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Comment Re:COBOL isn't hard to learn (Score 1) 124

COBOL isn't hard to learn, and it can be understood/read/debugged a lot easier than many of the more contemporary languages. Banks that want to maintain COBOL systems need to just hire new CS graduates and give them time to come up to speed on the COBOL language.

All this may be true but why would they do that when, if they replaced it with something developed in the current century, they would not need to. A delivery company could train it's employees to drive horses and then use horse carts to make local delivery runs but why would they? Well perhaps for a sales gimick but otherwise using old technology often gives significant disadvantages beyond the need to train your employees.

Comment Re:A lot of programming was done without a keyboar (Score 0) 87

Well, I think the point here is by the time THIS game was developed, use of keyboards was a pretty standard thing in programming.

That just shows the only hardship they had to deal with was their own short sightedness by not providing a simple means to program the device using available technology. That's hardly something to brag about.

Comment Re:It's true (Score 2) 265

Pixar was unique in Silicon Valley companies in that we had deadlines that could not move. The film had to be in theaters before Christmas, etc. I'd see employees families come to Pixar to have dinner with them. I took the technical director training but decided to stay in studio tools, first because Pixar needed better software more than they needed another TD, and second because of the crazy hours.

Comment Re:income tax levels = an auto opt out (Score 1) 510

This really doesn't work if you try to fund it from income tax. Wealth != income.

That's really only relevant if you are just sitting on a pile of cash stuffed into a mattress. However typically wealth earns income if you have it anywhere but a mattress and in Canada even 50% of all capital gains is included, and taxed, as income. While you could just live of savings wile earning no money that would be a really stupid thing to do because unless the tax rate hits 100% you are always better off earning that income from wealth and paying taxes on it.

Comment Medieval Guild Structure (Score 1) 701

Is the imbecile who sent the fine won't be fired.

It's not really that imbecile's fault - indeed they might not even agree with the law but still feel they have a duty to enforce it. The problem here is the legal protections engineers have managed to get in place to protect their jobs. If you want to see a really appalling example of this just look to Canada where engineering is operated like a medieval guild where everything is regulated; only existing guild members are allowed to train you and in some provinces making something like an electronic circuit means that you have to be a guild member. It's pathetic to see this in the modern world...and also really annoying if you are a physicist and equally if not actually far better qualified for some of the "protected" jobs - particularly when one of those jobs is teaching engineers physics!

Comment Bad data from poor implementation (Score 4, Interesting) 510

With that said, if they do this pilot correctly it will yield very interesting data.

I very much doubt it will because it is implemented in a way which directly undermines the arguments for universal basic income which is normally taken to mean that everyone gets a fixed income regardless of circumstances. Instead this project reduces that income at the rate of $1 for every $2 earned. Unlike the real deal this provides a reasonably strong motivation NOT to take low paying jobs since you only get a benefit of half the wage you earn. It also means that you now have to start means testing people to see how much they earn which requires bureaucracy and officials and incurs expense.

The whole point of basic income is to cut the administration expense because everyone gets it regardless while also preventing the disincentive to work of typical unemployment schemes by clawing back money when people get even a low paying job. The Ontario scheme fails to achieve either aim and so seems unlikely to work or provide any data about whether such type of schemes could work.

Comment That's the ideal...the reality is different (Score 1) 266

Capitalism is based on the idea that both sides agree to exchange what is promised, not merely something someone else thinks is close enough.

In reality though capitalism is based on the exchange of something which one side can persuade a court is good enough...which is one of the big problems with capitalism because typically one side can afford far more lawyers than the other. In this case what they provided was so far from what they promised that even an army of lawyers could not win the argument that it was good enough but note that they only got 30%, not 50%, of child care and there was zero compensation for the emotional damage to the family.

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

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) 307

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) 307

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) 307

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) 307

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:Not really a Good Result (Score 1) 178

The next machine doesn't necessarily have to be bigger.

It will if you want to exceed LHC energies. A muon collider would be a very interesting machine though. At one point I know they were worrying about such high neutrino intensities that it would pose a radiation hazard...which is a problem because neutrinos interact so rarely that they pass through the earth so it would be impossible to shield such a source.

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