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Comment Re:"Always remain unemployed" (Score 2, Insightful) 272

Competency is only a small factor in hiring. It's an economic decision by the hiring company. It's a political/subjective decision by the hiring manager/HR as well as the ongoing hunt for the purple squirrel. Like many "seasoned" IT people, I've gotten tremendous feedback from a variety of sources that I'm damned competent but, because I wasn't under 35, had a life, knew how to say no I wasn't considered to be "good employee material". The perception that layoffs only get rid of deadwood from a company is a fallacy. Layoffs are random good and bad people are laid off and simply discriminating against someone because they've been laid off is shortsighted but isn't likely to change.

Comment Re: A poor craftsman blames his tools. (Score 1) 531

Yes it is hard to find good people. It's always been hard to find good people but the best company I ever worked for had a good 30 to 40% women programmers. We also had a significant number of graybeards who were tasked with the responsibility of training good behavior into the young punks. These graybeards also encourages young punks to teach them something new. So, if you want good people, they come in all ages and genders. You have to be willing to have your senior people set the right standard that everybody else has to live up to.

Comment Re:What about clutter? (Score 1) 68

They also assume that you're in perfect health and in a very narrow range of size. Can you imagine working at that desk if you are 6 feet tall and use a nice ergonomic chair? Can you imagine having some form of mobility problems trying to get in and out of that bed? I look at this is furniture that is designed for 20-year-olds, not someone who's lived a life.

Comment Re:So just rename it then? (Score 1) 330

No, it also needs to be deactivated immediately if the driver takes their hands off the steering wheel. No hands-free operation. Force the driver to do what they are supposed to be doing anyway -- driving and being in control.

I have let my attention drift with my hands on the whee even with the threat of pain and possible death. solution like intermittant buzzing or twitching the wheel will only exhaust the driver with false alerts leading to even more unsafe driving. Because autopilot is as safe as human driver, the only solution is to encourage it's use and get more data to make autopilot even safer. see this R&T article.

Comment Re:No one is being forced to do anything. (Score 1) 175

Let me fix your correction.

An unregulated natural monopoly is offering a service, when it is not economically viable for competitors to offer you a competing service.

If you actually read the contracts the cable company writes when "negotiating" (i.e. take it or leave it) with the town, you'll see that the contract make the town liable for the minimum level of profit for that cable company. Isn't contract law fun?

Comment Re:Now if they could just (Score 1) 35

You've just hit on the main problem with accessibility interfaces. They need to be customizable to how the user works, not according to how the developer imagines that they work. For example, with programming using speech recognition I need an interface that feeds me questions based on what I'm doing so that I can answer them and generate code. The typical developer solution is to have me speak keyboard characters which runs the risk of damaging my vocal apparatus on top of my other disability. Talk about being well and truly screwed.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 2) 35

As a person with a disability acquired in adulthood, let me give you a little insight into my life. I lost my career as a programmer. I lost my ability to write. I lost my ability to communicate by email, instant messenger, IRC etc. I lost my ability to use Web services, commercial or governmental. I lost my ability to participate in the educational system. Yes I can read, I can turn the pages of a book but I can't fill in web forms, take online exams, or even write legibly enough for exams on paper. In other words, I lost my ability to participate in society. My perceived value is near zero even though my brain still works, I still have all the skills I had as a programmer/analyst, I just can't use my hands to express it. And according to your logic, there's no way a company could justify the expense of a personal assistant to transcribe what I say into something the company can use. They could just hire a person whose body works right. Many disabled people are quite competent cognitively, treating disabled folks this way is a pretty huge waste of human capital. Fortunately, with speech recognition I regained my ability to write and some programming but most GUI interfaces including web forms are still out of reach. For what it's worth, I acquired my disability as a result of programming. From what I've been able to determine, my disability hits about 30,000 to 40,000 developers a year. To be honest, the numbers are fuzzy because many red states have declared this kind of disability a nonreportable workplace injury and is not covered by Worker's Comp. Personally, I don't want you to build an accessibility interface. I want you to give me an API so I can write my own interface. The reason is simple. Given that most technologists royally fark up a GUI for ordinary people, there's no chance in heaven or earth that you will make an accessibility interface that's useful. An accessibility interface requires specialized knowledge because it is not just a replacement if your hands or your eyes, it's a whole different way of using an application and if you are not living the life of a crip, the chances of you understanding what the interface should be like is vanishingly small.

Comment Re:Or... (Score 1) 400

You touch on a whole bunch of really important points. Yes buses are more flexible than rail but also consider that rail create significant pricing distortions in real estate. Ever try to rent an apartment near a transit stop? Damn near impossible even if you could afford it. Here in Boston, it's approximately a $500-$1000 premium per month if your place is within 10 min walking distance of a T stop. Look at autonomous vehicles, they have greater flexibility than buses if electric can be significantly more energy-efficient, and if you can do on demand carpooling, will significantly reduce congestion. So with autonomous vehicles would have the best of automobiles and transit combined. Shareable public resource, energy efficiency, and shorter transit times. I think if you drill down on the economics, you will find that we're probably better off, as a society, putting our money into rapid deployment of autonomous vehicles, especially within urban zones instead of trying to wedge in another transit system that only serves a narrow geographic range.

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