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Comment: Re:people charge of traffic lights are engineers b (Score 1) 144

by ortholattice (#47730017) Attached to: It's Easy To Hack Traffic Lights

I once knew a traffic-light engineer who was an EE with a BS. I mentioned that I thought it was annoying not to have sensors on lights in rarely-used cross streets, since it wastes a lot of gas to have the main throughway traffic constantly stopping for no reason, not to mention wasting people's time. He said that if you put in a sensor, people will get used to the light always being green, and in the rare case it turns red they will tend not to stop and will cause more accidents. He was very strongly opposed to such sensors - arguing supposedly from experience as a professional and an expert - and our argument started to become, well, heated, so I just let it go. I really doubt what he said is supported by statistics, but his attitude was an example of the thinking of the people designing the lights.

(This was a couple of decades ago. Maybe the thinking has changed since I do see more sensors these days, but still not nearly enough. Often they seem poorly designed, such as unnecessarily waiting a full cycle before changing even if there is no cross traffic.)

Comment: Re:Well there is an issue with cellphones (Score 1) 316

by ortholattice (#47611705) Attached to: Verizon Throttles Data To "Provide Incentive To Limit Usage"

Spectrum is something you only have a license to a small amount of. As such, the total bandwidth you can put out has a hard limit on it. Everyone on a tower shares that bandwidth and there's just nothing you can do to increase it. You can't "lay more fiber" or "use another laser" or anything like that which you can do on wired connections. On a given segment, there is just only so much bandwidth nature and regulations will let you have.

The solution is to add more cells (towers). That's the whole idea behind cell phones. How do you think the humongous bandwidth used by say downtown Manhattan cell phones is achieved?

Comment: Re:64.99%, 84.38%, Really? (Score 1) 89

by ortholattice (#47510467) Attached to: Researchers Test Developer Biometrics To Predict Buggy Code

While I agree the extra precision is misleading, the real problem is that they don't provide confidence intervals. Even a rounded 80% could be misleading if it could fall between 60% and 90% due to sparse data.

On the other hand, if in their report details they said "84.38% with a 99% confidence interval of 72.27% to 94.49%", then the extra precision is no longer necessarily misleading (it is just the calculational result of the model used) and, although it is a little pedantic and redundant, I would have no fundamental problem with it. It might even be argued that it is infinitesimally more precise, allowing the calculations to be confirmed by an independent researcher. However, for presentation in summary form, it would be much better to say "between 72% and 94% with 99% confidence".

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47506251) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Not necessarily (think about it!), but in any event, it is far from clear that minimum wage actually gives more people more money.

Counter examples (actual, real-life, counter-examples supported by data) would be interesting to read.

You can, of course, add the money received by those people who benefit from the minimum wage laws to the total money available to spend. However, businesses pass increased costs on to consumers, or go out of business.

Or they could, shock, horror, take less in profit.

In effect, people's net purchasing power goes down. Instead of helping the people you want to help, you end up hurting them.

Purchasing power isn't going down because labour is getting more expensive, it's going down because labour is steadily getting paid less and less because capital is taking more and more.

The only place the continual downward pressure on wages ends is a tiny proportion of wealthy people who own everything and a huge proportion of people of subsistence incomes. When hardly anyone has any disposable income, where do you think economic activity is going to happen ?

Thus, merely "increasing" economic activity is not a valid goal: to be beneficial to society the economic activity has to be healthy activity, not the production of shoddy products. This can only be the case if we don't cause a net reduction in people's buying power (which is what minimum wage laws tend to do).

Again, evidence to support this claim would be useful.

In reality, countries with higher incomes at the lower-end, rather than the rock-bottom incomes you are advocating, are the countries that have the higher quality goods you are insisting they will not.

No this is done by welfare laws (of which there are a plethora).

No, welfare is there as a safety net for people who are unable to work. Since neoliberalism took over the western world and maintaining a certain level of unemployment became a policy goal (to reduce worker bargaining power and suppress their wages), it has become a necessity for millions of people ready, able and willing to work but who cannot find anyone to work for.

What you are talking about is a universal basic income, which would need to be set at a similar level to minimum wage to meet that objective.

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47504961) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

I never gave my opinion on the matter.

Yes, you did. Your opinion was:

"So lets pass a law that says every person should be paid $50,000 per hour. Economic activity ought to be AMAZING then!"

Which, while obvious hyperbole, is meant to somehow refute the original point by taking it to an extreme never suggested or implied.

Your ignorant political stereotypes led you to make assumptions about what things I never even commented on.

I didn't make an assumption about anything. Your following comment called people who couldn't find work "parasites".

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47504081) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

just because you are economically illiterate doesn't make something "a lie".

You argue the service "can no longer be provided".

That is a lie. It *can* be provided. It's just that customers clearly don't value it enough to make providing it worth the cost.

if it could and it were economically advantageous for companies to provide it, they would have done it.

Yes. I believe that was my point. It's not sufficiently "economically advantageous" to cover its cost.

Nobody had to force the gas stations in the past to provide the service, it was in their best interest to do it because it attracted more customers and there was a competitive pressure to do it.

I'm not quite sure what your point is with this straw man. No-one said anything about anyone being forced to provide full service in the past.

that's the propaganda line, sure. The reality is of-course completely different. The wages of the workers have been destroyed by inflation, not by 'corporate profits'.

Ratio of labour to capital share of GDP says otherwise. Nearly all the benefits of productivity increases over the last few decades have been siphoned to the top 10%, and especially the top 1%. Workers have been getting shafted as their bargaining power has been progressively destroyed by removal of their legal protections and the sadistic philosophy of NAIRU (to say nothing of the ever-increasing "rights" of corporate entities). Meanwhile, the taxes that are supposed to discourage the inevitable greed, selfishness and hoarding of the wealthy and recover some of their waste into productive endeavour, have been completely gutted.

That's before even talking about the mind-boggling explosion in private debt that has been taken up by households in an effort to maintain increasing living standards in the face of stagnant or declining incomes. Encouraged by banks and the wealthy, of course, because people madly paddling the canoe rarely have time to rock it.

It is a pattern that has repeated across the entire Anglo world for decades, it is the aftermath of Thatcherism, Reaganism, and whoever-your-local-neoliberal-psychopath-copying-them-was-ism. Every country has had one, and the outcomes have been the same in all of them - reduced unionism, reduced workers rights, increasing unemployment (because of the previous two events), dramatically decreasing taxes (primarily for the wealth), privatisation of public assets, decaying public infrastructure, decreasing public services, decreasing welfare, decreasing social mobility, increasing income inequality, etc, etc.

What's astounding (well, not really) is that after 30 years of this disaster, most politicians and a sizeable chunk of economists argue the problem is we're not doing it enough !

The world is heading towards a new fuedalism, where the serfs are kept in their place not by threat of arms, but by barely adequate incomes and oppressive debt. It's a Libertarian wet dream - all the slave labour they want to make the rich richer, while maintaining a facade of voluntary participation from the victims since no (overt) physical coercion is involved.

The inflation is created by the Federal reserve bank of America buying up bad USA debt from the Treasury (and the rest of the market) for decades following Nixon's default on the US dollar in 1971.

The core problem in the money supply isn't inflation, it's usury.

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47503863) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

I don't think you know what that fallacy actually means. Nothing I wrote is even close to an excluded middle fallacy.

Really ? You don't think there's any possibilities between no minimum wage and a $50k/hr minimum wage ?

Call it a slippery slope fallacy if it makes you feel any better, it doesn't make your argument any less wrong.

Hurr, durr, ad-hominem fallacy!

You clearly believe the absurd rhetoric that people choose to be unemployed "because welfare!", then you launch off onto another straw man fallacy.

Like I said, mindless tripe. Unthinking regurgitation of conservative articles of faith.

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47498163) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Minimum wage is an arbitrary price control, a wage is just a price on labour.

To an economist or a mathematician, maybe.

In reality, a wage is what people use to live. It is in no way the same thing as something like the cost of a beer.

If somebody is willing to buy a service at 5 bucks but not at 10 for example, then your statement reads like so: because of politics you should have to pay 10 bucks for the service and if you cannot afford it - tough.

Actually it reads: "you have to pay 10 bucks for this service so it can be delivered while meeting the basic requirements for civilised society".

You could make the same argument about anything that increases costs, from worker safety standards to regulations against lead paint.

Though as a Libertarian I'm sure you think employers should be able to endanger their employees and customers at will so long as it increases their profits.

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47498159) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Free market capitalist system does not reward companies for maiming people, [...]

It does if there's money in it. Or, at least, it would if it wasn't already illegal.

[...] governments on the other hand force you to participate, if you do not like it, you can always opt out to go to jail for tax evasion.

Or not earn enough to be taxed. Or leave the country.

Setting up minimum wage destroys opportunities for people with no skill sets, that's all it does, it doesn't provide anybody with "decent living" and it shouldn't.

Yes, it should. That's the whole reason it exists.

A minimum wage job shouldn't require any skills. It should be the going rate for unskilled, inexperienced, basic labour.

If it's not, it's not because the minimum wage is too low, it's because the business model is broken.

Decent living is provided by better jobs, but you have to find those better jobs in the first place and if you can never get a job to improve your skills, a low wage paying job, you are much less likely to find the next job that actually pays much more than a minimum wage does anyway.

What skills will someone learn in an unskilled below-minimum wage job, that will help them get a similarly unskilled, but marginally better paid, slightly-above-minimum wage job ?

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47497519) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Yeah, let's print some and give it away to people. That will sure boost the economy, at least according to your idiotic theory.

It would if it were going to real people and not banks and (by proxy) businesses and the wealthy.

(Which is not, of course, either condoning or advocating unlimited money printing.)

The economy is depressed because everyone who isn't rich, is unemployed, broke and/or weighed down by debt. And the rich don't spend proportionally as much as they own and earn, and certainly not across as much of the economy.

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47496839) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

No it doesn't. If you're unemployed, or not employed full-time, you will be living below the "standard" of people on the minimum wage, all other factors being equal.

Well, in an ideal world there wouldn't be any unemployment (other than people transitioning between jobs, genuinely disabled/incapable of working (who should be supported by welfare), etc), but Governments influenced by big business have long since abrogated their responsibility to implement full-employment policies and decent welfare support.

You could say the minimum wage sets a floor on living standards for full-time workers with no dependents, but that's not as catchy.

I would argue the minimum wage should set a floor on living standards for the typical family, not individual. It should be possible for a typical family to live on a single minimum wage.

But, yes, it's not as catchy to give the full breakdown and all caveats. But this is a discussion on Slashdot, and the broad *point* is the same, regardless of the minor incidental details.

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