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Comment: Re:Local testing works? (Score 2) 778

by aaarrrgggh (#47495773) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Some people are bad with money and make stupid life decisions. No wage or training will fix it.

My office manager makes almost $75k, and financed a used car at 19% interest, even after I explained how to calculate the interest to her. She is 40 and a grandma. She gets a bonus and uses it to buy seasons pass at a theme park. I think a few country songs were written about her....

Comment: Re:Local testing works? (Score 1) 778

by aaarrrgggh (#47495711) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

That actually isn't true. Bringing action against an employer is easy and free for the employee, and the penalties are severe. What the current system does is encourage employers to make their employees live in fear so they will be too intimidated to file an action-- battered wife syndrome essentially.

No clue how to improve it, but right now an honest, good faith mistake could bankrupt a company.

Comment: Re:Local testing works? (Score 1) 778

by aaarrrgggh (#47495679) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

There are plenty of citizens who are afraid of reporting abuses. There are no simple solutions; the reality is that employers need to act ethically and morally in their treatment of employees. (Good luck with that.) Reality is that people take the easy way out and make decisions on short term outcomes only.

Raising the minimum wage hurts me as an employer, despite the fact that we don't pay anyone less than twice (California) minimum wage. The issue for us in making sure we can classify engineers as exempt (salaried) employees. Only employees at over twice the minimum wage are eligible to be exempt status, and it would mean that some entry-level engineers would need to be classified as non-exempt. This brings in the mandatory breaks, lunches, and workplace rules that are inappropriate for a professional environment.

Sure, you can say pay them more, but that really doesn't solve the problem; it just makes it unattractive to hire people that aren't stars. We can have some engineers that are mediocre; not all tasks need stars. Hopefully we can turn them into stars in time, but that requires some discount in pay to be attractive.

Comment: Re:If you want local solar (Score 1) 389

by aaarrrgggh (#47418773) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

Reverse power flow at the primary substation level is an issue, but even moreso is the idea that you push 4x the current during peak generating periods that you would normally consume.

To make distributed generation work you need: distributed energy storage; capacity-responsive demand; or a high level of diversity in sources. It is difficult to get the diversity with solar except in partly cloudy conditions during the day, and the economics of small wind turbines are difficult to reconcile.

It is hard for me to imagine how nuclear provides compatibility with renewable; the compatibility always comes in the form of energy storage which smooths out the load profile. The best use-case is to have enough batteries to supply your loads from late afternoon through bedtime, and switch to utility to bridge through the night, maybe with a little small-scale wind thrown in at night.

Comment: How many years do you want to work? (Score 1) 282

by aaarrrgggh (#47416769) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Often Should You Change Jobs?

Most people under 50 today will have 40+ year working careers. Do you really want 20-30 different employers over that time?

My personal experience is everyone has a different timer inside, and tends to change jobs on 1.5-2 year, 4-5 year, or 7-10+ year cycles. It is hard for people to break those cycles. Shorter cycles tend to be more performance-based; getting caught over-selling capabilities, and longer cycles are more complacency. People that do project-based work are a little different in rationale, but same kind of timers.

My advice is generally to leave a bad work environment quickly, but try to improve the work environment first before giving up.

As an employer, I avoid people that jump around because it is too expensive to recruit, train, bring people up to speed, and phase them out. If I don't think someone will be around for at least 3 years then they face an uphill battle.

Comment: Re:Ayup (Score 1) 143

by aaarrrgggh (#47370705) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Replacing Paper With Tablets For Design Meetings?

I agree with the parent's general process, but I do have meetings each week myself with 30 attendees and quite literally a ream of paper printed for each person. The actual drawings aren't re-printed for each meeting, but an updated 75-page schedule, 150-page RFI log, and 200-page submittal log is provided to each attendee, along with about 25 pages of meeting minutes and current issues.

It is hard to have a more efficient set-up, as the meeting is basically a coordination meeting for 5 different paper-pushers from different companies. Paper quickly becomes the lowest-common denominator. (Really pissing me off is the fact that the three people from my company all need to scan the documents afterwards to pick up their individual notes!)

If I was running the meeting, I would require a 2-page summary from each paper-pusher on open items, and have a projector that can be used to provide additional information when needed. Distribute the whole package electronically before the meeting and let people figure out how the heck they want to deal with the information themselves.

Comment: Re:50K a year any under-grad degree can payoff (Score 1) 148

by aaarrrgggh (#47323311) Attached to: What's Your STEM Degree Worth?

Not sure if the math is as favorable if you look at the net present value of the incremental earnings. Looking at individuals though, if you are bottom quintile you might be able to get a job that isn't manual labor, arguably improving quality of life. Being a tradesman though likely pays off better.

Comment: Re:Not the data I was looking for... (Score 1) 148

by aaarrrgggh (#47323279) Attached to: What's Your STEM Degree Worth?

An entry level candidate in my field of engineering should have a solid foundation from their BS to be able to understand basic theory and concepts. Our job is to train them from that foundation in our specific field; there are fewer than 500 people a year who graduate with sufficient education to really hit the ground running.

They should have also passed the first test in the Professional Engineering process which gives them a head start in their career.

Does anybody else think it is ironic that they use the total earnings rather than the NPV at age 18 for the discussion on STEM earnings?! The bottom line is likely that the marginal increase in earnings is likely insufficient to justify college attendance for the lower quintiles if you have to pay your own way vial loans.

Comment: Re:Best Lawsuit Ever. (Score 1) 120

As long as the purchaser was looking at the ratio of NPV of the future Bitcoin earnings to the cost to purchase and operate in $ to justify his purchase then there is no problem with asking for a refund. The exchange risk on the ratio of Bitcoin to USD is all on the buyer though.

Comment: Re:Everybody is wrong... (Score 1) 270

It is all peak-period problems, not average bandwidth. Invariably we get downgraded to barely viewable overcompressed SD on Sunday nights. A local smart cache of the next 5 episodes of the 5-6 different shows we watch most often would likely eliminate 90% of the network usage. If enough people have them it would make it a non-issue for the telco.

It is important for it to be a network-based cache though, so it is device independent.

Comment: Re:He doesn't understand net nutrality. (Score 1) 270

Not really. Consumer class service has traditionally had a contention ratio of 20:1, while Business class service is closer to 5:1. If you have a 20Mb link, you should be entitled to 1Mb minimum. You aren't restricted by the last mile, but the overall network today.

Comment: Re:Everybody is wrong... (Score 1, Interesting) 270

The issue comes down to contention ratios and peering. The last-mile ISPs don't want to peer with Netflix at a Hub level, they want to peer at a POP level, so they don't "waste" any of their backbone network between carrying Neflix traffic. Both parties are acting in their own self-interest.

Rationally, I have to think that when one service provider represents 10% or more of the traffic on a given network they should be doing something to address it, and the responsibility really falls on their shoulders and not the ISP.

Using Netflix as a simple example, all they would need to do to reduce their problem is offer a cache option on the end-user's network. It is less efficient than having it at the ISP's facilities, but it isn't all that complicated and the cost can be borne by the customer and improve sticky-ness. Right now, it is a pain in the ass to do things like a proxy to avoid the network saturation.

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