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Comment Fellow Gen-Xer here (Score 1) 351

Yeah, all that. I bought into the same life script. I'm behind where you are, however. I don't have a portfolio, and my wife and I still have leftover college loans we're working on. And two kids. We're focusing on the college loans at the moment. After that it's portfolio time. We'll miss maybe the next 3 years of investment while we focus on getting caught up.

And like our millennial friends under discussion, I have a side job. The whole purpose of which is to get those old college loans paid off so I can get to Happy Portfolio Land and start working on my retirement. I can pay the bills with my current job easily, but progress on old debt is glacial without the second income. I hope to be where you are right now, as soon as I can manage it. And I'll check into your reading list - sounds interesting.

And I'll also offer up a good tip to anyone reading this article this far down. I know an excellent way to score a second job, which I discovered accidentally and has worked well for me: Work well at your current job, and then quit under amicable terms, and offer to help out after you're gone.

If your current job is something you could do part time from home (and let's face it - a lot of IT jobs with a little creativity and a few bash scripts could be), then make that happen. Use your time at work to groom it as a second job. Optimize everything. Work it like you're trying to put yourself out of a job. Then put in your two weeks after you find something better. At this point your negotiation skills will come in to play. Make your pitch. Your employer gets the benefit of having the same work done, by the exact same guy, but at half price. And they don't have to pay for insurance, vacation time, etc. Your new job will cover all that, and your old job will become your extra income. This isn't theoretical advice either, I have actually done this.

A few style points to mention. Give old job your cell phone so they can contact you, but let them know that your full time job is a priority. Don't endanger your bread-and-butter job over any issues with the side job. And one last point - if you do this, do not cheat on your taxes. Ever. Claim all your income. Your old job will be reporting you as a liability, so the IRS will already know about you. Play it above board, always. You'll thank me later.

Comment Re: If this is correct it should be easy to check (Score 1) 299

I wouldn't be sad, personally. There's a quote somewhere that says that all the best science doesn't start with "eureka" it begins with "hm, that's odd..." I've always liked that quote.

FYI, there is a person who feels exactly as you do (put it in space, turn it on, see what happens). The project is a 24Ghz microsatellite version, currently being funded on gofundme. It doesn't look like he's going to get the cash for it unfortunately, but it's a step in the right direction.

Personally I'd like to see more designs put forward before we put one in space. We now have 3 competing theories on how this might work (Shawyer's wave group velocity idea, McCulloch's inertial quanta, and now Kolehmainen's paired photon idea). Personally my next step would be to simulate all three as heavily as possible and see if we can experimentally test and match those simulations to indicate which might be the best theory. These theories make predictions about how an emdrive should behave. Let's throw some test cases at them and see which ones still hold water. Do some science, you know? Then figure out the most likely description of what's going on, use that to make the best emdrive we can, and launch it. I'd love to see that.

And you're correct, of course. It's best to be skeptical of such an extraordinary claim. But McCulloch makes a compelling case how it could come to be (my personal pick of the 3 theories so far), and despite the worries about how a functioning emdrive would fit into our current knowledge, to me it still looks like a pretty minimal addition. If momentum were quanta, to me it just looks like a deeper understanding of already well known phenomena but with a new set of corner cases added to the picture. Read McCulloch's paper - it really is an interesting notion.

Comment Re: If this is correct it should be easy to check (Score 5, Interesting) 299

Your signature line is funny, considering the nature of your post. ;)

That being said, you should read McCulloch's paper on his emdrive theory. It isn't a complete rewrite of physics, just an additional term added in to momentum. It struck me as very similar to when Einstein amended momentum with the gamma factor. Everything we saw up to Einstein's time was correct for p=mv. Mostly because velocities near the speed of light hadn't been considered yet. If McCulloch is correct, we get another gamma-like term added in for small accelerations in the form of quanta. If he's correct, of course.

He might be, and he might not be. But I think his paper is pretty interesting and it doesn't seem to me like it would take a massive rewrite of everything we know. It feels more like the transition from Newtonian physics to relativistic physics. More of a "Oh, for these unique and less common cases, here's another thing you need to consider." No magic necessary.

Comment HAHAHAHAHA (Score 1) 289


Whew. That was a good one. Man you had me going there, Slashdot.

Now for an encore I'm going to build a pocketwatch. Well...I'm not actually going to build one, I'm just going to talk about what one does. Then I'll outsource all the gears and springs to experts, then throw them in a pillowcase and shake the thing until i get a watch. The watch should happen as a by product.

Comment I disagree with this statement: (Score 1) 193

But the modelers argue that this really wasn't a failure, because their predictions served as worst-case scenarios that mobilized international efforts.

Sure, this worked this time in everyone's favor. But what about the next epidemic? Let's say the modeling is better next time (which it should be) and it predicts another disaster. What then? People will look to the modeling on Ebola and say "it's not going to be that bad" and regard the next warning more lightly. This does nobody any good.

A good example of this is Hurricane Katrina. The Weather Channel makes every weather event look like the apocalypse because it's the Weather channel and they really only have one story they can run. They have to keep eyes on their channel to sell advertising time. So they exaggerate everything. And people become numb to the warnings - and look what that got us with Katrina.

No, it's always better to call things for what they are. I think they would be better off to say the modeling was off, call a failure a failure, and keep people's trust intact.

Comment Re:Evolution is an interesting thing to watch (Score 2) 307

Seriously, I just asked for a quote from a MS certified reseller. They want $100 for a single license of Windows Embedded Standard 7. Not the CE based version (which is what I think you're thinking of), the version that's like Windows 7 but embedded. This is directly from the quote:

7WT-00049 Win Emb Std E 7 EMB ESD OEI (WS7E) Runtime
$100 each Qty 1-99
$93 each Qty 100 Annual Commitment

Comment Evolution is an interesting thing to watch (Score 5, Insightful) 307

It is. It's interesting watching Microsoft thrash around and try to cope with things like this. The Raspberry Pi is the exact antithesis of what Microsoft stands for. Right now Windows Embedded 7 licenses are selling for right around $100 a pop. This entire system costs $35. The margins (if anyone were to try to make an industrial device out of this thing) aren't anywhere near what could make it worth their while, and all because that word "embedded" means something new now.

And yet, they have to try. This gizmo is seriously widening the Linux base, and they gotta do something. You know they're panicked. "You can already join the program and be amongst the first to receive product information and beta software releases." They don't even have a beta available yet, and they're already trying to get market share.

And just imagine how good those tools are going to be when you do get them. They'll be done in a huge hurry because this is a market driven decision. They know they have to get *something* out there super quick because they're losing market share. And the worst part is that they are trying to appeal to the engineer/programmer audience, and we're a pretty discerning audience. It has to be fast because this thing is launching, but it also has to be good because of the audience they are trying to target. And Microsoft is pretty notorious for releasing software when it isn't ready (Vista for example) simply to meet a release date. My guess is that these betas are going to be absolute crap released to make some bean counter's Gantt chart happy, and they'll fall back on the "but it's in beta" excuse when they crash and burn. Microsoft loves having the community do it's QA for them. It'll be a bumpy ride.

And I can't wait to see what bizarre arrangement they try to do when they try to monetize this Windows 10 release for a $35 computer. Because they will. The EULA for this thing is going to be a dadaist work of art.

Comment Hilarious! (Score 1) 342

Stoned drivers have become an increasing concern since Washington voters legalized recreational use of marijuana

Right! Because that was the day people started smoking and driving! Nobody ever did it before legalization!

Oh man where do they find these people? Too damn funny.

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