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Comment: Re:What about jobs? (Score 1) 417

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48635805) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

I have no "proof" same as any other "proof" out there. The world is a constantly shifting equilibrium, and I have no idea where the attractor may lie.

But I see a few things that were never possible before.

1) Satiety. What do we really NEED now. We need food, clothing, shelter. Other revolutions happened when a large part of the populace was wanting something but costs were too high for food or clothing, etc. We're now in a time of, for a lot of people, food surplus. Where's the demand coming from? Yeah, we can invent new tech, but how many TVs do you really need? Can that drive growth? I don't have the equations, but we're already seeing this in the US, Europe, and China to some extent. We're demand constrained, from both lack of rapidly growing need, and lack of wages to finance that need. Yes, i'm speaking somewhat USAcentric here (i know there is lack of food security elsewhere) but for good or bad, the American consumer economy is the gravity that all the other economic planets align around.

2) Information networks allow centralization as never before possible. Do you think Jeff Bezos is going to walk into your cafe? No, he lives in Washington. You ship money to him on a regular basis, but he makes damn sure he doesn't ship any back to you or your region. It's not just globalization, but a general shipping of resources to places that don't need to ship resources back, either to foreign shores or even local centrally located economies. This trend is not going to end any time soon.

3) Speed. The other revolutions took place over the course of decades, our current one is happening much faster. A contrived example, what if you spent money on becoming a MySpace consultant? You'd be making close to zero cash now. The ability for jobs to disappear seems (IMHO) faster than what humans can do, in the average sense, to learn skills for new ones.

I know I'm no expert, and not claiming to be, but it's something we need to think about. This isn't even a last year thing - our economy has been slowing for years. It was masked by two events, the first being wives working outside of the home bringing in more household cash. The second, is people using home equity as a credit card, using debt to mask lack of wage increases, and that contributed to a near global economic meltdown. Now that the Home Equity Line of Credit is gone, purchasing power growth is now reverting to wage growth and we're screwed.

Comment: Re:About Fucking Time (Score 1) 424

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48630891) Attached to: In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

"Real" Unemployment rate is whatever you measure, as long as you're consistent. We can call this "real" one U4 (currently around 6%), or the one you seem to like U6 which has dropped significantly since your reference. Both are better when Obama took office, when the nation was shedding jobs like crazy. Both are better overall even though the government has shed jobs since Obama took office (yes the government is smaller under Obama, you don't hear about that much). To get a better unemployment number, the private sector needs to grow to offset the losses in the public sector, and still some more. Obama's not doing a horrible job.

Obama did have a decent hand in lowering unemployment. It's just not enough. Even early on in the recession people told him to spend more, and he knew he couldn't get a real spending bill past Congress (and we're still at historically low interest rates on bonds, money is cheap! Build infrastructure, baby!). But, instead of saying "hey we need more, but this is all those suckers will give us" he was very "this should be enough". He never recovered from that. It truly is his mistake, and it cost him much in both sets of midterms.

There is a narrative that Democrats are lousy on the economy, when the economy tends to do better with Democratic Presidents.

As far as how many he should have added, hmm, that's a good question. Comparing to the 60's - hmmmmmm. We had a postwar dividend, in both pent up consumer demand, and baby boomers becoming new consumption targets. We didn't have globalization then. Japan and Germany were still recovering from the war. China wasn't even on the map economically. No Internet, no offshoring, no robots. It would be an interesting discussion on whether we could *ever* get back to that kind of increase. I have kids, I wish we could. But can they ever win a job from Watson?

Comment: C64 kind of used this (Score 1) 100

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48619047) Attached to: The Joker Behind the Signetics 25120 Write-Only Memory Chip Hoax

So, to squeeze all the memory in 16 bits of address line, certain areas were overlays. In particular, there was an overlay of video memory that overlapped app memory space. How did they work this out? Once your program was running and you mapped the additional memory in, any writes from user code went to the memory (no self modifying code) and any reads came from the video rasterizer.

From the perspective of your program, write only memory.

Comment: Re:Racist experiment (Score 1) 447

I was born a white guy in a neighborhood that was rapidly changing to Mexican. By the time I was a teenager, the transformation was pretty complete, and I was the only caucasian in my social group. I was the odd one out; since i didn't speak Spanish. I was liked and accepted in these groups, no big thing. I did stick out, mostly for language reasons. For a year I went to a predominately black school, again the odd one out. No issues there. But I did stick out. You can be unique and regarded as such, and still be respected and not prejudiced against.

My wife is Taiwanese. When I first started going to visit her family in TW about a decade ago (when we were dating) I tended to be the only caucasian I'd see in a day. If I saw another adoa (Taiwanese for white guy, non-derrogotory) we'd kind of smile. And people of color (black, asian Indian, arabic) etc. tended to be a once a week sighting. Again, nothing bad, more "you're not from around dese parts, is ya?"

I think a "majority" person becoming a minority in a situation is a good thing. It helps you think from the others point of view. Humans are tribal. We group and band for various reasons. I remember hearing about a school with identical school uniforms, where the students formed cliques on how they rolled up their socks. They just searched and found another way to be tribal. I don't think ignoring the fact that people cluster is a good thing. I think having people be able to step out of their cluster every once in a while and make sure you respect all the other clusters of people is pretty good.

As far as black and white, well, welcome to America. Black and white here have a history unlike any other. The only other group close would be Native American, and we pretty much marginalized them so much they're not even part of every day discourse. A good path to the world you want - and I want - where prejudices both large and subtle don't exist is through understanding. I'm not sure that decrying an experiment where you get to see the other side hurts understanding.

Comment: Re:Man, am I old ... (Score 2) 173

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48618559) Attached to: Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

C64 Cassette tape (Datasette I think was the name) here.

One of the best parts - the reader/writer head tended to be off alignment, so there were times you couldn't even share cassettes with your friends - though I was the only one with a Commodore computer anyway (the friends in my pay grade had no comp, my rich friends had Apple II series).

And my first computer had 2KB of RAM, I'm typing this from a 12Gb Desktop.

Comment: Re:Riiiiight. (Score 1) 232

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48586995) Attached to: Ford Ditches Microsoft Partnership On Sync, Goes With QNX

I don't want traction control to cut in a tenth of a second too late because the kernel was busy doing garbage collection, time synchronization, and handling an urgent warning that the oil temperature was too high.

I'll go one better, and not have my infotainment system hooked up to anything in the motortrain. That's just scary.

Ford has their own engine control computer, They're up to EEC-VII now, and they've ben running on PowerPC since the first 40x series came out in the mid 90's.

Comment: Re:I used to work on SYNC (Score 1) 232

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48586963) Attached to: Ford Ditches Microsoft Partnership On Sync, Goes With QNX

I have a non-logical like for Fords, even during the dark days, though the only Ford I had was an Escort EXP. GT40/GT350H halo effect maybe.

It always pained me for Ford to have such great quality numbers on build, maintenance, etc, then get pounded into sand by the fact that SYNC sucked donkey balls so hard. It seemed so tail-wag-the-dog. A $30000 car scuttled by lousy software. I'm so glad it's gone.

And WinCE6 + Flash? Really? Did they talk to any engineers at all about how that was going to crash and burn?

Comment: What about jobs? (Score 3, Insightful) 417

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48566243) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

AI may not kill us all in the Cyberdyne Model T100 fashion, but it may gut our economies.

Id love to see an analysis of what jobs are at risk in the next 10 years, 20 years, etc. Everybody says "well they'll find new jobs". Id really like to see where.

There's a glut of lawyers out there now, partly because of automation. Whatever you think about lawyers this is a knowledge job, one that takes a large amount of schooling and prep, protected somewhat by accreditation requirements. Lawyer jokes aside, this is a troubling change for employment.

We're not set up for a "all work is done by machines, nobody needs to work, everybody rejoice" future. Remember Romney and the 47%, or the Lucky Ducky talk. People are expected to work to gain food/clothing/shelter. If a huge amount of jobs are eliminated faster than humans can be trained to find new ones, or even the jobs that exist don't make sense (imagine a lawyer now, knowing they'll never make enough money to cover student loans) our Consumer Purchasing based economy will suffer.

Im a programmer, not a Luddite nor a Saboteur. I just wonder what the future brings for my kids. Remember that both the Luddites and les Sabot we're not protesting technology for technologies sake, they were protesting tech that eliminated jobs.

Comment: Security should be #1. (Score 1) 47

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48565019) Attached to: Bluetooth Gains Direct Internet Access, Security Enhancements

Shouldn't it be "makes it more secure and perhaps allows connectivity to Internet"

With all the holes we've seen in everything, security should be thought of the first minute, not even wait to the middle of first day of design. The only thing I saw in that landing page is "uses more encryption" which may improve information (read: privacy) leaks, but doesn't do much for security and being hacked into. This with the Sony hack still on the first page.

Comment: Re: Comcast Business Class (Score 4, Funny) 291

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48564883) Attached to: Comcast Sued For Turning Home Wi-Fi Routers Into Public Hotspots

If you're not using their wireless, just put the router in a metal box.

Then Comcast will charge you a Faraday Cage container upgrade. They'll say you need to have a field assistant do the install, they'll come out sometime between 1 and 11. That being months, as in sometime between 1 for January, and 11 for November. Then a $9.99 rental fee per month. Then you get calls from their friendly techs to have you upgrade to Faraday Cage Turbo(TM) for $5 a month more, or Faraday Cage Blast (TM) for just $8 a month more!!

Jokes aside, it does suck that Comcast is forcing this on everybody. It's good to be the king, err, monopoly.

Comment: SIDENOTE: how are clients authenticated (Score 1) 291

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48564839) Attached to: Comcast Sued For Turning Home Wi-Fi Routers Into Public Hotspots

Im forced to use Comcast based on lack of options where I live. I connected my iPhone (iOS8) to xfinitywifi once to download a podcast.. Later I reset all network connection info on the phone which should have lost all authentication info. On my home net, i had to re-authenticate. But, for some reason, I haven't had to re-auth on xfinitywifi.

Do they do authentication based on some client info? MAC addr? Some Passpoint auth? Even if I just did password auth without remembering, I do know I haven't done any time recently, and I thought you had to re-authenticate daily, which I'm 100% sure I have not.

I don't have Business Class, but I do have my own modem and Wifi router. Router is free from TMobile (technically not mine but a loan for the life of my relationship with TMobile). I sprung for a modem with VOIP abilities but since dropped phone service, or my modem would have been even cheaper. Look for DOCSIS3 compatible, if you're stuck with Comcast as i am.

Comment: Re:Really? .. it comes with the job (Score 1) 772

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48564759) Attached to: CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

Many of the connections to terrorism were tenuous at best, That someone you pick up that is "tied to the terrorist" could be the Subway "sandwich artist" that sold them a Pastrami foot long in the morning. If you then hung said condiment artisan them from a chain and applied some voltage, they would not only admit to the terrorizing, but they'd also admit to 9/11, admit to assassinating Archduke Ferdinand, and admit to blowing up the Maine and starting the Spanish-American war. You're usually just adding more hay to the haystack, not finding any new needles.

One of the big takeaways from the torture report is not only is torture wrong, but it's useless. So you dirty yourself for not a lot of gain. The mechanics of torture work closer to terror than you'd like to think. It's effective at scaring a big subset of your chosen population and emboldening a small subset. If you're a despot and trying to control a population, you probably can handle the said "emboldened" subset. But we're not talking control here, we're talking about getting actionable intelligence in a very short period of time. I remember a story where a captive was tortured and gave up nothing - but when an interrogator gave him sugar free cookies (he was diabetic) the interrogator seemed more human and gained trust and intelligence.

Comment: Re:They can go bite a donkey (Score 1) 698

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48550315) Attached to: French Publishers Prepare Lawsuit Against Adblock Plus

That and a conduit for malware.

In effect, the site is trying a social contract, i give you free stuff and you look at ads. Whether that can be an enforceable legal contract is interesting.

In the link above, we reference Zedo. I worked there early on. The initial design was that ads were a think to be both chosen and voted on, a primitive ad Like/Dislike button set if you can think it that way. We were steamrolled by Google/Doubleclick early on and abandoned that model early on, but it would be interesting (in a theoretical vacuum) to see if the ad choice model would catch on. I particularly liked the Lego Mindstorms ad, which actually had you program a sequence to get a robot to move to a goal around obstacles. When was the last time you actually interacted with an ad? What would the world look like if ads were competing on likeability and not on how much info someone knows about you?

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay

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