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Comment: Re:Idea (Score 0) 120

by Opportunist (#48472737) Attached to: Health Advisor: Ebola Still Spreading, Worst Outbreak We've Ever Seen

So far the US bombed every remotely important country wanting to sell oil for Euros back into the stone age. Last time Ahmedingbats pondered aloud that he plans to have the Iran do so caused him to be pushed into the Axle of Evil.

The moment the Dollar is pushed off its pedestal of being the world economy currency its exchange rate goes into free fall. And the US know that very well.

Comment: Re:Idea (Score 3, Interesting) 120

by Opportunist (#48472725) Attached to: Health Advisor: Ebola Still Spreading, Worst Outbreak We've Ever Seen

Actually the opposite is the case. Our economy has exactly the opposite, but nonetheless equally destructive, problem communism had: They had a shortage of supply. We have a shortage of demand.

Our economy produces enough. Proof? Go anywhere and behold how desperately everyone wants to sell. Be it goods or services, You'll be hard pressed to NOT find someone offering whatever you may want to you. What's lacking is the demand. And without it, there is no market either.

If you think people need any kind of incentive to be ravenous asshole capitalists, think again. Those that could invest already want to. Quite badly, too. There just isn't anything to invest in, because there is no viable business possible without consumers that would want to buy what you'd offer. And the main reason for this is simply that there are not enough people who have enough money to become consumers. And jobs are sadly not created when someone wills a business into existence. Well, you can do that, but it's not really viable to produce without a chance to sell what you produce. You'll be bankrupt in no time.

A job is created when the market situation of demand forces the supply side into hiring additional personnel to fill that demand. Nobody in their sane mind creates a job for the sake of creating a job, paying another person and putting more goods he can't sell on the stockpile. If this is the situation (and that is the situation currently), the sane option is NOT to hire someone and NOT to produce more of what you can't already sell.

Comment: Re:It's a (Score 3, Insightful) 18

by hey! (#48470135) Attached to: Fly With the Brooklyn Aerodrome (Video)

piece of crap with propellor

That's the interesting part.

This is what engineering is about: meeting a need cost effectively. The point of a toy RC airplane is to have fun. Traditionally it was expensive fun that didn't last very very long before you crashed. Having fun for longer with less $$ outlay == better engineering.

Comment: Re:First rule of computer security!!! (Score 1) 106

by Opportunist (#48469577) Attached to: Auto Industry Teams Up With Military To Stop Car Hacking

In general they are not. Or rather, they were not designed as such.

CANbus is a prime example of a bus system that was designed with pretty much anything but security in mind. The whole deal is like 30 years old, and as one can imagine the core ideas in its conception were simplicity and resilience against noise. Both not quite lending themselves well to the idea of ensuring security on a bus.

Also there was really not a huge need to consider security an issue. Mostly because you needed physical access to the vehicle to even get close to accessing the bus. And by then, you HAD already broken in, so what's the gain?

Comment: "Steam" is only half the salary equation (Score 4, Insightful) 253

by hey! (#48469173) Attached to: Is Ruby On Rails Losing Steam?

Specifically: the demand curve half of the equation. The other half is the supply curve. A platform can have *no steam whatsoever*, but so few programmers that the salaries are reasonably high.

Consider Delphi programming. I see Delphi positions come up once in a blue moon -- it's not used much any longer. But those salaries run from $80K to $110K plus. Sometimes you see a Delphi position come up in the mid 40s, but I suspect they're government positions.

I've seen listings for COBOL or PoweBuilder programmers both in the $60K to $110K plus range. You can bet when a company offers $110K for a PowerBuilder programmer it's because it's having a hard time finding one.

Comment: Re:Duh (Score 1) 428

by Opportunist (#48468079) Attached to: Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

I just think people should be judged by their merits, not that of their predecessors. Of course, having rich parents will still make your life in college easier if you can afford a quiet room and dedicate your time to studying instead of having to do with some run-down apartment right between the subway and a bowling alley where you work half day shifts to make ends meet, but at least tuition should be so affordable that anyone who has the brains can study.

Comment: And most likely even the misdemeanor is garbage (Score 2, Interesting) 181

by Opportunist (#48467907) Attached to: Hacker Threatened With 44 Felony Charges Escapes With Misdemeanor

But would YOU want to have a judge who can't operate his cellphone without an accident judge you on the base of laws written by people who don't have much more of a clue concerning the matter in a case where exactly these things play a key role? Supported by 12 douches whose primary concern is to get out of the whole mess as quickly as possible, no matter how.

You sure as hell take the deal, knowing that you have NO chance in hell to a fair trial.

Comment: I blame it on the Moon landing. (Score 3, Insightful) 469

by hey! (#48467757) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

July 20, 1969 was, possibly justifiably, the biggest national ego-validation event in human history. The problem was after that when it came to national achievement, our eyes were firmly pointed back in time. We no longer do things "because they are hard". We're more focused on cashing in on the achievements of past generations.

When you tell Americans we have a backward mobile telephone system, a technologically primitive electric grid and distribution system, and Internet connectivity that lags behind the rest of the developed world, the reaction is usually disbelief. How can that be? We put a man on the Moon -- although by now it should be "grandpa put a man on the Moon."

Comment: Re:Ross Perot is awesome! (Score 1) 122

by hey! (#48467433) Attached to: How the World's First Computer Was Rescued From the Scrap Heap

He was also a conspiracy theorist who had the money to indulge his paranoid fantasies.

He had the phones of his own employees tapped. He hired private investigators to spy on his friends and family, and to dig up dirt on friends of his children he didn't approve of. He went beserk when he found out the designer of the Vietnam Memorial was an Asian American, calling her racial slurs and hiring lawyers to harass the veterans who supported her.

This is a man who thinks that both the Carter and Reagan administrations conspired to hide the presence of hundreds of POW in Southeast Asia.

I often tell my kids "there's no kind of dumb like a smart person's dumb." It's a warning against arrogance. Smart people can get too used to being right when other people around them are wrong. But in truth there is a worse kind of dumb: rich person's dumb. That's because money can give ideas instant credibility with people in a way arguments cannot. There's a strong inclination in this country to idolize rich guys.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"