Price inelasticity causes a loss of far more jobs than price elasticity. What people don't seem to understand about elastic prices (both for goods/services and labor), is it's the market's method of redirecting resources to where society deems most satisfactory. No one wants to commute via horse and buggy, but instead prefer cars? Prices reflect that. To not allow such things to happen is foolish.
An unconditional minimum income is just another subsidy to those who don't work. If we deem that having people not work is a good thing, then yes, we should implement such a thing.
It seems that you are confused about two things:
First, it appears you believe that labor is relatively specific: that individuals, once trained in a career, have a very difficult time changing careers. This is simply not the case; only 27% of people work in a job related to their degree. It is very common for people to get a degree in one thing and work in something unrelated; or, to work in one area for a while, then shift to something else later down the road. Personally, I received my education in a dying industry; it was hard to find jobs or make any real money, so I moved to a growing industry. I am better off because I can more easily make ends meet and the market is better off because consumers' desires have successfully reallocated one of the scarcest of all resources (labor) from an over-saturated industry to an under-saturated one.
Second, you claim that automation shifts the limiting factor of industrial output away from manpower and towards energy and other land factors. Again, this is not the case. Automation increases the productivity of labor, which is of course a scarce resource. Capital goods have existed since as far back as the human race. No society has ever experienced a lower standard of living due to the automation that capital goods provide. Society has not become worse off because the plow was invented or because computers become so affordable as to be an everyday appliance. Such tools have allowed for things that once took a great deal of time and labor to now take much less (or in some cases, no) time or labor; this simply frees up the labor to work on new problems that were once of too low a priority for society to direct resources towards.
It may very well be that there is a mythology of "justification through hard work," which is quite unfortunate. But such a belief is silly and trivially disproved. No one gets rich working 16 hours a day making the largest mud pie in the world (at least, not unless society deems such a thing useful). Lastly, the market economy is a system which responds dynamically to consumers' demands; by definition, the more efficient the market economy is, the better it is meeting the needs and wants of those involved. I so no reason why we would not want maximum effectiveness from such a system. The effectiveness *is* the end the system exists to achieve.
That poster was actually me (both the person who you disagree with and agree with). By turning the volume knob to 11, what I was trying to emphasize was that sending square waves/distortion to speakers is not necessarily enough in and of itself. It must be at a sufficient power level to generate enough heat to melt the voice coil shielding. And yes, you're right, it's very difficult to cause speaker failure from excursion. Tweeters are notoriously known for being sensitive to square waves, which are essentially what laptop speakers are: performing the sort of limiting that others in this thread have talked about will only perpetuate the square wave problem. It's nice to see someone who understands that.
I agree with everything you've said; I think I simply miscommunicated earlier (I'm pretty sure you agree with me too, if my communication were more precise). And yes, back to Dell, I think there's a good chance that they underpowered the speakers (for some reason, this seems standard practice?). But there's also the possibility that the user sent square(ish) waves from VLC player, causing the distortion that we're talking about, which led to the cooling problems that we've discussed, ultimately resulting in the demise of the voice coil. We don't have enough information to know for sure. However, considering that it truly is in Dell's best interest to keep the peace and maintain customer satisfaction, I find it more likely that the end user is to blame, not Dell. But then, maybe Dell is a company that likes to dodge out of warranty claims? It's all guess work at this point.
Meanwhile, in the real world, we have to deal with compromise. What you call bad design, others call a bargain. Not every component is designed for every workload; even bridges are designed with load assumptions. It is not economically viable to make everything to the greatest durability possible. If it is important to you that every single thing be as min/max'ed as possible, you are welcome to find a manufacturer that obliges such tastes and fork over a premium for it.
A speaker should be designed to handle a DC source at its given specs. If it cannot, then its power rating due to overheating or whatever else, it should be derated until the current is low enough to handle the situation without damage.
That is asinine. It is the speaker that draws power; it is not up to some "rating" to determine how much power is given to the speaker. If you plug a 200W speaker into a 100W amplifier and open the amplifier up to full, that 200W speaker will try to draw 200 watts of power, likely overwhelming and destroying the amplifier.
It's not just the shape of the wave, but the amount of power behind it, how much heat that generates on the voice coil, and how resilient the voice coil is. Such an exploit would only work under ideal circumstances: most likely, a high-powered sound system turned up very loud. I mean, it's not exactly rocket science to not surf the internet with your computer plugged into a high-powered system with the volume cranked to 11.
Honestly, I have not read the article and I am not at all familiar with the details of what happened in this particular case. My comment was directed solely at the comment to which I replied. That said, my guess is that, if Dell is being even remotely honest (and they have every reason to be), their conclusion that the customer abused the sound system is very likely true. I would be rather surprised if you can't blow any decent sound system by maxing out its volume knob and sending 200% (or whatever the maximum volume is) VLC music through it.
I never said it was like a low frequency square wave. And it's not really like a "hot mix"; it takes that to an extreme (but, let's face it, hot mixes are all ready pretty extreme). The point is, the closer you get to square wave range, 1) the more potential for damage exists, 2) the worse things sound. Perhaps the best example as to what I'm referring to is taking a CD produced 20 or 30 years ago, put it in a high powered sound system and crank it up towards the upper limits of the sound system. Now, take a "hot mix" CD from yesterday and put it in the system. Do not be surprised if speakers blow. My point is, there's enough color to the signal that I don't think a simple filter will do the trick. That and, yes, what I'm referring to with VLC going "above 100%" is that it's essentially making an extreme "hot mix" and that is dangerous.
 Even CD's produced 20 or 30 years ago are still normalized, I'm quite sure. The peak power output between the old CD and the new should be roughly equivalent; any difference should be due entirely to how well the mix covers the frequency spectrum (definite edge to new CD). It's amazing what mass quantities of compression and limiting can do to speakers.