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Comment: Re:Humans? (Score 1) 206

by Toze (#42141643) Attached to: Inside an Amazon Warehouse

Someone hasn't been paying attention to demographics over time; first-world nations have negative birth rates (I think that's the term; replacement rates lower than 1:1). Third-world nations that get a boost in living conditions have slowing birth rates (usually takes a generation and change for birth rate reduction to catch up with infant mortality reduction, iirc). America and Canada and suchlike have population growth primarily from immigration, but they need to keep importing immigrants because the children of immigrants have the same first-world negative birth rates.

IOW, first world societies don't, really, have to understand what to do with jobless masses. They're going to lack masses to be jobless with. They might have to be concerned with losing culture wars against populous third-world (or recently post-third-world) nations, but "how do we pay for old age pensions when our workforce is 3/4 the size it used to be and retirees are twice as common?" is more likely to be a problem than "oh man what do we do with all these workers." Demographically speaking, that is.

Businesses

Inside an Amazon Warehouse 206

Posted by samzenpus
from the packing-it-up dept.
redletterdave writes "In each one of Amazon.com's 80 fulfillment centers around the globe, Amazon relies on barcodes and human hands rather than robots or automation to find and ship the proper items in a quick and efficient manner. Without robots, Amazon utilizes a system known as 'chaotic storage,' where products are essentially shelved at random but are tagged with barcodes to be scanned at every step of the ordering, selection and shipping process. The real advantage to chaotic storage is that it's significantly more flexible than conventional storage systems. If there are big changes in a product range, the company doesn't need to plan for more space, because the products or their sales volumes don't need to be known or planned in advance if they're simply being stored at random. Free space is also better utilized in a chaotic storage system, and it's also a major time saver to not organize products as they come in. This system is the true key to Amazon.com's success in online retail."

Comment: Re:this is a fantasy land (Score 3, Interesting) 459

by Toze (#41124605) Attached to: Republican Platform To Include Internet Freedom Plank
I'm amused and a little alarmed that your perception of the options consists entirely of;
1) increase regulation,
2) remove all regulation altogether.
I think you will find that there are four positions on a spectrum that finely grained; no regulation, state ownership, increased regulation and (waaaaait for it) decreased regulation. Responding to "I don't like increased regulation" with "Well you just want to eliminate all regulation" is... well, it's awfully American of you, in that there can only be two options and the Other Side is insane/evil/stupid so you're justified in avoiding reasonable debate.

My expectation at this point is that you're going to call me a crypto-anarchist trying to sneak absolute removal of regulation in under a flag of moderation, because... well, because that's generally what happens when I try talking to Americans about this mysterious concept called "middle ground." But if you don't, then I appreciate your breaking the trend and am interested in your thoughts on of the problems of regulatory capture and a rise in barriers to market entry through vastly increased paperwork and bureaucratic make-work. (The Canadian examples I would point out are our CRTC telecom positions being held mostly by former telecom execs, and the problems in Alberta with starting a new business because of the reams of paperwork required for multimillion dollar established companies.)

Comment: Re:utter pointlessness (Score 1) 1165

by Toze (#40322863) Attached to: Blocking Gun Laws With Patents

In fact, most criminals are criminals because they are uneducated and never learned impulse control, and act irrationally and emotionally.

I believe you will find, sir or madam, that the vast majority of criminals in North America are criminals because their federal government has criminalized some behaviour that they and their neighbours partake in, from jaywalking to file sharing to certain kinds and styles of fishing or internet purchases. I know that's why I'm a criminal. I'm also a free citizen with no criminal record, but I can guarantee I do at least one illegal thing a day.

tl;dr: we are all criminals, and have more in common with a coke dealer than our federal representatives. The coke dealer, for example, /works/ for a living.

Comment: Re:Damn! (Score 4, Insightful) 1165

by Toze (#40322489) Attached to: Blocking Gun Laws With Patents
As another outsider looking in on America's gun-law debates, I have come to an entirely different set of conclusions about the two evident groups. 1) A large group of people who are deathly afraid of their fellow-citizens and suspect that guns are a magical fetish that turns people into murderers. Their solution is to make it illegal for potential murderers (read: everyone) to have access to guns. 2) Another large group of people who have figured out that criminals and governments don't obey laws and that their fellow-citizens can generally be trusted to not fly into a killing rage because they have access to firearms. Their solution is to prevent laws that disarm the law-abiding citizens. Both groups are trying to protect themselves and their families. But only one seems to have managed an accurate risk-assessment, worked out who is most likely to harm them, and tried to make an effort to reduce that risk. In case you're wondering: it's the gun-nuts who did the maths.

Comment: Re:Probably No significant change in sales (Score 4, Insightful) 280

by Toze (#39806385) Attached to: Sci-Fi Publisher Tor Ditches DRM For E-Books

Disagree for two reasons. First, because of personal experience; I hit Baen's free library one day and encountered John Ringo's work. I have since bought about $200 worth of Baen books, mostly Ringo but frequently other stuff I found on their free library. A friend passed me a pirated copy of Jim Butcher's entire Dresden series; I now have the whole run purchased and sitting on my shelf. The specific method I've seen work is this;
1) DRM-free
2) Pirated/shared
3) Lands in the hands of someone who was never going to buy the books
4) Turns them into a trufan who buys some or all of the books.

On the one hand this may not be the precise method Tor is hoping for, and I agree that the /direct/ impact of being DRM-free isn't going to be worth much, but the long-term effect is of more people reading Tor books, and in my experience that means more people buying books. The second reason I disagree is that experiment after experiment shows that "piracy is not the problem, obscurity is the problem." Releasing stuff for free almost never decreases profits, and usually increases profits. Doctorow and Lessig have both explained this at length.

Comment: Re:Canada Here I Come (Score 1) 747

by Toze (#39567337) Attached to: Supreme Court Approves Strip Searches For Any Arrestable Offense

s/Mormon/Scientologist/g;

If anti-Scientologist critics are posting copyrighted Church documents without prior authorization of the Scientologist Church, of course they're gonna get sued, especially if the materials were stolen, which the article implies. What good is copyright if you can't use it to stop people from re-publishing stolen material?

Comment: Re:Canada Here I Come (Score 3, Interesting) 747

by Toze (#39560953) Attached to: Supreme Court Approves Strip Searches For Any Arrestable Offense

Not hate speech, but copyright, and used to silence critics with lawsuits; http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2245&dat=19991016&id=C-g0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=NyEGAAAAIBAJ&pg=4294,5523199

Nothing against Mormons personally, and a primarily academic interest in copyright and the church. It just happened to be in my list of reading material.

Comment: Re:Just what Hollywood needs.... (Score 1) 481

by Toze (#39427429) Attached to: Michael Bay To Remake TMNT As Aliens

This.

I've registered an NPO and am running a teensy arts/anime convention in a town of 60,000. We've got two rooms for video showing. One is for licensed anime with permission from the North American copyright holders, the other is dedicated to indie web series like the Guild, Journey Quest, Heroes of the North, Aiden 5, etc. Frankly, if I wasn't going to be spending the day putting out fires, I'd be spending the day in the indie film room.

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