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Comment One predictive failure - no (Score 1) 371

many predictive failures - yes.

The last few years have shown the weakness in the predictive power of polls. (Brexit and the like: http://www.newsbusters.org/blo...)

Polling has turned in to a partisan activity in an apparent attempt to sway the outcome of the very thing being polled.

It is completely unlike predicting the weather.

Comment You almost got it (Score 1) 371

"They assigned a lower probability to Trump winning based on the polls"

You were so close to defining the problem with that statement.

fivethirtyeight doesn't simply perform statistical probability analysis. If that was the case, you could simply run the data through SPSS and be done with it.

Nate Silver and his group of hacks is supposed to look at the ENTIRE process. If you do your analysis on bad data - you will have a bad result. Nate Silver's blinders came from believing that the polls weren't biased - and they absolutely were.

NYT, Washington Post, fivethirtyeight and others simply did not question polls that jived with their pre-defined political beliefs....and as a result practically no one trusts their analysis.

Comment You assume 538 didn't have bias (Score -1) 371

fivethirtyeight's job (and statistical analysis in general) is to sort through the noise of "hundreds of millions" of voters.

They failed because they were wearing the same blinders NYT was (and still is) wearing.

Independent news is dead. It's up to you - the news consumer to get to the sources and sort through the BS. Unfortunately, there is no one left to do that for you.

Comment Paid news is hopeless against the internet (Score 2) 371

There are so many free sources of news, it may be impossible to sell it in the near future.

It may also be impossible for commercial news sources to compete with the millions of "news enthusiasts" that post and analyze news simply for the fun of it.

Events are posted in near real-time on youtube and thousands of people dissect and analyze Wikileaks releases the instant they hit the internet.

There is no commercial news room that can scale out to that size.

Yes, the availability of so much news does force the consumer to filter out bullshit for him/her self - but many times you are getting bullshit from paid mainstream media - so you have to do the due diligence anyway if you want to stay informed.

Good luck MSM - you are competing with the entire internet - and I don't think you will win.

Comment Regional vs national comparisons (Score 3, Insightful) 268

Your localized analysis of labor markets is like trying to judge global climate by the weather in your backyard.

Immigration policy is a national policy and it must be evaluated on a national level.

"If the cost goes down, why would the demand remain fixed?"

Do you have evidence that demand for these people is increasing? The author of the article doesn't seem to think so. Slashdot has been filled with stories over the last couple of years of firms laying off tech workers and forcing those workers to train their replacements.

If demand for this talent was increasing, salaries would be rising across the industry and very few firms would be laying off workers. Why would you layoff anyone if you can't meet your demand for employees?

H1B is a cost saving measure at the expense of the American worker. Anyone who thinks otherwise is being willfully ignorant of the situation.

Comment Let them off-shore (Score 4, Interesting) 268

"And no kicking out the H1s will not mean the jobs will be filled by American citizens- they will go offshore"

I've got news for you - almost every job that can reasonably be off-shored has been. Companies going back a few years have been bringing work back on-shore:

http://upstatebusinessjournal....

Lots of companies got burned by off-shoring work and getting higher cost and lower quality work than was expected. Managing "blended rate" teams half a world away turned out to be a much more difficult challenge than many expected.

H1B as it stands now is being abused and not used for its intended purpose - and there is an administration in place that is committed to fixing that problem. The only losers here will be the H1B body shops.

Comment "equalize the marketplace" (Score 4, Interesting) 268

If you increase the supply of something and demand remains fixed - the cost of that something will go down.

Econ 101

The US does not need to import low to mid-skill labor. We have plenty of that here. We definitely want to import brilliant PhDs - but that's not how H1B is being used.

H1B is a cheap guest worker program - it is enriching companies at the expense of the US worker.

Comment Software should have copyright - and nothing more (Score 1) 103

Agreed.

Software is a written work much like a book. The author can assert copyright protection and control its distribution. Patent protection for software is akin to patenting mathematics or logic (which are not patentable).

It doesn't need to be any more complicated than this. Software copyrights, at this point, destroy more value than they create.

That is not the intent of patent protection.

Comment Dodd-Frank did nothing (Score 2) 490

with the exception of increasing the size of compliance departments at all banks.

The reason the housing bubble occurred was a failure of two government regulatory bodies OTS and the SEC.

OTS should have never allowed the lax loan underwriting to occur, and the SEC should have never let banks and wall street securitize the crappy loans.

Dodd-Frank wasn't needed to prevent the disaster - competent regulators were needed.

Comment H1B is a band-aid for the real problem (Score 1) 318

We have some of the best universities in the world in the US. Many people come here to be educated.

If we do not have an adequately educated and trained talent pool in the US we have no one to blame but ourselves.

The real fix is to taper off the H1B system while at the same time get employment market feedback into our education system so that we turn out less english and art history majors and more scientists, engineers, and tradespeople.

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