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Comment Cry me a river (Score 4, Interesting) 457

Sun destroyed the market for Java.
Sun wanted to sell hardware, and they designed Java to run well with their hardware. Sun's ideal was the network is the computer. Java is/was a client language that could run on a lot of platforms, with in Sun's mind a Sun server at the other end. Didn't quite work out that way. Sun was going belly up, Oracle bought the carcass. Sun gave Java away. You can't put the jinni back in the bottle.
Java was worthless when Oracle bought Sun. They're engaged in revisionist history trying to milk a dead cow.

Submission + - Why Are There Still So Many Jobs?

Paul Fernhout writes: MIT economist David H Autor has written an article entitled "Why Are There Still So Many Jobs? The History and Future of Workplace Automation". His article is a good read to understand the best of emerging mainstream economics thinking on technology and employment.

I feel his article leaves out some fundamental political aspects of the situation like I brought together in "Beyond a Jobless Recovery: A heterodox perspective on 21st century economics"). His article of course assumes consumer demand is infinite (despite Maslow's hierarchy of needs suggesting people more to more low-cost self-actualization activities over time). It assumes that the business benefits of employing a human will always outweigh the costs for many jobs (despite strikes, lawsuits, quality, illness, turnover). It assumes humans will always have special advantages over AIs and robots. It ignores whether some aspects of the economy (like long pipelines to become a professor) are really needed or are just protectionism. It ignores the social impact of rich/poor divides on working conditions and the operation of a capitalist economy itself. It ignores the value to the worker of the intrinsic nature of the work (i.e. some people may just be less happy in service jobs compared to agriculture or manufacturing). It ignores deeper issues of rethinking work as play (like Bob Black wrote about). It also ignores (incidentally, in relation to humans vs. robots) that "comparative advantage" only applies theoretically when you have "full employment". The article jumps between proving some points with numbers and then making other points as "strong hunches" or by quoting suggestions about technological unemployment from fifty years ago (quoting Herbert Simon). His prescription is of course mostly just more "education" — which is nice job security for a professor. :-) But, within those sorts of limits, it's an excellent article which makes many good points, especially about the dynamics of economic networks as different parts of them are automated. The article has many interesting facts and figures. His points on how jobs are a mix of tasks which different near-term prospects for automation is excellent. And his point about human jobs changing as people work together with automation is well made. So, his article provides a good base for further study and/or rebuttal of the mainstream position. His article could be a good starting point for anyone writing an economic simulation, to see what really happens to economic networks based on distributing the right to consume based on perceived contribution to production as such networks undergo severe stress from automation.

Comment Interesting mod of a waterproof tablet (Score 1) 50

At least one version of the Sony Xperia tablet is waterproof. They also make a waterproof phone.
The issue is chlorine breaks down the the seals. All Google had to do is replace the seals with a chlorine resistant compound.
Xperia have a "glove" mode, so that takes care of that problem.
The result is probably much cheaper than an industrial tablet, or computer.

Submission + - Slimy Health Insurance companies

chromaexcursion writes: Aetna seems to have declared war against Xarelto.
It's a new (still under patent, no generic) drug to fight blood clots. Xarelto has some issues, it does not work well with a small percentage of the population, but there's a test for that. After passing that blood test it is very effective. It has few side effect, and few drug interactions (other than the obvious aspirin and Nsaids).
The problem is there's a cheap drug Coumadin (warfarin) that has a ton of side effects, and a list of bad drug interactions a mile long. Worse the effect of a given dosage of warfarin varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Even as bad as one production run to another from the same manufacturer. These problems mean any wafarin user needs a blood test AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH, sometime more often. Doctors have been switching long term blood thinner need to Xarelto. For obvious safety and convenience issues. The real slime of Aetna's choice is that blood tests, which are covered variably. patients may pay considerably out of pocket for the blood test they need. How do I know. I just cancelled my Aetna policy, got a new one from a different company. I've spent the day on the phone with my doctor's office trying to deal with this. They've had a LOT of problems with Aetna. I'm a high priced computer geek. I had a gold plan with Aetna. Aetna isn't trying to cut out the low end.
The worst part is, Xarelto come up on Aetna's web site as Formulary Brand, which means it might cost a bit more depending on the plan. But Formulary means covered. Somehow Aetna has warped Formulary into non-preferred.
Thank god there's a Feb 15 change deadline. I have a new ins, and Xarelto is even brand preferred (cheaper).
Ins companies can be stupid. Some only see the direct cost. Not the indirect cost of ER visits due to bad drug interactions.
Doctors NEED to decide medication. Aetna has crossed the line.
For the idiots that said the US government is setting up kill lists with the affordable healthcare act. Well, they're just stupid, because I didn't get the Aetna policy through healthcare.gov.
some cheap ass corporate accountant decided.
Corporate America is trying to kill me, and you. Figure it out

Comment Finally the idiots stop believing sympathic magic (Score 2) 180

That consuming cholesterol actually causes an increase in someone's cholesterol level was never well founded.
It has always fallen in the sympathetic category from any evidence I've ever seen. Tropical oils, which have no cholesterol seem to cause far more problems than butter and eggs.
Diet is the least well understood health issue. Worse, it varies widely between individuals. Perhaps the in'duh'viduals in the FDA have finally caught on.
Given the number of times they've revised dietary recommendations, one can only assume doctors must have been (maybe still are) really ignorant; at least about diet.

NOTE: I said ignorant. For a profession that likes to present itself as all knowing that is an issue. To deny it is stupid.

Comment CONTRACT! (Score 0) 157

When you buy one of those DRM games there is an implicit contract. The seller has agreed to provide authorization.
Contracts work both ways.
I believe Sony has already run into this problem.
All it takes is one class action suit (for the value of the purchase price of the game per plaintiff) against the current copyright holder to make it too expensive for any company to shut down the servers. Yes, it will take free legal services to do it, but they seem to be available.
In the cases where no one shows up to defend the copyright it's the best possible answer. The copyright is unclaimed and the work is either in public domain or worthless. No more DMCA.

Comment good CHEAP phone (Score 1) 177

I saw an "underwhelming post" must have been a -1. I was hoping to respond to it.
some people want this to compete with an apple or samsung.
Get a life!
This is a cheap phone that works.
Is it spectacular? Full featured?
NO, but it works! too many idiots have no clue. this a a good phone, for the 3rd world.

Comment Perhaps you've heard of GPS (Score 1) 289

GPS doesn't directly need leap seconds, but it relies on astronomical calculations that do.
I write software that deals with leap seconds. I don't write the stuff that actually calculates them, but I have to make sure not to break it. One of the mottos of the company I work for is "it is rocket science".
A second is a small enough margin of error to be allowable. Most time systems are based on seconds, so that's the smallest reasonable choice.
For the jokers. An error of 1 minute would be 1 nautical mile (almost 2 km). Which is 1 minute of latitude (60 minutes in a degree). Funny how minute and nautical mile are the same.
I'm an astro geek, and a sailor, don't piss in my yard.

Prototype designs always work. -- Don Vonada

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