Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:I've heard this one... (Score 1) 237

by geoskd (#47515529) Attached to: Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

Given that this would be upwards of 2000x higher density than a lithium battery, does that mean a 60Wh laptop battery has the explosive capacity of half a stick of TNT?

Yes, its just very difficult to get a very fast or efficient energy conversion from the laptop battery to an explosion. In order to produce efficient explosive force, chemical energy needs to be converted into heat extremely fast (milliseconds at least, nanoseconds would be better). Those laptop batteries are designed with exactly the opposite goal, so as to reduce overheating and fire risk.

Comment: Re:I agree; you are making a silly argument... (Score 1) 527

by geoskd (#47491757) Attached to: US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

The remaining 5,500 people are redundancies of the kind you get when you smash a 127,000 employee company together with a 90,000 employee company to get a 217,000 employee company, and then decide that 2.5% of them are duplicate effort which is not necessary.

And I believe it is incumbent upon Microsoft to demonstrate that not one of those existing employees is suitable to replace and H1B visa holder. Should any of those people be capable of doing the job held by the H1B visa holder, Microsoft should be required to ship the H1B holder back instead of laying off the American worker. The fact that the law doesn't address this is in itself a miscarriage of the law.

Comment: Re:Free market economy (Score 1) 527

by geoskd (#47491739) Attached to: US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

You have one party that has completely gone off the rails, who puts its own orthodoxy over the law of the land and the country

That would be both parties. The actions of the Justice department fall directly under the purview of the President, and yet those actions are as inscrutable as any of his predecessors. It should also be noted that in spite of the good that has come of the affordable care act, it is a far cry from what it should have been, and that many of the problems could have been avoided with a little bit of compromise, and some bipartisan work instead of trying to ram through what we have now. Single payer was probably a bit too much to ask, but limited liability wouldn't have been such a terrible thing either. Point is, neither side gives a shit about the people who elected them. All they care about is getting re-elected...

Comment: Re:Free market economy (Score 1) 527

by geoskd (#47489707) Attached to: US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

The only thing limiting you to two choices is you. Many ballots have third parties. You are free to run in those that don't. By stating to yourself and others that there are only two choices, you are part of the problem.

It is only a problem for you. I am perfectly capable of dealing with whatever government shows up to run things. My only concern is that the transition from what we have now to what we have after the open revolt will be somewhat taxing, and what concern I have for my fellow citizens leads me to want to help out where I can, but the fact remains that regardless of how you vote, the problem remians the system itself, and no amount of fiddling with the dials is going to fix a broken system. The fundamental problem of government isn't that people cannot govern themselves, its that they are fundamentally incapable of refraining from governing others. Once you reach this conclusion, *any* form of government is eventually going to be corrupted to the point of open revolt. It is inevitable. We might or might not be nearing that point in the USA. I tend to believe that we will live to see it in the relatively near future (next 30 years or so). It will be precipitated by a large resource shortage like oil embargo, food crisis, or something else, but our government has been getting less and less stable, and more and more extreme. It wont take nearly as much as most people think to push us into civil war. After the war, we'll get yet another government that might be better, or might be worse, but will eventually fall because all governments eventually fall to greed and corruption.

Comment: Re:Free market economy (Score 2) 527

by geoskd (#47488659) Attached to: US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

I think you've taken a valid point and stretched it a little far here. If we'd had eight years of Gore starting in 2000, do you think Iraq would have played out exactly the same? If we were on our way to eight years of McCain starting in 2008, do you think the trends in health insurance would be what they are?

I heard the same basic sentiment in 2008 about another politician. That doesnt seem to have turned out how anyone expected.

Funny thing about politicians: They will say absolutely anything to get elected...

Comment: Re:it's about immigration, stupid (Score 1) 527

by geoskd (#47488587) Attached to: US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

Y'all are missing the point -- Jeff Sessions is a dumb-ass teabagger from AL. His big issue is immigration; he wants to keep any and all immigrants out of the US (excepting his own white self and his family, in the finest "I got mine, screw the rest of ya" republican tradition). He doesn't give a damn about jobs. He doesn't give a damn about engineers. All he wants is to send immigrant children back to the Mexican and Central American drugs-and-guns war zone he and his fellow congress critters created so he can get them dark skinned Spanish speaking people as far from himself as he can get them.

That doesn't make him wrong...

Comment: Re:Silly argument (Score 4, Insightful) 527

by geoskd (#47488511) Attached to: US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

There's a false comparison being made here... who says the Nokia engineer or the Xbox content maker being laid off has the same skills as the programmer they are wanting to hire?

That right there is the problem. The two groups of people have the same basic skills that are necessary to do the jobs, and the only thing either party was lacking is some limited training related to the specifics of the job. Until the late '70s, it was well understood that a company had to plan for and pay for training to bring every new employee up to speed. colleges and trade schools gave them the basic skill set, but the company had to pay for the rest. Since then, companies are trying to cut costs, and one of the easiest cost buckets is the training budget. Simply wipe it and only hire people who already have the exact skill set you need. The problem is that when every company does this, no one gets trained, and there slowly develops a perception of a labor shortage... The reality is that companies expectations from new employees and employment candidates has become unreasonable and untenable The labor pool hasn't really changed, but the corporate attitude towards hiring has changed. This is truly compounded by the trend towards globalization, where you get tens of thousands of applicants for every position, so instead of having an engineering manager go through the few tens of applications and picking the closest fit, you now have an unqualified HR hack going through 150k applications and reporting back that there is nobody who exactly fits the requirements given by the engineering manager. Never mind that at least 10% of those applicants could learn the skills they need in a very short time, and be productive to meet the needs of the position. Congress needs to shut off the supply of H1B, and tell these companies to fix their hiring practices if they want to fix the "labor shortage".

When it comes to engineering, the difference between an XBox application programmer and Nokia OS programmer is many orders of magnitude smaller than the difference between an HR manager and an engineering manager... The guy being laid off could pick up and do any number of jobs currently being occupied by H1B holders without much fuss at all. Its about time, that these companies had their feet held to the fire.

Comment: Re:Free market economy (Score 5, Insightful) 527

by geoskd (#47488411) Attached to: US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

You as Americans have a choice and a vote, each 2-4 years. You can either do something or you don't want to. The spiral and time is working against you.

Every so often we get to vote, but we are limited to two choices, both of which have been given large sums of money by various PACs, which are essentially just fronts for various corporate officers. Often, the same PAC will back both candidates in any given race, just so that they get the benefit of backing the winner every time. There is no democratically elected leadership in this country anymore, there is only a selection between two candidates presented to the masses by the 1%. In all the ways that really matter (fiscal policy, economic policy, regulation, law enforcement, etc...), the candidates are identical. They will debate and argue over the issues that the public has been trained to believe really matter, but in reality the issues that are hotly contested don't really matter, and the ones that do, are quietly agreed upon behind closed doors. How many politicians that truly have power have done anything to end Guantanamo, or the rights abuses happening there? How many have done anything to end the systematic dissolution of our constitutional rights? How many have actually taken steps to fix the systemic problems that led to the recession? How many have taken any action to help eliminate the vastly disproportional power the 1% wield in our political system? How many have taken steps to address the extraordinary and growing wealth and earnings inequalities in our society?

The answer to these questions is now, and has been: none that matter. The only way we will be able to undo the damage the 1% have done to our country will be through an extraordinary action outside the accepted political system, because everything inside the political system has been thoroughly corrupted by those with the real power: the 1%.

Comment: Re:BBB (Score 1) 183

by geoskd (#47442275) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Dedicated Low Power Embedded Dev System Choice?

The comoditization of embedded hardware designed happened over a decade ago. Have you heard of Kontron? PC104? Com Express? You seem to have missed the 2000's.... this is nothing new. These days it is amazing what is put on a DIMM module - far more than the Beagle Bone and Pi toys provide and at far lower unit prices.

The commoditization of these designs depended on several factors happening all at once.

First, processor power had to pass a threshold. Having a processor that is fast enough to handle an embedded system running a custom operating system (or more likely just a simple set of interrupt handlers and startup code) is a lot slower than the processor needed to run a full fledged kernel like modern Linux. The custom Software saves huge amounts of unit-cost, at the cost of time-to-market.

The second item that was needed was price point. Even $45 per unit is still high for the BBB black, but the RPi at $35 is pretty close. Even the BBB is close enough to work with.

Third, mainstream OS support. This is critical, because it turned a legion of higher-level programmers into embedded programmers. This, again, helps to reduce TTM

Last, the availability and maturity of simple to wire peripherals, and the availability of software libraries for using these peripherals. This is probably the most key part because you now have the ability to buy a modular set of components, and wire them all together with very little, if any, electronics knowledge and get a working system. Again, it all drives TTM, and in todays world TTM is everything. Just ask Microsoft how their tablet and phone business' are doing to find out how important TTM really is.

Comment: Re:Solaris not well supported by OSS toolchain (Score 1) 183

by geoskd (#47442215) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Dedicated Low Power Embedded Dev System Choice?

An MSP430 has idle currents measured in uA, and a chip costs in the region of $1.50, with no external components required. BBB isn't useful in applications that require running off of a watch battery for a year, and isn't cheap enough to consider adding as an additional component in consumer electronics.

and the MSP430 doesn't have enough horsepower for most things I want to do, and even if it did, the additional resources needed to design with it, and the additional time-to-market that these would introduce make it non-viable in todays world. As I said, time-to-market is everything. MS didn't get where they are because they made a superior product, they got there because they had a working product when the market opportunity arrived. Short TTM doesn't guarantee success, but TTM that is too long guarantees failure...

Comment: Re: Not France vs US (Score 3, Interesting) 308

Maybe not. The law says they need to charge shipping costs, so unless their couriers are charging them Ã0.01 they are probably not complying. They are just hoping that it takes the authorities a long time to get around to forcing them to charge the real price, which will be obfuscated as much as possible, by which time the will have forced even more of the competition out of business.

This actually presents an interesting problem. Many carriers contractually require that shippers not disclose the discounts they are being given. That means that if Amazon discloses the discounted shipping rates they are paying, then they loose their discounts, and everyone pays retail. This basically royally screws the shippers, and the consumers. As usual, the French have completely failed to think through the consequences of their actions. It continues a fine decades long tradition of fucking up in the name of protectionism. Its the reason, they have double and triple the rate of unemployment of the rest of the world.

Protectionism only works if your society is close to export parity. If you can afford to close your borders completely without collapsing your economy, then protectionism will work (and you actually don't need it under those circumstances). Whenever there is an imbalance, protectionism screws up the local economy. If there is a trade deficit, then your economy hemorrhages money until everyone is broke and in debt. If there is a trade surplus, then protectionism shuts it down, as no one wants to buy from the over-priced asshat who actively blocks foreign competition. With parity, you can afford to significantly reduce trade in both direction (and you will), but any other time its a bad idea.

Comment: Re:BBB (Score 1) 183

by geoskd (#47428141) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Dedicated Low Power Embedded Dev System Choice?

I'm sure that TI will be making 335x until people stop buying them. TI generally doesn't EOL parts like that. But putting whole BBBs in products seems a bit risky for a lot of other reasons.

As opposed to undertaking to spin your own processor board? The BBB is a complete functional platform that is cost competitive for all but the largest quantities, and shows all the signs of being at the beginning of its life-cycle. Its undergone 2 minor revisions in 12 months, and there are several active design communities. The list of peripherals is growing by leaps and bounds. Lastly, by Beagleboard.orgs own accounting, the demand far exceeds the supply, and people are clearly using them as more than just a prototyping platform.

It all goes back to time to market. These things allow even relatively inexperienced users to build off a powerful platform and create good-enough-to-market products that can be ready to ship in a fraction of the time. Dev houses using the BBB and RPi as base systems are going to eat everyones lunch. It is the comoditization of embedded hardware design. It was bound to happen sooner or later. the RPi started it, but the BBB brought enough IO channels to really get the ball rolling..

There are three kinds of people: men, women, and unix.