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Comment: No solid proof, only Schneier's allegations of it (Score 2) 44

by sethstorm (#48129505) Attached to: Pro-Democracy Websites In Hong Kong Targeted With and Serving Malware

Schneier's allegations require that you believe a known non-trustworthy person (Edward Snowden)'s own allegation for that to be true.

When all of that can be brought to bear in a US court with Snowden et al in custody, then you can start talking about it as truth when it is proven to be truth.

Comment: That was (and is) a politically-driven departure. (Score 2) 236

by sethstorm (#48103299) Attached to: Outsourced Tech Jobs Are Increasingly Being Automated

A lot of that departure was driven by the political climate in the 1980s, which was to exact vengance on those industries and their supporters. The finishing blow came when the opposition encouraged non-assimilating immigrants to flood in. To a limited extent, that's playing out in current-day United States, except through various actions.

What Thatcher (and the financial interests she enabled) couldn't kill, the opposition managed to finish off through importation of non-assimilating individuals from the Third World.

Comment: No. (Score 1) 405

We need to separate employers from healthcare anyways.

Only if you don't like the benefits coming from economies of scale. Those disappear even in the ACA.

You can enjoy your second-tier care with an small employer while I'll enjoy less sacrifice with a direct-hire/non-contractor employer that can use economies of scale to provide more benefits per dollar.

Comment: ...with greater instability. (Score 1) 405

In the future I expect more and more small businesses and boutiques. You can run a small yet profitable business with just two or three people.

Never mind that you are operating in a high-failure part of the private sector with people that cannot really afford to fail. That, and you have no scale to offset purchase costs, especially those relating to benefits.

Comment: GM doesn't specialize in small cars. (Score 1) 267

by sethstorm (#48026947) Attached to: Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

All their cars look like Tonka toys and have the build quality of a Chinese iPhone knock off

That's part of the "Check a few boxes and ship a translated owner's manual" treatment of the Western markets. Second to that is the over-regulation by environmental groups that operate by the "small cars for thee, but not for me" philosophy.

Can we just get back those Quad 4 engines? Why does a modern Ecotoc need 2.5L to produce the same power of a 2.3L Quad 4 W41 from 1990?

Making corner-cutting, granola-eating-environmentalist pleasing 4-cylinder-based cars is not the primary specialty of General Motors - especially when you see that most of them are captive imports(Spark/Aveo, Cruze, about anything Buick). The only saving grace is that GM doesn't opt to make cylinders appear through thin air (a la Ford's EcoBoost). Let GM make the larger vehicles for less, which is their specialty, and they will do well.

Personally, I'd not mind if GM decided to make Buick solely a Chinese brand, and then bring in Oldsmobile in their traditional positioning to cover the void in the US. Then find a creative way to (effectively) offer more car than what EPA's CAFE regulations would allow - perhaps by allowing US-spec imports of 4-cylinder cars to be placed on order but not generally stocked. If one were to go beyond that, lobby to have the EPA's regulations removed or curtailed.

Comment: Which puts them out of touch with Western markets. (Score 1) 47

by sethstorm (#48026801) Attached to: Microsoft Revives Its Hardware Conference

It's also being moved from the U.S. to China, as an acknowledgment of where the heart of the tech hardware business is now.

It also indicates the further wish to be out of touch with Western markets and continue to decline in overall quality. Checking a few boxes and translating the manual makes for a bad execution on implementing a product in other markets - as opposed to integrating the expectations made by the target market.

Besides, having it in Los Angeles doesn't diminish the value of Eastern contributions, but serves as a barrier to entry for the unqualified.

Comment: Proven for China, not so for US. (Score 1) 47

by sethstorm (#48026769) Attached to: Microsoft Revives Its Hardware Conference

China and their fellow freedom-reducing brethren operate on the idea of stealing from nations that innovate. A proven secondary use for that is for them to use it against their own citizens.

The US and the rest of the civilized world operate on the idea of creating something new or advancing existing technology in a new way. Unlike China, there has been no solid evidence to prove use against citizens - just the allegations of a spurned traitor(who in turn gave what he had to China and Russia, of all irony).

Comment: Re:Pay These Geniuses What They're Worth! (Score 1) 261

by sethstorm (#48012427) Attached to: Mark Zuckerberg Throws Pal Joe Green Under the Tech Immigration Bus

H-1B's are the only realistic way to immigrate to the US based on skill. Kill H-1Bs and you kill skill based immigration.

Nope. Kill them, replace it with a citizen-favoring system and you end up having to work with the US population.

Canada and Europe would like nothing more than that, because they make it easy to shaft their own citizens


Comment: Nope, you're wrong. (Score 5, Insightful) 261

by sethstorm (#47961723) Attached to: Mark Zuckerberg Throws Pal Joe Green Under the Tech Immigration Bus

In the specific case of Facebook, it is not about driving wages down. Facebook pays decent wages, even for Silicon Valley standards. It is about not increasing wages.

If it's not (in any way) about wages, then there would be no problem for Congress to repeal the 1965 Immigration Act in its entirety, cancel all the programs enabled by it, and (via the market) actively/aggressively solicit long-term unemployed US citizens in their place - as regular workers. There are more than enough of them to go around to be not only qualified, but very well qualified. Unfortunately, citizenship in the US makes people expensive, even for hard-working, by-the-book immigrants that want to come to the US.

Truth of the matter is, in the SF Bay Area, it is hard to be unemployed if you're a properly skilled tech worker, citizen, green-card holder or otherwise.

Truth of the matter is that "properly skilled" can be redefined to exclude otherwise-suitable US citizens too easily. In the eyes of an H1-b/L1/etc. supporter, "properly skilled" is equivalent to saying "has proper fear of an employer". If you were to go to the extreme end of business-friendliness (which spawned the H1-b preference), the ultimately qualified worker is a slave. They cost nothing and are the easiest to dispose.

That doesn't mean I condone the way that the H1-B program often is being abused today. I've seen abuse, and we'll always see that.

Then get rid of what enables the abuse - every single guest worker program. After that, strict enforcement of immigration laws already on the books - SB1070 and similar laws show that it works.

But this is only made possible due to the ridiculous limits on permanent resident visas vs the amount of H1-B visas, as I pointed out in this comment

The only proper limit for all guest worker programs is 0. If you want someone enough, they'll take up naturalization where they can't be corralled between sponsor employers. It might make them incur business-unfriendly "costs of freedom" (by being able to choose their employer), but the market also functions to raise prices.

Comment: China hasn't exactly done well reworking things. (Score 1) 70

by sethstorm (#47961693) Attached to: Wanxiang May Give 2012's Fisker Karma a Relaunch

No thank you, but China's reputation has been to make it worse in the name of making it "cheaper".

They've done it themselves, and do it to about every brand they touch.

Lenovo? They have the opposite of the Midas Touch - everything they touch becomes worse (Thinkpads, servers, etc.).
The GM H2/H3? It's not even a Suburban.
Buick? At least you could get a decent one before China was prioritized. Now it's Opels, Daewoos, and cut-down I4 mysterymeat cars everywhere.
Geely? They've devalued the Volvo brand in ways that no other country would dare.

No thank you, but I'll pass on something that had problems *before* China got involved.

Comment: Faulty comparison. (Score 1) 819

Concerts don't generally pack people into sealed areas with no provisions for leaving the venue(which in the case of the airline, is the plane at 35,000). As for cars, the same generally applies - as you can pull over to a safe area and exit in a speedier manner. Air travel has no such advantages, so a certain degree of comfort is expected at minimum - enough that people have no thought to warrant a diverted flight.

If you're going to be packed in a crammed space, cannot leave it, and it is not punitive in nature, it is a generally bad idea to do extra charges. That, and bad customer service might work for the bean counters that end up having enough status to escape their design, but not everyone is fortunate enough to have it.

Comment: Or you can disclose economic development early. (Score 2) 246

by sethstorm (#47844433) Attached to: Protesters Blockade Microsoft's Seattle Headquarters Over Tax Breaks

Now what would happen if nobody could hide economic development decisions, such as the relocation of companies between states? That is, that any decision to move, no matter how small or early, had to be publicly disclosed - and that all existing records had to be made public? That would anger thieving states like Georgia, who have no qualms about removing history from Northern states, while providing a chance for states to make an agreement.

Or, you can have the status quo, which encourages blood-feud between states.

On some level this sounds like playing dirty pool but it's really not... it's the exact same thing you would do if you had your employer behind the eight ball in salary negotiations: "Other companies are willing to pay me X for my skills, so why don't you match it or I will leave?"

Statistically speaking, that's a rare enough position that it is an exception. Besides, employers can do more damage with the same position over multiple people and jurisdictions - as they are favored by government over workers.

Money will say more in one moment than the most eloquent lover can in years.