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Lessig Launches a Super PAC To End All Super PACs

plurgid Re:Asking the wrong questions (465 comments)

so you're telling me that in India 33% of the political CANDIDATES are under indictment for campaign finance infractions, and only 3% of the sitting members of congress are as well?

call me crazy but those numbers sound pretty damn good compared to 100% being up to no good 100% of the time and quietly legalizing any behavior that looks too obviously corrupt.

that actually sounds like a system that is working by comparison

about 6 months ago
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Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

plurgid Re:this is why I leased my Leaf (193 comments)

The oldest Leaf is like 3.5 years old now. How could you possibly know that the suspension will require a rebuild before the battery goes? Even the first generation of these cars haven't hit their 5 year battery warranty yet, let alone been around long enough for an epidemic of suspension rebuilds to be happening.

Not that I'd put it past a car manufacturer to intentionally build in shit that will break on schedule, so as to throw their dealerships (who make a lot of money out of their service departments) a bone. I could totally buy that, but there is absolutely zero evidence of that happening yet on these particular cars, nor that the problem with these is notably different than on any other kind of car.

But again, another great reason to lease these types of cars. By the time that happens, my lease will be way over with.

Personally I'm hoping by the time my leaf lease is up, there will be a Tesla model that has the same sort of affordability, as they do not have a dealership network to try and support with these sort of shenanigans.

about 6 months ago
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Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

plurgid Re:this is why I leased my Leaf (193 comments)

nobody is wrong, and nobody made a mistake.

Battery degradation is most definitely factored into the lease. There is no "magic" here other than the fact that the amount of money Nissan wants to make leasing me their electric car (+ the cost of the electricity it eats) is per-month , just right about $80 more than the amount of money I would have spent feeding gas into my old car (which I still have for road trips and such).

From my perspective, I don't have to give as much of my money to oil companies anymore and I get to drive a brand new car for about $80 more a month than I was spending before.

The best part is that by the time the battery won't hold a charge anymore, I'm not stuck with the task of figuring out how to unload it without losing my shirt, or spending a shitload on a new battery. That's Nissan's problem, which ... really is the best situation anyhow ... they have the infrastructure to recycle batteries, etc, etc. They made their batteries proprietary, it's not like I'd be able to sell the old one to anyone else really.

Some may look at that deal and feel they are being taken advantage of ... to those people I say "hooray for you and your DIY ethos, I'll be over here driving my brand new electric car for the cost of a single tank of gas every month".

about 6 months ago
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Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

plurgid Re:this is why I leased my Leaf (193 comments)

I think it's a pretty fair comparison.
I said to myself: "there are these new-fangled electic cars, I wonder if I could obtain one for around the same monthly cost as what I used to spend in gas?".

and by Jove, the answer was "yes", so I went and did that.

could I have saved more money, by possibly getting something like a smart car with a moped engine in it? yeah I dunno maybe. But I'd still have to put gas in it, and I'd still have to deal with the maintenance nightmare that is an internal combustion engine.

about 6 months ago
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Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

plurgid this is why I leased my Leaf (193 comments)

Everyone I know gave me tons of shit about leasing a new car. I still think a lease was the right decision.
Others may disagree, but in my opinion until battery prices come down (or the technology has a mega-improvement), electric cars are more of a service than an asset.

My Leaf is amazing. It's like driving a spaceship ... completely silent, smooth as silk, no transmission, acceleration like there's a rocket strapped to your ass ... damn near zero maintenance, and it costs about 1/10th per-mile to drive as opposed to my gas-guzzling "Canyonero" SUV.

IN FACT, the amount of money I USED to spend in a month, just buying gas for my old car, is $80 less than the monthly lease payment on the Leaf (and of course, I knew this going in, which is why I did it).

The battery is by far the most expensive single part of the car. In fact, when you look at it, you're really sort of buying a very expensive battery with some car-shaped accessories. The fact that the battery WILL fail as a matter of scientific certainty, and that we can even know more or less exactly when that will happen, makes me not want to own one of these.

With gas cars, you buy them doing calculations about repair cost and resale value that simply do not apply to the situation with electric cars. It's damn unlikely (unless I get in a wreck) that ANY repairs will ever be needed on my Leaf other than the big one ... the battery will eventually go, and at that point I might as well buy a new car.

Which is why leasing electric cars is the way to go, until the battery technology has a massive improvement, or the cost comes way down ... or some car company figures this out and makes interchangeable batteries with a leasing program for the battery. I'll happily own the car if I don't have to own the battery too!

about 6 months ago
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Shots Fired At US Capitol

plurgid Re:Zombies. (608 comments)

you guys have got to be kidding or you've got to be really disconnected from reality.
almost *every single* member of congress is already *at least* a millionaire. No shit:

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2013/01/new-congress-new-and-more-wealth.html

and it's not like this is even a new thing. It's been this way a LOOONG time.
So if you honestly think that the salary these d-bags are pulling is anything more than tip money for the golf caddy to these guys you're living in a fantasy land.

1 year,26 days
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How Companies Are Preparing For the IT Workforce Exodus

plurgid Re:I call bullshit (248 comments)

Well I call bullshit on your bullshit man.
This is the same mindset as the myriad of "work at home" MLM schemes my wife has found her self wrapped up in over the years (Avon, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Stampin' Up, yadda yadda yadda).

Yes sir! If you're a super-motivated outgoing self-promotion machine you too can earn up to* a bajillion dollars a year!

Here's a bloody obvious thing: everyone can't do that. If everyone did that, then it would not work.

It worked out for you: congratulations. That *does not* mean that it will or can work out for anyone motivated and good enough.
It means you got lucky, and you worked hard.

A hard-working, motivated, talented person is like a seed. If the seed finds itself on fertile ground, it can grow and thrive and bear fruits . If it lands on barren ground, not a damn thing is going to happen.

When you get down to it, that's the real root issue, here. There are fewer and fewer parcels of fertile economic ground in the US. Typically boomers (hell, everyone once you get past a certain age threshold) tend to think "hey I worked hard and these lazy kids ...". Your post betrays that same sort of thinking, and I'm here to tell you it's complete bullshit. The US is completely awash in talented, motivated, educated hard-working and capable young people who haven't got a place to plant their seed.

IT contract workers (especially the from-overseas variety who are willing to work for pennies on the dollar) are like an invasive species ... say Kudzu (if you've ever been to Georgia, you know what I'm talking about). It's resilient ... it can thrive in barren, low-nutrient soil where other species can't, but it does EVEN BETTER when there is good soil, so ... like I said ... drive through Georgia some time ... you'll see it covering *everything* choking out every other native species of plant.

You can self-promote your ass on youtube and blogs all day long. If everyone else is doing it to (and I'm here to tell you -- THEY ARE), then it doesn't matter at all. Who that works for is that the old guy with 25 years experience gets the job (like an old growth tree rising high above), while the youngsters can battle it out with the kudzu below.

It's only a matter of "hard work" if there's a place for you to do it. Increasingly there isn't. And I say this as one of the old-growth old guys with experience, who does many of the things you're talking about ... and who has been lucky enough to have things work out. I just have the awareness to see what's going on down below, and I'm telling you ... it wasn't like this for us when we were starting out, and if it had been we wouldn't be where we are today.

about a year ago
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Spectacular Fireball Lights Up UK Sky

plurgid so you're saying ... (68 comments)

it was a champagne supernova in the sky?
lol.

more than 2 years ago
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Salesforce CEO Benioff: Future Software Will Look Like Facebook

plurgid he's actually right (156 comments)

I'm loathe to admit that a trend-surfing PHB is right about something, but in this case, he's actually dead on the money.
You guys are thinking about software applications like eclipse, photoshop, or excel/word, etc.
That's probably not what he's talking about. What he's talking about is software you use to run your business.

I build this kind of thing for a living at a truly gigantic company. "Ticket systems" they used to call it back in the 90's but these days you'll hear "workflow management", etc. I'm continually amazed at how well facebook does a kind of massive collaboration platform that literally millions of people use all day every day, that is so simple to use, that there are literally no instructions and nearly everyone in the world who wants to, can use it just fine.

Sure they're "collaborating" by posting captioned cat pictures, arguing with their long lost high school buddies about politics, and playing dumbassed flash games with social hooks, instead of troubleshooting routers and customer equipment, but the principle is damn near IDENTICAL.

I'm amazed by this because I've been building this stuff for like 15 years and every off the shelf product gets it wrong. Nearly all of the industry standards get it wrong. Every purpose-built in-house project gets it wrong. But these spiky hair'd startup kids got it right without even knowing what they were building.

Kind of amazing really. Those of us in this field DO have a lot to learn from facebook.
now I guess I've gotta turn in my "krusty old guy" card or get back to telling 'em to get off my lawn

more than 2 years ago
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High Tech Companies Becoming Fools For the City

plurgid hipsta please! (276 comments)

everyone I work with is a telecommuter.
everyone. for the past 7 years or so.
some of them are in Europe, some of them are in America, some of them are in Australia, and some of them are in India.
they are all in their homes, which may or may not be in a city, I don't really know because it doesn't matter in the slightest.

and no, I don't work for some spiky hair'd startup hipster magnet.
I work at one of the biggest companies in the world.

this is how the future will be.

more than 2 years ago
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How Long Do You Want To Live?

plurgid you won't have to worry about it (813 comments)

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that most of you who will read this are in more or less the same boat as me, which is to say, stealing the odd 10 minutes from "the man" from the comfort of your cube farm to opine on the intarnetz about stuff. You would be somewhere between 25 and 45 and you will be making slightly above average yearly salary wherever you live, which is probably in the United States.

If this describes you, you need to understand one thing: THIS WILL NEVER BE A PROBLEM FOR YOU.

no matter what drugs are discovered, no matter what new surgical techniques are developed, no matter what technologies come along. You are about to get massively fucked when it comes to healthcare, and the sole reason is BECAUSE it's privatized. Right now you can get decent medical care because you are riding on the wake of one of the most massive population booms in the history of mankind ... and guess what ... those people are going to be dying, but the medical-industrial complex is doing what EVERY business does when there's a boom ... act like it's going to continue forever.

There is a medical industry bubble, just like there was a savings & loan bubble, and a tech bubble, and a housing bubble, and a mortgage backed securities bubble, and it WILL bust, right when you and I are about to start needing it the most.

marinate on that.

more than 2 years ago
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America's Future Is In Software, Not Hardware

plurgid The future is in McNuggets!! (630 comments)

This is short term thinking at it's worst. This is a symptom of an unlevel playing field. The solution is to level the playing field, not to try and figure out a short term strategy to cash in on the fouled up situation.

What if one day, Burger King decided to drastically undercut McDonalds by doing something shady. Let's say they found a way to make hamburgers and french fries out of dog food, and they bought enough politicians to make that legal. Burger King doesn't make McNuggets, so McDonald's decided to completely abandon every other thing on their menu. McDonalds now ONLY makes McNuggets. They are lauded as geniuses of the new post-BurgerKing era. This is the future. If you're not in McNuggets you're a dumbass.

Except they forgot one thing. Burger King could make McNuggets if they wanted to. It's not really all that hard.

So it is with software. Everyone here knows it ... it really *isn't* all that hard. I mean sure, there's some geniuses out there making really groudbreaking shit, but that's not MOST software jobs. Most software jobs involve cramming strings into and getting them back out of databases, and making it look pretty (or some slight variation thereof). It's not that hard, and China could put you out in a heartbeat if they decided that's what they were gonna focus on.

I've heard this line a few times. I remember when Bill Clinton was running for office and he gave up that famous "I feel your pain" line ... He was there to talk about how manufacturing was old and busted and how the "knowledge economy" was the new hotness and all these assembly line workers needed to start over and go to community college.

The future is in leveling the playing field.
Not in exploiting the imbalance.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Intends To 'Digitally Destroy' Textbook Publishing

plurgid Re:hammered out distribution rights (396 comments)

Size and weight are minor annoyances.
I'd have given my left nut for e-books of all my text books last time I was in college for two simple reasons:

A) CTRL-F
let me search it ... please

B) Juarez is not *just* the name of a town in Mexico.
and college kids be broke as hell, ya dig?

more than 2 years ago
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Do Companies Punish Workers Who Take Vacations?

plurgid Re:I just got back from a job fair today (948 comments)

The economy is global.

If your your job function does not absolutely require your physical presence in a specific location, then your job is worth exactly what the cheapest person *in the entire world* will do it for. You can make quality arguments, but let's face it ... there are incredibly cheap competent people living in the third-world as well.

Unless something changes, we in the first world are *all* on our way to the 3rd world (at least the most of us who hang out on this website).

A lot of recent events make a strange sort of sense if you look at it from this point of view:

What if our leaders actually know this, and are making "rats on a sinking ship" decisions ... ones with a conscience benevolently trying to engineer a soft landing for America & Europe on a leveled out playing field with the third world, and the ones without a conscience are basically just money and power grabbing what they can get to solidify their positions of privilege before the whole thing goes kablooey.

Marinate on that, as the hip young kids say.

more than 2 years ago
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What Could Have Been In the Public Domain Today, But Isn't

plurgid Re:Brought to you by: (412 comments)

So, which are we supposed to hate? Companies or government regulation that prevents us from starting our own?

That's a bit of a false dichotomy isn't it?

Taking it back to my basketball analogy ... which are we supposed to hate? the players or the game?

You're supposed to hate both. That was the point of my comment.
My point does not seem to fit within your binary left/right system of understanding. Sorry.

more than 2 years ago
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What Could Have Been In the Public Domain Today, But Isn't

plurgid Re:Brought to you by: (412 comments)

Bravo!
That's one of the most concise examples of what I've been seeing happen over the course of my lifetime: economic winners writing the rules so that there can be fewer and fewer new winners.

America is now like a basketball game where every time someone makes a basket, their team gets to replace a referee.

This is what pisses me off the most when older folks give my generation the "well if you don't like the way things are, why don't you start your OWN company, Apple started in a garage for chrissakes" ... why? Because we're not even remotely playing the same game that Apple was playing in their garage days .. or Wal-mart ... or hell ... Amazon for that matter.

The winners write the rules so that it's impossible for you to follow the same ... hell ... even a similar ... path to success.

more than 2 years ago
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New Group Paves Way For 2012 Online Primary

plurgid Re:Follow The Money (249 comments)

if I could I'd mod the parent up.
I was hoping someone would link that. Here's another shocking analysis: http://goo.gl/VKx8m

So if I understand this correctly, this is not a true popular selection. This is an internet poll, where the slots on the ballot are predetermined, and regardless of who "teh intarnetz" choose, the Candidate Certification Committee makes the actual choice ... all three of who are present members of the Council on Foreign Relations, two of which are recent executives of the RAND corporation, one former director of both CIA and FBI.

I know it sounds tin-foil hatty, but ahh ... damn ... this kinda tastes a little funny.
like the intelligence community executing a very long con, perhaps.

about 2 years ago
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HIV Vaccine Approval For Human Trials

plurgid Vaccine Testing (365 comments)

I'm sure this has been mentioned, but one presumes that there are two primary tests:

A) does the vaccine have side effects & what are they
B) does the vaccine work.

In order to answer B, doesn't this mean you have to find someone without HIV, administer the vaccine, and then expose them to HIV?

Being a volunteer ... for this ... damn. That takes nuts.

more than 2 years ago
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How HP and Open Source Can Save WebOS

plurgid Year o' the Linux Tablet (86 comments)

I'm kind of surprised nobody's mentioned this aspect, because it seems sort of obvious to me.

HP can make a *lot* of money selling for lack of a better term "open" tablets.
What I mean is: no walled garden & a completely, utterly open OS.

You cannot build your own tablet, the way you can build your own PC, and frankly given the form factor, I'm not sure how that could ever become the case.

So do it, HP. Sell open platform tablets that the entire freakin' world can hack on until they're blue in the face.
Once you've got a real good, stable OS that's easy to develop on, some basic office applications, and hardware cheaper than Apple, you stand to have businesses buying the hell out of your hardware.

more than 2 years ago
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17-Year-Old Wins $100K For Creating Cancer Killing Nanoparticle

plurgid Re:Biology Question (255 comments)

No, it isn't. Otherwise, it'd be a lot easier to cure.
Correlated to the presence of MAP bacteria, yes. Symptoms the result of a bacterial infection: absolutely not.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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gigantic chimneys need debunking (or do they?)

plurgid plurgid writes  |  more than 5 years ago

plurgid writes "This idea seems novel, plausible & way too obvious. Build gigantic chimneys to funnel heat trapped by global warming to the upper atmosphere. Add turbines, and you can create power as well.

Well now, I'm just a simple country chicken programmer and my physics knowledge is weaker than my web design knowledge. The amateurish design does smack of "kook", but are these people on to something?

I put it to you, slashdot: genius or twelve piece bucket o' trouble."

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