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Comment Re:Unions (Score 1) 594

I am not going to say all unions are bad. If done properly a union should be a huge benefit to workers. Unfortunately, in the US many of them are basically scams designed to enrich the union officers as much as possible.

My brother works for a union company and is a member of the union. He has observed over the years that many of the union's actions are much better for the union and the union officers than they are for the union membership. The problem in his view isn't the idea of the union, so much as the fact that many of the union members really don't understand these contracts being negotiated on their behalf. What most of the members know of the union's actions is from the union newspaper which only ever reports glowing successes. So you have an employee base most of whom don't understand the deals negotiated on their behalf and whose only information to judge their leadership is from a newspaper written by that leadership. So when election time comes around they invariably pick the guy that the leadership nominated for the job. Other people run but the pretty much never win. As long as that is the case US unions will continue to be extremely corrupt.

As far as Tesla and Mr. Musk go if they don't want to be unionized they only have two real options. One is to pay enough that the union can't really promise their employees enough to make them vote for a union. The other option is to move to a right to work state. As far as the union sending in a guy to stir up trouble he is going to have to understand that is how they operate and that will continue. He's just going to have to accept that and take measures to make people not want to vote for a union.

Comment Re:I thought not all US carriers use LTE (Score 1) 105

I have T-Mobile as my provider. Their coverage has gotten much better over the last two years. I still find areas where I have nothing, though. Especially down in coastal North Carolina where my mother lives. Verizon's network is clearly better as their network seems to be everywhere and it has at least tied for best performance.

When I compare the performance to the cost I can see why people take Verizon and I can see why people take T-Mobile. I had AT&T before T-Mobile and when I changed my bill, including financing a phone, was half what it was under AT&T. Also when operating in my area I get fewer dropped calls and generally faster performance than I did with AT&T. I can see how Verizon justifies their cost over T-Mobile. I have considered changing to Verizon myself just to have coverage when visiting family. I am having a real hard time seeing how AT&T justifies their cost compared to their service quality. Perhaps they are great someplace I don't go? In the areas, I do go T-Mobile works better and costs substantially less. I'd argue that Sprint actually does a better job of making their costs match up with the performance and coverage of their network than AT&T does.

Comment Re:Enterprise (Score 2) 203

I looked it up. None of the ships to bear the name Enterprise in Star Trek defined their class.

Ships with the name Enterprise were, in historical order from the main Star Trek timeline, of the NX class, Constitution class, Constitution refit class, Excelsior refit class, Ambassador class, Galaxy class and Sovereign class

Comment Re:Trump class a-coming (Score 1) 203

Are you that afraid of there appearing a Trump-class of ships some day?

It will be huge. And beautiful...

Now that is an amusing vision. I can see a warship entirely lit up in neon with giant golden letters spelling out TRUMP on the side. On the upside it will probably having onboard gambling and an excellent buffet

Comment Re:Stop (Score 1) 341

Their communications are directly relevant to the investigation of what they are being accused of. When you commit a crime there is the actual act for which you'll be charged. Then there is often the separate charge of conspiracy to commit that act. Law enforcement is going through their communications to see if there was a conspiracy to riot.

Basically if you just showed up, planning to be peaceful, and got pissed off and spontaneously started throwing rocks in a fit of rage that is often a less serious charge than if you and your friends plotted before hand to show up and start throwing rocks. At this point accessing their communications is directly relevant to the investigation and will very likely be a determining factor in how they are charged.

Comment Re:how... what... (Score 0) 303

You can buy insurance against lost business as well as insurance to replace your physical property. So it could actually protect him to some degree against some of the impacts of downtime. From his description of the impact of lost business I'd say that is something he should talk to his insurance agent about. They may also have recommendations on physical security as many plans offer discounts if you follow their recommended guidelines.

Comment Re:About time. (Score 1) 407

My former employer never came out and said it publicly but that is what they did. Also once they started hiring H1B staff we never got another decent raise and pretty much every year from then on we had benefit cuts. When the company got into financial trouble the layoffs were almost entirely from non-H1B staff. So what you are describing is pretty much exactly what happened there as well. So there are at least two companies that did that and I suspect we’d find a lot more.

Comment Re:Strong public relations (Score 2) 200

The company I work for now issues people special travel laptops for international travel. They are imaged specifically for the trip with only the applications and data the person needs to do the specific job they are traveling for. When they get back any data that needs to be preserved is pulled off and the machines are reimaged. Things like this and just the general high risk of laptop loss in international travel are the motivations for doing all that. It used to be there was a small list of countries we did that for now their is a small list of countries we don't do it for.

Comment Re:No, he's not (Score 1) 222

In the article it says he is looking to pay himself a reasonable salary and to hire one additional full time programmer to assist with the development. Basically he wants to get back to the situation he had pre 2012 before his funding ran out and he had to lay off his staff. It sounds like after this he probably is OK for the time being. Though he is going to need to maintain similar levels of funding going forward if he is going to be able to hire staff.

It seems to me that the more interesting question is how many of the other important open source projects are in the same position? Is there a better way to fund them? I mean this guy made his funding goals by getting the media to talk about the situation back in December. That doesn’t seem like a sustainable model.

Comment Seems potentially unsanitary (Score 1) 183

The article says that the creators of this envision it as a structural element of buildings. Where you would have an entire wall made of this material that gets soaked with water to cool the space when it gets hot. I have not dealt with a swamp coolers but I have dealt with humidifiers quite a lot. The one thing that I have observed is that every part that gets wet grows a colony of who knows what pretty fast if it isn’t regularly cleaned. In a lot of systems you have a pad, which is frequently structured very similarly to this material, which has to be replaced because there is no real way to clean the interior surfaces. Well with this stuff they are talking about taking that pad and making a permanent wall out of it. My prediction is that anybody who used this would end up with a huge mold filled science experiment in a fairly short time. The closest thing I can see to being able to really clean that would be to periodically saturate the wall with some sort of chemical cleaner. I could see these printed ceramic structures being used to make swamp coolers, and humidifiers, more efficient but use outlined in the article just seems like a bad idea.

Comment Re:Censorship? (Score 4, Interesting) 420

I am not sure this is a sign of an attempt to silence this guy. A few years ago I had something very similar happen to me, and I am not a blogger with enemies. This was before we got cable Internet in my area. My employer had put a fractional T1 line in so that I could work from home when I was on call. Somebody came along cut the cable off the back of my house pulled the whole thing up all the way back to the box behind the row of houses and took it. They guy who came from the phone company was of the opinion they wanted the copper. From the way the guy talked it sounded like it was a fairly common occurrence. Copper prices are much higher now than they were back then. So it is entirely possible that somebody wanted the cable but it was just too hard for them to pull up. That fits the description of the damage in the article.

Comment Re:I don't get it (Score 1) 127

The article makes it sound like the various groups are mostly lining up on the side that donates to them. So groups that are supported by Comcast, and the other ISPs, are against title II regulation and those that are supported content providers, such as Google and Facebook, are for it. At the very least that creates the appearance that their positions might be for sale. Though it is possible that they just solicited companies they agree with for donations. Which of those you believe is going to depend upon your opinion of the people involved and both could be true since we are looking at a bunch of different groups.

Comment Re:He tried patenting it... (Score 1) 986

I have to admit that this is very similar to my thinking on this. A man that shows you a device whose exact function he refuses to explain that does some miraculous thing is always to be suspected. History is full of such conmen. Just watch an episode of “Mysteries at the Museum” and odds are it will feature at least one of them. The sad fact is that no matter what the researchers find we can’t trust it unless he allows them full and unfettered access to the entirety of the process. Allows them to see the entire apparatus explains how it works and allows them to test it in a setting completely outside of his control. Better yet if he wants us to believe this he should hand these scientist the plans and let them assemble their own machine from parts not sourced from him and let them test it. If he is worried about his technology he should have them sign very strong non-disclosure agreements and non-compete agreements. Setting up a test where they just monitor the outcomes isn’t a valid test due to the potential for fraud. His current behavior comes off as the behavior of a conman. If he isn’t a conman he would be well advised to stop acting like one and allow some real testing of his machine. Nothing would make me happier than to find he’s just a paranoid fool who made a world changing discovery. I am just not betting on it.

Comment Re:Trading Freedom for Security? (Score 4, Interesting) 264

Just from reading these articles over the years, watching the news and my general observations I think their motivations are fairly clear. Powerful entrenched economic interests such as the entertainment industry, news media and financial industry all feel threatened by the freewheeling ways of the Internet. Those interests are demanding action from the government to protect their economic models. Governments fear terrorists. In some ways they fear them more than the public does as nothing motivates politicians more than preserving their power and position. None of them want to be the one that didn’t foil the next big attack. Governments also fear the free flow of information among the public. That fear manifests in places like China with the Great Firewall and similar technologies deployed in places like Iran and Saudi Arabia. It also manifests in things like so many countries attempting to develop things like ability to turn off the Internet. In the Western countries it seems to be manifesting as this desire to monitor everything and everyone. My gut feeling on this is that their proposed strategies for dealing with these things do more harm than good. I guess that is not surprising in my view considering fear, especially irrational fear, is not a good basis for developing public policy.

Comment Re:I'm gonna go with (Score 2) 200

As a general rule I agree that the US Bureaucracy is surprisingly honest. In my experience most corruption in US projects doesn’t come from the bureaucracy but from congress. US government procurement rules are designed to pay off the various political power blocks associated with darned near every person in congress. The rank and file government employees know it is corrupt but they have to follow the law as written. For some items these rules very likely double the cost.

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