June 29th, 2019

#6732: The legacy of H1B visas

737 MAX 8 software written by outsource people making $9 an hour.
The software at the heart of the Boeing 737 MAX crisis was developed at a time when the company was laying off experienced engineers and replacing them with temporary workers making as little as $9 per hour, according to Bloomberg.

In an effort to cut costs, Boeing was relying on subcontractors making paltry wages to develop and test its software. Often times, these subcontractors would be from countries lacking a deep background in aerospace, like India.

Boeing had recent college graduates working for Indian software developer HCL Technologies Ltd. in a building across from Seattle's Boeing Field, in flight test groups supporting the MAX. The coders from HCL designed to specifications set by Boeing but, according to Mark Rabin, a former Boeing software engineer, "it was controversial because it was far less efficient than Boeing engineers just writing the code."

Rabin said: "...it took many rounds going back and forth because the code was not done correctly."
So, there you have it in a nutshell: the bottom line is more important than building a safe airplane.

Boeing management thinks it is hiring qualified programmers who are just as good as the engineers they are replacing but at one-quarter the cost, but Boeing is not actually doing so.

The big problem with using H1B visa holders for mission-critical software is that they are educated to a different standard than American engineering students typically are.
Think about how poorly Skype and the average application works today in comparison with five years ago. Now apply that level of technological degradation to literally everything that involves putting people in the air and transporting them from one place to another.
They are cheaper for a reason. It is not because they are from a foreign country where the cost of living is lower--or at least not entirely.

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This is the one positive thing I can say about Representative Horseteeth: she is honest about what policies she supports. She is not out there saying, "Oh, we're going to repeal Obamacare," and then finding a way not to repeal Obamacare, and claiming that it's because her side just doesn't have the votes.

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Jeeze louise that's a lot of memory to lose. A thirteen-minute power failure ruined 6 exabytes of FLASH RAM, which is about half of their quarterly output.

6 exabytes is 6 billion gigabytes. 6 million terabytes. A fuckton, in other words.

Those of you who are saying, "Why don't they have backup power?" Be your age. A chip fab uses tons of power, enough that in order for them to have a viable backup power source they'd effectively have to run their own power plant. They do have a backup system which can keep things going through momentary power sags and so forth, but they're not designed to supply full power for very long. Although the outage lasted 13 minutes, that was beyond the capacity of the backup system.

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People in Vietnam making $50 a week, and that's fantastic because it's a communist country. So say the morons at CNBC. "Oh, it's well above the local minimum wage!" Of course it is. How much of that $50 per week do they take home?

I can remember when it was bad that big American companies paid well for labor in local terms. People making $3 an hour in some far-off land was a crime because they weren't making $17.50 an hour, but $3 an hour would be king wages from any local business. "Those companies are just taking advantage of poor people!" screamed the left.

But hey, when it's a communist country, it's perfectly fine, I guess.

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Karl Denninger also declares Trump the winner of the Democrat debates from the other night. "I didn't think Trump had a snowball's chance in Hell of beating any reasonable Democrat. But there are no reasonable Democrats in the race -- all of them are either lunatics or proved losers with too much dross on their resume they can't throw off."

That's about it, I'd say.

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Another take on how scientists are "baffled" that normal heterosexual people prefer to date normal heterosexual people of the opposite sex.

In all probability this study that found that, also accidentally determined the percentage of people who have a thing for transsexuals.

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Just making it dischargeable in a bankruptcy is all that's required. Take student loan debt out of its special cubby and treat it like any other debt.

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Josef Stalin was once a democratic socialist. Enough said.

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Go to vignette #4, "The Nadir of Atrocity", and have some good strong blood pressure medication handy.


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So, we slept until 2, then got up and did some errands. Now I have 500 lbs of sand in the back of the Jeep just waiting to help me level the area where the pool will sit. I have a pole saw capable of extending 10 feet to help me with that tree that needs to come down. I have a NEW BATTERY FOR THE LAWN TRACTOR!!! finally.

And it's 7:20 PM and it's cooling off outside, so I'd better get moving. Daylight's burning.

#6733: Well, it's filling now

The new pool is 15 feet across rather than 10. My estimates for how and where it would lie in the backyard were off, so once again we'll have a non-level base for the thing despite my best efforts.

Still, it'll be nice to have it up. I put out stakes and string and leveled the string and then used that to gauge where to put the sand. I think it'll be semi-okay. And this time Mrs. Fungus helped me get the thing laid out on the ground so it ought to be halfway decent.

Prior to that--

Put the new battery in the tractor. It now cranks with gusto. Good.

Assembled the pole saw and tried it out. It works well enough. Good.

Tomorrow, then, I get to cut the grass and hack away at that tree. They say it's supposed to rain in the afternoon. *sigh*