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Comment: And if you have a 'fender bender'... (Score 1) 164

If this thing hits anything bulkier than a shopping cart it's a write-off. That's the problem with composite materials: They don't bend, they break!! Insurance on these will be pretty rich. (but if you have the money for this BMW I guess it's not an issue..). Still, be wary of people who think everything should be made of some super light weight composite. It's a complete mess to work with and will leave you crying even after the slightest accident.

Comment: Scholarship at local college (Score 1) 263

by alexschmidt (#41390853) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Should a Geek's Charitable Donations Go?
If you have a favorite local college or university, set up a scholarship for one or more students in a department of your choice. Set something up that pays some modest interest or dividends and pay this out as a yearly scholarship to deserving students. Given the student loan situation, you would be doing something really meaningful.

Comment: Remember the Vietnam War? (Score 1) 421

by alexschmidt (#41362815) Attached to: How the Critics of the Apollo Program Were Proven Wrong
I've never believed the line that Americans got tired of the Space Program. The Vietnam War was in full swing and that drew the attention away from the Space Program. Critics of the Space Program need to be reminded the US spent more in ONE YEAR fighting the Vietnam War than the ENTIRE Apollo project. What did America get out of Vietnam? Nothing be grief. 55,000+ dead, hundreds of thousands wounded and families whose lives were ruined. As well, the country was in terrible social turmoil. Kennedy was shot and his brother was killed a few years later. The Vietnam War aggravated the Civil Rights movement. With all the mess that was going on here on Earth, it must have been really hard at times to get excited about the Space Program. The Apollo program did something great: It made us look up. It inspired us and made us proud like nothing before or since.

Comment: Re:What's the problem with building self-sustainin (Score 1) 248

by alexschmidt (#40109659) Attached to: Neil Armstrong Gives Rare Interview
Whenever people talk about what a waste of money Apollo was, consider that the Vietnam War was consuming as much money in ONE YEAR than the ENTIRE Apollo program. The final Apollo missions were killed because of budget cuts to fund the Vietnam War, not because of public disinterest. The Vietnam War was front and center in most peoples' lives at that time. On top of that was the Civil Rights campaigns and urban riots. It was like the country was having a nervous breakdown. If the Vietnam War hadn't happened, things would be so much different today.

Comment: Re:Australia does a simple job here (Score 1) 768

by alexschmidt (#37894558) Attached to: Student Loans In America: the Next Big Credit Bubble
How much has your administration grown in the last 20 years? I bet there are a whole bunch of newly minted VP's or Deputy Directors that have added to the cost of education. You could easily downsize half of this top heavy nonsense and not effect teaching one iota. All these people seem to do is create busy work that creates artificial workloads for lower level administrators and front line people.

Comment: Re:Wage Gap (Score 1) 618

by alexschmidt (#32570526) Attached to: The Real Science Gap
As Thomas Watson said: "Nothing happens until a sale is made". Your engineer might have to work late, but the reason he has work is due to the efforts of the sales person. I know a lot of people that hate sales work, they just want to do the technical work. Some people are great with sales work and all that goes into it.(Including some off-colour behavior) They are the people that are bring the work through the door. Sure he got paid a lot of commission, but that commission is a small fraction of the overall value of a project. His $1million dollar commission brought in tens of millions of dollars of work for dozens (maybe hundreds) of people.

Comment: Re:Why not (Score 1) 520

by alexschmidt (#31975538) Attached to: Best Seating Arrangement For a Team of Developers?
Amen. I believe the book 'Peopleware' had a section on this comparing places where employees could control their distractions vs. those who couldn't. It was no surprise that the people who had a quiet workplace were far more productive. I need quiet and I've gone in on Saturday mornings when no one was around and go more done in 5 hours than I did in the previous 5 days. I just don't get this idea that you need to be in constant collaboration with people. If the specifications and documentation are that bad, send it back up the line for clarification. You need a place to think and if you need a break, get up and walk around. Get outside and get some air. Don't sit back and waste time watching Youtube or getting on the web.

Comment: How about some peace and quiet. (Score 1) 520

by alexschmidt (#31975422) Attached to: Best Seating Arrangement For a Team of Developers?
Sadly, there is this notion that people need to shove into a pile and work in some kind wide open area. I'd like someone to try this: Give 1/2 your people a real office with a door they can shut and control over distractions like turning the damn phone off. Put the other 1/2 in the typical dog-kennel style arrangement where you can hear every goddamn noise and distraction. Do this for 6 months and see who is more productive. I'll bet you can guess the answer. I just can't effing stand the wide open office cube farm. Just how much collaboration do you need?? Are the specs so lousy that you have to discuss every case or sequence? I'll bet there are a lot of people who work late or come in on weekends just to get a couple quiet hours to get some work done. If those people had some peace and quiet they wouldn't have to be at work 90 hours a week to do 25 hours of productive labor.

Comment: Alright, I'll be the mean one.... (Score 2, Insightful) 742

by alexschmidt (#31888536) Attached to: Why Linux Is Not Attracting Young Developers
Who the *&^% wants to work for free?? The motivated young developers I've met lately want to code games (XNA et al) or mobile apps, especially the iPhone. I've met very very few young developers who are really motivated to develop open source programs. I can't say I blame them. Regarding Linux the OS, what's left to be solved? Does the core Linux group really need any help? Can anyone really make a meaningful contribution to Linux anymore? People want to go where the action is. And that isn't Linux.

After all is said and done, a hell of a lot more is said than done.

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