Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:No (Score 2) 312

I think you may have it backwards. As near as I can tell, at my organization, changing the group names in the hierarchy is actually a source of income. See, if you can claim that the reorganization will leverage synergies or some other intangible, and get corperate to buy into it; they will give you a bunch of overhead money and secretarial support to implement the change. And free overhead money and secretarial support is like, no, better than gold-plated ponies.

Comment Re:Very Old News (Score 1) 394

That was my first thought as well. We've known that CFCs were going to be phased out of medical applications for several years (see the wikipedia page on albuterol [salbutamol] It sounds like the cost issue is related to patents on CFC-free albuterol inhalers, so there's minimal market competition to bring the price down.

One of the questions that I have, and that has been posed by several other poster, is why epinephrine inhalers cannot be formulated to use non-CFC propellants. The trick could be that the aforemetioned patents cover all FDA-approved non-CFC inhalers, so no-one has moved to make a compliant product until they had to.

It also sounds like several of the patents were set to expire in 2012, so this could quickly become a non-issue.

Comment Re:Tax Breaks (Score 1) 35

I'm with you (and the Register) that in this case the tax breaks offered to Broadcomm went primarily into acquisitions, which will probably result in a net loss of jobs from the combined companies in the short term (who knows about the long term, but from the sound of things, Broadcomm really just wants to buy some patents anyway).

I'm not sure I agree with you (and the Register) that tax breaks have been demonstrated to be useless in general. Of course, tax breaks "line the pockets of big [and small] corporations"; from the corporation's perspective, they represent a reduction in the cost of doing business, and those savings will of course be plowed into other things, like hiring more people, or paying better dividends, or acquiring other companies, etc.

I argue that the particular companies and industries targeted by the tax breaks is also important. Giving tax breaks to fabless semiconductor firms doesn't seem like a good way to create a lot of blue-collar, middle-class jobs (which seems to be what we want and need). Instead, you'd expect to see a small increase in white-collar jobs (say, 100 EEs hired to design more microchips), and a small comensurate increase in crappy, no-growth, service industry jobs (secretaries, restaurant staff where the EEs eat, gas station operators, etc). Efficiencies of scale and simple wage division indicate your service industry growth won't be radically more than your white collar growth (crude estimate, 2-4x = 400-800 service jobs for 200 white-collar jobs).

If you wanted to create blue-collar jobs with good mobility, you'd need to give tax breaks to, at least, semiconductor fabricators. And while that would probably temporarily create a number of good construction jobs building a new fab plant; with the levels of automation in the industry, I don't know how many jobs it would create to actually run the plant.

My preference in this case would be a simplified tax code, with both a reduction in the base tax rate, and reduction in the tax break and exceptions, so that the net income to the government is the same, and everyone pays their fair share, and we don't have to waste a lot of money on crafty accountants and tax lawyers, who aren't producing any tangleable goods, or practical science or technology (whether the government should be taxing corporations at all is another discussion, I'm assuming we've agreed taxing corporations is possible and acceptable).

Comment Re:About time (Score 2) 212

It looks like the Ford and Carter bans on nuclear waste reprocessing were overturned by Reagan. The Wikipedia page on nuclear reprocessing has an overview of the current situation, and a link to a more in-depth summary of US reprocessing policy here (pdf).

Based on a quick read, it looks like one of the big hold-ups is that while the US isn't banning fuel reprocessing, it isn't subsidising it either; but that's just from a quick read and I encourage you to do your own analysis.

Further, reading over the Wikipedia page, it looks like there have been some substantial improvements in the reprocessing chemistry that go a long way to mitigating the proliferation risks that were a concern in the 1970's.

Comment Time / Motion Studies (Score 1) 87

Has anyone seen if the time and motion studies people have looked into this. I feel like there could be a market for bringing in a Kinect system and having it watch workers performing manufacturing tasks. It would allow you to collect and analyze the motion data without needed human analysts, high-speed film, or motion-capture suits. It could also be useful for in-situ motion studies, where you take the entire shop ecosystem into account.

Slashdot Top Deals

Weekend, where are you?