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Comment: Re: Flash panic (Score 1) 143

by bondsbw (#47555441) Attached to: OKCupid Experiments on Users Too

Specifically regarding getting you to purchase something you wouldn't have, well, I don't see that as bad. You buy stuff because that stuff is worth more to you than the money is sitting in your wallet. That is what every honest transaction is...an exchange that favors both parties.

Shady practices like making it difficult to redeem a coupon are a different story, and frankly should be illegal.

Comment: Re:Flash panic (Score 1) 143

by bondsbw (#47554581) Attached to: OKCupid Experiments on Users Too

When we (academics) do experiments on people however trivial we usually have to go through ethical clearance, get informed consent etc.

Academic experiments have external results, publishing findings as scientific research. Business experiments have internal results, data mining with the goal of increasing profits (via providing better value to the consumer, at least in capitalist theory).

Well, at least, I can hope the results stay internal to the business. As with data mining in general, that's not always the case. But perhaps this becoming a mainstream topic will end with a framework on which to judge companies that release "experiment" data about their customers.

Comment: Re:Could be a different route involved for the VPN (Score 1) 393

It seems the easiest way to get to the bottom of this is for Netflix to allow a third party to send packets from Netflix IP addresses on its backbone connections through the last-mile service providers to endpoints owned by the third party. If the packets transmit at the same or expected rates, the problem is with Netflix. If not, it's with the ISP or backbone provider.

Assuming Netflix had nothing to hide, they should be fine with allowing this. Same with Verizon.

Comment: Re:Best Wishes ! (Score 2) 322

by bondsbw (#47520141) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

A single UI experience (fixed and fluid layouts) isn't the right way to think about it. Doing that ends in apps that work well for one device but not others.

Web design has already solved this problem in the form of adaptive and responsive design. Make your app conform to the space it is given. Windows 8 apps have this capability, where many provide a somewhat different (phone-like) UI when in snap view, i.e. when the horizontal space is limited.

Going one step further, I really like ideas like those promised in Ubuntu for tablets (http://www.ubuntu.com/tablet). It goes a step further by having the UI respond to the type of input that is available. Using a touchscreen gets a full-screen UI, add a mouse/keyboard gives you windowed UI, putting it on a TV gives yet a different UI.

(I'm thinking Windows Threshold is going in the direction of Ubuntu for tablets. But legacy apps will remain for many years, and that limitation will unfortunately stall some of the efforts to build an OS based on adaptive design principles.)

Comment: Re:Local testing works? (Score 1) 778

by bondsbw (#47501409) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

The US government has no legal authority to redistribute wealth.

Um... have you not heard of the welfare system? My solution is similar but without many of the overhead costs, without targeting industries that hire unskilled laborers, and without being subject to corruption and abuse.

I understand that you may have a problem with redistribution of wealth. Unfortunately for you, I doubt you'll ever see it removed from our government. It's political suicide. So wouldn't you at least agree with me that making it better and more fair would be a reasonable goal?

Comment: Re:It gets worse... (Score 1) 667

by bondsbw (#47500561) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

When I first heard the story, enough info had come out to assume it was an accident. The "rebels" had fired at a plane they thought was an enemy military plane. A huge inept tragedy, yes, but not a political maneuver.

But then materials were being withheld from public scrutiny. No admission of guilt. Looting the crash site and taking materials over to Russia. Propaganda. What could have been a simple footnote in the history of this conflict may now be a political turning point of war.

Then again, maybe they are hiding something we don't already know. That's the only competent reason for all of this secrecy.

Comment: Re:Local testing works? (Score 1) 778

by bondsbw (#47496451) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Additionally, I think X should be supplied on a card showing the person's ID. It could be used only for specific basic needs goods and services, such as food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, child care, transportation, sanitation, education, and so on.

The government should never have the role of supplying anyone with luxuries, entertainment, and illicit activity. Those would still be bought using the employer-provided wage (so it's not like minimum-wage workers would never get to go to see a movie).

Comment: Re:Local testing works? (Score 2) 778

by bondsbw (#47496429) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Punishing industries built on unskilled labor is my problem. It makes more sense to place the burden of welfare on the whole economy, via taxes, since the government is the only entity in the position to redistribute wealth.

In my vision, the government would supply the first $X of everyone's wage, and pays for it by increases in income tax. This gives a huge stimulus to unskilled industries founded on a large number of laborers. Now instead of having to pay everyone a minimum of $7.25/hour, they pay $7.25 - X.

I don't think we have to set X at $7.25. That would be no good as many industries would get free labor, and people would be hired on the government dime to just sit around and do nothing for 40 hours a week. Someone smarter in economics than myself would figure out X, but perhaps it would be something like $5/hour.

"Wouldn't Walmart and McDonald's just set their wage to $0 anyway, and make workers suffer with $5/hour? Isn't that going backwards?"

No, they would soon find themselves in a position of needing to compete for unskilled labor. (Whoa, the thought!) So they would add some wage on top of the government subsidy, and that would settle at a natural competitive level. That might be $4/hour or whatever as it fits their business model.

And X would adjust as needed over time to balance the economy.

Comment: Re:Using bitcoins requires capital gain/loss calc (Score 1) 152

by bondsbw (#47487673) Attached to: Dell Starts Accepting Bitcoin

You totally missed the point of my post.

I don't know why you got hung up on the word "the", when the point was to refute the assertion that a middleman is worthless. I never said it was a currency middleman or an asset middleman... and I don't disagree with your analysis... but that makes no difference to my argument.

Comment: Re:Not actually accepting bitcoins. RTFA (Score 1) 152

by bondsbw (#47487661) Attached to: Dell Starts Accepting Bitcoin

From what I'm seeing at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M..., the Federal Reserve did appear to create a larger amount of money than normal during that period, but not on the scale I meant with "enormous". I was talking about doubling the money supply in a year or two (or worse).

I agree that inflation helps the economy by driving people to spend money instead of hoarding it. A little more inflation during a depression is needed to offset the effects of the depression. But that only works to a certain degree. At any time if the currency inflates too much, other currencies will become more attractive (at least in the bank).

Comment: Re:Not actually accepting bitcoins. RTFA (Score 1) 152

by bondsbw (#47487135) Attached to: Dell Starts Accepting Bitcoin

For all its faults, fiat currency is way more stable over time than bitcoin and its derivatives.

Are you seriously comparing the length of time most government currencies have been around to a virtual currency 5 years old?

Besides, government-backed currencies aren't immune to crashing. In particular, if the government thinks it's a good idea to create itself an enormous amount of new money, that currency will likely fail. (Something that doesn't happen with Bitcoin and derivatives because, by design, supply will be limited over time.)

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