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Comment Re:Up to date? (Score 2) 332

The last point, about the college kids, is a good point. What engineers learn is that there is a new gradated class while employers pick the best of, and then replace their worst employees. From what I can tell employees get three years of training, and if they don't do well, they get replaced. It is not all milk and sugar for the graduates. There are years when less than 50% of graduates get hired because really only the bad employees are going to get fired.

One wonders why employees choose to train their replacements instead of just quit. It seems to me that if a person is so qualified that they are being fired no for cause but just because they are too expensive, they could get another job. It is like complaining that there are no more jobs in the US, but never buying a product made in the US.

Clearly if the visa program did not exist companies would be forced to hire the maybe less qualified US workers, or perhaps open office outside the US. OTOH, I tend to believe that the US is the greatest place in the world, with a great deal of cheap capital, and many people agree. The problem is that people in the US tend to be much more complacent about living up to that greatness than highly motivated people in other countries. It is the greatness of the US that encourages workers to come here, not the ability of employers to pay less. Yes it may lead to the same outcome, but if we look at the former we only complain, but the later gives us solutions.

Here is what happened to me early in my career. At first if was easy because I was competing with the to 5% of the 18-30 year old living in the US, those who had access to technology but also to schools who were more interested in teaching novel skills than the three R's as we used to call them. As the years went on, and more people became computer literate, in the broad sense, not MS Office, then I had to compete with more people. Finally, I was competing with the world, and at that point, since I was not in the top 1%, it all fell apart, so to speak.

Again, when I was a kid the entire engineering class would be hired straight out college. Now one can be in the top 50% and not be hired. It is not just visas, it is not just that technology has made things more efficient, it is also that so many of us are simply complacent about our futures.

Comment Re:a maintenance nightmare (Score 1) 188

I have not seen any definitive data that is not 10 years old, and a lot of the current stuff is biased toward coal and nuclear and create astronomical number for the cost of wind. In reality as scale increases and data is gathered on how to best run the turbines maintenance costs are becoming predictable and not that outlandish. Texas which has the largest installation and the most experience also has some of the lowest O&M costs.

Wind energy is texas is still less than 10 cents, and will be cheaper as it allows us to decommission old inefficient coal power plants.

The biggest expense in my lifetime was paying for a nuclear power plant that never fully realized it's production goals and we had to have a special tax to pay for it.

Comment Re: Do us a big favor (Score 2) 188

MLB is not hiding behind the faÃade of amateur sports. This is becoming comparable to the exploitation of the NCAA. We have increasing evidence that the IOC is a corrupt organization that exists only to enrich the management. Sure it costs money, but much of that is paid for by the state. The players are owned by no one, unlike the MLB, and can only benefit by their exploits promoted on social media.

Comment Colleg fund (Score 3, Insightful) 373

If you were 18 and could fund college by selling blood, would you? The downside is that if people were allowed to sell blood on the open market, the price of blood bank blood would likely go up significantly. Right now they get it for free. OTOH if you had to be healthy to sell blood, that would be an incentive for kids to eat better, not abuse drugs, and stay VD free. This to me is more akin to pr0n than selling organs. Blood is simply a renewable resource that needs to be regulated.

Comment Re: How can this possibly go wrong? (Score 1) 247

I think most of us understand this. I think most of us know that this has to do with selling stuff using the olympics without the permission of the Olympics. However, the olympics is lawsuit happy so it is not unreasonable to think the policy might have some negative impact on people who are just tweeting.

Comment Apple Laptop (Score 1) 56

Years ago Apple had a laptop that let you switch out an internal module. You could add a device, such as high capacity drive, without changing the form factor. The advantage was high speed and plug and play. It was not a success because these were not good values and you still had to carry all this stuff around with the added mass of casing and connectors.

I can't imagine what the benefit of this would be. USB is fast, the connector small. You can probably get all this stuff cheaper, maybe even lighter, as standalone components. The connectors seem to be way more metal than a USB C. If the issue is multiple devices without a hub, the we need to find a daisy chain solution this is both USB and FireWire.

Comment Re: Analogue vs Digital, and DRM (Score 1) 536

The one good critism is DRM. Right now I can't watch movies on my desktop because my monitor is not HDMI. Which means content providers can block the headphones as well when the jack goes away.

Which I think it will. I see more kids using Bluetooth headphones. Think in a few year all the cool kids will use these. I wonder if you can pair multiple headphones to the same device?

Comment Re:Sure, why not? (Score 1) 351

That is the issue, right, we will buy lab meat if it is cheaper. I think that if this labeled it is ok, just like farm fish or GMO. Not that it will necessarily inferior or more dangerous, just consumers need to be informed.

I also think there is a huge market for this. Many people don't eat meat for environmental or social reasons. Lab meat, as it is probably less destructive than mass market meat, will be popular. The key will be cost. What could happen is that it will take the low end of the market, and we may see a return to more traditional ranching.

Comment Re:truth vs fact (Score 1, Insightful) 259

It is really truth versus fact versus partial reality. For instance Donald Trump says he can eliminate the US public debt in four years. In this mind, and the mind of his supporters, this is truth. There is a way to do this that is factual. However, the practical reality is that doing so would end the US as we know it.

The truth is that million of pounds every day went from the UK to the EU. The truth was that some people in the UK wanted to believe that the money could be going into their council housing. The practical reality is that the money going to the EU was much less, and without the EU the much of money would have to be spent provided services and paying for new expenses.

Lets take a more concrete example. I often am asked why it takes 9 months to get to mars. Why we can't just do a 1g acceleration and get there in a week to a month. The reason is because in space we do not travel in line like we can do for short distances on earth. In space we travel in orbits, and we need to do a few orbits around the sun to go from the earth to mars. We do not have to do it this way, but this is way we do it so we do not waste energy, among other reasons.

The problem with facts is that we cannot just choose the subset we want then reach a conclusion that works. The problem is truth is that people will usually just believe what is consistent with the few facts they know. If we take truth, and facts, and observation of what has worked in the past, and a little innovation, we generally reach a workable solution. We know there is silver bullet, there is no free lunch.

Comment Re:Misleading heading and summary (Score 1) 89

I think as we require more scientific validity in police work, we see that some of the old assumptions are false. For instance genetics was seen as a sufficient indicator of guilt, but if we apply mathematics we see that it can only be used to prove innocence. This lead us back to question fingerprints and other things. Many of these are good investigative tools, to indentify suspects, create leads, and as part of a package of evidence that can be used to establish guilt.

On the other hand I think it is proper to question if encrypted evidence that was somehow returned to plain text should on it's own establish guilt.

Comment Re:Hope the crow is tasty (Score 2) 157

To some degree MS was kind of like a rental program, at least for consumers and small business, as far as revenue was concerned.. You bought a computer, and got to run the OS on that computer for the time the computer was in use. You could pay a fee to upgrade, but you could not transfer. MS was insured a steady revenue. As computer got cheaper, the fees they could charge got smaller, and that steady revenue got smaller.

To combat this they came up with an insane number of SKUs, and sold a stripped down system with the computer, that the user could them upgrade, and still now be able to transfer it to a new machine. For some one who wants to work with the OS professionally, it does lead to a situation where it is hard to take the seriously.

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We can found no scientific discipline, nor a healthy profession on the technical mistakes of the Department of Defense and IBM. -- Edsger Dijkstra