Un pobre guey writes: "To understand the impact technology is having on middle-class jobs in developed countries, the AP analyzed employment data from 20 countries; tracked changes in hiring by industry, pay and task; compared job losses and gains during recessions and expansions over the past four decades; and interviewed economists, technology experts, robot manufacturers, software developers, entrepreneurs and people in the labor force who ranged from CEOs to the unemployed." In the comments, the usual bad-government-is-at-fault and don't-worry-it's-like-the-Industrial-Revolution memes are dutifully repeated. But what if this time it's different? What if delegating everything to machines is a radical and fundamental new change in the course of human history? Link to Original Source
Un pobre guey writes: "Ah yes, the old "bad jobs are replaced by really good jobs" argument: FTA: "Government officials and industry executives argue that even if factories are automated, they still are a valuable source of jobs. If the United States does not compete for advanced manufacturing in industries like consumer electronics, it could lose product engineering and design as well. Moreover, robotics executives argue that even though blue-collar jobs will be lost, more efficient manufacturing will create skilled jobs in designing, operating and servicing the assembly lines, as well as significant numbers of other kinds of jobs in the communities where factories are." Is it true, or are we desperately pretending that this will all turn out fine, as it sort of did after the Industrial Revolution? What is the net change in number of jobs? Will displaced workers find replacement jobs?" Link to Original Source
Un pobre guey writes: Why should you develop apps for Windows 8? Well, the hype and flogging are apparently in full swing. From TFA: "To be clear, Windows Phone 8 is not a slam dunk. Some, such as IDC, believe Windows Phone will eclipse iOS by 2016. Others though believe the trajectories of Android and iOS can't be slowed in the next few years. Nonetheless, I think a bet on Windows Phone 8 is justifiable, even wise, since anyone who purchases a new Windows Phone 8 device likely will want to load it with the latest and greatest apps." Link to Original Source
Un pobre guey writes: The Amazon Associates Program, wherein average folks set up websites to promote Amazon.com sales for a small cut of sales, will end this September unless California desists from its plan to charge sales tax on purchases from Amazon.com originating from Californian-owned websites. Will this be the death knell of sales tax-free internet shopping? Link to Original Source
Un pobre guey writes: California's voters will have a chance in November to end the drug trafficking business once and for all, or at least the illegal trade in marijuana. The San Francisco Chronicle, among others, reports 'If passed, California would have the most comprehensive laws on legal marijuana in the entire world, advocates say. Opponents are confident they will easily defeat the measure.' Good idea or bad? Link to Original Source
Un pobre guey writes: In an upcoming report from the Strand Consult consulting firm, it is claimed that the iPhone hasn't really been that much of a moneymaker for the telcos that have been subsidizing it. From the referenced article: ''According to the research we have conducted on the operators, not one of these have increased their market share, revenue or their earnings as a result of introducing the iPhone,' the Copenhagen-based firm said. 'On the contrary, some operators have sent out profit warnings because of the iPhone.' Contrary to popular hype, it concludes ''If you examine the number of iPhones sold by AT&T in the [United States] to customers from other operators, and compare the figure to their churn and the development of their customer base over time, it is again not possible to see any iPhone effect,' the report said. 'At the end of the day, the iPhone has such a small share of the American market and the amount of voice and data traffic it is generating is simply not enough to change any of the total market figures.'' Is the iPhone all it's cracked up to be?
Un pobre guey writes: The Great (and practically bankrupt) State of California will be the first U.S. state to adopt open source textbooks statewide. From the article: 'A total of 16 digital textbooks were extensively reviewed, with ten ultimately selected after determining that each met at least 90 percent of California's standards. Four of these texts met 100 percent of the state standards, including three submitted by Palo Alto's CK-12 Foundation, a local non-profit specializing in developing digital textbooks for education.
View the list of all reviewed digital textbooks and review reports here.'"
Un pobre guey writes: Evidently the dismissal of Rick Waggoner from GM was a trial balloon. U.S. President Barack Obama today personally executed Jamie Dimon, 53, up to now CEO of notoriously illiquid J.P. Morgan, and Kenneth Lewis, erstwhile CEO of zombie institution Bank of America. Obama used an antique 9mm Beretta automatic he received recently as a private gift from Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. 'It grieves me deeply that a standing President of the United States must engage in such drastic action in order to convince wealthy and influential business executives that destroying the US economy in order to receive a year end bonus is undesirable behavior,' said the president moments after the executions. 'Nevertheless, I shall immediately cap the ass of any individual who insists on betraying our nation and our people in order to enrich and aggrandize themselves.' The executions took place in quick succession as the victims stood on stage with the president at a press conference in London just one day before the scheduled G20 meeting
Un pobre guey writes: An International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) press release claims that 95% of music file downloads in 2008, an estimated 40 billion files, were illegal. Oddly enough, digital music sales are up: 'The digital music business internationally saw a sixth year of expansion in 2008, growing by an estimated 25 per cent to US$3.7 billion in trade value. Digital platforms now account for around 20 per cent of recorded music sales, up from 15 per cent in 2007. Recorded music is at the forefront of the online and mobile revolution, generating more revenue in percentage terms through digital platforms than the newspaper (4%), magazine (1%) and film industries (4%) combined... Despite these developments, the music sector is still overshadowed by the huge amount of unlicensed music distributed online. Collating separate studies in 16 countries over a three-year period, IFPI estimates over 40 billion files were illegally file-shared in 2008, giving a piracy rate of around 95 per cent.' Have at it, Slashdotters. Link to Original Source
Un pobre guey writes: Naomi Klein has a post on her site helping promote No Bailout for Wall Street — Protest on Wall Street on Thursday September 25 2008. From the blurb: "This week the White House is going to try to push through the biggest robbery in world history with nary a stitch of debate to bail out the Wall Street bastards who created this economic apocalypse in the first place. This is the financial equivalent of September 11. They think, just like with the Patriot Act, they can use the shock to force through the 'therapy,' and we'll just roll over!... It's socialism for the rich and dog-eat-dog capitalism for the rest of us." Strong stuff. How bad is it? Is it truly cataclysmic, as the scuttlebutt has it, or are we being robbed blind? Is it both?