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Comment: Re:Not really a US company? (Score 1) 55 55

I'm having a hard time seeing their value launching from any latitude. For $5m you could easily tag along as a secondary payload on a much larger launch. OneWeb is going to be launching up to 36 satellites per launch for their worldwide sat internet coverage (Rocket Lab's claimed target market). You could launch as many as 80 150kg internet sats on one falcon 9 for less than $70m. That's $870k per sat vs $5m.

Comment: Re:Depends (Score 4, Insightful) 513 513

Not my experience. It used to be the case in Windows 98 but I haven't found my systems to be slowing ever since I bought an SSD. SSDs solved all of my problems and they're rediculously affordable.

I also have a cluster of windows machines performing raytracing and other extremely performance driven tasks--I can't tell the age of an install based on performance.

This is all just superstition at this point without numbers. Yes if you install a third party anti-virus solution and you have a bunch of auto-installers running in the background your computer will run "Slower" than it did without anything running in the background but that's not Windows' fault and that's true of every operating system regardless if it's *nix or Win*.

Comment: Re:Additional context for non-frequent flyers (Score 1) 187 187

Most United Frequent Flyer awards though aren't claimed though. Except for really popular routes at popular times you can get a Saver Frequent Flyer ticket almost anywhere. Your assertion assumes that Award tickets are always completely filled. Especially considering that most Airlines can now sell out entire flights most of the time that means they are missing out on some revenue.

Frequent flyer programs do cost money but they also do make a lot of money too. Both through Credit Card fees and because if you do legitimately concentrate on one airline you will spend a little extra for the miles. For instance I'll fly a preferred airline even if it's $120 more on a $1,000 ticket because the miles (Especially status miles) are worth $120. So not only are they making more on their sale than a competitor but they're making the sale in the first place. If you fly randomly on random airlines, almost nobody will earn enough reward miles on any given airline to ever redeem them at all.

Comment: Re:There's no winning with the feminist crowd... (Score 1) 490 490

Try to find a microscope or science kit that ISN'T marketed exclusively toward boys.

Types "Microscope Toy" into Amazon and the first few results are:

http://www.amazon.com/Educatio... Boy.
http://www.amazon.com/Educatio... Girl.
http://www.amazon.com/Educatio... Girl.
http://www.amazon.com/NSI-150x... Boy.
http://www.amazon.com/My-First... Neutral.
http://www.amazon.com/Learning... Boy.
http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Sc... Girl Girl Girl Boy Girl.

The only one of the entire lot that *is* gendered is gendered purple for girls. "Nancy B's Microscope".

Comment: Re:Equality (Score 1) 490 490

Obviously, you can say that the amount of interest by the two sexes is not the same, but apparently there was more interest by girls back in the 1980s. Why is it different now? That seems to be the question that no one is asking.

To be clear % is a bullshit statistic. In the 1980s CS was teeny tiny. In the 90s all of my friends wanted to go into CS because they wanted to make video games. So in the 80s there was probably a broad academic interest which attracted both men and women just like chemistry or biology or engineering. And then in the 90s you suddenly had a huge influx of video game geeks wanting to learn how to make a video game. That large influx of programmers who probably would have been screwed got the luckiest break in 100 years and an entire industry exploded around them giving them employment opportunities outside of programming game engines.

I can't think of anyone who went into CS who I went to highschool with who was talking about how excited they were to go into CS and learn how to program mobile apps.

In my degree program (Visual Effects and Animation) it was almost exclusively male. The women in the program joined because they loved pixar movies and wanted to do animation. The men mostly loved star wars and wanted to blow shit up. Almost all of them will end up green-screening corporate talking heads. A lot of these niche industries like CS are similarly bait and switch teasing a career in something awesome and then delivering a homdrum run of the mill job.

We need to find the CS equivalent of "Video Game Developer" to attract women. Because "Hey you can work on the database that drives Facebook!" isn't really attractive to highschool boys let alone higschool girls looking to pick a major and doubling down on recruiting using purely practical factors doesn't work.

So to answer the original headline's question. I would say no, probably not. CS has successfully attracted a lot of men by using Boy-Focused games (guns and explosions). So I would suspect the best approach to women is exactly the same... deception and trickery to make CS seem relevant to the things they already like.

Comment: Re:Equality (Score 1) 490 490

Only fields where there's lots of money and\or social status

There is a great article on how you shouldn't get a degree in the 'hot' career field because most likely by the time you graduate it'll have been devalued. I disagree since generally that takes more than 5 years. But the point is dead on.

The reason tech pays well is because a bunch of geeks got lucky. Tech pays well *because* of the social status was 0 for programmers. Social status was so low for programmers that almost nobody pursued it. So when suddenly there was demand for tens of millions of skilled workers in a field that was ostracized the handful of people who accidentally happened to have the skillset in spite of the lack of social status made a shit ton of money and gained a lot of social status.

By the time we get the gender balance equal there'll no longer be any money to go along with it because it'll no longer be a lack of labor.

I think everyone should have strong skill with technology, technology isn't going away--it is a new form of literacy. But if someone is in highschool today or even worse as the OP is talking about, play toys for toddlers--don't expect a high paying job for knowing how to program just like knowing how to read and write is no longer a shortcut to a better paying job out of highschool.

Notice how nobody complained about the lack of women being pushed into computer programming 20 years ago. Why? Because it was a low paying job with no social status. Now in retrospect that it happened to explode it's something that should have been important 20 years ago. No shit. Hindsight is 20/20. But it's a bit like saying that it's unfair that a bunch of comic book nerds have 1st edition Superman comics and it's unfair that they're making all this money. Yeah... I wish I had a 1st edition million dollar comic book--but they deserve every penny for being uber nerds with no promise of reward for half a century. It's ultimately a lottery.

Trying to predict though the winner is ultimately a losing strategy because even if you could pick as soon as you made the magic winning formula public then you would have to share the pot with 10 million other people. It's like stock picking, you can't successfully pick stocks and if it was possible then everyone else would also pick that stock and you still wouldn't get rich. A nerdy low-status activity won a bunch of geeks a lot of money. But as soon as everyone starts doing it (and they will) the money and the status will disappear.

Comment: Re:Who buys them? (Score 1) 668 668

Yeah I got into a debate with my Fiancee who is a professional dancer about Homeopathy because she insisted that she took a homeopathic medicine regularly for joint pain that worked great and I insisted it was just snake oil. She showed me the bottle and I read the ingredients list and it had Arnica Montana in a 50% concentration and was like "Oh, this isn't homeopathy, this is straight up mainstream medicine."

I'm not sure if it's a case of Manufacturers trying to cash in on the Homeopathy hype, or homeopathy manufacturers cynically trying to toss in some working examples to sell more snake oil.

Comment: Re:Hmm (Score 1) 212 212

Oh man I remember that AltaVista bar. I really really liked that one. That was the one and only useful search bar. It was useful not only because back in the day AltaVista was the best search engine but also because of the translate button which is the only reason I still use AltaVista from time to time and a pretty damn good ad blocker.

Comment: Re:Nothing wrong with proprietry software (Score 1) 216 216

Duuuhhhh, only a minority of people speak English, yes it is since the end of WWII the De Facto Lingua Franca of this world but why the hell would we translate everything in English?

If my language preference for the OS is "English" only english books should show up. If I change my language preference to "French" I would only expect French books to show up by default. When you go to Amazon you aren't going to see a bunch of books outside of your native language unless you specifically start searching and teach the site that you speak say Italian.

Comment: Re:Cry me a river. (Score 2) 216 216

Not only do mot people not care but his criticism is empirically wrong:

Some of them are marked as "free": they are not free as in freedom, but as in cost. So, a more accurate way of writing it would be "$0".

No where else in the world do people expect "Free" things to also mean that they then own the copyright. If I write "Free" on a sign by my couch by the street I'm not implying that the couch design is free of all copyright encumbrance I'm saying the it costs no money. Open Source redefined "Free" to add the additional degree of freedom to software, but nobody can claim that it's a "more accurate" definition when the existing definition is the broadly known and accepted definition.

If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong. -- Norm Schryer

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