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Comment Re:Sterile and shattered. (Score 3, Insightful) 271

The blast of sterilizing radiation at that distance, combined with being tidally locked and probably wracked with catastrophic earthquakes at that distance would make life on these planets an unlikely impossibility.

The sun is a red dwarf and is 0.05% as bright as our sun. It has 8% of the mass of our sun and is 10% of the radius of our sun. It is much smaller, lighter and cooler. Not very much larger than Jupiter. The planets are likely to be tidally locked. Jupiter's Galilean moons are tidally locked to Jupiter, but they are not blasted by radiation. The study showed gravitational synchronization in their orbits, so that could cause earthquakes.

If the star were our sun the planets would be blasted wastelands tidally locked to their sun. I think the exciting point is that this system is 'only' 40 light years away, so we should be able to study it over the next few decades and learn much more. The planets are transiting their sun, as seen from earth, so we should be able to detect gas within their atmospheres through spectroscopy. Over the next few decades advanced space telescopes should help us gain a great deal of information on this system.

Could there be life> maybe. There is a whole lot to learn and a great many engineering challenges to solve to let us learn. For me that is more exciting than maybe a small chance of life.

Comment Re:Let's go even further! (Score 5, Insightful) 181

The secret to very good managers I've worked with is that they realize that the staff working under them does have more talent than the management does. Like a sports team, the manager of the team can rarely accomplish what the athletes can. The manager may have been a great athlete in their past, but usually they were not.

Good management realizes it is their job to have all the things that the team needs in place so the team can perform at peak efficiency. They should take care of all of the logistics involved in getting the players and the equipment ready to perform. A great manager can often drive the strategy for the team, but this is not always necessary. Many great manager will just as often will employ others to provide the strategic planning.

Org charts should really be drawn in the other direction, with the highest level management at the bottom. management is there to service the organization, keep it tuned up and well oiled, keep it pruned and growing in the right direction.

The organization described in this article was of about 40 people. The tasks the former chief executives performed were analyzed and found to be tasks that could be performed by others in the organization. For an organization of professionals, experienced in their work, this seems completely reasonable and not revolutionary at all.

Comment Re:Lack of talent my ass!!! (Score 5, Insightful) 318

The very fact that they are training their replacements means that these jobs are not H-1B eligible jobs and that visa fraud is being committed. H-1B visas should be used when no workers with the skills are already available in the work pool. This would be workers who are already citizens, or permanent residents ('green' cards).

The fact that an American citizen is currently doing the job, and is willing to continue doing the job means that there is an American citizen available to do the job. Therefore the job is not eligible for H-1B visa.

Companies commit this fraud through the Human Resources (HR) equivalent of 'creative accounting'. The company will define a title for the current worker, just a descriptive label that has no legal status, something like 'Systems Design Analyst, Level III'. Then HR will define a description for the job, again a made up label, like 'Programmer First Class level IV'.

The company will say, "Oh boo hoo! We have no "Programmer First Class level IV" programmers and can't seem to find any in the USA! Whatever will we do? Our profits are doomed!" The company happens to work with a partner in India who sources H-1B visa worker, and amazingly this Indian company has a whole bunch of recent graduates with freshly printed certificates that show what good "Programmer First Class level IV' programmers that they all are, and look how cheap they are as well.

The current worker, who is not qualified for the job on paper but created all the software the job entails, is given the option of working for six months, training their replacement, a severance package, and no argument when they apply for unemployment insurance, or getting fired immediately and having the company deny them unemployment insurance.

The very fact that an American citizen is training an H-1B replacement means, in the real world, that visa fraud is being committed. However, there are no laws for truth in job descriptions like there are laws for truth in accounting that prevent companies from easily committing this massive fraud.

If there is truly a talent shortage, higher H-1B wages will help create a drive to train more workers within the USA and will reward any H-1B talent that is brought in to the US for their work. The only reason not to pay H-1B workers more is if you want to commit fraud and replace Americans with cheap labour.

Comment Re:Legality (Score 5, Insightful) 97

How is this even legal? It is a crime to waste the money of corporations.

What planet do you live on? It cannot be planet Earth!

In no way, shape, or form is it a crime to waste the money of a corporation. Besides, they are free to hang up at any time and to stop wasting their own time.

This is a completely ridiculous thought. Almost as laughable as when people write things like "Corporate officers are obligated by law to make a profit." This is a completely false statement.

Companies are under no obligation to profit. They are completely free to fail and go bankrupt. They would like to profit and not fail, but they are under no legal obligation to do so. Stockholders or owners would like a company to be profitable and to make them money. They may choose new corporate leadership if a company is doing poorly, but they seem to be just as likely to hire a Carly Fiorina and run the company into the ground, while patting each other on the back for their great ability to pick such a great leader!

Corporate officers are required by law to follow legal accounting practices, and to follow the law when reporting their accounting to government agencies for things like paying taxes, or complying with insurance reserve laws, or payroll employment insurance obligations. This is just the same as an individual filing their taxes must be honest. They would be subject to fines if they don't follow these tax and accounting laws. Jail may be possible if criminal intent or negligence could be proven. However, they can be losing money, wasting money and frittering it away and still be completely in compliance with the law.

If it were truly a crime to waste the money of a corporation, pretty much all corporate managers and officers would be criminals.

Comment Re:I'll never vote over the net (Score 1) 117

I like the idea of posting all voting results publicly, where you are identified by something like a randomly generated UUID given to you at the time of voting (or some hash of your various personal information like name and SSN, etc.). Although it doesn't address "extra" votes, you would at least be able to verify that your vote got counted as you intended, which is something...

The important thing is the vote, not the person casting it. In this system, a vote is a recorded thing so the UUID should be based on parameters of the vote:

  • - date-time Stamp when the vote is scanned (or entered)
  • - location id of the voting place (state/locality/precinct/ward/polling place id
  • - machine id of vote paper-scanner or electronic voting machine
  • - sequence number of vote on that paper scanner or e-vote machine that day
  • - id of voting judge who checked you off the polls?

Comment Re:You need to BUY these? (Score 1) 155

Don't ignore the difference between $180 someone paid for my echo and the $40 you paid for your dot. The capabilities are very similar, but the cost to capability ratio is very different. As you state, you use your dot to pass the task on to more capable devices.

Your speakers sound as if they are nice. I miss listening to things in stereo. I'm single side deaf, as a result of Meniere's Disease. Besides, playing in 7.1 stereo is not a capability of your echo dot. The streaming is, but I bet you already had a phone that could could stream your music to your speakers.

You live in a building with maintenance, I re-habbed my century old home. It is not being a luddite to have an appreciation of the 'character' of an old building. The original wiring in my house was cloth covered and was run behind wooden baseboards. The cloth would crumble when we removed the baseboards! We took care to preserve as much of the original style of our home. Fitting an old house with modern fixtures really does look awful, like when an old person tries to dress like a 20 year old. It's not that I'm a luddite, but old houses have character.

Also, don't ignore what I said about my children. When I think about college tuition versus spending money on smart hubs, AV systems or 7.1 speakers systems (hearing loss aside), the kids rank much higher than do the pleasure gadgets.

I think we have different priorities, and that leads to placing a different level of value on the benefits of some things over others.

Comment Funny you should mention it (Score 1) 155

When I bought the house there was still coal in the coal bin in the basement. Wood fired pellet stoves with hoppers will run quite a while between re-fills, but you still have to buy the pellets and re-fill them. The natural gas furnace does not require hauling wood or shoveling coal.

BTW, we traded the coal in the basement for a used mahogany ballroom floor and 4 casement windows. The windows replaced our original basement windows. The flooring became a staircase to our second floor. There were no original stairs to the second floor in the house, you had to go to the outside back stairs to get up there.

Your switches sound nice.

Comment Re:You need to BUY these? (Score 2) 155

We got an echo (full size, not a dot) as a christmas present. Fun to play with for a few hours.

After the first day all we use it for is as a timer or as a blue tooth speaker to stream music from our phones. We used to just use our phones for the timer and a blue tooth speaker for the speaker. The echo does not add any benefit that wasn't already there. Certainly not $180.00 worth of benefit.

It is definitely not worth the price. Not even close. I recently replaced a furnace and considered an internet enabled thermostat. The added abilities were nowhere near worth the price, so I got a regular old programmable thermostat for $14.99. I've got a house that is about 120 years old. The thought of adding automated fixtures turns my stomach. I've owned the house 20 years. I've replaced all the wiring and plumbing, tore out the plaster, insulated and dry walled, replaced all but one window (it's decorative), replaced the roof, removed asbestos, replaced siding, and finally the furnace. I did most of this with my father and my wife.

When I read posts by people who say how amazingly great these devices are, I think to myself that they fall into one of two categories:

  • Payed shills who list the name and manufacturer of all of their 'wonderful' gadgets.
  • People who spent thousands of dollars on gadgets that give them the benefits of existing technology that costs much less, and are just trying to convince themselves.

I have two kids about to go to college and retirement in a couple of decades after that. The last thing I think about is wasting money on an expensive blue tooth speaker oven timer combo.

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