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The Myth of the Science and Engineering Shortage

sugar and acid Re:I don't need a study.. (392 comments)

The article mentions this, and solves your problem. Move out of Silicon Valley to a lower cost of living place. Some good sized mid-western city will be optimal. This only works if you have an established product and good procedures. Now if your start-up and need funding from VC etc then yes base yourself in SF, NYC, Boston or Chicago....

about a month ago
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What If the Next Presidential Limo Was a Tesla?

sugar and acid Armor (330 comments)

The Presidents limo is in a heavily disguised armour. It weighs multiple tonnes.

An electric design just can't make the range or extended get away speed required with the protection needed.

Of course the one true maker of presidential limousines is ford....

about a month ago
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CIA Accused: Sen. Feinstein Sees Torture Probe Meddling

sugar and acid Re:It's the *Pot & Kettle Show* (187 comments)

Iran Contra is a good example of what is the problem with the CIA. They believe they are a covert military force and diplomatic wing of government, and NOT an intelligence gathering service. Because of this, after Iran Contra, they just pulled out of everything including the basics of intelligence gathering that would generate actionable intelligence.

The vietnam war murky start was due to it growing out of CIA lead military actions. In many ways a more up front decision decision in government about if there should be any military action in Vietnam could have saved many lives, with either a fully committed profession US force being deployed earlier on or simply not engaging in the conflict at all and coming out at the same result it ended in anyway.

If the CIA concentrated on understanding what is going on in the world and feeding that back to the government. With military actions left to the military, and diplomatic manoeuvring left to the diplomatic corp, the US just wouldn't get into half the messes it does.

about a month ago
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The Ever So Unlikely Tale of How ARM Came To Rule the World

sugar and acid And so where is the archimedes (111 comments)

The article skipped over the whole development of the arm processor. It wasn't developed for the newton, the original architecture was for the acorn archimedes risc based computers, launched in 1987.

The key difference that set Acorn apart from every desktop PC type computer manufacturer at the time, is they went down the road of actually designing their own processors for the PC market. This is instead of using one from Motorola or IBM

I think what set the ARM apart going forward was they used modern for the time CPU design principles, but they aimed for a lower end consumer grade market instead of the higher end mainframe/server/workstation/supercomputer market. Because of this they were all about getting the most performance from cheaper slightly older chip fab technologies. All of these ultimately meant that the design constraints imposed early on translated well to mobile applications.

about 2 months ago
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Assange's Lawyers: Follow Swedish Law, Interrogate Him In the UK

sugar and acid Re:or stop hiding... (377 comments)

Assange's resistance to extradition to Sweden is I think because he believes he is more vulnerable to extradition lock away in a Swedish Jail, not because the extradition process is easier from there to the US than the UK, just that he won't be able to skip bail and the country locked away in a jail. EAW extradition proceedings from the UK to Sweden were in motion, he was out on bail when he skipped off into the Ecudorian embassy. If he had been charged in Sweden for rape, combined with the obvious flight risk someone like Assange represents, bail would have been very very high or not available. Assange's thinking is it would be at that point that the US would start extradition proceedings.

An interesting point here is it is implicit that Assange will not stand and fight any extradition proceedings if he can skip the country. It is a strategy that has left him imprisoned in an embassy in London. Also it has effectively accomplished what the authorities of many countries wanted to achieve, he is trapped, with a progressively smaller political voice.

about 2 months ago
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Startup Out of MIT Promises Digital Afterlife — Just Hand Over Your Data

sugar and acid Black mirror (241 comments)

Charlie Brooker's excellent series "Black mirror". Had exactly this idea in the episode "Be right back".

A company that would take all the tweets, facebook etc as input and create a bot of the deceased personality that you would be able to text with. The story had a pregnant recent widow start talking to her "deceased" husband. To extend it to the logical conclusion the company had upgrades that went from texting, through to phone conversation if audio input was put in, to finally an android based on the person that was fully functional.

The theme was that this was a really bad idea. The imitation can only ever be a imitation, with massive parts of the more private hidden personality missing. And for the people that care the most about the person, something deep in the uncanny valley. All it could really do was draw out the grief process with false hope, and that can't be a healthy thing.

about 3 months ago
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90 Percent of Businesses Say IP Is "Not Important"

sugar and acid Of course (185 comments)

Lots of business are just in the business of selling stuff. So there is very little IP to be had.

Similarly there is very little IP to be protected in the vast majority of services businesses. That's everything from dog walkers to hotel chains, law firms and banks.

The building industry has very little IP as well apart on certain widgets used.

That pretty much leaves high tech manufacturing, software, and something that is probably best describes as "media".

about 4 months ago
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Facebook Patents Inferring Income of Users

sugar and acid This is pointless (129 comments)

The reason Facebook has any advertising income, and therefore value as a company, is that it has the ability to provide very directed advertising.

If you want to target people who read cnn.com and nytimes.com, why not just advertise there like you always could.

about 4 months ago
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Tesla Would Be Proud: Wireless Charging For Electric Cars Gets Closer To Reality

sugar and acid Static application is stupid (176 comments)

The static application of this, automatic charging while parked over a mat in a garage is not that interesting really. But what if sections of a similar technology was installed in interstates that could charge a car on the move? Cars with a receiving system, and a way to verify and bill the driver for the electricity while moving. We would then have electric cars with potentially infinite range.

That application we could take a bit of inefficiency for the convenience added.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Convince Management To Hire More IT Staff?

sugar and acid Unbalanced (383 comments)

I'll be honest, you seem to have a large IT department. You have 4 programmers, and that seems out of whack. Now you are a manufacturer are these programmers actually working on internal business systems (so truly IT), or are they actually involved in developing end user software firmware etc (product development).

If it product development they need to be moved into the development department with the engineers, though the IT manager would then come underneath the product development manager which maybe politically problematic but needs to be done.

If it is just for internal systems development and support, frankly your doing too much customization of your internal system. I think you'll find that the payback with a company the size your described , for automating and streamlining every process, by heavy modifications to the ERP are actually not there. Get the IT manager to fight against further scope creep of the ERP, sack a programmer or 2 and get in more true IT support staff.

about 4 months ago
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Chicago Transit System Fooled By Federal ID Cards

sugar and acid Re:London Oyster (196 comments)

Their is no advantage over a paper ticket with oyster for a weekly pass monthly etc. You still have to buy one at a window, shop etc. The real advantage is in the casual commuter. People making the odd tube or bus trip out of their normal zone or tourists. It massively speeds up boarding of buses with a lot less fumbling around for change.

You can easily share your oyster card with another person. The pay as you go is simply handing it over to them (I have several oysters for the visitors). For weekly passes, it doesn't matter if it is paper or card. In the UK they are tied to a railcard number with a photo. You strictly need both, but they they only check the ticket or oyster usually.

Also you can buy and use a pay as you go oyster anonymously.

about 5 months ago
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Chicago Transit System Fooled By Federal ID Cards

sugar and acid London Oyster (196 comments)

The reason that everybody is trying to move to this type of things is the success of the London oyster card system. Not perfect, but good enough, and is widely adopted.

The key with the London system was the transit fare system was very well integrated to start with. If you bought a zone 1-4 weekly pass, you could take buses tube and trains everywhere within zone 1-4.

The trick to getting adoption was the cash "penalty" fare. For instance a cash bus fare is nearly twice the price of an oyster card fare. And if you buy a season ticket it gets loaded onto an oyster card. So anybody in London needs an oyster card, and so has one.

The other effective thing that was done was to only have oyster top up and ticket sales at stations and offered exclusively to local independent corner stores. The advantage to the store holder is 2 fold, it gave a small financial return to the store owner, but more importantly for the store owner it got people in the store. Topping up oyster cards and at the same time getting a drink or chocolate bar etc. So very quickly every store had one, and in London there are a lot of them so it was widely accessible with very little staffing costs.

about 5 months ago
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Lead Contractor On Health-Care Web Site Led By Execs From Troubled IT Company

sugar and acid Of course they are (227 comments)

The "experience" looked for in a company looking to win a government contract like this is, well a track record in winning government contracts.

They know the tricks and hoops to go through to get to the end and win the contract. They probably also have good contacts that help them win it in the first place.

Ability to actually manage the contract and deliver the result. Pretty much irrelevant.

Basically good bullsh*tters, bad managers.

about 5 months ago
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Woman Facing $3,500 Fine For Posting Online Review

sugar and acid Re:who are the directors ? (519 comments)

From a PR puff piece a year or so ago. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/4/prweb9444835.htm

So the President of the company is "Lee Gersten".

The pr guy on the puff piece is Rob Key pr@kleargear.com .

about 5 months ago
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ATF Tests Show 3D Printed Guns Can Explode

sugar and acid Re:do tell (233 comments)

A properly manufactured weapon will fire thousands of rounds, with basic cleaning and maintenance. These printed guns can't make 10. They are not weapons, they are a political statement arguing that controlling the sale of guns is impossible because anybody can make one. It's not true, and the argument is literally blowing up in their face.

about 5 months ago
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Judge: No Privacy Expectations For Data On P2P Networks

sugar and acid Re:"Available for public download" - AT&T and (230 comments)

Intention seems to be the definitive factor for you, so riddle me this: did the kiddie-diddlers intend to expose incriminating evidence? If not, then this is a discrepancy in the application of the law -- not entirely unexpected, but still worth pointing out.

Of course their intent was not to incriminate themselves. But their intent was clearly to share this incriminating content publicly with other like minded kiddie-diddlers. Thus they made it public.

Your argument is like saying an illegal drug dealer that sells drugs to an undercover cop can't have the sold drugs used as evidence against him, because his intent wasn't to incriminate himself, but instead to sell the drugs to proper drug users.

about 5 months ago
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Stop Listening and Start Watching If You Want To Understand User Needs

sugar and acid And a pony. (161 comments)

My comment about customer feedback and especially surveys (so asking for customer feedback) is if you just ask them "what do you want" out of a product.You'll get back great useful answers back like: "It should be "better", cost a dollar, have all possible features we could ever possibly use, but we only really use 5% of them, but it has to be so easy to use nobody needs training, and a pony".

Generic and conflicting requirements that are frankly useless.

about 5 months ago
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The NSA Is Looking For a Few Good Geeks

sugar and acid Of course they are advertising for people. (388 comments)

Snowden worked for a company that the NSA had subcontracted IT support to. Having seen this blow up in their face, they are dumping all those contracts and bringing it in house. Now this will mean that it is under very heavy security clearance and surveillance, but they need to do it quickly hence the need for direct advertising.

about 5 months ago
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Snowden Seeks International Help Against US Espionage Charges

sugar and acid Re:Abandon their harmful behavior? (351 comments)

The british system works nicely to stop a dictator. At any point, the parliament can elect a new prime-minister, or in effect force a new election. And there is the nuclear option, where the queen can in theory sack a government.

This is never used, as it would create a constitution crisis the monarchy probably wouldn't survive. But if the government was seriously dysfunctional, and was unpopular, the queen could just about politically get away with it. The closest case is sacking of the australian Witlam government in the 70's by the governor general (queen's representative in australia) for the government being in deadlock over a budget and having to shut down functions. So basically the equivalent of the government shutdown the US has just had.

about 5 months ago
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Greenland Repeals Radioactive Mining Ban

sugar and acid Re:Hazaa! (142 comments)

The original term "Nuclear Magnetic resonance" was used as it made a distinction between the technique that analysed the atomic nucleus and the similar form that analysed the state of the electron orbitals (Electron paramagnetic resonance, or electron spin resonance).

When NMR chemical analysis technology move to Magnetic resonance imaging, the distinction was to separate the technique from true medical radiation imaging techniques. Up to that point much of medical imaging involved xrays, which IS ionizing radiation and does do real harm with sufficient exposure.

Putting "nuclear" into the name just would have undermined the key advantage of MRI scanning in the public eye. And as sales people say, if you are explaining such a technical nuance you are losing the battle.

The naming of MRI is a good piece of positive scientific marketing. Making sure the technique is not confused in the public perception with ionizing radiation imaging techniques.

 

about 6 months ago

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