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Comment: College is unsustainable longterm (Score 5, Insightful) 306

by rolfwind (#46827055) Attached to: Skilled Manual Labor Critical To US STEM Dominance

I banged the drum of the German model before, but basically you apprentice somewhere for low pay (note, still pay) which increases each year. After that, you have a skill in demand and cannot be copied by someone that gets 2 weeks training or some such at a corporate camp in America.

My cousin went that route, going as a chef. First he wanted to stay in America, but would have to give out $60k over multiple years at one of the premiere schools here and it wouldn't be training at a real kitchen, but a student kitchen. Great theory and all but just not the same. Also, all he'd interact with would be other students and a handful of professors.

He went over there, snagged an apprenticeship at a very well respected hotel, and worked in varying stations in the restaurant kitchen from day one. A real kitchen that had to push food out the door at peak hours of lunch and dinner. And he got paid enough to live on and even save. Also got some theory at a state school they sent him every season (free). Now that he's out, his "European-trained chef" credential open a lot more doors than the stateside degree.

As I see the American model, it looks like most of the liberal arts degrees jobs require is to make sure they don't get an idiot who got passed along in the public school system. However, the degree is often meaningless in context of the job.

We essentially sold the youth of this country down the river, having diluted the high school diploma to toilet paper and promising them that an expensive college degree is a good way into a good job. Jobs that are increasingly not there.

If you look at trends of service jobs and outsourcing, the return on a non-stem degrees is questionable compared to having tangible skills that cannot be employed in China and bought back here in a finished product.

Looking at the longterm trend of US's economy (thanks to it's debt), I would definitely jump onto the skills market again if I were coming out of High School and not all into STEM degree.

Comment: Re:So - who's in love with the government again? (Score 5, Interesting) 397

by rolfwind (#46795763) Attached to: Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

Reading this on ethanol made me lose any hope in the government being anything but Oligarchy run:

AFAIK, putting 10% ethanol in gas drops the mpg of cars more than 10%. At least according to a Consumer Reports article I read years ago and they went by rule experience. Basically it means that if they took all the ethanol out of the gas, and gave you 0.9 gallons pure gas instead of 1 gallon adulterated, you as a driver would be better off.

So the entire industry is completely taxpayer supported bullshit. We're carrying an industry that has no use. And this in an era where water table is decreasing (corn is unbelievably thirsty), food prices and meat rising astronomically, etc.

I have friends in the corn states. The corn farmers (and usually farm corps) are well off... at the expense of everyone else.

And there are hundreds of other examples like that. For every 1 good thing the government does, it seems there are 4-5 examples of overreach which costs everyone and only benefits a small segment.

Comment: Re:LaserJet II and LaserJet 3 (Score 1) 694

by rolfwind (#46790021) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Or maybe they didn't try to shave a dime, nickel, or penny off of the cost in all the wrong places.

I swear most of my stuff that brakes is overwhelmingly not due to a big expensive part, but cheap shit where the labor costs 100x+ more to replace it than the part itself.

Even in cars, when it's electrical, where the new board or component cost several hundred $$$, the old one only died because some cheap ass component died but hard/uneconomical to track down.

Comment: Re:My toilet (Score 4, Insightful) 694

by rolfwind (#46789809) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Toilets really are one of the best tech inventions of all time. And I do mean tech in every sense of the word. Porcelain is the best material for it, and while the chinese had it for a long time, when the west (Kingdom of Saxony) got it/discovered it, it gaurded the secret closely. Thankfully it got out, are it would be relegated to fancy sculptures and plates.

This isn't to mention all the requirements like running water and sewer system... but a lot of tech resembles Maslow's hierarchy of needs, as in the oldest stuff is generally the most essential, and as time goes on, the newer stuff is icing on the cake.

Comment: Is it dead? (Score 1, Insightful) 110

by rolfwind (#46770463) Attached to: Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

Looking at their stock, it never required from dotcom, and has been on a slow decline since (but up from 1 year ago).

I can't imagine mobile CPUs will ever have the margin or profit of desktop CPUs. Or even close.

Sure, there are a bunch of cheap PCs. But apple or samsung comes out with a phone, that's just the same cheapish cpu several millions of times over with no variation.

Is this just another case of a company chasing elusive profits once it's market has been commoditized? In a way, Intel isn't important once Microsoft isn't important anymore.

No need to run x86. So why push x86 into the portable space?

Comment: Nothing will happen (Score 5, Informative) 432

by rolfwind (#46742453) Attached to: UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

Human minds just aren't made to react to something so abstract, so distant, so far away. Look at the crisis building up with the US economy, national debt, and so on - something that could cause a whole generation to undergo a great depression yet nary a thought is given to it.

For example, on the economic situation, this guy was made the US's top accountant for over a decade, and appointed to posts by both R and D presidents and yet he makes videos that can barely garner 2k views about the situation (since September):

I guess if there was a girl twerking in it, it might work.

Anyway, that's how it is. We react, many don't think too far ahead. Both situations are basically simple concepts in theory (global warming is built on the green house effect which is simple to demonstrate, the economy on interest and other high school math), but so many interests go in and muddle issues, that the average guy doesn't know what to believe, so even those with a modicum of forethought are stymied by special interests.

And the special interests want status quo. Nothing will happen. That's the tragedy of democracy and why it never really lasts long. Power and money is like water, it always gathers and concentrates.

Comment: Feet first? (Score 2) 431

by rolfwind (#46741693) Attached to: Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

Do they always jump in feet first with these new teaching methods or something? Don't they test it on a small control group or a dozen to make sure it's not the latest new-age garbage?

It always surprises me how often I hear parents complain about a new way of learning something in school. Latest was my neighbors talking about a new way to teach math, they tried helping their kids but the methodology was so alien to them that they were stumped.

And that's where a lot of the new, marginally improved (if at all) methods fail, because parents have to be able to act as back up teachers, and if it's completely different than how they learned it. Fail.

Comment: 3D is going to mean jack shit (Score 2) 38

by rolfwind (#46733145) Attached to: Amazon Reportedly Launching Smartphone This Year

3D has been met between a variation of "MEH!" and "meh" after the initial oohs and ahs wore off for theaters and consoles and TVs. It's a feature people take but don't care about.

What will help Amazon get into the game is if it's divorced from carriers and does better pricing on that front. Kinda like how a kindle can get (slow) internet connectivity elsewhere. If it can get people a smartphone for $30~ish a month voice and data. Then it will be cool and a game changer. Otherwise it's just another phone in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk