I think one of the most valuable abilities for a good programmer is to be a good listener. A big part of that is also being able to ask good questions. You need to be able to fully understand the problem to be able to develop the right solution -- remember, the solution that customer actually needs is not always the one they think they want. Also, being able to listen also means you will be better able to learn new skills.
It's worst than that. Lobbyists actually write most bills, then find a congresscritter to sponsor the lobbyists' pet bills. Congresscritters very rarely write legislation themselves (I don't have it to hand but I recall seeing a stat that put their share at something like 5%.)
I lived on fixed wireless for most of the past decade. It was down at least 10% of the time, and often more (like every time it rained). It was unreliable enough that I kept the dialup modem as a backup.
If good upload speeds were widely available, I suspect online backup would quickly become a mainstream market, especially as more people become aware of the need to back up (witness the solid market for flash drives and external hard drives, mostly to ordinary folks and largely used for personal backups).
I know I'd use it, but my paltry 600k up will not cut it.
The Founders had largely expected common sense to prevail. That it didn't is one reason why we have the Bill of Rights.
"To be a great programmer, you need to write code that reads like English."
That's an interesting observation, and see what I (not a coder but an interested bystander) say above about two programs I know equally well as a user -- one in Pascal (I can pretty much grok what all the code does despite zero comments), the other in C (lots of comments, but still makes my brain hurt even when I can figure it out).
From the user standpoint (I'm not a programmer, but I take an interest, and have rooted around a bit in various source codes), these are my observations:
1) When a program written in C crashes, it may do damnear anything on its way out.
When a program written in Pascal/Delphi crashes, it simply closes down and returns you to the OS.
2) I have an ancient (1990) database program I can't live without. When it was retired from the market, its owner kindly shared source with me, which happened to be in Pascal. There's not a single comment in it, but as I know the program so well, I can tell what nearly all its code does.
I can't say that of the other antique program which I still use and know very well (and have perused much of the source), but is written in C.
I doubt it's entirely coincidence, or even relative marketshare, that's given us those marvelous Obfuscated and Underhanded Code contests for C, but no such for Pascal.
> but the suspects can easily dispose of "evidence" (illicit drugs) in the toilet.
So it's too hard to put a bucket or stopper in the sewer line?
> Who knows about the bitcoin mining because that's all nonsense anyway.
Nobody in their right mind uses GPUs to mine bitcoin any more. They use custom mining chips (ASICs) which are about 100 times more efficient, because the calculations are done entirely in hardware, and being fairly simple, can be parallelized much more than graphics cores.
As far as bitcoin being nonsense, the New York Stock Exchange and a large bank just invested in a bitcoin company: http://blog.coinbase.com/post/..., and Microsoft accepts bitcoins: https://commerce.microsoft.com... . Evidently they don't think it is nonsense.
> But I'll bet their little programs that they run using $1 of electricity to get 50 cents in bitcoins
I did mine at a loss sometimes back in the day, but it was in the background, for a graphics card I was already using in this PC. So I only had to pay for the incremental electricity of the card running full bore instead lower levels. The $60 of extra electricity is worth $680 in bitcoins today. I stopped mining in mid-2013 when the custom chips started going into volume production. Not all of us are idiots.
Not sure what Arizona has to do with Jeff Sessions, although if they'll take him, some of us in Alabama would appreciate it (although he was reelected in an unopposed election, so I guess not too many of us).
That's also how the believers work.
Space solar arrays are also 2.5 times as efficient than in 1998. That's because they now use triple-layer cells, that convert more of the solar spectrum to electricity. The biggest shift will be if SpaceX can reuse their rocket stages. They are already the low-cost launch provider, and that would given them another factor of 3 or so in cost.
Reducing launch cost also will reduce satellite cost. The cost optimum is when the marginal cost of removing 1 kg from the satellite = the marginal cost of launching that kg. So cheaper launch means heavier but less expensive satellite parts.
> Private corporations may soon have more space technology than the US government.
That's already the case. NASA's share of total space industry is only 6% ($18 vs $300 billion/year). Commercial satellites have had ion thrusters for a number of years before the NASA Dawn spacecraft had them. For-profit corporations have more incentive to update their tech sooner, to get a competitive advantage.
The free market method is to offer "dead or alive" bounties on whoever dumped in your water system, and let competition sort it out. One mining company might do it once, but after that, the rest would have an object lesson.
Metallic foil "radiant barrier" insulation is already a thing:
Just make sure to cross-connect the pieces, so they form a single ground plane.