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Comment Re: Yes, becaue women are bundles of unbridled emo (Score 1) 291

The gender pay gap thing is just dumb anyway. If I run a company, and I could save ~25% by just hiring women, why wouldn't I do that? We should see men having a hard time getting employment if this were the case, but it's not.

The key is maternity leave; during a woman's career she can fall pregnant at any time, and her already having children is no predictor of lack of future children, nor is her marital status any real indication either.

A company is on the hook for an unproductive (read: absent) employee for 6 months (or more) at their current salary, and this can happen more than once. If this doesn't put downward pressure on women's salaries I don't know what else will.

Comment Re:This is a good thing. (Score 1) 291

I like the idea of everyone earning a set amount and then working for more, but then the system breaks down, because nobody wants to contribute back.

There are more rewards than money.

Those who don't contribute will be considered leeches just like they are today. Normal societal pressures will still remain, being part of the group, being a good citizen, and contributing to society are part of that. Many people already donate their time and effort to running community groups and clubs for free to improve their social standing, rather than monetary gain.

People already change the way they act in response to societal pressures to conform, and so long as the rewards for working are good enough then people will want to contribute. Mincome isn't about everyone living like kings, its about removing the bottom end off poverty, and allowing people to enter into working arrangements that benefit them, rather than being forced to take a bad job that exploits them because without it they cant afford to live.

Everyone wants to be a millionaire, but society can't support that.

Some people want that, some others seem reasonably content to live a comfortable life with their family, or just want to pursue their passions whatever they may be.

Comment Re:The strings are his to attach (Score 1) 418

For a single tomato, 20 cents a tomato vs. 8 cents doesn't seem like a lot but to someone like a Sam's Club who buys millions of tomatoes it's a huge difference. And you have to remember that picking the tomato is just one step in the process of getting it to the produce counter. If you paid everyone along with way $20 an hour, the cost of a single tomato would be much larger than it is today. The other thing about tomatoes (and produce in general) is that there's a huge amount of loss between the time they are picked and the time they are bought. I used to work in a produce department while in college. We'd sometimes throw away entire cases as soon as they came off the truck. For the remaining cases, a certain percentage wasn't fit to sell, so they would get tossed in the process of filling the display. Then a couple of times a day at least, the ones on display would be gone through and the ones started to look bad would get pulled. It wouldn't surprise me at all that for every tomato sold, at least one is tossed and that money has to be recouped in the price of the tomatoes that actually get sold.

Things aren't typically sold at the cheapest possible price, they are sold at the price that generates the maximum amount of profit. Increased labor costs will change that price to profit curve slightly, but if they could get away with selling the produce at a much higher price and still sell the same volume then they would be doing that already.

If the price is too high, for whatever reason, people will stop buying.

Comment Re:So which is it? (Score 1) 115

Comparing its performance to DRAM is a "tell" and shows what they're thinking; this may be the fabled "non-volatile RAM" solution that's been the Holy Grail researchers have been trying to develop pretty much ever since RAM was invented. (Yes, I know there are battery-backed-up RAM solutions that claim to be non-volatile but they're only non-volatile until the battery power runs out).

From TFA

The company will also come out with Optane DIMMs later this year for early testers, which will combine the performance of DRAM with the capacity and cost of flash. That means a two-socket server with Optane DIMMS will have a total of 6 TB of addressable memory, "virtually eliminating paging between memory and storage, taking performance truly to a whole new level.

Seems like we're going to find out soon, 6TB of addressable non-volatile ram sounds like a game changer

Comment Re:The land of ATMs on holiday (Score 1) 360

Given that the country, unlike the US, generates remarkably few thieving bastards; the motivation to adopt cash replacements is somewhat lower.

Actually its due to their cultural mistrust of banks (who can blame them). However, they are starting to use electronic subway cards as a payment method, for things like vending machines and convenience stores, but rather than anything associated with a bank, your mass transit company has your account.

Also, its not that crime is low in Japan, its that honesty is high, and that the overwhelming majority of people will go out of their way to do the right thing

Comment Re:Schrodinger's Luck? (Score 1) 289

There have been several near-misses to nuclear Armageddon on both sides of the Atlantic. We got real lucky.

With that many near misses, we statistically should not be here*. Common sense is usually hit and miss during crisis.

You're right, statistically we should be toast by now

Makes me think that when it comes to something of existential gravitas, like starting a nuclear war, that it not only requires psychopaths in charge, but all the way through the chain to the grunt that does the launch.

Sure, it only takes once to screw up, but it also only takes one person in the chain to stop the launch

Comment Choose Your Freedoms (Score 1) 1165

I think America needs to think long and hard about what kind of Freedoms it wants to have. As there appears to be a choice between two evils here, one is gun control, and the other is media control.

If you can't take the guns away from the crazies, then you need to take away their glory. Ban anything but local press from reporting on it, and stop the presidential statements, I can only imagine that whipping the nation into furious debate only increases the appeal to these perpetrators. Perhaps that will mean that less crazies will get the idea to shoot up their school in the first place, and wont get the glory of getting their face on TV around the nation

Maybe the longer this continues the problem of the media will solve itself, as Obama is right, you've become numb to this

Comment Re:Amazon Warehouse workers should demand more mon (Score 1) 177

The company's robot can "slice toppings like tomatoes and pickles immediately before it places the slice onto your burger, giving you the freshest burger possible." The robot is "more consistent, more sanitary, and can produce ~360 hamburgers per hour." That's one burger every 10 seconds.

One of these robots in a McDonald's could probably replace 4 or more employees. If McDonald's isn't testing these now, they're nuts.

Someone will be testing these robots, but I would be surprised if its McDonalds.

Contrary to popular belief, the golden arches is not a burger company, they are a branding and supply chain company. The restaurants are all employee owned franchises, who pay a fee to McDonalds corporate for use of the McDonalds brand, the McDonalds supplies, the McDonalds uniforms, and so on. That's where the money is, not making and selling the burgers.

Would an enterprising franchise owner invest in a burger making robot? Or would they sell up their McDonalds franchise and start up their own employee-free business instead? That's the more interesting question I think.

Comment Re:Naw, it's Doctors (Score 1) 696

As a Motorcyclist you have a few distinct advantages over cyclists, namely speed and acceleration.

The problems come about when you have traffic of greatly differing speeds sharing the same roadways. On a motorcycle you can happily travel at (or above) the speed of traffic, where as cyclists top out rather quickly

The answer is of course to separate the cyclists from the roads, and offer them cycleways (not bike lanes) through the city to get where they're going. A good example of this is Milton Keynes in the UK, and their redways which spread throughout the whole area and are completely separated from the roads. This isn't possible everywhere due to historical and landscape reasons, but it should be incorporated when planning new suburbs and major redevelopments.

Comment Re:So, we need to scuttle the TPP. (Score 1) 128

So how do you do that without denying the negotiators any wiggle room? Well, for one, I'd suggest that drafts be published at regular intervals. You can keep the proceedings themselves secret, so long as we get a record of what they have so far at reasonable periods, and can provide feedback based on that.

How it should work should be as follows:
Negotiators negotiate in secret in the hopes of striking a deal
Once a deal as been struck, they go back to their respective parliaments, the deal is posted publicly and public debate happens to decide whether or not to put the deal into law.
If the public debate rejects the deal, the negotiators go back to the table with the new information they have from the public debate and try and strike a new deal

The important part in all of this is that once the negotiators agree to something, then it still needs to pass public debate, not 'fast-tracked' or otherwise rushed through the process. There is little point in releasing the details of a deal that the negotiating parties haven't even agreed to yet, as at that point its purely hypothetical and until the negotiations are complete then there might not even be a deal for the public to debate over in the first place

Comment Re:How is it that anyone supports this? (Score 1) 127

The whole water vapor thing has the nice effect that it should be reasonably reversable, and if it works might buy us a little time.

Time to do what? That seems to be reasonably straight forward at this point, the problem is the political will and the costs involved.

  • Step 1. Build Gen 3+ PWR Reactors to replace all coal power stations currently in service. These are commercial designs that can be built today on a technology that we have 50+ years experience with in a commercial capacity, not some pie-in-the-sky Gen 4 tech that hasn't really succeeded past the research reactor phase
  • Step 2. Build devices to concentrate and remove CO2 from seawater. We have already built research devices that can do this using a series of membranes to concentrate the dissolved CO2 and then using available industrial filters to remove the CO2 from the water. Can this be done on a large enough scale? that is a current research topic, but worth pursuing as the seas are already doing a fine job of removing the CO2 from the atmosphere where the warming effect is, rather than fixing the atmosphere and releasing all the stored CO2 in the ocean again.
  • Step 3. Encourage cattle farmers to change their habits to increase grass growth. There's plenty of available desert in Australia, and no shortage of livestock there either, no doubt there are other suitable continents as well.
  • Step 4. Subsidise electric cars and do a cash-for-guzzlers scheme to reduce inefficient cars on our roads

There are likely other little things we can do that will all add up, but that would make a fairly big dent right there.

Comment Re:all voting should be paper and pencil (Score 1) 393

The reason for not giving a receipt is that in that case, people can demand you to show your receipt to check if you voted for the right candidate.

In a country of 300 million, do you think this is an effective method of rigging an election?

Personally i'm all for a blockchain style public ledger of pseudonymous votes, with each voter being given a receipt of their choices and their blockchain id for independent verification of the electronic result. The election result can be cryptographically verified by anyone, public or private for signs of tampering, and having voters able to check their vote as recorded in the electronic system helps breed trust.

Sure, if someone can match your blockchain id back to you they would know how you voted, but unless there was voter coercion on a mass scale the outcome of the election is likely to be unchanged

We all agree on the necessity of compromise. We just can't agree on when it's necessary to compromise. -- Larry Wall