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Comment Yes, inherently unpredictable, needs percentages (Score 1) 12

Even with known and well understood languages/technologies/frameworks, you can and will run into glitches that can take days to complete something that was supposed to take hours - or even longer if the developers are not skilled in debugging and isolating problems!

StackOverflow has helped the industry in this regard, because now a lot of times you can reduce some mysterious problem to a fifteen second StackOverflow search which instantly answers the issue. But not always, and there are always issues when actually programming any design that you can uncover hidden flaws and need to correct them.

What I would love to see is some kind of approach that instead of a time estimate, gave a time along with a percentage of confidence. Two different tasks may seem to take about five hours, with one you are 90% sure it can be done in five hours, with another (like brand new code) it can be more of a 50% five hours. Then you could use this percentage to determine the actual areas of coding likely to cause schedule issues and monitor them more closely. The other nice benefit of this approach is that it factors in the actual developer understanding and abilities more than just a straight hour estimate. Maybe you even put a cap on how high a confidence level a developer is allowed to give until they have met given estimates a number of times already...

Coding is a chaotic system, yes, but it's not like it's fully chaotic, and there are patterns within the chaos I think you could determine over time.

Comment Re:Yes but (Score 1) 655

The problem with your assessment is that the board is not saying he can't say what he wants about the traffic lights; the board is saying he has claimed he was an engineer when there are strict rules in Oregon about claiming that. As for the traffic lights, the state board has specifically told him that they fall under the jurisdiction of the City of Beaverton and not the state but they would take a complaint should he wish to file one.

OSBEELS investigator Wilkinson reviewed Jarlstrom’s communication as well as his website and then responded, explaining that the traffic formulas the City of Beaverton utilizes are governed by the Oregon Department of Transportation ( ODOT ) and are not within OSBEELS’ jurisdiction

Comment Re:Trust me I am a doctor (Score 1) 655

If you are educated as an engineer and passed all exams, you're an engineer, no matter what a state board says.

You are aware that to be a Professional (or Licensed) Engineer requires you to pass at least two exams, right? By your logic, he's not an engineer because he didn't pass his final two exams. An accredited university or college can grant you a degree; they cannot grant you a license in by a state board to be an engineer. Now for some engineering disciplines, it is not absolutely necessary to have the license; however, it is absolutely required if you want to sign off on any construction diagrams or blueprints.

Comment Re:Yes but (Score 1) 655

According to his reply it's because he isn't offering services 'to the public', whatever that may mean, and some reply above [slashdot.org] seems to explain that in fact it's because (he claims) he's not 'practicing' engineering in Oregon.

What is missing from the articles and are in the minutes are specific reasons by the board: "Jarlstrom had verbiage on his website where he claimed to be an engineer, as well as referring to himself as an engineer in multiple emails to OSBEELS and other members of the public. Jarlstrom modified a commonly used traffic engineering formula and submitted it to various public entities while claiming to be an engineer. "

As an analogy, I would say if I hold a medical degree but never passed my boards, I am not a doctor. However if I make statements about medical treatments to the public about while proclaiming that "I am a doctor" would you say that I am operating without a license? Most people would probably say yes.

Comment Re:Unrealistic for you, maybe (Score 2) 249

The problem is routine medical not subsidized is several hundred dollars a visit. Times a wife and two kids and you are talking about thousands annually.

Women have been giving birth since the dawn of mankind. Yet now the average child birth costs $30,000.00

Something where the doctors do little but monitor costs more than a car. Now I would rather have a doctor monitoring the situation as a lot can go wrong quickly, but that's a lot of money for just in case.

Health care expenses are so far out of whack it isn't funny. The whole industry is out of whack and keeps pushing itself farther away.

Comment Re:It's pretty simple (Score 1) 204

Not true. I look at both. Energy star it means this appliance uses less than some average for that appliance.

That means if an energy star device is $100 more than an non energy star device you will save money in electricity bills. Of course lower bills for the next 10 years might be nothing to a rich person like yourself but saving money is a good bet in the long haul. Lastly energy star devices also tend to last longer as they waste less electricity. Less wasted electricity is less heat which increases life expectancy.

You can save a lot just by picking energy star vs non energy star on two similar items.

Comment Re:Yes but (Score 1) 655

No I read the actual minutes from the board in their dealings with him:

Jarlstrom initially cont acted OSBEELS via email requesting assistance investigating transportation engineering in Beaverton, Oregon. In that email, Jarlstrom stated that he was already working to protect the health, safety and welfare of the general public. He claimed that two City of Beaverton engineers were misapplying engineering practices and expressed interest in being a Board member because he was, “ already doing this kind of work .” . . .

Wilkinson cautioned Jarlstrom that claiming to be an engineer or using the title of engineer without registration is a violation. Jarlstrom responded, stating that he would correct his website and refrain from use of verbiage indicating he is an engineer. . .

In subsequent emails Jarlstrom sent to OSBEELS, he stated, “ I’m an excellent engineer as you can see from the results I can deliver to the world ” and further asserted that he is exempt from licensure which is, “ why I can call myself an engineer .” Jarlstrom claimed to be exempt from registra tion requirements because he was not offering engineering services to the public.

It seems like the board warned him that he could not use the title at least a few times and he simply disregarded that.

Comment Re:The Cloud (Score 1) 70

This isn't the reason the cloud makes a terrible backup. The thing that you want to avoid with a backup is correlated failures: things that cause a failure of your primary store should be different from things that cause a failure of your backup. Your house burning down or thieves coming and stealing your computers will cause failures of both your original and on-site backups. It's a lot less likely that the founder of your cloud provider will be arrested for the same reason that you lose your laptop.

Remember: it only matters if your backup storage fails at the same time as your on-line storage.

Comment Re:SF salaries are too low (Score 1) 339

No, he's right. To afford a standard of living comparable to what the same engineer would be able to afford elsewhere, he needs to make $500K/year. That's obviously not sustainable for his employer, which means that the rational thing to do is start moving jobs out of the bay area (which some companies have already started - Microsoft closed the bay area Microsoft Research site a year or two back, for example).

Comment Re:Poster does not understand Algebra (Score 1) 339

You can address that by having a progressive tax. In the UK, there are tax-free savings accounts that have a limited pay-in amount per year[1], income on which is exempt from income tax. You could do the same thing with a wealth tax: anything in a tax-free savings account doesn't count. You could perhaps also add an exemption for money in your primary residence, up to the median house price in your region. Beyond that, add a tax-free allowance of something like $50K and most people will pay nothing.

The real problem with such a scheme is that it's open to tax avoidance. It's fine for poor people, whose wealth is typically in cash form and so easily valued, but what about wealth held in private stocks in off-shore corporations? Those currently don't even need to be disclosed, and if they are then it's often very difficult to determine the value of the company (especially if it's a shell company that owns other shell companies that own real assets, with arbitrary levels of indirection in the middle). To make it work, you need complete financial transparency on all private companies.

[1] When they were introduced, this was about £3K, which was pretty reasonable. If you're earning 50% more than minimum wage in most of the country, you can get close to this. Now it's over £10K, which effectively makes it a tax break for the rich. Unfortunately, it doesn't roll over either, so if you have irregular income then you couldn't put in nothing one year and then £6K the next.

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