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Comment: Re:Chess (Score 1) 274

by Space cowboy (#47675743) Attached to: Of the following, I'd rather play ...

When you play a bridge tournament, you play as part of a 4-person team. All the cards are dealt and placed in boards such that once they're played, they're replaced back as the North, South, East, or West hand.

Now your team of 4 is split into two partnerships, one playing all the N/S hands, one playing all the E/W hands. For any given hand of N,S,E,W, what counts isn't what your partnership does on your cards (either N/S or E/W), it's the delta between what your other partnership scored and what you scored. So, if you and X are playing North/South, and your other team members are playing E/W, then for every hand its your score - their score becomes your team score for that deck of cards.

In this way, there is no element of luck. Every team plays the same cards, every team plays both pairings (N/S and E/W), and only the difference matters. It's pure skill, both in bidding what you will make, and then playing the cards to actually make your bid. You can "win" the deck by causing someone who bid a grand-slam to lose a trick, and get the maximum points for that deck to your team.

Bridge is a truly excellent game. Simple rules, but incredibly challenging to execute correctly every time.

Simon

Comment: Re:Thank GOD (Score 1) 96

by johnw (#47652865) Attached to: Intel's 14-nm Broadwell CPU Primed For Slim Tablets

Because most people sit WAY too far away from their TVs - even 720p is "retina" resolution - increasing resolution does absolutely zip because they can't even resolve the added resolution.

A rough guide is about 1:1 screen size for 1080p

Way too far away from their TVs for what? If your criterion for deciding the correct sitting distance is whether or not you can tell 720p from 1080p then perhaps you have a point, but if the object of the exercise is to watch television in comfort then 1:1 is just silly.

Comment: Re:Legitimate concerns (Score 1) 282

by Space cowboy (#47583661) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

I think you're proving my point about the black-and-white nature of how people regard free speech in the USA. See, I'm very much in favour of free speech, it's been a fundamental right of UK society now for longer than the USA has existed in its current form, and pretty much any UK citizen would be equally for it.

Where we differ is in nuance. The UK approach is a shades-of-gray one, where the right to speak whatever you want, no matter how hurtful to others, is actually counter-balanced by how much what you say hurts the target of your invective; and this in turn is counter-balanced by the importance of what it is that you're saying to society as a whole. There's a whole spectrum of things to consider when making a judgement, which is why the UK position is that if a free-speech issue comes up, it ought to be decided by a judge rather than a black/white hard-and-fast rule.

Now does this matter, in day-to-day life ? No. People say and do pretty much the same thing on both sides of the pond; but when a big issue comes up and a judgement has to be rendered, the courts take a more reasoned view than "Is this free speech ? Yes ? Ok then, feel free to ".

I'll ignore the idiotic purposeful misreading of the Fire thing...

Comment: Re:Legitimate concerns (Score 1, Informative) 282

by Space cowboy (#47577907) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

This is a very US-typical way of thinking.

In the UK, it's more of a "where is the harm" approach. If there is more perceived harm in the exercise of said speech than in allowing it, it won't be allowed. This is more difficult to administer (it means someone, usually a judge) has to make a decision about this rather than it just being black and white. It does make life more pleasant for more people.

Having lived in the UK and the US for over a decade each, I have some perspective on this, and personally I think it's worth it, worshipping at the altar of "Free Speech At All Costs[*]" is an absolute, and I tend to distrust absolutes.

Simon.

[*] It's not a real absolute in the USA, you can't shout "Fire!" in a crowded theatre in the US either, for example, but it's a massively more common mindset of US people compared to UK people in my experience.

Comment: Re:Alternative explanation (Score 1) 398

by johnw (#47538101) Attached to: Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling

Thats how the internet is paid for. The sending provider pays the receiving provider for the bandwidth, and this is the only rational way it can be.

Really? I'm only an end user, but my experience is that the charging is the other way round. Traffic to me is metered (and I pay for) whilst traffic which I originate is un-metered.

Comment: Re:Sensible response by an ISP (Score 1) 115

by johnw (#47513507) Attached to: UK Users Overwhelmingly Spurn Broadband Filters

Well, you could click on it for yourself (you don't have to place an order - just click the relevant radio button and then hit submit) but for those who want a short cut, the form then fails field validation with the following message.

"Sorry, for a censored internet you will have to pick a different ISP. Our services are all unfiltered."

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47506251) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Not necessarily (think about it!), but in any event, it is far from clear that minimum wage actually gives more people more money.

Counter examples (actual, real-life, counter-examples supported by data) would be interesting to read.

You can, of course, add the money received by those people who benefit from the minimum wage laws to the total money available to spend. However, businesses pass increased costs on to consumers, or go out of business.

Or they could, shock, horror, take less in profit.

In effect, people's net purchasing power goes down. Instead of helping the people you want to help, you end up hurting them.

Purchasing power isn't going down because labour is getting more expensive, it's going down because labour is steadily getting paid less and less because capital is taking more and more.

The only place the continual downward pressure on wages ends is a tiny proportion of wealthy people who own everything and a huge proportion of people of subsistence incomes. When hardly anyone has any disposable income, where do you think economic activity is going to happen ?

Thus, merely "increasing" economic activity is not a valid goal: to be beneficial to society the economic activity has to be healthy activity, not the production of shoddy products. This can only be the case if we don't cause a net reduction in people's buying power (which is what minimum wage laws tend to do).

Again, evidence to support this claim would be useful.

In reality, countries with higher incomes at the lower-end, rather than the rock-bottom incomes you are advocating, are the countries that have the higher quality goods you are insisting they will not.

No this is done by welfare laws (of which there are a plethora).

No, welfare is there as a safety net for people who are unable to work. Since neoliberalism took over the western world and maintaining a certain level of unemployment became a policy goal (to reduce worker bargaining power and suppress their wages), it has become a necessity for millions of people ready, able and willing to work but who cannot find anyone to work for.

What you are talking about is a universal basic income, which would need to be set at a similar level to minimum wage to meet that objective.

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47504961) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

I never gave my opinion on the matter.

Yes, you did. Your opinion was:

"So lets pass a law that says every person should be paid $50,000 per hour. Economic activity ought to be AMAZING then!"

Which, while obvious hyperbole, is meant to somehow refute the original point by taking it to an extreme never suggested or implied.

Your ignorant political stereotypes led you to make assumptions about what things I never even commented on.

I didn't make an assumption about anything. Your following comment called people who couldn't find work "parasites".

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47504081) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

just because you are economically illiterate doesn't make something "a lie".

You argue the service "can no longer be provided".

That is a lie. It *can* be provided. It's just that customers clearly don't value it enough to make providing it worth the cost.

if it could and it were economically advantageous for companies to provide it, they would have done it.

Yes. I believe that was my point. It's not sufficiently "economically advantageous" to cover its cost.

Nobody had to force the gas stations in the past to provide the service, it was in their best interest to do it because it attracted more customers and there was a competitive pressure to do it.

I'm not quite sure what your point is with this straw man. No-one said anything about anyone being forced to provide full service in the past.

that's the propaganda line, sure. The reality is of-course completely different. The wages of the workers have been destroyed by inflation, not by 'corporate profits'.

Ratio of labour to capital share of GDP says otherwise. Nearly all the benefits of productivity increases over the last few decades have been siphoned to the top 10%, and especially the top 1%. Workers have been getting shafted as their bargaining power has been progressively destroyed by removal of their legal protections and the sadistic philosophy of NAIRU (to say nothing of the ever-increasing "rights" of corporate entities). Meanwhile, the taxes that are supposed to discourage the inevitable greed, selfishness and hoarding of the wealthy and recover some of their waste into productive endeavour, have been completely gutted.

That's before even talking about the mind-boggling explosion in private debt that has been taken up by households in an effort to maintain increasing living standards in the face of stagnant or declining incomes. Encouraged by banks and the wealthy, of course, because people madly paddling the canoe rarely have time to rock it.

It is a pattern that has repeated across the entire Anglo world for decades, it is the aftermath of Thatcherism, Reaganism, and whoever-your-local-neoliberal-psychopath-copying-them-was-ism. Every country has had one, and the outcomes have been the same in all of them - reduced unionism, reduced workers rights, increasing unemployment (because of the previous two events), dramatically decreasing taxes (primarily for the wealth), privatisation of public assets, decaying public infrastructure, decreasing public services, decreasing welfare, decreasing social mobility, increasing income inequality, etc, etc.

What's astounding (well, not really) is that after 30 years of this disaster, most politicians and a sizeable chunk of economists argue the problem is we're not doing it enough !

The world is heading towards a new fuedalism, where the serfs are kept in their place not by threat of arms, but by barely adequate incomes and oppressive debt. It's a Libertarian wet dream - all the slave labour they want to make the rich richer, while maintaining a facade of voluntary participation from the victims since no (overt) physical coercion is involved.

The inflation is created by the Federal reserve bank of America buying up bad USA debt from the Treasury (and the rest of the market) for decades following Nixon's default on the US dollar in 1971.

The core problem in the money supply isn't inflation, it's usury.

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47503863) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

I don't think you know what that fallacy actually means. Nothing I wrote is even close to an excluded middle fallacy.

Really ? You don't think there's any possibilities between no minimum wage and a $50k/hr minimum wage ?

Call it a slippery slope fallacy if it makes you feel any better, it doesn't make your argument any less wrong.

Hurr, durr, ad-hominem fallacy!

You clearly believe the absurd rhetoric that people choose to be unemployed "because welfare!", then you launch off onto another straw man fallacy.

Like I said, mindless tripe. Unthinking regurgitation of conservative articles of faith.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

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