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Comment Re:Lost business? (Score 2) 76

Of course it is: We see this pretty easily in the physical space when there's really bad weather, like a blizzard that makes travel difficult for 3 days. Businesses see a bit of a pickup afterwards, as some purchases just get delayed, but there's A LOT of economic activity that disappears.

Imagine, for instance, that whoever processes credit cards for the Hillary campaign happened to have a catastrophic 4 hour outage around the last debate. Do you really think that the people that would have donated during the debate, or right after, are going to remember and donate just afterwards? I'd be very surprised of many didn't just give up at the time, and not remember to do the same, the day after.

Comment I wish I could choose when to switch languages (Score 1) 331

I am doing infrastructure for a well known, yet not public SF company. I've had days where I had to write code in 5 languages, going from interpreted languages with almost no type support, to Scala's type battleship. This raises problems for learning: I learned Scala somewhere else, doing nothing but Scala for months. When you can dive deep into a language, it's easy to remember it, and then bring back the knowledge on command. But without a deep dive, it's really hard to learn a language, especially when you deal with a bunch of similar ones. I never have to do much Ruby, or much Python, so they never stick in my head, and the lack of a compiler means I often write terrible, broken things. Maybe if I only wrote ruby for 3 months, then only python for 3 months, then maybe they would stick, but that's not now infrastructure work goes.

Comment Re:Blacklist vs. whitelist (Score 2) 212

And the moment you put a whitelisting antivirus on a programmer's machine, who will often compile their own executables, the corporate plan goes to shit anyway.

Just like how IT departments often make programmers' kufe hell by not make exceptions for a directory used for compilation and artifact downloading. Triple your compile times for no good reason!

Comment Average car? (Score 5, Informative) 622

Many decent family cars out there are NOT, in any way, 34K new. A new Mazda 3 is a sensible car and starts under 20K. A Camry is 25K. You could buy a 350Z for less than 34K!

So plenty of families can afford new cars: They just can't afford large, over featured, expensive to repair urban assault vehicles. US streets would be better if nobody could.

Comment Re:A 21% jump should worry people (Score 1) 106

What do you mean, without fees? I would have to pay a fee to transform dollars into bitcoins, pay the miner to put my transaction in a block today, and then whoever I am buying it from will take the money out of bitcoin and into dollars again: There's plenty of fees and delays in there. Given how much it costs to mine, I'd not be surprised if credit cards ended up being both cheaper and faster.

So Bitcoin becomes a mix between a volatile currency and an expensive payment system: It's biggest selling point is that it makes illegal transactions easier than the regulated banking system.

Comment Re:Desi Indians? (Score 1) 222

In most places in the US, there are two major kinds of tech companies: Those that go heavy on contractors and H1Bs, and those that do not. The ones full of contractors are exactly as you say. The others are 90% white. Movement between those kinds of companies is uncommon.

With female developers, it's also pretty similar, but with smaller ratios: There's places where the only women are recruiters and HR, and others where it's rare to find a team without a woman that programs. In this case, it's all about networking, as so many places tend to be insensitive to calls of harassment and such, so women clump up in places where they feel safe.

Comment Look at Netflix reviews of kids series (Score 2) 858

Pretty much everything is rated horrible because, from an adult perspective, yes, they are horrible.

So what we really have here is that a single dimensional rating alone is not good at separating something that is mediocre for everyone, or something that is loved by some, and hated by others. What a surprise.

Comment Re:Too late (Score 3, Informative) 197

Many large companies have a lot of trouble with git. It's not a coincidence that Facebook and Google have been working on Mercurial backends: For their needs, Git is absolutely insufficient. You also won't catch a videogame company using git either. And that's discounting all of git's problems with documentation, or the cli becoming nonsense very quick after you leave the most basic commands.

So yes, the world has moved on, but git is very far from perfect.

Comment Densely populated cities (Score 1) 192

The problem here is precisely the dense population. Most places with horrible traffic don't have anywhere near the population density for a plan like this:They are traffic nightmares because they have huge, low density suburbs, making any bus system fail, even if the price of running it went down in half. LA, Seattle, Austin, DC.. Buses don't fix that. Improvement on buses would probably fix San Francisco, and might help in NYC, but those are places where buses are already usable.

Comment Re: Hoverboards (Score 4, Insightful) 532

No, it cannot mean any of that, because the amount of thrust provided is minimal. Even if you made the engine weightless(which you can't), you'd not be able to get enough thrust to lift anything off the ground.

The reason this is interesting for space is that in space, even tiny amounts of thirst are useful. Very slow acceleration is still fine, when you are not fighting planet like gravity: You just need to apply thrust for a long time, as opposed to what we do now, which is to turn on far more powerful drives for very short periods of time.

Comment Re:Those Workers Exist (just not at wage slave pri (Score 1) 688

OK, I'll bite. If there are plenty of knowledge workers available, what are they doing instead? Twiddling their thumbs? If they are working on the same field, either for themselves or a different employer, they are not really available. Supply is still less than demand. Now, if programming paid like flipping burgers, and people somehow preferred to flip burgers to code, then sure, you could say that a call for H1Bs makes no sense.

In the middle of the US, I made over $200k last year. This year, I am making quite a bit more. Is this terrible wage slavery? Absolutely average developers with some experience make over $100k, in places where a 4 bedroom house costs under $200K.

You could claim that we'd get better salaries without H1Bs (which is not really a given, as, with labor, sometimes supply CREATES demand), but wage slaves? Really? You just can't be serious.

Comment Re:Technology Paradox (Score 1) 226

The thing is, unless a company is paying very differently depending on your location, they'd rather have you work where everyone else is, unless the company has no office whatsoever. Thinking jobs are remote sometimes, but they really are remote when there's scarcity, and that's not at the beginning of careers. And after you start your career somewhere, to work 'out there' you have to want to move.

I for one am working remote for a Bay area company, but that's because I have skills in demand, a lot of experience programming (15+ years), and it's far better for me to live in a place where a good house costs 200K than one where it'd be two million. It's an interesting situation: A lot of the very experienced people with big names are working remote, but you'd be hard pressed to find a remote employee in this place that isn't awesome.

Comment Re:Let the Public Decide (Score 2) 439

The problem with that plan is that the public doesn't really decide: Car manufacturers do. The whole dealer thing was built because manufacturers were going vertical, as manufacturers could unfairly compete with dealers whenever they wanted to: If you sell Chevy, and Chevy decides that they want to just sell direct, they'll just raise the price of the car to you, and not raise the price to the car to direct consumers, squeezing you out. A year of that, and you are out of business.

Now, that doesn't meant that vertical integration is not better for consumers: In the long run, it could be better, or it could be worse. It's just that they can't decide either way.

Similar failures happen in alcohol distribution: Distributors are semi monopolistic in the US, and have deep relationships with big companies, so trying to sell your own product widely can be a big struggle. There's plenty of articles about it.

Comment Re:alternately: (Score 1) 492

At the top end of the tech market, companies are fine with remote work: If you need very good developers, you hire them wherever they are. Even companies in the Midwest do the same thing. I am working for a company based in St Louis, but I have coworkers in Houston, Tampa, and Sonoma. They pay might not be competitive with what Netflix pays their top developers, but there's people working for Google in the bay that are making less than I do. It's equivalent money to what Bay Area companies pay for remote developers too.

What is not becoming a nasty surprise to Midwest companies is precisely how much salaries have gone up, precisely because good developers with marketable skills can get those remote jobs, so the difference in salary between working in flyover country and working in the bay is smaller than ever before. Salaries for new contractors have gone up over $10/hr just this year, and that's for run of the mill developers.

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