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Comment Re:Save 30%, retire early (Score 1) 523

Or even better, zero family or friends.

You know, I think this might be key, especially the family thing.

The 2 people I know who are in their 40s with paid-for houses, good investments (above and beyond 401k, etc) and lots of savings are REALLY cheap people. Relentless coupon clippers. Buy a huge cut of meat at Costco, cook a giant stew and eat it for every meal for a week. Vacation is staying home from work 5 days to paint the house. Can do everything short of an engine rebuild on their car (which they have owned outright for 7+ years). Only watch movies they buy used from the pawn shop. Clothes all bought at discount stores.

And neither one has much of a social life and no spouse or girlfriend.

I don't think living that way would be that hard, but getting other people to put up with it would be. I think women kind of generally look at spending behavior as a kind of signaling -- how well will you take care of me -- and if they see a guy who won't spend on himself, they figure no way, he won't take care of me or will be unpleasantly cheap.

The only *families* I've ever run into that cheap are super religious, scrimping so mom doesn't work or some other kind of lifestyle goal. And I don't think they really are accumulating anything, they just don't have anything because of one income.

Comment Re:Storage? (Score 1) 461

The bigger problem is that as great as pumped hydro is, there's a lot of awesome places for windmills and solar panels that also happen to be deserts with no water and many are also flat, with no place uphill to pump it to even if you had the water.

The giant battery farms are interesting, but after 10 years what percentage of the batteries need to be replaced? Because battery tech is so primitive, building lots of battery farms with batteries that burn out after a decade starts to sound like a real problem, especially if it involves massive mining efforts for lithium at 10x the current demand.

Personally, I'd like to see more done with raised mass storage, including some of the novel systems using large concrete "pistons" over a column of water. During the day (or when the wind blows, etc), water is pumped under the mass, raising it up, and at night the water flows the other way, spinning the pump/turbine.and generating power.

It's kind of like pumped hydro, but all you need to do is dig two cylinders for pumping the water from/to the mass, you're not as dependent on pre-existing geography.

Comment Re:Most States have these Occupation Codes (Score 2) 709

I've done some subcontracting for engineering firms and most of the "engineers" I worked with did not have PE certification. There were a few senior guys with PEs who signed off everything. I don't know, but after seeing the reams of drawings/plans I find it hard to believe that this system of requiring only PEs to sign off on projects is actually achieving the risk mitigation that is claimed because I don't think the volume of work is realistically reviewable by one guy.

I'm more inclined that PE certification, like so many professional certifications, is mostly about eliminating competition and running a kind of cartel, especially when it gets the kind of self-policing powers that most legislatures grant professional certification boards. If you can obtain a legislative monopoly on your trade *and* gain the power to determine and police who can enter your trade, you're doing pretty well.

I would argue that by making PE certification so complex, thus reducing the number of PEs, engineering is worse off because fewer PEs sign off on the work of non-PEs without truly applying whatever their special magic is to the work (simply too much to check).

It would make sense to make PE certification somewhat easier to obtain without essentially compromising the knowledge required to gain it. You would have a larger pool of people shown competent at engineering, but this would create problems for the engineering business which would face more competition.

Comment Re:Hyrbid? What's Intel's production problem? (Score 1) 144

"Traditional" NAND flash was much more expensive than spinning rust but came in sizes useful at least for boot disk applications *and* delivered overwhelmingly better performance from the same bus/connection as spinning rust.

IMHO, Intel can't pimp this out as faster than NAND flash for more money. Like CPUs, flash storage has more or less hit the speed levels where more speed simply isn't that useful outside of very narrow use cases.

The angle they needed to work was density and write endurance. There's still a fair use case for spinning rust at certain scales, driven mostly by slot limits in server and storage chassis. If you want 40 TB but only have 10 slots, you have to use spinning rust. Providing a solid state disk at this density with superior write endurance would really be a market disruption.

Comment Hyrbid? What's Intel's production problem? (Score 5, Insightful) 144

32 GB of Optane for $77 is $2.40 per GB, Samsung 850 Pro 1 TB is $0.50 per GB. Intel is nearly 5x more expensive.

Hybrid storage systems are common in the enterprise SAN market, but generally to be useful they need something like 20% of capacity to be flash. At ratios of 1-3% of HDD capacity, I don't see the Intel use case as being especially useful.

I had a Seagate 2.5" years ago that was 32 GB flash plus 512GB and it only felt marginally faster than a standard disk drive. You didn't notice serious performance boosts until you went completely flash.

So does Intel have a yield problem or are they still ramping up production facilities to make these in quantity? It's hard to see a system more convoluted than straight SATA or NVMe flash disk being that big of a deal. I think in order to make this product competitive it has to be offered at $/GB competitive with ordinary flash disks or only a small premium.

Comment Re:Vigorous debate? Surely you jest (Score 1) 513

I've found the IT world (since I've worked full-time in it, about 1990) has always veered slightly libertarian, but not usually hard-core, more freedom oriented than dystopian libertarian.

Slashdot comments have degraded, but it's been years in the making, not a particularly recent phenomenon. IMHO there's too many politically oriented stories and maybe not enough real technology, but on the other hand I also think that real technology has been kind of idling over the last few years, too.

Comment Re: Time to switch (Score 1) 217

Bahaha, what's this full time Exchange admin you speak of? It's not 1998 and we're not struggling to keep a Exchange 5,5 box running on dedicated hardware anymore.

There is no Exchange admin anymore, at least not at any company under 1000 users or with fewer than a couple of servers. That work is done by the same admin team that manages AD, file sharing, etc, and is mostly part time.

If Exchange was your sample company's only server, then I totally agree O365 is ideal. But in most medium sized companies Exchange server isn't even a drop in the bucket anymore unless you're doing something really stupid with journaling. In the era of virtualization, the data center space, power, hardware, and nearly all the expertise is already purchased.

The marginal cost to run Exchange is trivial if you already have this infrastructure in place. The O365 math is based on these false ideas about "dedicated admins" and a bunch of dedicated hardware that went away years ago. In any organization not run by retards, running Exchange competently shouldn't be a major burden.

If you're running enough mailboxes/servers for Exchange that you can justify a dedicated admin (which I assume would be dozens of servers, many DAGs, a real complex mess) I'm not sure if O365 is a "fix" at that point, either, because now you're talking such a large userbase that the O365 licensing gets into real serious money.

Comment Re:Confirmation Bias (Score 1) 312

I would always have ignored screaming lunatics.

I think it's more of a subtle (and not so subtle) condescending attitude to "the other side". Pick your adjectives -- dishonest, cruel, stupid, immoral, and so on. Even when it's not explicitly stated.

I think those kinds tones are much harder to pull off in face-face encounters. People are forced to be more accommodating in person.

Comment Re:Cultural ethics won't allow work-free life (Score 1) 287

I agree with your logic, but the problem is that automation won't arrive all at once and the taxation burden isn't shifting to capital.

As long as the capital class continues to manipulate the tax code to fund government on the backs of wage earners, they will be able to continue to demonize people who aren't working as "stealing from working people." Capital will be successful at maintaining this Potemkin Village political economy because of lobbying and low political participation by the poor and unemployed.

The jobs will disappear slowly until there's a large, unemployed underclass, a for-display-only middle class, mostly made up of the police forces necessary to keep the underclass in line and defend capital's wealth.

Comment Cultural ethics won't allow work-free life (Score 3, Interesting) 287

Look at how bought into the "work ethic" we are and how many people justify what amounts to luck (if not outright criminality) as "hard work" and thus entitlement to moral superiority (up to and including control of others).

We already treat people who can't work for various reasons as worthless and disposable, I just can't see any transition to robotic work that requires fewer workers resulting in the people who own the robots willing giving away their added profit from automation to displaced workers.

"Surely they can pull themselves up by their bootstraps, just as I pulled myself up by the straps on my hand-made Italian leather boots bought with my family inheritance money."

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