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Comment Re:More time on the interesting parts of the job (Score 1) 405

I design HVAC, plumbing, etc. for a living. 30 to 20 years ago, I used to do it by hand using calculators, pencil, paper, drafting tools, and specialized slide rule-like tools. First came fax machines, which meant you could fax questions and responses almost instantaneously, so you no longer had to think a couple of days ahead - so most people didn't. To get you started, the architect had to get you the background (paper or mylar "hard-copy") to draw on, with the building design more or less complete. Changes were a pain in the ass, which every understood meant you needed time and money to accommodate, so they made sure that plans were reviewed and approved before the design got beyond the conceptual stages. Changes did come, but they were few and far between, and you got paid to make them. Then we started using CAD programs to draw, which meant you could easily do things like erase, copy and paste, and slip in new electronic backgrounds at will. But, the architect could get changes to you at any time, and they started to do so closer and closer to the deadlines without thinking how it would affect other trades' designs. It's gotten worse every year, with the ease of e-mailing files, then posting large files to ftp servers, until now you often get major changes to the design a day or two before the due date. And now with Revit, much more detail is required to be input, most of which is up to the contractor's discretion, anyway. Revit also wants to automate a lot of the design work, but, so far, it is extremely terrible at it (even worse than most of those human designers that are bad at it). So my experience with automation-type "improvements" in my workplace is that they reduce some work loads, but encourage people to think less, and result in additional work that should otherwise be unnecessary.

Comment Re:Threshold (Score 1) 405

Actually, the worst "thing that can be done is to start tailoring school curriculum with these disruptive technologies in-mind." Education should be about developing critical thinking skills. Teaching any particular technology is bound to failure, as it will likely become obsolete shortly after being taught.

Comment Re:Bubble, idiot (Score 1) 232

Don't get out the ketchup yet, binarylarry. Microsoft and Google have PE ratios about double that of Apple. So, since TFA is talking market capitalization, not net profit margin, Microsoft's valuation is more likely to fall and Apple's is more likely to rise, barring major changes in the status quo and assuming investors are rational (I know, I know, that last one may be quite a stretch when it comes to tech companies).

Comment Re:Lost $800 Million (Score 2) 156

You think the taxi industry requires mandatory inspections and re-testing? Seriously you people are so out of touch. You know what you need to become a taxi driver? A valid license and the ability to pass a two day training course.

I'm sure there is plenty of room for improvement, but in my city, taxi drivers need to get and keep a commercial driver's license, (which requires periodic testing) they need to pass tests on their knowledge of local roads, landmarks, and routing (again, periodically), the taxi needs to have valid commercial insurance (kept up-to-date), and the vehicle needs to pass safety inspections (once a year), among other things.

Comment Re:Lost $800 Million (Score 1) 156

As a way to build a new market, subsidized pricing works and may well be justified. When Amazon started, the notion of shopping for books on your computer was strange. For the most part people were used to browsing through their neighborhood bookstore, and it was not at all apparent that an online only store was viable. But by undercutting brick and mortar stores, they got people to try their services, which let them expand and continue to build their infrastructure.

And now, I don't have a bookstore anywhere near me to which I can go and browse through books before deciding what, if anything to buy. Amazon has made the world a little worse for me, with the added effect that I'm buying fewer books and magazines.

Comment Re:Solar rated highest in 2016, but... (Score 1) 192

A siginficant amount of leakage occurs at the well site and the processing plants. For example, there is "leakage" (but, according to those who've measured it, not as much as the EPA estimates) at well sites is from "pneumatic" controls that use and bleed gas pressure to operate valves, etc.
Also, I lived in a house built in 1917 with gas pipes original to the building (you could still see remnants of the original gas lights) and none of them were cast iron, they were all steel. I can't remember ever seeing a cast iron gas pipe. i'd bet that most non-industrial "leakage" is from blown out old style pilot lights, hard starting appliances that let some unburned gas out while lighting, and the like.

Comment Re:Insane prices (Score 1) 196

Further, areas like Illinois . . . the very people most vocal about going green have the least installed capacity.

Just wrong. With 3,842 MW of installed capacity (as of the end of 2015) Illinois has more wind power installed than all but 4 other states: Texas, California, Iowa, and Oklahoma. About 5-6% of Illinois' power comes from wind, and more than 40% from nuclear.

Comment Re:Also, the pollution (Score 2) 219

. . . and the motivation to clean up the environment started within "private" society, not "public" office.

So, the people insisted that the government help clean up the environment, and the government "of the people and by the people" followed the people's lead and did just that, and that's evidence that it's all the government's fault?

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The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."