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Comment: Re:Definition of a successful intercept... (Score 1) 385

by im_thatoneguy (#47505857) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

During World War II Japan unleashed swarms of explosive laden balloons. The hope was that the balloons would flow into the US and cause a big of damage here and there. If you were to believe the lack of coverage in the US news we were completely unaware of any such threat and clearly the balloons were simply floating elsewhere or falling short. In reality they were in fact reaching the US and occasionally causing a little mayhem here and there--but a concerted propaganda operation kept it out of the news to not alert the Japanese to the limited success of their program. There is undoubtedly an advantage for the Israelis to over estimate the effectiveness of their system in the press if it means Hamas' only weapon is useless.

Comment: Re:Short-Lived? (Score 1) 769

I live in Washington and we've always had a high minimum wage. In fact it's currently tied to cost of living/inflation. Our job growth has been excellent prior to our latest min wage increase and I don't see any reason why our next wage increases won't continue to be associated with a long term quality job market.

There is a lot of doom and gloom towards Seattle, WA's new $15 min wage proposal. But if Washington has proven anything over the last few decades it's that when you ignore the doomsayers about economic progress your state still prospers and the sky doesn't fall. Maybe Washington has lost out on some jobs, but you know what if Washington is an example of what happens when you raise the minimum wage then I'm more than happy with the result. Alabama can keep their "increasing change in growth", the fact still remains that while Washington's latest growth might be slowing, it's still higher.

I don't know about the other 12 states, but you can draw conclusions about Washington over the long term because our Min wage has been higher for the long term. And over the long term we've prospered.

Comment: Re:Plumber (Score 1) 507

by im_thatoneguy (#47460029) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

Yeah, I feel like guessing though is a total crap-shoot. I see people recommending being a doctor or radiologist even though IBM is leading the AI charge *in* healthcare so I would think being a doctor is a bad idea.

The problem with trying to guess whether we need Electricians or Plumbers more than Lawyers or Doctors is the fact that we're about 2-3 major earth changing technological revolutions. It would be a bit like someone in 1850 speculating on what the best UI would be for a MMORPG. We already see that computers are generally very good at things we're very bad at (say long division in your head) while being very bad at things that we find effortless (vision). So things that we find hard (connecting random symptoms to an illness) will most likely be very easy to a computer we just don't know yet what's going to be hard. The only thing we can know for sure is that we'll need to be flexible and whatever we choose to learn it'll undoubtedly be temporary.

My advice would be to do the exact opposite of trade school. Think for a minute about the psychology of the coming technological revolution. Who is it going to hurt first and hurt the most? Probably people who are replaceable. Who has benefited the most so far and will continue to benefit the most? Investors. I would say that there is going to be a long lag between society accepting a world of extreme unemployment and the reality of the labor market. We already see this. People who are unemployed are viewed as moochers and takers. People who have money and have lots of capital are viewed as morally superior.

I would say, assume all jobs are going away. Money and power will be more valuable than ever. Get a degree in finance. Earn a shit ton of money and do everything in your power to at least be able to retire before the labor market collapses.

Comment: Televoting (Score 2) 18

by mtrachtenberg (#47449973) Attached to: Interviews: Juan Gilbert Answers Your Questions

I've got to admit that Televoting as described in the video doesn't strike me at first glance as a bad idea at all. I'd be interested to hear what holes can be poked in it, but I think using a human election official and engaging in live video interaction between the official and the voter, and allowing the voter to witness (via video) the ballot filled in with their choices going into a ballot box goes a long way towards addressing the complaints I have with other forms of internet voting.

Comment: Re:hope they win (Score 5, Insightful) 110

It's beyond just dumb. This is the sort of waste of public money that really should be criminal. At the very least, the CEO and his Chief of Staff should be dismissed. Call it encouragement to resign if that's the way it's done these days, but if someone getting paid $200K plus thought this was worth it, that person is not worth it.

Comment: Public money wasted (Score 3, Insightful) 110

$17,500 to polish your CEO's reputation? The CEO and the Chief of Staff should both be fired. Or, in keeping with the CEO's resume, encouraged to "resign." And suing to recover the money is likely to cost the public more than just giving up on the wasted funds. Just cut your losses, Seattle.

Comment: Re:sounds like North Korea news (Score 1) 109

by mtrachtenberg (#47432463) Attached to: Google's Experimental Newsroom Avoids Negative Headlines

All advertising supported news runs the risk of turning into "content;" that is, of existing primarily as a circus attraction to get an audience into the advertisers' tent.

In the distant past, professional integrity enabled journalists to get actual news into newspapers. Perhaps that was because the people who chose to devote their lives to journalism, even the editors and publishers, were interested in contributing to society by acting as its eyes, its ears and, on occasion, its conscience. That's always been in conflict with people who view their work as a way to raise money for themselves, and don't give it any thought beyond that. Of course, few people exist at either extreme; most of us are somewhere along the spectrum.

There's a Darwinian process taking place in journalism as elsewhere. What survives will be what attracts people -- that is going to be something that brings in enough money without rendering itself so distasteful that people with disposable income universally reject it. The fitness landscape is being altered as we speak by the increasing income inequality of our society. Magazines selling Rolexes will do well, as will newspapers that cater to the lowest common denominator that can still buy anything.

If I were you, I would not be searching for truth in ad-supported media; what you get is either "content" or propaganda the owners liked investing in. Google just sounds a bit more clever and experimental in its thinking than the rest.

Comment: Re:And Joe Schmoe wont care. (Score 3, Insightful) 364

by mtrachtenberg (#47420473) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

If you can't stand these priorities, please consider signing this:

Please let me explain what I am thinking in distributing this petition. I believe that Americans, like people everywhere, truly want to help others. But somehow, through a combination of fear and the greed of a few people, we no longer show this value in our government's budget. Instead, we spend more than $600 billion a year to fund the world's biggest military and the companies that build weapons, while sometimes thinking we cannot afford simple humanitarian programs.

If Americans understood what we could buy for ourselves and our neighbors with just one percent of the military budget, I truly believe we'd shift our funding. One percent of our military budget could fund sixty $100,000,000 projects at home or around the world. And, with Central American kids risking their lives to travel to our borders, the need is evident.

Some of us sometimes worry that welfare programs go to "undeserving" people. This is a time when, regardless of our beliefs about whether welfare works, we can easily see that people deserve our help and support -- these are kids fleeing poverty and danger.

Groups like The Moral Majority have poisoned the word "moral" for many people I know. But true morality has nothing to do with conservative religious groups. True morality is using our wealth to help our neighbors in distress, not to further build an already oversized military. True morality is not turning our backs.

And I further feel we find our own safety in true morality. A nation that is extending its arms to help others is less likely to be attacked than a nation that demonstrates concern only that the wealthiest 0.01% of the world not pay their fair share of the bills.

Thanks for spreading the word!

Comment: Re:Internet Voting ?!! (Score 1) 30

by mtrachtenberg (#47417339) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Juan Gilbert About Human-Centered Computing

If you know your legitimate vote was thrown away, you should be raising hell in more significant places than here. I'd start with the FBI and some journalism group like Pro Publica. It would be perfectly possible for a group with limited resources to get a substantial number of voters to check on whether their ballots were counted or tossed out, and they could show them to journalist witnesses before submitting them, to demonstrate that they were properly filled out.

The truth is, I don't believe you.

Comment: Internet Voting ?!! (Score 3) 30

by mtrachtenberg (#47416837) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Juan Gilbert About Human-Centered Computing

Here are some questions for Professor Gilbert, regarding internet voting:

1. How will non-mathematicians know with certainty that votes have been properly received and counted?

2. If the security depends upon encryption, how will we know that encryption has not been broken by a secret agency with vast computing power? Further, how will we know that those involved in developing the encryption have not secretly offered back doors to such agencies, as has happened in the past?

3. What will a voter do if they experience an election-day denial of service attack?

4. How can we know that a vote has not been coerced if the voter votes from home (bullying spouse, etc...)?

5. What are the insurmountable difficulties with a paper-based election process that make internet voting desirable despite risks? Why is the United States no longer capable of counting cast ballots in public? It is clearly not the vast number of voters, since this is a distributed problem with a vast number of potential counters. What has become so broken among our pseudo-elites that this KISS approach is now considered so inappropriate?

Comment: Re:Failsafe? (Score 1) 468

The strongest category is CAT IIIc and the need for visibility is not existent. The so-called decision height for landing is also not existent. IIIc is not in use though, so I to IIIb are used.

Yes, but per your very own article the only reason IIIc isn't used is because taxiing blind is impossible. There is only one situation that a plane would land IIIc without a windshield and that's if its cameras failed. If all of its cameras failed then it's an emergency landing situation anyway and they could clear a runway and tow the aircraft into the terminal like they often do with an emergency landing due to mechanical failure.

In every other situation you would have at least visual and probably FLIR video.

Comment: Re:No shit (Score 1) 203

It's worse than that. The problem with these kids is that they are just smart enough to do something but too stupid to realize that their idea doesn't work. They either grow up to be fly by night scammy venture capitalists or else that pot head kid in highschool "Dude, I just came up with this great idea, why don't we just power cars with rare earth magnets! They would go forever without gasoline!"

Generally these kids come up with bad ideas that even a smart 16 year old could see the flaws in. The truly brilliant kids looked at the problem looked at possible drawbacks or obstacles and concluded "Hmm, no nevermind, that wouldn't work." meanwhile the somewhat smart but ultimately too dumb to see the ultimate failure of their idea power through on the local news before they finish the R&D.

Comment: Re:The goal of 1st world countries (Score 1) 401

by im_thatoneguy (#47396465) Attached to: No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say

Yeah, if you try to explain to the average person how close we are to mass unemployment with just one breakthrough in AI they generally shrug or say "yeah, but a computer can't do my job."

If our economy doesn't want to change, then I'm just going to be sure to make it "onto the ark". The global economy is not going to correct itself IMO. It would require such a large commitment to fundamental change from everybody that I expect the current trend to continue. If people don't want the system that oppresses them to change--I don't see a reason to be on the side of the oppressed.

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.