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Comment: Re: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More (Score 1) 187

by Maxo-Texas (#49162391) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots

Well, first - I agree the world is overpopulated to the tune of about 5 billion (and headed towards being 7 to 8 or by some estimates 9 billion overpopulated by 2050).

But there are issues.

Horny idiots with poor birth control and or people who are very religious have lots of kids. Smart, wise, rational people did to under reproduce (there is a very funny youtube video about this).

Second, there is the spectre of Universe 133 out there. We don't want to set that off- it's an extinction event.

Third, those 3.5 billion and those in power who sympathize with them- might get a bit tetchy about attempts to cull them. The likely result is gold old ultra violence- mass death- especially for smart and educated people. Any kind of societal breakdown is going to the return of fatal plagues which are sorta random about who they kill.

Plus there is the fact that the planet would have resources to support all of them (food ,water, living spaces, entertainment) no problem- so it's pretty evil. Basically killing er.. culling.. people for pure greed.

Comment: Re:80% of statistics are made up (Score 1) 187

by Maxo-Texas (#49162359) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots

First - you need to watch out for averages. The average includes billionaires who skew the hell out of your result. You should use the median over the average in any situation like this. The median net worth is $140k for boomers near retirement age.

Second- you need to watch out for "net worth" vs "savings".
"Savings" is CASH, EQUITIES, etc. Cash. MONEY. You can buy food with it.
"Net Worth" is Cash, Equities, etc. PLUS your car, your property, and oh.. you know.. your HOUSE.

The median Home value is $189,000. So with a median home price of $189k and a median net worth of $140k, that means most boomers haven't even paid their house off yet. And, you can't eat your house. And you can't live in your house and turn it into an income stream except with a reverse mortgage.

As the other person responding indicated- they changed the definition of U6. If you are "long term discouraged" you were dropped from U6 in 1994. In every generation previous to this one, you would have been expected to work and you would have been counted as unemployed. Now you are not.

Here's the data...
        Total Working Age Population (16-54 years of age): 248,657,000
        Total Nonfarm Employees (16-54 years of age): 114,523,000
        Percentage Of Working Age Americans Employed (Full or Part-Time): 46.05%

Just for comparative purposes here is the same calculation at the turn of the century (January 1st, 2000):
        Total Working Age Population (16-54 years of age): 211,410,000
        Total Nonfarm Employees (16-54 years of age): 118,602,000
        Percentage Of Working Age Americans Employed (Full or Part-Time): 56.10%

So roughly 25 million 16 to 54 year olds who were working in 2000 that are not working today. And I see this. Those poor kids in their mid 30's who have worked their asses off (degrees, getting up at 3am to work a 6am to 5pm shift) and they still don't have money saved for a house because a degreed professional job pays $32,000. Plus their college debts were 10x what mine were. (I got my COSC degree for $8200 TOTAL between 1985 and 1993) Insane.

The problem is people "enclave" up and only see people like themselves. So the ones who are doing okay get to pretend everyone else is doing as well as they are.

Comment: Re:Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More R (Score 3, Insightful) 187

by Maxo-Texas (#49157683) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots

Actually, reviewing U6 and discouraged workers, we are at record levels of unemployment. Close to 25% of the working age population isn't working. They are going on disability early, retiring early- but many 16 to 54 year olds who worked in the past are not finding employment. I know several people in this category.

It is much rougher for 30 year olds than it was when I was 30. Some retrain and then the job they were training for is swamped by so many applicants that wages are supressed.

I was hoping retiring boomers would take up the slack but I read 80% of them have no under $20,000 savings and will not be able to voluntarily retire. Plus boomers in good slots are simply continuing to work and have no intention of retiring and letting those slots open up to younger people. By the time this group dies or retires at 77 to 82- the generation behind them is nearly at retirement age- never having had the good earnings years the generation before them had.

Advances in AI will make it possible to replace large swaths of 'smart' and 'creative' jobs by 2050. And they won't even consider that to be "real" AI by them. Whenever we get a real AI, it will be a massive paradigm shift. Robotics already have superhuman performance when "plugged" in . So an easily clonable AI combined with super human bodies obsolete humans overnight.

Comment: Re:Fuck it - everyone for themselves. (Score 1) 372

by Maxo-Texas (#49157657) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt

I'm confused. The chart you linked shows.

LED consumes less electricity.
LED lasts much longer (so less physical waste)
LED has a total cost of ownership lower than CFL. (About $110led* vs $126cfl vs $496inc)

LED doesn't have mercury (and I know most CFL bulbs are not disposed of properly)...

75 watts are past the sweet spot now (tho you can get good ones for $19).
60 and 65 watts are $9 to $12 now.

Personally, I like 65 watts-- friendlier on my aging eyes. 900 lumens vs 850 lumens makes a big difference.

Really- I hate CFL. Even the 3500K ones. Even 65w ones. The rated life isn't what they say it is. CFLs may be rated for 10,000 hours but by the time I hit 6000 hours, the lumen output drops visibly. I'm replacing LED with CFLs as much as possible. So far.. I have never replaced an LED yet due to failure.

*with a 26.50 bulb addressing error you point out.

Comment: Re: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More (Score 1) 187

by Maxo-Texas (#49157629) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots

Great... for the half of the population at iq 100 and above. What about the average to below average 3.5 billion people?
They supposed to just roll over and die?

One of the links was to a company where robots are already constructing robots.

Robot development jobs are under 1:1000 of the jobs replaced.

Robot repair also needs under 1% of the workers.

If robots were not cheaper than humans, businesses wouldn't replace humans with robots.

Going forward- it's pretty much leadership as you point out (under 1/1000 of the employees) or creative jobs. But-- they automate everything except the creative part and lay off 140 employees while retaining 20. They also use the code phrase "focus the humans on the 'best parts of their jobs'" and "cost savings" (i.e. staff reduction). There are a million security guards in the country.

Projected results from the new robotic security guards in the pipeline are 95%. They can patrol, video, raise alerts, - even detain suspects- as well as a human being.

If we don't figure out how to transition effectively, you are going to see large scale civil unrest.

Unemployed humans. And significantly depressed demand for goods.

Comment: Re:Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More R (Score 2) 187

by Maxo-Texas (#49157419) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots

Just last week I had a strong disagreement with someone who said robots were not ready to effectively replace humans. He's spoken to industry people personally and they told him robots were not ready yet.

And he ignored the numerous examples I linked him where robots are already replacing humans-- and damn fast too.

This could be about half a million skilled employees who were making $5000 or less- yet robots are replacing them because the robots are less expensive. How can a 1st world employee hope to compete?

Comment: Re:fees (Score 1) 389

by Maxo-Texas (#49154925) Attached to: Verizon Posts Message In Morse Code To Mock FCC's Net Neutrality Ruling

Your date is well chosen. Things went south starting in the 1880s.

So we got the sherman anti-trust acts in the 1920s thru the 1930s and things started going badly again in the 1980s when many of the protections were bypassed or repealed.

Companies would still be making huge profits if they shared the wealth with their workers and the economy would be more robust. It's sort a tragedy of the commons. When one company cuts salaries, it does well. When most companies cut salaries, then things are just miserable and the companies get no competitive advantage.

Walmart's raise won't really give a raise (it's about .3% of their profits- affects a tiny percentage of their workforce). But a real raise by walmart ($5 for every employee) would still leave them with enormous profits and their workers would have more money to spend (which would largely be spent at walmart-- raising walmart's sales and increasing it's profits).

The actual figures are-- annual profit of Walmart $19 billion. Cost of $5 raise, 7.5 billion. Leaving Walmart with a profit of 19 billion.
But wait... they spent 7.6 billion buying back stock to raise stock prices (which is a very expensive way of increasing pay to the executives). And they gave $12 billion to investors in dividends. So they could have a net profit of 20 billion, give everyone a $5 raise (or a $4 raise and put staffing levels back where they were in 2012 before they cut staff too far with disastrous results), still give 12 billion to shareholders in dividends (executives and walton family have a lot of stock so they are getting a nice chunk here) and cut the 7.6 billion stock buy back.

Comment: Re:Simple methodology (Score 1) 347

by Maxo-Texas (#49152231) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

I looked at rolling wave and it looks good as long as the programmers are not allowed to do the easy predictable stuff first. That path leads to huge spending on failed projects.

My experience was that unless a legal or customer deadline wasn't behind it, executives preferred predictable delivery over efficient delivery.

I think another thing behind the executives odd behavior was they had a priority to get a "big win" fairly early in their time on the job. And they were often calculating in the fact they would be gone in 3 years or less to some other position.

So different priorities than a long term programmer who might want to tune and refactor the code to a polished easily maintainable gem.

Comment: Re:Simple methodology (Score 1) 347

by Maxo-Texas (#49147767) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

In my experience, unless you really really fight it, all programming collapses to waterfall.

In my opinion, it is MUCH better to deliver a testable object every time-boxed period. Any changes (even just move one field) require a realistic re-estimate which must be signed off. But the actual creation of a testable object with feature sets that the testing department can test and confirm is key.

First- testing big O time is exponential. So solving smaller sets of bugs takes much less time.
Second- foundational bugs are found much earlier and can be fixed easier- or called out as significant problems.
Third- you get an actual percentage of completion this way. We've delivered 27% of the promised features and we are 30% along our schedule. We are a little behind schedule so let's work a little overtime next period and get caught up.

Never ever delay a build to get a feature in. Well, maybe a few hours- but not by a day.

Comment: Re:Simple methodology (Score 5, Informative) 347

by Maxo-Texas (#49143027) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

I had no particular problem with estimates.

At a minimum, you could break out easy "construction/recognized pattern" work from risky new stuff.

As far as managing programmers... it was humorous.

Few liked giving estimates. So they would say it couldn't be estimated.

So I would ask, will this project take 2 years... and they would say, "oh no- of course not" and after a bit, we'd get down to 6 months or 6 weeks or 6 hours...

So then we'd time box it to what could be done in a month and move any risky items up to the front so we could establish if a new technology wasn't going to work before we put a lot of work into the project.

Then, I recorded over/under for every project and found (over about 24 programmer data set) that programmers consistently overshot or undershot their estimates. So after a few projects, I had a pretty good idea of their deliverables.

Finally status reports and status meetings with function points and overall percentage delivered kept things on schedule or let us know well ahead of time there was a problem with the estimate/schedule.

Programmers were not my problem- executives were.

a) pushed us to violate standards.
b) ordered overtime without ordering it. As in assign 80 hours work and then insist it be completed when everyone knew it couldn't be completed. Made worse by the fact the indian contractors said "I'll do my best" for "no- you are batshit crazy" and then things fell apart when the indians were unable to deliver. Of course, the indians were very good at delivering to the (crazy/incomplete) specifications on time. At least enough to be testable. I'm not sure if it is because they were contractor types or that they were indian- perhaps a bit of both. I learned in a contracting shop, you always say you can meet the estimate (to get assigned the work) instead of giving a realistic estimate. Then renegotiated it later when it wasn't going to make the schedule. If you didn't, then the three other people bidding on the work would get the work. Executives seemed to have zero memory for the fact that you delivered on time on estimate while the other people were usually late.
c) made everything priority 1a. they had no ability to prioritize as far as I could see. Which really just pushed prioritization down to me or the programmers.
d) cancelled projects without warning.

"Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit!" -- Looney Tunes, "What's Opera Doc?" (1957, Chuck Jones)