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Comment: Re:this technology has been in use for years (Score 2) 55

by crgrace (#49642279) Attached to: Electron Microscopes Close To Imaging Individual Atoms

You're correct but earlier cryo-EM cameras are also tailored to the bio industry. This advancement is huge, don't get me wrong, it's just it was made 8 years ago. Take for example the K2 Summit camera.

http://www.gatan.com/products/tem-imaging-spectroscopy/k2-direct-detection-cameras

It's a winner in structural biology. The reason you care about seeing atoms in structural biology is you're trying to design drugs that physically interlock with important molecules. You have to see the atoms to truly know the structural layout of a molecule.

Comment: this technology has been in use for years (Score 4, Informative) 55

by crgrace (#49641959) Attached to: Electron Microscopes Close To Imaging Individual Atoms

This is not a worthy story. Cryo-EM is a fast growing, exciting field but higher resolution electron microscopes that what this article trumpets have been available for years. For example, the TEAM microscope built in 2008 at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab has a resolution of 50 pm:

http://foundry.lbl.gov/facilities/ncem/expertise.html#team1

I personally saw individual gold atoms deposited as a nanobridge on a graphene substrate. In 2010.

Comment: no brainer for HR (Score 5, Informative) 429

by crgrace (#49639103) Attached to: Why Companies Should Hire Older Developers

I've been in the technology business for almost 20 years now. In my personal experience, older engineers are much more productive than younger engineers. Younger engineers are much more likely to partake of the "free" dinner offered by the company and work 80 hour weeks. They are also significantly cheaper.

To HR we (engineers) are a fungible commodity anyway. Of course they go for the younger people. Given that they command lower wages AND work more hours their effective hourly rate is much lower. So it's a no brainer.

Of course, I would guess from experience (although I have no specific evidence) that older engineers are cheaper in a productivity/dollar sense, but that doesn't even enter the argument in a modern corporation.

Unless we get into management, we older folks (Lord, is pushing 40 really older now?) are better off in .gov/defense jobs or working for small companies where individual people (may) value our contributions.

Comment: this pisses me off about modern business (Score 5, Insightful) 177

by crgrace (#49496105) Attached to: MakerBot Lays Off 20 Percent of Its Employees

Employees are apparently being led out of the company's Brooklyn office by security today.

This has always rubbed me the wrong way. These people worked hard for the company and then they get thrown away like garbage, or worse potential threats. Why can't we treat people with respect and understanding. It is a serious personal trauma to get laid off... I always thought the way security escorts you from the building was kind of a "kick-em-while-they're-down" dick move.

I got laid off from a company during the financial crisis (10% of my company was laid off). I was accompanied to my desk to pick up my jacket and I was out the door. I had to make a freaking appointment to collect my personal belongs from my desk the next day. Everyone in the office tried to hide while me and the other victims cleaned out our stuff (our logins were already disabled). I guess they thought they would catch whatever it was the killed us.

Comment: Re:Lets use correct terminology. (Score 3, Insightful) 177

by crgrace (#49496065) Attached to: MakerBot Lays Off 20 Percent of Its Employees

If 20% are going at once, it is most certainly a layoff. It could be they are focusing on dead wood, or, and this is most likely, they had a mandate of 20% from each group, regardless of how strong each group was. I've seen some top flight engineers lose their jobs because of this type of scatter-shot layoff.

Comment: Re:Contradiction in article summary (Score 5, Insightful) 360

by crgrace (#49382999) Attached to: Why More 'Star Wars' Actors Don't Become Stars

Well I guess its a contradiction from a certain point of view.

I gotta disagree with you on Hamill. Every person I personally know who tried acting got a comercial or a traveling stage show or something a few times but ended up quitting after 5 years or less and now has a different job.

Mark Hamill did a lot better than just sign autographs. He had a good number of small roles in the 80s and 90s (check imdb) and most actors would kill to have a bit part on a few shows. He is also a pretty successful voice actor.

His career is in the top 1% of people who try to be actors. Harrison Ford's career is in the top 0.00001%. That's the difference, in my opinion.

Comment: Re:Don't worry actors (Score 4, Insightful) 360

by crgrace (#49382919) Attached to: Why More 'Star Wars' Actors Don't Become Stars

No, not too harsh at all. He made Ewan McGregor look like a high-school drama geek. "Wooden Talentless Hack" is a great way to put it. Those scenes on Kamino were so bad I actually hurt for poor Ewan. He must cringe whenever anyone brings up Star Wars. For God's Sake, this is Ewan McGregor we're talking about. Ever see him in Trainspotting? He was absolutely brilliant.

To my mind, the difference is clear. It's Lucas.

Comment: Re:Contradiction in article summary (Score 5, Interesting) 360

by crgrace (#49382891) Attached to: Why More 'Star Wars' Actors Don't Become Stars

It's not a contradiction at all. The agent works for the agent's benefit primarily. The vast, vast majority of actors never land a role where the agent can take a significant cut. So, to them, it's like a "bird in the hand vs. two in the bush" type of thing. They can get a few bucks out of the actor, who cares if their long-term prospects are stunted. Fact is, they most likely wouldn't get anywhere anyway. Remember, the agent works for the agent. There is always another good-looking young actor coming along to represent.

To say Mark Hamill (for instance) would have been more successful without being in Star Wars is ridiculous. While he didn't hit it big like Harrison Ford, he certainly had a career that was more successful than 99% of people who try to act.

Comment: actually sounds really good (Score 1) 128

by crgrace (#49381805) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Surface 3 Tablet

The micro-USB thing is huge. It is such a pain in the ass that I can't mix and match connectors with my ipod and other devices. I'm glad MS isn't going for nonstandard (read: lucrative) connectors (yet).

If the battery life pans out to be real (and video consumption is second only to wifi as a battery killer in my experience) this might be my next tablet...

Comment: Re:software dev vs programmer (Score 4, Interesting) 139

by crgrace (#49375939) Attached to: IT Jobs With the Best (and Worst) ROI

Yeah it makes no sense. They have separate categories for Software Engineer, Programmer, and Software Developer. They are the same job, although often they have slightly different connotations in that in some organizations the word engineer has more prestige than programmer but it varies.

Pretty much useless... a distinction that makes no different at best. Even if some pedant comes along and says "a software engineer has XX degree and a programmer has YY degree" it is still meaningless because these types of distinctions are not generally agreed upon.

Comment: the river keeps rolling (Score 5, Insightful) 120

And so it goes.

Yet another step to insert a system to mediate and "facilitate" peer-to-peer transactions. I can almost feel the middle class getting poorer as more and more middlemen scrape off their percentage.

The technology that so many people thought would set us free is being applied to bring us back 100 years when most labor was casual and few people knew if they'd have a job next year.

Car sharing, house sharing, "free" content generation, task rabbit type casual labor.... no wonder the middle class in the USA is hurting. This might be more effect than cause but we're in an undiscovered country, that's for sure.

All life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities. -- Dawkins

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