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Comment Re:This chaps my hide... (Score 1) 56

In the past, one could buy a 400 CD or DVD changer for a few C-notes.

Why can't we have this technology, except with a BDXL or other high capacity Blu-Ray drive? This isn't rocket science, as the autochanger mechanism has lasted for decades in a lot of people's homes before they put their collection on their computer. Sony does have it, but it is priced into the stratosphere.

Putting the pieces together, it wouldn't be surprising to see the autochanger mechanism in many audiophile hi-fi cabinets still usable, add in a 300GB to 1TB Blu-Ray writer, add a few TB of SSD as a landing zone for data, then add some backup software like NetBackup. This would give tape a run for its money.

Now, add some form factor like disk packs (sort of like the 5-10 disk caddies that were popular way back when), some redundancy (basically one disk with a PAR archive on it), and it would have the ability to function almost exactly as tape... but for far cheaper. To boot, removed disks take up 0 watts of power (other than environmental), not to mention being immune from remote tampering.

I just wish this type of solution can hit the consumer market.

But what would people store in it that they can't on a multi-TB hard drive?

The only thing I can see is huge movie collections. But, we have Netflix and cloud storage for that.

Family photos, videos and other such files are not big enough to warrant such a thing.

If you work produces large files, it is valuable and might as well store them in hard disks because compared to the labor costs, the cost of storage systems is negligible.

The only people who want low cost storage of 99% fluff throwaway data are companies like facebook and google who trawl the internet for data and never delete anything.

Comment Re:Idiots (Score 2) 210

But according to Brooks' law, adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. So hiring additional workers would actually be counterproductive.

Different situations. Brook's law is for when there is a deadline for a software to be delivered.

In this case, there isn't a deadline. It is a continuously supported product.

It would take at least 6 months for the new developers to get up to full speed.

However, I would think hiring additional workers would make the "problem" worse. With additional workers, there is more rapid feature development leading to more fix and feature requests.

Comment Fool me - you can't get fooled again (Score 1) 123

Motorola has a long long history of doing this.

I purchased their MotoActv fitness watch and after a year or so they cut off all support and updates.

I don't see a reason to buy Motorola if there is a significant after purchase support portion attached to it.

This isn't the first time they've done. This is not the second time they've done this. Why do we keep acting surprised about this?

Comment Re:This is why we can't have nice things (Score 1) 350

The concept behind the H1-B program sounds reasonable. Bring in highly skilled experts from overseas that we can't find here. However, since it's now been thoroughly demostrated that: 1) Employers can't be trusted to act ethically and honor both the letter and spirit of the law, and 2) The government has been steadfastly failing to monitor the program and enforce the rules The entire program needs to be scrapped. No H1-Bs, period. We apparently can't handle it, so employers need to find the talent here, or do without (or, you know, invest in employee development/training again).

No, you're mistaken.

The intent of H1B is to find skilled labor that no LOCAL American can fill.

The highly skilled expert or a Nobel prize winning scientist comes under EB1 which is directly green card.

That's why H1B is tied to a specific job at a specific location. There is a region based minimum salary requirement so that salary is not the factor that determines if no local can fill it.

Comment Re:Market Forces (Score 1) 231

Market Forces do not guarantee optimal, or even beneficial outcome to everyone affected. Just most profitable outcome for decision makers. This is a clear case where US is bleeding jobs and wealth to other countries, so few individuals can enrich themselves while passing the costs/consequences "downstream".

is bleeding jobs and wealth to other...

You know the 1% also sees the rest of the 99%s trying to bleed wealth from them.

I know it's bad when someone tries to bleed your wealth but good when you stop others from bleeding yours.

I don't quite get that you say these without a hint of irony.

I say spread the wealth. The 1% to the middle class and the middle class to the poor countries. In the long run, wealth imbalance whether at home or in the world isn't a good thing.

Comment Re:Everybody has to believe in something (Score 1) 578

I harbor a bit of empathy for anyone willing to put personal beliefs on the line for principle.

Too few people nowadays (and politicians en masse) are willing to speak from a core belief set for fear of {horrors} offending someone!

Even ridiculous courage is refreshing these days.

I would normally agree but historically a few German racists have gone on to become mass-murderers.

Comment Don't make it temporary. Stop villainizing Indians (Score 1) 231

All these temporary visas come with a mountain of restrictions which end up giving a ridiculous amount of power to the employers and nothing to the employees. They should be scrapped for flat out green cards, not a temporary visa then to a green card 10-15 years down the road for Indians. There shouldn't be a second class, temporary worker thing at all.

However, all the newspaper want to do is make Indian IT workers as a cheap villain, robbing American jobs and sometimes taking them to India.

People really think implementing a newer version of the "Asian/Indian exclusion act" is going to solve the problem. "If we restrict the Indians from coming here, my job will be safe" mentality.

We are fighting the powerful forces of economics here. India has a massive surplus of highly trained and educated work force. That's their export. H1B is a tiny tiny little window.

Those accounting jobs at ToysRUs were going to India no matter what, H1B was just used as a quick way for the new workers to get up to speed. If you stop the Indians from coming here, the companies can simply ask the workers to go to India to train their replacements to get their severance packages.

All the people who complain that it is the 1% getting all the benefits of workers while the middle class hollows out - guess why that is. Convoluted and restrictive government regulation. Only the 1% can circumnavigate the complex legal maze to get the benefits of cheap labor in India while a new startup or a small business will struggle to utilize it.

Make the whole thing simple and not so exploitative. The middle class will blossom because lots of startups and small businesses will benefit from cheap Indian labor.

Comment Be careful what you measure (Score 1) 165

Reminds of an story about car mechanics.

Maybe it was Sears or it was some other chain store. They decided to measure the value of the mechanics by the dollar value of the business they brought to the company.

All that ended up doing was making the mechanics cheat customers by asking them for extra repairs.

Same thing with the Detroit police department. They used homicide rate as a measure of effectiveness. The police started to classify homicides as suicides and accidents to make the metric look better.

The moral of the story is that for a lot of people, metrics are more powerful than ethics. They will cheat to get better metrics, even in times when those metrics are meaningless.

Comment Slashdot's own karma system (Score 4, Insightful) 165

Slashdot moderation system used to measure us as a total of karma over all posts to measure the contribution to Slashdot.

Slashdot had to stop using those because of karma whores.

Even meaningless numbers are a strong motivators to cheat a system. You have to be very careful about what you do. Improving those metrics will triumph over quality and ethics.

Comment Re:It might finally be time for this (Score 2, Interesting) 1291

I think the work cycle is just about done evolving. For example: - Hunter-gatherers organized into agrarian societies - Mechanization and industrialization led to many farm workers transitioning to factory work - Societal pressures on education, etc. led to many factory workers transitioning to office and service work - Offshoring of all manufacturing from first world countries shifted smart people to office work, less-than-smart people to crappy service jobs - Offshoring of office work including IT shifted a bunch of the smart people to crappy service jobs or the "gig economy" - Automation or offshoring of the rest of the office work will lead to....chaos? Revolution? A country of people being paid to rate cat videos on YouTube?

Whatever it leads to, there isn't any work left for most people to move to. Smart people are still relatively OK, but there are A LOT of not-smart people holding down random corporate jobs and the few factory jobs that are left. When there's nowhere to go, and society still uses money to value things, basic income is a good idea. It also formally recognizes that there are people who just can't contribute to society at the same levels as others and provides a humane existence for them.

Except that billionaires like JK Rowling were once on the dole.

Guaranteed income allows people to take risks. Instead of being stuck on a dead end job treadmill to keep the apartment or health insurance, they can do risky things that could reap huge rewards.

One of the reasons that children of successful parents are more successful is because of that safety net. Even if they fail, its not so bad. The cost of failure for a regular person would be loss of home and enormous difficulty just to make ends meet.

Plus, the whole notion of smart and not-so smart doesn't hold true. There is a "smart enough" and after that is just luck. Kind of like how basketball isn't all just the tallest people in the world. They are generally tall but after you're tall enough, extra height doesn't really matter.

Comment Re: Sounds normal (Score 1) 209

Just like it happened in the auto industry, workers got used to high wages and are unwilling to consider the actual value of their contribution in a world where programming is now a commodity, so they end up replaced by cheap labor from a developing country.

This kind of thinking is why US workers are in such deep shit. There are people who actually believe that setting a price for your labor is somehow bad.

When a company sets a price on a product based on a desired level of profit, it's considered "the Free Market". But when a worker does the same thing we're told it's bad for everyone.

It's the Stockholm Syndrome, and the supply-side is holding you hostage. You think everyone's wages should be on a runaway train to the bottom of the barrel. What's funny is how many of these same people think it's just horrible that low-wage workers come across to border to pick lettuce. It just may be that programming is the new farm labor and has become another job that US workers don't want to do, at least at the price that's on the table.

Sooner or later, someone will figure out that labor comes first. It precedes capital. There is no capital without labor to make it happen. When you reverse the hierarchy, economies (and societies) suffer.

Companies can put high prices but nobody will buy them. Then, they will be forced to cut prices to sell their products.

If you give a company monopoly, then they don't have to cut prices since you have no choice but to buy from them.

Monopolies are bad for the economy. Competition is good. If you're the monopoly, competition is bad but for the overall economy, competition is good.

There is some truth to harming the economy with labor fixing prices and monopolizing labor like with unions. The US auto industry has struggled and lost its huge lead in the automotive industry partially because of this.

Comment Re: Sounds normal (Score 1) 209

We got bought out by Paychex, but even that couldn't help us get any experienced people.

Pay more. If you can't get experienced people, it's because you're not paying enough.

Let me put in a metaphor.

Suppose you put an ad that you want to buy the iPhone 6 for $50. Even if you get one, it will probably be illegally acquired.

Consider another situation. You visit every store and they say they don't have an iPhone 6 and you can only get it off someone else by offering them above market price.

I don't which situation we are in or at which point between the two extremes we are in. Are employers looking for stupidly cheap workers or is the situation that the only way employers can get workers is to poach it off some other company?

As an engineer, I'd like to believe its the first. I wouldn't know since the company hides all the financials from us so I have no idea even to the ballpark of what revenue I contribute to the company against what I'm paid.

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