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Comment Re:Let the Public Decide (Score 2) 439

The problem with that plan is that the public doesn't really decide: Car manufacturers do. The whole dealer thing was built because manufacturers were going vertical, as manufacturers could unfairly compete with dealers whenever they wanted to: If you sell Chevy, and Chevy decides that they want to just sell direct, they'll just raise the price of the car to you, and not raise the price to the car to direct consumers, squeezing you out. A year of that, and you are out of business.

Now, that doesn't meant that vertical integration is not better for consumers: In the long run, it could be better, or it could be worse. It's just that they can't decide either way.

Similar failures happen in alcohol distribution: Distributors are semi monopolistic in the US, and have deep relationships with big companies, so trying to sell your own product widely can be a big struggle. There's plenty of articles about it.

Comment Re:alternately: (Score 1) 492

At the top end of the tech market, companies are fine with remote work: If you need very good developers, you hire them wherever they are. Even companies in the Midwest do the same thing. I am working for a company based in St Louis, but I have coworkers in Houston, Tampa, and Sonoma. They pay might not be competitive with what Netflix pays their top developers, but there's people working for Google in the bay that are making less than I do. It's equivalent money to what Bay Area companies pay for remote developers too.

What is not becoming a nasty surprise to Midwest companies is precisely how much salaries have gone up, precisely because good developers with marketable skills can get those remote jobs, so the difference in salary between working in flyover country and working in the bay is smaller than ever before. Salaries for new contractors have gone up over $10/hr just this year, and that's for run of the mill developers.

Comment Re:Democrats, not the "Electoral System" (Score 1) 239

But that has nothing to do with America, but how every two party system ends up, when all is said and done. It's the natural result of how representatives are selected.

This is even easier to see in some European systems that allow for more than 2 parties, but are heavily biased towards having two parties and a bunch of also rans. We get to see how the major parties, who pretend to be in opposition with each other, find themselves in agreement when it comes to electoral reform.

Major changes occur only when the people's discontent is so strong, not even the two sides if this establishment party together can hold a majority. That takes a lot of suffering in the country: Just look at Greece, or Spain.

In the US now we are seeing people that are further away of the establishment becoming loud enough to make primaries go in ways that are no good for the establishment. But chances of real change are still a bit away.

Comment Re:Anti-GMO does not equal anti-science. (Score 1) 330

They are not the only meaningful player in the industry: For instance, take DuPont's agro side, branded as Pioneer. They sell quite a bit of GMO corn in the US every year. The only major row crop when they are not a big player is soybeans, and that's just because their research in that area worked badly enough, they end up having to license from Monsanto.

Comment Re:same for my family . Bought it for a purpose (Score 1) 324

Even for toddler playing, 16 GB is tiny quick. First, it's not really 16: The OS makes it closer to 10. You need another 2 open just to be able to do OS and app upgrades. So really, you are in trouble if you have 8 gigs of apps. Many apps for toddlers are big, as they are full of animations and sound. Games that use half a gig are not unheard of. And then there's books: Don't be surprised by 100 megabyte children's books.

Comment Re:Maybe... (Score 4, Insightful) 334

It's not about not being able to make an educated guess she'd bet on, but getting the official reason. At that point, it's possible to make a case that the reason is unconstitutional.

That's really what all of this is about: Government action without oversight, and it's hard to sue to change that without proof of harm. She has proof of harm right there: All she needs now is a target to use that hammer against.

Comment Re:Donate your time not your money (Score 1) 268

There are websites whose entire reason for existing is auditing charities. You can always go for something like that.

Donating your time can be very inefficient though. Imagine you are in software, and you'd be donating time to move boxes around in a food pantry. They could hire someone at minimum wage to do this,(which is actually good for the economy) or, you could be doing some consulting, and donate that. It's also the reason you don't buy groceries for the pantry, but hand them cash instead: They will get them far cheaper than what you'd pay.

The way I donate time is to work more hours, and specifically dedicate some contracts to be directly donated to charity. Sending a check doesn't get the same public recognition as donating time at minimum wage, but it can be far more efficient, and IMO, donations are about helping a cause, not improve your social status doing it.

Comment Deceptive links (Score 1) 79

Am I the only one that finds it pretty underhanded to give us a link that says "they are on kickstarter" but doesn't actually link to one of those kickstarter projects? It's not quite a deceptive goatse link, but at this rate, I'd want links in the blurb to list the domain they point to.

Comment Re:No H1-Bs for contractors (Score 2) 636

It'd help in many ways, but it also makes the H1-Bs situation far more precarious. Modern abuse and quotas means almost all H1-Bs come from those nasty companies, but even before that, many people chose contracting firms to handle their immigration because you are far safer from layoffs and such. I remember when I was an H1-B, a long time ago, going direct, and my then employer had round after round of layoffs. The moment I saw the pattern, I had to look for another job IMMEDIATELY, because getting hit by one of those layoffs meant a tiny window to find another employer or leave the country, and that new employer had to file for a visa. Through a contracting firm, a layoff might mean a job change, and maybe not getting paid for a few weeks, but it's far less onerous. This gets even harder when also applying for a green card. It's not uncommon for companies to ask immigrants that they want to sponsor to sign that they have to pay the immigration fees incurred in the green card process if they leave willingly before the green card is done plus one year. When going with direct employment, it also means you cannot run without taking a major financial penalty. And if you are laid off in process, then you better get a job extremely quickly, or your green card process might have to start all over again, and it can take many years.Getting my green card got a big weight off my shoulders.

So your proposed change to the H1-B program sounds like a wonderful idea as long as it comes together with something to minimize the precarious conditions of H1-B workers that easily qualify for green cards, and work in the US for 5, 10 years while they wait for a visa number. This should help American workers too, as the minute one of those workers gets a green card, their job mobility increases, and with it, their negotiation power. I got a 30% raise with my first job change after a green card. In 5 years after the green card, my salary more than doubled.

Having people as temporary workers for a decade? You've got to be kidding me.

Comment Re:So how long before (Score 1) 181

The problem of remote control of a car is that you cannot assume it'll happen for good reasons, or by the people that you think. It's the same issue of having an encryption backdoor, theoretically held by "the good guys"

If a vehicle can be controlled remotely, it's because there is some authentication mechanism that allows that to happen. Anyone that steals the keys can remotely control the car. Imagine how much fun kidnapping becomes when you can do it from the comfort of your own home.

Same problem when people talk about blockchain-based DNS. If the only thing protecting something is a digital key, then you have two problems: Making sure the key is not lost, and making sure nobody copies it. Stealing keys becomes more profitable than ever, as there is no more recourse: whatever you were protecting is compromised.

So the question is: Would it be a good idea to let a terrorist or a gang control everyone's car? Because that's the door you are opening the second you let police do it.

Comment DBAs first? Strange (Score 1) 139

Around here, if anything, the DBA job is disappearing: There are a lot less openings, and most are at huge, extremely corporate places that you'd not even want to work for. And even in that world, they are switching to development models that don't need DBAs. So maybe the averages are high because only companies that pay well would even hire DBAs?

They also talk of averages, but not high ends. Around here, a programmer's high end is very high: I make 4x what my employer pays an entry level developer. People realize how much a top developer can get you. DBAs, not so much.

Comment Re:Crashes (Score 1) 167

Comparing the safety of a formula that is weeks old and one that is over 90 years old by comparing total fatalities is laughable.

No driver has died in an actual F1 race/qualifying since 1994. Cars have changed, circuits have been taken off the calendar for safety reasons. Accidents still happen, but it's nonsense to compare the safety of today with how F1 was in the time of Senna or Lauda.

Comment Re:But, but... (Score 1) 71

I've seem time factor heavily in some road construction: St Louis: I-64 roadwork was going to cause havoc on many people's commutes, as it required closing go the most traveled highway on the city. The contracts took into consideration how long it was going to take, offered bonuses for finishing early and severe escalating penalties for delays. It was finished early.

Comment Re:Check their work or check the summary? (Score 1) 486

It might have helped in this problem, but nowadays, even assembly language is just an abstraction: You might thing you are doing in order operations on 8086, but they are really being translated to out of order operations inside of the processor that will get the same result, but with very different performance. Branch prediction? Nah, we can run the beginning of BOTH branches, and just discard the computation we did not want, because it's actually faster. And don't get me started on the differences between what you tell a video card to do, and what it actually does.

The distance between what we write in practical, end user facing applications and what happens in the hardware is so large nowadays that it's hard to have any real control over what is going on. The best we can do is understand the performance characteristics that we see in the layer right below ours, and hope things don't change too much.

Therefore, the problem with the original paper is that it fails to really explain what we can learn from the experiment. It's not that disk is faster than RAM: That's just ludicrous. But that we really have to have some understanding of the libraries and VMs we use to get anywhere. It'd not be impossible for the JVM to realize the immutable string is being edited in a loop, that there are no references to it that could escape, and then just optimize the whole thing into a string buffer implementation that should be as good as calling the file writer: It just happens to not do said optimization for us. It's happened in Java before: Code that was seen as terrible because it was very slow is not slow anymore, and easier to read than the old school way of optimizing it.

Comment Re:Downvotes (Score 2) 467

Downvotes without metamoderation just lead to downvoting mobs. Imagine the whole gamergate fiasco, with large groups of people downvoting each other. It's pretty terrible.

And twitter being so broad, metamoderation is just completely out of the question.

So ultimately, downvoting doesn't scale, and is only something you will like if you are the one with the popular opinions.

e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap. - Karl Lehenbauer