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Comment: Re:We need a workers government (Score 2) 465

Viet Nam has a cell phone penetration level of 150%, and there's almost 1 motor scooter for every two people. Food is incredibly cheap here too.

Then again, the poverty rate in Viet Nam is only 12%, compared to 16% in the USA, so it might be an unfair comparison.

Comment: Re:Play to loose? (Score 1) 199

by TBBle (#43330617) Attached to: Cuban Video Game Recreates Revolutionary History

Maybe the Cubans could give the game platform to Viet Nam, and they could come up with a plotline where you follow Ho Chi Min to his defeat of the imperialist US invaders. There's jungles and tropical climate in both situations, right.

Viet Nam's version shipped a year and a half ago: http://kotaku.com/5864287/defeat-the-french-in-vietnams-7554-military-shooter/

Comment: Re:A desire for slavery? (Score 1) 303

by TBBle (#41977785) Attached to: Foxconn Begins To Assemble Its Robot Army

"The fact is, that civilisation requires slaves. The Greeks were quite right there. Unless there are slaves to do the ugly, horrible, uninteresting work, culture and contemplation become almost impossible. Human slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralizing. On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends." -- Oscar Wilde, "The Soul of Man under Socialism" (as per http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Oscar_Wilde)

Comment: Re:Is this different from sport? (Score 1) 487

by TBBle (#41739433) Attached to: Is Non-Prescription ADHD Medication Use Ever Ethical?

You were hired because you best convinced the people reviewing and interviewing you that you were the right fit for the job. Whether you woke up extra early to be fresh for the interview, wore a pressed suit, or took attention-focussing drugs with breakfast, ideally you're being judged not just on how well you showed up that day, but how well your history appears to fit their requirements.

You can certainly make an extra effort to get a job that you don't intend to make once you have a job. That could just as easily mean no longer shaving as it could mean no longer buying the appropriate smart-pills. The smart-pills are not the problem here, they're merely another tool in an already-well equipped box. If you fall below the requirements of the job after starting, then that's what the probation period (or performance reviews, later) is for.

Of course, if a company insists on judging all its hirees by one particular metric that can be temporarily enhanced to secure a job, then they may have a problem. But the problem is not the temporary enhancement...

It sounds like you think the other team is "people who do the things necessary to secure that job". I'm not sure that job-hunting is or should be a level playing field, and it's not really a 'team competition' so much as 'every person for himself or herself'. The idea being to find the best people, not "the best people if you eliminate certain variables".

I don't see what foreign workers have to do with anything, that looks like a furphy to me, and I'm going to ignore it, because it also smells like an opportunity for a completely different disagreement.

Comment: Re:Is this different from sport? (Score 2) 487

by TBBle (#41737669) Attached to: Is Non-Prescription ADHD Medication Use Ever Ethical?

The difference presumably being that in sport, you're playing within a specific and arbitrary set of limitations, one of which is currently held to be a limitation on artificial enhancement. Same as you're not allowed to to trip your competitors up in a foot-race.

If you're actually doing stuff where you're not being measured in some sort of specific playing field or situation, why not be able to do what its necessary (and non-harmful) to do that as well as possible.

I'm not required to listen to the same music as my colleagues, or drink coffee when I work, after all. We're not trying to level the playing field, we're all trying to individually excel so that our group as a whole excels.

This is the strawman in the final comment: "So another question for the ethicists is whether cognitive enhancers will ultimately level the playing field or juice the opposing team". Who's my opposing team? Am I required to only work as well as... who? And if so, then... why? Why would I only be allowed to do my job as well as someone else could?

The implicit idea seems to be that there's those who're sub-normal, for whom it's alright to make them normal (be fixed), and then those who're super-normal, who're just lucky and aren't allowed to be made any better (be enhanced).

I haven't read the article yet, so these questions may already have been answered.

Comment: Not sexist. Worse. (Score 1) 897

by TBBle (#40707995) Attached to: Microsoft Apologizes For Inserting Naughty Phrase Into Linux Kernel

It's not sexist. It's not discriminating against a particular sex. It's creating an uncomfortable and exclusive environment to the detriment of those of any gender who feel that references to "big boobs" are unprofessional or inappropriate appearing in code like that.

If you did it in in a work environment, it'd be harassment.

It's really more insidious than sexism. It's easy to spot sexism, but trying to explain the ways in which this example is a bad thing will inevitably produce responses of "you're over-sensitive" from people who are not offended by it.

By calling it merely "sexist", it automatically excludes from the discussion any _males_ who find it offensive, as they must be obviously offended on some woman's behalf, not because they find it offensive themselves, and are therefore not vested in the results. (And may well be derided as taking that position merely to get into said woman's pants, which is another great example of things that are not sexist but are still incredibly bad behaviour in a professional environment.)

Comment: An anonymous reader posts... (Score 1) 389

by TBBle (#40370559) Attached to: Chinese Firms Claims It Can Build World's Tallest Tower in 90 Days

An anonymous reader posts the first paragraph of their own article to Slashdot.

And oddly enough, fails to notice _again_ that they've claimed there's been a race to build the world's second-tallest tower.

To the original poster: If you're going to try to force your own article viral, get someone else to read it out-loud first. Or just read it at all...

I just noticed in the submission that the "link to original source" doesn't point at the article from which the summary was cut-and-paste, but the Chinese-language developer's site. You couldn't even bring yourself to admit you were forcing your own article viral? You'd have to be a Slashdot editor to fall for that...

Comment: Re:So that's really why he gave up his citizenship (Score 1) 445

by TBBle (#40096911) Attached to: Facebook, Zuckerberg Sued Over IPO

In Australia, you pay income tax on money you make in Australia even after you've lived overseas for six months.

However, Australia has a fairly wide coverage of Double Taxation agreements, which means (usually) once you become a tax resident of another country (more than half of the year spent living there, etc.) the tax you pay in Australia counts towards the tax you'd owe in the country of residence, so in effect you pay the greater of "Australian tax on Australian income" and "foreign-country tax on worldwide income".

Which normally means that any income tax withholding done for you in Australia is tax you'd have to pay anyway to your country of residence, so it just avoids you getting a surprise giant tax bill once a year.

This includes one with the US, although I haven't looked at the details of it to see if it covers US citizens resident in Austalia.

http://archive.treasury.gov.au/contentitem.asp?ContentID=625

Comment: Re:Article makes depression worse (Score 2) 190

Would http://sparx.org.nz/ cheer you up?

Sadly, it's not out yet. They do say "We are hoping to make it available this year" but don't mention which year that was. I'm hoping they mean this year, and that they're still on track...

The actual study was from 2009 to 2010, it's just taken them this long to actually get published.

Comment: Re:This Is A Bad Idea (Score 1) 516

by TBBle (#39472825) Attached to: NHTSA Suggestion Would Cripple In-Car GPS Displays

I always find it amazing that electronic gadgets are a "distraction" yet non-electronic ones are not. You don't see legislation to outlaw paper maps, coffee cups, makeup, food, etc from vehicles.

"...yet..."

It's a slow process, because the longer something's been legal, the harder it is to get a law passed to make it illegal, irrespective of the actual damage.

They managed to make it illegal to have open bottles of booze in a car, tied in nicely with the invention of random breath testing. Smoking too, in some places so far. Drivers eating and drinking can't be _too_ far off.

If I had to guess, I'd say it _is_ illegal to look at and/or manipulate a paper map while driving. Something about blocking the view of the road, most likely.

The highest hurdle will be making it illegal to talk to the driver while they're driving, since that was (as I recall) demonstrated in the UK as being just as dangerous as the driver using a hands-free kit, in so far as distraction was a major problem, and operating a hands-free kit was relatively minor problem.

I expect we'll have self-driving cars before that, and this ceases to be a problem... Once we have self-driving cars, just make getting a car license really really really hard, and expire them (completely) every five years.

Once a generation of teenagers ages to adulthood without the car and driver's license being a major part of their coming-of-age, it won't be a problem any more.

Comment: Re:Some people don't need this (Score 1) 321

by TBBle (#38802507) Attached to: Google Updates Algorithm To Punish Websites With Excessive Ads

If the domain's parked and filled with ads, then heck no, it should stay search-engine toxic for a long time. Let it repair its reputation naturally if such is needed, or don't park it full of ads in the first place.

That'd destroy the business of companies that catch expiring domains, fill 'em with ads, and put 'em up for sale. After a fairly short period, the page is worth less than the Internic fee, and they stop renewing it.

And that's one less ad-farm page on the 'net, and (ideally) one less company whose business it is to fill the Internet with ad-farm pages.

Comment: Re:Both Pauls Have Been Trying to Do Just That (Score 1) 941

by TBBle (#38802433) Attached to: Senator Rand Paul Detained By the TSA

Flip-flopping as I understand its use means changing your mind back and forth without strong rational basis, but in order to achieve some goal of perception, be it following the tide of public opinion polls, or changing your message to suit your current audience.

Sure, it's pejoratively applied to public figures who change their mind by other public figures who wish to denigrate that figure's decision-making without agreeing or disagreeing with either the old or new position, but that's not the meaningful use of the term, any more than "gay" means "unskilled at playing Counterstrike".

Comment: Re:Don't work "for free" (Score 2) 848

by TBBle (#38511072) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handing Over Personal Work Without Compensation?

Oh, and don't write anything that makes your position redundant, that's just... the mark of a non-critical thinker.

I disagree wholeheartedly. If your position can be made redundant by software, I can't see any way it'd be satisfying to remain there long-term if you've got the skills and interest in automating it. And it makes it so much easier to leave when you're fed up with it if you can be replaced by a shell script or two. Particularly if you've done the automation before-hand, so you don't spend your final fortnight desperately throwing together a custom software stack because you don't have time to download and evaluate existing solutions.

I've had a couple of jobs where I could have been replaced by software, but didn't have the time to write the software so I was unable to leave without feeling bad about doing so. I still left, but have since always tried to ensure that as much of my job as possible is automated and could be done by someone else so I don't have to do it for the rest of the company's life, or worse, find someone who _is_ willing to sit there and act as the slowest part of a pipeline.

It's the same reason I always use the self-service checkout at supermarkets. Why would I stand there and watch someone else scan my groceries for me when I can do it myself in half the space for a third again as much time, potentially freeing up that person to go do something productive.

I've got a bad feeling about this.

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