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Comment These are pretty bad (Score 1) 66

I have to give technical explanations to business types regularly and in my experience a poor analogy that gives the wrong impression of a technical concept is worse than useless. I've found in my career is if you can express why it is valuable for someone to understand a technical term or concept, they are more than capable of understanding it. People usually don't understand all this technical jargon not because it's hard, but because they can't be bothered.

I would call these analogies flawed at best. For example, there is one that says Agile Development is like Punk Rock: instead of learning your instruments you learn three chords and get on with it. If someone explained Agile like that to me I would ban it from our office (while in reality it is an excellent methodology for some types of development).

Comment Re:Going by the data in the summary... (Score 2) 372

It originated with modern semiconductor industry in the 1950s. Semiconductors are the purest materials on the face of the earth and for some reason they preferred percentage purity over parts-per-million purity. The materials folks still say things like "seven-nines" but most device engineers I know talk in terms of impurity density per cubic centimeter (and will say it in terms of an exponential, for example, "this sample has 10 to the 13 per cubic centimeter phosphorous".

Comment Re:The title is misleading (Score 4, Informative) 161

It doesn't actually rule out WIMPs, it just (for the most part) rules out WIMPs with specific characteristic. Much larger, more sensitive detectors (both Xenon and Argon) are on the drawing boards for future searches.

Just like supersymmetry, it is very hard to actually rule something out.

Comment Re:wait, wut? (Score 4, Informative) 134

"Warp Drive" as a concept should not be patentable. If it were, then someone could claim a patent on all faster-than-light travel.

What *is* patentable is a specific implementation of the warp drive concept. Someone else could build a warp drive in a different way, but they couldn't copy your design.

That's the main idea behind patents, although it is partially corrupted now.

Comment Re:1000 engineers (Score 1) 128

I see what you're getting at and I don't disagree. However, as you know this stuff is really complicated and you need to be specialized in your career to be effective.Most of these jobs are for Electrical Engineers, a few could be also held by people who studied Computer Science or Mechanical Engineering. I'm an Analog/Mixed-Signal Engineer and while I know Verilog and how to run verification tools, I'm frankly not as competent at those roles as specialists are. It is the way of the world.

I agree you could retrain a product engineer to become a verification engineer but a company would rather bring in a fresh out from India on an H1-B.

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