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Comment Re:Maybe (Score 1) 385

Ford isn't the one having deep financial problems with retirees. It's Government Motors (and to a lesser extent, Fiat aka Dodge). It'll be funny if they get a fine followed by a bailout.

And yes, of course 401Ks are better than a fixed-benefit systems, because in the former case it's your money the whole time, and can't be lost to fraud, bankruptcy, or corporate raiders. However, the freedom to move money from company-defined 401K to personally-run IRA at any time would fix some cheating that goes on.

Comment Re:Don't worry, rasing the minimum wage will kill (Score 1) 380

Right. One company. There might be a handful more among the Fortune 1000 that haven't yet figured out what to do - classic mismanagement (pay it out as a dividend if you can't figure out how to invest it in your business). It's not normal, and last I check, Apple was one of the "Big 5": one of the 5 destination software development companies, because they pay their engineers so well (and are quite large). While they're certainly douchbags for participating in that "no-poach" agreement, they still pay engineers on average somewhere north of 2x the median wage. Perhaps not the best example for a company screwing it's employees over?

Comment Re:Do the hard (and right thing) (Score 1) 380

people will want to live in place where they can get around fast and will not need a car

Speak for yourself: I have never wanted any such thing! Getting around without a car was what I did when I was a broke teen. How horrible. I want to live someplace I can get around fast in a car (ideally over 200 MPH).

Comment Re:Don't worry, rasing the minimum wage will kill (Score 2) 380

Why would you imagine a corporation "hoards" money? Corporations mostly spend any money they get on growth growth growth GROWTH AT ANY COST. During downturns the smarter companies may keep a little back to help survive, and buy up the ones who don't, but that beats random hire-then-layoff.

Minimum-wage employees almost always work in low-margin businesses, so when wages go up either prices go up, the business goes under, or the business automates. When prices go up, that's usually a very regressive tax, given shopping habits of the rich and poor, but that obviously looks like "economic growth" since, hey, prices went up.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1) 203

Google's self-driving cars are already being programmed to cheat a little on traffic laws - there was a /. story about that recently. I think autonomous cars will end up forcing changes in traffic laws in bigger ways, perhaps the first real re-think since cars became common. For example, once self-driving cars dominate, why have a government-imposed speed limit? The software will eventually become quite accurate in picking the max safe speed given 100 independent variables.

But bicyclists obeying the rules? Now you're off in fantasy land.

Comment Re:Cultural? (Score 0) 473

35x nearly-0 can still be nearly-0. It's not like cities that don't have smog today will start having it (especially given the emissions are already happening, and no one seemed to notice). OTOH, if you live in one of the handful of cities that still have a smog problem, not fixing this would certainly be a dick move.

Comment Re:Cultural? (Score 4, Insightful) 473

The hardware fix may well be a urea injector, like previous models used. That wouldn't have any material effect on performance or fuel economy. If the cost of adding it is paid by VW, there's no reason not to.

When the fix is mostly hardware modification, it's hard to blame the problem solely on software engineers!

Comment Re:Easy to do when backed by the PRC (Score 1) 203

This is why my only China investments are tech stocks. China's internally-focused heavy industry is mostly a sham, and the huge manufacturing base outsourced there is being replaced by in-country automation, but the tech stocks there are real companies, with P/Es that are pretty normal for tech stocks. It's the one place where a 70P/E looks good.

Comment Re:Isn't it widely accepted... (Score 2) 139

A common theory to explain Venus' slow and backwards rotation is that it suffered a large impact similar to the one that formed the Earth's moon, only in a direction counter to it's original rotation, so much that it put the brakes on Venus so hard that it's now slowly spinning in reverse.

Also it's thought that Venus is simply too close to the Sun, there was a time when the Sun wasn't as bright and water may have been on the surface but as the sun matured the "goldilocks" zone shifted outwards and Venus got cooked.

The rotation idea doesn't really hold water. It would have needed to happen very early in planet formation, or the whole planet would still be molten today, plus the details of the impact bringing angular momentum to 0, which requires the pieces that escaped the collision to have just precisely the right parameters post-impact, are "finely tuned", which is the polite way scientists say "BS".

Keep in mind that, at least with Earth, the surface isn't rigidly coupled to the core. While the difference in rotation is only significant in geological terms, it means that you can't stop the core spinning just by smacking the crust around, and you can't really put enough energy into the crust to counterbalance the spin of the core. A single large impact just can't transfer enough momentum with a glancing blow - too much of the transferred energy ends up thermal, liquifying, even vaporizing, crust and magma. An impact while planets were still forming, or at least before the iron catastrophe might do it, but again the odds of the numbers working out exactly right to reach near-0 angular momentum are, well, astronomical.

Venus getting cooked goes beyond the oceans boiling - the vast majority of carbon is in a planet's crust, and you don't get an atmosphere like Venus's without melting all the crust. The atmosphere is a side-effect of the real mystery under the surface. The simplest assumption is that Venus's lack of rotation and repeated crust overturning are symptoms of the same weirdness, and we're unlikely to guess what that is from studying Earth geology.

Comment Re:Are not most prison inmates liberal arts majors (Score 1) 191

No, that's not how that works - false imprisonment is an actual crime, escaping it is not. Anyway, turns out here were fire doors the employees were told not to use. It's the fear of losing the job that keeps them there, not locking the doors. Locking the doors is just a braindead manager doing what they do best - making an ass of himself.

Comment Re:Are not most prison inmates liberal arts majors (Score 1) 191

Apparently these are people who fear losing their jobs. Probably they have themselves and family members to support and don't think that they can easily get another job if they lose the one they have.

Oh, that is certain. Which is why the "locking them in" is pointless (I've certainly had deeply stupid managers in my life as well, but still: pointless). Telling someone he can't leave will keep anyone who cares about his job, chaining a door adds nothing at all to that.

The Macintosh is Xerox technology at its best.