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AI

The Real Job Threat 990

Posted by Soulskill
from the semi-intelligent-potatoes dept.
NicknamesAreStupid writes "The NYTimes reports on a book by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew P. McAfee (MIT director-level staffers), Race Against the Machine, which suggests that the true threat to jobs is not outsourcing — it's the machine! Imagine the Terminator flipping burgers, cleaning your house, approving your loan, handling your IT questions, and doing your job faster, better, and more cheaply. Now that's an apocalypse with a twist — The Job Terminator." Reader wjousts points out another of the authors' arguments: that IT advances have cost more jobs than they've created.
Communications

"Wi-Fi Refugees" Shelter in West Virginia Mountains 627

Posted by samzenpus
from the break-out-the-tinfoil dept.
The 13,000 sq mile U.S. Radio Quiet Zone is an area in West Virginia where all wireless transmissions are banned because of the large number of radio telescopes located there. (This official page shows a map of the Zone; an old Wired article is fascinating reading.) These high-tech telescopes have attracted unlikely neighbors, people who claim to have Wi-Fi allergies. In recent years, scores of people have moved to the area to escape the "damage" that electromagnetic fields can cause them. From the article: "Diane Schou is unable to hold back the tears as she describes how she once lived in a shielded cage to protect her from the electromagnetic radiation caused by waves from wireless communication. 'It's a horrible thing to have to be a prisoner,' she says. 'You become a technological leper because you can't be around people. It's not that you would be contagious to them — it's what they're carrying that is harmful to you.'"

Comment: The problem is Chinese business culture (Score 3, Interesting) 346

I don't know how Apple's standards compare to the EPA standards, but much of this would be illegal in this country and it wouldn't really be up to Apple to police it.

It's illegal in China too!

The cause of this problem is nothing to do with Apple, Western consumers, or anything else outside of China.

In China, pretty much everything is illegal. They have laws against everything you can think of, including adulterating milk with melamine to produce false test results. The problem is that you can't do anything in China without getting permission from the government. Businesses that actually comply with all the Chinese regulations go out of business very quickly because their competition is willing to gain an advantage by cheating - i.e. bribing officials, whatever.

The culture that has developed under this situation is such that nobody complies with regulations in China. It is simpler, faster and cheaper to pay bribes and to lie about compliance.

Once in a while, they'll do something that results in people getting hurt or killed, like the melamine in the milk. The government will round up the head of the milk company and execute him, but nothing really changes that will make their food supply more trustworthy or safe.

I have seen photographs of raw materials processing plants in China spewing huge clouds of colorful smoke into the air. It looked like a movie special effect. The same type of plant in a modern country like Brazil, for example, is three times the size of the Chinese plant - 2/3 of the Brazilian plant's volume is dedicated to equipment that captures the harmful byproducts given off by the process and prevents them from getting out into the environment. This is why the Chinese shut down a fair portion of their raw materials and manufacturing industry just prior to the Beijing Olympics - to allow the pollutants to dissipate and raise the air quality for the games.

I know of at least one manufacturing plant in California that can demonstrate that they are actually discharging air that is cleaner than the intake air. They are required to meet environmental standards, and they do it. In China a similar plant would just pay off the inspector.

Short of customers such as Apple stationing full-time inspection crews all the way down the supply chain (pretty much impossible), there's not much they can do. I have also seen pictures of expensive Italian quality control equipment in Chinese plants - everything in the plant looked dirty and worn, but the quality control equipment looked brand new. It was in place so they could pass their quality certification audit but it wasn't in normal day-to-day use, and nobody at the plant actually knew how to use any of it!

Frankly we're lucky Chinese products aren't falling apart or killing people all the time. Go on Youtube and look for Chinese car crash tests if you want a real eye-opener.

Almost any product made in China carries the risk of poor quality, false components, or pollution at some point in the supply chain. It's not an Apple problem. It's a China problem.

Comment: Re:Top Gear Top Tip: (Score 2) 136

by name_already_taken (#37222844) Attached to: Ugandan Seeks To Build Backyard Space Shuttle

Had it not failed to separate from the large fuel tank, then they might have had a chance.

The RC Reliant glider model, while not exactly making a smooth landing, wasn't going very fast when it hit the ground.

After the perfect separation of the SRBs you might suspect that it was rigged to fail, for television.

The Internet

Former Wikileaks Spokesman Destroyed Documents 469

Posted by samzenpus
from the shredding-the-leaks dept.
bs0d3 writes "Former Wikileaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg claims to have destroyed more than 3,500 unpublished files that had been sent from unknown informants and are now apparently lost irrevocably. Among the files destroyed are the US gov's 'no-fly list' and inside information from 20 right wing organizations. Daniel Domscheit-Berg is now known as one of the founders of openleaks."
Security

Macs More Vulnerable Than Windows For Enterprise 281

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the commencing-holy-war dept.
sl4shd0rk writes "At a Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, researchers presented exploits on Apple's DHX authentication scheme which can compromise all connected Macs on the LAN within minutes. 'If we go into an enterprise with a Mac and run this tool we will have dozens or hundreds of passwords in minutes,' Stamos said. Macs are fine as long as you run them as little islands, but once you hook them up to each other, they become much less secure."

Comment: Cat5 or just 4 pairs with RJ45? (Score 1) 305

by name_already_taken (#36695042) Attached to: Could PSTN Go Away By 2018?

Interesting; my office phone has cat5 coming out the back, which has been the case anywhere I've worked for a few years now.

But is a VOIP phone, or just an analog phone with an 8-conductor cable?

I've done all the phone work for the little company I work for for the past 20 years, and helped some other companies with their systems. RJ45 plugs and cables were often used with the old analog key systems and PBXs, long before VOIP came around. You can't tell what communication method the phone uses by looking at the plug. A lot of the newer business VOIP phones look very similar and to the user appear basically the same as the analog systems that went before, as those analog systems had become pretty advanced.

Comment: Nice try, but no cigar. (Score 1) 313

by name_already_taken (#36541004) Attached to: Apple To Start Making TVs?

Price doesn't matter. iTards will buy anything if it's shiny and white.

Wait a second, stop right there.

The Apple TV is shiny and black .

On top of that, it's $99. I don't think you can buy any other similar device for $33 to $66, and there isn't a "I want to pay even more money" button on the Apple Store website, or do you expect us to believe that people wander into Apple's retail stores and try to haggle the price up?

If you're going to troll, at least try and be informed about the subject.

Comment: One minor advantage (Score 1) 334

by name_already_taken (#36440834) Attached to: Unlocked iPhones in US For $649

Small correction: Same technology, different frequency band.

Since it doesn't support T-Mo's 3G bands, there's not much point to it unless you'll be doing a lot of international travel. If it's only going to be fully functional on AT&T, you may as well go for the contract, since you won't be saving any money on service.

I have an unlocked iPhone 4, on T-Mobile's US service.

Edge is slow, but it's very reliable and doesn't use much power. Sure, I'd like to have 3G speed but I guess I'm not really missing it much since most everything works acceptably on Edge (no Youtube, but again I don't think I'm missing much there). I have had other 3G phones, and and I have a 3G iPad on AT&T, so it's not like I don't know the difference. The lower monthly cost and better customer service from T-Mobile outweighs the speed deficit for me.

The one advantage is that I can use the "Personal Hotspot" tethering feature on the iPhone to share the connection without incurring an additional $20/month charge as I would on AT&T. Phone service is already too expensive (and yes I get the irony that I'm talking about a $650 device).

Iphone

Unlocked iPhones in US For $649 334

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the it's-about-time dept.
Endoflow2010 writes "Apple on Tuesday started selling an unlocked version of its iPhone 4, starting at $649. A 16GB unlocked iPhone 4 will set you back $649, while a 32GB version is selling for $749. Both are available in black or white; the black will ship within one to three business days, while the white is available in three to five days, according to the Apple Web site. The benefit of an unlocked phone is that you are not locked into a two-year contract with a particular provider. But it also means that you don't get the subsidized pricing provided by someone like AT&T or Verizon. The same phones with a contract cost $199 and $299."
Privacy

Hackers Expose 26,000 Sex Website Passwords 497

Posted by samzenpus
from the naming-names dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Passwords and email addresses of almost 26,000 members of adult website Pron.com have been released on the internet by the notorious hacking group LulzSec. To add to the victims' humiliation, LulzSec called on its followers to try the email/password combinations against Facebook, and tell friends and family of the users that they were subscribers to a pornographic website. In addition LulzSec released passwords belonging to the administrators of dozens of other adult websites, and highlighted military and government email addresses that had signed up for the xxx-rated services."
Apple

Apple Plans New Spaceship-like Campus 279

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the spend-spend-spend dept.
itwbennett has a story that might answer the question of what Apple is doing with the billions they have in the bank. "Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Tuesday presented plans for a new Apple campus to the Cupertino City Council. The office building will look 'a little like a spaceship landed,' said Jobs. It will also be just 4 stories tall, is big enough to house all 12,000 Apple employees (with room for growth), and will generate its own energy." Keep reading to see the riveting town council meeting.

The only thing cheaper than hardware is talk.

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