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Comment: And Keep Down ROK Missile Tech (Score 1) 360

by cmholm (#48659345) Attached to: North Korean Internet Is Down

As part of a '70's memorandum of understanding between the US and ROK, giving the ROK access to some US missile technologies, they agreed to limit the range of their missiles, about 180km. Recently, the MoU has been modified, allowing the ROK to design and deploy a ballistic missile that can hit any part of the DPRK.

And, to reply to dj245's comment as to exactly who's to blame for tensions on the DMZ, tension is the very thing that gives the DPRK government legitimacy. They deploy tension whenever they feel the political and/or economic need. It is possible that if the US unilaterally withdrew its forces, the result would be nothing. But, that's a guess. What's known is that with US forces in harm's way, the DPRK's military commission has to take the possibility of massive US intervention into account.

Comment: Welcome To The Informal Economy, Prole (Score 1) 628

by cmholm (#48645695) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Abstracted, what Davidow, Malone, et al are describing is an economy where the endeavors of the greater mass of people is almost completely divorced from that of the owners of capital. We can already see examples of this in a number of countries where the formal, taxed, audited economy is dominated by extraction industries, where the elite skim a major fraction of the income from mining/petro, import most of their consumption goods from abroad, and leave most citizens to make their own luck.

The "make their own luck" segment is the informal economy that most people in the third world depend on for their daily bread. Public services are slim to none, and what infrastructure there is oftentimes depends on the bribes/unofficial payments, since the state intents most formally budgeted public enterprises to be self-financing. Luanda, Angola and Kinshasa, Zaire are excellent living laboratories. But, we expect this in Africa, parts of the Mideast, and swaths of Asia. What the HBR study is really anticipating is the transition of the greater fraction of First World economies to this mode.

The idea that we can survive this transition via the sharing economy, the maker economy, the decentralized manufacturing economy is theoretically possible. But, exactly what level of "survival" are we talking? Given the current politics in the US, we are draining capital and resources from the bottom 99% faster than they (we) can reorganize to optimize an economic readjustment.

Comment: Difference Between GOP & Democratic Party (Score 1) 346

dgatwood's observations on US political tendencies starts off well, but I think goes off the rails at the bullet points.

Abstracted: “There’s not a dime’s difference between the Democrats and Republicans.” (coined by George Wallace; reused by Ralph Nader)

It's this sort of thinking that led a significant number of useful idiots to play at left-wing politics by voting Nader in 2000. I think the differences in outcomes between what we'd have likely seen from a Gore Administration and what we actually got from GWB are self-evident. It was certainly obvious to voters between '00 and '04, when Nader's national total dropped from 2.8 million to

Underestimating what brownish people are capable of, wasting hundreds of thousands of lives, pissing away trillions in treasure, and scamming via a mirror image of LBJ's guns and butter budget with a Republican guns and diamonds if that's a dime, my da kine is a redwood.

Comment: Case In Point: Maui Electric (Score 2) 516

by cmholm (#48465935) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?
A few years back, Maui Electric upgraded their power distribution system by replacing wooden poles with steel towers. The claim was that the towers are much more typhoon-resistant, and I'm sure they are. However, given the aerodynamics of round cable, it's a given that the lines will still part in a gale. Why not bury the line? Because for most parts of the island, you hit blue rock (solid lava) within a few feet, and it's expensive to trench through. On the flip side, you only need to trench once, but Maui Electric decided to play the odds and go cheap.

Comment: Great, Another "2nd Amendment Solution" Fetishist (Score 1) 202

by cmholm (#48390347) Attached to: Department of Justice Harvests Cell Phone Data Using Planes

According to the US constitution, arms is the correct approach to governmental oppression.

Ah, no, but thanks for playing. We are currently at a phase when civil participation in the political process is the correct approach. An armed approach is inefficient, and repeated resort to that approach leads to repeated resort to that approach. In addition, to burst a popular bubble, if you're imaging armed participation, it's very likely someone will pry it out of your cold, dead hands.

If you let a reasonably open and civil political system get to the point where an armed approach is the efficient solution, you've been sitting on the sidelines and/or remained clueless for too long. Just to be clear regarding our current situation, how you feel about cultural issues, "Obamacare", or abortion aren't relevant.... until someone comes along who really does care how you feel about it, and uses all that neat anti-terrorist infrastructure to show just how much.

Changing the oil is greatly preferable to replacing the engine.

Comment: Another Gated Community (Score 2) 237

by cmholm (#48384337) Attached to: Will Lyft and Uber's Shared-Ride Service Hurt Public Transit?

I don't begrudge Lyft and Uber as an experiment in alternative transport. I think the growing sharing culture is a symptom of middle class economic stagnation, such that people are "driven" to monetize the spare capacity in their personal transport, their homes, etc.

What concerns me is that they are likely cherry picking transportation consumers. Those who can normally afford to spring for Lyft are then less likely to use public transport, and become alienated to its broader utility, much as those who live in gated communities aren't as concerned about addressing the crime rate in the surrounding community.

Comment: A Poetic Simulation? (Score 1) 745

by cmholm (#46262429) Attached to: Mathematician: Is Our Universe a Simulation?

We are a pattern recognizing species. Mathematics is but a means of description, of writing out the patterns we see. Another is spoken or written prose, or poetry. Are we a poetic imagining within the mind of a (relatively) god-like Li Bai/Hafez/Yeats. Anthropocentrism by any other name would seem as likely.

Comment: 1995: "Unbundle The OS, 2014: "Unbundle The H/w" (Score 3, Interesting) 249

by cmholm (#46183661) Attached to: Wozniak To Apple: Consider Building an Android Phone

The margins on Android phones are razor thin. Apple has complete control over the iPhone, giving them a plausible rationale for marketing a premium phone. If they release an Android phone, that rationale evaporates.

How well has Nokia made out since dumping Symbion and MeeGo for someone else's OS? Yeah, that bad.

Comment: Fahrenheit 451 Opening Sequence (Score 1) 212

by cmholm (#45867887) Attached to: First US Public Library With No Paper Books Opens In Texas

Moments after the enabling regulations for the Banning Of Other Known Sources of Sufficiently Unverified Codexes ("BOOKS SUC") Act of 2051 are published, e-book readers across the nation delete all content excepting certain approved technical references. Subsequently, the long work of weeding out the hoarded dead tree editions begins.

The Tao is like a glob pattern: used but never used up. It is like the extern void: filled with infinite possibilities.