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Comment: Re: The problem isn't the FBI ... (Score 2) 174

by CaptSlaq (#49594461) Attached to: FBI Slammed On Capitol Hill For "Stupid" Ideas About Encryption

Right now it is not a crime, BUT it should be.

Anyone in power to actually propose or advocate such ideas that are clearly, outright dangerous to our freedom and privacy rights should be treated as our worst enemy. Anyone who does that is clearly showing to be a dangerous inept several magnitudes worse than the worst terrorist. An enemy of the public that can only choose between exile or jail.

Yay freedom of speech?

Comment: Re:Yawn... Strawmening and elenchiing now? (Score 1) 285

Yeah, it basically conflates parts of the picking, sorting and packing process into a single job.

Though, it lacks one aspect of the old process, clearly visible there in your video. Old system allowed for quick and dirty picking during daytime, while sorting, packing and transport could be done as a separate process, 24/7. That automated picker dictates that all work must be done in daytime if one is aiming for optimum efficiency.

Cause nobody's gonna do any sorting at night in the field with all those insects rushing at the light and all that nectar in the air.

Nothing states that the machine in question can't just pick and dump into a collector. If there's no problems with it, a farmer could even pick at night, assuming said farmer can work out what that looks like from a navigation standpoint. Autonomous driving is an option, human monitored autonomous, or just throw a shedload of lights on the implement and let someone drive are all options for this.

Don't get me wrong, it's still evolutionary, but with a handful of changes (autonomy, a cab with lighting (and optionally climate control), or both), this could help a commercial strawberry farm produce significantly more fruit, assuming land is available and picking at night becomes a viable option.

Comment: Re:Yawn... Strawmening and elenchiing now? (Score 1) 285

- snip -
There are high initial costs and if you think that maintenance of robotic pickers will come cheap then you haven't been paying attention. But because there are now better jobs for unskilled workers out there due to which there is a lack of available workforce - that makes machines which cost around 100k a pop seem affordable.

And did you even look at what that picker does? It's turning fieldworkers into assembly line workers. Sitting and sorting and packing sunrise-to-sunset is a lot easier than hunching down all that time. BETTER JOBS. Not better paid jobs.

To be fair, sorting and packing strawberries is assembly line work already. YouTube has several examples of this. The fact is that strawberries require some judgement that the automation can't make yet. This moves that packaging from a dedicated building to on-site, which is an interesting idea.

This makes the machine being discussed here look like an evolution more than a revolution.

Comment: Re:You're not willing to pay (Score 1) 285

If you business model requires that you pay slave wages to your employees you need a new business model.

I also love when they say "Americans don't want to do this work", because they always leave off the "for the slave wages I'm willing to pay them".

And as we've seen over and over and over again, increasing the salary you pay to your workers has a negligible effect on the price of your goods that consumers pay.

When I was in high school I used to work on a farm over the summer, picking berries and other fruit. It was absolutely shitty work, but it paid more than McDonalds, which was also shitty work and at least I got to be outside. But to do that as an adult for minimum wage? Oh fuck no. You'd have to pay me upwards of $25 an hour + full health benefits + overtime + minimum 2 weeks vacation to do that kind of shit work. Offer a package like that and see how many American come running for that job they supposedly don't want to do.

And watch the price of that pound of strawberries rise accordingly. All agriculture competes on a world stage now, and competing with growers who pay much the same to their employees but said employees have a significantly lower cost of living is difficult at best. The global economy hasn't flattened out as many predicted it would. Reasons for this are probably many and varied.

Comment: Re:How much is his investment in the company makin (Score 1) 482

by CaptSlaq (#49486003) Attached to: Seattle CEO Cuts $1 Million Salary To $70K, Raises Employee Salaries

I've read it many times. Still don't see it.

A 20% pay cut is severe, but only over the minimum wage difference. Someone pulling 5 mil is still unable to spend it quicker than it comes in. It just isn't piling on as quickly as it was at 6mil.

I can EASILY see someone spending 6M a year on stuff. The collector car market is particularly expensive as this one (admittedly extreme) example indicates.

Comment: Re: Saudi Arabia, etc. (Score 3, Insightful) 653

by CaptSlaq (#49413657) Attached to: Carly Fiorina Calls Apple's Tim Cook a 'Hypocrite' On Gay Rights

> All of a sudden, that piece of paper is so important because homosexuals are the ones with traditional views of marriage.

The marriage contract opens the doors to wide range of economic benefits. Denying those benefits is ultimately what's wrong.

Then perhaps the right path to that is to get the benefits divorced from what many believe to be a religious institution.


Obama: Maybe It's Time For Mandatory Voting In US 1089

Posted by timothy
from the if-there-weren't-all-those-pesky-rights dept. writes CNN reports that when asked how to offset the influence of big money in politics, President Barack Obama suggested it's time to make voting a requirement. "Other countries have mandatory voting," said Obama "It would be transformative if everybody voted — that would counteract money more than anything," he said, adding it was the first time he had shared the idea publicly. "The people who tend not to vote are young, they're lower income, they're skewed more heavily towards immigrant groups and minority groups. There's a reason why some folks try to keep them away from the polls." At least 26 countries have compulsory voting, according to the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. Failure to vote is punishable by a fine in countries such as Australia and Belgium; if you fail to pay your fine in Belgium, you could go to prison. Less than 37% of eligible voters actually voted in the 2014 midterm elections, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts. That means about 144 million Americans — more than the population of Russia — skipped out. Critics of mandatory voting have questioned the practicality of passing and enforcing such a requirement; others say that freedom also means the freedom not to do something.

Comment: Re:Still My Favorite (Score 1) 300

by CaptSlaq (#49198059) Attached to: Mozilla: Following In Sun's Faltering Footsteps?

Let's hope you don't find yourself forced to use an ultra-slow Internet connection: they removed the Load images by default checkbox a while ago now.

You have to screw around in about:config to get the same effect.

The thinking behind this: some nonsense about options being confusing.

Some would suggest that turning off images is a power user thing anyway... but I understand your point.

Comment: Re:A real test: Orlando, FL (Score 1) 112

by CaptSlaq (#49197855) Attached to: Self-Driving Cars Will Be In 30 US Cities By the End of Next Year

If they want a real test, try Orlando, Florida. I found it the most trying city to drive in of any I've ever lived in, thanks to the joyous combination of people visiting from Ohio that expect a mile clear ahead of them and people from New York who think 6 inches is enough of a gap for someone to cut them off.

Baby steps.

Money can't buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you're being miserable. -- C.B. Luce