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Comment: Re:I switched from sitting to standing. (Score 2) 85

by swillden (#46778589) Attached to: Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk

I'd recommend a standing desk to anyone with the willpower to make it through the transition.

And I'd recommend a sit-stand desk to anyone at all. Even if you don't stand all the time (I don't), being able to spend part of your day standing will make you feel better without discomfort, in fact being able to switch back and forth is more comfortable than sitting.

Comment: Re:Information = Wealth = Power (Score 1) 98

by swillden (#46778561) Attached to: Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

Then it's not the same as mine. I've also followed the company from the beginning... and I have the benefit of the insider view.

Unless your insider view involved board meetings making top-level executive decisions, I'm not impressed.

Obviously not, but you may not realize how open the company is internally. Larry Page stands up in front of the entire company every week, for example, and takes -- and answers -- live questions. There are no negative consequences for asking hard questions, and hard questions do get asked. Sometimes the executives duck or dance around them, but not very often, and questions that aren't really answered continue getting asked until they do get answered.

In addition to that, other than things like acquisitions there are very few "top-level executive decisions" at Google. Most decisionmaking is driven from the bottom up.

You're probably still not impressed. Whatever. I'm just giving you my perspective and opinion. I would think that an intelligent insider's viewpoint would be of use to you; you're certainly free to dismiss it, whether or not that makes any sense. Time will tell, and I'm quite confident that the future will bear out my statements.

YouTube was a very obvious acquisition. What YouTube needed to survive and grow was low-cost scalability and a way to monetize the views it was getting. What Google had was massive data centers and network connectivity, plus a proven revenue model.

YouTube managed to grow to epic proportions before Google had to "save" them, as you imply. They also good have slapped ads onto their service at any time without Google buying them out.

Not according to YouTube employees who made the transition.

Comment: Re:Information = Wealth = Power (Score 1) 98

by swillden (#46778179) Attached to: Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

My basis is the same as yours, except not from the inside, and not from just three years.

Then it's not the same as mine. I've also followed the company from the beginning... and I have the benefit of the insider view.

The tipping point came when they bought YouTube for an obscene amount of money (at the time). You don't spread your tendrils in such fashion throughout the industry just because you like technology.

YouTube was a very obvious acquisition. What YouTube needed to survive and grow was low-cost scalability and a way to monetize the views it was getting. What Google had was massive data centers and network connectivity, plus a proven revenue model. YouTube also needed a better search engine, and Google was interested in finding ways to index and search non-textual content. It was an ideal match, technologically.

Comment: Re:Information = Wealth = Power (Score 1) 98

by swillden (#46776627) Attached to: Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

Google's primary goal is the technology, the profits and competitive advantage are a means to that end, not the other way around.

They are empire building. The technology is a means to that end.

The basis for your claim is?

The basis for my claim is three years of seeing how the company operates and what decisions it makes, and how, from the inside.

Comment: Won't everyone be a millionaire? (Score 1) 408

by swillden (#46773349) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

At least, won't everyone who's paid a middle to upper middle class wage, buys a house and saves for retirement eventually be a millionaire?

If you want to retire at 65 and have enough money to live a decent life for 30 years after that, you need pretty close to a million dollars plus a paid-off house. And, frankly, it's not that hard to accumulate a million dollars of net worth over a ~40-year career, assuming reasonable returns on your retirement account and modest appreciation on your home. I'm actually targeting net assets of two million for retirement, given that it's still 20 years away and I expect that inflation will roughly halve the value of the dollar between now and then.

Comment: Re:Simple problem, simple solution (Score 1) 336

by swillden (#46773097) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained
Regardless of the number of exclamation points you use, Mountain View and SF housing do affect one another. I know several people who have lived in both areas and who have opted for one over the other based on questions of price and convenience. Said (insane, IMO) prefer to live in SF, but some choose MTV because SF is too expensive. Lowering the cost of housing in MTV further -- and making it more convenient to the Google campus -- would induce some more to leave SF.

Comment: Re:It's crap (Score 1) 1292

by swillden (#46770231) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Except that's bullshit, because if people really cared about using their guns to defend our freedoms, there would already be a gallows set up on Capitol Hill with half of congress swinging from it.

Utter nonsense.

There are problems -- lots of them -- but peaceful civilian control of our government has not yet failed. Things aren't bad enough to justify civil war, but that doesn't mean it will never get to that point.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1292

by swillden (#46769749) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

And to pretend that the Founders never intended the Constitution to be amended is silly since we have an amendment process.

Of course they intended it to be amended. Which means that if people would like to ban civilian firearm possession, they should amend the constitution. Not that any such amendment would have a prayer of getting ratified.

Comment: Re:Simple problem, simple solution (Score 1) 336

by swillden (#46769687) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

Well, if you want reasonable housing prices in the face of climbing demand, then it's your problem. Without new housing in quantity in Mountain View, existing housing in Mountain View will cost more, and the same effect will ripple out to surrounding communities, including SF. The increased number of commuters will also increase traffic on the roads (though not as much as it could, thanks to the Google buses).

If you don't care about housing costs and traffic in the region, then it's not your problem. I don't live in the area, so it's certainly not my problem.

Comment: Re:Effectiveness of a space elevator. (Score 1) 98

by swillden (#46769609) Attached to: Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

Very good point. I stand corrected.

Putting something into LEO with an elevator would probably require lifting it well beyond LEO to get something close to the right orbital velocity, then applying thrust to fix up the resulting eccentric orbit. It'd still be cheaper than lifting it from the ground into LEO... though it occurs to me that the reason it would be cheaper is that it would get its orbital velocity by taking energy from the elevator. That could be restored by lowering a mass from geostationary orbit.

I hadn't consider it before but it seems like a space elevator would need station-keeping thrusters to maintain its orbital velocity since it would be sapped a bit by every kilogram lifted from the ground. Without thrusters you'd need so send a like amount of mass down, which means for every kilogram you lift up and want to keep in orbit you'd need to find a similar mass to send down. Maybe ore from asteroid mining operations? Of course, then the source of the orbital velocity you're using to restore the elevator's velocity is the thrusters that put the ore into the right orbit to go down the elevator.

Comment: Re:Rewarding the bullies... (Score 3, Informative) 724

Appropriately, the page with TFA has an ad encouraging me to "Win an AR-15 from Sebastian Ammo". Google is getting scary...

Must not have been a Google ad, Google doesn't allow gun ads. Personally, I think that's stupid, but in the interest of accuracy, your ad couldn't have been from Google.

Comment: Re:Effectiveness of a space elevator. (Score 1) 98

by swillden (#46766213) Attached to: Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

LEO isn't about height though. We can get there pretty easily. X-15s managed to get half way there in the 1960's. You need to get to about 15,000mph to actually do anything useful at that altitude.

Since the space elevator's center of mass is orbiting, climbing the elevator would also get you to orbital speeds. Indeed, one limiting factor on the rate at which you can climb the cable would be the lateral acceleration experienced by the climber and cargo.

FORTRAN rots the brain. -- John McQuillin

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