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Comment Re:The proper channels... (Score 1) 273

...are those connected directly to /dev/null.

Bernie Maddoff's competitors tried going through proper channels for a decade. They complained bitterly that his results were mathematically impossible, that it must be a ponzi scheme. Nobody listened. And now it has come to light that JP Morgan Chase laundered money for Maddoff for decades.

Comment Re:False advertising. (Score 2) 273

The problem of ripoffs and poor service always seems to crop up wherever competition is lacking, and telecomms companies in the US certainly do not have enough competition. Ma Bell was an evil monopolist until their forced breakup in 1984, which it turned out, didn't help much. Today, telecomms in the US are still uncompetitive, price gouging, regulatory capturing, sluggish, backwards scum.

I don't know how old you are but Ma Bell was nowhere near as evil as today's AT&T and Verizon. Ma Bell was a regulated monopoly with many constraints on what it could do.

The Bell System was broken up in 1982 by a lawsuit brought by Northern Telecom because they wanted to sell the DMS-100 in the US. As a result of that court ruling, the Bell System was broken up into "baby bells". Since then, the new AT&T has absorbed them one by one.

So now we have a few big companies running the show with very few constraints on what they can do. Competition will not happen. Instead, they merge into bigger companies that are too big to fail. Essentially the same thing has happened in the electric power industry. And it gets sold to the public as free market competition.

Comment Re:Worker shortage in 2014 (Score 1) 321

And trust the free market for once. If there's a worker shortage, then wages will rise until demand and supply equalize and there is no more shortage.

The powers that be don't trust the invisible hand of the free market. In this case, they want to tamper with it by providing incentives. In the US, they flood the labor market with H1Bs and ship whatever jobs they can to low wage countries. They are all for the free market so long as it works in their favor. When it doesn't they whine for bailouts of some sort to fix it.

Comment EE long in decline (Score 4, Interesting) 397

Thirty five years ago, there were at least 50,000 workers employed in electronics manufacturing in the RTP area of NC. I was one of them. I started as an assembler, then as a technician and later as a design engineer. During the 90s, most of these jobs quickly disappeared. Today, there a few small niche players left employing perhaps a few hundred workers. That's it.

I retrained as a software developer and successfully changed careers. It was difficult.

I'm not surprised to see reality check stories like this, particularly after being treated to incessant propaganda about shortages of STEM students over the past couple years. This shortage talk has been going on for decades. Yet, no actual shortages of engineers have materialized.

Comment Re:I'm Sorry, China (Score 1) 634

"That's simply false. Most of the products manufactured in China were (and still are) designed in the U.S. or Europe. "

No. Most electronics manufacturing moved to China by the mid 90s and it wasn't long before the design jobs went there too. I spent 20 years as a circuit designer. By the late 90s, most of those jobs were disappearing. I switched to software.

"America has NO shortage of graduates in the sciences or tech workers."

Now that I agree with.

Comment Re:I'm Sorry, China (Score 3, Interesting) 634

Except the only reason China knows how to build a stereo is because we showed it. America invents the technology, then shows the Chinese robot race how to assemble it like drones. The best they can do is steal it.

That's how it started but lately they have been coming up with the new products. We haven't done much product design in the US for the past 2 decades. Most of the people trained to do that are old now and we haven't been training replacements because there are no jobs here for them.

Comment Not strictly a loss of interest (Score 1) 14

It's harder to get a license today and most young people don't until they're 18. Even then, their parents have to pay for their liability coverage.

It's way more expensive to obtain and operate a vehicle than ever before. Most young people don't have incomes these days. Unless their parents provide them with a car, they don't have the money for one.

All the kids seem interested in is their smart phones. Even when they are at the dinner table, they text incessantly. They don't drive to see each other. They skype each other and play games online.

They don't have jobs and they have instant communications. So they have nowhere to go anyway. So they probably don't feel much need for a car.

Comment Re: AI and robotics and jobs (Score 1) 625

  What would people do without jobs?

They would find something to do. Perhaps it would be something counterproductive or criminal but they would find something to do.

  The majority however would do nothing but become restless, and that would lead slowly to fighting each other.

Fighting each other is a job of sorts and I'm so not sure that the process leading to people fighting each other would be all that slow.

Comment Privatized profits, socialized losses (Score 1) 211

Yep, it's about time the Japanese gov't steps in and takes charge of this mess. TEPCO has demonstrated they don't know what they're doing. Matters can and will get much worse. There are experts worldwide who can be brought in to help. The Russians have some experience with a meltdown. There are probably some TMI era consultants still around. It's going to get very expensive.

We might ought to help them. It's not just their problem. If those fuel rods catch fire, that radioactivity will be drifting towards our Pacific coast.

Comment Re:Already happening (Score 1) 867

"But, tempted though I might be to cancel mail service, you normally have to give mailing addresses for a few critical life elements: job applications, credit cards, bank accounts, taxes, and children school forms."

Don't forget mail from DMV, court summons, legal correspondence and stuff like that which unfortunately comes mixed in with the junk mail.

Comment Does the SEC have any credibility? (Score 1) 176

Madoff operated under their noses for years despite numerous warnings by competitors that his results were impossible and likely a fraud. Wall Street itself is a ponzi scheme.

For several years, one big financial firm after another cratered or had to be bailed out and all we heard from the SEC was crickets. And now they're on the warpath against bitcoin.

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