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Comment No, the reason is laws. (Score 1) 41

There is a reason that American teenagers aren't working in orchards... if growers paid enough to get teens to take the jobs, nobody would be able to afford fruit.

No. The reason is that the laws (child labor, working conditions) make it impossible for them to use teenagers any more.

Meanwhile the illegals can't complain about working conditions - and will work for less than minimum wage in (those occupations where it applies.)

US citizens needn't apply because they can't compete. (Even if they were willing to work for sub-legal prices and/or in sub-legal conditions, the employer can't risk that they might turn around and demand the missing money or compensation for the conditions.) The illegals, meanwhile, can afford to work that cheaply because social programs can pay for much of the support of them and their families - turning programs intended to help the poor into subsidies for their employers.

Meanwhile, the government's non-enforcement of the laws against the illegals working means that, in highly competitive markets (such as construction contracting), employers are left with a Hobson's choice: Use illegal labor and be competitive, or try to use legal labor and go out of business.

Comment Re:Need this refined before I need a knee replacem (Score 1) 46

Actually what you want is a new meniscus, not the whole shebang. And that is certainly a possibility. Again, it's fairly 'simple' - 'just' cartilage. The big issue is going to be testing. It's going to be years before the FDA approves this. They're going to have to find an animal model, run that for a while and then do human trials. And obviously, one of the primary things to look for is longevity. I doubt they will find a mouse model to work with. Need a bigger, slower growing critter.

Probably will show up along with holographic storage and fusion power.

Comment Re:Does this include genitalia? (Score 1) 46

Livers are a smart choice because they're relatively simple - for an organ anyway. The overall structure isn't important, just the hepatocytes, a bunch of immune cells and lots of blood vessels.

  Also given the propensity for humans to trash their livers doing at-home toxicity testing (alcohol is the number one reason for liver transplants, acetaminophen is number 2) there is a huuuge market for replacements. Very clever for a startup.

Comment Part of why Silicon Valley is in CA (Score 1) 342

Most employment agreements are such that the company owns it even if it is outside of normal hours. So inventions you come up with on your own time are not yours.

And one of the key reasons Silicon Valley grew up in California is a law that, in effect, says:
  - As a matter of the state's compelling interest:
  - If you invent something
  - on your own time and not using company resources
  - and it's not in the company's current or expected immediate future business plan
  - you own it
  - regardless of what your employment contract says
  - and employment contracts have to include a notice of this.

Result: People who invent neat stuff their current company won't be productizing can get get together with a few friends, rent a garage across the street, and build a company to develop the new stuff. So companies bud off new companies, doing somewhat different stuff, like yeast. And the opportunity to get in on the ground floor attracts many other skilled people who might not be as inventive, but still wnt to be some of those "few friends" of the inventors.

Comment Re:Need this refined before I need a knee replacem (Score 1) 46

Sooner or later I will need a knee replacement. It would be nice to have a tissue one instead of metal and plastic.

I could use one now. I tore a meniscus in my knee a couple years ago, and it's healed as much as it will - which isn't enough. Surgery options only involve cutting it out (which leaves the bones rubbing each other) or replacing the whole joint (which is not only inferior but doesn't last as long a my current life expectancy).

Being able to drop in a replacement, grown from a printed scaffold of generic materials seeded with my own induced-pluripotent stem cells, would just fix it. (In fact it should fix it to be as good as it was decades ago, or maybe even better than it ever was.)

Comment Single target. (Score 1) 41

All [no standard] means is that websites will write their own version, some already have.

Indeed.

Also: In the race between weapons and armor, weapons always (eventually) win.

By creating a standard and getting the bulk of the "content providers" to adopt it, the WWWC creates a single big target that leads to breaking MOST of the DRM simultaneously. Meanwhile, content providers are left with the choice of getting behind the big target or being non-standard.

Which is fine: Like WEP, or a locked screen door, DRM won't protect things forever. But, like a "No Trespassing" sign, it DOES indicate INTENT forever. Intent of the content provider to limit access, and intent of the unauthorized content viewer to bypass that limit. That takes the "I didn't mean to do it." defence away, and gets any legal cases down to examining whether the poster of the No Trespassing sign had the right to limit the access and/or the crosser of the boundary had a right to obtain access.

Comment Re:The way you ask it? Yes. (Score 1) 342

I can turn the question around: If you hire me to do some work in your house, would you be ok if I cleaned the next doors swimming pool during that time?

And the answer is: it depends.

If i hired you to do some DIY work on my house and i was paying you for the job, you said the job would be complete in X days / by X date, and your activities on the side didn't impede your ability to meet that deadline then sure, i wouldn't care.

If i was paying you by the hour then i would generally expect not to pay you for the hours you were doing something else, but if you billed 8 hours a day, spent 4 hours in the morning working, went to do something else for 4 hours then came back and did another 4 i'd have no problem with it... Similarly if you billed 8 hours a day but worked 6 hours some days and 10 on other days, if it averaged out to around the rate i was paying i'd have no problem.
Also if you were unable to do any work for some reason outside of your control (eg you're waiting for materials and cannot do anything until they arrive) i'd have no problem with you doing something else rather than just sitting around doing nothing.

There's a lot to be said for flexibility, providing it cuts both ways.

Comment Re:Not automatically (Score 1) 342

In the UK it's actually much harder to fire someone than in the US, due to the various employment laws, although employees need to be aware of the law and stand up for their rights.
In the US you can generally fire someone at any time for any reason... In the UK you have to have a justifiable reason, and except in cases of gross misconduct you have to have given the employee both verbal and written warnings as well as having given them a chance to improve (ie in the case of incompetence).

Comment Re:It's not called office hours for nothing (Score 1) 342

The employment agreement does not imply that you will be given increased compensation for doing more work...

On the other hand, if you are paid the same as your peers then it's reasonable to perform a similar level of work. If you are more skilled than your peers then you should either be able to complete the same amount of work to the same standard in less time than they do and have some free time, or you should be paid more if you're completing more work in the same time.

If the employee in question is performing to a similar level as his peers on a similar salary, and he's not doing anything which damages the company or his colleagues then there's no justification to fire him as he's every bit as useful to the company as his colleagues.

Comment Re:This is seriously up to for debate..? (Score 1) 342

A lot of companies expect you to do more than Y hours for no extra $X...

There has to be give and take... I'm expected to do 40 hours a week, sometimes i do 30 and sometimes i do 50, my boss is fine with this so long as the work gets done and he's happy that if work needs to be done outside of normal hours he can ask me to do it. Similarly, i'm happy that i can take a morning off or a long lunch to do my own thing sometimes. It balances out, the work gets done and the staff are happier and more flexible.

On the other hand i worked for a previous company that demanded i sit in the office even if i wasn't working, keep to strict lunchtimes, never be late arriving but often be late leaving, they frequently demanded that i work extra hours for no extra pay, often tried to contact me when i took pre-arranged holiday, or expected me to spend a lot of time travelling to other locations for work. It was all take and no give on their part, so i started working to rule (arrive on time, leave on time, ignore emails/calls out of hours etc), looking for another job and fairly quickly quit that job and moved on.

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