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Comment Re:MPAA, RIAA and Big Pharma (Score 1) 355

They are definitely getting screwed, but what is so scary is that they think that it's the politicians that are screwing them: Technology is screwing most of them, and all the politicians do is to not pretend that time doesn't keep moving.

Technology is about doing more with less. We can farm with 1/10th of the people we used to. Same with manufacturing or energy extraction. Soon nobody will be able to make money by driving a land vehicle. All of those things are great in the aggregate, but we fail to soften the blow to the people losing their career with no replacement in sight. Trump promised to turn back the clock, but that's insanity: Increasing costs for foreign labor will just keep the local industry for a bit, which will either shed workers anyway, or be less competitive every day.

Other countries just move retirement age for those people forward, and hope there's still areas with enough economic activity that their taxes can feed those retired in their 50s, but that's not the American Way.

This is what is going to be so hard about a Trump Presidency: People asked ,and were promised things that Republicans can't actually deliver. We'll get a recession sooner rather than later, and it's going to get ugly.

Comment Re:Supply and demand (Score 1) 587

It's sure supply and demand, but that's not much of an answer. The real question is why is the equilibrium so far from the one anywhere else.

IMO, there are two main reasons:

There's a big advantage to working in the same time zone and in the same culture: An American firm would much rather hire people in the US than in India, in the same way that you don't see Indian companies outsourcing their top work to the US. The skill differential is irrelevant, whether there is one or not. Being nearby is relevant.

The other difference is value of the work. We don't hire people to do work that is worth less to us than what they charge, but we sure can hire them for a lot less if it's possible. The value of your code is dependent on what it does for your company: A developer at Google, for instance, can build more value than someone programming the internal systems for a tiny chain of restaurants. The US has a lot more large employers that would be willing to pay a lot of money for programming, because their revenue per employee is insane. There's enough demand for good developers that a smaller employer will get a lot less profit from them. In comparison, look at Spain's market: There's a lot less pressure on the upper bound competing for the best developers, and most of the things that need automating produce a lot less value, so the equilibrium is further down, so the same developer can make 4x more in the US than in Spain.

It's a bit like professional sports: Viewership and spectacle produced per athlete lead to very different economics across sports, even though it's not as if a TE in the NFL, a power forward in the NBA or a strong defender in the NHL are that different, but for the average salaries of those three positions are very different.

Comment Re:Supply and demand (Score 1) 587

Cost of living is an absolute non factor at developer-pay levels.

My employer is in San Francisco. I work from Missouri. I get a San Francisco salary, but here you can rent a big house in a great school district for $1000/mo, as opposed to sharing a tiny apartment. If cost of living had anything to do with this, there would be a huge price difference, when, in practice, there isn't.

Comment Re:Lost business? (Score 2) 77

Of course it is: We see this pretty easily in the physical space when there's really bad weather, like a blizzard that makes travel difficult for 3 days. Businesses see a bit of a pickup afterwards, as some purchases just get delayed, but there's A LOT of economic activity that disappears.

Imagine, for instance, that whoever processes credit cards for the Hillary campaign happened to have a catastrophic 4 hour outage around the last debate. Do you really think that the people that would have donated during the debate, or right after, are going to remember and donate just afterwards? I'd be very surprised of many didn't just give up at the time, and not remember to do the same, the day after.

Comment I wish I could choose when to switch languages (Score 1) 331

I am doing infrastructure for a well known, yet not public SF company. I've had days where I had to write code in 5 languages, going from interpreted languages with almost no type support, to Scala's type battleship. This raises problems for learning: I learned Scala somewhere else, doing nothing but Scala for months. When you can dive deep into a language, it's easy to remember it, and then bring back the knowledge on command. But without a deep dive, it's really hard to learn a language, especially when you deal with a bunch of similar ones. I never have to do much Ruby, or much Python, so they never stick in my head, and the lack of a compiler means I often write terrible, broken things. Maybe if I only wrote ruby for 3 months, then only python for 3 months, then maybe they would stick, but that's not now infrastructure work goes.

Comment Re:Blacklist vs. whitelist (Score 2) 212

And the moment you put a whitelisting antivirus on a programmer's machine, who will often compile their own executables, the corporate plan goes to shit anyway.

Just like how IT departments often make programmers' kufe hell by not make exceptions for a directory used for compilation and artifact downloading. Triple your compile times for no good reason!

Comment Average car? (Score 5, Informative) 622

Many decent family cars out there are NOT, in any way, 34K new. A new Mazda 3 is a sensible car and starts under 20K. A Camry is 25K. You could buy a 350Z for less than 34K!

So plenty of families can afford new cars: They just can't afford large, over featured, expensive to repair urban assault vehicles. US streets would be better if nobody could.

Comment Re:A 21% jump should worry people (Score 1) 106

What do you mean, without fees? I would have to pay a fee to transform dollars into bitcoins, pay the miner to put my transaction in a block today, and then whoever I am buying it from will take the money out of bitcoin and into dollars again: There's plenty of fees and delays in there. Given how much it costs to mine, I'd not be surprised if credit cards ended up being both cheaper and faster.

So Bitcoin becomes a mix between a volatile currency and an expensive payment system: It's biggest selling point is that it makes illegal transactions easier than the regulated banking system.

Comment Re:Desi Indians? (Score 1) 222

In most places in the US, there are two major kinds of tech companies: Those that go heavy on contractors and H1Bs, and those that do not. The ones full of contractors are exactly as you say. The others are 90% white. Movement between those kinds of companies is uncommon.

With female developers, it's also pretty similar, but with smaller ratios: There's places where the only women are recruiters and HR, and others where it's rare to find a team without a woman that programs. In this case, it's all about networking, as so many places tend to be insensitive to calls of harassment and such, so women clump up in places where they feel safe.

Comment Look at Netflix reviews of kids series (Score 2) 858

Pretty much everything is rated horrible because, from an adult perspective, yes, they are horrible.

So what we really have here is that a single dimensional rating alone is not good at separating something that is mediocre for everyone, or something that is loved by some, and hated by others. What a surprise.

Comment Re:Too late (Score 3, Informative) 197

Many large companies have a lot of trouble with git. It's not a coincidence that Facebook and Google have been working on Mercurial backends: For their needs, Git is absolutely insufficient. You also won't catch a videogame company using git either. And that's discounting all of git's problems with documentation, or the cli becoming nonsense very quick after you leave the most basic commands.

So yes, the world has moved on, but git is very far from perfect.

Comment Densely populated cities (Score 1) 192

The problem here is precisely the dense population. Most places with horrible traffic don't have anywhere near the population density for a plan like this:They are traffic nightmares because they have huge, low density suburbs, making any bus system fail, even if the price of running it went down in half. LA, Seattle, Austin, DC.. Buses don't fix that. Improvement on buses would probably fix San Francisco, and might help in NYC, but those are places where buses are already usable.

Comment Re: Hoverboards (Score 4, Insightful) 532

No, it cannot mean any of that, because the amount of thrust provided is minimal. Even if you made the engine weightless(which you can't), you'd not be able to get enough thrust to lift anything off the ground.

The reason this is interesting for space is that in space, even tiny amounts of thirst are useful. Very slow acceleration is still fine, when you are not fighting planet like gravity: You just need to apply thrust for a long time, as opposed to what we do now, which is to turn on far more powerful drives for very short periods of time.

Comment Re:Those Workers Exist (just not at wage slave pri (Score 1) 688

OK, I'll bite. If there are plenty of knowledge workers available, what are they doing instead? Twiddling their thumbs? If they are working on the same field, either for themselves or a different employer, they are not really available. Supply is still less than demand. Now, if programming paid like flipping burgers, and people somehow preferred to flip burgers to code, then sure, you could say that a call for H1Bs makes no sense.

In the middle of the US, I made over $200k last year. This year, I am making quite a bit more. Is this terrible wage slavery? Absolutely average developers with some experience make over $100k, in places where a 4 bedroom house costs under $200K.

You could claim that we'd get better salaries without H1Bs (which is not really a given, as, with labor, sometimes supply CREATES demand), but wage slaves? Really? You just can't be serious.

Comment Re:Technology Paradox (Score 1) 226

The thing is, unless a company is paying very differently depending on your location, they'd rather have you work where everyone else is, unless the company has no office whatsoever. Thinking jobs are remote sometimes, but they really are remote when there's scarcity, and that's not at the beginning of careers. And after you start your career somewhere, to work 'out there' you have to want to move.

I for one am working remote for a Bay area company, but that's because I have skills in demand, a lot of experience programming (15+ years), and it's far better for me to live in a place where a good house costs 200K than one where it'd be two million. It's an interesting situation: A lot of the very experienced people with big names are working remote, but you'd be hard pressed to find a remote employee in this place that isn't awesome.

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