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Mr. President, There Is No (US) Engineer Shortage

mollog Free markets and jobs (580 comments)

Funny you should mention 'free markets' WRT jobs. The tech industry had the benefit of an ample workforce. In fact, there was such a glut of workers, the tech industry got exemptions from paying overtime into law. Such was the state of the workforce that it became expected that we programmers would work 60 hours/week. If someone didn't want to work that hard, it was easy to find a replacement. No other engineers that I know of would be expected to work such long hours. I was one who discouraged people from attempting a 'career' in tech.

'Free market' forces came into play and the next generation of college students avoided the tech industry with its draconian demands on its workforce. Enrollment in CS dropped off, and supply and demand started to revert to the mean. Of course, H1Bs, another sop to the industry, helped kill off the American tech workforce.

Any wonder that there is now a 'shortage' of workers in tech?

Here's a wacky idea, give people back decent pay, job security, company paid health benefits, decent pay, 401k matching funds, decent pay, and cut back on the hours. Did I mention decent pay? Now get a mature management in place and treat the workforce with respect. Does the industry truly believe there's a shortage of people willing to do the work, or are they just pining for the days when they had it so good?

Reminds me of the claims by the farming industry that there's a shortage of Americans who are willing to work as farm workers. Farmers were sneaking low-paid illegal workers into the country, and pretty soon you had to have a migrant workforce to be competitive. Result? Low pay and job losses for American workers. Money leaving farming communities and ending up south of the border. Rural towns drying up, and nobody willing to be honest about the reasons why. So they blame the victims, they claim that Americans are 'not willing to work'.

more than 3 years ago
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Age Bias In IT: the Reality Behind the Rumors

mollog Experience vs. energy (582 comments)

"On top of that, I have insight into how to do things well that only come from experience. Not to mention the experience with the business processes that you only learn by being in a company for a few years."

No joke, experience can save an organization money and time. But when you have inexperienced managers, in an organization where there seems to be no accountability, well, I guess they'd rather re-learn the lessons themselves. It's hard not to become apathetic under those conditions.

The good news is that the younger crowd can compensate for bad decisions by working longer and harder. Been there, too. Again, apathy follows.

more than 3 years ago
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Age Bias In IT: the Reality Behind the Rumors

mollog Insulting article (582 comments)

I don't understand why the article keeps quoting Vivek Wadhwa and his demeaning generalizations.

"...if you're 45 years of age and still writing C code or Cobol code and making $150,000 a year, the likelihood is that you won't be employed very long,"

""If you can hire someone fresh out of college for $60,000 who is likely to know the latest technology, or you can hire someone 45 years old who's making $140,000, who are you going to hire? "

In my dreams would I make $60k, never mind $140k. And do I have stale skills? Nah. PHP, javascript, C# (ugh). How many of you have programmed PCL systems with ladder logic? I went into a job where some younger people had gotten a system up and running (nice work guys!), but I was aghast when I saw the code. And I had never even seen ladder code or PLC systems before.

An guess who it was that got laid off?

more than 3 years ago
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Panda Poo Yields Key To Cheaper Biofuels

mollog What is in panda poo? (113 comments)

If pandas digest that lignocellulose ( there's another word for the spell checker), what is left in their poo? Really.

more than 3 years ago
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Scientists Discover Tipping Point for the Spread of Ideas

mollog It's good news... (283 comments)

The flat-earth types that seem to characterize the social conservatives are pretty scary and they jumped into my mind immediately. But after further reflection, I realize that this 10% tipping point is actually very good news.

Old, flat-earth beliefs are just that - old. If something new comes along, like the theory that the earth revolves around the sun, and the planet is not flat, it gradually becomes the new belief.

It will be interesting to see how political campaigns will use this information.

more than 2 years ago
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Senate Bill Adds Shuttle Flight, New Shuttle-Derived Vehicle

mollog I've got a dumb question (230 comments)

I've got a dumb question. Why do they return the shuttle back to Earth? Or, why not build a part of the space station out of shuttles; you design the vehicle to serve as the body of the launch vehicle, and as part of the ISS. You could leave off a lot of those tiles if you weren't planning to return.

The crew returns to Earth via a reentry vehicle. Fill the vehicle with supplies, send it up there, and the crew comes back on a specialized reentry bus.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Out of Favor With Young, Hip Developers

mollog I think parent (and GP) has it right... (775 comments)

Mirage and Monkeedude are the horse's mouth. Look at their slashdot ID's and you can tell they are new entrants to this rat race.

I suspect the 'locking down to technology' is a pretty serious issue, along with the cost of the sophisticated development environment. And, speaking of development environment, the new graduates are going to be very comfortable with the social networking side of the FOSS world. When there is a problem with a tool, or if they need help with an esoteric problem, the help is ready, willing, and able to help without the condescension you often find in the Microsoft help forums.

The more committed young developers will probably enjoy the FOSS workspace better than the MS world. More satisfaction.

more than 4 years ago
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How To Build an Open Source House?

mollog Been done before (274 comments)

Railcars have been used before. Insulation, airhandling, all the rest will be relatively trivial. Not having the local council ruin your plans will be the tough part.

Moisture will be an issue. You'll need to seal it up and when you do, moisture inside the vehicle will be a problem. You can use a spray foam insulation. For inspiration on how to make confined spaces into a livable space, go tour a yatch.

My brother built a vacation place on Tenakee Springs, Alaska. First thing he did was deliver a shipping container as a quick-and-dirty, bear-proof shelter. The door of it is visible here. Obviously, it is now incorporated into a larger structure.

more than 4 years ago
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Russia's Unmanned Capsule Misses Space Station

mollog Re:It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (224 comments)

Contrary to what you might think, this is rocket science.

Maybe that's the trouble. If you ask a rocket scientist how to deal with a problem, they'll give you a rocket. They are trying to dock a ship. If you ask a dockworker they'll give you a different answer. What's wrong with using a rope to snatch that little rascal?

more than 4 years ago
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Russia's Unmanned Capsule Misses Space Station

mollog It's time to deliver a space tug to the station (224 comments)

Is there no vehicle for the people on the space station to use so that they can nip out and catch the errant missile? Jeepers, that would have been the first thing that I would deliver. Surely, they had anticipated this happening and considered what to do about it.

It's not clear to me why we're doing this whole space station thing in such a half-assed manner. Why not think in terms of a permanent space station, and all that entails?

more than 4 years ago
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Do Scientists Understand the Public?

mollog Re:we should study this (511 comments)

Despite what you might have heard, talking to a scientist is only slightly harder than talking to the dead.

more than 4 years ago
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Indian Government Threatens RIM, Skype With Ban

mollog The problem with that approach (281 comments)

The Bush administration violated a few constitutional laws in its effort to close the barn door after the terrorists had burned the barn down. They wanted to impress upon us how earnestly they believed in thwarting the terrorists, so they decided that we needed to give up our rights so that they could score political points.

But, as everybody knows, the Bush administration had more than enough information to do the job long before the terrorists ever hit us. What was needed isn't more information, what was needed was better use of the existing information. (Notice that I'm not using the word intelligence. Clearly, Bush needed more intelligence, but that would not be forthcoming.) But we can expect our leaders to make lazy, self-serving choices rather than to take on the hard jobs they seemed to want so badly.

India is an authoritarian state, perfectly comfortable with internal corruption and cronyism. This choice, to compel telecommunications businesses to open up their data for 'security and intelligence' agencies, will surely be abused for political reasons and its impact on security will be marginal.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Busting Its Own Browser+OS Myth

mollog Re:Why should they care now? (204 comments)

The problem with old programs is the Microsoft 'Updates' that add cruft until the system becomes a dog. Microsoft's solution? Buy their new version.

Funny how that works.

more than 4 years ago
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Verizon iPhone Rumored For Early Next Year

mollog Apple's 28% marketshare of smartphones... (251 comments)

Apple currently has a 28% market share of the smartphone market, even with its phone being exclusive to ATT. Opening it to the Verizon network will surely cause its market share to climb sharply.

Right now, Apple is in a three-way tie for the market. It will start to dominate the market if/when it goes onto the Verizon network.

more than 4 years ago
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Leaked MS Presentation Shows App Store Plans For Windows 8

mollog Re:Easy for MS to do this without much risk (339 comments)

The app store concept is not evil unless traditional distribution is eliminated.

Good point. They will be competing with their own vendors. How's that going to work? Will they be making promises to play nice?

Obviously, their vendors won't have any choice except to bend over, once again. And, obviously, this has all the makings of a total custer fluck - conflicts will be immediate and chronic. Microsoft will be setting up a web site that competes with their vendors, and they will necessarily be offering things that their vendors won't have available. I suppose they had to do something to try to counter Apple's success. Too bad they couldn't think of something original.

Innovation at its finest.

In the past, Microsoft has tried to 'innovate' by tying functionality between their OS and apps. Doing so helps prevent technology from escaping the Microsoft ecosystem and being deployed on competing operating systems, software, and hardware. Having an App Store that is supplied by independent programmers means that those programmers will be able to leverage their work across multiple platforms. This could have worked in Microsoft's favor if they had been early to the game. They could have positioned themselves in the center of a new, connected world and helped steer traffic by and through their world.

Instead, Microsoft has been doing the opposite; attempting to hold users captive to a separate ecosystem, thinking they could provide users with everything they could possibly want. Browsers, search, social networking, heck, even the internet itself happened despite Microsoft, not because of Microsoft.

And, no, corporate IT is not hopping on Microsoft bandwagons like they have in the past. Corporate migration away from XP has been slow, at best. Yes, there are suits who are happy to have Microsoft be the sole vendor of standard desktop apps. But truly interesting things are not done at Microsoft.

For an App Store to work, Microsoft would have to open up its desktop and maintain a backwards compatibility. They have a bad track record on that issue.

Truly, because Microsoft is so large, there will be money made, and truly, they can take some of the wind out of Apple's sails, but there is less to this than meets the eye.

more than 4 years ago
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Leaked MS Presentation Shows App Store Plans For Windows 8

mollog More Microsoft 'Innovation'? (339 comments)

Yeah, Microsoft innovates. Yeah, that's why they dominate the desktop marketplace. Once again, they are ripping off ideas from Apple.

If the OS were free and they made their money in the App Store, this would make more sense - they would be beholden upon revenue from the App Store to survive. But this is just an attempt to counter Apple's success and Apple's increasing mindshare. Microsoft's 'App Store' will be an ugly, controversial mess and will likely drive more business toward Apple.

First question would be - Don't they already have an 'App Store'? Oh, wait, it only sells Microsoft software.

What happens when somebody comes up with something that competes with an existing Microsoft application? I think we already know the answer to that one.

What happens when someone comes up with a truly 'killer app' that becomes hugely successful? Microsoft will first try to buy the app to capture that 'lost' revenue, and if they fail to negotiate a suitably low price, will duplicate the app in-house and compete for that market.

So, someone quickly que the glossy, focus-group approved, TV ads that promise shiny exciting new toys for your already buggy, overburdened laptop.

Everybody sing! I'd like to buy the world an APP, and keep it company, I'd like to promise happy times, and flying chairs to see.

more than 4 years ago
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Tattoos For the Math and Science Geek?

mollog Re:Before you do it (1186 comments)

What kind of bike did you get?

I just split up with my (second) wife and bought an old Kawasaki H1. I'm thinking of a Betty Boop tattoo.

more than 4 years ago
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Tattoos For the Math and Science Geek?

mollog I like the fermata symbol (1186 comments)

I like musicians who get the fermata symbol tattooed on their bodies. (Hold me.)

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Carbon monoxide studied as a therapy

mollog mollog writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mollog (841386) writes "The Boston Globe has an article about the medical applications of low doses of carbon monoxide.

From the article; "For more than a century, carbon monoxide has been known as a deadly toxin. In an 1839 story, Edgar Allan Poe wrote of “miraculous lustre of the eye’’ and “nervous agitation’’ in what some believe are descriptions of carbon monoxide poisoning, and today, cigarette cartons warn of its health dangers."

Maybe those cigarette ads with the doctors touting the health benefits of cigarettes were right after all."

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