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China

Serious Economic Crisis Looms In Russia, China May Help 258

Posted by Soulskill
from the blame-the-bears dept.
jones_supa writes: Russia is facing a "full-blown economic crisis," a former finance minister has warned, as the country is forced to take emergency financial measures. The economy has been battered by a wave of sanctions (set by other countries as a result of tensions over Ukraine), geopolitical uncertainty, and falling oil prices. Analysts have warned that the Russian economy will not improve in the long run until the aforementioned conditions have also improved. The Central Bank of Russia said that a plan to loan Trust bank an amount of up to 30bn rubles ($54m) had been approved. Trust bank has run a series of advertisements featuring actor Bruce Willis in Russia, along with the ironic quote: "When I need money, I just take it." Anna Stupnytska, an economist at Fidelity Solutions, said that "the risk of a sovereign default is low, it's the corporate sector where the main vulnerabilities lie, and banking in particular. Due to sanctions, companies cannot refinance their debt as access to international markets has been essentially cut off." Reader hackingbear adds: Two Chinese ministers offered support for Russia as President Vladimir Putin seeks to shore up the plummeting ruble without depleting foreign-exchange reserves. Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said expanding a currency swap between the two nations and making increased use of the yuan for bilateral trade would have the greatest impact in aiding Russia. Western governments and experts have been criticizing China for restricting exchange and suppressing the value of its currency, even though anyone who lived in China during the 1990's knew that the value of the yuan was cut to align with the (vibrant) black market. But as grandma has warned us, we should be careful of what we wish for. China has greatly sped up the relaxation of currency exchange and is promoting the yuan as an alternative to the dollar for global trade and finance. They've signed currency-swap agreements with 28 other central banks to encourage this. Once accomplished, and backed by China's growing military might, Renminbi would be a formidable competitor to U.S. Dollar, which would hamper the U.S's ability to borrow almost freely with banks around the world.

Comment: Re:Parent comment shows exactly what's wrong with (Score 2) 156

by Carewolf (#48659029) Attached to: NetworkManager 1.0 Released After Ten Years Development

Well, you don't have to figth it. It will autoconfigure just fine after moving the cables. All you need to do is wait the 500ms it takes to do a new DHCP request and get the same IP adress again. If that is too long, you should probably be using a static configuration in the first place.

Medicine

Meet the Doctor Trying To Use the Blood of Ebola Survivors To Create a Cure 33

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-in-the-blood dept.
An anonymous reader points out this article about Dr. James Crowe, who is trying to use the blood of Ebola survivors to develop a cure. "For months, Vanderbilt University researcher Dr. James Crowe has been desperately seeking access to the blood of U.S. Ebola survivors, hoping to extract the proteins that helped them overcome the deadly virus for use in new, potent drugs. His efforts finally paid off in mid-November with a donation from Dr. Rick Sacra, a University of Massachusetts physician who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia. The donation puts Crowe at the forefront of a new model for fighting the virus, now responsible for the worst known outbreak in West Africa that has killed nearly 7,000 people. Crowe is working with privately-held drugmaker Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc, which he said will manufacture the antibodies for further testing under a National Institutes of Health grant. Mapp is currently testing its own drug ZMapp, a cocktail of three antibodies that has shown promise in treating a handful of Ebola patients."

Comment: Re:And how many were terrorists? Oh, right, zero. (Score 3, Insightful) 275

by Carewolf (#48653919) Attached to: TSA Has Record-Breaking Haul In 2014: Guns, Cannons, and Swords

If someone had a gun on September 11, 2001 perhaps the history would be different. In Soviet Russia all pilots were armed, and rightly so.

I travel and every day I see pocket knifes, souvenir knifes being stolen at the checkpoints. The other day my credit card size stainless steel multi-tool (ruler, screwdriver, wrench and a 2 centimeter cutting edge) has been confiscated because it had a less than one inch "blade". Yikes.

Every single day passengers bring bottles of whiskey and other alcohol in the glass bottles, which is essentially a ceramic blade/knife, if the bottle is broken. Heck, you can buy alcohol in the airplane.

I have interviewed several airport security directors and directors supplying security solutions. All of them, in private, agreed that this is a security theater.

No it wouldn't. It wasn't a problem to fight against the hobby knives unarmed either, no one expected the hijackers to be suicide terrorist, and the only thing that would make a difference is hind-sight.

Television

Dish Pulls Fox News, Fox Business Network As Talks Break Down 268

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-fox-for-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes Fox News and Fox Business were pulled by Dish Network over the weekend, as both continue to argue over a fee agreement. From the article: "Dish said in a statement early Sunday morning that 21st Century Fox had blocked access to the two networks after Dish balked when rates for other networks owned by the media conglomerate were made a part of the negotiations. Tim Carry, executive vice president of distribution at Fox News Channel, countered in a statement that "Dish prematurely ceased distribution of Fox News in an attempt to intimidate and sway our negotiations. It is unfortunate that the millions of Fox News viewers on Dish were used as pawns by their provider. Hopefully they will vote with their hard earned money and seek another one of our other valued distributors immediately."
Robotics

What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers? 621

Posted by Soulskill
from the fewer-wrong-orders-at-the-drivethru dept.
Paul Fernhout writes: An article in the Harvard Business Review by William H. Davidow and Michael S. Malone suggests: "The "Second Economy" (the term used by economist Brian Arthur to describe the portion of the economy where computers transact business only with other computers) is upon us. It is, quite simply, the virtual economy, and one of its main byproducts is the replacement of workers with intelligent machines powered by sophisticated code. ... This is why we will soon be looking at hordes of citizens of zero economic value. Figuring out how to deal with the impacts of this development will be the greatest challenge facing free market economies in this century. ... Ultimately, we need a new, individualized, cultural, approach to the meaning of work and the purpose of life. Otherwise, people will find a solution — human beings always do — but it may not be the one for which we began this technological revolution."

This follows the recent Slashdot discussion of "Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates" citing a NY Times article and other previous discussions like Humans Need Not Apply. What is most interesting to me about this HBR article is not the article itself so much as the fact that concerns about the economic implications of robotics, AI, and automation are now making it into the Harvard Business Review. These issues have been otherwise discussed by alternative economists for decades, such as in the Triple Revolution Memorandum from 1964 — even as those projections have been slow to play out, with automation's initial effect being more to hold down wages and concentrate wealth rather than to displace most workers. However, they may be reaching the point where these effects have become hard to deny despite going against mainstream theory which assumes infinite demand and broad distribution of purchasing power via wages.

As to possible solutions, there is a mention in the HBR article of using government planning by creating public works like infrastructure investments to help address the issue. There is no mention in the article of expanding the "basic income" of Social Security currently only received by older people in the U.S., expanding the gift economy as represented by GNU/Linux, or improving local subsistence production using, say, 3D printing and gardening robots like Dewey of "Silent Running." So, it seems like the mainstream economics profession is starting to accept the emerging reality of this increasingly urgent issue, but is still struggling to think outside an exchange-oriented box for socioeconomic solutions. A few years ago, I collected dozens of possible good and bad solutions related to this issue. Like Davidow and Malone, I'd agree that the particular mix we end up will be a reflection of our culture. Personally, I feel that if we are heading for a technological "singularity" of some sort, we would be better off improving various aspects of our society first, since our trajectory going out of any singularity may have a lot to do with our trajectory going into it.

Comment: Re:Copenhagen interpretation != less complicated (Score 1) 195

by Carewolf (#48638655) Attached to: Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated

requires exponential resources to simulate

WTF is an exponential resource?

Exponential refers to the amount of resources, not the type. It basically means it takes e^n resources to simulate. While the GP left n unspecified, lets assume it is either particles or wave functions.

Crime

FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate 553

Posted by samzenpus
from the looking-into-it dept.
v3rgEz writes In a terse form letter responding to a FOIA request, the FBI has confirmed it has an open investigation into Gamergate, the loose but controversial coalition of gamers calling for ethics in gaming journalism — even as some members have harassed and sent death threats to female gaming developers and critics.

Comment: Re:a riveting diplomatic exchange no doubt.. (Score 1) 435

by Carewolf (#48624323) Attached to: In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

Hey thanks for not making a huge deal out of castros death

I think I'm missing part of this joke, because Castro isn't dead...

Castro died several years back but got replaced by another Castro, though this new one isn't the Castro people refer to when they refer to Castro.

It is much harder to find a job than to keep one.

Working...