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Comment: Google Can And Should Be Blamed (Score 3, Insightful) 203

by Bob9113 (#46799925) Attached to: Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

Google can't be blamed for this: one of its jobs is to lobby for laws that benefit its shareholders,

Yes, they can, and should, be blamed for this. Pro-social corporations should be rewarded for their behavior. Anti-social corporations should be punished. This is a pretty basic part of free market theory and the power of the purse. Stop repeating this sociopath-loving dogma as though it had any relation to healthy free market economics. Public backlash against despotic corporations is a very important correcting force in the free market.

Comment: Re:How's your Russian? (Score 1) 360

by ultranova (#46799395) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

The problem is that those in charge in the EU will sit on their collective hands and do absolutely nothing until any problem has become so massive that they are dependent on US military assistance in order to hope to survive.

The problem is that many EU countries are dependent on Russian oil and gas. US military can't solve that problem.

Of course, Russia is also dependent on EU buying said resources. A disruption of trade would, at the very least, topple Putin. He's counting on EU being unwilling to take the pain, but it's becoming increasingly clear he's trying to rebuild Soviet Empire. Sooner or later he'll miscalculate, and at that point it's a question whether he can gets removed from power before starting another (world?) war as a desperation move.

But no, Russia cannot win a war with the EU. EU has 3.5 times as much population and almost 8 times as large economy. Even with all the inefficiency inherent in coordinating multiple independent militaries, it could only end in Russian defeat or nuclear escalation.

Comment: Re:Here's a trick: Don't live in the U.S. (Score 1) 360

by ultranova (#46799275) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

I was dirt poor as a student in college, but I still managed to eat just fine and have a car I could get away with when I needed a break.

So you were dirt poor, except you had both property and income and could afford to waste them taking leisure drives? Good for you, but how is this relevant in a discussion about people who have trouble getting food?

Comment: Re: degrees (Score 1) 360

by ultranova (#46799185) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

Lazy HR by keyword sorting is the culprit.

It's not necessarily laziness but another symptom of the oversupply of labour. When there's a 100+ applications for every position, it's impossible to evaluate them without resorting to data mining techniques. And at that point, if your application is not Search Engine Optimized, for example if you lack a diploma, sucks to be you.

The underlaying problem is that our current economic model, and our model of employment as its subset, is based on the needs of the Industrial Era, which is ending. Capitalism is breaking down just like Feudalism before it, and whatever will replace it hasn't emerged into the mainstream yet. The question is: how long and painful will the transition be this time around?

Comment: Yes, you have an excellent point. (Score 1) 170

by mmell (#46797783) Attached to: The Design Flaw That Almost Wiped Out an NYC Skyscraper
The problem occurs in those specific instances (such as they Hyatt Skywalk) where there isn't enough overall review. Reviewing such changes narrowly often results in encountering unforeseen but foreseeable difficulties.

I'm trying to avoid being a polarized element of Slashdot. I'm absolutely a believer in following the Yellow Brick Road - but to me, that's the narrow yellow stripe down the middle (and yes, I know that's a good way to get run over).

Comment: Re:Color me a "skeptic" (Score 0) 62

Earth has been impacted by asteroids in the past, so there's nothing to worry about. It's just a natural phenomenon. Besides, the people saying we should be looking for asteroids are just greedy for grant money. If it turns out the be a real threat, I'm sure the technology to deal with it will magically appear -- with the economy the way it is we can't afford nonessential projects now.

Remember how silly these arguments sound when applied to other potential problems.

You're trying really hard, but all of those sarcastic points are 100% correct.
Impacts are nothing new. Impacts are not an immediate threat. People ARE looking for grant money we can't really afford, and if there is a serious threat the technology WILL magically appear when the US, China, and Russia are forced to bring out their secret military toys. Spending money now on projects that likely have a lot of overlap with existing (secret) tech already in use by certain governments IS a waste.

Comment: I hate to agree with an A/C, but... (Score 5, Informative) 145

by mmell (#46797291) Attached to: New 'Google' For the Dark Web Makes Buying Dope and Guns Easy
what he said. While countermeasures can mediate the risk, you should assume that anything you send out electronically can be intercepted, decrypted and traced back to you. You can take steps to make this extremely difficult (hopefully more difficult than catching you is worth), you can certainly take steps I personally couldn't overcome without too much effort; but beating the intelligence gathering capabilities of one or more governments is at best an uncertain proposition (IMHO).

Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell