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Comment: Free markets and jobs (Score 5, Insightful) 580

by mollog (#37290758) Attached to: Mr. President, There Is No (US) Engineer Shortage
Funny you should mention 'free markets' WRT jobs. The tech industry had the benefit of an ample workforce. In fact, there was such a glut of workers, the tech industry got exemptions from paying overtime into law. Such was the state of the workforce that it became expected that we programmers would work 60 hours/week. If someone didn't want to work that hard, it was easy to find a replacement. No other engineers that I know of would be expected to work such long hours. I was one who discouraged people from attempting a 'career' in tech.

'Free market' forces came into play and the next generation of college students avoided the tech industry with its draconian demands on its workforce. Enrollment in CS dropped off, and supply and demand started to revert to the mean. Of course, H1Bs, another sop to the industry, helped kill off the American tech workforce.

Any wonder that there is now a 'shortage' of workers in tech?

Here's a wacky idea, give people back decent pay, job security, company paid health benefits, decent pay, 401k matching funds, decent pay, and cut back on the hours. Did I mention decent pay? Now get a mature management in place and treat the workforce with respect. Does the industry truly believe there's a shortage of people willing to do the work, or are they just pining for the days when they had it so good?

Reminds me of the claims by the farming industry that there's a shortage of Americans who are willing to work as farm workers. Farmers were sneaking low-paid illegal workers into the country, and pretty soon you had to have a migrant workforce to be competitive. Result? Low pay and job losses for American workers. Money leaving farming communities and ending up south of the border. Rural towns drying up, and nobody willing to be honest about the reasons why. So they blame the victims, they claim that Americans are 'not willing to work'.

Comment: Experience vs. energy (Score 1) 582

by mollog (#37290406) Attached to: Age Bias In IT: the Reality Behind the Rumors
"On top of that, I have insight into how to do things well that only come from experience. Not to mention the experience with the business processes that you only learn by being in a company for a few years."

No joke, experience can save an organization money and time. But when you have inexperienced managers, in an organization where there seems to be no accountability, well, I guess they'd rather re-learn the lessons themselves. It's hard not to become apathetic under those conditions.

The good news is that the younger crowd can compensate for bad decisions by working longer and harder. Been there, too. Again, apathy follows.

Comment: Insulting article (Score 1) 582

by mollog (#37286488) Attached to: Age Bias In IT: the Reality Behind the Rumors
I don't understand why the article keeps quoting Vivek Wadhwa and his demeaning generalizations.

"...if you're 45 years of age and still writing C code or Cobol code and making $150,000 a year, the likelihood is that you won't be employed very long,"

""If you can hire someone fresh out of college for $60,000 who is likely to know the latest technology, or you can hire someone 45 years old who's making $140,000, who are you going to hire? "

In my dreams would I make $60k, never mind $140k. And do I have stale skills? Nah. PHP, javascript, C# (ugh). How many of you have programmed PCL systems with ladder logic? I went into a job where some younger people had gotten a system up and running (nice work guys!), but I was aghast when I saw the code. And I had never even seen ladder code or PLC systems before.

An guess who it was that got laid off?

Comment: It's good news... (Score 1) 283

by mollog (#36887246) Attached to: Scientists Discover Tipping Point for the Spread of Ideas
The flat-earth types that seem to characterize the social conservatives are pretty scary and they jumped into my mind immediately. But after further reflection, I realize that this 10% tipping point is actually very good news.

Old, flat-earth beliefs are just that - old. If something new comes along, like the theory that the earth revolves around the sun, and the planet is not flat, it gradually becomes the new belief.

It will be interesting to see how political campaigns will use this information.

Comment: I've got a dumb question (Score 3, Interesting) 230

by mollog (#32922024) Attached to: Senate Bill Adds Shuttle Flight, New Shuttle-Derived Vehicle
I've got a dumb question. Why do they return the shuttle back to Earth? Or, why not build a part of the space station out of shuttles; you design the vehicle to serve as the body of the launch vehicle, and as part of the ISS. You could leave off a lot of those tiles if you weren't planning to return.

The crew returns to Earth via a reentry vehicle. Fill the vehicle with supplies, send it up there, and the crew comes back on a specialized reentry bus.

Comment: I think parent (and GP) has it right... (Score 2, Insightful) 775

by mollog (#32819422) Attached to: Microsoft Out of Favor With Young, Hip Developers
Mirage and Monkeedude are the horse's mouth. Look at their slashdot ID's and you can tell they are new entrants to this rat race.

I suspect the 'locking down to technology' is a pretty serious issue, along with the cost of the sophisticated development environment. And, speaking of development environment, the new graduates are going to be very comfortable with the social networking side of the FOSS world. When there is a problem with a tool, or if they need help with an esoteric problem, the help is ready, willing, and able to help without the condescension you often find in the Microsoft help forums.

The more committed young developers will probably enjoy the FOSS workspace better than the MS world. More satisfaction.

Comment: Been done before (Score 3, Interesting) 274

by mollog (#32815148) Attached to: How To Build an Open Source House?
Railcars have been used before. Insulation, airhandling, all the rest will be relatively trivial. Not having the local council ruin your plans will be the tough part.

Moisture will be an issue. You'll need to seal it up and when you do, moisture inside the vehicle will be a problem. You can use a spray foam insulation. For inspiration on how to make confined spaces into a livable space, go tour a yatch.

My brother built a vacation place on Tenakee Springs, Alaska. First thing he did was deliver a shipping container as a quick-and-dirty, bear-proof shelter. The door of it is visible here. Obviously, it is now incorporated into a larger structure.

Comment: Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (Score 1) 224

by mollog (#32814942) Attached to: Russia's Unmanned Capsule Misses Space Station
Contrary to what you might think, this is rocket science.

Maybe that's the trouble. If you ask a rocket scientist how to deal with a problem, they'll give you a rocket. They are trying to dock a ship. If you ask a dockworker they'll give you a different answer. What's wrong with using a rope to snatch that little rascal?

Comment: It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (Score 4, Insightful) 224

by mollog (#32781684) Attached to: Russia's Unmanned Capsule Misses Space Station
Is there no vehicle for the people on the space station to use so that they can nip out and catch the errant missile? Jeepers, that would have been the first thing that I would deliver. Surely, they had anticipated this happening and considered what to do about it.

It's not clear to me why we're doing this whole space station thing in such a half-assed manner. Why not think in terms of a permanent space station, and all that entails?

Comment: The problem with that approach (Score 4, Insightful) 281

by mollog (#32780890) Attached to: Indian Government Threatens RIM, Skype With Ban
The Bush administration violated a few constitutional laws in its effort to close the barn door after the terrorists had burned the barn down. They wanted to impress upon us how earnestly they believed in thwarting the terrorists, so they decided that we needed to give up our rights so that they could score political points.

But, as everybody knows, the Bush administration had more than enough information to do the job long before the terrorists ever hit us. What was needed isn't more information, what was needed was better use of the existing information. (Notice that I'm not using the word intelligence. Clearly, Bush needed more intelligence, but that would not be forthcoming.) But we can expect our leaders to make lazy, self-serving choices rather than to take on the hard jobs they seemed to want so badly.

India is an authoritarian state, perfectly comfortable with internal corruption and cronyism. This choice, to compel telecommunications businesses to open up their data for 'security and intelligence' agencies, will surely be abused for political reasons and its impact on security will be marginal.

[Crash programs] fail because they are based on the theory that, with nine women pregnant, you can get a baby a month. -- Wernher von Braun

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