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Comment: Re:Not going to be as rosy as the YES! campaign sa (Score 1) 486

by eclectro (#47930201) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

they're going to find it hard to secure the financing and trade deals they're going to need to make this work.

I submit that current trade agreements such as TIPP only work to lower wages and shift jobs overseas. In which case a vote for independence would be very beneficial to the Scottish people.

Comment: Re:didn't have to be worse.. (Score 1) 203

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) 182

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) 135

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.

Iphone

Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments 730

Posted by Soulskill
from the please-can-the-hype-stop-now dept.
Today at Apple's September press conference, they announced the new iPhone 6 models. There are two of them — the iPhone 6 is 4.7" at 1334x750, and the iPhone 6 Plus is 5.5" at 1920x1080. Both phones are thinner than earlier models: 5S: 7.6mm, 6: 6.9mm, 6 Plus: 7.1mm. The phones have a new-generation chip, the 64-bit A8. Apple says the new phones have a 25% faster CPU, 50% faster GPU, and they're 50% more energy efficient (though they were careful to say the phones have "equal or better" battery life to the 5S). Apple upgrade the phones' wireless capabilities, moving voice calls to LTE and also enabling voice calls over Wi-Fi. The phones ship on September 19th, preceded by the release of iOS 8 on September 17th.

Apple also announced its entry into the payments market with "Apple Pay." They're trying to replace traditional credit card payments with holding an iPhone up to a scanner instead. It uses NFC and the iPhone's TouchID fingerprint scanner. Users can take a picture of their credit cards, and Apple Pay will gather payment information, encrypt it, and store it. (Apple won't have any of the information about users' credit cards or their purchases, and users will be able to disable the payment option through Find My iPhone if they lose the device.) Apple Pay will work with Visa, Mastercard, and American Express cards to start. 220,000 stores that support contactless payment will accept Apple Pay, and many apps are building direct shopping support for it. It will launch in October as an update for iOS 8, and work only on the new phones.

Apple capped off the conference with the announcement of the long-anticipated "Apple Watch." Their approach to UI is different from most smartwatch makers: Apple has preserved the dial often found on the side of analog watches, using it as a button and an input wheel. This "digital crown" enables features like zoom without obscuring the small screen with fingers. The screen is touch-sensitive and pressure sensitive, so software can respond to a light tap differently than a hard tap. The watch runs on a new, custom-designed chip called the S1, it has sensors to detect your pulse, and it has a microphone to receive and respond to voice commands. It's powered by a connector that has no exposed contacts — it magnetically seals to watch and charges inductively. The Apple Watch requires an iPhone of the following models to work: 6, 6Plus, 5s, 5c, 5. It will be available in early 2015, and will cost $349 for a base model.
Verizon

AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough 527

Posted by samzenpus
from the lets-slow-things-down dept.
An anonymous reader writes AT&T and Verizon have asked the FCC not to change the definition of broadband from 4Mbps to 10Mbps, contending that "10Mbps service exceeds what many Americans need today to enable basic, high-quality transmissions." From the article: "Individual cable companies did not submit comments to the FCC, but their representative, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), agrees with AT&T and Verizon. 'The Commission should not change the baseline broadband speed threshold from 4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream because a 4/1 Mbps connection is still sufficient to perform the primary functions identified in section 706 [of the Telecommunications Act]—high-quality voice, video, and data,' the NCTA wrote."

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.

Earth

Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor 273

Posted by samzenpus
from the bubbling-up dept.
sciencehabit writes Researchers have discovered 570 plumes of methane percolating up from the sea floor off the eastern coast of the United States, a surprisingly high number of seeps in a relatively quiescent part of the ocean. The seeps suggest that methane's contribution to climate change has been underestimated in some models. And because most of the seeps lie at depths where small changes in temperature could be releasing the methane, it is possible that climate change itself could be playing a role in turning some of them on.
Education

Professor Steve Ballmer Will Teach At Two Universities This Year 179

Posted by samzenpus
from the teaching!-teaching!-teaching! dept.
redletterdave (2493036) writes "When Steve Ballmer announced he was stepping down from Microsoft's board of directors, he cited a fall schedule that would "be hectic between teaching a new class and the start of the NBA season." It turns out Ballmer will teach an MBA class at Stanford's Graduate School of Business in the fall, and a class at USC's Marshall School of Business in the spring. Helen Chang, assistant director of communications at Stanford's Business School, told Business Insider that Ballmer will be working with faculty member Susan Athey for a strategic management course called "TRAMGT588: Leading organizations." As for the spring semester, Ballmer will head to Los Angeles — closer to where his Clippers will be playing — and teach a course at University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. We reached out to the Marshall School, which declined to offer more details about Ballmer's class.
Microsoft

Ballmer Leaves Microsoft Board 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the retirement!-retirement!-retirement! dept.
jones_supa writes: After leaving his position as CEO of Microsoft a year ago, Steve Ballmer has still held a position as a member of the board of directors for the company. Now, he is leaving the board, explaining why in a letter to fresh Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. "I have become very busy," Ballmer explains. "I see a combination of Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking up a lot of time." Despite his departure, the former-CEO is still invested in the company's success, and he spent most of the letter encouraging Nadella and giving advice. Nadella shot back a supportive, equally optimistic response, promising that Microsoft will thrive in "the mobile-first, cloud-first world."

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.

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