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Ask Slashdot: Getting Hired As a Self-Taught Old Guy?

mini me Re:I know how you feel. (472 comments)

At what age did you notice it staring to become a problem?

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Getting Hired As a Self-Taught Old Guy?

mini me Re:Liability (472 comments)

The OP claimed to be a techie, which probably rules out interest in engineering disciplines anyway.

about a year ago
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If Tech Is So Important, Why Are IT Wages Flat?

mini me Re:Only Applicable to First World nations (660 comments)

You are going to have to back that up. Certain industries certainly do. You are not going to be a doctor or lawyer without a degree. But where there is no government intervention, tech especially, such credentials are largely irrelevant.

about 2 years ago
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If Tech Is So Important, Why Are IT Wages Flat?

mini me Re:Cry me a river. (660 comments)

Economics says that jobs that have a shortage of labour will be paid more. Businesses struggling to find labour will have to resort to hiring just about anyone who can show some semblance of being able to do the job. So the irony here is that in a free market, those with more education (and stick to that area) will be paid less than those with less education.

Of course most labour shortages are a result of non-free markets governed by credentialism (think health care workers, lawyers, etc.) so people are easily confused about what role education really plays.

about 2 years ago
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If Tech Is So Important, Why Are IT Wages Flat?

mini me Re:Foreign pressure (660 comments)

Maybe in other industries. Tech companies don't care. Not even big ones like Google and Apple.

(To be fair, Google cared about a decade ago, but they don't anymore)

about 2 years ago
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The Survival Machine Farm

mini me Re:Misguided... (214 comments)

Hemp is legal where I farm, but there is no market. That low-yielding field of corn will pay a boatload more than the best field of hemp.

Not to mention that my millions of dollars of equipment that is used for mostly food crops won't harvest hemp, but does allow corn into the rotation (farmers who try to skip on that alternate crop in the rotation generally run into trouble with their food-bearing crops). And I don't have millions more to invest in new equipment, sadly.

about 2 years ago
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The Survival Machine Farm

mini me Re:Misguided... (214 comments)

Do you think you could produce high-output crop yields without chemical fertilizers?

I think we could, but it would increase the costs dramatically. Interestingly, hay makes for a wonderful fertilizer (and provides many other positive attributes for the soil), but the current market push for vegetarianism and lower meat consumption has pretty much killed off the ability for farmers to economically grow it like we once did. That has brought on the rise of alternative source of fertilizers more than anything.

Napkin calculation tells me that yes, hypothetically it should be possible to extract energy from this process.

But where does the threshold lie? The anti-ethanol proponents will tell you that corn is a net loss, but the average yield in the US is only 120 bu/ac., which is surely what they are basing their calculations on. In the corn belt, 250-350 bu/ac. isn't uncommon. That is a vast difference in energy potential.

about 2 years ago
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The Survival Machine Farm

mini me Re:Misguided... (214 comments)

Basics of biodiesel is that it is net energy loss.

Can you provide a bit more background about this? Our best field of corn this year produced almost twice the output of our worst field, for essentially the same amount of input energy. With that, there has to be a line at which more energy is produced that what is put in. Whether or not we as humans will ever be able to develop a crop that can deliver on that remains to be seen, but what do we need to strive for to reach the level of net gain?

If we assume inputs are constant, would a 500 bu/ac. field of corn be net energy positive? A 1,000 bu/ac. field? How about 10,000 bu/ac.?

about 2 years ago
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Is Stanford Too Close To Silicon Valley?

mini me Re:but what happens when it goes to MA, PHD for ba (171 comments)

but what happens when it goes to MA, PHD for base level?

I would say that to some degree this has already started. If more people choose to obtain BA level educations, it will become more widespread. After that, some new filter will have to be found. It doesn't necessarily have to be education-based. Education has just been the easy target so far. But perhaps the educational institutions will accommodate by offering increasing levels of education, or maybe you'll need multiple degrees to even be considered?

Also what about trades like training?

Many trades built their own filtering framework outside of the university setting, typically through apprenticeship programs. From what I gather from those industries, there isn't a huge fight to fill the available spots, so it seems to serve them well. If, in the future, more people want to enter those industries, you might need a degree before you can start apprenticing as means to filter the number of applicants again.

more than 2 years ago
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Is Stanford Too Close To Silicon Valley?

mini me Re:then make community college that base level (171 comments)

that jobs can't say you need a BA or higher when the job does not need it.

There is no job that needs it. What asking for a BA does is provide a filter to limit the number of applicants to a manageable level. If you ask your parents, they'll probably tell you that in their day you only needed a high school education, a result of a time when many did not graduate high school. Today everyone does, so the filter has been stepped up to the University level.

In industries where labour is short, like software development is right now, you can walk in and get a high paying job without having spent any time in the classroom of any level. There is no need to apply the filter as the number of applicants are already low.

It has never been about the education, just a trick to make hiring easier.

more than 2 years ago
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Major Networks Suing To Stop Free Streaming

mini me Re:Let's not jump the gun. (250 comments)

The article says that the business model is in renting the individual antennas to the customer. So, for a more apt analogy, this would be like putting an antenna up on my neighbours home because he has a better sight of the sky, with a montly fee to cover the rental of his property, and then running the coax into my home.

In this case, the wire just happens to be the internet.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Finding an IT Job Without a Computer-Oriented Undergraduate Degree?

mini me Re:Yes (504 comments)

but maybe you should try to pick up a couple people with degrees, "just in case".

In case what? I have no degree, so I am curious about what someone with one would bring to the table.

Interestingly, part of my official duties at work are to guide and assist the CS grad hires. Additionally, good friend of mine recently graduated with his PhD out of the CS program and even he has come to me for advice. I'm not trying to brag or anything, I'm just not sure where your sentiment is coming from.

I guess I'm just used to being the "just in case" person, so it seems strange that you'd start adding random requirements to take on the role.

more than 2 years ago
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Study Confirms the Government Produces the Buggiest Software

mini me Re:Hiring the cheapest competitor doesn't help eit (135 comments)

I don't know about the US government, but I see things with my local government like: You need a degree in computer science to build a webpage. CS grads are generally not skilled in producing such works, so you end up either picking from the limited group of people who are, or more likely you choose someone who is not a good fit for the job and end up with poor results.

more than 2 years ago
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TVShack Creator's US Extradition Approved

mini me Re:Extrajudicial law (253 comments)

I could link to CNN like this, in which case Slashdot is encouraging you to consume CNN's content without their authorization of distribution.

more than 2 years ago
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TVShack Creator's US Extradition Approved

mini me Re:Extrajudicial law (253 comments)

It is hard to see what the supposed purpose of TVShack was if it wasn't to encourage its users to download copyright TV shows from the external links without the appropriate license.

The same could be said about all hyperlinks, save the TV part. Never have I obtained a license to provide or follow a link, despite the majority of all links being to copyrighted material.

more than 2 years ago
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Last year, I spent the most on ...

mini me Re:Housing! (651 comments)

I understand that great sports players are paid more because only they can do what they do, and you need the absolute best talent.

Not really. Sports players, actors, musicians, and so on are paid well because many people are willing to pay a small amount for their service. Those small amounts add up to large sums.

CEOs are in the same boat as they earn a profit from the income of each and every employee. If you had a small business with one employee, it is not unreasonable to keep, say, 10% of their income for yourself to compensate for the risk of employing them. Now multiply the same logic in a major business for the CEO, and you have yourself a huge income.

If you were the worlds worst programmer just managing to keep a job at $10/hr., but also managed to sell your changes to 10 other companies at the same rate, suddenly you are making $100/hr. That still doesn't make you a good programmer.

I don't think there is any distortion. Some people sell their services to one entity, and others sell their services to multiple entities. The latter group make lots of money, the former group do not simple due to basic multiplication.

more than 2 years ago
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Best Practice: Travel Light To China

mini me Re:Kind of dumb... (334 comments)

Not much of a newsflash, and also obviously not what I was referring to. Thanks for trying though.

more than 2 years ago
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Best Practice: Travel Light To China

mini me Re:Kind of dumb... (334 comments)

I don't need a phone. All important communication happens over IP. Unfortunately, that means having an expensive mobile device.

more than 2 years ago
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Canada's Internet Among Best, Report Says

mini me Re:Not even close (186 comments)

Sounds like the secret is to get far away from the city, I guess. The farmers nearly 100 years ago co-oped the installation of the copper. That's been our saving grace as Bell has no intention of every doing anything with their lines. It is interesting that some of those communities haven't opted to do the same for internet access though.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Does Cell Phone Use Lead to Safer Roads?

mini me mini me writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mini me (132455) writes "As cellphone use has gone up, automobile crashes have continued to decline. The new study comes from economists Saurabh Bhargava at the University of Chicago and Vikram Pathania of the London School of Economics. They come at the question from a different direction, starting by using data from a cell phone company on up to 440,000 calls made from California drivers during an 11-day period in 2005. The researchers were able to separate drivers from other users by filtering for calls that switched among cell towers."
Link to Original Source

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