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Comment Re: It's about landmass (Score 1) 434

It's a 3 hour trip each way... really, go get a rental for that? 5+ hours is fine; I get rentals just to avoid the mileage on my car or a breakdown far from home.

The point is that until EVs get to the Tesla range at a Civic/Camry price point, people can't be expected to have one car for regular use and another for the not so regular. People can exclude the exceptional or rare use cases like that once a year vacation but there are many uses in between regular and rare. And this is before the whole refill time topic.

Comment Re:Automatic. (Score 4, Insightful) 483

As you can see from the responses you have gotten, most people can't explain it. Even if it is "obvious" to them, they should be adult enough to realize that there might be many visitors to this site that seriously have your question even if they believe you don't. They could have used this as an opportunity to explain their side, but instead did such a huge disservice by their replies.

Anyway, I personally don't have anything against hiring the most cost effective solution. Although I doubt it will be as good or ok as the business case suggests. In the end, the university will survive and move on.

What I DO have a problem with is the abuse of the H1-B system. A system that was designed to allow our companies to hire abroad when they can't find the talent locally. It isn't a system designed to drive costs down. I have rarely seen H1-B positions that I felt didn't have local talent. Probably 1/5. In this case, clearly, if the current employees have to train their replacements, then there is no question that there is a more suitable local talent than foreign.

If I had it my way, I wouldn't tie the H1-B visa to the company. 2 years in, the H1-B should belong to the employee to go where ever he feels his talent is most appreciated. If the company fires him after 11 months, the visa still belongs to them. The US could still limit the number of visas issued, and actively maintained. The employee would still need to maintain their visa by having employment 6 out of the last 12 months. I also don't think the permanent residency process be tied to the company. Companies shouldn't be allowed to petition that. Only the individual with backing from a US citizen should be able to.

Fix the H1-B system and we can talk about a fair playing field. Thou, I doubt many companies would be as enthusiastic about it.

Comment Re: Melodrama (Score 2) 397

Well, projects don't just get to leave if they choose. People are welcome to go whenever they want. For a project, an assessment needs to be done if all contributors (copyright holders) wish to leave. Also, the software is GPL, it leaving would only impact future versions.

So the Foundation needs to decide if they want to close out the project, continue under another maintainer, or fork it. Normally, if the license is becoming more restrictive, software like this should be forked. If license stays similar and is compatible, then no point in forking. But here the Foundation also must have thought the drama wasn't worth it and had to let it go and sever all ties. Four months to decide & respond with an OFFICIAL response to an important project leaving is... kind of fast.

As for the rebuttal worry, that's just more drama. Companies should not discuss employee issues in open public. That is not in the best interest in any of the parties. I am sure a through investigation is happening of the related but separate _discrimination_ accusation. They would be opening up to more discrimination lawsuits if they acted too quickly, or even talk about it. Leah is welcome to her opinion and freedom to choose whom she does business with. But her site comes off very unprofessional and too defensive. Everyone is not out to get her. The FSF and in association the GNU is not discriminatory against people like her. One instance does not condemn the collective. Melodrama nicely summarizes it.

In her posting, she should have stated her opinion, reasons for it, and moved on. She should have left names out, tit for tat responses to the www, and over explanation of transgenders & the situation. Then this serious accusation can be given the proper attention it needs. I think her posting the way it's written, chips off a little at the discussion.

Comment Re:if they're "fully automating"... (Score 3, Interesting) 66

Less regulations are part of it and cheaper labor is still there. Atleast cheaper, more replaceable, and larger pool than Western societies. However, China has been eyeing Africa as the next labor intensive manufacturing hub. So cheap labor hasn't been a big factor for almost a decade.

The primary pull to manufacture in China is the ability to go from back-office-design to product-at-store quickly and cheaply. China has a massive economies of scale and network effect:
- Suppliers are many times across town. Worst case, via train from a neighboring country
- Suppliers are available at all levels of production. From raw materials like iron/wood/coal, simple parts like screws/buttons/wires, infrastructure like trucks/machines/office supplies, and highend parts like sensors/processors/LCDs.
- There is a well defined transportation and delivery infrastructure for distribution of supplies.
- Supply chain for export & delivery of a massive volume of goods at a minimal cost
- Connection to a massive network of global customers
- A lot of local knowledge in assembling and running the above network
- With each additional manufacturer and product offering, the above increases in value add

With all that going for China, I think people are underestimating their opponent and handicapping themselves in competing by passing it all off as "cheap labor" and "lax regulations". Those just end up being icing on the cake.

Comment Re: Good old short term investers (Score 3, Interesting) 103

What do short termers have to do with this? First, the company really screwed up last year. I doubt they have many willing long term investors left. Scandals like that hit long time supporters the most.

But that scandal is what is messing with them now. It's a pretty bad confidence hit to their accounting practices to mess up like that. This just makes it far worse. That lack of accounting & transparency confidence severely limits your investor pool. It rules out those big ticket govt backed entities like 401k funds.

And because of the screw up, they're barred from issuing more stock. Even though it's 4+ billion, for a company this size, that is easily solved by stock. But they don't have that option now. BTW, short term investors are the ones which would have bought up that stock issuance.

Comment A little later than expected. (Score 4, Interesting) 94

Farm equipment has been automated for quite sometime. Even Artic fishing has a heavy amount of automation. I am surprised that this sector has taken this long to automate things like trains and haulers...

Now digger automation I would like to see; where you trace out a 3D volume and let it go. It doesn't seem as simple as at first glance. Soil densities vary and you run into obstacles that need a little planning and strategy. Doing it wrong can break some expensive parts or at least wear them out faster. Neat times ahead, hope someone posts some YouTube vids.

Comment It's still very fun. (Score 2) 449

I am assuming you really meant "computing". Not just desktop programming and gaming like the examples implied.

When I was just a lad, the adults had programming careers that were very fun. They solved complex puzzles, and problems. It was very frustrating but very rewarding. Even growing up, I enjoyed programming which was very much a "figuring things out" topic minus the grease and back pain of former generations.

But today, with more than a decade into adulthood, that topic has become mostly a commodity. Windows, Linux, embedded, or otherwise. Lots of people "program" and most problems have already been solved. It's more a test of google-fu than puzzle solving. As a career it is very boring, trivial, and narrow in the results. There are still positions like before but they are outnumbered 1000 to 1.

So computing in that aspect is no longer fun. Same with hardware, it's all the same. It's all commodity. The gains in the permutations are so minor that cost easily overrides the performance benefits in most cases. This is primarily because hardware has outclassed software. I think software is probably a decade behind hardware now.

But if we switch to micro computers, sensors, and networks beyond just wifi: The glory days of the past still exist. Smart homes, smart gardens, etc are just a few tinkering days away. The common geek has access to fabricate their own custom hardware solutions. Writing the software is still mostly trivial due to the internet, but the ideas and solutions custom to a geeks unique physical world or situation is well with in reach. In this space we are still only limited by our imaginations in defining the problems to solve.

It is still very much FUN!

Comment Re: Blah blah blah zZzZzZz. (Score 1) 442

Are we talking about the same U.K. that less than 70 years ago had more of the world's population under its control than most other countries combined? That controlled the world over, taxed them heavily, and gave no representation centrally? That made decisions centrally that mostly benefitted the elite few at the expense of the colonies?

Comment Re: The days of high taxes on corps are numbered (Score 5, Insightful) 442

I lean the other way. Taxes should only be collected on corporate profits and sales.

There are many benefits for this. The govt has less entities to go after in taxing. They spend less on earning the revenue. It's no small feat to process and check so many individual tax submissions. Additionally, with less actors, there is less fraud, less investigations, better funded, and higher returns per case. The govt can more easily direct the general market by taxing one sector over another or internationally over domestic. They can't impact/benefit specific companies as the other well funded companies will interfere. Any major inefficiencies or wastage of monies will be investigated and identified by corps demanding they keep the funds rather than have the govt waste it. The system encourages savings at the individual level but investments at the corp level.

For corporations, they can properly invest in the right amount of resources in processing taxes, paying politicians, lawyers for defense, and finding loopholes. We don't know of a more efficient entity for paying the minimum amount necessary. They also don't need to worry about calculating and paying different amounts of taxes on behalf of their employees and various benefits. Technically we already use corps as tax collectors for the majority of the nation's end user income taxes. Why not remove that job and cost?

For us, normal ppl, we don't need to worry about filing taxes every year. We don't need to worry about paying someone to navigate the tax code. The code is extremely simple for us, it's a percent of the sale. It gives us day to day transparency into the amount the govt takes to keep running. Which makes us more interested in how our govt spends the monies and thus helps the population make better calls during elections. Our savings can be passed on to our children without a middleman taking another cut but the society still benefits when it is spent or invested (directly or indirectly via loans). They aren't out gunned and taken advantage of in the taxation arena by politicians and corporations because they aren't a player.

You are correct in saying taxes do not come out of a corps' pocket, but they are excellent tax collectors and payers. Why not give them the whole job instead of passing it onto the uneducated (tax wise) masses?

Comment Re: Counteroffer for what??? (Score 1) 531

I thought it was fairly obvious that he was just countering a silly offer with another silly offer. He was rejecting their offer and countering with something he knew would be rejected. It's kind of came off as a nice way of saying FU. The alternative was just leaving... might as well have a little fun.

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