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Comment: or there is another agenda at work. (Score 1) 201

by aurispector (#46971967) Attached to: $7 USB Stick Aims To Bring Thousands of Poor People Online

It's also not clear if this is just another get rich quick scheme using poor africans as fodder. When they start talking about selling "inexpensive" devices that are "affordable" your bullshit detector should go off. A while back someone was flogging a solar powered usb battery used to charge cell phones that was going to "revolutionize" etc., these poor african communities for the low low price of $125 or whatever. A quick check of revealed a product with identical specs retailing for about half that much. Hence actual cost was probably 30% or more lower.

In this case, puppy linux has had this capability for several years and thumb drives bought in bulk cost pennies. Exactly whom does this project benefit the most?

Comment: Not a problem at all (Score 1) 107

by aurispector (#46557155) Attached to: Startup Employees As an Organized Labor Group

Why is this a problem? The entire premise of this article is false. People (at least for now) are free to make their own decisions, no matter how stupid. Don't like the prospects? Get a different job. Encoding this kind of entitlement mentality into law is not only counter to the entire entrepreneurial engine that powers the US economy, but is a death knell for the same. Make the US anything but the absolute best place in the world to start up a business and you kill the start up market. Large established companies don't innovate but they do provide stability. Start ups are exactly the opposite. The entire point is high risk and reward.

Comment: Re:20 year old news? (Score 2) 521

by aurispector (#45796513) Attached to: Ford Rolls the Dice With Breakthrough F-150 Aluminum Pickup Truck

Yep. This is one of the coolest things to come out of American car manufacturing in decades and will have a far greater environmental impact than every hybrid vehicle produced thus far. Hybrids will always be a sham feel-good item due to their reliance on expensive exotic materials for the batteries.

AFAIK this is the first time a major manufacturer has gone all aluminum for a popular mass market product. Cutting weight is something so basic yet so crucial to future auto manufacturers it's a wonder no other manufacturer has tried it, but the cost and risk of switching to aluminum is the most obvious reason. However, due to it's wide use for years in aircraft manufacturing the chief reason would appear to be cost. Other than that there appears to be no reason why it won't succeed.

Now for the next leap: all composite material vehicles!

Comment: Re:Fuck the TSA (Score 2) 337

by aurispector (#45431799) Attached to: TSA Screening Barely Working Better Than Chance

Because you can't implant enough to be certain of causing destruction of the plane? It's an interesting question. The fluids thing is actually based on a real threat from binary liquid explosives so the ban on larger bottles is rational. The other thing is that the screening process was developed in Israel and has been found effective in identifying terrorists. It's hard to find an actual terrorist bent on killing in order to test the method but Israeli experience is a good indicator.

The point is that perhaps the way they're measuring "effectiveness" of the technique is fatally flawed, not to make a pun.

Comment: Re:And people called Atlas Shrugged Fiction.... (Score 1) 702

by aurispector (#45411591) Attached to: Venezuela: Cheap Television Sets For All!

You have absolutely no clue about the economics of health care or economics in general. Importation has nothing to do with the failures of socialism. One of the main drivers of increased cost is malpractice liability and neither obamacare nor socialism do anything to address that. Your apparently unquestioned belief in the good obamacare will supposedly deliver, betrays your lack of critical thinking skills. I suggest you look up something they call the "law of supply and demand" for more information. If you artificially decrease prices as is being done in venezuela for televisions and in the US for health care, supply drops. In the case of the US health care market, the fact that primary care physicians are leaving the profession in droves should be a clue. Sure, you can replace them with less well trained proviiders like nurse practitioners but then overall quality suffers. Of course, a good party member toes the line for political correctness. March forward into bright, shining future of democratic party, comrade!

Comment: Re:Rupert Murdoch can die in a hole already. (Score 1) 327

You aren't cynical, you're realistic, which is exactly why government has no business being in, well, business. The political influences present in an open market are a thousand times worse when the it's government that is the only player.

I swear, half of the people posting here have never been in the real world, the other half don't understand the meaning of the word "politics".

Comment: Re:Rupert Murdoch can die in a hole already. (Score 0, Troll) 327

If you're not making money, you're losing money. But only a government can simply tax you for more or worse borrow it and let your kids pay it back.

Put the government in charge of the Sahara desert and in five years it will run out of sand. Any organization tends toward inefficiency. A free and open competitive market tends to put pressure on participants to be efficient.

Governments have no idea how to run a tech (or any) business except to make it late, over budget and under spec. Every decision is made for political rather than economic reasons. The only people who think that's a good idea are fools that thing government is always good, or wolves that want the power.

Which are you?

Comment: When tech companies start being run by business... (Score 1) 78

by aurispector (#44433389) Attached to: Alcatel-Lucent Cuts Go Deeper — 7,500 Jobs Gone and Counting

Anytime a tech company starts being run by business types they tank. The business guys have no idea what really drives the company and inevitably see R&D as an unnecessary expense. HP went from a tech innovator to a company pimping branded products made in china and designed by monkeys.

It's only when you get that rare combination of technical AND business savvy that you get an Apple or HP in the first place.

Comment: Re:too much (underlying) left-wing bias for my tas (Score 3, Insightful) 297

This times eleventy billion. If congress, etc., didn't want the NSA they could change it. Besides, the ability to view private communication has been a core capability and even the purpose of national spy organizations forever.

The larger question is what government is allowed to do with it. Honestly it would be disappointing, even outrageous if the NSA didn't have the technical ability to collect this kind of data. Being on the cutting edges of information gathering and technology were crucial in the allies winning WW2, for instance. Certainly russia and china are champing at the bit to do it. This is the major reason why they keep pushing to "decentralize the internet" and wrest control from the US for their own purposes.

The hijacking of government for political purposes (e.g., the IRS scandal) is far more worrying simply because it's a clear indicator that those in power have no qualms about abusing it. Hence ultimately you could blame not congress but rather the electorate.

Comment: Re: 29 years old (Score 3, Informative) 432

by aurispector (#44208927) Attached to: Silicon Valley In 2013 Resembles <em>Logan's Run</em> In 2274

Gosh darn that silly market for determining wages.

It's not just the IT market, it's ANY market - if you're over 40 and don't have very specific technical skills you're unemployable.

No company wants the increased wage and insurance costs, not to mention having to deal with employees who actually know how to negotiate instead of being fearfully compliant.

Of course, walmart is hiring. There is that.

Comment: Re:Sorry, you're wrong here. (Score 3, Insightful) 311

by aurispector (#43894837) Attached to: With Sales Down, Whale Meat Flogged As Source of Strength

The "corporations" are not greedy. Saying they are is like saying guns kill people. The PEOPLE that run the corporations are responsible. Furthermore, their actions are entirely legal under Japanese law - laws set by their elected government.

It's really no different that that old "beef, it's what's for dinner!" ad campaign. Running an ad campaign is simply an effort to sell their product and maintain cash flow so everyone working for the corporation still has a job. The part you seem not to grasp is that if they go broke, they can't simply tax rich people for more money like a socialist government. Run out of money and everyone is out of a job.

In the end, if the Japanese decide they don't like whaling it they can vote for representatives who can change the laws. In the meantime it's simple supply and demand. Economic forces are what will ultimately stop whaling, not a bunch of whining hippies.

Comment: Re:New phone every month? (Score 0) 329

by aurispector (#43694245) Attached to: The Days of Cheap, Subsidized Phones May Be Numbered

WHO doesn't need a smartphone? For anyone who works and needs email and web access it's a must-have. I could not function anywhere near as efficiently without one. Phone, email, scheduling/calender/contacts all go everywhere with me. Google maps is extremely useful on the road. It's not a ball and chain, it's the key to freedom - otherwise I would be stuck at a desk all day.

"I may kid around about drugs, but really, I take them seriously." - Doctor Graper