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Comment: Re:You're not willing to pay (Score 1) 255

Maybe we also need a HRAT, a "Human Rights Added Tax", which imposes extra fees based on things like human rights abuses, poverty wages, etc embodied in the production of a product, to provide a level playing field for countries with higher standards.

Or to provide more highly-paid jobs for designers of robots to perform the task without human labor.

You should be a little careful with ideas like that... you may end up hurting the people you're trying to help. In many cases, they'd rather have the crappy, exploitive job than starve while watching the machines do what they used to. The machines will come eventually, but taxes like the one you describe will accelerate the process. In general, taxes and other regulatory inhibitors that are intended to fulfill some social goal are viewed by the market as damage, and routed around if at all possible. That doesn't make them useless, but it does mean that you have to step very carefully.

Comment: Re:You're not willing to pay (Score 1) 255

water is necessary to life, while diamonds are not...

Doesn't seem that way when courting.

Courting isn't necessary to life, even though it may feel that way. And, actually, diamonds aren't necessary to courting, either. When I got engaged, I was poor and my wife had money, so she bought our rings, both of them. Diamonds are nice enough as long as they are only symbols. If they are more than that, you have a bigger problem.

Comment: Re:AI has great chances (Score 1) 89

Poker games take time (hours), people grow tired, computers don't.

This is a good point. Computers have no emotion, either. Even the best human players are affected to some small degree by their emotions, especially when they are tired.

People struggle at memorizing chances, taking shortcuts, computers have exact picture talking into account every single bit.

Not much of an issue in Hold 'em. Good players can handle those odds with little effort.

All one needs is behavior that is random enough, for human players not to guess if computer is bluffing.

You of course don't want the human to be able to guess when the computer is bluffing, but it's certainly not "all one needs." Not by a long shot.

Then, of course, there is luck factor, so results will fluctuate quite a bit.

Yes. They'll be playing 1500 hands per day, but in no limit hold 'em the outcome often comes down to a handful of key hands.

Comment: Re:Just works? (Score 1) 472

by swillden (#49552685) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Most Stable Smartphones These Days?

If you want a "reliable" smart phone that doesn't need reset or suffer stupid ass software failures, get one of those $50 Samsung android smart phones. They are pretty reliable because they can't do much to begin with.

Huh? This makes no sense. If they're Android, they can do an incredible variety of stuff. Being low-end, they might not do it well, but they should run pretty much every Android app out there. If they "can't do much to begin with", they're not Android.


Think Tanks: How a Bill [Gates Agenda] Becomes a Law 152

Posted by Soulskill
from the daily-dose-of-cynicism dept.
theodp writes: The NY Times' Eric Lipton was just awarded a 2015 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting that shed light on how foreign powers buy influence at think tanks. So, it probably bears mentioning that Microsoft's 'two-pronged' National Talent Strategy (PDF) to increase K-12 CS education and the number of H-1B visas — which is on the verge of being codified into laws — was hatched at an influential Microsoft and Gates Foundation-backed think tank mentioned in Lipton's reporting, the Brookings Institution. In 2012, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings hosted a forum on STEM education and immigration reforms, where fabricating a crisis was discussed as a strategy to succeed with Microsoft's agenda after earlier lobbying attempts by Bill Gates and Microsoft had failed. "So, Brad [Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith]," asked the Brookings Institution's Darrell West at the event, "you're the only [one] who mentioned this topic of making the problem bigger. So, we galvanize action by really producing a crisis, I take it?" "Yeah," Smith replied (video). And, with the help of nonprofit organizations like and that were founded shortly thereafter, a national K-12 CS and tech immigration crisis was indeed created.

Comment: Re:Nice idea but... (Score 1) 286

by swillden (#49551435) Attached to: Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes

Electrical bill is $14.95 a month because you have to pay the "fees"

To be fair, there *are* fixed costs to the power company in keeping you connected to the grid, in fact those costs are a fairly significant portion of the normal power bill. It's just that the current fee structure doesn't reflect it well.

When it is not necessary to make a decision, it is necessary not to make a decision.