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Comment Re:Well... (Score 1) 642

you can't produce bomb grade nuclear fuel in a basement or a small cave.

Yes you can. You simply get the fissile material by scraping the radioactive dials of 12k glow-in-the-dark watch faces. Some kid back in the 80's did it..... what was his name..... ?? Oliver W. Jones.

it was totally covered in the Bloom County Register by that reporter, Berkeley Breathed.

Comment The real barrier to tech companies (Score 2) 130

This being slashdot, I didn't bother clicking through to read the whole thing. But the most important advantage that the car companies have wasn't in the summary: regulatory capture.

They own the legislatures in several midwestern states and they own the state and federal regulatory agencies as much as the agencies own them.

They have already managed to get a law passed in Michigan that was hailed as the most permissive framework in the nation for autonomous cars. The one thing that everyone missed is that only car manufacturers can apply for a license. So no google, no apple, no any of the other parts manufacturers who are building autonomous driving subsystems. (Actually google fought for and received a "grandfathered" status for their tests)

The car companies are currently pushing the same legislation in neighboring states.

Comment Being on a board of directors is good work (Score 5, Insightful) 198

That's good work if you can get it. A couple of hours per quarter, and the company usually flies you in and puts you up in swanky digs and takes you out for expensive dinners.

And for the effort he managed to pull in some $60+ million in bonus incentives. Nice.

Although, given his history as a politician who complained of many things of "the rich", including CEOs making exorbitant salaries and bonuses..... Doesn't that make this..... I dunno, ironic seems inadequate.

Still, if you are looking for someone to sit on your board, I'll be happy to do it at half that rate!

Comment Re:How about muscles and virility? (Score 4, Interesting) 138

This was exactly my first impression.

And these are not easily dismissed reasons. Muscle mass is important as you move into your 70's and 80's for more than vanity.

I wish our obsession with sports didn't taint this area so much. So there's a couple of thousand people who would like to take steroids and hormones to enhance their chances in athletics at the top level.... big deal. There are tens of million of people who would love to have a safe and effective way to convert a couple of pounds of fat into muscle and improve the resiliency of their tendons and ligaments.

When I was in grad school back around 1990 there was a study on genetically obese rabbits that showed that doses of angesterone had a dramatic effect on the male rabbits. They didn't lose weight, but they converted fat to muscle without exercise. And they had a reduction in heart and coronary disease. And they had an increase in libido. All with small doses of angesterone.

Now, I don't know where that led. But how many people would line up for a pill or shot that would convert fat to muscle without exercise, make your heart healthier and increase your sex drive? But it gets squashed as an area of medicine because of fears of doping in sports.

Comment Re: Wasting time on fiddly shit (rant) (Score 3, Informative) 165

I think I used to work with her!

My favorite is:

$user: I can't find my document!

$me: Where did you save it?

$user: In Word.

$me: Yes, I understand it was a Word doc... but where did you save it? Was it in your network documents folder? On your team's shared folder?

$user: Oh, yeah. Sorry. It was in Word. .... Fast forward 10 minutes as I look through recent documents and other breadcrumb trails and ask questions about the contents of the document in question.

$me: Is this what you were looking for? (pointing to an excel spreadsheet)

$user: Yes! That's it! Thank you so much! I hate this computer..... it is always losing my documents! Can I get a new computer?

Comment Re:Your milage may vary (Score 4, Interesting) 165

This was exactly my reaction. It entirely depends on the people involved and the job to be done.

The most productive programmer I ever worked with was remote for more than half the time we worked together. She'd have her kids running around in the background while we were collaborating. But as I'd describe an idea I had for solving some tricky multi-system, multi-business problem you'd here the clickety-clack of a keyboard mixed with the sounds of preschool children playing. And usually by the time I had finished explaining the idea to the team she'd say, "you mean something like this" and post a preliminary version of the solution I was describing.

She was crazy fast - both mentally and with her keyboard skills. So you could work with her being anywhere. And in her particular case, I think she was better remote... because she didn't have to do the office dance and chat in the breakroom or any of the other stuff that wasn't really her thing. She could just build amazing stuff.

On the other hand, I have worked with guys who needed their hand held in order to get their best work. Not just someone looking to make sure they were working instead of goofing off, but also a team concept to make sure they kept moving in the right direction. There are a lot of programmers who get excited about an idea they have and can go off on a tangent. I've had several guys who would, if left to their own devices, build a really cool bit of code that doesn't actually address the issue at hand. Because they lost sight of the forest and got way too interested in the trees. For these sort of folks, having a team in the same room is a big help. Because they are going to say "hey, check this out" before they get too far down the wrong path. Whereas they might work for 5 hours on the wrong thing before saying anything if they were remote.

Comment Standard answer for new technology (Score 1) 120

I wonder how long it will be before these are more than just a prototype?

They'll be ready for production in about 5 years. Cool tech always is about 5 years away from production. New batteries with double the capacity, new processor with half the power consumption, new hard drive tech that exponentially increases capacity..... all 5 years out.

It is 10 years if it is a basic science breakthrough, like room temperature superconductors or desktop fusion reactors.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 1) 798

It looks to me like your logic is completely backwards on this one.

Cajoling, threatening, ostracizing and assaulting people who take on non-traditional gender roles would certainly reduce the number of people who chose to outwardly express this desire. But would the absence of such coercion really increase the number of people who had those feelings in the first place?

Bruce Jenner lived the life of the uber-male, being a world-renowned athlete and spokesman. The entire time he felt that he was truly a woman. But he was too afraid to admit it in public. Or even in private. Precisely because of the social mores you are talking about.

If "The World's Greatest Athlete" can be transgender but be too afraid to admit it, the same could certainly be true for a whole bunch of skinny little kids who aren't likely to ever win a fist fight.

No, this knife cuts the other way. It is prima-facia evidence that people are being coerced into hiding their true feelings out of fear.

All that being said.... I agree that running around calling the other 95+% of people "cis" is a bit weird. I realize that we are just trying like the dickens to avoid using words like "normal" because that might hurt someone else's feelings by indirectly implying that they might not be "normal".... but really folks, it is a bit goofy. When a label applies to well north of 90% of the population, we don't usually see fit to mention it. You don't go around calling everyone who can see "sighted". Nor do you run around prefixing everyone who can walk with "ambulatory".

But we are in a transition phase, so some of this overreach is to be expected. Give it another 10 or 15 years and this goofiness should all be a distant memory. The activists will quit trying to insist that everyone use nonsensical pronouns like "Xe", and the throwbacks will quit insulting people by refusing to call them by the name they chose or by a gender other than their choice.

Comment Re: Unlimited? (Score 1) 196

Small cells negate the "limited amount of spectrum" argument. It's a financial + logistical + political/regulatory limitation, not a technical one.

Technology will eventually advance to the point that the financial consideration is less important. We're already working with beam-forming -- a technology that's existed for decades, in radar applications -- for instance. Wireless is the future, no matter what the naysayers think, and if you're still thinking of "spectrum" as the limiting factor you're behind the curve. Makes me think of the folks who deploy IPv6 for the first time and start worrying about the "waste" of addresses.

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