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Comment: Re:didn't have to be worse.. (Score 1) 199

by eclectro (#47909995) Attached to: Sapphire Glass Didn't Pass iPhone Drop Test According to Reports

I think this really is the answer. The ROI on sales with what is already a razor thin margin for them just wouldn't be there. Especially that unusually large sapphire crystals would need to be grown on a very large scale. Which would have required a whole new plant and processes for them.

My gut tells me they could have made it work if they wanted to badly enough - considering how hard sapphire really is. But they looked at the numbers and it wasn't workable for them.

So what really 'cracked' here was the accounting numbers.

Comment: Re:Pay money up front - even for free ones (Score 1) 181

by eclectro (#47901075) Attached to: The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

I'd be interested in seeing completion rates if people had to pay (put some skin in the game).

I'd like to see the completion rate for people who get actual college credit for the courses - and still have the courses free.

The reason that moocs are not disruptive is because have not been given the power to be disruptive. They still allow the old institutions to get away with their many current shortcomings without facing true competition.

Colleges and universities dangle the carrot in front of everyone's face (like MIT) while not really following through to the conclusion - i.e. granting credit for the work and effort someone invests in learning the material.

In MIT's case, they could offer to have an exam proctored at a local university where someone would walk in the door and be tested. But then nobody would bother to pay exorbitant amounts to show up to the brick and mortar school.

But I submit that the emperor has no clothes. The value of having a college degree (i.e. help in gaining employment) has decreased markedly, as the workplace values cheap workers over qualified ones in the first place. Employers first priority is to make sure that their board of directors and CEOs are well taken care of before anyone else.

Comment: Re:Linux, cryptography, HTML and JavaScript. (Score 1) 119

by eclectro (#47896275) Attached to: Harvard's CompSci Intro Course Boasts Record-Breaking Enrollment

You can't win.

Students would be crazy to enter the CS field. You have employers demanding vast experience for "entry level" positions, and then that experience has to contain a long checklist of languages and methodologies. Then they face an employer who will always be looking for a way to find a cheaper H1B replacement for their American employee (regardless if they have less experience and knowledge). After that, a dozen years later their skills are "out of date" and job hunting becomes difficult - after their employer lays them off in a merger. Other employers want to hire the "hot shot" Doritos and Mountain Dew kid straight out of college.

And after all that, when they hit their 40's, they're completely unemployable now and ready to be put out to pasture. As age discrimination seems to be a widely acceptable if not approved practice in a society where other minorities are given legal protections of one sort or another.

Really kids, stay out of anything having to do with programming. Keep it as a hobby, you'll enjoy it far more.

Comment: This does not bother me (Score 4, Insightful) 237

by eclectro (#47813557) Attached to: Mysterious, Phony Cell Towers Found Throughout US

The fact that these towers are found next to military bases speaks volumes.

The military needs to there own version of everything to make sure things work in times of national crisis, emergency, or security. They need to have their own infrastructure to insure communications. They need to control their communications around bases and know who is saying or doing what. They need to be able to anticipate attacks. Nobody should have any expectation of privacy on or next to a military base.

Quite frankly, I'm glad to see this.

Comment: Re:That seems fair (Score 1) 371

by eclectro (#47689867) Attached to: Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers

If you are a good engineer, you have something that no business person will ever have (except at the very top maybe): You are really hard to replace. Use that!

And this is the reason that Cisco and IBM can lay off thousands of engineers, so they can replace them with either contract workers or cheap oversees engineering?

Being a "good" engineer is hardly a defense anymore, which in part is what this article alludes to.

Comment: Re:Courage... (Score 1) 207

but it really rubbed me the wrong way to see him refer to layoffs as an act of courage.

Real courage would have been to retrain those fired workers for what they needed. But he much rather pull in H1B workers who really do not have the skills either, but are a whole lot cheaper.

This really does set off the BS flag.

Comment: Re:ROI for drug development (Score 1) 390

by eclectro (#47604269) Attached to: "Secret Serum" Used To Treat Americans With Ebola

where was the incentive for the drug company to create this drug?

Their unique (if not stellar) accomplishment will quickly bring more capital into their company which will enable them to develop other more profitable medications - perhaps using the same or similar technology behind this serum.

And it should not be forgotten that this is the kind of thing Nobel prizes are made out of.

+ - The Amazon Fire Is the Dirtiest Smartphone

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "The biggest thing that sets the Amazon Fire Phone apart from its Android and Apple competitors probably isn't the clean interface or the unlimited photo storage—it's the dirty power behind it. When Fire users upload their photos and data to Amazon's cloud, they'll be creating a lot more pollution than iPhone owners, Greenpeace says.
Apple has made a commitment to running its iCloud on 100 percent clean energy. Amazon, meanwhile, operates the dirtiest servers of any major tech giant that operates its own servers—only 15 percent of its energy comes from clean sources, which is about the default national average."

+ - The Earth barely missed solar storm equal to the Carrington event

Submitted by eclectro
eclectro (227083) writes "NASA is reporting that in July 2012 that a huge solar storm crossed the path that the Earth takes, with Earth missing it by a week. If the storm had occurred a week earlier it would have at least equaled the 1859 Carrington event. It would have sent civilization back to the 18th century costing the world economy 2 Trillion dollars. A scientist has calculated that the odds of this happening in the next ten years is 12%."

+ - ScummVM 1.7.0 Released

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "It's been a while since a new ScummVM release, but version 1.7.0 is now here with many exciting features. New games supported are The Neverhood, Mortville Manor, Voyeur, Return to Ringworld and Chivalry is Not Dead. The Roland MT-32 emulator has been updated, there is an OpenGL backend, the GUI has seen improvements, AGOS engine is enhanced, tons of SCI bug fixes have been applied, and various other improvements can be found. This version also introduces support for the OUYA gaming console and brings improvements to some other more exotic platforms. Please read the release notes for an accurate description of the new version."

An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. -- James Michener, "Space"