The lack of change logs is why I never update the firmware on my Blu-Ray players unless something is obviously broken, and even then, only if I can find anecdotal evidence to suggest that the update will fix that problem. I've had way, way too many theoretically minor updates that break things in horrible ways, so unless an update adds some major feature that I care about, I try to avoid updating software unless A. I'm aware that it is broken in a way that affects me, and B. I have reason to believe that the update will fix it. In all other circumstances, installing an update to a working system just creates the risk of breakage without providing any obvious gain.
Considering the number of chinese that learn English in school compared to English speaking children that learn chinese, I have a feeling we will all be speaking a hybrid version of English and Chinese in hundreds of years. English isn't going anywhere, not when billions of chinese are all taught English from ages 4 thru 18.
So what you're saying is that Firefly got it right?
In active use, my experience has been that platters usually degrade because the heads get parked on a park ramp one too many times, snap off the head arm, and then get dragged across the surface of the disk.... Want your disks to last for decades? Park the heads infrequently or not at all.
But even in the absence of actual use, eventually, even on a hard disk, the bits are likely to get corrupted by random stray cosmic rays and possibly superparamagnetism. Of course, any real data loss is likely to take decades, if not centuries.
The nice thing about delivery drones is that they typically weigh at least 174,000 pounds less than a maximally loaded 737. If a ten pound drone carrying a five pound package falls on your head, it's going to hurt like heck, but it probably won't kill you.
Yeah, but they're all varieties of mold, mostly in the mini fridge.
*hangs head in shame*
Well, yes and no. Having at least some common interests is always important to a lasting relationship. The problems I see with dating sites are:
- There is rarely a way to say "The person must meet all of the following criteria, or else don't bother showing me." For example, I would never date a smoker; even a small amount of cigarette smoke interacts very badly with my ability to sing.
Even if you can assign importance to a particular criterion, there is almost never any way for me to assign arbitrary weights to specific values for specific criteria.
For example, although I don't mind if my date drinks once in a while, I don't want to date an alcoholic. And even less extreme values are somewhat relevant. I don't personally drink, so I would probably not be a good match for someone who enjoys going out drinking. So a frequent drinker would have a negative weight, but someone who drinks occasionally or does not drink would have a zero weight, because the difference between those options is unimportant to me. And to some degree, it even matters what they drink. A girl who enjoys a glass of wine with dinner is more likely to be a good match than a girl who enjoys going down to the sports bar and having a couple of pints.
For another example, consider the religion checkboxes. Let's say you're Catholic and would prefer to marry within the Church. To do this, you would probably want to add a strong positive weight to Catholic and Orthodox Christian denominations, a lesser weight to various protestant denominations, and perhaps a negative weight to non-Christian religious backgrounds.
Many of the things I would like to include as part of my matching criteria are never available as options.
For example, Match.com allows you to specify that you like music, but such a general criterion makes no real distinction between a classical pianist and someone who likes listening to Miley Cyrus. Only one of those should be weighted positively, and I'll let you guess which.
And so on. In short, the options are too broad and nonspecific to be useful, and the weighting options are too limited, resulting in people seeming to like certain interests in one context and not in another context, not because they really do, but because certain aspects of those interests are positive and others are negative. To use your football example, a girl might like a guy who enjoys watching his favorite team at the local stadium every so often, but might not like a guy who spends every Sunday at home watching football all day. It isn't that the girl sometimes does and sometimes doesn't find guys who like football endearing, but rather that the way a guy acts on that interest and the extent to which he does so is crucial in determining whether the interest is or is not endearing to her. Without additional detail, the fact that the guy likes football is a very nearly useless data point, because it provides no actionable information.
Of course, a better solution would not use explicit weights entered by the user, but instead would ask you to rate a bunch of random people, and would then survey you to ask why you rated that person high or low, and would use your response to refine its matching criteria and weights. An ideal site would also perform detailed facial analysis and other image analysis so that "I did not find this person physically attractive" can turn into a set of weights based on how important specific physical criteria are. This is, of course, insanely complicated, which is why AFAIK nobody does it.
Oh, and I also want a really good grammar analysis tool built into a dating site. As a general rule, it should prefer to match people who have good grammar with other people who have good grammar. That said, I'd settle for a checkbox on the ratings questionnaire that lets me reject someone by saying, "This girl appears to be functionally illiterate."
Competition requires two things: multiple players and customer mobility. If either one is missing, you don't have true competition. And even when you do, there are other considerations besides money. Competition can drive prices down, but it can also improve quality instead. This is particularly true in the case of medical care.
For example, one reason that competition doesn't always drive down the cost of healthcare is the high cost of equipment required for top-notch care. If you are a hospital with a million-dollar MRI machine, you need to recover the cost of that machine (including the fairly substantial power bill). This means that the kid with the broken arm might get an MRI instead of an X-ray, and now you have a $1,000 medical bill instead of a $100 medical bill even though the actual cost to the hospital is not that different. In a decade, when you've paid off most of that cost, there will be something else to take its place, just as the MRI took the place of the now-paid-off CT scanner.
"Don't believe everything you read on the Internet."
But that's also true for private insurance. For example, consider every person who dies of cancer, and how much money was wasted on ineffectual treatments that mostly reduced that person's quality of life and did not significantly extend the length of his or her life. Of course, sometimes it works, and the person goes on to live for decades. That's the problem with your basic assumption; you're assuming that you can know ahead of time with some degree of certainty whether that spending will be futile or not.
Further, your assumption is wrong even for the elderly. Take my grandfather, for example. He lived quite normally for a couple of years after a bleeding ulcer brought him to the brink of death and required weeks of hospitalization and rehabilitation. On the flip side, he eventually died of what I'm fairly certain was a hospital-acquired MRSA infection after being brought in for something that probably should not have resulted in him being admitted in the first place. So what actually turned out to be his last few weeks of life were extremely expensive as well, in large part because of grossly incompetent and unnecessary care by an area hospital, which would likely not have been the last few weeks of his life had he not gotten such "care".
In short, medical care is a crapshoot in every possible way. To use a car analogy, sure, end-of-life care is expensive, in much the same way that repeatedly fixing a lemon automobile might be more expensive than replacing it with a non-lemon. The problem is that you don't know whether the car is a lemon until you've gotten fed up with fixing it over and over. So in hindsight, that money seems like a poor investment, whereas at the time, it may well have been a reasonable decision. Worse, for 80% of those cars, repairing it might have been the right decision, but if you get stuck with one of the remaining 20% of cars where it isn't, that doesn't help you much. And eventually, every car is going to end up in that 20%. If you look at every car's end of life, there is almost always some point that you can look back upon and say, "I should have cut my losses at that point," but it is only possible to know that in retrospect. Up until then, there's almost always some valid reason to believe that the car will work if you just fix that one more problem.
Doubly so since in every other for-profit business, the path to maximum profits seems to universally be to ower costs to the consumer in order to attract a larger market share - while the medical sector's model seems to be to increase costs and drive away customers.
You're missing something pretty critical with that analysis. In every for-profit business with viable competition, the path to maximum profits tends to be lowering costs. Unfortunately, outside of major cities, you will rarely find more than one hospital within a short enough distance to handle emergencies. In every for-profit business with few (if any) competitors, the path to maximum profits tends to be buying the competition and raising costs, lowering them only enough to bankrupt any new competitors that dare to enter the market.
The latter rule is particularly prevalent when a business has a relatively high barrier to entry. For example, cable companies tend towards extortionate natural monopolies at the local level because of the high cost of laying cable. Hospitals tend towards monopolies at the local level because of the high cost of insurance, diagnostic equipment, lawsuits, supplies, staff whose sole purpose is to squeeze money out of the **** insurance companies, etc. Also, there's no obvious benefit to having more than one hospital within about a five-minute drive of your house, so once one hospital is established, there's little motivation to add another one.
Finally, there's the very nature of insurance, which causes people to pay for medical services indirectly. If you had to pay the $20,000 bill, there would be incentive to charge less. Because your insurance company pays it, and you pay only indirectly in the form of what amounts to an average health care bill, the incentive to reduce costs does not exist, or at least not below the maximum cost that the insurance companies will allow them to charge for a particular service. In effect, insurance results in a price-fixed market for health services.
This is compounded by broken rules that prevent insurance companies from competing—different standards in different states, the requirement for permission from each state to offer insurance there, hospitals and doctors who accept only certain insurance providers, etc.
In short, if you want to reduce the cost of healthcare, I can think of only three real options:
- Make it possible for insurance companies to compete on cost. This requires making it mandatory for all healthcare companies to accept all insurance providers (including Medicaid and equivalent), tear down the states' ability to regulate insurance providers, and set up national health insurance standards that, if an insurer complies with those standards, qualify them to offer insurance anywhere in the U.S.
- Remove the profit motive at every level by providing government funds to start a nonprofit corporation (independently run) that creates a nationwide network of nonprofit hospitals to force competition on the care itself. Create a public option for insurance that provides service only through those hospitals (except for emergencies when there isn't one nearby).
- Create a single payer system that limits how much money will be paid for any particular procedure, and pass laws that require a hospital to give a single rate for those services regardless of insurance (or, ostensibly, lack thereof).
Or some combination of the above.
Unless it's AGPL, in which case it does, for most normal people's definition of "using".
1. Lazy HR screeners
2. They may be hiring someone they've already picked out from inside the company.
That might happen sometimes, but everywhere I've worked, neither is the case, yet these sorts of job descriptions are still common. In my experience:
- Job listings contain a list of keywords based on what skills the ideal drop-in candidate would possess. The hiring managers know that they probably won't actually find someone who perfectly matches these skills who wants that particular job, but they list the skills on the off chance that they will.
- Resumés are pulled from a database based on keyword matching and based on which jobs you've expressed an interest in. If you don't have enough keywords, no human will ever see your resumé.
The person hired usually has at least some of those keywords in his/her resumé, thus getting the person past the initial sanity check. The person also has things in his/her resumé that catch the attention of the hiring manager who screens it next. However, the person's actual qualifications are almost never an exact match. In reality, the person hired might match 30% of the stated criteria, but they might also end up matching the requirements for some other job within the same team, and somebody else on that team might have the requisite skills to take on some of the posted job's responsibilities.
For example, consider somebody applying for an OS kernel test engineer job. The ideal candidate would have experience in writing kernel extensions, would have experience writing test harness code with a particular test harness, etc. However, the person hired might have the test harness skills, but little kernel engineering skills. That person might, however, have strong skills at writing (English), which might free up part of another kernel engineer's time that would otherwise be spent writing documentation comments in the headers. Then, that kernel engineer would have more time to help out writing the kernel-side hooks that the test engineer would need to use.
Or consider somebody applying for a documentation position. The person who left might have experience with server technologies and networking, so an ideal drop-in candidate would have those skills. However, two other documentation engineers might have the networking and server chops between them, so if they found somebody who could cover some of the technologies that those two existing people were currently covering, that person would also be an ideal candidate.
Unfortunately, there's no good way to express such a complex (and potentially ever-changing) set of requirements. Thus, my general recommendation is this: If you think you'd be good at the job, apply. If you only meet some of the criteria, apply anyway. You might or might not get the job, depending on whether somebody else is a better match, but generally speaking, in my experience, the most important criterion is not what you know, but rather how easily you learn new things. With the exception of highly senior positions, everything else is at least to some degree optional.
Obviously, different companies hire differently, so YMMV, but this is usually a good general rule.
It [the word "females"] just sounds creepy. You can logically argue that it's not on slashdot but don't use it in real life or people will think you are weird.
It's not the word. It's the way you say it in that Ferengi voice.
That's nice in theory, and actually might be successful where I work. Not so much for checkout clerks at Target. Remember that folks working near the lower end of the wage range are the majority, and for those folks, asking for an electric car charging station is approximately tantamount to asking their employer to double their hourly wage for a year. The only sort of lobbying that is going to make that happen is lobbying your local government to pass ordinances that make a certain number of charging stations mandatory for every business with more than five employees....