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Comment Re:I own one... (Score 3, Informative) 128

I assume you mean $30,000, not $30.

No... I mean $30. They've switched valuation sources since I last checked on the suit. It's no longer KBB, it's now some national dealer's valuation system that apparently deprecates much more on mileage. So it takes both their estimated offer, and the compensation to cover what's left on my loan. Couple that with buying in a high cost state with sky high sales taxes and license fee's, and then moving to a lower cost state, it's just a wipe out. It doesn't even leave me with enough money to go pay the "due at signing" fee's to lease a Kia.

So I took a loss on the value of my trade in when I bought the VW thinking I'd have a solid 200k mi vehicle that would last me 10+ years, and now I'm getting shafted on the buyback valuation. The 2 years I owned the vehicle were not free. I was making payments the whole time, with the expectation that in another 2 years I'd get ~5 years of no car payments. You can call that subsidizing my lifestyle, but I call it theft.

Comment I own one... (Score 2) 128

I own a 2014 model... Less than 40k miles. Basically, I can turn my car in, and walk away with $30. According to them anyway... No restitution for sales tax and fee's paid when I bought it, no restitution for my lost time and the anguish of having to go to a car dealership and buy something else. Hell, I'm not sure they're even going to cover the sales tax to turn it in. I've moved states since buying it, and I think this state will want to collect taxes on the buyback...

Comment Re:JWST operates in the infrared (Score 4, Informative) 47

View all the light and decode it later.

It's really difficult to make all the light reflect & refract usefully thru a common optical chain. IR mirrors and lenses are quite different from visible light optics, and quite different again from UV & X-ray optics. The IR mirror in Webb likely has absorption lines in the visible spectrum that would "eat" the signal before it made it to the collector.

Comment Re:Undoing the EDS merger...interesting. (Score 3, Informative) 147

The only long term future I see for these kinds of companies is with government agencies. Agencies in most countries basically aren't allowed to spend agency money on in-house resources. It's always assumed that services companies provide more value for taxpayers' funds, but we know that's not the case. I think that now that companies can offload lots of their day to day IT to cloud providers like Amazon or Microsoft, there will be fewer places for the CSCs of the world to ply their "best practices" trade. It'll be the totally lazy companies that want nothing to do with IT, or agencies that have no choice but to outsource.

Don't be so quick to dismiss CSC. CSC bought Servicemesh, which provides them with one hell of a cross-cloud management platform. Agility Platform ties together AWS, Azure, Rackspace, etc... and a company's in-house vSphere clusters. It's kind of a DevOps monster... Setup the blueprint templates, and policy engine... You can literally have a team of three or four people managing 20+k instances... Add / Drop capacity as needed, and float to which cloud provider is cheapest at the moment.

Comment Not even the correct definition of Snowshoe.... (Score 3, Informative) 68

A snowshoe spreads the load of the wearer over a larger area, making it less likely the wearer will exceed the crush strength of the snow and sink in.

Snowshoe spam spreads the SMTP submission task across many IP addresses. So if one gets blocked, they can simply discard it and rent another to replace it. Change IP addresses every hour, and it gets difficult to update the block lists fast enough.

Comment Re:Off the roads, now! (Score 1) 471

Although the government has been saying they are still legal to drive and sell I can't see how that is true. They do not meet the requirements to be on the road and any use should be immediately prohibited with VW ordered to repurchase all affected vehicles at original price and to pay all costs for replacement transportation until impacted drivers can obtain a US-legal alternative.

Oh Please... Sure just throw people under the bus... I own one of the impacted vehicles. A 2014 Passat TDI with the urea injection system. It has a 5 gallon urea tank under the trunk, which gets sprayed into the exhaust stream to mitigate oxides of nitrogen (NOx). VW does tell you anything about it, they fill it when you do the ~10k mi service interval. The injection is roughly 2 - 6% of the fuel burned. We made it the 10k service without adding any "DEF" urea solution. We did the 20k a bit early and had some electrical issues serviced, this resulted in a software flash of the PCM, etc... I got a "DEF" warning at 24k miles. So I'm left with two thoughts:

1. They didn't fill the tank at the 20k service.
2. Based on the 2% lower limit, and my 40+ mpg fuel economy, they more than doubled the injection rate when I had the 20k service done. 2% = ~10k miles.

For the new vehicles, this is a software issue. You can fix it in a patch. For the older vehicles, it's still likely a software patch. Add a pre-injection pulse to preheat the air on compression, and lower the overall combustion temps. This will likely affect power & fuel economy, those buyers will have a case. I likely do not. Either way... No need to disrupt a couple million people's lives.

Comment CSU Hayward... (Score 1) 136

I goof'ed off in high school, taking ROP & technician track classes. This was back when they taught things like "Electronics Repair" in high school. I went to a local community college, and re-did the entire math sequence thru Calculus, took chemistry, etc... I spent a lot of time in the library, and found myself following the Jolitz BSD effort in Dr. Dobbs. I learned TCP/IP networking via packet radio (Ham radio), using Phil Karn's software. I met a Unix Sysadmin at a local ham radio club about the same time I transferred to Uni and settled into a science program. Early 1992 I found myself trying to write finite element code on my ageing 286 clone. I picked up a 386 motherboard and a bit more RAM, but couldn't really make use of it under DOS. I asked my sysadmin friend what happened to the 386BSD effort, and he pointed me at a USENET post by this guy in Finland. Went to school early, so I could line up 4 systems in the computer lab, and downloaded on a stack of 5-1/4 inch floppies... My first kernel was Kernel 0.95a.

Comment Re:Demographics (Score 1) 256

Parents are the biggest shortcoming in the education of children today.

Have you seen the tripe that passes for curriculum these days? Believe me a certain percentage of the parents are tuning them out because they've become politically indoctrinating baby-sitters.

Sylvan is damned expensive too...

Comment Re:San Francisco != Silicon Valley (Score 1) 410

If you're trying to live the American Dream of having it all, Silicon Valley is very expensive.

Exactly... But the other tech hubs offer choices. A lot of geeks disparage the other hubs as backwaters and diss the "bubba" factor. But... You can pick your poison. That's really all I'm saying. Greater San Jose offers two choices, the frugal but wise for the locale lifestyle you have chosen, or the tortured attempt at balancing a traditional 3bd/2ba w/kids + dog family lifestyle your brother is likely attempting in an economy built to blow bubbles and then pop. Where I call you out for your choice is that I ask if you have made an honest choice, or just been smart enough to not fight the local fight. Only you can answer that, and the answer is only correct for you. That said, you can make money off the bubbles, but you have to be "in the know", and take advantage when the time is right. Therein lies the problem...

But at the end of the day, we're still slaves to biology in that we are finite. If we fail to thrive and produce offspring, anything we gain is lost. You can be pro-feminist, pro-diversity, pro-whatever the topic of the day is, etc... but if you fail to do these two things, you will fail and collapse society in couple generations: 1. Achieve a > 2.2 child per breeding couple reproduction rate, and: 2. Instil in those offspring at least the same work ethic that led to your own success. I loved my Mills college girlfriend, but... Fail at those and the numbers collapse pretty quickly, the barbarians are at your doorstep and they will sell her in to slavery after feeding you to the delta smelt. It sucks, and its the biology trap we haven't figured out how to escape yet. I choose to have kids and am working to (hopefully) make them productive members of an advancing society, My attempts at doing that in the SF Bay Area indicated impending failure, so I gave up.

I come back for ageing family, and the periodic contract tech refresh. Then I get run out again. My son is starting to learn about Mindcraft mod'ing... I worry that Java will die before he finishes school...

Oh... and I drive old cars, and buy $20 jeans at Costco and wear cheap tee-shirts. The free tradeshow ones are even better...

Comment Re:San Francisco != Silicon Valley (Score 1) 410

Move to the smaller tech hubs outside California and you can save 15% right up front, and then get a damage multiplier via cheaper living.

The frightening thing is that this is true even if your "smaller tech hub" is New York City.

The nice thing about NYC is you can live without a car. That's a huge chunk of money right there.

Comment Re:San Francisco != Silicon Valley (Score 1) 410

Please move to Texas. When a fertilizer plant explodes in your neighborhood, wipes out the volunteer fire department and burns down half the town, you will appreciate why California has taxes and regulations.

From the article: "But Texas has also had the nation's highest number of workplace fatalities - more than 400 annually - for much of the past decade. Fires and explosions at Texas' more than 1,300 chemical and industrial plants have cost as much in property damage as those in all the other states combined for the five years ending in May 2012."

I was actually in Texas when that happened. I float back and forth between Austin and San Jose... But you're missing my point: There are multiple tech hubs, and some have significantly different lifestyles and costs of living. You can "do a startup" in Austin, or Portland, or Seattle, or even Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Austin and San Jose are kind of the opposite ends of the shelf. Austin housing is starting to catch up after 10+ years of stagnation... The Bay Area has finally recovered from the '08 crash.

You've identified one of the problems in Texas, and assumed it's entirely regulatory in nature (hint: cows are dangerous). But you can't just ignore the glaring problem that there are no politicians in the California legislature that have more than a few years of skin in the game due to term limits. They don't care about long term solutions, because they won't be around to take credit for them, or even be around to take the blame. Hence the horrible commutes, and the CalPers mess... They just raise taxes to kick the can down the road, and you get things like $600/yr car registrations, and 13.9% income tax rates, and find yourself blowing $40 at McDonald’s for a couple Happy Meals, etc... Those things add up, but they're just money... What keeps driving me out is the traffic. Spending three to five hours a day in a car commuting keeps me from raising my kids, damages my health, and prevents me from participating in the community I live in.

Comment Re:San Francisco != Silicon Valley (Score 1) 410

I'm getting sick and tired of explaining to people that San Francisco and Silicon Valley are not the same place. Every time the news media does a story on Silicon Valley, they show a tech company campus (typically Google) and the Golden Gate Bridge. The two places are 50 miles apart.That's like claiming Florida as a New York City suburb.

Given the recent California housing trends, it hardly matters. You can't find a decent house under $500k as far away as Stockton... And the whole state is functionally bankrupt / crippled by the public employee pension system and shallow bench politics. Move to the smaller tech hubs outside California and you can save 15% right up front, and then get a damage multiplier via cheaper living.

Some examples:
$3.50 vs $6 for a gallon of milk
$2.40 vs $3.68 for a gallon of gas
Nice new houses for under $200k...
Some tech hubs have no sales tax...
Some tech hubs have no state income taxes...

Silicon Valley has every kind of tax possible, and you can't fix it by voting for an election cycle or two...

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