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An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man 321

Posted by timothy
from the that-trick's-not-so-weird dept.
Any gathering of 65,000 people in the desert is going to require some major infrastructure to maintain health and sanity. At Burning Man, some of that infrastructure is devoted to a supply chain for ice. Writes Bennett Haselton, The lines for ice bags at Burning Man could be cut from an hour long at peak times, to about five minutes, by making one small... Well, read the description below of how they do things now, and see if the same suggested change occurs to you. I'm curious whether it's the kind of idea that is more obvious to students of computer science who think algorithmically, or if it's something that could occur to anyone. Read on for the rest; Bennett's idea for better triage may bring to mind a lot of other queuing situations and ways that time spent waiting in line could be more efficiently employed.

Comment: Re:Let me get this right (Score 1) 832

by TheNastyInThePasty (#48165525) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

One person can only buy so much.

There are far more things available for purchase than any one person's money can buy; he'll run out of money before he runs out of things to buy or time in which to buy them. Consider politicians, they're very expensive and don't even stay bought!

Technically you're right but you miss the point. How many jobs does he support with his demand for a gold and diamond encrusted watch that costs 10,000x more than a normal watch? A whole lot fewer jobs than 10,000 normal watch buyers can support. Those normal people drive the economy with their demand, not the rich guy.

Money saved at a bank doesn't stay in Scrooge McDuck's money bin; banks need to loan it out so that they can offer interest, pay their employees, and make a profit. Most of the money in savings accounts is loaned out to allow housing construction.

So the bank takes the money and... invests it. Refer back to my argument about investing in the previous post. Who's going to buy houses when there's no middle class? Who's going to start or expand their widget business when most people can barely afford their food and rent?

Comment: Re:This looks like a nasty trick. (Score 1) 832

by TheNastyInThePasty (#48162433) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

What businesses will be looking to expand in an economy where the wealth concentration is going in the direction it is now? Without a middle class to spend money, there is no demand. Business expansion is driven by demand and demand only. There is no other reason to expand, there is no other reason to hire new workers.

Comment: Re:Inequality isn't harmful (Score 1) 832

by TheNastyInThePasty (#48162289) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

You're wrong. Income inequality is harmful. And not just because it hurts poor people's feelings.

Demand, people buying things, is what drives the economy. Person A that makes 100x the money that Person B does, doesn't add 100x the demand to the economy. One person can only buy so much. So, then, Person A's extra money is either going to go into savings (not good, that money is lost, as far as the rest of the world is concerned) or the money is going to go into investing. Investing plays an important role in the system but it cannot be the basis of the economy, no matter what anyone tries to tell you. Workers are hired and businesses are expanded for no other reason than to fulfill demand.

This is why income inequality is bad. Its growth strangles the economy by shifting money from the masses, who would use that money to drive the economy, to the few who will just put the money into savings when there is nothing worth investing in.

Comment: Re:Let me get this right (Score 4, Insightful) 832

by TheNastyInThePasty (#48161649) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Demand, people buying things, is what drives the economy. Person A that makes 100x the money that Person B does, doesn't add 100x the demand to the economy. One person can only buy so much. So, then, Person A's extra money is either going to go into savings (not good, that money is lost, as far as the economy is concerned) or the money is going into investing. Investing plays an important role in the system but it cannot be the basis of the economy, no matter what anyone tries to tell you. Workers are hired and businesses are expanded for no other reason than to fulfill demand.

This is why income inequality is bad. Its growth strangles the economy by shifting money from the masses, who would use that money to drive the economy, to the few who will just put the money into savings when there is nothing worth investing in.

Privacy

The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers 622

Posted by samzenpus
from the who's-to-blame dept.
Bennett Haselton writes As commenters continue to blame Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities for allowing their nude photos to be stolen, there is only one rebuttal to the victim-blaming which actually makes sense: that for the celebrities taking their nude selfies, the probable benefits of their actions outweighed the probable negatives. Most of the other rebuttals being offered, are logically incoherent, and, as such, are not likely to change the minds of the victim-blamers. Read below to see what Bennett has to say.

Comment: Re:If the libs are for it... (Score 1) 283

There would never be enough choice in ISPs that Net Neutrality would be unnecessary. It's simply too expensive to run a dozen or more lines to each home. Even if locals opened up land access to more competition, it's likely that the few small/medium companies that actually popped up would be bought up by their larger competitors. We'd wind up with the same thing we have in the cellular service industry: a few choices, but none of them good. The ISPs that are left will always favor "fast lane" style service because it is going to be profitable for them.

Censorship

Could Maroney Be Prosecuted For Her Own Hacked Pictures? 274

Posted by timothy
from the one-notch-from-thoughtcrime dept.
Contributor Bennett Haselton writes with a interesting take on the recent release of racy celebrity photos: "Lawyers for Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney succeeded in getting porn sites to take down her stolen nude photos, on the grounds that she was under 18 in the pictures, which meant they constituted child pornography. If true, that means that under current laws, Maroney could in theory be prosecuted for taking the original pictures. Maybe the laws should be changed?" Read on for the rest.

Comment: Re:How important is that at this point? (Score 1) 197

by TheNastyInThePasty (#48029549) Attached to: Adobe Photoshop Is Coming To Linux, Through Chromebooks

Allow me to add one gripe. Creating an outline for text in GIMP requires creating a selection from the text, creating a new layer, growing the selection to the outline size, and filling the selection with the new color. WTF? What if I want to change the text now? I have to redo those steps all over again because the outline is in no way associated with the text. It's just a separate object. That's absurd.

Comment: Re:Sigh (Score 3, Informative) 341

I have never seen a commercial for home internet service that is explicitly unlimited it's usually:

Blazing* Fast** High-Speed*** Internet**** Up to***** 50****** megs******* for only******** $69.99 per month*********

* Our lawyers advise us to tell you that we are not liable any house fires that may or may not be related to your internet equipment.
** When compared to dial up internet from 20 years ago
*** Only available during off-peak hours
**** Until we decide to deny access to websites that don't pay us for the privilege of being carried to our customers
***** But never actually anywhere near....
****** Random number picked out of a hat, you'll never actually get this
******* Bits? Bytes? Who cares! (Personal story: I asked the Comcast salesmen if he meant megabits or megabytes when he said "50 megs" and he had no idea...)
******** Introductory rate for new customers only. We will double the rates in 3 months after joining
********* Plus taxes, fees, extra charges, and tribute payments

Censorship

Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video 300

Posted by samzenpus
from the for-the-greater-good dept.
Bennett Haselton writes After footage of James Foley's beheading by ISIS terrorists was posted online on Tuesday, Twitter and Youtube elected to remove any footage or links to the footage posted by users. Obviously this reduces the incentive for terrorist groups to post such content, by shrinking their audience, but it also reduces the public's access to information. Would it be ethical to make the content available, if it was preceded by an advertisement for a cause that runs counter to everything ISIS stands for? Read below to see what Bennett has to say.

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