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Comment: Re:Pronoun Game Anyone? (Score 4, Insightful) 122 122

"Pirating" meaning "watching TV". Or recording it.

We used to call it a VCR. We could record anything we wanted. And we weren't "pirates", a term that used to mean SELLING copyrighted content, usually in physical form. Which is still done at dealer tables in conventions all over the US, and no one is trying to take those people to prison.

I could repeat my points of the last, oh, sixteen years warning of definition drift and the removal of the right to record something happening on a screen in front of you. But, the liars won and now watching and recording TV is illegal unless the "owners" control your TV and, well, everything else connected to it. Encrypted BIOSes, HDCP, all the crap that has taken over what once was just watching TV and turned it into a worldwide ubercrime, a Prohibition III nightmare that is never going to end.

AI

Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs To Computerization? 385 385

turkeydance writes: What job is hardest for a robot to do? Mental health and substance abuse social workers (found under community and social services). This job has a 0.3 percent chance of being automated. That's because it's ranked high in cleverness, negotiation, and helping others. The job most likely to be done by a robot? Telemarketers. No surprise; it's already happening. The researchers admit that these estimates are rough and likely to be wrong. But consider this a snapshot of what some smart people think the future might look like. If it says your job will likely be replaced by a machine, you've been warned.
Businesses

How Elon Musk's Growing Empire is Fueled By Government Subsidies 356 356

theodp writes: By the Los Angeles Times' reckoning, Elon Musk's Tesla Motors, SolarCity, and SpaceX together have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support. The figure compiled by The Times, explains reporter Jerry Hirsch, comprises a variety of government incentives, including grants, tax breaks, factory construction, discounted loans and environmental credits that Tesla can sell. It also includes tax credits and rebates to buyers of solar panels and electric cars. "He definitely goes where there is government money," said an equity research analyst. "Musk and his companies' investors enjoy most of the financial upside of the government support, while taxpayers shoulder the cost," Hirsch adds. "The payoff for the public would come in the form of major pollution reductions, but only if solar panels and electric cars break through as viable mass-market products. For now, both remain niche products for mostly well-heeled customers." And as Musk moves into a new industry — battery-based home energy storage — Hirsch notes Tesla has already secured a commitment of $126 million in California subsidies to companies developing energy storage technology.
Education

Student Photographer Threatened With Suspension For Sports Photos 379 379

sandbagger writes: Anthony Mazur is a senior at Flower Mound High School in Texas who photographed school sports games and other events. Naturally he posted them on line. A few days ago he was summoned to the principal's office and threatened with a suspension and 'reporting to the IRS' if he didn't take those 4000 photos down. Reportedly, the principal's rationale was that the school has copyright on the images and not him.

Comment: Re:Minimum Wage (Score 1) 1094 1094

It was tried for a while, the 0 dollar wage. It was called slavery, and it DID work. The plantation owners were the wealthiest humans to ever walk the planet. Still might have been, adjusted for inflation. A great success. Those owners would have bought the world up with their wealth, bit by bit, had slavery not been sort-of stopped. Of course, normal non-slave humans were competing against free labor, and so barely got by, with lousy schools and dirt roads and abysmal ignorance that lasts to this day. We paid a lot for that free labor, didn't we? A truly "free" market - once side got their goods for free.

Comment: Re:Minimum Wage (Score 1) 1094 1094

People were paid 18/hour in 1966 to work like a dog at McDonald's (you've never worked a restaurant chain job, I see). And the corporation grew into fantastically profitable giant. Seemed to work.

And people who get paid minimum wage don't get forty hour work weeks. They usually are capped at 18-29 hours, to avoid full-time employee status. And the work hours are jangled weekly so they can't get second jobs. Fun!

You're not everyone. And you've no imagination when it comes to life's little snafus. I take it life has treated you well. You've never really been too ill, or blacklisted, or locked into a bad situation because of family issues, or been unable to find employment because of past accusations or convictions, or had a nervous breakdown, or been hit by a car and been unable to function, or been employed in an industry that was gutted for profits.

And no, you've not seen the minimum wage jacked over the years. It was down to 40% of its original value even after all the "jacks", until finally someone performed arithmetic and found it started life at $18 an hour.

Comment: Re:what happens at universities? (Score 1) 1094 1094

Even with a poverty minimum wage, corporations were getting workers for no pay whatsoever - interns - with the promise that if they slave now, someone would smile on them someday and hire them. This is what happens when there are no real laws. After a time, people will be paying businesses to hire them for nothing - logical, same reason. And it is happening overseas - H1B and other workers are paying for the priviledge of not being paid much, or at all, when they bribe recruiting companies.

Comment: Re:The last, lagging symptom of inflation (Score 1) 1094 1094

Austerity failed. Give up. And there is no inflation anywhere that didn't adopt the notion.
The minimum wage was about 18/hour in 1966, and the republic did not fall. Some inflation took off later, but that was Vietnam and OPEC which blew our heads off.
It is possible to pay a decent wage and survive as a business - if you don't demand infinitely growing profits. Inflation and profit slowing is the bugaboo of the wealthy, not the giant group of the people known as the nation. Germany kept its decent paying jobs, and is one of the powerhouses of the planet. They didn't worship corporate profit increases over all else. Balance is the key.

Adapt. Enjoy. Survive.

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