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Comment Re:Fact check or PC checking? (Score 4, Informative) 337

It's immigration (and emigration) whenever a group of people migrate from one region to another, regardless of what the reason is or how they're treated.

It's a little bit of a tricky word territory because it would be inaccurate to call them "immigrants". That word is usually used in modern English to refer to non-forced migration, so could make the reader draw inaccurate conclusions.

It is, though, completely reasonable to put the event under a discussion of "Patterns of Immigration", because that is clearly referring to large-scale movements of people with important sociological and historical impacts. Historically, many major human migrations have been the result of slavery, exile, genocide, and other such unpleasant and rather non-voluntary reasons. They're still called migrations.

Comment Re:Perhaps this explains my Garmin (Score 1) 131

According to this article (okay, okay, the summary), GPS error causes measured distances to be systematically overestimated.

What you're talking about -- a different but noticeable factor -- is that GPS polling frequency causes measured distances to be systematically underestimated. Because it's only sampling once every N seconds and then, because there's quite a bit of noise, applying a smoothing function to the result, it cuts the corners off of paths. It can cause pretty substantial underestimation, even when moving relatively slowly along gently curved paths.

Comment MMORPG revival (Score 4, Interesting) 106

As a former avid City of Heroes player, I wish that someone would do this for shuttered MMORPGs. There are so many, and unlike single-player games that will at least run on old hardware and/or OSes, shuttered MMORPGs are completely inaccessible by any means. (Well, other than server emulators, for the very, VERY few that are lucky enough to have them.)

A while back, I wrote an email to GoG basically telling them that I wish they'd consider approaching some of the publishers of shuttered MMORPGs and offering to host them, either buying the rights to the games outright or licensing them, and charging $10 or $15 per month for access to everything (or offer cheaper plans for limited access to one or some games). Because the playerbase of many of these games would be a lot smaller than the new flashy hotness MMORPGs, it probably wouldn't take that much in the way of hardware, and if they could negotiate access to the source code, they might even be able to rewrite parts of the game to run more efficiently or even release updates. I got back a response that boiled down to, "Thanks, but we're not going to do that."

I still think it's a market that's ripe, and someone at some point will exploit that and make a killing off of it.

Hmm... Anyone got some negotiating skills that could pair with my technical skills to get this done?

Comment Re:In other news.... (Score 1) 500

Well, except that:

  • Not 100% of a product's or service's cost is human resources, and even the cost that is HR isn't 100% salary.
  • Prices tend to be somewhat sticky. Sure, you could pass on some of the labor costs directly to customers, but your competitor will take a lower profit margin to increase volume by stealing your customers. (Which, funny enough, is how Gravity got into business to start with.)
  • Even if you pass that cost on, it will likely only be after months or even a year or more, meaning that in the interim, the lag directly benefits those at the bottom,
  • I don't see anywhere that the company's skilled labor was making the company's minimum wage. I'd be surprised if they aren't making considerably more.
  • If the only reason you got a degree was to make more money, then you probably deserve whatever hardship you have coming to you. Personally, I got a degree so that I could get a job doing something I wanted to do, not because what I majored in commanded the highest salary.
  • And congratulations, now you know how millions of people feel who got degrees or otherwise invested in vocational training or certifications in stuff that was hot at the time, but has since cooled down. I know a lot of IT people today who are living on beans because what all of the experts thought would be an unending fountain of money quickly turned into an offshoring nightmare, stranding hundreds of thousands of IT professionals in unemployment lines.
  • If you read a bit about Dan and Gravity, you'll find out that he's paying for the raises out of his own salary, which he cut from around $1 million per year to the minimum $70k per year minimum. He has promised not to pass ANY costs for the raises he's giving out to customers. That's a guy who values his company more than yachts, private airplanes, and other trappings of wealth.

In short, the argument you're making is the same one that has been made since a minimum wage was created, that it doesn't do any good because prices just go up to account for it. But every time the minimum wage is raised, prices have never gone up an equal amount. (Likewise, not raising the minimum wage has never caused prices to not go up.) So what you're saying is a gross oversimplification of the reality of the situation that causes your final conclusion to be wrong.

Comment Re:Remove casing from a Wallmart clock - get invit (Score 2, Insightful) 621

There are certain things you don't do....If you're muslim, you don't bring anything to school that can be mistaken for a bomb... if you're anybody you don't bring anything to school that can be mistaken for a bomb really, but especially if you're muslim.

it shouldn't matter yada yada yada, but it does.

Thank you for your recipe for how to ensure that systemic prejudices remain in place, that the world never changes for the better.

To be blunt, this is the same attitude a bunch of white people had in the 1950s and 1960s when they said, "If you're black, you don't vote. You don't sit in the front of the bus. You don't eat at lunch counters. It shouldn't matter yada yada yada, but it does."

Is Ahmed some sort of boy genius? Eh, I doubt it, but the simple fact is that NO ONE, Muslim or otherwise, should have to just sit back and tolerate endemic racism. And if it were my kid that you were telling that that's just "the world we live in," well, you and I would have a problem. Maybe you were a liberal, but if you think that this is okay, that it's Ahmed who should have to change, then it is most emphatically not the left that's moving away from you.

Comment Re:Your point is simple; the language is tortured. (Score 1) 1291

Okay, fine. I think we should redistribute wealth from the top to the bottom. There, I said it. I honestly wasn't aware that my comment made it unclear that I support that idea.

But I say it with two qualifications:

1) More importantly, I think we should redistribute income from the top to the bottom, and

2) I'm not proposing that we redistribute wealth equally or anything like that, a common strawman. I simply think that the system that has been rigged for at least the past three decades should be rebalanced so that, for example, CEOs are making a few dozen to a hundred times the salary of average non-management workers at a company instead of thousands of times the salary. I think that companies should be penalized for moving jobs out-of-country. I DEFINITELY think that the minimum wage needs to be raised and pegged to the cost of living so that we don't have to address the issue every few years. I think that the capital gains tax rate should be pegged to the top marginal income tax rate so that no one ever has to pay a higher tax rate because they make their money by working instead of making money from having money.

In short, I think that the harder and smarter you work, the more you should enjoy the fruits of your labor and productivity. But I think that you should reach a point of diminishing returns so that as you prosper, you're directly helping to provide others the opportunity and environment in which they can prosper also.

I've always said that I'm not jealous of those who are wealthy. If my company's CEO is making a billion dollars a year, more power to him or her. But then if they start laying off people, moving jobs overseas, freezing raises, cutting benefits, undermining worker's rights, lobbying congress to pass anti-worker legislation, etc. so that they can make just a little bit more, then we're going to have a problem.

Comment Re:The phrase 'consumer economy' seems a little si (Score 2) 1291

This is oversimplified to the point of being incorrect. Your flaw is thinking that $1 corresponds to some unit of effort. In reality, $1 corresponds to some unit of productivity, whether it's you, a robot, some technological innovation, a new business process, or whatever.

Currently when companies realize gains in productivity, all of the additional money either gets paid out to the people at the top or reinvested in the company, which essentially pays it out to the investors. The employees get little or none of it, which is why the past three decades productivity has been skyrocketing and we've experienced an average of around 3.5% growth per year, but real wages have been stagnant.

One of the premises of a UBI is to ensure that some of that 3.5% growth ends up in the hands of the people who are working longer, harder hours, taking on multiple jobs to make ends meet, and actually creating the productivity gains that companies are benefiting from but not passing down.

Comment Re:Sunlight has a large electromgnetic field (Score 1) 456

Bullshit. Exposure to RF is inducing cancer because it randomly changes DNA. The dose does not matter in this effect.

Bullshit. Wavelength is not a dose.

Long-wavelength RF, below the ionization threshold, does not cause cancer because it lacks the energy necessary to "randomly change DNA". You're right, the dose doesn't matter -- sub-ionization RF doesn't cause cancer.

Comment Re:Am I the only person... (Score 1) 194

... who still thinks being able to get a wireless internet link in an aircraft doing 600mph at 35K feet is pretty fucking amazing. I can't believe people complain about the bandwidth - they should be grateful this tech exists at all.

Yeah, but the problem is that the service offered today is exactly the same as the service that was offered in 2008. There has been basically zero progress over the course of over seven years, and the price has been steadily going up for that service.

Imagine if computers had the same capabilities, the same CPU speed, the same RAM, the same form factor, the same monitor resolutions, as they did in 2008 but cost a lot more. Who would still be buying them? (Basically the same people who buy airplane wi-fi service--business customers who have to.)

Yay, monopolies!

Comment Re:Amazon has gone for obfuscation as business mod (Score 1) 259

I order quite a bit from Amazon, including things that split shipments (ship different days or are a mix of Prime and non-Prime). The "Your order [...] has shipped!" e-mails list an amount charged for the items that actually shipped, and these are the same values that appear on my credit card. While the default "Your Orders" view on the website groups things by order (which is not the same as shipment or credit card charge), the "Invoice" link on each order breaks down the order correctly (by shipment, with separated charges). These also match up with credit card charges.

Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982