Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Ouch (Score 1) 118

by ultranova (#48680703) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

At least if most of the learning happens at school, kids get mostly the same shot at it.

Those who aren't bullied, at least. Those who are get to spend some more mandatory time in Hell. And longer school days mean more stress and thus more bullies and less teachers willing to do anything about it.

Comment: Re:Cue Liberals (Score 1) 111

by ultranova (#48679917) Attached to: NSA Reveals More Than a Decade of Improper Surveillance

Democrats hate the thought of anyone determining their own fate and Republicans want to prevent anyone from enjoying the same advantages they do.

And once you accept such a premise - that everyone who disagrees with you is acting in bad faith - how could you possibly behave any differently than the NSA did? After all, you are surrounded by Fifth Columns trying to subvert the nation for whatever reason. What else can you do but keep them under surveillance in hopes of catching them in the act?

This is what's really wrong with American political process: treating political opponents as enemies. Democracy works because everyone gets to make their case without having to resort to violence. Democracy is efficient because every viewpoint gets represented and thus considered. But there's also the temptation to simply hurl mud on one's opponents rather than argue one's policies on their merits, and for whatever reason that's the road US has taken. It's a flaw that needs to be corrected.

Both Parties have become useless to the majority and only serve specific, rabidly vocal special interest groups.

So both parties listen to the voters, otherwise being rabidly vocal would have no effect. So rather than complain that they can't read your mind, why don't you learn from these special interest groups and start your own? Because "Party X only listens to me if I speak" is not exactly a damning judgement, at least not on the party.

Comment: Re:Tree of liberty (Score 0) 355

by ultranova (#48670647) Attached to: UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

Well, as they say, the tree of liberty needs to occasionally be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots. It appears that their tree is in need of some watering.

Neither the US nor the UK have tyrants. They have officials who were elected by popular vote. So unless you were planning immolating yourself in front of Buckingham Palace as a protest for your country's policies, the quote is not really appropriate.

Democracies reflect their citizens. You don't have to like that reflection, but if you don't, breaking the mirror only adds more disfigurements from the flying shards.

Comment: Re:Yet another clueless story on automation (Score 1) 622

by ultranova (#48670441) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

So what? We already made that choice to do so. Forcing companies to go with automation over employment doesn't make this situation any better.

We decided to not let people starve, and institutionalized that decision in the form of social security. However, setting up said social security in such a way that businesses suffer less costs from paying their employees insufficient wages than they would without social security in place - because automation is not free - creates perverse incentives. It rewards paying employees less and punishes any competitors who pay decent wages. That's a dumb and arguably evil thing to do.

Comment: Re:Hmm. (Score 1) 291

by afidel (#48661219) Attached to: Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

Generally they run ethernet, wifi, and/or some form of DSL (Cisco's LRE used to be a favorite in older hotels as it allowed broadband speeds without the massive expense and disruption of running a new cable plant), though I did just see someone hawking ethernet over powerline to the hospitality sector in a google search, that has got to suck horribly.

Comment: Re:perhaps a better title (Score 1) 439

by afidel (#48655127) Attached to: How Venture Capitalist Peter Thiel Plans To Live 120 Years

Paleo: all meats in america are processed to some level, and red meat has been directly correlated with an increased risk of prostate and colon cancer. various additives like nitrites and processing methods such as using carbon monoxide to improve meat color, actually involve carcinogens or cancer suspect agents in their execution. Factory farming and the prolific use of sterroids and hormones in all american meat have virtually guaranteed an increased risk of cancer. enjoy significantly elevated levels of cholesterol, and supporting a fundamentally unsustainable concept of factory farming that contributes to everything from climate change to aggressively resistant bacteria and viruses.

This is a specious argument, a man of such extreme wealth will have zero problems acquiring whatever form of meat his heart desires. Should he want only American Bison filet every day then he can afford an immense herd where one individual is killed to provide him his daily cut of meat.

Comment: Re:Stone Age diet ? he wants to live all 20 years? (Score 1) 439

by afidel (#48654659) Attached to: How Venture Capitalist Peter Thiel Plans To Live 120 Years

Life expectancy didn't exceed much above 30 until the upper paleolithic, around 30,000 years ago there was a steep rise in the number of teeth from individuals older than 30. There were of course those who managed to make it to what we would in modern times consider old age, but from all the evidence we have they were extreme outliers until around that period.

Comment: Re:Why dashcams? (Score 1) 93

by ultranova (#48646433) Attached to: Seattle Police Held Hackathon To Redact Footage From Body Cameras

Dashcams stay on the cruiser which is always in a public space. There is no need to redact that video unless you have something to hide.

So, just hypothetically speaking, you would be okay with being followed and every single one of your actions recorded and publicly reported 24/7? Because with modern computer vision and ubiquitous cameras, that question is becoming less hypothetical every day. And that, in turn, is quickly turning the entire society into a giant panopticon.

Look up Finlandization. Hell can take many forms, and none are made better by being forced to smile and pretend everything's okay.

Comment: Re:Yet another clueless story on automation (Score 1) 622

by ultranova (#48644457) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Who's going to employ poor people once you destroy the businesses who employ poor people?

The question is not who employes them, the question is who pays for their living expenses. If companies don't pay a living wage, then that's you and me.

Society is not a suicide pact.


These people are paid so little because their labor is worth so little. Making them unemployable doesn't make their labor worth any more than it currently is.

Then it shouldn't really matter if they're employed or not, now should it? After all, if their labor is worth little, then the economy is little affected if it's removed, right?

We will see not only jobs moved to other parts of the world, but the automation as well. Call it "race to the bottom", "exporting the pollution", whatever, but it remains that a growing amount of valuable economic activity has been chased out of the developed world and it's not coming back.

What valuable economic activity would that be? Surely you aren't referring to activities so unprofitable that paying minimum wage for them is a "punishment"?

Manufacture for example. And Walmart and McDonald's do have valid business models and very useful services that depend on low wages. They can achieve that by automation or by paying people what they're worth.

You can't have it both ways. Either these people's labor is valuable, or it is not. If it is, then pay them for it. If it's not, then it doesn't matter whether they're employed or not, because they're poor either way and the economy is by definition unaffected by losing low-value labour; the only ones affected is McDonald's and Wal-Mart who'll have to shell out for automation rather than continue having their profits subsidized by having me pay their workforce. Which one is it?

Comment: Re: News at 11.. (Score 1) 718

by ultranova (#48644393) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

Says the guy who doesn't know what "begging the question" means...

"Begging the question" has multiple meanings: the literal meaning, similar to "rising the question", and another: "assuming the conclusion" which originated from a particularly bad translation of a latin phrase. You, on the other hand, confused the concept of sharing with its exact opposite, "exclusive use".

Error in operator: add beer