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Comment: H1-B is very problematic, but (Score 2) 484

by Omnifarious (#43425199) Attached to: Zuckerberg Lobbies For More Liberal Immigration Policies

I consider H1-B's to be very problematic because of how dependent they make someone on an employer. I think there's a real risk of the employer employee relationship becoming too coercive and akin to slavery.

But, I have no problem with more immigration if the result is full citizens with the same rights as everybody else.

Perhaps we should have an accelerated citizenship process for people who've been here on an H1-B visa for over a year. That, in combination with actually reducing the number of H1-B visas granted would be something I could get behind.

The main negative effect I see from my proposal is that it reduces these large corporations incentive to improve the educational and vocational rehabilitation system to create the workers they need from our existing citizenry.

Comment: Re:They're not who you think (Score 1) 512

by Omnifarious (#43393939) Attached to: H-1B Cap Reached Today; Didn't Get In? Too Bad

H1-B's are not about importing tech workers. They're about both creating a class of workers who are dependent on their employer's good will to stay in the country and about making it easier to ship jobs overseas.

I would be much happier if it became easier for people with certain skills to become full citizens. Then they have a stake in our country and our economy.

Comment: Interesting (Score 1) 4

by Omnifarious (#43393905) Attached to: Dice employee Dawn Kawamoto's accepted Slashdot stories

The first article is a shill for an industry that would dearly love to be able to treat developers poorly. If they can get a whole ton of developers from other countries who are dependent on their employer's good will to even stay here they can lower the standards by which they treat all their employees.

Additionally, of course, it means that the elites can continue to let the US education system slide into uselessness and unaffordability because they can find some other country's education system to parasitize instead.

Comment: I would rather they enforce auditability (Score 2) 220

by Omnifarious (#43353657) Attached to: Should the US Really Limit Chinese-Government Influenced IT Systems?

I would rather they insist that any such equipment bought by the US government be open and fully independently auditable. I think they would do a lot better for everybody if they simply made that a standard requirement of the procurement process.

Though, I can also well understand the paranoia. The US government has done the exact same thing to security equipment sold to other countries that they are now worried about China doing to us. They should be worried about that.

Comment: Durability (Score 1) 591

by Omnifarious (#43352381) Attached to: If I could change what's "typical" about typical laptops ...

The thing I appreciate the most about my MacBook Prop is its durability. The case is a solid machined block of aluminum. It does not flex or creak. Everything inside the laptop is solidly situated and solid-state. I wouldn't purposely drop it from a height or anything, but I'm not too worried about normal wear causing a lot of problems either.

I resent having to buy an Apple product in order to get this. I want something that's not a piece of flexing trashy plastic.

Comment: Re:Crypto, value, etc. (Score 1) 398

by Omnifarious (#43286673) Attached to: Re: Bitcoin, I most strongly agree with the following:

Well, I certainly don't think its value will 'only increase'. I think that the ideal scenario has a more or less smooth S curve in which the value increases to a certain level then plateaus. After that, I would expect the value to fluctuate up and down a bit, and on average increase slowly.

Anyway, we'll likely see how it all pans out. There are enough businesses now that accept it that it's not going away in a heartbeat. And a secure way to pay for things with your smartphone with a similar level of anonymity as cash would be very nice to have.

Comment: Re:What's bitcoin? (Score 1) 398

by Omnifarious (#43285635) Attached to: Re: Bitcoin, I most strongly agree with the following:

That is an interesting take. And you might be right. I'm not sure. I know that I intend to spend bitcoins. I will do that because if I don't they won't end up having any value at all. But that requires a certain amount of long-term thinking that hasn't generally characterized our modern financial institutions.

Comment: Re:misuse of sentencing (Score 1) 761

by Omnifarious (#43285593) Attached to: Man Who Pointed Laser At Aircraft Gets 30-Month Sentence

Did I claim the laser pointer guy should've been charged with 60 counts of negligent homicide? I don't think so.

And the law rightly distinguishes between actions you take and things you don't take proper care with (aka negligence). Actions you purposely take that are illegal are generally punished more harshly than negligence.

You can, in fact, be charged for negligently allowing your attention to wander while driving for precisely the reason you outline.

Comment: Re:Dislike (Score 1) 398

by Omnifarious (#43282877) Attached to: Re: Bitcoin, I most strongly agree with the following:

Under this system virtually all "new money" loans would come from the central bank. The central bank, being an arm of the federal government, could then control the growth or decline of the economy using a variety of tools: amount of loans, interest rates, federal spending in social programs, tax rates, etc.

This is an absolutely awful situation. Essentially a government run organization is now responsible for decided which things people want to do are worthy of extending credit for. You've suddenly killed any kind of creative or disruptive debt-based investment right there.

Comment: Re:Crypto, value, etc. (Score 4, Interesting) 398

by Omnifarious (#43282833) Attached to: Re: Bitcoin, I most strongly agree with the following:
  1. 1. Crypto - It has been casually audited by several people. I know several people who've been closely associated with the cypherpunks crown who have looked the protocol over and found it fairly secure. Dan Kaminsky is one of these people. I have also personally audited it. Though I think my opinion is worth far less than the other people I've mentioned. The problem here, of course, is who do you trust to do the audit? Why?
  2. 2. Security - This is a good point. They are Open Source projects, so they are available to anyone's inspection. Some flaws have been found in the code, though none that are network breakingly serious (the block size flaw introduced in 0.8.0 is the most notorious here, but that was fairly trivial for the network to handle once it was found). More effort could go on in this area. Again though, who do you trust to do the audit? And why?
  3. 3. Obscurity - Who cares who created it? Why does it matter at all? Everything is up for public inspection. There are no hidden secrets here. For all you know, it was created by a respected cryptographer. I can well understand why someone who created a system like Bitcoin would want to remain anonymous. Phil Zimmer was certainly treated extremely poorly for having created PGP.
  4. 4. Economics - The deflation (Do not mix that up with inflation. The two effects are opposites and have a very different effect on the economy.) problem is interesting. I have not seen any convincing arguments for whether it's a blessing or a disaster. Everybody is expecting it though, and I suspect that will make it better. And while I think it will significantly hamper the availability of credit, I don't necessarily think it will stamp out investment. But those are questions that are pretty hard to answer a priori. One interesting thing is that if enough people think that deflation is really bad, the protocol can easily be altered to allow for currency creation again. But all the participants have to agree.

Comment: Re:What's bitcoin? (Score 1) 398

by Omnifarious (#43282031) Attached to: Re: Bitcoin, I most strongly agree with the following:

I invested a bunch of money in mining hardware. I will be using it. I hope for a return on my investment, but am not depending on it. I'm doing it because I want to help Bitcoin succeed as a mainstream currency. The amount of money I'm investing is not large, even after you factor in the electricity costs.

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