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Comment Shooting Guns into the Air in a Populated Area (Score 4, Insightful) 978 978

This is a universally a very bad idea.

Discharging any weapon in a populated area except at a proper range or in defense of your life is generally illegal and a very bad idea.

I suspect he would be facing the same charges if he were merely shooting crows in his backyard.

Comment Re:Swift (Score 1) 326 326

You're all thinking in terms of technical implications; I'm thinking in terms of economics.

How many people can you find who can't flip a hamburger or fill a box of french fries?

Making everyone a programmer--indeed, the whole concept of universal access to college--is just a campaign to make a minimum wage job out of *everything*. College itself is a great thing, and good higher education options are important for a society; but access to those options needs restriction, and not by quota or the color of your blood.

Giving absolutely everyone unrestricted access to career education means a strong job market in a field only encourages everyone, unknowing of how many actual jobs are available and how many of their peers are entering that market, to go into vocational training for that field. After that, you have ten times the trained professionals ready to take up those jobs than there are jobs available, and so unemployment increases, employer negotiation power goes up, employee power goes down, and, with that, salaries and benefits decrease as well. Were I the type to maximize my systematic abuse of my employees, I would lobby heavily for a public college infrastructure--loans-based especially, but also free college, even if it were paid for entirely by taxes on businesses--in order to put my employees constantly on low ground, allowing me to stomp all over them as I see fit.

The bare reality is businesses need us. That's not an ego statement or a rally cry; every business have a strategy to execute, the vital plans required to maximize their profits, and that strategy relies on the capability to perform certain types of labor. Just like a merchant requires salesmen and inventory managers, a software company requires programmers; an aircraft company requires engineers; and a construction company requires construction workers. Without trained, if not experienced, laborers available in the market, these businesses must pay exorbitant salaries to hire talent from competitors, greatly increasing costs; on the other side, their talent may be hired away, greatly increasing risks.

My own economic theory suggests this creates a good argument for free, public college: raising costs and risks (risks only become greater costs) raises the cost of products; and, as I've said many times, we increase wealth by *lowering* the cost of production--lowering labor costs, essentially, by reducing labor or reducing the unit cost of labor--and so it seems reducing these costs and risks will bring us cheaper products and, thus, greater residual wealth and opportunities for new markets, meaning new jobs. Unfortunately, this direction also implies the middle-class will shrink--we lower cost by squeezing down middle-class salaries--and the power and wealth of the great many laborers is diminished, which is socially not in line with my own philosophies.

Fortunately for my philosophies and for my grasp of economics, this is not the only way to reduce those risks and their associated costs.

As a matter of strategic management, businesses routinely project what load they will put on their resources in the future--indeed, that's what work performance information and human resource management are for. Even the most oblivious employers I've worked for have 2-3 years of foreknowledge about what departments they need expand; of course, since there is so much available labor out there, they simply squeeze everyone they have (in management, this is called "running lean") until they break, and then put out "urgent need" postings just before collapse. Management is, however, fully capable of predicting their labor needs, and approves the hiring budgets 6-18 months before hiring actually begins.

With the public effectively barred from college by the barrier of sheer individual cost, the labor pool for these needed skilled laborers drops as I suggest. Those "running lean" tactics don't work. Instead, as Miyomoto Musashi observed, a successful business would strategically hire on unskilled but eager entrants, shifting low-skill work (think refactoring, code clean-up) away from their high-value employees. Such work requires a great deal of time to perform, but comparatively little time to verify (git merge request reviewed by senior programmer), and so this displacement gains a relative reduction in cost immediately. At the same time, on-the-job training, off-site training, and funding of the employee's college education allow the employer to build a more competent and useful employee in steps: as skill improves, so does the range of tasks the employee can complete effectively--as does his speed and effectiveness (correctness) in performing those tasks.

This strategy places the cost and risk of job training on businesses, and allows them to balance away the cost and risk of hiring fully-trained employees by carefully displacing time-consuming tasks from highly-utilized, high-value employees to those lower-value employees. Further, the actual risks are smaller for a business than for an individual: a business often genuinely knows what employees it will need in 6 months to 3 years's time, at least to a high degree of certainty, and knows it isn't hiring 5 employees to fill 1 slot. The salary run-up of hiring professionals from other businesses will increase costs greatly over just training, and so salaries may rise, but only to the actual value of an employee--the value of building an employee rather than buying one, not the value the employee thinks he is worth, so long as he'll settle for what he's offered.

At the same time, a divide is made between labor you have, labor you can acquire, and labor you can create. This puts more power in the hands of the individual laborer, commanding higher salaries and better job security; and it also raises the value of that employee to the business, justifying that power. If an employee finds himself suddenly unemployed, he is valuable, immediately-available labor, most valuable to businesses with multiple entry-level positions open, as he will bring the immediate benefit of multiple entrants and more quickly produce the full benefit of a trained professional (which reduces risk of training taking too fucking long, thus leaving you somewhat short on man power).

That's really what all this business about making everyone into a programmer is: cheaper IT. Programmers are expensive, so let's turn everyone into a programmer so they'll be the modern-day burger flipper. Girls are shit negotiators, and business is IT heavy, so let's get more girls into IT so we can push salaries down. So on and so forth. The same, really, is true of broader individual access to college: it relieves businesses of their social responsibility to build a workforce by relieving them of the consequences of not building that workforce--consequences which everyone has forgotten, and so they imagine businesses prospering in an endless stream of gold and silver while poor people die in the streets without any way to get jobs or college degrees, not considering how these businesses are getting any work done without anyone to work for them (they also imagine labor create jobs, and so having 1000 people with IT skills means having 1000 more IT jobs available).

That, of course, is a particularly later focus of my overall goals. I want to get a Citizen's Dividend passed first, and then remove the minimum wage once it's no longer necessary--once people with zero income are able to afford housing and food--so as to first confer that "minimum standard of living" to people who aren't fully employed, and to second spread the transition to widespread automation over a longer time period (hopefully weakening its negative economic impacts, and giving us time to recover along the way) by way of reducing labor costs. I'll fight the more difficult economic issues after I've solved poverty--that is, after I've gotten the solution implemented; I haven't yet decided if I should follow my education reform with college economics policies, or run both in parallel and keep emphasis that the two issues are separate.

Comment Re:Translation (Score 1) 575 575

Hitler did, in fact, collect up all the guns while explaining that the S.S. would protect everyone. They then proceeded to protect everyone from living in communities with jews, gays, or anyone they didn't like. Second Amendment nannies are so up in arms about everything that restricts their firearm freedom, in part, because of that example; they are, of course, loonies, and nobody will listen to them as they scream loudly into the night about a government which wants to "protect" us by expansion of domestic spying and enforcement power.

Comment Re:SD Card? (Score 1) 147 147

Why would you ever price based on those numbers when the premium market by and large is willing to open their wallets quite a bit wider for a little more storage? Do you not like maximizing your profits? $30 this way or that won't sway people onto or away from your phone.

Comment Re:Mod parent up. (Score 1) 575 575

It's not simply that. This is an incredible example of careful diplomatic speech. Read something like Off Armageddon Reef (a better example than The Gap Cycle or Dune) and you'll see this shit all over the place--importantly, with attention drawn to it for storytelling purposes. In context, there's a whole several paragraphs around the statement discussing the theft and publication of secret information, for which Snowden must face trial; but, when examined closely, the blunt statement I describe is in fact made.

On a technicality, you can take apart my analysis and show that no such thing was ever said--which is exactly the point. The listener will hear the statement I describe: "If something is wrong, speak up; but don't expect to escape consequence, as do all men who fight and die for what they believe is right." The speaker can, of course, point out the context of the statement and show no such thing has been stated.

This is how politicians work on a large population over a long span of time. The statements they make incite a certain type of thought, certain emotions, specific beliefs and understandings in response. Things like, "Remember that God has ultimately given us all the ability to think, and to know evil from good when we see it," which a pastor can point out was in the context of those around us--our peers, our parents, our secular leaders--may lead us astray, all the while catching the Church in that sweeping statement--a heretical proclamation that the church may be wrong. Such a pastor could protect himself even from the Spanish Inquisition, claiming he was protecting the Church from outside influences who would lead their good followers away, all while setting up for his followers to recognize and resist a corrupt Church.

It really is an amazing thing to watch; unfortunately, it's much more terrifying to observe in real life than in fiction.

Comment Re:I don't get it (Score 1) 355 355

Why don't publishers put the ads in a section of the page that can allow the rest of the page to load and render before the ad loads and renders?

Because you could stop the loading once the content you wanted was rendered, thus skipping the ad.

So the pages are set up so the ad loads and renders first.

Comment Re:Translation (Score 5, Insightful) 575 575

More importantly, the message here is that being right doesn't matter; being good and obedient preserves you, while being right only makes you a martyr. If you expose the corruption of those in power, that's well and good, and a great civil duty; however, you must understand that you will be punished.

The implication is that, civil duty or not, you should think long and hard about pitching your own skin into the cause, because we sure as hell aren't going to reward you just for doing a great service to humanity. Read carefully and you'll notice the government said he'd even have to accept the consequences of speaking out and engaging in constructive protest: they decree you can dissent against their rule, and that's well and good, as long as they can punish you for your dissent--which is precisely the situation in North Korea, where you may speak out against Kim Jong-Un, and, importantly, accept the consequences of speaking out against him.

Comment Re:SD Card? (Score 2) 147 147

So, find the parts that OnePlus put in the One and show the cost that they paid for those parts.

OnePlus One with 16GB NAND: $300

OnePlus One with 64GB NAND: $350

Run the cost of NAND chips. 64GB MLC NAND chips fluctuate at a spot price between $1.60 and $4.34. Adding 64GB of NAND to a platform costs $4.34, much less switching from an expensive 16GB NAND platform to a 64GB platform. A 32GB chip fluctuates between $1.70 and $2.93--two of those would cost $3.40 to $5.86--and the next common size down is 4GB MLC NAND. Once the manufacture process is reliable, the sheer silicon wafer size is what counts: a wafer carrying 32GB of NAND costs exactly as much as a wafer carrying 64GB NAND if exactly half of the 64GB NAND chips are non-functional due to manufacture errors and 100% of the 32GB NAND wafers are in working order.

Of course bulk agreements mean we can slim profit margins down: if I were to buy a million chips from a supplier, that supplier would make a large order from his silicon supplier, who would make a large order from his material supplier, who would make a large order from fuel and energy suppliers, and so forth. Each could negotiate a large purchase contract by which a sizable profit is made on large volume and slim margin, at each step compounding the per-unit cost savings in the final product, delivering to me at substantially below-market price.

I don't pretend to know that OnePlus paid $4 or $1.60 or so per 64GB chip; I am fully aware they likely paid substantially below-market, and that the market price I cite assumes they went fully off-the-shelf for small batches (which may have happened) and so paid more than they otherwise would have. I can't very well conjecture about how much less they might have paid than the amount I cite; I've had to run this based on the most expensive component prices available on the market.

Ask them what their profit margins are on both models, and ask them why the bigger one is $50 more.

The profit margin is demonstrably larger on the one with bigger NAND. You can ask them, but things like profit margins in specific are strategic business information: advertising that you're gouging people for additional luxury is a good way to destroy consumer faith by arrogance and entitlement, and of course lead competitors to create a strategic opportunity by advertising that they don't gouge quite so hard when add extra NAND (the opportunity is to discredit your operations and to capture your market).

Small business or not, you'd be a fool to be that transparent.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"