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Comment Re:Nothing new here (Score 1) 117

given that self driving cars cannot handle streets that have not been mapped to millimeter precision, or road constructions, or bad weather, or any of a million other real life conditions.

That's ... not how self-driving cars work. They rely on onboard sensors to follow the lane and deal with a variety of hazards. They aren't ready yet because the bar is so high, but they already work most of the time, even in bad weather with road construction.

there's no reason to believe anyone alive to day will live to see true self driving cars.

They're already here. Volvo will have 100 around the world this year (a few are already on the road in Sweden). General availability will be a few more years, but Volvo won't release them until they're safe (unlike Tesla). Self-driving functionality is a big chunk of Volvo's "no deaths in a new Volvo in 2020" plan.

Comment Re:It must really suck... (Score 1) 524

H1B's are not laying down roots, they are not getting married and having kids, they are not buying homes, and they are not making consumer purchases aside from necessities

I've known about 100 H1-B workers in my career - all but two of them were married, had kids, bought homes, made plenty of consumer purchases, eventually got their green card, and are still living here. One exception just had bad luck with his wife being laid off in an economic downturn, and they moved back to India because she really didn't want to be a stay-at-home mom. The other moved to Australia, got married, etc. etc.

Are you in "IT" and not software development?

Comment Re: Threshold (Score 1) 402

The used Honda Civic will be a better car in every way than the new 70s Malibu, is the thing.

The real argument here is that "a new car that keeps up with the Jones's" doesn't get cheaper. That's just the thing: status symbols, even small ones like a new family sedan, can never get cheaper, by definition. People complaining about how stuff doesn't get cheaper are usually talking about that. The equivalent car keeps getting cheaper, but that stops being the car that impresses over time.

Yup, no matter what happens with technology, or Socialism, or anything else economic whatsoever, it can never get cheaper to impress your neighbors with your status symbol. The upside is: that's why automation will never leave everyone jobless, as the cheaper it is, the more it fails the status test, so there's always something left to do.

Comment Re:Do you know how to read? (Score 1) 402

Tehre are over a million skilled manufacturing jobs sitting unfilled in the US. There's a vast labor shortage in all the skilled trades. We're failing as a nation to enable people to take skilled blue-collar jobs. Our obsession with "everyone goes to college" is making high school worthless for half the population. The near absence of quality, reputable vocational training is really sad. But the jobs are there.

Comment Re:Kill it with fire (Score 1) 524

A visa program where you get into the US by having a company sponsor you for a professional job is a good thing - it's sold evidence you'll be a net-contributor to the system. But it needs to covert to a green card quickly. If the median H1-B holder got a green card in 1-2 years, it would be fine. But now its, what, 3-5 years depending on whether you have a master's? Too long; allows for too much exploitation.

Comment Re: Threshold (Score 1) 402

You're arguing causation from correlation. Stop that. Car cost more because of a tall stack of regulations about safety and emissions. They cost more because we collectively decided it was better that they should cost more. And you can certainly buy a decent used car for $5000 today (and even more so an inflation-adjusted $5000), and that Honda Civic will outperform the 70s Malibu in every way.

Comment Re:No H1-Bs for high rent areas (Score 1) 524

Silicone Valley blows goats climate-wise. Only Southern Ca, and a bit of Napa Valley are nice. And, sure Northern Cali has culture - like a Petri dish has culture.

Silly Valley sucks less than the Midwest and the rust belt, no doubt, but that's not saying much.

It's just the network effect. There are very few hubs for tech jobs, because companies want to hire locally if possible, and smart people move to where the jobs are, so you get the normal sort of power law distribution.

Comment Re:100k minimum won't impact Microsoft or other te (Score 1) 524

Plenty. Less at MS than most tech companies, but when I was there it seemed about 1/3-1/2 (as opposed to about 2/3 at most left-coast tech software companies).

In software development, H1-Bs are just where most talent enters the pool, and as the industry is still so biased towards young talent, most of the workforce is still in the first 5 years of the industry. Most H1-B holders I've known over the years have green cards now, BTW, as the years went on.

Comment Re:Well Trump has one thing right (Score 1) 524

Every large company in Silly Valley has a legal team and things nothing of hiring H1-Bs away form competitors. It's not any harder to change jobs - but you make about $10k less than someone not needing sponsorship, because that's the cost of the legal team.

All the problem with H1-Bs are in the consultant body-shops. Simply banning B1-Bs from consulting jobs would fix basically everything, though a $100k minimum would fix it as well.

Comment Re: Threshold (Score 1) 402

You're talking about new inventions, which misses the point. Any technology will experience a cost decrease in its beginning but then it levels out. I'm sure before the Ford Model-T came out cars were considered a luxury item for the wealthy, but people were also doing fine without cars. Yet the Chevy Malibu of 1970 when adjusted for inflation was cheaper than a Chevy Malibu of today. There will be no point in time where a new vehicle costs $2000, it just won't happen.

Below a certain price point, people want more features instead of a cheaper product. The Chevy Malibu is not the same product it was in the 70s - it's barely comparable. In terms of safety, reliability, performance, and fuel economy, the modern version (which is pretty bad across the board by today's standards) blows away the 70s version. There's both called the same name, but they aren't equivalent.

There is no connection to the price point of a product and the cost to make it, what matters only is demand.

And, you know, supply. That's why the price levels off at some point: stuff becomes fully commoditized, margins fall to where there's little point in new manufacturers getting involved. But even then, over decades, things change. Washing machines, TVs, and refrigerators are much better product now feature-wise that 60 years ago, even if they don't last as long. (And I don't know what fancy rich enclave you grew up in, but where I grew up most households were single-mother-income, and still TV and fridge were taken for granted).

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