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Comment: Re:Black Mirror (Score 1) 255

by Baki (#49140617) Attached to: 5 White Collar Jobs Robots Already Have Taken

You shoudl imagine the following: you invest $50k to replace yourself (on the job) with a robot. Now you have 100% free time and the robot earns your income, produces stuff etc. Everyone could be happy.

But the question is: who gets to buy and use the robot and its income?

In the end, automation should be able to produce more than enough for everyone. The only remaining question is how we distribute all that wealth.

But I have the feelig that this is not what's going to happen, due to greed and hunger for power of todays "happy few".

Comment: Re:Same error, repeated (Score 4, Informative) 307

by pthisis (#49126393) Attached to: Moxie Marlinspike: GPG Has Run Its Course
Why use gpg instead of s/mime, which has native support in most e-mail programs, with no need for plugins? S/MIME relies on centralized key servers or opens itself to man-in-the-middle attacks. You can hand-authenticate individual CAs with some effort, but there's no equivalent to PGP's web of trust. And CAs are single points of failure, making them extremely desirable points of attack. Marlinspike, of course, has developed his own proposed solution to the CA problem: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... It's up to the reader whether this contributes to his credibility on the issue because he knows what he's talking about and has taken the time to contribute code to help fix the problem, or whether he's someone with his own personal dog in the fight and hence has an ulterior motive in denigrating PGP's trust model.

Comment: Re:amazing (Score 1) 279

by c (#49121121) Attached to: Intel Moving Forward With 10nm, Will Switch Away From Silicon For 7nm

Then over the next 15 years we managed to push the clock-speed boundary up another, what 3-4x? That looks an awful lot like hitting a brick wall to me.

It could be. Then again, it may just be the improvements that gave rapid increases in clock speed were the low-hanging fruit at the time, and once increasing clock speed further became difficult (but let's not say "impossible") then other low-hanging fruit came along.

Maybe it's a brick wall, and maybe not, but the industry has a long history of "probably not" when it comes to telling them what they can or can't do.

Comment: Re:amazing (Score 1) 279

by c (#49118319) Attached to: Intel Moving Forward With 10nm, Will Switch Away From Silicon For 7nm

There is some debate among people if 5nm will make sense or even be reasonable to do...

It's not a new discussion by any means. It was an old debate when people were asking whether a 100MHz bus was as fast as we could get, and 45nm was considered ridiculously small. The GHz barrier on clock speeds seemed insurmountable.

Didn't stop anyone, did it?

If it can be done, someone's going to try. If it can be done profitably, we'll see it on our desks or in our pockets in a few processor generations. That's just how it is.

Comment: Re:Good grief... (Score 1) 674

by c (#49110803) Attached to: Bill Nye Disses "Regular" Software Writers' Science Knowledge

I should have no reasonable expectation that a farmer (Nye wrote "regular software writers and farmers") would have expertise in astrophysics for example.

I'd expect farmers to have a far better background in and a more intuitive understanding of science than software writers. Farming is, at its core, applied science. It may not be as rigorous or structured, but for thousands of years people have lived and died based on how well farmers hypotheses have panned out.

Software writing and computer "science" in general falls more under mathematics than science. In mathematics, once something is proven it stays proven, not matter how sloppy or random the process of getting to the proof might be.

Comment: Who will profit from automation (Score 1) 389

by Baki (#49085333) Attached to: What To Do After Robots Take Your Job

Suppose I could invest $50k and get a kind of robotic copy of myself. I could send that to work and do my job for me, enjoy lots of free time and the same income.

On the other hand, suppose my employer would invest these $50k....

In the end, the question is how the "spoils" of automation will be distributed about the population. Indeed that doesn't look good now.

In the future we will have more than enough production capacity to fulfull our needs and wishes, but if we use that capacity to any good, that is compete redistribution of all of it, is questionable. The current trend doesn't look good, but I think economists will see, sooner or later, that the alternative is for the rich to live in a state of siege, military protected and guarded against the masses.

Comment: You cannot tell (Score 1) 389

by Baki (#49085315) Attached to: What To Do After Robots Take Your Job

Economic laws do change fundamentally, it is hard to predict. However, suppose a robot could do the 10-fold work of what most people could do. Indeed we would not run out of ideas on what to do, but if you could replace yourself, would you continue to add your 10% "output" for 10% extra income, or would you rather have 100% spare time for about 90% income? That is the trade off that will be made in the end.

As robots get more powerful compared to man, and the "pseudo-intelligece" will surpass that of most humans for most tasks, I find it really hard to see how most people would still have meaningful jobs.

It is not about imagining the output, it is about imagining what extra significant contributation most men could make in relation to robots.

Comment: Re:And so Linux has become a boring mess... (Score 1) 130

by c (#49081677) Attached to: Torvalds: "People Who Start Writing Kernel Code Get Hired Really Quickly"

I guess that opens a philosophical discussion of whether writing device drivers counts as "kernel coding" at all.

writing device drivers is debatable; the kernel side of it is frequently just cut and paste from elsewhere and most of the "real work" is on the device side. A strong argument can be made that maintaining them in the longer term is true kernel coding as there's a bigger need to track changes to the kernel side of things.

Then again, it might've gotten easier. I haven't maintained drivers since the 1.3/2.0 days.

Comment: Re:fvwm is what I use, anyway (Score 1) 755

by c (#49066367) Attached to: Removing Libsystemd0 From a Live-running Debian System

A VERY vocal minority do not want Systemd on ideological grounds (although I suspect it is more a matter of the new and different scares them, no matter what advantages it may offer)

"new and different" actually is a huge problem, combined with what appears to be a very atypical adoption process happening in a very short period of time (in Debian, within a single release cycle).

Now, ignore the vocal minority. There's always a vocal minority. Sometimes they're right, most times they're just loud, but in the bigger picture they're still a minority.

It's the silent majority you need to be worried about, and the silent majority don't want systemd. This has nothing to do with the technical merit of systemd. They don't want any substantial deep changes. They want small, piecemeal, trackable and revertable changes. The very conservative people who's livelihoods depend on Linux "just working" are looking at this systemd business and flat-out wondering if the distros have lost their collective minds?

My group, who are usually pretty near the bleeding edge by our corporate standards (we generally track current stable releases and and deviate from stock as little as possible) normally track Debian stable and we're seriously considering bypassing/delaying Jessie. I can't imagine selling systemd to the other parts of the organization who have deep mods to the distro and reams of detailed documentation that'll have to be completely gutted.

Basically, all this discussion is pointless noise. Watch the adoption rates for the next couple of release cycles of the more "conservative" distros who have been pulled into the systemd gravity well. Particularly adoption rates where there might be a desktop/server breakdown. That's the silent majority passing judgement. I don't think it's going to be good.

Comment: Re:I have a solution (Score 4, Insightful) 121

by c (#49048273) Attached to: Study: 8 Million Metric Tons of Plastic Dumped Into Oceans Annually

Online shops is the obvious place to enforce this. No packaging for simple stuff like cables, plain bags for non-breakable loose stuff, plain boxes for everything else. People are buying from pictures and reviews and shoplifting is a non-issue, so packaging only needs to be minimally functional. I think AmazonBasics products use this approach, and it'd be nice to see Amazon push it back a bit on their suppliers.

Ideally, it should be the responsibility of the retailer to display the product attractively rather than the job of the package, but blame Walmart. They've done a pretty solid job of unloading a lot of traditional retailer jobs back on the manufacturers.

What good is a ticket to the good life, if you can't find the entrance?