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Comment Fashion Accessory? (Score 5, Insightful) 472

I don't own any Macs, but my next computer will be a Mac. It's more than a fashion statement.

Linux still doesn't "just work." If it does "just work," it's probably because you have old hardware. Linux will probably never be ready for the desktop unless hardware stops changing.

Microsoft? They've completely crossed the line with Windows 10. They're trying to make it like a big phone with invasion of privacy and telemetry. Microsoft has abandoned power users. I suppose gamers still need to use it, but they're giving up a lot.

Chromebooks aren't made for power users and are glorified web browsers.

What's left? Macs. They have good support, a desktop that works, and are based on BSD. Since it's not really a gaming platform, having the latest and greatest specs aren't that important, but generally they have solid specs. Expensive? They retain their resale value. I wish I could get rid of my 2014 Asus Zenbook even though it's really fast. Windows 10 is horrible and the drivers are constantly breaking when there are updates. I doubt I'd get a fair value on eBay or Craigslist, and I don't want to expose myself to fraud and/or idiots.

Comment Innotive frameworks (Score 1) 397

I find that a lot of the open-source software/frameworks that I use seem to be written in North America and Europe, where there still seems to be a focus on broader education than STEM-obsessed India and China. In my experience, the people with new and interesting ideas are often people who have a wide variety of knowledge that they can drawn on.

Specializing to the point of shunning other fields is the domain of technicians. There's nothing wrong with being a technician, but generally they are not the ones driving innovation.

Comment The average person should be able to quickly... (Score 2) 183

...find out what the law is on a given subject. The current case-law system worked for a limited network of courts and practitioners (in England) who could refer to older cases for jurisprudence. Now, you have to pay thousands of dollars to have access to digital/searchable caselaw in a sprawling network of courts across a continent. In a democracy people should know what the law says.

Comment Re:More useful than my high school options (Score 2, Interesting) 259

Interesting point, but most German engineers are going to speak English better than you can speak German. I imagine the same is true for Japan. The advantage of Spanish (or what people realize less often, French) is that you have large poorer territories in South America and especially Africa where perhaps there'd be more difficulty getting someone with US tech experience to head up an office.

This is primarily a question of how much we value general education though. People forget the main reason to learn a second language is just an exercise in learning and seeing how another language works. Most people are never going to speak a second language well enough to use it professionally. People who want a university education should still have to have a well-rounded education even if they're majoring in CS. That means learning some history and foreign language.

Comment The Possibility that People Are Not Working at Wrk (Score 2) 529

This seems to ignore the possibility that people aren't always working while at their employer's premises. I've seen that happen as I think most people have. Just because someone is in their office doesn't mean that they're not playing solitaire. It always comes down to getting your work done or not. If people can get the same work done but have more relaxation time, what's the problem? If you force them to sit at their desk, they'll surf the internet. If you're really aggressive they'll just start making up plausible-deniability busy work.

Comment Re:Simpler explanation (Score 2) 91

Yes, this is likely related to the economy and changing attitudes about education.

Some of these attitudes are becoming a bit extreme though. I've noticed snobbery and contempt for people who don't specialize in math or science. It may ultimately lead to a sense of entitlement for these science and math majors that goes unsatisfied. Already in the post-doc world and in academia we see signs of saturation. And the salaries in these fields aren't high enough to indicate dramatic unmet demand.

More and more I think the educational arms race is a bad thing. Most of these people will not end up doing rocket science at a desk somewhere. Perhaps the education will benefit society more indirectly but I think in many cases it may be a waste of time and money in the long run.

Comment There's nowhere left to hide... (Score 3, Insightful) 999

I think I've read stories about people from just about anywhere feeling the need to move in order to escape bad economic conditions. You hear a lot about people bringing up Australia or Germany. I don't see any long-term scenario in which other countries of the world are flailing but Germany and Australia are thriving. Economies are too interdependent these days.

One should choose a city where they have the strongest base of support from family and friends. If thinks get worse, you will need to rely on those people.

Comment It's not just starving artists /welfare recipients (Score 5, Interesting) 373

Reading some of the early comments, it seems like people are acting like this just affects artists or poor black people or that this is somehow a reversal of white flight (largely a middle-class phenomenon).

I grew up in San Francisco and still live in the Bay Area. Middle-class and even many (by national standards) upper-middle class people have been and continue to be pushed out of the city. It's not really about racial diversity either. It's a socio-economic and cultural thing. It's also an age thing. To me the quintessential San Francisco resident is a yuppy transplant female in her late 20s or early 30s . She works in tech marketing. She's a foodie and loves visiting all the trendy new brunch places and maybe hitting up a street fair afterwards. She could be white, Asian, hispanic or something else. That doesn't mean it's not monotonous and homogenous. It is homogenous and that's what people are complaining about. And if you want to have a family in San Francisco, you need to be downright wealthy. So there's nothing wrong with being a young professional in itself, but when that's all a city has it's lost a lot of its character.

Anyway, such is life in a market economy. I don't know if there's a right or wrong here and a city like San Francisco has seen waves of demographic changes. But don't think this is like people complaining if white people were to return to inner-city Detroit. This is nothing like that. This is really an entire city becoming like the wealthier parts of Manhattan. I don't expect people from other cities to care, but as a San Francisco native I wish Silicon Valley had been a place in Washington state.

Comment Re:Questions (Score 1) 1046

I can recognize people's voices when they are relatively calm. I don't have a lot of experience recognizing people's screams at a distance over a telephone, but it seems like even when people call me at a distance to get my attention that I can't identify them until I see them.

Also, you say the vocal cords don't change but clearly the human body (including in the throat and not just the mouth) is capable of deforming to create a variety of sounds, no?

Comment Questions (Score 1) 1046

Isn't it fair to assume the expert is using the publicly available samples? IIRC one of the experts in the Sentinel article suggested that the difference between the two samples (sound and screaming vs. being relatively calm) doesn't matter. Can someone explain more technically why it wouldn't matter? At the very least, doesn't interference and other factors come into play with the recording taken at a distance, i.e., the one where is screaming.

Comment Grass is Always Greener (Score 2) 694

I'm always amazed how every profession thinks they have it the worst. The grass is always greener on the other side. If you look at Department of Labor statistics, science and engineering is a _comparatively_ good place to be. The problem is people want the economy to reward their intelligence and overall contributions to society. That's not how it works. It works on supply and demand. There's always going to be a huge demand for people that can sell things. Does that mean you should be in sales? If you do you're not really that into science to begin with.

Most "meaningful" jobs won't pay you tons and tons of money. Maybe that's because you're getting satisfaction out of your job unlike a corporate lawyer who looks over SEC reports for 12 hours a day. I imagine this is built into the wages. As others have said, do what you enjoy.

Comment You'll never know what you'll need your records... (Score 1) 366

I'm not sure why everybody "don't worry about it." If you have things archived digitally it doesn't interfere with your life. And frequently proper documentation can be the difference between success and failure in a dispute with a company or organization or even a lawsuit. It's also often interesting to see how you were thinking or what you were doing in the past.

Personally, I store as much as my information in PDFs, JPGs, and select documents that I change often in MS Office formats (worse case scenario if MS goes out of business I can print them as PDFs too). The frequently-changed documents are the ones with the notes about miscellaneous projects I have. Most projects have their own documents. I organize these in a simple directory structure with folders such as Finances and Photos. I make sure to separate things I rarely or never access with subdirectories so they don't clutter things up. It's not as fancy as having everything on Evernote or the cloud but it works and is in your control.

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