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Humans Are Taking Jobs From Robots In Japan

Kagato Ribbons of Shame (79 comments)

One of the reasons I love Japanese Quality is because of Ribbons of Shame.


Man, if workers in Alabama who "assembled" my Honda had to wear them I wouldn't have so many little quality issues.


U.S. Biomedical Research 'Unsustainable' Prominent Researchers Warn

Kagato Excluding the Private Sector (131 comments)

What's happening in many States is researchers are moving to private sector. In Minnesota at any given time there are over 400 biomed start-ups in operation. Many started in the University system but moved out for various reasons. Mostly that the academic sector moves at a glacial pace in terms of commercialization. It's not that there isn't as much money in totality, it's that a large component has moved to Venture Capital instead of grants.


Watch Bill Nye and Ken Ham Clash Over Creationism Live

Kagato Re:Ham is going to drown Nye in FUD (593 comments)

Sadly I agree. Nye does a lot of guest spot on pseudo news shows. He's very good at writing and a master at presenting scripted material, but he's not a great off the cuff debater. Nye tends to get side tracks and has trouble packaging the argument into a limited time slot when he doesn't have the time to refine a script. Neil deGrasse Tyson is far better at this sort of thing but I he would never do a debate like this.

about 2 months ago

Google Charging OEMs Licensing Fees For Play Store

Kagato Re:Shrug (225 comments)

Having spent time in that part of the world I can attest the idea behind copyright of virtual things is cultural. They don't see stealing it as being wrong. Some even see it as their nationalistic duty to take things from the west to level the playing field. Generally in the US you can't lease space in a mall and open a store that sells clearly pirated software. But over there? It's not a problem until a representative from a Western company makes a complaint. It's an apples to oranges comparison.

Be that as it may, since we're making comparisons, I will remind you that older (but quite capable) models of iPhones have sold in the free and under $99 tiers for some time now. Even in the pre-paid market iPhone has been dropping. The carriers have been taking the hit as a customer acquisition cost for some time. By your logic there should have been at least some amount of equalization in the app sell through rates years ago. I'll tell you as a professional in the field it hasn't happened.

about 3 months ago

Google Charging OEMs Licensing Fees For Play Store

Kagato Re:Shrug (225 comments)

There's no analogy. It is what it is.

I'm an independent software developer. I work in a large community of software developers. Two years ago when we did projects for ourselves or startup ventures it was pretty common to try to release the iOS and Android version of the app as close as possible and with the same feature sets. What we found was the sell through rate on iOS was huge compared to Android. At the same time we found the piracy rate of Android was huge compared to iOS.

If I'm charging by the hour and a client wants an Android version of an app, great. But I'm not spending my time and capital writing a paid app it's going to be iOS because there simply isn't a payday at the end of the Android trail.

about 3 months ago

Google Charging OEMs Licensing Fees For Play Store

Kagato Shrug (225 comments)

Given Android users are loath to actually pay for apps I think it make sense. Despite have a tremendous number of Android smart phones active world wide and over 48 billion apps installed the Apple App store blows away Google Play revenues.

about 3 months ago

Office Space: TV Documentary Looks At the Dreadful Open Office

Kagato I like them for Dev Teams (314 comments)

So long as you give people enough desk space and drawers to store stuff I think it works well for agile and paired programming. When it doesn't work is when some bean counter decides "Let's throw all the contractors into a meeting room". Things get cramped and stuffy. It also doesn't work when you have resource that take a lot of phone calls. They just end up disturbing everyone else.

about 3 months ago

Programmer Debunks Source Code Shown In Movies and TV Shows

Kagato The Matrix Did it Right (301 comments)

The matrix was one of the few movies to get it right. There's a scene where they are sabotaging a computer. The screen showed the output of a real rootkit.

about 3 months ago

Linksys Resurrects WRT54G In a New Router

Kagato Re:Cost? (310 comments)

802.11AC 4x4 MIMO card? Good luck finding that under a hundred mate.

about 3 months ago

Ecuadorian Navy Rescues Bezos After Kidney Stone Attack

Kagato Sounds like a Standard Evac Insurance Policy (190 comments)

Business people who travel the world usually have global medical plans. Most of those plans include evacuation coverage. Medical transfers off a ship are customarily handled by a coast guard. I'm sure the insurance company had to pay for the service.

If anything the insurance company saved a little money because Bezos already had the private jet in position and that saved them the cost of an airline ticket.

about 3 months ago

Bill Nye To Debate Creationist Museum Founder Ken Ham

Kagato I wish it was Neil deGrasse Tyson (611 comments)

Bill is a great guy, good writer and presents well on script, but he's not the best debater or off the cuff speaker. I've seen him do many talk shows. He doesn't always connect with the audience. I think he just thinking a mile a minute and he needs some time to organize them together. Tyson is just much better at this kind of stuff.

about 3 months ago

What Would It Cost To Build a Windows Version of the Pricey New Mac Pro?

Kagato Re:Hard to believe (804 comments)

Two week turnaround? Maybe if you drop it off at the Genius Bar and the part was on backorder. If you use the on-site support the guy is going to show up in a couple days with the new component in hand. That's not even specific to Apple. When I did warranty repairs in the 90s we could turn a consumer repair in 2-3 days and a business repair 1-2 days.

These days companies can join a technician program with a vendor and do their own repairs. Often that means they have a parts depot on-site and can do a repair same day. If down time is a concern there are plenty of ways of mitigating the risk.

about 4 months ago

Ford Rolls the Dice With Breakthrough F-150 Aluminum Pickup Truck

Kagato Re:Most popular vehicle? Wow... (521 comments)

There's a lot of trades people building housing in the US because of the sheer amount of undeveloped land. Being able to put stuff in the back bed is a plus for that sector. Trades people tend to be a bit more independent in the US, many of them work for themselves and have their own tools and supplies they take to a job site. In Europe you have those really tall vans to do that kind of work and likely they would be owned by a company. Those vans are sold here in the US, but unless you need the materials covered most tradesmen see it as a tipping hazard to have a vehicle that tall.

The trucks are also very popular in agriculture, which is the biggest economic sector of the US. There's a lot of stuff you would want to put in the back bed that you wouldn't want to have in the driving compartment.

Most city dwellers do not have trucks. They likely have cars or SUVs. The cars are larger in the US because the roads were built for cars in the first place and the taxes don't penalize the ownership cost. For example, I had some friends stationed in Europe for NATO. They brought their huge Toyota FJ. I asked them if that was an expensive vehicle to drive in Europe. They said no, because of little thing called WWII US military personal are exempt from all gas and vehicle taxes.

about 4 months ago

Percentage of Self-Employed IT Workers Increasing

Kagato Re:IT workers are basically self-employed anyway (138 comments)

I've been consulting for over a decade. I don't expect the company to pay to train me in a formal class, but they should expect project estimates to include "Marco Polo" time when you have to research something cutting edge.

Personally I like have work and personal computer space having a definite air gap. Most places have an IP agreement that stipulate their time and their equipment. Which is fine by me. If you want me to work at home you'll need to provide a laptop. If I'm going to set up a home lab it's because I want to dig into something interesting that will make me more marketable for the next contract.

Want to provide me with a weak sauce desktop, fine. They are the ones paying to have me sit there waiting for the compile to happen. I can demonstrate that a fast machine with SSD pays for itself in a rather short order. Though as a programmer I've rarely run into problems getting full admin and installing whatever I needed to get the job done.

As far as the contracting, I work with smaller firms. They take about a 10% cut. That's significantly less than national firms that take a 40+% cut. If companies actually started to invest in a future STEM workforce I'd likely get paid a lot less because of supply pressure. So far, that hasn't been the case.

about 4 months ago

Percentage of Self-Employed IT Workers Increasing

Kagato Lack of College Hires (138 comments)

The problem I see is there's not nearly as much college hiring as there used to be. I've been contracting since the 90's. I work with a lot of mid-cap and fortune 500 clients. When I first started we would often have a few college hires on the programming teams. I haven't seen a college hire programmer (or heaven forbid an intern) on a team in 6 years. They don't want to hire a college kid they have to train and mentor when they can get an "experienced" H1B contractor.

Off-shore and visa workers have created a tiered system where senior level contractors like me are paid a ton of cash to provide adult supervision and guidance on a project. Then the companies complain how much they have to pay domestic contract workers. They also complain about the quality of the work product. That has lead to on-shoring but they no longer have college hire's in the pipe they are leaning heavily on contract workers. Driving the rates up even higher.

What I do see is the college kids are more and more going off on their own to build a portfolio of clients. Usually small and mid-cap companies. A lot of it happens in the mobile and PHP space. Some do a really good job. Some I think are missing out by not having a mentors.

about 4 months ago

Target Has Major Credit Card Breach

Kagato Re:upset employees? (191 comments)

Recent? Target has put it's eggs in the offshore and "prevailing wage" H1-B workers years ago. They have a bit of a reputation in the market as a result. Their divorce from Amazon onto their own web platform turned out pretty poorly and it resulted in the CIO abruptly exiting the company.

about 4 months ago

Standardized Laptop Charger Approved By IEC

Kagato So Would Apple (289 comments)

"I wish they'd push a yank-resistant and positive-connecting plug along the lines of Apple's MagSafe."

So would Apple since they have a patent on the MagSafe design. I suspect it would be quite the patent windfall.

about 4 months ago

FDA Seeks Tougher Rules For Antibacterial Soaps

Kagato Dioxin Funtime (160 comments)

The biggest issue the the common antibacterial agent in soaps combines with other household cleaners water treatment chemicals to produce a dioxin like substance. Studies are starting to showing negative environmental impacts to takes and rivers as a result.

about 3 months ago

Army Laser Passes Drone-Killing Test

Kagato Reflective Armor (173 comments)

Laser, neat. Couldn't you just wrap the UAV in Mylar to deflect it?

about 3 months ago



Lawmaker Claims Neil Gaiman "Stole" $45,000

Kagato Kagato writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Kagato (116051) writes "According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune Minnesota State House Majority Leader Matt Dean (R) singled out a Neil Gaiman for a speaking engagement. Dean said that Gaiman, "who I hate," was a "pencil-necked little weasel who stole $45,000 from the state of Minnesota.""
Link to Original Source


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