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Comment Re:How about more offensive public mailing lists? (Score 5, Insightful) 368

Who judges merit?

The users.

How do they judge it?

By using, or not using, code.

Is it a fair judgement?

It is the only judgement that matters, whether it is "fair" or not.

What about all the biases that everyone has?

No one gives a crap about the gender of the person that wrote the code. When I submit a patch to an open source project, no one asks me about my gender. It is irrelevant, and often unknown.

Comment Re:Why do they need ANY info? (Score 2, Insightful) 310

To block passengers in your car from doing useful tasks

Most modern cars have weight sensors in the front seats, so the computer will know if there is someone in the passenger seat. If the car is in motion, and there is no passenger, then it is reasonable to change the UI behavior.

This nanny corp crap really needs to go away.

You may feel different when some distracted driver runs over your kid. This isn't just about protecting people from themselves. Distracted drivers are a danger to other people as well.

Comment Re:Labor reduction (Score 2) 89

Labor may be overpriced; but you can't reduce costs by just reducing labor price.

This is not just (or even mostly) about unit labor costs. Rice farming in Japan is incredibly inefficient. Japan does not have a good climate for growing rice. It is too cold, and the rains come at the wrong time. Land ownership is highly fragmented, so you see tiny little plots, far too small for normal farm machinery. So instead you see a 70 year old with a roto-tiller preparing his plot, and then later stooped over, planting individual plants by hand. In a first world country, that is an insane waste of manpower. If/when the subsidies end, these farms will immediately switch to producing high value fruits and vegetables, which are suited to the climate and require far less labor.

Comment Re:improve the world by gutting jobs? (Score 2) 89

improve the world by gutting jobs?

Prosperity comes from the production of goods and services, not by "keeping people busy". Japan has a declining population and serious labor shortages. Labor intensive rice farming in Japan makes no economic sense, and is only kept going with massive subsidies funded by taxing the productive economy.

The automation and sensors described in TFA are also stupid, since they just make a stupid system slightly less so. A far better solution would be for Japan to buy rice from countries with lower labor costs and climates friendlier to rice production. The the rice farmers in Japan can find productive employment. For instance, they could grow high value fruits and vegetables.

Comment Re:Labor reduction (Score 1) 89

Fewer man-hours, more rice from less work, fewer farmers, less time spent working, less paid in wages, more produced, cheaper rice.

The way to get cheaper rice is for Japan to ratify TPP, kick these farmers off the dole, and buy rice from Thailand or Louisiana for a tenth the price.

We still have people claiming value and wealth come from land, not from labor.

In this case, it comes from neither. I comes from massive subsidies, tariffs, and artificial price supports.

Comment Re:The F-35 is having problems? (Score 1) 178

I also don't know the odds of a war against Russia, China or India. Are you suggesting we should arm ourselves for that?

That is the entire point of the F-35. It is for fighting another super-power. For any 3rd rate power, like Iran, good old fashioned F-15, F-16, and F-18 aircraft would be fine.

Comment Re:What the fuck is an "Ed Chief"? (Score 1) 30

What the fuck is an "Ed Chief"?

Secretary of Education. Arne Duncan is resigning and John King is Obama's nominee to replace him as the head of the Dept. of Education. I don't know much about John King, but I do know that the teachers' unions hate him, so on that basis alone he has my full support.

Comment Re: America (Score 4, Insightful) 394

Well yeah. Because he is actually consistent on his positions. What he is saying today is the same thing he has been saying for 40 years.

Indeed. Bernie voted against the Patriot Act, against the DMCA, against the Iraq War, etc. He has taken principled stands against the legislation that has led to the erosion of civil liberties. Hillary was on the opposite side on all these issues, and only flip-flopped after it became clear that her earlier stance was unpopular.

I don't plan to vote for Bernie, because I think he would lead the economy off a cliff, but nonetheless, I admire his integrity.

Comment Re:will they "cost no more to" buy? (Score 5, Interesting) 180

Who on earth would buy batteries for a solar panel installation? Just buy a grid tie inverter and pray your area has net metering and that's IT.

Net metering is not available everywhere, and some places are scaling back. Hawaii has some of the highest electricity prices in the world (42c / kwh). So many people are installing solar, that there is a glut of electricity during the day, and the electricity company gets whipsawed at 7pm when the solar fades but the ACs are still on. Residential battery systems that could soak up even 20% of production, would shift demand by a couple hours and solve the problem.

And no, solar panels ARE NOT cheap. If you think they are, then give me your sources.

RTFA. It says that panels are now 65c/w. If you get a quote you will find that the installation costs and infrastructure are going to more than double that. The biggest cost is no longer the panels themselves.

If it has syntax, it isn't user friendly.