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Comment: Re:I've seen IRS computers (Score 2) 682

by _Sharp'r_ (#47273791) Attached to: IRS Recycled Lerner Hard Drive

A long time ago, when managing some government service contracts, I had someone from the BLM walk in and essentially say, "It's the end of the fiscal year and we need to spend some money left in our budget, what's the most expensive PCs and multiple monitor setups you can find to sell us to replace all our current machines with?"

I doubt Lois Lerner, a Director managing a group with 900 employees, was making due with old obsolete hardware like the guys in the trenches do. She managed a $90M+ budget, so I'm sure they could find some cash to keep her PC up to date.

Comment: Re:Corporate directed not volunteer direct ... (Score 1) 403

Yeah. When the original volunteers make statements Hollywood finds offensive, they have to go, right?

"the W3C willfully underspecifying DRM in HTML5 is quite a different matter from browsers having to support several legacy plugins. Here is a narrow bridge on which to stand and fight — and perhaps fall, but (like Gandalf) live again and prevail in the longer run. If we lose this battle, there will be others where the world needs Mozilla.

"By now it should be clear why we view DRM as bad for users, open source, and alternative browser vendors:

        Users: DRM is technically a contradiction, which leads directly to legal restraints against fair use and other user interests (e.g., accessibility).
        Open source: Projects such as cannot implement a robust and Hollywood-compliant CDM black box inside the EME API container using open source software.
        Alternative browser vendors: CDMs are analogous to ActiveX components from the bad old days: different for each OS and possibly even available only to the OS’s default browser.

"I continue to collaborate with others, including some in Hollywood, on watermarking, not DRM."
- Brendan Eich, 22 October 2013

Comment: Re:The Democrats killed Net Neutrality !! (Score 1) 182

by _Sharp'r_ (#47025789) Attached to: FCC Votes To Consider Next Round of 'Net Neutrality' Rules

... allows the ISPs to misbehave while the FCC cannot enforce the rules.

Since when is people managing their own networks now considered misbehaving? The FCC can't enforce rules that don't actually exist (yet).

But don't worry, the Democrats will ensure we go down the path of the government setting the rules on the internet and for ISPs. Can't let people have the freedom to manage their own networks in accordance with their desires and their contracts with their customers, after all... that would be too much freedom.

Think back to this in a few years when we're lagging behind the rest of the world more because the FCC is now in charge of allowing "innovation" on the internet.

Comment: Re:It's about power, not being a customer (Score 1) 417

by _Sharp'r_ (#46956635) Attached to: London Black Cabs Threaten Chaos To Stop Uber

It's generally the powerful who get to write the regulations you're so fond of.

That's why we have in powerful taxi companies who "own" a government granted medallion pissed off that there might be some new competition for customer's transport dollars by independent drivers and their previously lobbied regulations aren't stopping it.

No customer needs to be "protected" from Uber, a service they are free to choose to use or not use based on their own evaluation of if it fits their needs better or not. All Uber does is allow independent drivers to have the same type of dispatch infrastructure that the big taxi companies have, but more efficiently.

Comment: Re:Doubt it will shut down cloud storage... (Score 3, Insightful) 342

by _Sharp'r_ (#46828899) Attached to: Aereo To SCOTUS: Shut Us Down and You Shut Down Cloud Storage

When you're complaining about how the government helps their large donors get what they want, the words you're looking for are "Public Choice Economics", not "Free market!"

A free market implies that the government minimally interferes in the market, just enough to set a level playing field, not that the government determines market outcomes at the behest of it's backers by killing competitors.

Comment: Re:Gotta pay the government bills somehow (Score 1) 632

by _Sharp'r_ (#46762047) Attached to: IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

Tax revenues are at inflation-adjusted record highs.
and have been climbing overall for a while:

What we have is a serious spending problem. Most of the "cutting taxes" over time is an illusion and doesn't amount to much.

Comment: Re: But.. but, socialism! (Score 1) 870

by _Sharp'r_ (#46583399) Attached to: Job Automation and the Minimum Wage Debate

Factory work during the industrial revolution was much preferred to the agriculture work that preceded it. That's one major reason lots of people left the farms to head for the city and a factory job. The people doing the work were much better off in the horrible conditions you decry than they were trying to eke an existence out of the dirt. Now we've replaced most of the worst factory jobs with robots and people are even better off in soft service and office jobs. There's been a lot of progress made in wealth and productivity and that progress will continue unless misguided individuals manage to use the government to continue to slow down or stop it.

If you just want people to have a job, any job, then give them spoons and set them to digging and filling in ditches. It not about have "work" available, it's about the best use of people's time to produce the most overall wealth. Anything we can do to further mechanize things and use capital goods to make labor more efficient makes us all wealthier in the mid to long run.

Comment: Re:and then we will need some kind of basic income (Score 1) 387

by _Sharp'r_ (#46401097) Attached to: Girl's Facebook Post Costs Her Dad $80,000

They are there because the employers can get away with it because there's not a shortage of unskilled employees.

And when you require their employer to increase the wage for their position, the employer will now hire a more qualified individual instead, since they have to pay for that anyway, leaving the less skilled employee (who is supposedly being helped) eventually out in the cold.

If your employer was suddenly required to pay 50% more in salary for your current position, do you think you'd keep your job long-term against other, more qualified people who would suddenly want that position as opposed to their old one? It all shakes out similarly in the end for those who used to make under the new minimum wage, typically the most needy among us who already have some of the fewest options.

Comment: Re:Sarah Palin (Score 1) 479

I suppose I'd have mentally picked St. Laurence Island as a more representative example, as it's part of Alaska and only 36 miles from Russia. You'd have to have a mountain in the distance to see Russia from there, but it's feasible.

But more accurately, Little Diomede Island, is only 2.4 miles from Big Diomede Island, so you can easily see Russia from there and even walk between the two countries during the parts of the year it's frozen over.

Comment: Re:and then we will need some kind of basic income (Score 1) 387

by _Sharp'r_ (#46391897) Attached to: Girl's Facebook Post Costs Her Dad $80,000

I'll admit that I'm more familiar with the minimum wage history and practice in the U.S. than in the UK. Just happened to read that article the same day and it seems very topical.

However, the theory isn't that minimum wage causes unemployment for everyone. The vast majority already make more than the minimum wage, so other than increasing their costs for minimum-wage supplied products and services (which is a real wage decrease, come to think of it). Economic theory states that the impact on people who currently make the new minimum wage or lower is that they find it more difficult to get and/or keep employment, because at the margin, some of them become no longer worth employing for what they cost.

There are three kinds of people: men, women, and unix.