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Comment Surplus (Score 1) 295

We're collectively producing more rice than we eat. Japan is stockpiling unused rice every year, and the world markets are flooded with cheap rice. Food insufficiency (starvation, malnutrition) is currently a problem of resource allocation, not production.

At the same time, the consumers in the big rice consuming countries aren't eating just "rice". You can typically find many dozens of very specific breeds of rice with differences in flavour, texture, firmness, size and so on. And that's within a single type (Japonica, say).

I suspect this would only be useful for rice grown for feed or as an industrial crop. But for feed, source of starch and so on there are already other, well entrenched crops available, so I don't see much of a practical impact of this development.

Comment Re:A simple proposition. (Score 1) 382

What is the alternate solution? Are you willing to pay for a subscription to every site you visit? Do you want more "native content" intermixed with all these articles?

Or, you know, less content. It's not as if we're all sitting around wishing there was more stuff on the internet to read, right?

We pay a monthly subscription for our online daily newspaper. I occasionally pay for things such as printed anthologies of online comics I follow, buy books by authors whose blogs and articles I read. I subscribe to a couple of websites.

At one end there is high-quality content such as newspapers (which is high quality in my home country) and other stuff like I listed above. Stuff that is good enough that people really do want to pay for it.

At the other end a lot of people out there are creating good stuff completely for free. You've got academics, programmers and other professionals with a day job that write to spread what they learn. You've got hobbyists sharing their passion. Small businesses publishing good stuff to promote their name and skills. Factual events are widely and freely reported.

The content farms, clickbait sites and the rest out there is squeezed between these two. The high-quality stuff sets the bar for what people expect in order to part with their money. The free stuff sets the bar on what people accept before they abandon you and leave for better sources.

If your business depends on having so much advertising that it drives people to block stuff or leave, then you have no business being in business at all.

Comment Re:Scratching your head? (Score 1) 107

How the hell did the motor manufacturer prevent the flight?

As you say, it's a prototype on loan for testing, and the contract terms explicitly say Siemens get to say what they can and can't do with it.

The Airbus thing is complete bull; they'd have zero interest in preventing a test flight like this, and plenty of professional interest in seeing it fly.

Comment Re:reverse Amazon shopping (Score 2) 116

I usually buy direct in store. Shipping time zero. Prices have adjusted, at least around here, so that in-store prices aren't much different from the online ones.

Typically I'm browsing at a book store on the way home from work, and discover a book I might like. I could order it and get it a few days later, or walk out the store, book in hand. I'm an adult, with disposable income, so a hundred yen or two price difference doesn't matter to me. Being able to get the book right then does. Amazon is great for finding out what other people think about the book before I buy it.

Another example was my used oscilloscope. Buying second-hand things online is a gamble, and returning it is a major pain (get a cardboard box, arrange for the return and get and fill in a return label, be home to do the delivery). I went to a local shop instead. They hooked it up right in the shop to make sure it worked and to show me the basics of using it. And had there been a problem they would have come by in a car to pick it up directly. Much better. But Amazon did tell me which of the available models were better for me.

Comment Re:Not recruitment, retention (Score 1) 260

No, it's the same mechanism; just think of the third-party developers as "your" employees (share-cropping is quite an apt comparison). If they write their cool apps in a language only your platform uses, they are much less likely to port it to other platforms. You get more "exclusive" content, and your share-croppers/valuable partners are less able to leave for better terms elsewhere.

Comment Re:Eh... (Score 1) 108

Many people don't use mods and never play on servers. Of course, you don't meet them online, so it's not strange you'd get the impression they aren't out there.

To me the fun is designing and building stuff. Having other people around is mostly a distraction. If there's anything I'd like it's a more consistent challenge; better zombie and villager AI, for instance, to make larger structures meaningful.

Comment No need (Score 1) 692

Living longer won't mean you have more kids. So far the trend has if anything been the reverse.

And "reverse aging" != "live forever". There's still plenty of non-age-related things that can, and eventually will, kill you. In fact, if "reversing aging" does not include "cure cancer" the overall effect on average lifespans will not be particularly large at all.

I suspect this is a complete non-problem.

Comment Re:Or.... (Score 5, Interesting) 253

You follow the local accepted customs, whether you think they are ridiculous or not.

Let's take a parallel situation: In some countries, such as Australia I believe, you wear your shoes indoor. In some countries, such as Japan or my native Sweden, you always take them off.

If you come to either country, would you find it acceptable to basically say "In Australia we always wear our shoes indoor. If you want to take them off, no issue. Why should I be forced to take them off?". Then proceed to try to walk in wearing your outdoor shoes? Would you be surprised if you were (politely in Japan, not so politely in Sweden) thrown out as a result?

Like punning, programming is a play on words.

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