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Comment Re:Is this obsolete already? (Score 1) 317

Canadian here:

            We have not had Chip and Pin for too long, just about a decade I think. Along with Chip and Pin came the contact-less system that was limited to a certain amount of dollars per transaction. Of course that is some form of security, the contact-less (or 'tap') method is also used with gift cards, but up until a year or two ago most of the readers and in fact the chips on the cards themselves would be faulty after some use.

            I know my first chip and pin card did not work with contact-less, but then when it did it only worked for about a year until it stopped (not sure if it was the chip or the reader), now with a new card its working again, but I know if you have an older reader you most likely have to go back to the chip and pin method.

            I went to the states for skiing last winter and found it interesting that I hesitated when the waiter/ess asked for the credit card to bring it to the machine and swipe it. It has been so long since the vendor has had to take my credit card away from my sitelines that it just felt differently, even though I was used to it in Canada up until the mid 2000's.

Comment Re:it's a just a first tiny step (Score 1) 591

It is telling... it is telling us that a 'free market' for health care does not work, else you would have the Walmart of health care. The problem is that people can do without brand name TV or clothes, but they have a natural inclination to spend as much as needed to get the best health care out there, due to the fear that cheaper might mean death or a lasting issue.

A standard of living is not something solely provided by 'free market capitalism', it is provided by the society and what they are willing to put into it. Find a way to bring everyone up and you raise your standard of living... but if you leave it as 50% move down, 50% move up, then you don't raise your standard of living.

The pre-ACA health care, in comparison with other parts of the world, was not helping you improve your standard of living as much as your peers... it was actually a drag on your standard of living because other factors were pushing it up and health care could not assist in that. So while everyone insists they get theirs they lose sight on the fact that if they just started at a good spot and standard, everyone would already have 'theirs' and there would be no need for some to have better health care than others due to affordability.

Comment An example of a larger trend (Score 2) 528

This might be an example of a larger trend for countries with a downward trend in immigration and unsustainable birth rates (ie. less than replacement rate), country vs country, or society vs society to attract talent, ideas instead of just businesses will be the new future.

The race to the bottom for corporate taxes did not accomplish lasting benefits to the societies, now countries want the people which is always where the lasting benefits were.

Imagine, for those mobile enough, to have the options of what country you would like to live, educate, work, raise a family in laid out in front of you. I imagine many countries in Europe would be up there near the top of the list. A main reason to stay where you are is familiarity, family, friends, existing work history and contacts, but in the future where connections can cross the world, the countries depending on a person's roots to stay in the country and not attracting new talent will eventually fall down the ladder.

Comment Cities Gain, not many will lose (Score 2) 389

The main gain with automated cars, even with a gradual adoption rate of say 10 years, are cities with traffic. Productive time will shoot up when people can work while being driven to work, traffic will be lessened, optimal driving habits can lower fuel usage. The areas where we will spend less money would be fuel, possibly insurance, and car maintenance.

This saved money doesn't just disappear, it will go into other areas of the economy that might have a better impact. After all, if you spend $2000/yr on fuel for one car, cutting that in half due to ride sharing or 3/4 due to more efficient driving will allow you to spend it on a vacation, clothes, entertainment, industries that are seeing falling revenue due to less expendable money.

Comment Shifted to PVR or just not watching (Score 2) 224

I watch roughly the same amount of hours of TV shows/week and go out to see the same amount of movies/year (around 5-7?). The change was I switched from downloading TV shows after they have aired to PVR'ing every series I might want to watch. No more movies are watched, if anything I watch less if I download less. I changed to the PVR instead of downloading because I was worried about exposure to those legal notices and I am too lazy to do a vpn, though I would if I had to cancel my cable

The bottom line is I do not have any extra money for more content through 'legal' means.

I am capped out on entertainment spending and its getting less and less by the year if not month.

If I have extra dollars they will go to new sports equipment, a dinner out, extra food to have friends over...

We DO NOT have any more money to give them, if anything there is less, so they can cut their prices by 10%, I still might cut the cord. These services are the first to be cut in the budget, not the last.

Comment Labour needs to be valued higher (Score 2) 1094

Regardless of where minimum wage goes or does not go. Labour needs to be valued higher. Over the last few decades we have increased in efficiencies so that we need less labour to produce more, though we have not increased what we value labour at. So we have been able to produce more, from less (both labour and materials), but that trade off has not helped increase labour costs.

A re-balancing needs to happen where we value labour more than we do other costs of business, then maybe everything might slowly shift back into focus where Walmart employes can afford to shop at Walmart for the goods that cost very little to make in the first place.

It would be interesting to see the ratio of labour costs vs material costs it took to produce various types of objects in the past vs now... I realize its hard to compare on a quality perspective as many items we use day to day are much more productive than those in the past due to invention/inovation, but I'm sure there are some examples and I would think the ratio has moved towards more cost on the materials and less on labour than they did in the past.

Comment Re:Hmm... (Score 1) 1094

I agree with this, I would have also pointed out that the 'poor productivity spending' mechanisms that the poor have are now surpassed in harm by the ones the rich have, such as certain 'financial services' which do nothing for providing productivity. The ones with a lot of money used to have to cycle that money back into the economy in order to get more money out, thus splitting the gains between themselves and the people they employed/companies they invested in... more and more there is less of a 'split'.

Comment Re:Consumer Price Index (Score 2) 1094

No. There has to be a need before you get production. The need comes from customers, what customers can pay influences the prices of goods, what they pay is what they have in their pocket, what they have in their pocket is influenced by what they get paid.

It is a circle, but the driving factor is a need from a customer for a product, not the fact that a product has been produced. Customers have less need for non-essentials when they do not have the money to spend on them, then less money is there to pay the customer and its a downward spiral.

You can produce all the art you want, but if there is no need for the product and no expendable cash to buy the product then you will not be a 'job creator' no matter how much you produce or how efficiency (re: how little you pay your employees) you produce it.

Comment Re:ENOUGH with the politics! (Score 1) 1094

If all the minimum wage jobs are taken by people out of school, then that is a good situation... it means lower unemployment with adults. What will happen though is you will have the same amount of jobs available for kids once a certain portion of adults go back to work. If LA loses any jobs due to wage increase and stores not able to compete, that is a different story and something businesses in the area are going to have to adapt to, but I think they will be able to as there is still going to be demand, if not more, for shops in the area... that wont stop.

Comment Arguments out of context (Score 1) 101

What you have is a few educated and tech savvy people making comments trying to stimulate discussion, but a selection of not-so-educated and/or not-so-tech-savvy population with a voice misinterpreting their comments to be phobic. Unfortunately, most will believe the media hype and not worry about the discussion, including politicians. Its like an echo chamber where the wrong points gets magnified, modern day media.

Comment Re:Connector life? (Score 1) 392

I'm not going to say anything for or against this new connection USB-C, but if I were you I would look into the abuse your systems are taking, specifically while plugged into a charger... it seems all your power connections are being stressed to breaking, maybe charge in stationary positions and then take it off charger if you need to move around?

Comment Re:Net Neutrality and it's effects on Cell Provide (Score 1) 550

No Throttling: broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.

The existing rules on phone usage limits, home connection usage limits, are fine and will stay... what they cannot do in the new rules is discriminate the type of traffic based on where it is coming from or going to.

Comment Re:Strawman argument, here we come! (Score 1) 550

"one-fize-fits-all rules" are exactly what is needed. These ISP's are the gateway to internet content, that content being whatever YOU decide it is, not THEM. Their job is to provide a road/pipe/path/wire/way for you to connect to the system, thats it, thats all, nothing further... The way they maintain that connection and how much you are allowed to use it, is between you and them, but WHAT you get should not be policed, monitored, prioritized, or discriminated against. This is what Network Neutrality is meant to do.

Plus your current system, without attempts to change, will slowly devolve into the ISP's being gatekeepers to your information where they can take money from both ends, at their discretion, with no benefit to the consumer in the end.

Real Programmers think better when playing Adventure or Rogue.