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AI

Video Tim O'Reilly and the 'WTF?!' Economy (Video) 111

This is a conversation Tim Lord had with Tim O'Reilly at OSCON. Tim O'Reilly wrote an article titled "The WTF Economy,", which started with these words: "WTF?! In San Francisco, Uber has 3x the revenue of the entire prior taxi and limousine industry." He talks about Uber and AirbnB and how, with real-time measurement of customer demand, "The algorithm is the new shift boss." And then there is this question: "What is the future when more and more work can be done by intelligent machines instead of people, or only done by people in partnership with those machines?"

My (late) father was an engineer. Politically, you could have called him a TechnoUtopian. He believed -- along with most of his engineer, ham radio, and science fiction writer and reader friends -- that as machines took over the humdrum tasks, humans would work less and create more. O'Reilly seems to have similar beliefs, even though (unlike my father) he's seen the beginnings of an economy with self-driving cars and trucks, factory machines that don't need humans to run them, and many other changes the 1950s and 1960s futurists didn't expect to see until we had flying cars and could buy tickets on Pan Am flights to the moon. Listening to these conversations, I remember my father's dreams, but O'Reilly isn't as optimistic as a full-blown TechnoUtopian. He takes a "Something's happening here; what it is ain't exactly clear" view of how work (and pay for work) will change in the near future. Please note that Tim O'Reilly has been called "The Oracle of Silicon Valley," so he's totally worth watching -- or reading, if that's your preferred method of taking in new information.

NOTE: Today we have a "main video," plus a "bonus video" that is viewable only with Flash. But we have a transcript that covers both of them. Enjoy!

Submission + - Job insecurity is the new normal->

Mr.Intel writes: Last year, Hewlett-Packard eliminated 34,000 jobs, and JC Penney and Sprint announced cuts, while JP Morgan Chase has cut 20,000 from its workforce since 2011. In double-earner families, at least one parent reports feeling "insecure" about their job, and in almost half of those both think their job is insecure.

This dynamic creates a constant tension for workers, who are beset by uncertainty. It has bred what Pugh calls the "one-way honor system," in which workers are beholden to employers, but employers are not, says Pugh, author of "The Tumbleweed Society: Working and Caring in an Age of Insecurity," out earlier this year.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Handgun-firing drone appears legal->

Mr.Intel writes: Video of a handgun fired from a hovering drone into a wooded area has been posted on YouTube — where it has gone viral — apparently by an 18-year-old Connecticut student whose father says his son created the drone for a college class. The gun drone appears to have been fired on private property and — so far, authorities said — it did not appear any laws were broken.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Worker killed by a robot at Volkswagen factory

m.alessandrini writes: A worker at a Volkswagen factory in Germany has died, after a robot grabbed him and crushed him against a metal plate.

This it perhaps the first severe accident of this kind in a western factory, and is sparkling debate about who is responsible for the accident, the man who was servicing the robot beyond its protection cage, or the robot's hardware/software developers who didn't put enough safety checks. Will this distinction be more and more important in the future, when robots will be more widespread?

Comment Re:Why should the government write these contracts (Score 1) 1083

Point being that the government should get out of defining marriage, to do so it needs to adjust all those laws that make assumptions about marriage.

This. The Government has no business telling the citizens what contracts they can or cannot make with each other. Legally, marriage has a host of baggage (inheritance, visitation, taxation, etc) that legitimizes the Supreme Court's actions. The 14th Amendment applies to the legal aspects of marriage, not to marriage itself, but because of those connections, it affects much more than who gets the house when one spouse dies. Married or not married doesn't define classes (the sexual revolution shot that to hell), but when there's money on the line, people get all kinds of upset if a piece of paper (marriage contract) keeps them from it.

Instead of "legalizing gay marriage" or "outlawing gay marriage", the people (who hold all the rights not specifically identified in the constitution) should remove the legality from marriage and return it to what it was intended for: to build strong family relationships and teach children how to be productive, balanced citizens. Essentially, marriage should stop being a contract requiring courts to begin and end and return to being the building block of society.

Submission + - Biologist creates self-healing concrete->

Mr.Intel writes: No matter how carefully it is mixed or reinforced, all concrete eventually cracks, and under some conditions, those cracks can lead to collapse. "The problem with cracks in concrete is leakage," explains professor Henk Jonkers, of Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands. "If you have cracks, water comes through — in your basements, in a parking garage. Secondly, if this water gets to the steel reinforcements — in concrete we have all these steel rebars — if they corrode, the structure collapses."

But Jonkers has come up with an entirely new way of giving concrete a longer life. "We have invented bioconcrete — that's concrete that heals itself using bacteria," he says.

Link to Original Source

Comment Encrypted External Drive in a Fire Safe (Score 4, Informative) 251

Personally, I have three external hard drives encrypted with TrueCrypt that I rotate and keep in a fire safe at an offsite building. I rotate them monthly. Cost is a little high, but it fast, easy and convenient for me. Your circumstances are likely different enough that you will need a different approach. But generally, my archive set is large (3+TB) and sensitive (taxes, bank statements, account numbers, passwords, etc) so this solution works best for me.

Comment Get a free upgrade or a free replacement (Score 5, Interesting) 450

According to one article you can call them to complain and get a free upgrade to the version you need or send a scan of your receipt to H&R Block and get a free version of Tax Cut that has all the forms. Personally, I prefer the former so Intuit knows they have an unhappy customer serious enough to call them on these shenanigans.
Movies

Warner Brothers Announces 10 New DC Comics Movies 187

wired_parrot writes After being criticized for being slow to respond to Marvel's string of blockbuster superhero movies, Warner Brothers finally announced their plan for DC comic universe movie franchise. Yesterday at their annual shareholder meeting, WB announced 10 DC comics movies. The studio has unveiled an ambitious schedule that features two Justice League films, plus standalone titles for Wonder Woman, Flash, Shazam (Captain Marvel), Green Lantern, Cyborg and even Aquaman. Also announced were plans for 3 Lego movies and a three-part Harry Potter spinoff.

Comment Re:Emma Watson is full of it (Score 1) 590

That was exactly my thought. My wife is a "tenured" high school science teacher with a master's degree. The school district publishes their salary chart and there are salary adjustments for years of service, education and nothing else. You can get side jobs like coaching or sponsoring an organization, but gender just isn't on there. Seems like most salary analysis is flawed in fundamental ways.

The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives. -- Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project

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