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Comment: Re:Does the job still get done? (Score 1) 658

by CastrTroy (#48616641) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates
But that's just it. As you get more and more people on the social welfare system, you either have more and more people living as meagerly as possible because the jobs simply don't exist. You could up the amount of money you pay those on social welfare, so that they can actually enjoy their lives, but then you risk the workers jumping on to social welfare too early, and not being able to bring in enough tax money to support the social welfare system. If social welfare is too comfortable, nobody will want to work. If it's not comfortable enough, you'll have a lot of people who are on it because they have no other choice, and are therefore unhappy with their lives. These people will probably cause a lot of trouble.

Comment: Re:Good, we're not trying to create more work (Score 3, Interesting) 658

by CastrTroy (#48616397) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Peter Gibbons: What would you do if you had a million dollars?
Lawrence: I'll tell you what I'd do, man: two chicks at the same time, man.
Peter Gibbons: That's it? If you had a million dollars, you'd do two chicks at the same time?
Lawrence: Damn straight. I always wanted to do that, man. And I think if I were a millionaire I could hook that up, too; 'cause chicks dig dudes with money.
Peter Gibbons: Well, not all chicks.
Lawrence: Well, the type of chicks that'd double up on a dude like me do.
Peter Gibbons: Good point.
Lawrence: Well, what about you now? What would you do?
Peter Gibbons: Besides two chicks at the same time?
Lawrence: Well, yeah.
Peter Gibbons: Nothing.
Lawrence: Nothing, huh?
Peter Gibbons: I would relax... I would sit on my ass all day... I would do nothing.
Lawrence: Well, you don't need a million dollars to do nothing, man. Take a look at my cousin: he's broke, don't do shit.

This describes completely what most people would do if they had the option. Even myself, given the option that I could have a house, food, and all essential bills covered (heat, electricity, water), I would probably do pretty close to nothing. I probably wouldn't sit on the couch all day, but most of the time I definitely wouldn't be producing anything of value. Wake up, go for a bike ride in the morning, spend time with friends, play all those video games I've always wanted to play. I might take up hobbies and actually produce something, but I wouldn't be adherent to any kind of schedule and whether or not I could produce any item worth exchange for money.

Comment: Re:Does the job still get done? (Score 5, Interesting) 658

by CastrTroy (#48616315) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates
But who's going to do the 10% of the work that can't be done by machines? If the system is set up to distribute the wealth, and nobody has to work, who's going to do the 10% of the jobs that still require humans. Sure, some of them will be interesting jobs, and you might find people lining up to do them, just to keep their lives interesting. But there's still going to be jobs that nobody wants to do. These kinds of jobs exist already, but people do them because they need money, and they don't have a lot of other choices.

And that's at 10% of people working. Problems will become apparent in the current system way before that. Once you have 40-50% of people not working, it becomes essential that there's a system to redistribute the wealth such that people can live their lives. But then there's still 50% of people who need to work just to keep that going. And it's going to be very hard to convince people to go to work day in and day out when they can have a comfortable life doing whatever they please.

Comment: Re:Write-only languages (Score 1) 100

by CastrTroy (#48609851) Attached to: The Joker Behind the Signetics 25120 Write-Only Memory Chip Hoax
Commenting individual lines of code, is for the most part, a bad idea. Code should be clear enough, such that somebody well versed in the programming language knows what is going on without the help of comments. Commenting functions so that you know what they do is another matter entirely, and should be done. But if a language doesn't let you write clear enough such that you can understand it later without comments, I would highly suggest using another language. If you rely on comments to tell you what the code is doing, those comments are going to get out of sync with what the code is actually doing, and be more confusing than if they weren't there at all. Except in cases like using assembly language, where you can't write meaningful code, you really shouldn't be resorting to explaining what code is doing in comments.

Comment: Re:Yeah right. (Score 1) 99

by CastrTroy (#48609573) Attached to: Skype Unveils Preview of Live English-To-Spanish Translator
That video shows exactly why it doesn't work. I didn't even make it though half the video and found multiple errors in the English text, or what I assume were errors if she doesn't speak like a 3 year old. The guy broke out in laughter at how bad some of stuff comes out. And that's for simple conversation level sentences. If you picked a random person from the audience and got them to translate a random piece of text from a technical document, it would probably be 10 times worse.

Comment: Re:Yeah right. (Score 1) 99

by CastrTroy (#48609475) Attached to: Skype Unveils Preview of Live English-To-Spanish Translator
I guess so. If I could effectively communicate with a Spanish speaking person who didn't speak English, then I would be quite impressed. They would hear my English speaking translated into Spanish, and I would hear their Spanish translated into English. I think the other problem is that if neither person speaks the other language, then nobody understands if the machine is saying the right thing. If we are discussing a product design, and I say it must be able to support 250 kg, and the machine translates that as 150 kg, there is no way for me to verify that the machine got it right. Even if the person on the other end repeated what the machine told them, it could conceivably translate the 150 kg they stated back to 250 kg which is what I originally said. Obviously this is a hypothetical situation, but it's just there to illustrate the point. It might work for casual conversation, but when understanding the meaning of the words is crucial, it's not something that I would really rely on.

Comment: Re:Yeah right. (Score 2) 99

by CastrTroy (#48608781) Attached to: Skype Unveils Preview of Live English-To-Spanish Translator
I would need to see it in person, along with a Spanish speaking person to tell me how well the translation worked out for me to really believe it. I haven't seen a decent system that does speech to text well enough, nor have I seen any systems that did text translation well enough to believe that this product could exist and work well. Text to speech is pretty much a solved problem, but the other two parts of the system, that is, speech to text, and translating text are so far from being good that I can't really believe that we are currently at the point where something like this can be expected to work for day to day conversations. It's hard enough getting human translators to translate things correctly.

Comment: Re:One reason for that might be (Score 1) 176

by CastrTroy (#48580637) Attached to: U.S. Passenger Vehicle Fleet Dirtier After 2008 Recession
It's funny this came up, because I don't actually own a car. I just can't financially justify it. I get to work by cycling and take the bus in the winter. I could save a bit of time by driving a car, but not a whole lot. The real difference would be in the winter, but there's only 3 months out of the year where I can't ride my bike, and owning a car for the other 9 months where I wouldn't use it is just a huge waste of money. Living in a rural area, I would most likely not be able to live without a car, but living in the city, I really don't see how people justify the high costs. You can rent a car for $30 a weekend in the winter. Insurance is covered by many credit cards. So you can have a car every weekend in the winter for less than it costs to own a car.

Comment: Re:One reason for that might be (Score 1) 176

by CastrTroy (#48576563) Attached to: U.S. Passenger Vehicle Fleet Dirtier After 2008 Recession
I think this is a big problem as well. Cars keep on getting more complicated and adding more and more standard features. As a result, owning a new car is something that many people only dream of. Many people are driving second, third, or fourth hand cars that a decade or more old. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as vehicle production creates quite a lot of pollution, and you don't want everybody trading in automobiles every year like they do with cell phones. And it also means cars are lasting a long time and are quite reliable. The flip side is that you're going to have a lot of old engine technology on the roads that may not be as efficient as the newer stuff.

Comment: Re:You're Doing It Wrong (Score 1) 567

by CastrTroy (#48573541) Attached to: The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait
The problem is that Widescreen monitors aren't quite wide enough. So you can't fit 2 browser windows side by side without having some kind of horizontal scrolling. Sure, ideally sites would adjust, but there's a lot of websites out there that make you scroll horizontally on anything less than 1024 pixels wide.

The other problem is that the window managers don't handle high resolution wide screen monitors well enough. Ideally you could get a large 4k monitor and have the computer pretend it's 4 regular monitors and a windows would maximize to fill the virtual monitor, or have a full screen option for things that you would actually want to fill the whole screen, which would really only be needed when you are watching a movie or playing a game.

Comment: Re:Robots.txt (Score 1) 183

by CastrTroy (#48573221) Attached to: Google News To Shut Down In Spain On December 16th
That must be wrong, or the lawmakers are incredibly stupid. How are the publishers even supposed to be aware of all the entities that are using their content? Sure they could check the usual suspects like Google News and get money from them, but what about the new and upcoming news aggregators. How is a publisher to know who is republishing their content (in whole or in part)?

If it really is that way, then can't Google News still operate in Spain but just only show content from publishers it knows to be not in Spain. I'm sure the Spanish publishers would love to only have American content featured on Google News Spanish Edition.

Also, how does this make it OK for Google News to reuse the content belonging to Spanish publishers when people go to some other version of Google News. Does the law not require them to collect money for content shared to other countries?

Comment: Re:They will either change their mind (Score 1) 183

by CastrTroy (#48572367) Attached to: Google News To Shut Down In Spain On December 16th
Isn't that what a robots.txt file is for? Does Google somehow now obey robots.txt when spidering sites for news content? If you don't want Google to republish your content without compenstation, you should disallow their bot in your robots.txt file.

Also, I would like to know why this only applies to Google news. I'm pretty sure Google puts excerpts from the article in regular search results as well. Why are those excerpts not counted in this legislation while the ones on Google News are?

Comment: Re:XBMC Finally? (Score 3, Informative) 140

by CastrTroy (#48564321) Attached to: $35 Quad-core Hacker SBC Offers Raspberry Pi-like Size and I/O
The Raspberry Pi is kind of in a weird situation, and I can't understand why it really caught on. On one hand, it's overkill for little electronics projects where something like an Arduino would be much better suited. On the other hand, it's not quite powerful enough to act as a respectable desktop or media center. The disk I/O is very lacking because it doesn't support an interace with DMA. Various disk intensive applications like torrents will bring the thing to its knees. If the video doesn't happen to be in a codec that is supported in hardware, then there's no chance of it having the horsepower to decode it.

As far as media centers go, It makes way more sense to get a low power Intel board that you know will have enough power to do everything, and will be able to run just about any application and run Windows or Linux as you prefer.

"No job too big; no fee too big!" -- Dr. Peter Venkman, "Ghost-busters"