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Comment: Re:Appre (Score 1) 224

by thedonger (#47522375) Attached to: VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

The problem isn't people coming here on H1-Bs, but their difficulty in turn that into a green card. The "apprentices" would mostly stay here if they could. And does anyone really want to argue that immigration of well-educated, highly-skilled engineers is bad for America?

All the focus on the political immigration debate seems to be on low-skilled workers, and the answers aren't so easy there. But anyone who can come here and work a job that pays $100k+? Keep em coming, I say.

I work for a company that had at least three if not four H1-B workers (as programmers), and other than paperwork and a couple grand for the lawyer getting a green card was not a problem for them. That's an admittedly small sample size. What roadblocks have you seen?

Comment: Re:Thanks for the tip! (Score 4, Funny) 448

by thedonger (#47305565) Attached to: $500k "Energy-Harvesting" Kickstarter Scam Unfolding Right Now

Or not. I'm sorry, I don't trust kick starter campaigns.

Right? I gave Toad the Wet Sprocket $50 for their new record. Then it arrived as double LP with four bonus tracks! If I wanted bonus tracks I would asked for freakin' bonus tracks! And don't get me started about that photo essay book I bought into. It was so good I almost cried. If I want to feel stuff I'll give to an Indiegogo campaign!

Comment: Re:You want IE to be relevant? (Score 1) 105

Microsoft can and should be a huge driver for innovation in the industry.

Google (via Chrome) and earlier Mozilla (via FF) are the driver for Microsoft to innovate, since without that outside pressure we would still be using IE6. Maybe the Dev Channel is the start of Microsoft spinning off (well, not actually "off") innovation groups that aren't encumbered by the 800 pound corporate gorilla?

Comment: Controllers for PC? (Score 3, Interesting) 174

From the summary:

'In August of last year, a Microsoft spokesman confirmed that the Xbox One controller will be compatible for PC users sometime in 2014. That time has finally come. Windows gamers can now use the Xbox One controller to play games on their computer. If a game supports a USB gamepad or the Xbox 360 controller, it will also support the Xbox One controller.'

That is interesting given that my brother and my cousin - both big into gaming - use PC-style controls with their Xbox because they feel it gives them an edge over users of the Xbox controller.

Comment: Re:WOW (Score 2) 142

by thedonger (#47113463) Attached to: No, Doesn't Require 500 Million Lines of Code

yeah, where everyone is in a few insurance groups and gets the same basic benefits

obamacare has variable pricing based on history, finances, where you live, etc. lots of business rules to properly price the policy

Actually, no. We can program a high amount of variability in pricing and eligibility based on whatever data is required. And we own a private exchange, so we do that, too. Also, we can implement such a project in 6 months, sometimes less, including the entire reporting requirement.

Comment: Re:Sentient machines exist (Score 1) 339

by thedonger (#47112905) Attached to: The Singularity Is Sci-Fi's Faith-Based Initiative
I fear the day we make truly sentient "machines." (In quotes because because I don't know if they will be machines or not.) In order to replicate life as we know it - human, feline, insect, etc. - we must first figure out how to make it want to survive. And once we do that we have created a new competitor in the food chain.

Comment: Re:But, what is a singularity? (Score 2, Funny) 339

by thedonger (#47112851) Attached to: The Singularity Is Sci-Fi's Faith-Based Initiative

The singularity, of course, is defined as the point where the function and all its derivatives approach infinity. There is another way to think of a singularity. If you are extrapolating a function based on a power series around a point, you can only expand that power series as far as the closest singularity ("pole") in the complex plane (the "radius of convergence"). You can't extrapolate further than that with a simple power series, even if you aren't trying to solve for the function at the pole itself.

So, thinking science fictionally, we can't extrapolate the future based on the present any further than the distance to the singularity, even if our actual future doesn't in fact pass through the singularity.

So, don't think of the technological singularity as a time when life for humans ends, and robots/artificial intelligences/transcended humans take over. Think of it as time scale beyond which we can't extrapolate the future based on what we know now.

So you're saying I won't be able to fuck a sexbot by 2035?

Comment: Re:WOW (Score 5, Informative) 142

by thedonger (#47112787) Attached to: No, Doesn't Require 500 Million Lines of Code
Forget about the number of lines of code. I work for a U.S. company that builds type web sites and the reporting back end for large companies. The estimated price tag of the front end ($150 million or so) is about 20 times what the tax payers should have paid. Add in the back end reporting to the insurance companies and billing, throw a call center in at least two different time zones, main and backup datacenters and instead of the full price tag ($600 mil?), let's say at the high end $20 million for the whole thing. Ongoing administration costs maybe in the 7 digits per year. The whole thing was a sham to get votes and fill the coffers of some cronies.

Comment: Re:But that's not all Snowden did... (Score 1) 348

by thedonger (#47101407) Attached to: Why Snowden Did Right

Because the only people who claim that have "harming the US" as a goal.

I don't think anyone should have harming the American people , as a goal, at all. The complete abolition of the American government , on the other hand, is a goal which I think is overwhelmingly in the interests of humanity as an entire species, and in seeking such, the American people themselves should be leading the charge.

So how do you imagine we "abolish the US government" without harming the people? It's easy to point out the "bad", "evil", (and the favorite of the anarchist/libertarian sort) "facist" things the US governemnt does while ignoring the massive good it has done. Of course, if looking through a very narrow lens helps suport your cause, I guess you're free to do that, and somehow get positive mod points for it. Guess you brought friends, eh? Just remember, the evil government is what is allowing you to post negatively about it. Try the same in any of many more oppressive countries out there.

Let's not forget that what most people dislike (or hate) about the U.S. government is something outside the intentions it was founded upon. It wasn't supposed to become a rich man's club running at the behest of other rich people.

Comment: Re:Almost... (Score 2) 348

by thedonger (#47101341) Attached to: Why Snowden Did Right

It's not democracy if capitalism has its hooks in every aspect of government.

Capitalism doesn't have hooks it can put in government. A government highly influenced by corporations is cronyism, or straight out bribery. And lest we give "Big Academia" a pass, a government highly influenced by large universities with millions of dollars is also cronyism.

"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." -- George Bernard Shaw