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Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 306

If you look in the FEMA site, they say that they provide gramts to perform repairs not covered by insurance. And no, they don't do a needs test. Now, the typical rich person does not let their insurance lapse just so that they can get a FEMA grant. Because such a grant is no sure thing. They also point out that SBA loans are the main source of assistance following a disaster. You get a break on interest, but you have to pay them back.

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 306

I understand your point about view land being desirable even though it's a flood risk. I live a mile or so from the Hayward fault. But I have California's risk pool earthquake insurance. The government wouldn't be paying me except from a fund that I've already paid into. I imagine that the government does pay some rich people in similar situations, but as far as I'm aware disaster funds go to the States from the federal government and should not in general become a form of rich people's welfare. Maybe you can find some direct evidence to show me that would make the situation more clear.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 306

What you are observing is economics. As a city or town population grows, the best land becomes unavailable and those who arrive later or have less funds available must settle for less desirable land. Thus many cities have been extended using landfill which liquifies as the San Francisco Marina District did in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, or floods. Risks may not be disclosed by developers, or may be discounted by authorities as the risks of global warming are today.

Efforts to protect people who might otherwise buy such land or to mitigate the risks are often labeled as government over-reach or nanny state.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 306

Oh, of course they were caused by misguided engineering efforts. Everything from the Army Corps of Engineers to Smoky Bear goes under that heading. The most basic problem is the fact that we locate cities next to resources and transportation, which means water, without realizing where the 400-year flood plane is. Etc. We have learned something since then.

Our problem, today, is fixing these things. Which is blocked by folks who don't believe in anthropogenic climate change, or even cause and effect at all. They don't, for the most part, register Democratic.

Comment The problem with your explanation (Score 5, Insightful) 306

The problem with your explanation is that it's fact-based, and stands on good science. This is the post-truth era. Thus, the counter to your argument will be:

  • Evidence for a human cause of erosion is thin and controversial, and is being pushed by loony liberals.
  • We need those oil and shipping jobs, and jobs building and maintaining levees, not more regulation that stifles them!
  • Cause and effect is not a real thing, except for one cause, God is behind everything.
  • This is part of God's plan for us. The end time is coming, and when the Rapture arrives it will not matter that Louisiana's coast has eroded. Cease your pursuit of unholy science and pray to save your soul!

Comment Re:It's not his arrest that is a priority (Score 1, Troll) 369

Making an example out of Assange won't help anything though, there will just be someone else stepping up. Assange is not the problem, you are.

There's an old proverb: "When everyone you meet is an asshole, it means that you're not beating up all the assholes fast enough and if only you can speed it up, everyone else will eventually become convinced that you must be one of the good guys."

I know it doesn't sound eloquent, though.

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 338

so far hasn't done anything irreversible.

I think the first victims have been farmers who can't bring in their crops. Just the people who voted for him in California's central valley and wherever else we depend on guest workers. I don't see citizens lining up to pick those crops. The small family farmers, what's left of them, will feel this worse, the large corporate ones have the lawyers necessary to help them break the rules and truck people in from South of the border.

The second group of victims will be the ones who need health care that doesn't come from a big company. It's a lot more difficult to start a small business when there is no affordable way to get health care. And that is the case for my own small business - I'd be in bad shape if my wife left the University. I think that's the real goal - to keep people from leaving employment in larger companies and going off on their own.

Comment Re:So... (Score 4, Interesting) 338

Donald Trump, unfortunately, satisfies a common desire among the populance to right things by means that won't actually right them. It's a desire to rid Washington of inaction by cleaning it out of the current folks who don't seem to get anything done: and then you find that the things they were working on are harder than you understood. It's the feeling that you can get things going right by having a manager who lights a fire under the responsible people: just the way that bank managers pressured employees to increase revenue or be fired until those employees started opening accounts fraudulently for customers who hadn't asked for them.

What I am having a hard time with is how our country gets back out of this. I fear Humpty has had such a great fall that there is no peaceful recovery.

Comment Re:hmmm, yes (Score 1) 218

I heard that some people were installing patches from some dude named "Microsoft" and that company got caught red-handed, writing and distributing malware. (They wrote Windows to work directly contrary to the interests of the user. For example, they went to extra trouble to make it not be installable on modern hardware.)

Installing unaudited software written by people you don't know may sound crazy, but the vast majority of users routinely do something far worse: they install software written by people they do know, where they know that the author is the user's adversary.

Comment Re:It's A Start (Score 1) 619

Well if the time period you are talking about is 2002-2004, yes, things are considerably better now. That was an awful time to be graduating as a CS major, I was only a few years ahead of that period and it hit me pretty hard, but recently, I don't see people sitting out of work for long periods of time, I don't see high unemployment in the tech sector at all, certainly nothing like what it was back then.

But every industry goes through dips like that, and the economy is still stuck in a boom or bust cycle, but I have yet to see any evidence that the job market for software engineers is really so difficult right now that qualified candidates are sitting around desperate for work.

Not that that means we shouldn't consider reforming H1-B visas, hiring for only high paid positions is probably the best way to go as it will hopefully encorage more training of people on the low end. I know a woman who is around 30 with no tech background, who recently went through a 6 month bootcamp to prepare for a career in QA (an area frequently filled by H1-b visa holders in my experience) and now she has good solid job. With less low cost H1-b visa holders we might see more and more of this which could be quite valuable. Certainly you can't just retrain everyone into one kind of profession but when it comes to tech we would do well to not close off the entry level of the field from people who are changing careers.

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