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Comment: Re:So, the other side? (Score 1) 197

by Tom (#49803891) Attached to: Mandriva CEO: Employee Lawsuits Put Us Out of Business

A company that employed expensive employees in an extremely employee biased legal framework has now been destroyed and all of those employee are out of work.

The company was not in trouble because of employee laws. All this is the fallout of a "restructuring", which is just the bullshit bingo word for mass layoffs, which in turn were the result of the company being in trouble.

If your attempt to save your troubled company didn't work because you didn't take into account the effects of your actions, then that is 100% your fault. It's not like these are secret laws only told to you after the fact.

employment will work like any other unregulated economy

There is no such thing as an unregulated economy. That's just the bullshit bingo word for "company-friendly regulations".

Comment: Re:So, the other side? (Score 1) 197

by Tom (#49803887) Attached to: Mandriva CEO: Employee Lawsuits Put Us Out of Business

Yes, it is good. Unless you are among the 11% unemployed, or one of the many millions with short term contracts because no one wants to take the risk of offering you a real job.

I call bullshit.

So you think the american system is better, where due to lack of such laws, basically everyone has a short-term contract because if you can fire everyone with little consequences on short notice, that is what you have.

Look, I am one of those "hard working Germans across the Rhine". Our government spent the past 20 years or so slowly dismantling the social systems and employee protections that our fathers and grandfathers had spent and risked their lives establishing (I'm not joking, one of my grandfathers was a union secretary, killed by the Nazis for his efforts).

The result is that maybe on paper unemployment is lower, but several million people spend their days in low-pay (I can't even say "minimum wage", because we freaking don't even have that!), temporary jobs. Literally temporary: They hold contracts saying that on day X, they will be out of a job unless their employer offers them an extension. You don't even have to fire them, how convenient.

As a result, average income has dropped, spending on culture and arts is dropping constantly, life expectancy has stopped to rise despite better medicine, and by some statistics a quarter of the population is in a constant state of insecurity because losing your job can snowball into losing your home and everything else because wages are so low you can't build up reserves.

Sorry, I'd rather live in a world where people around me are not in a constant state of fear and stress.

Comment: cry me a river (Score 1) 197

by Tom (#49803867) Attached to: Mandriva CEO: Employee Lawsuits Put Us Out of Business

I'm beginning to feel disgusted by these cry-baby CEOs and investors.

Look, it's very simple: There are laws of physics. If your product cannot work with the set of laws of physics we have on this planet, then your product doesn't work, end of discussion. You can't cry over not being able to make the flying car of your dreams because gravity is so mean to you.

There are also man-made laws. If your company cannot work with the set of laws valid in your country, then your company doesn't work, period. You can't cry over not being able to make a profit because they are so mean to you.

It's really selfish, stupid and ignorant to enjoy the nice things that laws and regulations give you, like having a civilized country, safety, clean streets, heck streets at all, the ability to make contracts and enforce them (absolutely essential for every business!) and a thousand other things, and then cry that the evil laws make your business impossible. Quite the opposite, you imbecile! The laws make your business possible in the first place. Without them, you wouldn't have a business, and if you tried the first guy with a bigger club would take it away from you.

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 338

by Rei (#49800067) Attached to: Crowdfunded, Solar-powered Spacecraft Goes Silent

I think it's pretty amazing that spacecraft can survive at all out there, given the sort of particles flying around - individual cosmic rays with the energy of fast-pitch baseballs. Thankfully, particles with such high energy have tiny cross sections (they prefer to move through matter rather than interact with it), and when they do hit something and create a shower of particles, most of the progeny is likewise super-high energy and will most likely just move through whatever it's in.

It's more interesting when they strike the atmosphere - each collision creates a new shower of other high energy particles, more and more, spreading out the energy as they descend. In the end, detectors on the surface over an area of dozens of square kilometers simultaneously pick up different pieces of the same cascade kicked off by a single cosmic ray collision.

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 129

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49799991) Attached to: Uber Revises Privacy Policy, Wants More Data From Users
We can only hope that Uber's notoriously...risk tolerant...approach to just ignoring regulations that they don't like will result in a lot of spam that is actually 'spam' for the purposes of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 being sent out.

That particular law is more or less a dead letter, given how easy covert or extraterritorial spamming is(and, of course, it's assorted gaping loopholes); but there are theoretical penalties that could stack up fast if you actually fuck up.

In this case, if grabbing people's contact lists doesn't count as 'email address harvesting' in the context of the prohibition on sending to harvested addresses, I'm not sure what would.

Honestly, it's downright impressive. Uber has managed to get markedly sleazier since they did their "Oh, 'god view' and threatening to stalk reporters who piss us off was naughty; we promise to be good..." charm offensive bullshit.

Comment: Re:Just...wow. (Score 5, Insightful) 98

by Rei (#49798823) Attached to: Hacked Emails Reveal Russian Plans To Obtain Sensitive Western Tech

No, fines for violating export laws.

Being slapped with massive fines is usually pretty good motivation for a company. And given that the US spends nearly half of the world's total military spending, and the EU a good chunk of the rest, simply "hopping overseas" and choosing to serve other markets isn't exactly the smartest of plans, financially.

It's idiodic for a company to wilfully risk sales of hundreds of thousands of units per year to NATO to sell a couple hundred units to Russia. Russia's economy is barely bigger than Canada's. And less than 80% the size of Brazil's.

Comment: Re:Just...wow. (Score 1) 98

by Rei (#49798769) Attached to: Hacked Emails Reveal Russian Plans To Obtain Sensitive Western Tech

You could start by reading more than the first paragraph.

1) They don't have "zero" capability, but they have way too little - only a few hundred modern imagers.

2) They have tried to buy them off ebay before. And it led to arrests. It's illegal to export military-grade night vision equipment without a license, and apparently sites like ebay are well monitored for potential violations.

Comment: Re:Hilarious! (Score 1) 215

by TheRaven64 (#49798705) Attached to: Chinese Nationals Accused of Taking SATs For Others

The same is true of university exams. My undergraduate exams, for example, mostly required that you answer two of three questions per exam. To get a first (for people outside the UK: the highest classification), you needed to get 70%. Most questions were around 40% knowledge and 60% application of the knowledge. If you could predict the topics that the examiner would pick, then that meant that you could immediately discard a third of the material. To get the top grade, you needed to get 100% in one question and 40% in another. This meant that you could understand a third of the material really well and understand another third well enough to get the repetition marks, but not the understanding ones and still get the top grade. This meant that you could study 50% of the material and still do very well in the exams, as long as you picked the correct 50%. And some of the lecturers were very predictable when setting exams...

Comment: Re:Doesn't get it (Score 1) 289

What jobs do you imagine existing in 10-20 years that don't require some understanding of programming? I thought my stepfather, as head greenskeeper at a golf course might have had one before he retired, but it turns out that the irrigation system that he had to use came with a domain-specific programming language for controlling it. A lot of farm equipment is moving in the same direction. Office jobs generally require either wasting a lot of time, or learning a bit of scripting (hint: the employees who opt for the first choice are not going to be the ones that keep their jobs for long). Jobs that don't require any programming are the ones that are easy to automate.

But, of course, we don't need to teach our children to write. After all, they can always hire a scribe if they need to and there really aren't enough jobs for scribes to justify teaching it to everyone.

Comment: Re:Impractical (Score 1) 550

by TheRaven64 (#49798347) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage
Why would I be stuck with the connector? For one thing, you can easily install adaptors - even if you'd rolled out USB A or B sockets, they'd still be supported everywhere and you can buy adaptors very cheaply. The main problem with a USB A socket (which is really the only one of the previous ones that you'd consider for charging) is the low power - it can only provide about 10W, even if you have some adaptor. USB C can provide 100W, and 100W seems like enough for a DC supply for quite a while.

But if I'd rolled out USB A sockets in 1995, I don't think I'd object strongly to replacing the faceplates on the sockets with USB C ones in the next five years, if the wires in the wall could supply the required power.

I have yet to see a USB-C connector yet, and I am usually a first adopter.

No one you know has a MacBook Air? Most of the next generation of mobiles are going to have USB C (Apple and Google are among the bigger backers), so expect to see a lot of them appearing.

Comment: Re:Important Question: WHICH DC? (Score 1) 550

by TheRaven64 (#49798309) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage
If you connect one of these to the existing AC main, then you're just moving the well wart into the socket. You still have one AC to DC converter for each device, and that particular device can only provide 2.1A at 5V, which is well below what USB-C supports (no charging a MacBook Air from it, for example).

Comment: Re:Great idea (Score 1) 83

Given that the store doing the advertising presumably stocks the banned goods, and it's a lot harder to hide physical merchandise in a hurry; I'd assume that the plan depends on the costs of being discovered being less than the value of the advertising, with the cute little trick being there to make it newsworthy, not to fool the cops(even if there were somehow zero machine vision errors or plainclothes cops in Russia; it can't be that uncommon for off-duty cops to wear street clothes; or for the families of police to talk to them).

There is probably a small but nonzero risk that, thanks to the buzz, some humorless enforcer will throw the book at them; but barring that the plan would appear to depend on the actual penalties for 'banned' goods being pretty toothless.

Comment: Re:EU food ban? (Score 3, Informative) 83

Yeah, but they "cheat" a lot - for example, Belarus has made a mint serving as a reshipping platform for European goods. And for some reason they left Iceland off their list even though we supported the sanctions against them. Still, it's caused major food price inflation (unsurprisingly). Seems kind of a weird way to punish Europe, it seems obvious it's going to have a lot more effect at home than abroad - Russia's trade in food goods with Europe makes up far more of its imports than Europe's trade in food goods with Russia makes up of its exports. But I guess they didn't have a lot of options for "retaliation". I mean, Gazprom is already nearly going broke as it is, turning off the spigots would have rapidly ensured that it did. Oil and gas make up half of their government budget and 2/3rds of their exports - it'd sure punish Europe, but it'd also be economic suicide.

I think they're really hoping that the sanctions will just expire and they'll be able to go back to raking in western capital again. Because if they don't expire, barring some huge unexpected oil price surge, those reserve funds are going to dry up. They expect it to be down to under $40B by the end of this year. What they're going to do when it runs out, I have no clue. They need dollars and euros to buy the goods that their undersized industrial sector can't manufacture. China's a help but not a solution; they don't have the lending power of the US or EU to begin with, and their goal seems to be more exploiting Russia over the situation than offering friendly aid. For example, they got Russia to agree to the cutthroat rates on the proposed "Power Of Siberia" pipeline that they'd been trying to get for years and to let them own greater than 50% stakes on fields inside Russia. They got Russia to sell them their most advanced air defense system despite the objections of the defense industry over concerns that China would do what they always do with new technology - reverse engineer it and then produce it domestically. But who else are they going to turn to? China's basically becoming Russia's "loan shark". And at the end of the day, if it came down to it and China had to chose between the Russian market and the 20-fold larger market of the US and EU? It's not even a contest.

The life of a repo man is always intense.