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Comment Re:Market Forces (Score 1) 225

They are not discrete markets, it's a single one.

US companies don't exist in a vacuum. Some of their profits come from foreign countries, and some of that money get spent in the local US market. That helps the local economy, and keeps more people employed. In fact, the US as a whole gets to do business mostly everywhere, so it's a mostly free market in that respect, but labour can't move freely. This kind of thing helps labour to move more freely, so it's a freer market, in the Adam Smith sense. I know that this is fueled by corporate greed, but the market end up more free, I don't think you can question that.

Again, I think it's reasonable to fight this, because this is harmful to US guys, but I don't think it's a matter of overall fairness, but more of the legitimate personal benefit of US workers.

Comment Re:Market Forces (Score 1) 225

I don't support (or otherwise care about) H1B visas, but that's inexact.

US companies trade their products and services throughout the world. The world is their market, so it's a freer market if you allow foreigners to participate, not only with their purchasing dollars, but also with their work.

H1B visas and other ways to hire cheaper foreigners, while not its "intended" purpose, and while it's bad for locals, it does make the market freer and fairer. That's exactly why this is bad for locals, and they should fight it.

Comment Re:A problem with spending unearned money? (Score 1) 75

Could this be a problem endemic to organizations that spend money that they didn't really do anything to earn in the first place?

No. If that were true, all people who are born rich, and all rich families would be completely useless to society. Many of them are. Some of them are not. You need a different theory.


Microsoft Has Built a Linux Distro 282

jbernardo writes: Microsoft has built a Linux distro, and is using it for their Azure data centers. From their blog post: "It is a cross-platform modular operating system for data center networking built on Linux." Apparently, the existing SDN (Software Defined Network) implementations didn't fit Microsoft's plans for the ACS (Azure Cloud Switch), so they decided to roll their own infrastructure. No explanation why they settled on Linux, though — could it be that there is no Windows variant that would fit the bill? In other news, Lucifer has been heard complaining of the sudden cold.

The Air Traffic Control Tower of the Future Doesn't Include Humans 104

CravenRaven76 writes: Sweden is testing the future of air traffic control at Ornskoldsvik Airport. An 80 foot tall unmanned tower at the airport houses 14 high-definition cameras to help controllers survey the site with better-than-human vision. Video from the cameras is transmitted to Sunvsal Airport, where a controller guides the planes. Potential future plans include grouping every airport controller together at distant facilities in order to save costs of running multiple air traffic control towers.

Comment Re:lack of competition (Score 2) 60

Competition is overrated.
These are high barrier to entry markets. That kind of market ends up as an oligopoly.
To mitigate that, you need expensive and cumbersome regulation, which is very prone to corruption.

I live in Uruguay. There is a monopoly on landlines for the state telecom. Everybody gets reasonable good access, close to half the homes already have fiber.

We are a small country, but also a sparse one. It's doable elsewhere.

I think the problem here is that so many people see telecom as a market opportunity. To me, it's more like public roads, sewage, that kind of thing. At least when it comes to infrastructure, competition either won't happen, or won't do much good.

On wireless there's more space for markets, because barriers to entry are lower, but I would definitely have governments build all the land instrastructure and then lease. Of course governments are prone to corruption, but there is also the possibility of oversight, and each particular government does not last forever. Oligopolistic companies do last forever, and they have the same kind of problems.

Comment Re:I got an idea... (Score 1) 127

To be honest, that's not tiny.
Facebook mediates social interaction for large numbers of people.
Tiny changes like this can affect real life a lot, making bullying easier/harder, making it easier to pick fights with family, helping you lose your job, b/c you pushed dislike on they press releases.

This is small stuff, but it's small stuff at a very large scale. That's why it's news.

Comment Re:The United States of America (Score 1) 263

It's 2015, but electronic voting is a solution in search of a problem.

You can't really make an electronic system that protects secrecy, while also preventing large scale fraud, and most importantly, being auditable by citizens, not security experts, and right there on election day.

Paper vote has different versions, but most of them comply with that. There are some cases where paper ballots mislead, things like that, but all those cases can be improved by better, possible, citizens and party auditing.

Electronic voting _can_ be faster than paper voting, but you can only save the couple of hours (at max) it takes for humans to count the ballots at the voting table. It's a dumb trade-off to earn two hours (tops), and lose secrecy, fraud containment, and auditability.


Only Self-Awareness Can Keep Drones Out of Do Not Fly Zones 165

szczys writes: Chris Anderson is on the bleeding edge of the drone world, having founded 3D Robotics (drone manufacturer) and DIY Drones (enthusiast site). He takes on the issue of people flying drones where they shouldn't, and concludes that making drones self aware is the best solution. This isn't the "robots are trying to kill you" type of self awareness. Instead, it considers drone type, operator, and location, to establish if all those factors equate to a safe flight area. This is an important issue — in the last few months, there have been several stories about drones in places they should not have been. This included incidents like disrupting the efforts of airborne firefighting and interfering with a police manhunt.

"Confound these ancestors.... They've stolen our best ideas!" - Ben Jonson