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Comment: Re:Engineers have no future. (Score 5, Insightful) 143

by silentbozo (#48174729) Attached to: Cisco Exec: Turnover In Engineering No Problem
Agreed. A manager who says that turnover is not a problem is a manager that has no inkling of what engineers do, what exactly their company produces, or how badly they are in trouble when knowledge and experience walk out the door. Either that, or they're lying to your face.

There's that tipping point when the work gets harder, the code is even more rotted, the "process" is even more constricting, because they know something is wrong but they need to "measure" everything to figure out why. That's when people are running, not walking out the door.

Comment: Re:Inverse Wi-fi law (Score 1) 278

by silentbozo (#48057907) Attached to: Marriott Fined $600,000 For Jamming Guest Hotspots
My observation has been that resort hotels (the ones with restaurants in them) charge an arm and a leg because they are targeting two type of customers:

1. Tourists/Vacationers
2. Convention/Conference goers

In the case of #1, you're probably not a repeat customer (or at least, repeat often enough for them to care). They want to wring every last dollar out of you while they can.

In the case of #2, you're a captive customer (the con is nearby or in this hotel, unless you have a car you're not going to wander far), and you might possibly be able to expense things.

If you were a high-roller that stayed regularly, I'll bet you they wouldn't nickle and dime you, not unless they were morons and wanted to drive you into the hands of the competition. The rest of us are just sheep to be fleeced.

For the lower cost hotels (like the Holiday Inn Expresses), where there is no built in restaurant, and they offer amenities like free wifi and free continental breakfast, they're targeting repeat business and price sensitive travelers. They often don't have the best location compared to the resort hotels (you *will* need a car), but as a consequence their expenses are probably lower. The more extreme version of this are the Extended Stay type hotels, which have kitchens and refrigerators.

The really dumpy hotels have no choice. Their plant is run down, and they may be a no-name. Unless they offer free amenities, nobody in their right mind is going to stay at their place (assuming similar nightly rents) unless there's no choice.

Comment: Re: Rent a Tesla for $1 (Score 1) 335

by Martin Blank (#48016011) Attached to: State of Iowa Tells Tesla To Cancel Its Scheduled Test Drives

Franchise opportunities have to be open to anyone (with geographical restrictions in some states), and it's my understanding that auto manufacturers may not have an interest (or at least a controlling interest) in any entity that owns a dealership that sells their vehicles.

Comment: Re:kill -1 (Score 1) 469

by Martin Blank (#47965343) Attached to: Fork of Systemd Leads To Lightweight Uselessd

Really? You don't reboot after a kernel security update?

I do believe that the comment also include "and in scheduled windows".

I see too many Linux systems with uptimes well in excess of a year and even three years, in the belief that it's Linux so they don't have to worry about it, and no one codes exploits for Linux kernels, ignoring whatever may be on ExploitDB. In many cases, "scheduled downtime" is for when the service is restarted after patching, not for rebooting. It's far more common than it should be, even among people who have been using Linux for many years and should know better.

Comment: Re:This is supposed to be the *WAY* they do their (Score 1) 392

Obamacare seems to have only helped a little under 3% of the people who did not have coverage previously.

The NBC News article says that 5 million people had insurance who did not have it before. If that's only 3% of the people who didn't have insurance, it would require that approximately 166 million people--half of the country--not have insurance before.

What happened was there was a drop in the uninsured rate of about 3% from around 15% to around 12%. That's about 20% of the people who did not have insurance before now having it. As the penalties go up, the uninsured rate is expected to go down even further.

Comment: Re:This is supposed to be the *WAY* they do their (Score 2) 392

ERs generally cannot turn away emergency patients or deny them care under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA). Even if it appears that they have shown up in a non-emergency state, they still have to be assessed, and they are sometimes turned away for minor things, or at least given prescriptions that they have to pay for and which the hospital is not required to provide. The goal was to combat patient dumping that hospitals were doing for patients that couldn't pay even though they had been severely wounded or were in the midst of labor.

The issue the AC was talking about it a bit different, though. People with insurance (or some other means to pay) can generally go to a doctor when symptoms start to arise instead of only going to the ER when it becomes an emergency situation. This isn't someone who has a sore throat for a few days, but people who have cancer or other illnesses, and by the time the ER becomes a viable option, they're often too far along to treat, and can't pay for the emergency care they do get to stabilize them, which can require ICU or CCU. That cost then gets absorbed by the hospital and passed on to everyone else instead of a much lower cost being covered earlier on when early access might have saved the patient at lower cost.

Comment: Re:I hate to be this guy... (Score 1) 188

Corruption as part of the culture is an enormous part of it, especially in Africa and Asia and to a lesser extent in South America. That's a problem that you can't really throw money at because it tends to just add to the issue.

There are economic complications, too. Simply delivering food and water outside of a disaster situation undermines the local food economies: why buy food from the local farm if someone else is giving it away for free? Farms go under, leaving more people reliant on handouts.

War is another major issue. We hear about a million refugees in Gaza, but they're largely just a few kilometers from their homes, so delivery isn't that difficult. There are other cases where refugees in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan end up hundreds of kilometers from home, and these present bigger challenges. But in Africa, there are millions of people who have been moving over thousands of kilometers through war zones that have been akin to the areas controlled by the Islamic State for decades. No one really notices because no one reports on it. Even the Rwandan Genocide took weeks for most people in the West to notice despite on-scene reporters providing detailed reports.

There's a great deal of research going into what works. Solving economic issues is a big start. Reducing infant and childhood mortality rates by directly (i.e., not through the local government) fighting malaria with sterile releases and mosquito bed nets has helped dramatically in some locations. Teaching farmers how to more efficiently tend their crops, and opening them up to international markets has also helped.

The space program helped, too, mapping climate changes that provide hints on where to help, when to change to different crops, and how to handle desertification.

There will be no time that all earthly problems are solved so that we can concentrate on space. Trying to divert all of the money spent on it would be devastating to industry anyway, and no other nation will join in because, like it or not, we now all rely on space.

Comment: Missed Opportunity? (Score 4, Interesting) 81

by silentbozo (#47853993) Attached to: Microsoft Takes Down Slideshow-Building Tool After Getty Images Lawsuit
So... Getty Images, instead of using the power of image-matching algorithms to get more customers for its library by setting up a checkout point at the end of the auto-slideshow and/or tack on advertising (ala YouTube) just torpedoed the whole thing instead.

You figure they had the tech to identify the infringing images to begin with. Why not just say to Microsoft "hey, we have this set of algorithms that you're welcome to use to improve your widget. Let's talk about blanket licensing for Bing in exchange for downstream revenue."

Comment: Re:news for nerds? (Score 1) 215

by Martin Blank (#47847751) Attached to: New US Airstrikes In Iraq Intended to Protect Important Dam

You've missed my point. Even if 50%+1 of the voting-age population (we'll leave out those not eligible to vote due to lack of citizenship, felony conviction, dishonorable discharge, etc.) voted for him, it still wouldn't be a majority of all Americans. There were about 313 million people in the US in 2012; half of that would be more people than voted, and would require 77% of the voting-age population. No president is known to have gotten that vote level, let alone overall preference. Washington might have, but no popular vote totals are available before 1824, and women were blocked from voting, as were most blacks, so rendering a majority support virtually impossible anyway even if every person legally allowed to vote did so.

Comment: Re:Do it yourself? (Score 1) 130

by mrmeval (#47846965) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Service To Digitize VHS Home Movies?

I used a video capture card with Svideo input. I found after many trials that VLC worked well in capture mode with a tape that had issues. I had to manually clean the video and audio heads in the thrift store VCR and used another tape to verify the VCR worked wel mechanically. It still took two attempts. I then transfered it from the Windows 7 box to a Linux box and had FFmpeg transcode it after bleeding the docs for a couple hours and fumbling with several attempts.

If it's worth doing, it's worth doing for money.