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Comment: Re:$50 billion is not Huge, anymore (Score 1) 40

by ShanghaiBill (#49626167) Attached to: Report: Microsoft Considering Salesforce Acquisition

That's mostly because we've cut taxes on corps so much that they've got more cash than they know what to do with.

America has one of the highest corporate tax rate in the world. That is the main reason that corporations have been leaving.

I miss the 90% tax bracket. It kept corporate power in check

The 90% tax bracket was an personal rate, that did not apply to corporations. The corporate rate has never been much above 50%, and even that was generally in wartime.

Corporate tax rate by year

Comment: Re:This seems batshit crazy. (Score 1) 171

by rmdingler (#49625393) Attached to: Police Can Obtain Cellphone Location Records Without a Warrant

No expectation of privacy when using a cellphone?

This worries me. How long before no expectation of privacy when using the internet?

When using a car? (GPS in modern cars)

When do we have an expectation of privacy anymore?


You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Comment: Re:for anyone who doesn't see anything wrong here: (Score 1) 208

=>You want their money? Gather up 1000 people, walk over to their house, and take it.

==>that's unjust and immoral

LOL. It's "unjust and immoral" if you steal a person's money directly, but if you hold an election and appoint a few representatives to hire men with guns and send them to steal a person's money, it suddenly becomes "just and moral"?

Comment: Re:Not about education (Score 1) 208

"claiming that public education doesn't work when there is zero evidence of that."

No evidence? The only subject where USA students excel is in "self esteem". There's plenty of evidence that public schools are failing. If they were doing well, we wouldn't continuously be talking about how to fix them.

"Donating that 100 billion to our existing education system"

LOL Right, because the problem with public schools is lack of funding.

" ... a change that shifts education into a business, where profit is the only thing that matters and the quality of education has no consideration."

You think there is a negative correlation between quality and profits? Quite the opposite. The person or business which figures out how to provide a quality education at an affordable cost will reap the profits With "quality" being in the eyes of the parents and students, not some government bureaucrat.

Nor is a profit-driven education system some malicious conspiracy against the poor. If absolutely necessary, you can take a small fraction of the hundreds of billions of dollars wasted in public schools and create an "education stamps" program.

The top-down, big government, cookie-cutter approach to education is a failure. Time to unleash the power and creativity of the free market. Give people real choices and let people who want to be in education an opportunity to figure out what works.

Wal Mart or McDonalds could run the public school system better than the government and at lower cost.

Comment: Re:ADA? (Score 4, Interesting) 243

by ShanghaiBill (#49623101) Attached to: Is It Worth Learning a Little-Known Programming Language?

COBOL is an excellent example

Is it? How come I never see job ads for COBOL programmers? I know no one who uses it. I have often heard that it is used in "banks" or for "business" programming. But I know several people that work as programmers at banks, and none of them use COBOL or are aware of it being used at all. They are all Java shops. Same for programmers writing business logic. So I think that all these myths about demand for COBOL programmers is a load of hogwash.

Perhaps ADA would be another example?

Ada was oversold in the 1980s, and quickly developed a reputation for poor performance, and heavy resource requirements. Few systems were written in it, and even mission critical military systems (which Ada was designed for) could commonly get an exemption to use something more sensible.

Comment: Re:Come on. What tripe. (Score 4, Informative) 395

by ShanghaiBill (#49622837) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

Since you can't measure programming ability "somehow" or otherwise, you don't know what the curve would look like.

Except that you CAN measure it. Just give each person a few programming tasks that should take ten minutes or so. I do that all the time. It is called a "job interview". My experience is that most applicants are incapable of programming even trivial solutions, or even getting the syntax right ... and these are people applying for programming jobs. A fair number can come up with reasonable solutions. Only a few come up with elegant out-of-the-box solutions that I was not expecting.

The distribution is not "U" shaped, and it is not normal (bell shaped). It is high on the left, and slopes downward to the right.

Comment: Re:Morse Code (Score 1) 137

I think Morse needs to come back for data entry. Only one button needed.

Morse code would be one solution, and isn't that hard to learn. Voice input would be another. A small camera that can read sign language might work, but ASL requires two hands and would be hard to read from the wrist of one of the hands. Another solution would be to project a keyboard onto a surface, and then use a camera to read the taps. The watch could detect the wrist movement, and the tension in the tendons, to detect keys as the user typed on an "air" keyboard. But perhaps the best solution would be a cranial probe that could detect the letters or words as the user was thinking them.

Comment: Re:Lives be damned (Score 2) 286

I don't know if sloppy practice explains the earthquakes in Oklahoma, though.

The groundwater contamination is a serious issue, that needs to be resolved, probably through more frequent inspections and higher fines. The earthquakes are a trivial problem. They are small, and transitory. Once the frackers move on, the earthquakes will stop. Fracking has generated over a million jobs, adds hundreds of billions of domestic production to the US economy every year, and, by replacing coal with gas, has done more to reduce CO2 emissions than all other efforts combined. If the price of that is a few rattled windows in rural Oklahoma, then so be it.

Only through hard work and perseverance can one truly suffer.