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Comment: Dumb - not snarky - responses (Score 2) 441

by satsuke (#47346949) Attached to: Researchers Claim Wind Turbine Energy Payback In Less Than a Year

And of course the skeptical take comment section is filled with non-researched and non-constructive comments about wind energy.

Almost as if being for or against green energy were an overt political statement than a well thought out business plan and energy policy.

(I'm from Kansas, we have nowhere near enough utilization of wind energy, despite several large wind farms in the western part of the state).

Comment: Re:Rail+ ferry (Score 1) 348

by satsuke (#46968039) Attached to: China May Build an Undersea Train To America

People pay for speed of delivery, but that doesn't necessarily mean fast.. just predictable.

It's that time-to-market that has gotten some companies in trouble when dealing with chinese suppliers (capital is tied up for the 3 month lead time when ordering from China and shipping via container ship .. if someone is in a highly cyclical market than that lag time can put you out of business if you are not careful.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 172

by satsuke (#46290243) Attached to: Google Fiber Pondering 9 New Metro Areas

Completely impossible .. according to their ownership structure, 83% of the outstanding shares are owned by institutional investors.

Meaning, even if you created an artificial scarcity by buying up all shares available at any given time .. you'd still be way short of enough to effect change (and in any event, a bunch of individual investors wouldn't have any representation on the board).

You might be able to do it with an activist institutional investor like Carl Icahn .. but someone like him wouldn't be motivated to do anything like that. (e.g. against his own interests).

Comment: Problem of selection (Score 2) 144

by satsuke (#45213661) Attached to: ACA Health Exchange Contractors Have History of Security Failures

The larger problem isn't the actual contractor, it's in the selection process.

At least, the companies that get these huge jobs are the ones that can successfully navigate the bidding process, as well as those that have a track record of complying with that process.

It's a matter of the metrics used not matching the result desired.

ACA/Obamacare health exchanges have had a lot of screwups, but I don't know if it'd work any other way initially (based on the fact that there are hundreds of agencies and different systems to interact with,. any end to end testing would have to be on "friendly" / fake results.

Comment: Like a good bureaucrat (Score 1) 286

by satsuke (#45016999) Attached to: Pentagon Spent $5 Billion For Weapons On Day Before Shutdown

I may or may not agree with their mission and goals, but given the fact that the government shutdown was more or less known about for months ahead of occurring, I'd like to think that the bureaucrats at the pentagon were simply doing their job by making these large contract awards instead of pretending that the shutdown wasn't going to happen.

e.g. it's a lot easier to deal with a delay in paying for spare parts on the tail end than it is to do without those parts on the front end.

Comment: Re:IT the bottleneck? (Score 1) 173

Probably depends on the nature of the business.

Some types are business are inherently more IT dependent than others.

At least, once upon a time I contracted to/ in an industrial factory making insulation.

The permanent IT staff was 7 for a workforce of around 1200 .. and most of those were dedicated to the production control systems in the plant (ancient honeywell machines).

Most of the workers were union tradesmen .. whom responded to the new email system training materials was to circular file them before I had left (and tried to use the shared computer to access (mid 90s).

Contrast that to today, where my job and industry is essentially all IT ((what with people carrying a network enabled computer in their pocket that happens to make phone calls and is still called a phone).

Comment: Re:Outbreak, not "plague"; dont be sensationalist. (Score 1) 668

by satsuke (#44351717) Attached to: Fifteen Years After Autism Panic, a Plague of Measles Erupts

I don't know about the incompetent doctors being rural .. There are programs around my part of Kansas practically begging doctors and dentists to locate in rural areas, offering signing bonuses, accelerated payoff of student loans (as part of the compensation package),

Comment: Re:If it ain't broke... (Score 1) 336

by satsuke (#44051193) Attached to: PDP-11 Still Working In Nuclear Plants - For 37 More Years

There are companies that make a living refurbishing PDP11 machines.

I know of a couple companies that keep them around for their call center ACD controllers (Rockwell Galaxy - PDP11/94).

A lot of these machines still use discrete components .. so fixing them is economically feasible.

ACD integration has a funny way of becoming very very customized. The nominal savings of going to a newer platform is outweighed by the changes required in support and IVR systems that feed into it.

Prof: So the American government went to IBM to come up with a data encryption standard and they came up with ... Student: EBCDIC!"