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Comment Why we need free software (Score 1) 577

This is a great example of what can happen if you rely on non-free software. The author of it may suddenly decide, for reasons that have nothing to do with you and that you couldn't possibly control, that you aren't allowed to use it anymore. But you were relying on it? Sorry, you're out of luck. Life's hard.

Comment Re:Don't we (the US) already have that... (Score 1) 1291

By handing out free money, you are still going to have all the social ills those programs are at least mitigating, but now you have fewer people in your society who are working profitably (or at least I will assume so).

Why do you assume that?

It seems to me a very non-obvious question, and there are good reasons to think it might increase employment rather than decreasing it. To list just a few: 1) There would be no eligibility cutoffs, so no one would ever be in a position where earning more meant they ended up with less. So it would eliminate existing disincentives to work. 2) A lot of people are out of work because they can't get work, not because they don't want to work. A basic income would make it easier for people to go back to school, develop new skills, etc., making it easier for them to get work. 3) Not all useful work is paid work. If a parent wants to stay home, raise their children, volunteer in the school, etc., that may be more valuable to society than whatever they were doing before.

It's a complicated question, and the answer isn't obvious. There may well be data: I haven't looked. But I wouldn't just assume something.

Comment Re:Shape-shifting? (Score 1) 38

If a Rubik's cube were motorized so it could rotate itself, then sure, I'd call it shape shifting. But in fact, a Rubik's cube is just a block of plastic that doesn't move unless you move it. Whether that's a good or bad thing is a matter of opinion. It probably depends how good you are at solving it. :)

This thing slides and rotates on its own, which is a pretty big difference.

Comment Re:BULL (Score 1) 417

Your argument is based on a false assumption: that hiring is a zero sum game. That there's a fixed number of jobs, and every foreign worker hired means one less job for local workers.

Of course, that's not true at all. When an immigrant comes here, they work, live, and shop here. They perform valuable work that adds goods or services to the economy. They support other businesses that they shop at. They pay taxes that support public services. In other words, they create jobs.

Now, that leaves an important question: do immigrants lead to a net increase or decrease in jobs available to local workers? That is, do immigrants on average create more or less than one job each? That has to be answered with evidence. The available evidence is complicated, but much of it indicates that they create a net increase in jobs. At any rate, you can't just cite "bizzaro logic" and dismiss the question. If your logic conflicts with the evidence, then your logic is wrong.

How is it possible that such a country is producing such huge numbers of "highly skilled workers"?

Wow. Do I really even need to respond to that question? I'm amazed you could even ask it.

Ok. India has a population of roughly 1.3 billion people. If only 10% of them are well educated and highly skilled, that's more people than the entire population of Japan, Germany, South Korea, or many other countries with huge tech industries. In fact, 10% of India's population is larger than the population of all but eight other countries.

India has a lot of people in terrible poverty, but also a lot of people who are highly skilled and educated. And because it's such an amazingly large country, the numbers of both are enormous compared to almost any other country in the world.

Comment Re:Congratulations, Microsoft! (Score 1) 231

This isn't a new use for an old concept. It's precisely the same use implemented in essentially the same way: modify the virtual memory system so pages get kept in memory in compressed form, rather than being written out to disk.

I'm not saying it's not a good idea, or that Microsoft shouldn't be doing it. But they're one of the last to arrive at the party. OS X and Linux both already have this feature, and it's been available through third party products for decades.

Comment Re:What a clusterfuck (Score 1) 676

Your information is out of date. The article you linked is three weeks old. See, for example, https://www.washingtonpost.com..., which states:

A State Department spokesman late Tuesday described the top-secret designation as a recommendation and said they had not been marked classified at the time, but said staffers "circulated these e-mails on unclassified systems in 2009 and 2011 and ultimately some were forwarded to Secretary Clinton."

Comment Ad blocker != blocking all ads (Score 1) 519

Adblock Plus is a great example of this. It blocks the flashing, buzzing, throw-themselves-in-your-face, totally obnoxious ads. But for advertisers who are willing to stick to less offensive things, they can still get through. So no, it won't kill the digital media industry. But I hope it will force them to stop torturing the internet and making their products so unpleasant to use!

Comment Re:What a clusterfuck (Score 2) 676

The summary is very misleading. It intentionally leaves out a critical detail: none of these emails was classified at the time she sent/received it. These are documents that later were marked as top secret. That's why the FBI now wants to secure them: because they're now considered secret documents, and they need to make sure all copies are secure. But at the time she emailed them, all of them were unclassified.

Retirement means that when someone says "Have a nice day", you actually have a shot at it.