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Comment: Re:This could be political too (Score 1) 274

by guanxi (#47309019) Attached to: China Starts Outsourcing From<nobr> <wbr></nobr>... the US

That's just one example, and they do make their mistakes (as does everyone). Here are some successes:

  * Bloomberg and other news organizations openly refuse to publish reports critical of the Chinese government.
  * Major US universities sacrifice academic freedom in order to get funding for Confucius Institutes
  * Hollywood films that you may have watched last night are written and edited to appease Chinese censors.
  * Norway's government refused to meet the Dalai Lama, to appease China.
  * Taiwan has diplomatic relations with few countries, because they don't want to anger China.

Comment: This could be political too (Score 3, Interesting) 274

by guanxi (#47308493) Attached to: China Starts Outsourcing From<nobr> <wbr></nobr>... the US

The Chinese government is very strategic about creating 'soft power' (political, cultural, economic, and diplomatic influence; as opposed to 'hard power', which is typically military force or economic sanctions). Look up Confucius Institutes and the Three Warfares, for example. China also uses its market power to get what it wants politically; look up how Hollywood studios allow Chinese censors to edit their movies (and not just for Chinese distribution).

It's not a new idea to use jobs to create influence. Government contractors locate jobs in the districts of key members of Congress in order to get votes; when Japan's auto industry was viewed as a threat, the built factories in the U.S.

In the locations where Chinese companies are placing jobs, how likely is it that the people or their representatives will support sanctions, force, or any actions detrimental to China?

(China isn't the only country to do such things, of course, but they have a lot of money, an aggressive outlook, and their government has a lot of involvement with and influence over their businesses.)

Comment: Re:Boring and repetitive? (Score 1) 394

by guanxi (#46935937) Attached to: Richard Stallman Answers Your Questions

He's apparently super paranoid (worried about the government eavesdropping on your cell phone calls and tracking you? Wishing for a pager so that you could perfectly control how much tracking information you give when you answer your phone? Jesus christ, get over yourself!)

I'm not sure there is broad consensus that it is "super-paranoid" to not want to be tracked, or to have end-user control of your data. You may disagree, but many people think that it should be the norm.

Is the government interested in RMS (and did he mention the government? Maybe he meant businesses, who certainly want to track him and everyone else?) I have no idea. Periodically it comes out -- in serious publications, not conspiracy websites -- that one government agency or another tracks seemingly harmless groups and people, especially those oriented toward human rights or some sort of radicalism, so it certainly is not paranoid to think it is possible.

Comment: Re:do they have a progressive view? (Score 3, Interesting) 336

by guanxi (#46791693) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

It may seem to fit that partisan narrative, but you don't really know Detroit politics. The Big Three run Detroit, in any meaningful sense. The economy of the city is completely dependent on them, and as auto company jobs have declined since the 1950s, so has Detroit. GM just went bankrupt and Chrysler nearly did; it's hard to blame that on local Detroit politics.

Race problems have been huge. Much of the city's talent was effectively barred from eduction, productive employment, or decent housing for a long time. The riots in 1967 did not come from a vacuum, but from decades of oppression by the white population. You probably haven't read about the riots that would happen when a black person dared to move into a white neighborhood. George Wallace (former Alabama governor and ardent segregationist) won the 1968 Democratic primary in the city!

If you really want to understand Detroit and urban politics, and the role of race, read this history (which won the Bancroft Prize, among others):

The Origins of the Urban Crisis by Thomas Sugrue

Comment: Re:Depends on if it is in aggregate. (Score 1) 93

by guanxi (#46791543) Attached to: How Nest and FitBit Might Spy On You For Cash

Will they care? It all depends on the data being shared is in aggregate. I don't care if people know that the average person in my city walks a thousand steps a day, and that still has a lot of value for health care companies, and I'm happy to contribute to that. I *DO* care if they know the details about me *individually*. There is a big difference.

That data is worth a lot more than you think, and they can learn a lot more about you as an individual. Also, knowing the value of that data, why give it away?

Comment: Everyone who can spy on you, will (Score 2) 93

by guanxi (#46791533) Attached to: How Nest and FitBit Might Spy On You For Cash

Isn't it obvious at this point that everyone who can spy on you, will? There is no legal regulation, or simple pragmatic or moral restraint.

Remember Obama saying about the NSA, 'maybe just because we can gather some data doesn't mean we should' (paraphrased). It doesn't seem like others are even thinking about it, except Mozilla.

Comment: The spoils are for the elite (Score 1) 581

by guanxi (#46725941) Attached to: Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

I don't know about Bloomberg in particular, but it now seems almost common wisdom among the elite that college isn't for everyone and now skills like programming aren't either.

While those words are true, what they mean in practice is that 'not for everyone' means 'not for the poor and working class' (poverty is a strong predictor of college eduction). I bet Bloomberg's kids go to college and he wouldn't doubt his non-technical buddies' ability to learn to code based on their job descriptions

What happened to the American Dream? Where is the land of opportunity, where anyone can succeed if they work hard enough? Apparently, Bloomberg et al believe that only the elite live in that land and that we should abandon that dream for the working class and poor. Why don't they just accept their places?

Comment: Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (Score 1) 155

by guanxi (#46587217) Attached to: Canonical's Troubles With the Free Software Community

NOTHING on linux even close to a real business accounting package

Try Moneydance, which is close to QuickBooks for a small business, depending on your needs:
http://moneydance.com/

In my limited experience it's well-designed, well-supported, and geek-friendly (extensible with Python, open API, etc.). It appears to be multi-user but I've never tried that feature.

Comment: Re:Well it IS the BBC (Score 1) 431

by guanxi (#46421017) Attached to: Jewish School Removes Evolution Questions From Exams

As you demonstrate, ignorant, hateful people can be found everywhere. One way to spot them is that they depict the world as one group vs. another (Jews vs. Muslims), and talk about a group of people as if they are a single-minded whole (Jews do this, Muslims do that) rather than as millions or billions of individuals.

My reading of history is that the hateful people are the ones that cause the most trouble, independently of what other group they belong to.

Comment: Are you earning more since Reagan was elected? (Score 1) 269

by guanxi (#46156233) Attached to: How Voter Shortsightedness Skews Elections

Ironically, income for most Americans has not increased since Reagan became President.

It is surprising that cutting taxes and reducing regulations for corporations and the wealthy, while undermining unions and cutting government services to everyone else, results in the wealthy getting wealthier and the rest standing still. Who could have imagined such an outcome?

When will the " trickle down" that Reagan promised start happening? I feel like it could be any day now.

"In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved." -- Butler

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