to clock out)

Comment: Re:White balance and contrast in camera. (Score 1) 410

by Wycliffe (#49154505) Attached to: Is That Dress White and Gold Or Blue and Black?

So it appears to be linked to the lighting conditions that your eyes are adjusted to when seeing the image initially... even after they've adjusted to the ambient light, the brain appears to stick to the image it created initially.

This isn't what happened to me. The first time I saw it (before I realized the controversy), it was clearly
white/gold but since then no matter how I look at it, it is clearly black/blue and I can't make it change
back to the white/gold. I tried finding the original picture I looked at which was white/gold but everything
in my history was now blue/black.

Comment: Re:That is okay (Score 1) 301

"Now is the opportunity for shuttle bus drivers, for food service workers, for janitors, for security officers to re-ask the question: Should I be equally as valued as the high tech workers in the high tech industry?" said David Huerta, president of United Service Workers West.

Really? I mean, really? Are you seriously expecting an employee without a high school diploma doing the most simple job in the world to earn the same income as someone with a Master's degree or PHD? Really? That's just plain nonsense. Remember that all they do is drive a vehicle from A to B. Something that all of us do on a very regular basis.

If I could get the same pay for driving a bus without the stress of programming AND get time off in the middle of the day,
I would quit my job as a programmer and become a bus driver tomorrow. Besides requiring more education, many of the
higher paying jobs also have more stress and more responsibility.

Comment: Re:That is okay (Score 1, Interesting) 301

1) Unions are collective bargaining. Collective bargaining forms the basis for an intelligent, social civilisastion.

saying "smash the unions!" is like shouting "GMO is evil!" - it's a nonsense blanket statement by an anti-science ideologue;

When I think of Unions I think of all the corrupt Unions that litter the USA. Standing unions are a corrupted version of collective bargaining.
Collective bargaining is good. I'm not a big fan of the standing unions we have today. If unions came into existance, fixed the problem and
then disbanding then I wouldn't have a problem with them.

Comment: Re:That is okay (Score 4, Informative) 301

People said two decades ago that we would all have 30 hour work weeks from home in paperless offices thanks to technology. See how that turned out.

Unfortunately, the main reason this hasn't happened is because it's easier, more efficient, and cheaper* to train one person and have
them work 60 hours a week than it is to train 2 people and have them each work 30 hours a week.

*It's cheaper even IF companies were required to pay overtime (which many don't). Time and a half is cheaper than the added
expense of medical, additional training, and Brooks's law.

Comment: Re:not being replaced just being changed. (Score 1) 257

by Wycliffe (#49143255) Attached to: 5 White Collar Jobs Robots Already Have Taken

The question is, now that the service sector is going through the same process where are all the workers going to move to? (There are only three sectors to the economy)

I would probably add entertainment as a different sector (although it technically might fall under service)
But unfortunately although entertainment is a large chunk of people's disposable
income, the majority of entertainment is also produced by only about 4% of the population.

If we only need 4% of the population to provide everybody's food, goods, services, and entertainment,
I'm not sure what we're suppose to do with the excess labor. Luckily, I think we're still a long way from
there. The service industry still has alot of room. There are plenty of services that people are willing
to pay for whether it is for a massage or for a housekeeper. General purpose housecleaning robots
are still a long way off.

Comment: Re:not being replaced just being changed. (Score 1) 257

by Wycliffe (#49140457) Attached to: 5 White Collar Jobs Robots Already Have Taken

The head accountant is still there but the overall size of accounting departments and associated administrative staff have shrunk massively over the last fifty years.

That was my point. The number of farm workers has also drastically declined but in both cases
we haven't seen a huge spike in unemployment. I see these particular job areas reacting about
the same. There are occupations that are more worrisome but I don't see making an occupation
more efficient as being one of those areas.

Comment: not being replaced just being changed. (Score 1) 257

by Wycliffe (#49136335) Attached to: 5 White Collar Jobs Robots Already Have Taken

These white collar jobs aren't being replaced any more than the spreadsheet and accounting software replaced the accountant.
There is still a human at the top. A computer can't completely replace a lawyer and won't be able to for a very long time.
This is just FUD. There are jobs that are at risk and just like what has happened with farmers, ditch diggers, and accountants
one person can now handle the work of 10 (or 100) people but as long as the pace is reasonable and there is still a need for
a percentage of humans at the top then we'll be fine. Let's start worrying about it when you see a mcdonalds, a public school,
or a hospital without any employees. Granted by then it might be too late but we're not there yet. Not even close.

Comment: Re:Realistic (Score 1) 366

by Wycliffe (#49130667) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt

I am well aware of how power is *currently* priced. There has been a move
towards more dynamic pricing at the residential level with smart meters and
I would think a smart meter should almost be mandatory for solar users that
want to buy and sell electricity. The average works ok for the average person
but it doesn't allow the average person to optimize their usage to help the
grid better cope. Certain things are fixed but it's very possible that if
consumers knew when electricty was cheapest they would do things like
charge their electric cars or heat their pool during offpeak times.
Solar users are a completely different scenerio and when electricity is
both coming and going then having a single fixed rate is going to allow
one or both sides to potentially abuse the system where dynamic pricing
is fairer to both sides.

Comment: Re:Net metering is unstustainable (Score 2) 366

by Wycliffe (#49129867) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt

Electric bills have two components, the supply cost and the delivery cost. The supply cost is what the electric company should be paying for electricity it buys from the home owner. But the electricity the home owner buys back should include the delivery cost.

Although I agree with the rest of your post, I don't agree with having two different rates. There should instead be two different charges.
There should be a connection charge that is the same whether you use energy, use no energy, or use negative energy.
Then there should be the actual cost of the electricity based on the time of the day. If you did it this way then even net metering
could be sustainable as everyone is paying the same rate for electricity whether it is coming or going.
The problem is currently the connection/delivery fee is wrapped up in the electricity rate where it might be even better if the
distribution and the generation were two separate entities. Let the generation be owned by companies, individuals, etc...
but have the distribution be neutral infrastructure that anyone can connect to just like the current net neutrality proposals.
This would also make the distribution network not affected by type or price of energy where it's only job is to distribute the
electricity it receives.

What the world *really* needs is a good Automatic Bicycle Sharpener.