Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Trust the World's Fastest VPN with Your Internet Security & Freedom - A Lifetime Subscription of PureVPN at 88% off. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×

Comment Re:Bubble (Score 1) 489

So very much this. I was talking with an MBA friend of mine who can't wait to get his 6-digits so he can wholly invest in property because "Every house appreciates in value!" I asked him, "Why does a house that degrades over time go up in value?"

He was stumped, but then came to terms with the response, "Well, people need homes. People build homes where people want to live (near large employment areas, beaches, etc.) and people want to buy there. Supply & demand drives up prices for the limited number of homes."

I respond, "So it's not that the actual value of the house or land goes up, it's that more people in the market need homes near where they work. Your goal is to buy those homes and make them pay more money than the value of the home so you can get money while not actually providing a product or improving on an existing product. Is that right?"

"Jeez, man. You make me sound like a real dick when you put it that way..."

And then we got back to work.

Comment Harsh Rental Practices (Score 5, Informative) 489

My wife and I make over $100k together and we can't yet afford a 2b/2ba condo in Orange County, CA within a 30 minute commute to work. That kind of place with a garage goes for ~$500k. Thus, if you don't want PMI, you need to have $100k in cash on hand PLUS financial buffer and moving costs. So we rent. We pay ~$1,845/mo for our 1b/1ba. And there's a catch-- lease renewal increases are around $50, but the increase is lower than the ~$90/mo annual market rental increase over the last few years. So, if you want to move, you're almost guaranteed to be moving into a more expensive apartment.

And there still isn't any inventory to buy. There are too many people buying to turn around and immediately rent out those places.

So, despite out income and despite our savings, we're staying put.

Comment 10 Years -- Because I'm Planning for It (Score 1) 325

I think my job will be doable by software within 10 years because, well, that's the way I'm trying to make it work.

My work is 40% statistical analysis, 25% interpersonal relations, 35% using creativity to make our product better. Analysis can be automated and I'm trying to make it so. The interpersonal relations almost always boils down to analysis, instruction, and maybe some testimonial. So, that's (again) automated math, referring to existing guides, and likely some interface to connect happy customers with people who are just interested. The creative improvement part is less about inventing genuinely new things and more about using known working solutions instead of attempting to create our own.

It's me and a 3 person team doing this work. Hopefully, in 10 years, the whole team's work will be done by one person making less money than me. (I work for a public institution, so I'm all about minimizing cost.) The only problem is finding the time to do the work to automate the job. That's the problem with understaffing-- you save money in the short-term at the cost of saving WAY more money in the long-term.

Comment Re:Thank you, Pres. Trump, for putting America fir (Score 4, Insightful) 221

Patriotism has never been a dirty word. Misuse of the words "patriot" and "patriotism", though, has stained the words to the point where they're immediately associated with something being covered up (see: USA PATRIOT Act).

Nationalism, though, has been a dirty word since the '40s when nationalism's big brother "Fascism" became a bit of an issue for people living in the countries immediately adjacent.

And the world's not insane. It's just that people disagree. It has always been that way and it will always be that way. If you want it to feel less "insane" spend some time understanding why people make the decisions they do. Once you understand, they're not so much "crazy" as they are in different circumstances.

Comment "Investors" Had No Clue What Is Possible TODAY (Score 1) 88

It kills me. There are so many vaporware projects out there that banked entirely on peoples' lack of understanding of where tech has advanced and where they hope it will be tomorrow.

When I saw the advertisement for this drone, my immediate thought was, "No. They don't have something that can do that. And they won't deliver something that can do that in a year." I'm not a pessimist. I just understand, like most Slashadotters, what is possible today vs. what is possible with Google's money vs. what is possible with a few guys' passion. There was no reason to believe that this project could be completed. Vaporware.

Same goes for Solar Roadways ( People LOVE the idea of our massive road and highway system generating massive amounts of energy from the sun. These people say they know how to make it happen and that they're starting to get funding and permission to test it. But, again, almost everyone on Slashdot can attest to the currently insurmountable issues of durability, transparency, friction, wiring, cost, etc. Vaporware.

Let's look at Google's recently cancelled "solar-powered, autonomous gliders beaming internet to the masses" idea. Who here thought that was going to come to fruition? Anyone? I sure hope not. Vaporware.

What annoys me most is that in-between vaporware and delivery. Where there's so much hype, rational demand, and funding but the obstacles are so huge, that we know the promises can't ever be met within the time-frame promised, but oooooh, we want to believe! I'm talking about genuine autonomous vehicles. The tech isn't here yet. We all see the potential. We know the tech will be here, but it's *not* here. Still the hype says, "The future is now! We're just working out some kinks and, oh, you know these silly lawmakers and safety experts!" People talk about autonomous vehicles flooding the American roads in the next couple years. And, really, it's just to get more investment capital. Within the next couple years, I know we'll see much more automated driver assist in vehicles (auto-braking, proximity alerts, etc.), but I have absolutely zero expectation of being able to, within the next couple years, hail a car, have it show up at my home, take me to an address I specify, and do so safely, affordably, without a driver, and without massive liability on me.

Comment Re:Browsers are fine (Score 1) 766

It's wrong in the same way that running your car's engine to the redline before every shift and then complaining that your car overheats is wrong. There is a correct and incorrect way to run any machine to get the intended results for the intended lifespan of the machine.

Comment Sorry, Tech is not Magic (Score 1) 766

Look, a browser has to do a lot. A WHOLE LOT.

1. Load page layouts, scripts, graphics, videos, & sound so that when you intentionally trigger something, your requested action happens *mostly* quick.
2. Sites want to earn money. That means that non-mission-related stuff (advertising) must get loaded as well. This is often worse than the simple text that most of us are actually seeking out.
3. Weed out malicious crap. Given the sheer amount of malicious crap out there, we're asking out browsers to do 99% of our due diligence for us. That means checking every little thing against massive blacklists and whitelists so that someone in Nigeria doesn't get the ability to turn on your webcam while you're getting intimate with the misses and extort you for money.
4. To allow us to do a billion different transactions through the same window. Bank transactions. Credit transactions. Messaging. And on and on...
5. Sometimes it goes to space and back... and then through a hundred other computers.

Comment And those who used his services? (Score 4, Interesting) 91

I haven't read this article yet, but I plan to and then dig some more. As someone working in sustainability (waste, water, GHG emissions, etc.) for a very, very large organization, I can't help but wonder if the orgs that were customers of Brundage will have any certifications they gained by using his recycling business revoked and if they will be fined for not meeting attainment goals retroactively.

Comment Re:Why trust a cheap supermarket to be a bank? (Score 1) 65

Great question. I work in a county where there's an extremely well-known credit union with an education focus-- if you're a university student or employee of a school, you and your family can join the credit union. I joined as a student because it offered no fees for pretty much anything. As I grew into a career-person, I learned about the massive benefits. First, they're a not-for-profit. Their goal isn't to get rich and make people rich. It's to keep the money safe, keep member credit availability high, and then share what profits are had with their membership.

Here's a great example: Most savings accounts accrue infinitesimal interest (if any). At this credit union, you get a .05% APR. Nothing special. You can open a Money Market account and get .1% APR, though. What's the difference? To the end user, nothing, really. You put money in and you take money out. Here's the good stuff though-- There's a Summer Saver's account (remember the education focus?) where you can have up to $2,000 of each of your paychecks deposited. This earns 3.0% APR! You can withdraw some/all the money whenever you want, but you can only deposit via your paycheck's direct deposit. Thus, your money isn't tied up, but while it's there, it's bringing in better interest than any other no-risk savings I've ever seen.

Additionally, they have variable limit credit cards, rewards credit cards, home loans (PMI/Non-PMI, etc.)-- and all at rock-bottom interest rates because their goal isn't to milk money from you, it's to make sure you pay back your debt so that the members (including you), keep bringing in good interest returns.

Comment Re:The terrorists have won (Score 2, Insightful) 247

Riiight. And that's evident how? Tell me how your life exhibits the Constitution having been smashed. Which freedoms did you have, but do not have today? Ya, Western governments are over-stepping bounds, but I'm fairly certain you weren't shot for typing your response. Nor will you be prosecuted. Nor will anyone else give much of a damn. Your freedoms are 99.999% intact and the police will still come to protect them when you call and the legal system will continue to prosecute and defend the accused. But if living in a dystopic fantasy land is your thing, then you do you.

Comment Re:Airport charging (Score 3, Informative) 72

Plain ol' sockets won't do the job because it doesn't provide the data necessary to bill the driver to electricity used, manage the hundreds of plugs, etc.

Also, while it seems like common sense to place charging stations at workplaces and shopping areas, it doesn't make sense form an administrative or engineering standpoint. When stations go in at your job site, your job site becomes the administrator of those stations. They effectively become refueling stations and they become responsible for the smooth running of their workers refueling. This is much more complex than most people realize. Additionally, when you place massive amounts of chargers (level 2 chargers for that matter) in areas where people are likely to park during the day, you're encouraging additional peak-time load which usually means more pollution per kWh. It's also more expensive to INSTALL the EVSEs because you have to trench and run electrical cables into open lots, install new transformers, etc.

If you want to promote EV use, the solution is NOT more chargers in public spaces, but more battery capacity at an affordable price (like the Chevy Bolt) and more charging at home. And this is the truest obstacle of the push for EVs.

The cheapest energy is off-peak energy. If you charge at home between 9pm and 6am, you're paying a couple dollars at most to fill up your car's battery pack. This is what everyone wants. But not everyone has a garage. Not everyone owns a home so that they can install an EVSE with which to charge an EV.

If EVs are to succeed:
1. EVERYONE has to be able to charge at home.
2. The cars can't cost more than a Prius. (The federal rebate needs to be reworked to be useful to those of moderate/low income.)
3. The cars must have at least a 200 mile range. (All of us working in sustainability are looking forward to the Chevy Bolt.)
4. We have to find a way to make battery manufacturing, recycling, and disposal environmentally safe.

That's a lot to ask for. Which is why I genuinely think that we're over-investing in battery EVs when we should be building more solar/wind powered hydrolyzers and focusing on hydrogen fuel cell vehicle adoption (Toyota Mirai, Hyundai Tuscon, etc.).

Slashdot Top Deals

"There are some good people in it, but the orchestra as a whole is equivalent to a gang bent on destruction." -- John Cage, composer