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Comment: SCOTUS is acting early. (Score 2) 505

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49140121) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion
In a surprising move the Supreme Court of the United States took unprecedented action, active pro actively they endowed artificial intelligence with political beliefs, religious beliefs, freedom of expression, right to form associations, the right to petition government, and voting rights. Chief Justice Roberts said, "What the heck? Why wait for some astro-turf group to fake a grass root campaign, force a pointless lawsuit and wind its way all the way back to us? This is more efficient."

Comment: Will it be line matter -anti-matter collision? (Score 1) 505

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49140035) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion
Come on. Artificial intelligence is the direct antithesis of natural stupidity, which is a synonym for religion. AI getting religion would be like matter vs anti-matter colliding! They will annihilate each other leaving being a puff of energy and a track on the cloud chamber.

Comment: technology has always destroyed jobs (Score 2) 251

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49136435) Attached to: 5 White Collar Jobs Robots Already Have Taken
Technology has been decimating jobs since the industrial revolution. But all the jobs destroyed were in India and China. They had 25% of the world GDP before industrialization. They had even higher fraction before the age of exploration distributed cash crops (sugarcane, tea, coffee, breadfruit, cotton) around the world. So for centuries all the philosophers, economists and sociologists did not even understand the full impact of the industrialization. Mostly they saw it as political issues, colonialism, anti-colonialism, etc etc.

Read the The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley to get an idea of the doom and gloom being predicted for centuries. Matt takes the view all these gloom predictors were wrong and the industrialization is an unadulterated success for humanity. He seems to think humanity consists of Europe and USA. This review sums it up nicely

The job destruction is also accompanied with wealth transfers and power transfers. Finally the job destruction finally lapped up the shores of Europe and USA by 1980s. Slowly middle class of America is waking up to what has been done to them. Their jobs are gone. The "wealth" they have as home equity is a fickle fictional paper gain. Their pensions are gone. Their investments in 401K funds is being used to transfer more power to the top 0.5% of the rich.

Typically very smart and hard working people end up in the top 2% by income and usually end up in the band 98th percentile and 99.5percentile. (To reach the top 0.5% you must have inherited wealth or take huge risks and be lucky). The wealth transfers from third world to industrialized nations had run its course, wealth transfer from the bottom 80% to top 20% has run its course. Till then these guys were very happy and egging it along. Now there is no real wealth left below 90%. The momentum of the economic policies set in motion by them is taking money from the 90 to 98 band and moving it to the top 0.5%.

If you finish college and get in to the 99% cut off entry level salary and stay exactly at the 99% cut off all through your career, it is not enough to get you into the top 1% by wealth (5 million according to IRS and 8 million according to the feds). Till about 2000s, top doctors, lawyers, accountants routinely made it to the top 1% without inheritance. Not any longer. Citation provided

Comment: Paywall and some pdf rendering (Score 1) 148

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49132831) Attached to: Artificial Intelligence Bests Humans At Classic Arcade Games
Looks like the linked site is a pay wall or something. Renders the article in low res, throws a lot of pop ups. It seems to be a bad mash up of javascript running flash and pdf. Malware purveyors dream.

Wonder why the editors let such bad sites and auto playing videos to be posted.

Comment: Solar hurts the profit margins a lot. (Score 2) 356

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49132235) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt
Typically the grid operates at full load on sunny days in the afternoon when all the airconditioners are at full blast. The spot price for electricity fluctuates a lot. And most utilities buy and sell power in this spot market where they make most of their profits. The base load is just 40% of the peak load and there is so much of excess capacity electricity basically sold at cost or at a loss.

Enter, Solar.

It provides power exactly when the demand peaks. If solar meets the peak power demand, the spot price for electricity will fall. For brief period an Australian utility had to sell power at *negative* prices at the peak! There was so much solar power feeding into the grid, they had to pay people to take their power, lest their generators overheat and burn.

The amount of solar electricity created might be small in terms of energy produced. But when it comes to profits, this probably cuts deep into the profits of the utilities.

Eventually the utilities will reduce their peak capacity to create an artificial shortage and trade. The net metered roof top solar energy is bought back at wholesale prices by law. They typically get sold instantly in the spot market at peak prices. The utilities are making tons of money on the net metering, all their talk about roof top solar being free loading is just bull shit.

Comment: Eminent domain for IP (Score 2) 243

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49132085) Attached to: The Peculiar Economics of Developing New Antibiotics
The whole concept of Intellectual Property is created by the government, and you need government to enforce it. When regular real estate is subject to eminent domain, why patents, copyrights etc should be above it? If some drug company develops a drug that can cure Hep-C and is profitable enough to sell it in third world countries for 20$ a dose, but insists on charging 160,000$ per dose for USA, I think the government should just step in, take over the patent based on eminent domain, pay the company something along the lines of what is suggested in the summary. Take a billion or two, and the entire cost of development, testing and regulatory approval too. But we can't let the drug companies game our government and treat us like a milch cow.

Comment: What about ear tags? (Score 1) 87

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49124373) Attached to: Can Tracking Employees Improve Business?
You know there is this well proven technology, that has been used for more than 200 years by the ranchers. Just punch a hole through the ear lobe and slip in a string and a token. We can modernize it by making the token RFID.

Why don't we ask the question, "Does putting RFID ear tags on the employees improve Business?

Looks like the Business will not rest till it turns every fiscal conservative who still believes in the free markets into foaming in the mouth rabid raving lunatic communist.

Comment: Rats are still the reason. (Score 3, Informative) 65

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49124315) Attached to: Giant Asian Gerbils May Have Caused the Black Death
The abstract says:

This pandemic is generally understood as the consequence of a singular introduction of Yersinia pestis, after which the disease established itself in European rodents over four centuries.

The microbe lived in the damned rats for 400 years. The rats are responsible for black death. The article merely claims the microbe originated in Asia and was introduced to Europe via gerbils on the land route.

writing from memory, any errors mine, not the article's:

Original theory was that the microbes could not survive the cold climates and long distance travel of the silk road. But the direct sea route shortened the journey and provided a warmer passage. Thus the black death microbe traveled on rats on ships. This article moves the date of introduction of the microbe to 1347 CE, at least 130 years before Barthalomiyo (sp?) Diaz rounded cape of storms, and Vasco Da Gama reached India.

Comment: Not All H1-Bs are same. Conflated data. (Score 1) 175

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49120663) Attached to: H-1B Visas Proving Lucrative For Engineers, Dev Leads
There are tons of people from India, China and many other countries who do graduate studies in USA in student visa F1. Then they get to work for 12 months as "Practical Training" period. If they hold a STEM degree they get an additional 15 months. After that they get H1B and stay on it till they get their green cards. This group will get very competitive salaries and they are usually world class graduates demanding and getting world class salary.

Then there is a whole different set of H1Bs, fresh from India, no American degree or qualifications. The claimed Indian degree and qualifications are often unverifiable. Their quality of work is poor, their educating is poor, their English is poor. For them even a 45K a year is paying them too much.

Most slashdotters think the corporations lobby for H1B to depress wages for Americans. No, people. They don't care whatever pay you get. They are not paying for it out of their pocket. The real reason is corporate corruption. Many top executives of these American companies own shell companies through intermediaries. These shell companies get the contract to supply warm bodies to the corporations they manage. They sign both sides of the contract, one as the CIO of XYZ corporation and the other side as the owner of some shell company contracting with XYZ corporation. Indian companies like TCS, Infosys, Cognizant, Wipro get contracts from these shell companies. They knowingly supply substandard workers with fake resumes and fake work experience. They know it will not be scrutinized well. They know the H1-Bs will play along with the fake resume. Every step of the way the billing rate is padded up. It is them who actually spend tons of money to lobby the congress.

Comment: Re:do you want exodus? (Score 1) 145

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49118911) Attached to: Attention, Rockstar Developers: Get a Talent Agent

3. I love short three month gigs. After all I earn in three month more than I need for 15 month of living.

You must be living very frugally. Never got out of the spending habits formed during the grad student days, I suppose.

When I transitioned from being one of the PIGS[*] to a regular employee on a small not too fancy company with median starting salary, I earned more in that year than I did in the previous four years as a graduate student and as the root (of all evils) of the computer lab.

[*] PIGS = Poor Indian Graduate Student.

Comment: Digitally live for ever? (Score 1) 60

All the fortran programs I wrote as a grad student in Indian Institute of Science, back in 1980s live for ever in that 2400 feet of half-inch tape recorded at 6250 Bytes-per-inch lives digitally for ever. The only good thing about that was that I swiped the blank media from my former employer instead of paying half-a-month salary of a gazetted (civilian equivalent of commissioned) officer to buy the blank tape in the open market. Back in those days, in India, imported items were that expensive.

Then I also have Watfor compiler and ChiWriter in 5.5 inch floppy disks. I have my grad student work at UT in a unix mini tape. I also have some IOmega 100 MB disks. In my basement somewhere I have the backups of my WindowsNT machine in 3.5 inch floppy disks. All of them are digital. All of them are as dead as any corpse buried in a cemetery.

This is Microsoft we are talking about. I am seriously thinking of buying a new desktop because pretty soon I won't be able to buy a new Windows7 machine. Google will keep it in beta forever. Microsoft will slap a new version number of end of life it in 10 years.

The more they over-think the plumbing the easier it is to stop up the drain.