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Comment: Re:The problem is... (Score 1) 124

If enough people are out of work without some sort of guaranteed income... they'll just eat the robot owners.

Right. Maybe they'll get lucky and the killbots will have a preset kill limit.

We are rapidly approaching the first time in history, when the rulers will no longer need any human servants at all.

Comment: The problem is... (Score 1) 124

...It's not the Engineers who decide whether or not the people get replaced.

We are within a generation - two at the most - of at least half of the population being made literally redundant. Any job they could possibly do, will be done faster, cheaper and better by robots. Basically, if it's a job involving manual labour, it'll be automated, with the possible exception of high-end positions catering to the luxury demands of the ultra-rich. Many management jobs will also go as collateral damage (don't need to manage robots, after all).

Probably a generation after that advances in AI will have taken over a huge swathe of lower-end "knowledge worker" jobs.

With greedy, psychopathic, neoliberal Governments running most of the civilised world, the future is looking pretty grim for the common man.

Comment: Re:Where's The Content? (Score 1) 207

by drsmithy (#47134635) Attached to: 4K Displays Ready For Prime Time

So, how about some evidence for these claims? I'm particularly interested actual double-blind testing of 4K versus 2K displays at "normal viewing distances" which is pretty ambiguous on its own.

The difference between an old 15" MBP and new Retina MBP is easily noticable.

I wouldn't have actually believed it until I borrowed a work Retina MBP for a couple of weeks. Now I'm eagerly looking for an affordable ~27" IPS 4k display to replace my existing monitors.

Comment: Re:How does one determine the difference... (Score 1) 389

It's not that society doesn't want to avoid jury duty because of jury duty. It's because it messes up your life.

You get paid $40/day for Jury Duty, and many employers don't pay for Jury Duty at all. For a typical middle-class American, you lose your $100-$200/day job for a $40/day ($5/hour) jury duty. You can't live on that much of a cut in pay.

The solution here seems pretty obvious, but undoubtedly the usual suspects would cry "socialism!".

Comment: Re:No. Absolutely not. (Score 1) 113

The ACCC a few years back put in a new law (which Apple fought tooth and nail, source: []) which required every piece of electronics sold in Australia to have a two year "warranty". I put that in sarcasm quotes not because it's invalid (the ACCC has some *serious* bite here, enough to scare Apple into compliance), but because it's not technically a warranty. It's simply: "a reasonable expectation that an electronic product will be fit for purpose for two years from purchase".

I think you'll find that two years is just a minimum.

Which is to say you could probably argue that a high-end mobile phone would be expected by any "reasonable" person to work for more like 3-4, possibly even 5, years.

If I had an Apple phone fail within 3 years I'd expect Apple to replace it without too much haranguing. Closer to the 4 year mark I'd expect to have to get consumer affairs involved, but still succeed.

Comment: Re:Only with a proper HOSTS file (Score 5, Interesting) 355

by drsmithy (#46997691) Attached to: Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?

You're confusing usefulness with relevance. Thunderbolt is, and will reman, irrelevant to PCs, largely because PCs have plenty of internal expansion capability and sufficient USB ports, Display Ports, HDMI ports, etc.

Not often I wish for mod points and don't have them, but this pretty much nails it.

Thunderbolt is solid technology - basically PCIe on a cable - but its relevance to machines that don't need PCIe on a cable (or provide an equivalent - ie: a docking station) is close to nil.

The use case for Thunderbolt on Macs, due to their typical design focusing on form factor over other factors, is reasonable.

The use case outside of Macs, is niche (to say the least).

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 1) 888

by drsmithy (#46253927) Attached to: Star Trek Economics

Our society has become massively automated compared to the middle ages. And we have 25 times the world population now. Yet we still have plenty of jobs;

No we don't. It's be decades since any western country had full employment, or even a policy to achieve same, thanks to the sadistic neoliberal idea of NAIRU. In most of the western world, there are an order of magnitude more job seekers than there are jobs.

And that's not even taking into consideration the swathes of the population involved in unproductive, pointless, bullshit jobs that serve no real purpose (eg: most layers of management).

Within a generation, two at the outside, the vast, vast majority of jobs involving manual labour will be performed by robots, except for those targeting the high-end luxury market. I expect a fairly large chunk of today's "intellectual" jobs will also disappear towards the end of that timeframe (eg: basic engineering, software development, lower levels of management, etc) as AI capabilities improve.

Comment: Re:Service packs? (Score 1) 385

by drsmithy (#46167679) Attached to: HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

And yet there are apparently bugs still being found, otherwise there's be nothing to download for a 3 year old server [...]

Of course there would.

Just because a bug was fixed in a firmware update 3 years ago doesn't mean that update was applied 3 years ago.

Comment: Re:Government Regulation?? (Score 1) 385

by drsmithy (#46166901) Attached to: HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

We have millions of dollars invested in HP hardware.

We typically only have 3yr support contracts on servers, first and foremost to handle hardware failures.

After that time, servers are cycled out into low important, or non-production tasks. Failures in these roles usually result in wholesale machine replacement.

Maintaining support contracts for all those 3-6 year old machines is not viable, nor are we expecting _new_ problems to be addressed since they are out of contract.

Not being able to download _old_ patches, firmware, etc, to apply when the servers are cycled out of production, however, is bullshit.

Comment: Re:Service packs? (Score 1) 385

by drsmithy (#46165833) Attached to: HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

Yes they do.
Where ?

Where is the incentive to "deliver broken products" when they're going to have to fix them anyway since the vast majority of customers will be in support contracts for at least 3 years ? And would have been even if this change never occurred ?

Most customers will pay for 3 years of support - just like they have the last upteen years - because of the other stuff it buys.

Comment: Re:Service packs? (Score 2) 385

by drsmithy (#46161277) Attached to: HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

And they get a perverse incentive to deliberately deliver broken products from the outset.

No they don't.

All customers will have support contracts for a hardware purchase for 12 months.
The vast majority will then have them for another 2 years.
A sizeable chunk for probably another year or two after that.

Nearly all bugs are going to be found in the first couple of years, probably in the first 6 months, when pretty much everyone will have support contracts. Ie: they'll need to be fixed.

"But this one goes to eleven." -- Nigel Tufnel