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Comment: Not putting up with jerks (Score 2, Interesting) 171

by Animats (#47732661) Attached to: When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

You don't have to put up with jerks.

  • Internet provider - DSL. No packet filtering, good support, no nonsense.
  • Phone - Caterpillar B15 ruggeized Android phone.. Bought from Caterpillar dealer, not carrier. Declined Google account at first power up. Google services disabled. No updates from Google.
  • Cellular carrier - T-Mobile. Has no control over phone. No carrier apps.
  • Email - IMAP server. SpamAssassin spam blocking.
  • Main desktop machine - Ubuntu 12.4 LTS.
  • No Google account. No Twitter account. No pay TV. Ad blocking on all browsers.
  • Main news source - Reuters. (More news about Ukraine and ISIS, less about Bieber and Apple.)
  • Main food store - Trader Joe's. No "club card" required. Good prices.

For almost every crap business, there's a competitor that isn't crap. Find them.

Comment: Re:That's why slashdot is against tech immigration (Score 5, Informative) 358

by anagama (#47730069) Attached to: Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

Here's an example of how one company apparently applies that "no American available" policy:

Now I am working in an American multinational here in the United States, and I find that every last person working for me is an H1B temp work visa holder. There are zero Americans on my staff. In addition to that, we recently had to fill 3 more headcount in my group. My boss instructed me that due to 'budget' that we were to go to our India sourcing department and they would arrange for contractors to be sent in from offshore (India). It would take about 1 month for their visas to be arranged and for them to be on site (in Raleigh North Carolina). Though our Applicant tracking system is overflowing with applications by Americans (including probably some of my own old ones), we didn't even look at those before bringing in the H1Bs. The corporate law firm arranges this, gives the 'no Americans can be found' stamp of approval and the temps are flown in with expedited Visas (H1B or other temp type visas that they use until the H1B is approved). I mentioned this to a couple of my coworkers, and I was discretely told to be quiet about it if I knew what was good for me and didn't want to 'expire' myself.

What to Do When My US Company Won't Hire Americans?

Comment: Re:And how long does it take... (Score 2) 166

by drinkypoo (#47729261) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

public parking spots are extremely cheap to build - basically involves pouring asphalt or concrete

Uh no. It involves leveling and lowering the site, backfilling with a proper bed, laying asphalt or concrete (asphalt if you're smart, due to its repairability) and then typically also doing some landscaping. There's curbing, there's permitting, there's drainage which you've ignored completely and which I'm glossing over which might cost as much as laying the surface itself... Adding some conduit, wiring (which can be Aluminum since it's just going to lie there) and some meters does significantly add to the cost of the whole thing, but not overwhelmingly as you seem to believe. Also, the parking lot becomes a profit center rather than a drain which is simply necessary to do business. People will be paying for charging. You'll be charging them a premium for the electricity, and they'll be happy to pay for the convenience — it'll still be markedly cheaper than driving on gasoline. It's actually a win for everyone, and you start with just a few spaces near the existing electrical services, keeping initial costs down. The demand for full lots isn't there yet.

Comment: Re:Enough of the Tesla circle jerk (Score 1) 166

by drinkypoo (#47728719) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

and a sealed meter in your car measures how much juice you actually pulled out of the battery

Nah. Figure out the pricing so that the customer pays a flat fee for a swap, always give them a charged battery meeting some basic specification standards. That eliminates the need for any crap like that, which you can never trust.

Comment: Re:And how long does it take... (Score 1) 166

by drinkypoo (#47728675) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

You're proposing we turn a lot of those parking spots into pretty expensive charging stations with safety systems, billing systems and presumably security systems (to avert vandalism).

Don't make them superchargers, just make them chargers. It will still provide range extension. The billing will be contracted away, if in fact the whole system is not. There is already parking lot security.

Comment: Re:And how long does it take... (Score 0) 166

by drinkypoo (#47728657) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

With fossil fuels, you HAVE TO fuel-up at a station, every single time.

Not if the fossil fuel is diesel, and you have a truck. If you don't actually live smack into a city you can often legally store a drum of diesel. And then there's transfer tanks. You can make your own biodiesel and if your lines and seals are adequate, mix it to any ratio with petrodiesel or green diesel.

In theory you could make your own butanol using a process formerly used to make consitutents of TNT but uh... I'm not eager to go there.

Comment: Re:Building times (Score 1) 166

by drinkypoo (#47728621) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

The Model S is notably heavier than it's conventional peers, and the Roadster as well. They carry the weight well, but it's still there.

The Model S is vastly heavier than the cars of a decade ago, let alone two, but it's only slightly heavier than its modern contemporaries. BMW and Mercedes have notably both enlarged their cars significantly. The E-Class is now well-appointed with more heavy kit copied from the S, the new M3 is literally based on the chassis of the old M5, and so on.

Comment: Re:What would happen? (Score 1) 126

by drinkypoo (#47728603) Attached to: It's Easy To Hack Traffic Lights

Your home town probably doesn't have a network-connected traffic light, either, since it only has one light to work with and there's not much point. Unless there's some compelling reason to do otherwise, these systems are only replaced when they fail. If you live in a major metro area then sure, there's reasons to upgrade before failure, involving traffic management.

Comment: Re:Here's the interesting paragraph (Score 3, Interesting) 359

by drinkypoo (#47727995) Attached to: Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

If Scotland wants to get out of the nuclear game; but the UK wants to hold on to some Global Influence, it would be a very, very, mutually convenient arrangement for Scotland to offer a sweetheart deal

It's really quite simple. They get all the benefits of having the nukes (MAD) without any of the drawbacks (paying for them) just by having them next door. So yes, they really want them out. There are no drawbacks.

Comment: Re:$230 (Score 1) 529

by drinkypoo (#47727927) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

I'm convinced that ad based funding is a bubble waiting to pop.

Congratulations on learning the lessons of history! You must have been paying attention to past trends in print media, which in this case are completely applicable to the modern technology.

I almost never watch anything on youtube anymore.

I haven't seen an ad on youtube in ages. I have a youtube adblocker on my android phone (via Xposed Framework) and I use adblock on desktops.

It is much easier to suggest solutions when you know nothing about the problem.