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Comment Re:Diesel are more eco-friendly than gasoline (Score 1) 237

Here's a newsflash: particulate emissions are regulated by mass, but biological harm is proportional to the number of particles. The fact that those carcinogenic particulates from Diesels are big enough to form a visible cloud means they're less dangerous than the much larger number of tiny invisible particulates that gasoline engines emit.

(Not to mention, the modern Diesels being discussed have particulate filters -- which do actually work; the "emissions cheating" is about NOx, not particulates -- but modern gasoline engines still don't. And by the way: gasoline engines emit a fun mix of toxic substances such as benzene and formaldehyde that are much lower in Diesel emissions, and which are totally unregulated. New gasoline engines are way more carcinogenic than Diesels, even by a wider margin than they used to be.)

Comment Re:Umm, yeah, that's pretty idiotic. (Score 1) 140

You misunderstood me: if you (as the designer/manufacturer) don't want the user to change the firmware, then use a mask ROM instead of an EEPROM (or whatever) so that he physically can't.

As a (wholly intended!) side effect it means that you (again, the manufacturer) can't change it after the fact either, which means it'll have to be perfect the first time.

In other words, the only potentially-valid reason to make it hard for the user (i.e., the owner) to modify his property is that it's built well enough that (in the user's opinion, not the manufacturers!) it never needs to be modified.

Comment Re:Umm, yeah, that's pretty idiotic. (Score 1) 140

There are very good reasons to make devices for which the firmware is changeable after manufacturing but only by the manufacturer.

Name one that doesn't boil down to either (a) "the user is too stupid to know what he wants to do with his own property, so he needs the manufacturer to be his nanny" or (b) "the user might use his own property in a way that displeases The Powers That Be, and must be stopped."

Comment Re:It's software in the sense that it can be chang (Score 1) 140

x86 micro-code can be changed via flash, as can the low-level software that controls your microwaves, does that need to be programmable by random C++ hackers?

There are two possibilities:

  1. If it should be able to be changed via flash, then yes, it needs to be programmable by the user!
  2. If it should not be programmable by the user, then it should not be able to be changed via flash!

The point is, either the functionality is fixed for the life of the item, or it should be modifiable (i.e., repairable) by the owner. There is no middle ground. Having it modifiable by "somebody" but not the owner is nothing but a recipe for malicious tampering.

Comment Re:This is why we can't have nice things (Score 1) 349

The concept behind the H1-B program sounds reasonable. Bring in highly skilled experts from overseas that we can't find here.

There's nothing whatsoever reasonable about the idea that with a population this large and (some of) the best universities in the world, that we somehow can't find -- or make -- plenty of "highly skilled experts" right here.

In other words, I agree with your conclusion, but your premise gave the government way more credit than it deserves.

Comment Re:My experience with Infosys (Score 2) 349

It may also have hindered them to get the Infosys contract in many ways; it's hard to justify to upper management that you need more money for a contract when you paid so little in the past for the same contract from a different vendor.

That's the thing, they didn't pay for the "same contract," they paid for shit that failed to deliver. Of course, I can see how it could be hard to admit to upper management that your dumb ass got swindled...

Comment Re:Ethics (Score 1) 349

There is no good solution except allowing wages to equalize and removing some of the barriers to capitalism which prevent us from buying products which are sold overseas much less expensively than locally. For example movies are about 1/10th the price, blood pressure medicine is about 1% the price, etc. Some can't be fixed-- housekeeping and lawn staff is about 3% of the price.

For that to be a "good solution," developing-world labor protections and environmental standards have to come up to meet ours. Otherwise, it's a race to the bottom and we only fuck ourselves over.

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