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Comment Re:Salary Growth Closes A Lot of Gaps (Score 1) 587

Wrong. I was talking USD based salaries (ignoring FOREX, which has been mostly stable - and we didn't actively consider that either).

My point is that the "Low Cost" outsourcing to large population centers (China/India) is cutting back quickly, as the incomes normalize. China is already mostly normalized with the US (or tech knowledge work), India has a few more years (maybe 5) before the combined impact of the normalization and inflation remove the cost benefit and it moves to a decision based on skill, coordination, and cost (mostly in that order).

Comment Salary Growth Closes A Lot of Gaps (Score 3, Interesting) 587

Some numbers from my personal experience.

1) Salary Growth. In general, the Indian Salaries are increasing by 10%, US Salaries are increasing by 3%.
2) Salary Scalability. In general, Junior staff are about 5 offshore to 1 onshore. Mid level staff are about 3:1. Senior staff are 2:1.

China used to be a good low cost offshore location, however senior staff are now more or less the same cost (assuming remote team management). You offshore to China for reasons *other* than cost reduction. India will ultimately be no different.

Mid to senior engineers will be generally cost neutral within a decade, junior engineers - not so much.

Near-shoring will likely replace the off-shoring - in some cases it already does.

Comment Re:When did Reuters not have editors (Score 1) 206

Okay. Happily schooled. That said - the use of inflexion, even in the british context is rather an oddity. Yes, it is an alternative spelling, but it is also considered archaic and not used heavily since the mid 20th century. The google ngram search shows some interesting trends for it.

Comment Re:Non-believers (Score 1) 520

Note quite, the commercial insurance companies have stepped back. CAE is a government managed and mandated organization. Outside of CAE you it is almost impossible to get Earthquake Insurance.

http://www.earthquakeauthority...

Note that in the last few years, the CAE has moved from unreasonably expensive to reasonable. This thread has got me rethinking :).

Comment Re:private insurers jump ship, governments jump in (Score 2) 520

Exactly. My original comment wasn't naysaying, it was responding to the actuary tables.

When the actuaries say it isn't a good business, then we should be *very* worried. The government support of their communities balances their existence and economic activity against the cost of rebuilding - even though the rebuilding won't last.

Comment Re:Non-believers (Score 3) 520

If they are still issuing policies, then it is accepted as a risk. This matches TFA in that there are a number of scenarios, the "likelihood" of an event due to Climate Change has definitely increased, but not the extent that people are uninsurable.

In areas where it is a certainty (earthquakes in California, Floods in other parts of the country), the insurance companies step back and don't insure.

Comment Re:Messenger, AI and Chat Bots (Score 1) 17

I'll take the consideration even further.

1) Similar to Amazon Echo - Skills allow integration of voice commands with third party services (called Skills). This ties into the third party - off the shelf parts.
2) Facebook just acquired wit.ai (http://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-buys-voice-recognition-startup-1420496634), a voice recognition company
3) Messenger already has text to speech
4) Amazon Echo is a simple command language - https://developer.amazon.com/p... Echo is (really cool) but arguably dumb - "ask..to..,” “askfor...,” “tellto...".
5) Facebook doesn't have an assistant (Apple has Siri, Google has Now, Amazon has Echo). Facebook is missing an assistant.

I would see Zuckerberg being his own alpha customer. Possibly his little project that will keep him active with technical chops.

Comment They exist around the areas that do prototyping (Score 3, Interesting) 138

Surplus has changed, but it still exists in manufacturing areas. But it's not the type of surplus store you used to see. The HuaQiangBei area in Shenzen is the new surplus store. It's primarily rolls of SM tech that is suitable for Pick and Place equipment. Because that's where the manufacturing is at. The surplus around Shenzen is actually really cool.

With miniaturization, and on-demand prototyping, the need for companies to have surplus enthusiast level stuff is way down. You do electronic layout, send it to a low volume prototyping company and they will then send it back to you in a few days/weeks. Even those prototyping stores will only surplus unusual items, with standard items being shared across different customers.

The prototyping with with non-SMT is getting kind of rare. Hell, I have seen anyone even consider Wirewrap. These days a lot of prototyping is built around microcontroller and sample boards for ASICs. And the glue between the logic boards are a few resistors or capacitors.

Comment Drone copters no. Autonomous things yes. (Score 1) 122

Say drone now and you get the image of either silent military killers remotely controlled or quad or hexacopter buzzing around.

The military drones will get more autonomous and even more scary. We haven't hit a real arms race in remote killing machines. It will come.

The copter drones aren't going to fly (excuse the pun) long term. The noise that comes from the drones as the beat the air into submission is not scalable to many of them. I'm a tech nerd, but I'm not going to enjoy having continual buzzing. Drones for particular uses (search and rescue, mapping, task specific data gathering and so on) will likely win.

Our day to day life won't be from drones as we know them. The drones of the future will probably be either silently flying (bird like?) or on the ground, or underground. They will increasingly take the "need human agility, but not human smarts". Deliveries to an extent are an obvious area.

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