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Comment Big jump to "6 jobs at the same time" conclusion! (Score 1) 217

The first part of this article makes sense. The concept of accepting a career job with one employer, who you stay with through retirement, is pretty much over. (If nothing else, I think most people realize that doing so is a non-optimal decision, even when it's technically possible to do it.) For example, I used to work for a small manufacturing company doing I.T. for them. Honestly, I think there was a good chance I could have opted to stay there until either I retired, or until the company shut down. But swirling around in all of that was the fact that the owner of the business was at retirement age himself, and the other business partners were rumored to not have enough money to pony up to buy him out. On more than one occasion, I saw prospective buyers touring the facility, even though nothing came of it. Given that PLUS the economic downturn where half the staff was laid off, and I was forced to take a pay cut for a while -- I thought the smart move was to go elsewhere.

I have no doubt THAT trend will continue. Businesses will become more "fluid" in the whole hiring/firing process, as they realize it's a way to stay more competitive and efficient. (There's really nothing efficient about hanging onto your staff for decades when many of them are burnt out and just doing the minimum to hang on until their retirement day comes and they can collect a pension. Meanwhile, if you nudge those people out and force them to job hunt again, it pushes them out of their "comfort zone" they were coasting by in. Maybe it's "tough love" in a sense, but they're quite likely to do more useful work that justifies what they're getting paid when they land the next job.) And employees tend not to want to BE those people either. Many will take a look in the mirror and realize they're not that fulfilled staying where they're at for so long, and will voluntarily seek out something more challenging or simply something different that "changes things up" a bit and keeps it fresh.

All that is a BIG leap from assuming it means the future involves working a half-dozen "micro jobs" at once! That might be ONE way to earn a living for people who want to go about it like that. Plenty of online sites enable it as a possibility. (Even simply combing the "odd jobs" section of Craigslist, one can regularly find projects that last anywhere from 1 day to a few weeks. Software developers can do the same on sites designed to pair up available coders with people seeking to pay certain amounts for certain projects.) That doesn't negate the fact that there's huge value in retaining a steady, long-term workforce.

Comment Actually, not going to 100% agree.... (Score 1) 320

I'm a proponent of usually building your own gaming PC rig, BUT the fact is, the whole warranty thing is dicey at best these days, regardless of buying individual components and building it yourself.

For example, I bought a high-end video card made by Gigabyte last year. Right out of the box, it would freeze up the PC or cause a random reboot within 2-5 minutes of playing anything using 3D graphics. Just running standard 2D applications though, it'd run fine all day long. Everyone told me I needed a bigger/better power supply, or I needed to take off the heat-sink and fan, add better heatsink compound and re-seat it, or I just needed to try other versions of the ATI drivers, or I had an overheating problem because my case wasn't cooling well enough..... I forked out some $'s for a great power supply, and nope -- same issue. Also tried a few different driver versions but clearly that wasn't the answer. So after wasting all of that time + money, I requested an RMA from Gigabyte and sent it back in.

Well, Gigabyte sat on my card for about 3 months, meaning I had a non-working system that whole time while I waited for it. When I finally got it back one day? It looked like nobody even touched it. It just had a note in the box stating the RMA had been "processed" - with no explanation of it defects were actually found. I tried it out, and same issue!

Ultimately, I wound up trading it plus $100 cash to another computer enthusiast for his nVidia 3D card. (He wanted to tinker with re-flashing the BIOS on it and so forth, to see if he could get it going, and he didn't like his nVidia GTX series card for some reason.) Last I heard, he had to RMA the card again and is in the same boat I was in originally, where there's no word on when it'll get repaired/replaced and Gigabyte is just sitting on it again.

Given my whole fiasco? I almost surely would have been better off buying a pre-built PC, so a failure like this would have hopefully been resolved by swapping out my whole computer or troubleshooting it and replacing the defective card, minus all that uncertainty about power supply wattage/type and so on.

I still prefer the customization made possible only by building your own PC. With cases alone, there are SO many options.... But I'm not completely down on the idea of getting a good pre-made system from a known reputable vendor either.

Comment Western US anti-nuclear feelings (Score 1) 349

In the western US, the anti-nuclear sentiment has more to do with historically bad experiences with non-commercial activities. Open-air nuclear tests. A few years ago the DOE declared the Rocky Flats site in Colorado to be clean; there's a growing body of evidence that they did the job on the cheap and the remaining plutonium will get loose. Last year the WIPP in New Mexico had a leak, and DOE agreed to pay a $74M fine. This month, DOE asked the court for a further 17 year delay to 2039 to finish the vitrification plant that is key to cleaning up the disaster that is the Hanford Site in Washington. Given Republican attacks on the DOE budget, Washington has asked the reasonable question, "What are the chances Congress will continue to fund construction for another 24 years?" On the commercial side, Yucca Flats will probably open eventually, and be substantially expanded, against the wishes of the people of Nevada.

It's not all that hard to understand why western politicians are not given to believing the nuclear scientists and engineers who say, "Yes, but this time will be different."

Comment Re:Idiot (Score 2) 349

At least in the US Western Interconnect, it's feasible to solve this problem. The West has diverse renewable sources -- hydro, wind, solar, even geothermal. The West has these over geographic diversity -- eg, the wind is unlikely to stop blowing in both the Columbia Gorge and Wyoming's South Pass at the same time. There is plenty of opportunity for pumped hydro storage. It's not inexpensive because you do have to overbuild capacity, but there are a lot of detailed studies that show it's feasible.

The Eastern Interconnect, on the other hand, is a completely different problem, both in scale and in complexity.

Comment Re:Easy (Score 2) 232

I think the big failure is that "Smart TVs" just aren't quite good enough to replace the "TV sticks", or at least not at a competitive price.

Also, TVs tend to last a while. The four-year-old 55" Toshiba in my living room most likely has at least twice as many years ahead of it. Streaming services and their associated gadgets come and go much more quickly. Netflix or Amazon will probably be around for the long haul, but what about those other services you've never heard of that the average "smart TV" of today supports? Long before eight years is up, they're gone, and your TV's support for them is about as useful as an 8-track. It's better to farm this support out to gadgets that are easily replaced as they become obsolete.

Comment Re:Not meant to be a good device but to undercut C (Score 1) 235

If you're OK with 3.3V I/O, connecting straight to the header will work. My board puts level shifters (a transistor and a couple of resistors each) on the 1-Wire and I2C pins for 5V I/O. It also includes a clock (connected over I2C) and an SSR controller (a DS2406 connected to the 1-Wire bus). Since I was going to put a DS18B20 temperature sensor inside a refrigerator at the end of a long cable, 5V I/O would be preferable.

Comment Re:Not meant to be a good device but to undercut C (Score 2) 235

I only wish they had brought in power on an unpopulated header connector instead of on a usb connector which I'm going to have to desolder.

Two of the pins (+5V and any GND) on the 40-pin connector can be used to supply power instead of going through the USB port. That's what I did with my beer-fridge controller: power for the whole system comes through the barrel connector on the 1-Wire/I2C interface board in the middle of the stack.

Comment Re:So how long until we have Rasperry Pi Pi (Score 2) 235

Since when has an acorn been a fruit?
So basically the "old tradition" starts and ends with "Apple".

Acorns are seeds, which are produced within what are botanically regarded as fruit (even if, like the tomato, it's not exactly something you'd think of as "fruit" when you're looking for something to eat).

As for Apple, there were lots of Apple II clones back in the day that adopted fruit-related names.

Comment Re:Speaking of crappy ads (paid posts) (Score 1) 222

Where are you seeing that?

I don't see anything like that on my system

I don't think they show up in the RSS feed either. I pretty much never go to /.'s homepage anymore. ttrss grabs the summary for me, and if it's interesting, I'll click through. It and Full-Text RSS have also been useful for some sites with broken layout that won't show up properly in desktop browsers anymore (National Review, I'm looking at you).

Comment Re:Legality? (Score 1) 326

Actually, people quite regularly ask /. for legal advice from what I've seen here over the years. And IMO, why not? It's not like anyone with any sense wouldn't consult a real attorney first if they were really going to take something to court. But I figure they're just putting out "feelers". Some people on here probably are lawyers by profession and others probably went through legal battles already over similar issues. It's useful to get a rough idea of it you have a case worth making the effort to find a good attorney for and pursue.

Those who claim the dead never return to life haven't ever been around here at quitting time.