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Comment Funny, no problem with law, medicine, accounting.. (Score 1) 533 and medicine in particular soared straight towards 50/50 with no dips, whereas women avoid IT with every downturn. The first downturn was after the dot-bomb, and now the larger financial slowdown.
What's the diff? The other three are real professions. This gives them some protections from the members being turned into commodities when there's a surplus of them. There are reduced openings, even job losses, but a floor on how badly they're paid and treated.

Women are just being rational and evaluating it as a job and career - and their tendencies should be read as the canary in the coal mine: coming in from the outside, they have a clearer view. Make IT a real profession like law, medicine, engineering, with state level licensing requirements, and you'll get rid of a lot of the industry's worst features, have a buffer against H1-B outsourcing, and the gender issue will go away as with the other professions. Women

Comment France France (Score 1) 343

There, I have now doubled the number of times "France" appears in the discussion. (It was twice when I posted).

That's normal. You see these giant arguments go on and on about whether it is economically feasible or safe or whatever, and not only do detractors fail to address the nation that's been getting most power from it for 40 years without accidents, contamination, public protests of note, and affordably enough....the weird thing is the promoters hardly mention it, either.

France. Triple.

Comment New Brain Interface (Score 1) 307

Well, who needs USB when the device will soon be revealed to have an internal brain interface chip.

Of course, you will need a chip implanted in your own skull to connect. And, incidentally, it will only connect to Apple and also, for medical reasons, it will be impossible to install anybody else's brain interface chips, meaning you will then be committed to Apple for life, and only Apple.

This will not constitute a significant negative to their hardcore base.

Comment Re:torn on this one. (Score 1) 195

I'm not aware of a fully socialist country, much less a fully socialist democracy. No, really, look it up. The wikipedia still has the clear, original definition of "socialism": the government owns every store, factory, and farm. Every business and employment of every kind is a government department. That's what Russia was "soviet socialist" republic. "Communism" is about living communally, eating communally, like the Spartans and the Amish.

So Americans looking to denigrate promoted both words downward. Socialist Russia (which never reached 100% socialism, there were always private businesses) was called "Communist Russia", though only a few of their farm communities were communes. And countries with high levels of social services like Sweden got tagged with the "socialist" label, when it was a wild exaggeration for having some government departments much larger than American counterparts...rather the way America had a much larger department of defense than Sweden. (I consider it harmless, fun,trolling to refer to America's "Socialist Army" and "Socialist NSA", forgive me.)

Every time I hear countries with higher levels of social services than America called "Socialist", I check Wikipedia again to see if the dictionaries have thrown up their arms and accepted this as the new meaning of "Socialist", but, nope, you're still saying that Canada must have a Government Department of Food Growing and the Government Department of Car Making.

Now that America is waaay out there as a bizarre outlier in medical care systems, honestly, it's America that should have the funny adjective in front of the name. But we need to ditch the "ist" adjectives that are just too sweeping and prone to wrong interpretation. "Low-Service Democracy" vs "High Service Democracy" ?

OH, and incidentally, if you imagine that your government doesn't "Control the Health Care System" in America, you're blind. Medicare may only be for 65+, but because those are the people that need the most care, that's half the medical work. Not to forget that the government licenses all the physicians, approves all the drugs and medical equipment, and on and on. They control it without paying for it. They call the tune without paying the piper...generally a bad feedback loop.

Comment Bold new opportunity in under-served area (Score 1) 369

...because we were so far unable to hear unpopular things on the Internet, which is heavily censored.

From way over at the other end of the political spectrum, I don`t think the issues that Amy Goodman & co at ``Democracy Now`` like to follow are as well-covered by larger media outlets as they `should` be, but, I don`t imagine that CBS has other priorities because of some dark conspiracy; Amy`s fave topics just get lower ratings.

As for *COMMENTS* ... as for the notion that The People are unable to be heard for lack of a web site that lets them get their thoughts out for all to see...holy cow, I`ve been reading the most astonishing nonsense spewed by eccentrics and nuts onto the Internet since it was invented; I mean, 30 years since the first conspiracy-theory threads on USENET.

The notion that we NEED one more takes my breath away, like saying our society doesn`t have enough access to Big Macs; the notion that he can SELL one more in a saturated market - by perhaps being extra-friendly to some particularly objectionable bunch that have worn out their welcome elsewhere...that makes total sense.

Comment Sorry, that's an "onslaught" ? (Score 4, Interesting) 843

Publishing - the man's own media appearances is an "onslaught"? Isn't that more like "routine"? It barely qualifies as journalism, too easy.

Isn't holding people accountable for their public positions the very job of journalists?

And The Times - every journalist has been howling for those tax returns for a nearly a year, they've been expected for 40 years - and now actually showing a couple of pages of a really old one is an "onslaught"? Most would say, "no brainer".

Comment Not worth automating at all, apparently (Score 2) 113

Let's assume those 400 people hired to handle paper were an inferior result, but they couldn't have been too horrible or the state would have been browbeaten into hiring more. So I'm going to spitball that 800 staff at an average of $70K per year each (with all bennies and burdens, they'd probably gross $50K), would cost $56 million a year...or $240 million over 4.2 years, not an indecent lifespan for a major web app these days.

So frankly, what's the point in automating at all, if it's going to be as expensive as a decent manual solution that would have been up and running in 3 months?

Comment F16 was the only fighter to fight the trend (Score 2) 193

Col. Jim Burton's "The Pentagon Wars" is back in print. While the Kelsey Grammer/Carey Elwes comedy movie is focused on their reluctance to test the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, much of the book is about the development of the F-16 by the "Fighter Mafia" - Col. John Boyd, Pierre Sprey, Chuck Finney, and designer Harry Hilliker - and how how hard they had to fight to get the F-16 built and accepted.
The F-16 hate in this forum could be coming from the 3- and 4-stars that wanted another standard Pentagon product: twice the weight and twice the price of the aircraft that came before it. But the F-16 was lighter and cheaper than the F-15 and focused laserlike on the job of dogfighting.
The F-35 has finally gone as far as you can go in the other direction: multi-multi-purpose, does everything, but the weight and especially the cost are almost comically bloated.

The question is not whether an F-35 could beat an F-16: it's whether a billion dollars of F-35 could beat a billion dollars of F-16s. And that's not even up for discussion.

Comment Re:Define "listening" (Score 4, Informative) 60

If you look up "WebCamGate" from 2010, when a school district was taking 60,000+ photos of students at home in their bedrooms by activating their school laptops, the administrator telling subordinates to conceal the surveillance, wrote back to a complainant with a note almost like that, "Why would we do such a thing? We would never do that!" Look up the name "Dimedio". So you'll have to forgive our skepticism.

Comment Re:A minor ephiphany (Score 1) 349

Thanks for that. The damning statement is how all these people that the rest of us regard actually more highly than rocket scientists - who haven't put anybody on the moon lately, and biomedical scientists could save our lives - are "computer illiterate".

There was this time when the excuse for being computer illiterate was age; the dang things just came up on business too fast. But now I'm the retired one, explaining simple Excel things to people 20 years younger. These "biomedical researchers" are mainly under 45, that is, had computers since Jr. High and Windows since college; they've had Excel to study for 20 years, all their careers.

I saw it with engineering - I was the formal IT guy for 7 years, then switched to become one of the engineers, albeit the local power-user and covert developer. I had expected to become obsolete as I aged, overrun by the superior expertise of people who grew up with computers, programming in elementary school. And there was ONE hacker, 20 years my junior, who could outstrip me on complex bits of configuration and development - and oddly enough, he had become a techie while a biomedical technician, writing Perl scripts to parse endlessly long DNA strings. But then there were nearly 100 engineers in the same company that would make the most eye-rolling mistakes and never even try to learn any underlying understanding of why the spreadsheet does certain things.

Over and over and over, I would correct something and try to teach some basics, but be put off with a request to just fix that exact problem, they were in a hurry. Not infrequently, they would be back in six months, asking me to do it again, "I forgot, I'm sorry, what was that again?" The uptake on a little bit of real instruction on the 2nd go-round was better, but still not 50%.

Poor understanding of how to use computer applications is still the greatest barrier to using computers to improve productivity.

Comment Re:Be a Licensed Profession, folks... (Score 1) 332

The same reason these companies expensively imported people rather than sending the work to their country?

The same reason you go to an American physician rather than to India?

The same reason you have your bridge designed by American engineers rather than Indonesians? (hint: different reason on that one. It's not legal to build the bridge. What if it weren't legal to put a car on American roads without software from licensed programmers? That applies to the rest of the engineering...)

Comment Be a Licensed Profession, folks... (Score 4, Interesting) 332

I'm wearying of it, but so far I just post the same thing over and over when I read about this topic. You don't see this with comparable white-collar high-knowledge professions like accounting, teaching, law, medicine and engineering. ...because they are all licensed.

This is not about unionism or protectionism. It's not holding onto the job for nationalism's sake or racism. Any race can get a license, indeed foreigners can be licensed - if they can pass the tests. Most of this outsourcing is not about putting in equivalent people; it's about being able to afford more of them and make up for the lower productivity and accuracy.

Information technology should be a licensed profession for multiple reasons; there are a lot of crappy local programmers that shouldn't have such jobs, too. This isn't about handy helpers or kid's games any more: our civilization depends on code that works right and we lose money, privacy and opportunity every day from IT failures. Medicine was not a licensed profession just a few generations back; it was licensed when it was time. For IT, it's now time.

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