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Comment: The important bit (Score 1) 169

by russotto (#47439635) Attached to: New Microsoft CEO Vows To Shake Up Corporate Culture

Most of it is empty business-speak; I especially like "Today I want to synthesize the strategic direction" for pure meaningless noise. However, there is one meaningful part: "We'll use the month of July to have a dialogue about this bold ambition and our core focus. [...]Over the course of July, the Senior Leadership Team and I will share more on the engineering and organization changes we believe are needed."

Meaning? They'll take July to make up the lists, then layoffs in early August.

Comment: This is just ass-covering (Score 1) 150

by russotto (#47439595) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

NRT, the parent company doesn't procure the footage in the first place. The individual agents do. They don't process it either; I'm not sure what that's all about. They didn't tell the local operating companies they'd be penalized by NRT for using drone footage, they just said of the operating companies "they may be held responsible for all fines, penalties, costs and fees related to the use of that photography". NRT just wants to be on the record as saying they don't encourage use of drones for real estate photography, that's all.

No real estate agent is going to stop using drone footage if it sells houses.

Comment: Re:Holy grey area! (Score 1) 119

by russotto (#47439401) Attached to: Biohackers Are Engineering Yeast To Make THC

Yeah, but that was a more innocent time. We already have to talk to a pharmacist, show ID, and get in a government DB to buy decongestant. That's because you can use it to make meth.

Interestingly, the decongestant is made by yeast. Now all we need is for someone to come up with a yeast which makes the meth directly; no more need for the current sort of meth labs.

Comment: Re:Not new (Score 1) 253

by russotto (#47421347) Attached to: US Tech Firms Recruiting High Schoolers (And Younger)

What's often left off of these reports is amount that student aid has also grown over time. Few people pay the full sticker price.
The college board trends does have a chart of this, but unfortunately it wasn't adjusted for inflation.

The College Board charts are adjusted for inflation. Even with student aid increases, net college costs have increased over time. They are much higher than they were 30 years ago. And if your family makes more than median income, at public institutions that student aid increase doesn't amount to much.

Comment: Re:actors and athletes get paid at 13 (Score 1) 253

by russotto (#47412191) Attached to: US Tech Firms Recruiting High Schoolers (And Younger)

Yes, but 13yo actors and athletes need special work permits and still need to attend to school whilst working.

These are summer internships; school is not an issue.

In many localities, they must have part of their earnings put directly into trust funds (e.g., a Coogan account in California) so neither they or their parents will blow all the money on something, or up something...

Four states, but the Coogan requirements in California and New York at least are specific to child performers, not all minors.

I doubt any of these internet companies are doing any of these even minimal best-practices/policies for these 13yo nerds (and these minimal things don't even prevent the Lindsey Lohans and Tracy Austins of the world)...

$18,000/year doesn't get you to Lindsey Lohan levels; she probably blows that in a night.

Comment: Re:The real problem here... (Score 2) 349

by russotto (#47411551) Attached to: Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

Yup - there are some criteria that we've explicitly decided NOT to let people use (i.e. even if you could show that race and auto insurance costs were correlated, and that the relationship was statistically significant, you still couldn't charge people more for being black/white/Asian/whatever), but credit score isn't one of those.

Actuaries are pretty clever, they can typically find a benign-sounding proxy for the forbidden criteria.

Comment: Re:Not new (Score 5, Insightful) 253

by russotto (#47411379) Attached to: US Tech Firms Recruiting High Schoolers (And Younger)

In 1999, my company offered an 18 year old summer intern a programming job. He turned us down to attend college. Spending 4 years doing calculus and reading The Count of Monte Cristo was not going to improve his earnings potential. Spending 4 years in a real office doing real programming would have improved his earnings potential.

Short term. But when he tried to change jobs, he'd find a lot of opportunities closed to him because just about every company wants a degree. I've known a number of non-degreed programmers who have gone back to get one for that reason.

Quitting school to found a startup might make sense; at least it's honest gambling. Quitting school to take a regular job doesn't; the job or one like it will still be there when you graduate.

Comment: Re:I can't imagine something like that in the U.S. (Score 1) 160

by russotto (#47399805) Attached to: The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. It's those unions. Those ones whose membership has been steadily and measurably been decreasing for 30 years(almost exactly at the same rate as wage stagnation occurs, as a complete coincidence).

Public service unions are the major exception; the general decline is irrelevant when US mass transit is still almost completely union.

If you fail to plan, plan to fail.