Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:And why are you telling us? (Score 2) 181

by Maow (#48850953) Attached to: NSA Hack of N. Korea Convinced Obama NK Was Behind Sony Hack

from personal experiance(US Army), the US goverment's technical capabilities generally lag far behind their ability to bullshit, which of course is their greatest asset.

The US Government most likely has third rate hackers,

Whats left are political lackies, the government can dress these people up as "the best experts in the world", and we'll all believe it, but their actual skills lack.

If you believe that the US government, in the form of the NSA, is composed of 3rd-rate hackers, you haven't been paying attention at all to the Snowden revelations.

Comment: Re:You don't say !! (Score 1) 324

by Maow (#48808685) Attached to: How To Hijack Your Own Windows System With Bundled Downloads

Whatever happened to the great days of shareware?

The people making 'shareware' realized they had rent to pay and kids to feed.

I don't entirely disagree, but it seems that the authors of shareware (or those in that spirit today) have switched to open source model (or mobile apps now).

It's the purveyors of software are the ones making the money here, not the authors.

I don't think Mozilla, for example, makes anything from downloads of Firefox via CNet or SourceForge.

Comment: Re: NDP (Score 2) 73

by Maow (#48797279) Attached to: Canada's Copyright Notice Fiasco: Why the Government Bears Responsibility

From what I've heard from peers, Jack Layton lost because of rumours floating about regarding his health.

I, for one, hadn't heard the rumours, so I don't think they held many people back from voting for him.

While I'm sure his right hand man would have done well, that unknown scared a lot of people and they decided to jump on the Harper train.

I cannot believe anyone was thinking of voting Layton but switched to Harper for any reason, never mind Layton's health. They were so diametrically opposed in style and substance, after all.

I personally am of the mind that no matter which way you vote, the government will appear incompetent no matter, because people are always out to blame someone. That, and, well, its politics.

This I agree with, but the task is to vote someone in whose mistakes benefit the most people instead of "Ooops, the rich benefited from that mistake. And that one. And this one too."

Just for once it'd be nice if "the little guy" was the beneficiary of a government screw-up.

Comment: Re:Fuck Emoji (Score 2) 104

by Maow (#48791695) Attached to: Chrome For OS X Catches Up With Safari's Emoji Support

Are you being sarcastic?


No seriously basic pictures have formed a nice little ability to convey emotion without eating into character limits. Now common and let me give you a hug you angry man \( )/.

If they were used only when space / bandwidth is limited, that would be a different story.

Instead they're used pervasively on forums where technical discussions are supposed to be happening:

How do I ___ the ___ from v1.2.1 via package manager XYZ *smilie* *winkie*

No character limits there, just an expression of idiocy.

Or WhatsApp - I've seen messages there (I don't use it myself) that were more emoticons than characters - and not infrequently.

And those are often in a pictographic language in the first place (traditional Chinese) - they still look stupid. And there are no character limits.

I'll only mention IRC as it's infested with them even though there can be good information interspersed.

It's a dumbing down of communication.

The internet does NOT need a laugh track. They suck on TV and they suck in emoticons.


What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers? 628

Posted by Soulskill
from the fewer-wrong-orders-at-the-drivethru dept.
Paul Fernhout writes: An article in the Harvard Business Review by William H. Davidow and Michael S. Malone suggests: "The "Second Economy" (the term used by economist Brian Arthur to describe the portion of the economy where computers transact business only with other computers) is upon us. It is, quite simply, the virtual economy, and one of its main byproducts is the replacement of workers with intelligent machines powered by sophisticated code. ... This is why we will soon be looking at hordes of citizens of zero economic value. Figuring out how to deal with the impacts of this development will be the greatest challenge facing free market economies in this century. ... Ultimately, we need a new, individualized, cultural, approach to the meaning of work and the purpose of life. Otherwise, people will find a solution — human beings always do — but it may not be the one for which we began this technological revolution."

This follows the recent Slashdot discussion of "Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates" citing a NY Times article and other previous discussions like Humans Need Not Apply. What is most interesting to me about this HBR article is not the article itself so much as the fact that concerns about the economic implications of robotics, AI, and automation are now making it into the Harvard Business Review. These issues have been otherwise discussed by alternative economists for decades, such as in the Triple Revolution Memorandum from 1964 — even as those projections have been slow to play out, with automation's initial effect being more to hold down wages and concentrate wealth rather than to displace most workers. However, they may be reaching the point where these effects have become hard to deny despite going against mainstream theory which assumes infinite demand and broad distribution of purchasing power via wages.

As to possible solutions, there is a mention in the HBR article of using government planning by creating public works like infrastructure investments to help address the issue. There is no mention in the article of expanding the "basic income" of Social Security currently only received by older people in the U.S., expanding the gift economy as represented by GNU/Linux, or improving local subsistence production using, say, 3D printing and gardening robots like Dewey of "Silent Running." So, it seems like the mainstream economics profession is starting to accept the emerging reality of this increasingly urgent issue, but is still struggling to think outside an exchange-oriented box for socioeconomic solutions. A few years ago, I collected dozens of possible good and bad solutions related to this issue. Like Davidow and Malone, I'd agree that the particular mix we end up will be a reflection of our culture. Personally, I feel that if we are heading for a technological "singularity" of some sort, we would be better off improving various aspects of our society first, since our trajectory going out of any singularity may have a lot to do with our trajectory going into it.

Comment: Re:Hyperbole Much? (Score 1) 589

by Maow (#48623053) Attached to: Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

We've become a nation where a college kid wishing to avoid a final exam can call in a bomb threat to close a campus. All threats, however implausible, must be taken seriously, just in case it truly is a real threat and an attack occurs. 99.999% of the time the threat is bogus, but if one doesn't act hysterically and it turns out to be the 0.001% situation, you're screwed (more likely by lawyers after the fact, not so much by the attack itself).

To be fair, that happened in small-town Canada 45 years ago too.

Make no mistake, I think it's cowardly to capitulate to this threat against movie theatres, however shutting school due to bomb threats isn't new.

Comment: Re:"Balance" (Score 1) 105

by Maow (#48578265) Attached to: Canadian Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Warrantless Cellphone Searches

I have come to understand that when courts refer to the "balance" between privacy and law enforcement or security, your privacy is about to get fucked in the ass.

In a report on a previous ruling,

The Supreme Court of Canada says police need a search warrant to get information from Internet service providers about their subscribers’ identities when they are under investigation.

Comment: Re:Blame Canada! (Score 2) 105

by Maow (#48578247) Attached to: Canadian Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Warrantless Cellphone Searches

This ruling is a cowardly conceit to the End justifying the Means.

Not really. Canada is not as absolutist as the USA.

For example, from Wikipedia on The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

At common law, all evidence, regardless of how it was obtained, can be submitted in a trial.[9] The US exclusionary rule excludes all evidence acquired through the violation of the Bill of Rights. Canada has taken a middle ground, sometimes allowing for the exclusion of evidence, whenever its use threatens to bring the "administration of justice" into "disrepute."[1]

Comment: Re:No way, not for me (Score 1) 545

by Maow (#48537285) Attached to: Should IT Professionals Be Exempt From Overtime Regulations?

Strawman arguments. Liberals love them!

Damn right!

I had to get up at the crack of dawn to tend my straw farm (on land I built with my own two hands) for it. Fortunately, in southern Canadian winters, the crack of dawn is not much before noon, but still...

I can't wait for global warming to increase the temperature; I'm going to switch to coconuts, I've heard they're easier. They don't need much sunlight, do they?

Our liberal plot of global warming is coming along brilliantly!

But you failed. You forgot to mention Somalia!

Remember, Somalia is also a liberal plot to make libertarians look bad.

Comment: No way, not for me (Score 5, Funny) 545

by Maow (#48534465) Attached to: Should IT Professionals Be Exempt From Overtime Regulations?

I'm a self-made man - I built the hospital I was born in, started teaching myself at age 11 months, and I got to where I am on my own.

I don't need the nanny state to make sure I and my peers are fairly compensated.

What's next, mandatory clean water? Then clean air? Where does it end?

Socialism, that's where.

No way, not for me!

Comment: Re:Threats Vs. Free Speech always a judgement call (Score 1) 436

by Maow (#48493857) Attached to: Supreme Court To Decide Whether Rap Lyric Threats Are Free Speech

Oh bullshit. I'm not even American and I know that libel / slander / defamation / threats are not covered by your free speech amendment.

That's according to the government, not the actual constitution, you fool. You do realize the government can and does ignore the constitution, right?

So some internet retard is arguing that it's constitutionally protected speech to threaten to kill someone or to claim that one was raped by Anonymous Coward of 123 Coward Lane when it isn't true?

Well, the links you've provided to back up your "point of view" (being generous there) sure are convincing!

Comment: Re:Threats Vs. Free Speech always a judgement call (Score 1) 436

by Maow (#48493185) Attached to: Supreme Court To Decide Whether Rap Lyric Threats Are Free Speech

That's all this is, it's balancing the laws protecting citizens against credible threats vs. the free speech rights of the person making the threat.

The balance goes to the free speech rights 100%. No law can exist which can override someone's right to free speech.

Congress shall make no law [...] abridging the freedom of speech [...]

So every law that doesn't have explicit exceptions to allow freedom of speech:

A) Has implicit exceptions to allow freedom of speech, or
B) Is not valid under the Constitution of the United States of America, as congress has no authority to pass such a law

Oh bullshit. I'm not even American and I know that libel / slander / defamation / threats are not covered by your free speech amendment.

The trick is, what's a real threat, what's not? What's defamatory, what's not?

But there is absolutely no 100% guarantee of free speech for anything that comes out of one's mouth.

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.