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Comment Re:It's not just money (Score 1) 121

Actually you can. The use of power tools doesn't eliminate the possibility of precision. Anyone that's been forcibly subjected to shop class can attest to this.

It's pretty easy to isolate different requirements for different class of operators.

Not that I buy for a minute that any part of a Trump administration gives a sh*t about "the little guy".

Comment Re:Save 30%, retire early (Score 1) 336

Or even better, zero family or friends.

You know, I think this might be key, especially the family thing.

The 2 people I know who are in their 40s with paid-for houses, good investments (above and beyond 401k, etc) and lots of savings are REALLY cheap people. Relentless coupon clippers. Buy a huge cut of meat at Costco, cook a giant stew and eat it for every meal for a week. Vacation is staying home from work 5 days to paint the house. Can do everything short of an engine rebuild on their car (which they have owned outright for 7+ years). Only watch movies they buy used from the pawn shop. Clothes all bought at discount stores.

And neither one has much of a social life and no spouse or girlfriend.

I don't think living that way would be that hard, but getting other people to put up with it would be. I think women kind of generally look at spending behavior as a kind of signaling -- how well will you take care of me -- and if they see a guy who won't spend on himself, they figure no way, he won't take care of me or will be unpleasantly cheap.

The only *families* I've ever run into that cheap are super religious, scrimping so mom doesn't work or some other kind of lifestyle goal. And I don't think they really are accumulating anything, they just don't have anything because of one income.

Comment Not just software. (Score 2) 115

Performance predictions have an optimistic bias.
It's known as the planning fallacy
It amazes me how people who should really know better fall for this.
For example, if the last time you did it, it took 3 weeks, a good prediction is that this time it's going to take 3 weeks.
Yet most people will predict less than 3 weeks - even if you point out the planning fallacy to them before hand.
I can almost here the rationalizing; "It's not going to take 3 weeks again, because we aren't going to make the same mistakes again."

But it's far, far, worse than just an inability to predict accurately.
Frequently schedules are determined by need rather than reality. As in, we need this done by Tuesday - make the schedule accordingly.

Comment Re:Storage? (Score 1) 368

The bigger problem is that as great as pumped hydro is, there's a lot of awesome places for windmills and solar panels that also happen to be deserts with no water and many are also flat, with no place uphill to pump it to even if you had the water.

The giant battery farms are interesting, but after 10 years what percentage of the batteries need to be replaced? Because battery tech is so primitive, building lots of battery farms with batteries that burn out after a decade starts to sound like a real problem, especially if it involves massive mining efforts for lithium at 10x the current demand.

Personally, I'd like to see more done with raised mass storage, including some of the novel systems using large concrete "pistons" over a column of water. During the day (or when the wind blows, etc), water is pumped under the mass, raising it up, and at night the water flows the other way, spinning the pump/turbine.and generating power.

It's kind of like pumped hydro, but all you need to do is dig two cylinders for pumping the water from/to the mass, you're not as dependent on pre-existing geography.

Comment Re:Most States have these Occupation Codes (Score 2) 662

I've done some subcontracting for engineering firms and most of the "engineers" I worked with did not have PE certification. There were a few senior guys with PEs who signed off everything. I don't know, but after seeing the reams of drawings/plans I find it hard to believe that this system of requiring only PEs to sign off on projects is actually achieving the risk mitigation that is claimed because I don't think the volume of work is realistically reviewable by one guy.

I'm more inclined that PE certification, like so many professional certifications, is mostly about eliminating competition and running a kind of cartel, especially when it gets the kind of self-policing powers that most legislatures grant professional certification boards. If you can obtain a legislative monopoly on your trade *and* gain the power to determine and police who can enter your trade, you're doing pretty well.

I would argue that by making PE certification so complex, thus reducing the number of PEs, engineering is worse off because fewer PEs sign off on the work of non-PEs without truly applying whatever their special magic is to the work (simply too much to check).

It would make sense to make PE certification somewhat easier to obtain without essentially compromising the knowledge required to gain it. You would have a larger pool of people shown competent at engineering, but this would create problems for the engineering business which would face more competition.

Comment Re:Hyrbid? What's Intel's production problem? (Score 1) 143

"Traditional" NAND flash was much more expensive than spinning rust but came in sizes useful at least for boot disk applications *and* delivered overwhelmingly better performance from the same bus/connection as spinning rust.

IMHO, Intel can't pimp this out as faster than NAND flash for more money. Like CPUs, flash storage has more or less hit the speed levels where more speed simply isn't that useful outside of very narrow use cases.

The angle they needed to work was density and write endurance. There's still a fair use case for spinning rust at certain scales, driven mostly by slot limits in server and storage chassis. If you want 40 TB but only have 10 slots, you have to use spinning rust. Providing a solid state disk at this density with superior write endurance would really be a market disruption.

Comment They are also often newer (Score 1) 161

That is another huge determining factor. The big cost is laying the infrastructure. The kind doesn't matter so much. So, if you are doing new deployments, fiber is more likely. The cable company here is all FTTH all the time for new build outs. However once that shit is deployed a replacement is a lot of money that you'd rather not spend. So they are less inclined to do it.

Well new developments also tend to not be low income. Usually middle and upper class is what they target. No surprise then that is where you see more of it.

There are plenty of rich neighbourhoods where I live with no fibre. The one right next to me is a good example. About 2 blocks away, and they have the same cable and DSL offerings I do in my cheap condo. Neither the telco nor cable company feels there's enough money to be made in ripping up and redoing the lines in either place, despite the fact that those houses are almost all 7 figures.

Go out in to a new subdivision though, and it is usually FTTH.

Also when they do rip things up and replace, of course they target the rich places since those people are more willing to spend the money. Offer someone low income the option of $100/month gigabit or $20/month 1.5mbit and they will likely go with the 1/5mbit. Ya it is way more per bit and annoyingly slow on the modern Internet, but it gets the job done and $80/month is a lot in the budget of someone low income.

Comment Re:Electronic gate (Score 1) 119

You only have a gate on your property? How did it get past the gate and the guard at the entrance to the subdivision let alone the gate at the end of the driveway.

Yes gate in my gated community, I dont trust these rich fuckers, and it helps keep the asshole retired guys on the HOA board off my fucking lawn and away from the house.

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