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Comment Enough (Score 4, Insightful) 216

Enough calling these battles Luddite. No government is talking about banning mobile apps to organise businesses, or automated cars/more efficient services. What they are doing is banning an ILLEGAL business model which is trying to establish a monopoly. History has shown us time and again that the only monopolies which should exist should be government owned monopolies. The Taxi industry is one of these monopolies. Power companies, water companies, and telecommunications infrastructure companies are all entities which should be government owned/run to achieve wider economic objectives than just short term profit. America has spent hundreds of billions of dollars trying to get the telcos to upgrade to fibre and it hasn't worked. If the US government had said screw you, and built the fibre directly, the USA would have had FTTH to every home in the early 2000s. This fantasy that UBER is some magical company with amazing ideas that should just take over the world is retarded. We KNOW UBER is planning to sack all their drivers once the cars are automated. Their CEO has admitted this many times. It would be much better for the UK/US/AUS governments to own the automated cars and booking systems and capture the revenue from the automated car services, than allowing more wealth be siphoned out of their respective economies to a couple of billionaires in North America. UBER's business model is predatory, monopolistic and exploitative, and they're selling it under the guise of convenience/cost. These people are planning to take on the entire transport industry once they've taken out taxis. Expect them to start going for freight/road/rail services next. There is a strong humanist argument that as we phase out entire industries for automation, that the profits raised from those automation efforts be used to raise the living standards of everyone, not just a tiny minority that came up with an obvious idea. This is only going to get worse as we start to automate all service/manufacturing/primary production jobs. UBER really is the test case for how we deal with phasing out entire workforces and replacing them with no new jobs.

Comment Occulus Rift Experience (Score 1) 174

I've tried the Occulus Rift DK1, DK2, and Crystal Cove. I've also tried the Samsung GearVR. Here's my experience. DK2/Crystal/GearVR fixed the latency/movement issues. The problem is the resolution is too low. Now the Gear VR was the highest resolution headset. It is 2560x1440 so the resolution is 1280x1440 per eye. A 4K screen is 3840x2160 so 1920x2160 per eye. This resolution will be quite good, I don't think it will give you full presence however. But it will look a lot better than a 1990s DOS game. I suspect that VR will deliver presence at 7680x4320 aka 8K where each eye will have 3840x4320 pixels per eye. This is probably 2-3 years away, based on the current 4K screen technology. I'm not excited for the rift's release, but I don't think a flop would be fatal to VR. I do however think it's a bit premature to release it now. My guess is the early adopters are going to get burned, but the tech itself will be pretty good.

Comment Nuclear Fusion (Score 1) 842

I'd take the crapshoot and try to fund all the low cost fusion projects that are out there. There's about three promising ones now. Polywell positive net fusion going to cost $100 million to build a working reactor? Done. Hell I'd allocate $250 million to that project alone. Why not take the crapshoot with 1/10th of the 2.5 billion. It's not like you're going to run out of the other 2.25 billion any time soon. If Polywell doesn't work out, put another 200-300 million into other fusion projects. If those all fail, abandon fusion research and work on something like robotics/automation or space travel. Pretty sure you could re-purpose designs/technology from the Apollo missions at a much lower cost than the government will to get your own moon mission going. Most of the space innovators etc don't have the balls to try those projects now because they care about keeping their billions in the bank.

Comment Only if we're lucky. (Score 1) 111

Only if we're lucky will we be able to automate all the tasks and scrap the need for human labour. We will also need a socialist or communist system of wealth distribution if we scrap all the paid jobs. The biggest fear is a partial but not full automation occurs, where millions to billions of people get put permanently out of work, but there's still a worker class. Assuming we kept the current economic models, we'd be driving millions of people into poverty and creating a super stratified ultra-rich class.

Comment Re:No surprised in good ole Mass... (Score 4, Insightful) 155

Yes me me me me me and fuck the disabled, because the almighty dollar should rule everything. Uber/Lyft are examples of he worst of the free market system. Just bully your competition into having crap labour laws and screw anyone who falls outside of fit, high rate, low risk riders. Uber/Lyft are going to fire all their drivers as soon as driverless cars come in and they're trying to build monopoly empires right now. Americans are so gullible they'll fall for convenience for most at the expense of everyone else.

Submission + - Recycling is Dying 1

HughPickens.com writes: Aaron C. Davis writes in the Washington Post that recycling, once a profitable business for cities and private employers alike, has become a money-sucking enterprise. Almost every recycling facility in the country is running in the red and recyclers say that more than 2,000 municipalities are paying to dispose of their recyclables instead of the other way around. “If people feel that recycling is important — and I think they do, increasingly — then we are talking about a nationwide crisis,” says David Steiner, chief executive of Waste Management, the nation’s largest recycler.

The problem with recylcing is that a storm of falling oil prices, a strong dollar and a weakened economy in China have sent prices for American recyclables plummeting worldwide. Trying to encourage conservation, progressive lawmakers and environmentalists have made matters worse. By pushing to increase recycling rates with bigger and bigger bins — while demanding almost no sorting by consumers — the recycling stream has become increasingly polluted and less valuable, imperiling the economics of the whole system. “We kind of got everyone thinking that recycling was free,” says Bill Moore. “It’s never really been free, and in fact, it’s getting more expensive.”

One big problem is that China doesn't want to buy our garbage anymore. In the past China had sent so many consumer goods to the United States that all the shipping containers were coming back empty. So US companies began stuffing the return-trip containers with recycled cardboard boxes, waste paper and other scrap. China could, in turn, harvest the raw materials. Everyone won. But China has launched "Operation Green Fence" — a policy to prohibit the import of unwashed post-consumer plastics and other "contaminated" waste shipments. In China, containerboard, a common packaging product from recycled American paper, is trading at just over $400 a metric ton, down from nearly $1,000 in 2010. China also needs less recycled newsprint; the last paper mill in Shanghai closed this year. "If the materials we are exporting are so contaminated that they are being rejected by those we sell to," says Valerie Androutsopoulos, "maybe it’s time to take another look at dual stream recycling."

Comment Star Citizen started this. (Score 1) 102

The long held dream of Privateer 3/Wing Commander: Online is what started all this. Frankly it's a good thing. Many old games deserved good HD remakes. Remaking a Dos game using HD is like reshooting a black and white film in Colour. Nothing wrong with that. The main thing to ensure is that the originals aren't trampled with too many modernisms. Dune2000 was a lot better than Dune 2. I'd like to see more of the old artwork adapted/modernised same with music. Some games had excellent soundtracks that deserve a refresh like street fighter 2.

"The most important thing in a man is not what he knows, but what he is." -- Narciso Yepes