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Comment Re:Scale? (Score 5, Interesting) 181

Look up Semco and Ricardo Semler:


Semco has > 3000 people.

If you are curious, try reading this book:


The title is cheesy, but it really is an interesting book, once you get into it. Semler's philosophy is that of questioning things and if no good answers are provided, experiment with changing it.

For instance, he describes how he wanted to let people themselves choose the executive which ended up with him being replaced. :)

Or another experiment where he thought it was silly that the company should dictate the working hours in their factory. He then had to fight the union who thought he was tricking them, until they the finally agreed to a carefully controlled experiment - in the end the workers just held a short meeting the day before and decided among themselves what do to.

Of course, some kind of coordination structure is still needed. But there's a difference between CEO-is-coordinator to CEO-is-tyrant-who-can-fire-you-on-the-spot-if-he-doesn't-like-your-dress.

People will self-organize, and self-organization is powerful because it lets those with the dirty fingers make adjustments that are obvious to them.

Comment Re:Any opinions on thorium? (Score 3, Insightful) 333

Not an expert, but as far as I understand, the problem with the molten-salt reactors is in the name: you have really hot, radioactive molten salt you need to deal with, and that's just a hard problem in many aspects.

Many of the presentations seem to come from people interested in the physics, and for that kind of people, it's just a set of engineering problems.

But the thing is that you don't just need to solve them, you also need to do that in a manner that is competitive with traditional nuclear plants and renewables like solar and wind. And renewables are getting cheaper every year.

So it's a really, really tough problem. Don't trust the hype.

Comment Re: This works for me (Score 1) 416

Nobody in Germany in the 20s would have ever guessed that the 30s would see them in a Nazi dictatorship.

Not an expert in German history, but it's my understanding that the democratic traditions in Germany were still young in the Weimar Republic, so while they might not have expected to the Nazis to take over, I think this statement is perhaps somewhat speculative? Do you have some sources you can quote? Young democracies seem fragile.

Submission + - International Authorities Cooperate To Take Down Massive 'Avalanche' Botnet

plover writes: Investigators from the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, Eurojust, Europol, and other global partners announced the takedown of a massive botnet named 'Avalanche', estimated to have involved as many as 500,000 infected computers worldwide on a daily basis.

"The global effort to take down this network involved the crucial support of prosecutors and investigators from 30 countries. As a result, five individuals were arrested, 37 premises were searched, and 39 servers were seized. Victims of malware infections were identified in over 180 countries. In addition, 221 servers were put offline through abuse notifications sent to the hosting providers. The operation marks the largest-ever use of sinkholing to combat botnet infrastructures and is unprecedented in its scale, with over 800 000 domains seized, sinkholed or blocked."

Comment Diplomacy in action (Score 1) 534

Perhaps this is just diplomacy in action.

It's clear that Obama is not fond of Edward Snowden and would never pardon him. But admitting that to a bunch of German Snowden fans is probably not wise. So he just tells them a little lie that seems legit enough for people not used to the American legal system, adding some hints that the case is not black and white.

Comment Re:Open Source doesn't care for your software free (Score 1) 53

... here you have an open source booster (Red Hat's CEO Jim Whitehurst) pitching proprietary software as a good thing unto itself.

I think he's just commenting on the fact that while people are still deploying and using proprietary software, they're increasingly going to do it on open-source infrastructure.

So while he's not pitching proprietary software as a bad thing, I think it's quite a stretch to claim the opposite, from this story.

Comment Re:I have to ask... (Score 1) 75

It seems to me that you are not actually asking a question, but merely stating your opinion (or perhaps just venting), but anyway:

It sounds like you didn't read the original paper. It answers some of your questions so read it instead of speculating. The tubes were not supposed to be transparent, but made of run of the mill steel. The concrete pylons are there to enable the project to be erected in connection with existing infrastructure, to save on land cost.

As for the upsides: the hyperloop design was intended to enable much higher speeds than maglev. And this is why it got all the hype - basically the designers took an existing idea, maglev in an underground vacuum tunnel (I remember reading an article about this in a pop sci magazine from the 80'ies or early 90'ies, and modified it to (perhaps) be economically feasible (not vacuum, just low pressure and run of the mill steel tubes on over-ground pylons), but still enabling a significant speed boost and environmental improvement (powered by electricity) over other means of transportation.

And it was presented by a person who has a history of succesfully launching ventures that people usually think have a low chance of success.

Now, will it ever happen? Is it really feasible? Does it make sense with a high-speed line with so few stops? Can't answer that, but IMHO it was stated in an honest engineering spirit.

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