Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Robotics

Humans Need Not Apply: a Video About the Robot Revolution and Jobs 303

Posted by Soulskill
from the go-away-or-i-will-replace-you-with-a-very-large-robot-that-breaks-things dept.
Paul Fernhout writes: This explanatory compilation video by CGP Grey called "Humans Need Not Apply" on structural unemployment caused by robotics and AI (and other automation) is like the imagery playing in my mind when I think about the topic based on previous videos and charts I've seen. I saw it first on the econfuture site by Martin Ford, author of The Lights in the Tunnel. It is being discussed on Reddit, and people there have started mentioning a "basic income" as one possible response. While I like the basic income idea, I also collect other approaches in an essay called Beyond A Jobless Recovery: A heterodox perspective on 21st century economics. Beyond a basic income for the exchange economy, those possible approaches include gift economy, subsistence production, planned economy, and more — including many unpleasant alternatives like expanding prisons or fighting wars as we are currently doing.

Marshall Brain's writings like Robotic Nation and Manna have inspired my own work. I made my own video version of the concept around 2010, as a parable called "The Richest Man in the World: A parable about structural unemployment and a basic income." (I also pulled together a lot of links to robot videos in 2009.) It's great to see more informative videos on this topic. CGP Grey's video is awesome in the way he puts it all together.

+ - New Type-C USB connector ready for production->

Submitted by orasio
orasio (188021) writes "One of the most frustrating first world problems ever, trying to connect an upside down Micro-USB connector, is bound to dissappear soon.
Type-C connector for USB is declared ready for production by the USB Promoter Group (http://www.usb.org/press/USB_Type-C_Specification_Announcement_Final.pdf)."

Link to Original Source
China

Chinese Researchers' 'Terror Cam' Could Scan Crowds, Looking for Stress 146

Posted by timothy
from the what-if-you're-stressed-about-government-surveillance? dept.
concertina226 (2447056) writes Scientists at China's Southwest University in Chongqing are working on a new type of camera that takes Big Brother to a whole new level – the camera is meant to detect highly stressed individuals so that police can catch them before they commit a crime. The camera makes use of hyperspectral imaging, i.e. a 'stress sensor' that measures the amount of oxygen in blood across visible areas of the body, such as the face. Chinese authorities are deeply concerned about the recent spate of deadly attacks occurring in public places, such as the mass stabbing attack by eight knife-wielding extremists in the city of Kunming, Yunnan in March, which left 29 civilians dead and over 140 others injured.
Businesses

Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording 364

Posted by timothy
from the keep-the-recording-handy dept.
An anonymous reader writes In yet another example of the quality of Comcast's customer service, a story surfaced today of a Comcast customer who was over-charged for a service that was never provided. At first, the consumer seemed to be on the losing end of a customer service conversation, with Comcast insisting that the charges were fair. But then, the consumer whipped out a recording of a previous conversation that he had with another Comcast representative in which not only was the consumer promised that he wouldn't be charged for services not rendered, but the reason why was explained. Suddenly Comcast conceded, and the fees were dropped. But most telling of all, the Comcast rep implied that she only dropped them because he had taped his previous interaction with Comcast customer service. I wish I had recordings of every conversation that I've ever had with AT&T, the USPS, and the landlord I once had in Philadelphia. Lifehacker posted last year a few tips on the practicality of recording phone calls, using Google Voice, a VoIP service, or a dedicated app. Can anyone update their advice by recommending a good Android app (or iOS, for that matter) designed specifically to record sales and service calls, complete with automated notice?

Comment: Re:Strength (Score 1) 62

by orasio (#47559405) Attached to: 3-D Printing Comes To Amazon

You can print in a plethora of different materials; this includes metals and extremely hard plastics.

The strength and martial properties of medals comes from the arrangement of the crystal lattices. These are things that 3D printing cannot do.

These are things that 3D printing doesn't do maybe. But most certaintly it is feasible. And once that's achieved, you will be able to create metals with a la carte properties.

Comment: Re:We have an advertising bubble... (Score 1) 154

by orasio (#47094891) Attached to: Agree or Disagree: We are in another tech bubble.

Sorry for taking so long to respond.

I agree with you, the government can do anything with info.
The thing is that if it were government itself, there would be a chance for public scrutiny, in every step of the process.
When it's a commercial entity, you will never know what happens with your data, and the government will get it secretly. You are still at risk of the government tracking you, but no one is accountable.

Comment: Re:We have an advertising bubble... (Score 2) 154

by orasio (#47066179) Attached to: Agree or Disagree: We are in another tech bubble.

Of course, in general, governments want to keep tabs on things, so don't expect intrusive behavior to stop. The collected data just goes to a nation, not an ad company.

Very insightful. The good thing about governments being visibly a part of infrastructure is that we know they are powerful, and the problem with them looking into our life is very visible. Also, we have a chance for transparency.

Comment: Re:Corporate speak (Score 1) 373

by orasio (#47046803) Attached to: The 69 Words GM Employees Can Never Say

Actually, avoiding certain words makes sense if those words bolster a legal case against GM, as a partial admission of guilt. Same reason your side mirrors still bear that stupid warning about objects being closer than they appear. Fix your silly legal system that allows anyone to sue anyone over anything, and if their case has any merit, gives them a chance to win the damages or out of court settlement lottery.

With great power, comes great responsibility.

In Europe, or here in some parts of Latin America, the government will stand in the way of business, certifying what you can and cannot do, forcing you to meet certain safety standards, and to provide specific warranties for customers. Even customers or workers can have a say in what companies can and cannot do. Civil responsibility when something goes wrong is not so high, because the company can use their compl|

In the US, people don't like government meddling in the way of companies and business are a lot freer to do business as they see fit. The most important thing standing in the way of a company harming their customers or others, to improve the bottom line, is the threat of losing a whole lot of money in a lawsuit. If you remove that part, there would be nothing to balance the profit vs safety equation.

Comment: Re:Don't sell Open Source, just present the option (Score 4, Informative) 123

by orasio (#46988423) Attached to: How To Approve the Use of Open Source On the Job

Good idea, but incomplete:

exactly lay out the facts:

product A is owned by commercial company with billions of dollars and developers backing the product

product B is written by some really smart people in their free time that may help you on a forum or in an IRC chat room if they can

Product C is free, maintained by a mid sized company, and they sell support contracts
Product D is proprietary, owned by a company that might be bought by the competitors, who may or may not keep supporting your product
Product E is a great software product, proprietary, but your company is not in the target market, so licensing and support don't match your needs
Product F is proprietary, and you might need small development tasks on top of the product. Only can buy from the owner.
Product G is free, and you might need small development tasks on top of the product. You can buy from the developer, build your own, contract, whatever.

Add to that, whether there is an easy way out should the unthinkable happen (end of life for products). Does the software support industry standards? Are there alternative implementations of these standards? Have you tested compatibility?

I'm not hiding the technical or strategic advantages some proprietary products might have over free ones, but they are stated everywhere, only trying to lay out more aspects you need to care about.

I think regarding the article you just need to do your job, and lay out all the things you consider. Free software is almost always better in the long run, but it's only sensible to lay out everything you considered, so others can make the best decision.

Medicine

Elderly Mice Perk Up With Transfused Blood 178

Posted by timothy
from the price-of-mouse-blood-skyrockets dept.
Some exciting news, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, might make you glad that human blood is a renewable resource: "Giving old mice blood from young ones makes them smarter and improves such functions as exercise capacity, according to reports from two research teams that point to new ways to study and potentially treat diseases of aging. In one study, researchers at Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco found that blood transfusions from young mice reversed cognitive effects of aging, improving the old mice's memory and learning ability. The report was published Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine. Two other reports appearing in Science from researchers at Harvard University found that exposing old mice to a protein present at high levels in the blood of young mice and people improved both brain and exercise capability. An earlier report by some of the same researchers linked injections of the protein to reversal of the effects of aging on the heart. ... What isn't known from all this research, said Buck Institute's Dr. [Brian] Kennedy, is whether young blood might also increase the life span of mice and, if so, what such implications for humans might be."

Comment: Re:Sugar (Score 2) 499

by orasio (#46867775) Attached to: You Are What You're Tricked Into Eating

No way.
I live in Uruguay, we grow some fruit here, but also import a lot. Local fruit usually looks like you picked it up from a tree.
Imported fruit looks more uniform, and more colorful, and usually has some kind of wax to protect it. They also have small labels in each piece, some times.
Also, local fruit smells like fruit, imported fruit has no smell, in comparison.

Of course, YMMV, but the closer you are to the source, it's easier to get fresher produce.

Comment: Re:tl;dr (Score 5, Insightful) 331

by orasio (#46852363) Attached to: Why the Sharing Economy Is About Desperation, Not Trust

The only economically sustainable solution is to have a labor force that matches labor requirements. What Marx didn't foresee was the tremendous medical advances the world has seen in the past 100 years, allowing unsustainable population growth while the need to unskilled labor declines. No amount of sharing, unionization, or wealth transfer will help when there are billions of people with no demand for their labor.

Don't let ideology blind you. People don't need jobs.
People need food, shelter, medical care, and several other things. Jobs is one of the ways you can get those.
If there _are_ enough resources for everybody, probably we can come up with way to distribute them effectively, even one that doesn't need busywork. It's not an easy problem, but seems solvable.

Comment: Re:There is no conspiracy. (Score 1) 259

by orasio (#46844959) Attached to: Hulu Blocks VPN Users

Regardless of the users IP, Hulu can track those users and sell their information, VPN or not. They've got those subscribers billing credentials, after all. A VPN is useful if you don't want someone else looking into your connection, but for the site you're visiting, especially one that needs your credit card, a VPN isn't meant to be a protection from them getting your info. Your ISP won't (or at least shouldn't) have a clue that you're visiting Hulu, should you be using a VPN, though.

You are mostly right. About your ISP, it would probably be very easy to know what you're up to, by comparing your data usage pattern against other online video users usage. Hulu and other services with heavy traffic probably have a specific traffic usage signature that they can identify, even if you are using a VPN.

Why do we want intelligent terminals when there are so many stupid users?

Working...