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Comment: Re:No More Blacksmiths, CRT Repairmen, John Henrys (Score 1) 241

by retroworks (#49135931) Attached to: 5 White Collar Jobs Robots Already Have Taken
I think the point is that current results have never been predicted accurately in the past. Sure, it could all go horribly wrong this time, but just watch Hans Rosling's video and try to see how everyone is going to go backwards for the first time in a century. More efficient production makes more affordable product which makes for higher consumption which creates more jobs. I keep seeing people are suspicious and concerned it's going wrong, but that's also explained in the video. Terror sells papers.

Comment: Re:What part of "Consent" Don't You Understand? (Score 1) 294

by retroworks (#49134979) Attached to: Reddit Imposes Ban On Sexual Content Posted Without Permission
I agree, but having viewed the sheer number of "nekkid selfies" we can only guess at the percentage which are truly involuntary. Even if 90% are involuntary, the Bureau of Labor Statistics should downgrade its employment projection for porn models. Reddit does the right thing with the policy, but unless they ban the imagery outright, consenting or not (like Blogger), "adolescent's demand for self-gratification", by definition, only defines the demand side of the equation. Paris Hilton film lives in perpetuity, and you cannot eradicate it without censorship of voluntary photos.

Comment: No More Blacksmiths, CRT Repairmen, John Henrys (Score 2) 241

by retroworks (#49134911) Attached to: 5 White Collar Jobs Robots Already Have Taken

What never fails to concern people is that 100 years ago, 80% of humans worked in agriculture and earned $5k per year, and today we are replacing jobs that pay $100K per year at X rate with technology (or imports etc.)... Can we deduce from those two facts that the future is in jeopardy? "Poverty used to be in decline, but now wealth is in decline!" That's the argumentum in terrorem or "doom and gloom" fallacy.

The people quoted in TFA are having trouble speculating what the new jobs will be. Recall the hysteria in the 1970s and 80s about the number of USA jobs moving to Japan, or the 90s-2000s jobs moving to China. 80,000 jobs doing X were lost was a constant headline over 4-5 decades. Yet my state has

If the 80,000 jobs lost to Y during X period was an accurate predictor of concern we'd have reached 90% unemployment a decade ago. Technology both replaces and creates jobs, like App Developer or 3D computer animation artist, or smartphone assembler, that no one imagined. True, most of the new jobs being created today are being created in emerging markets, but as China develops more cell phone assembly jobs, USA sells China more Buicks.

If someone with a time machine had gone back to meet me 30 years ago and shown me film of me using a cell phone to browse the internet and speak to my kid in Europe, and told me the technology cost me $30K per year, I'd have believed that. And today that "imagined value" means I'm living like a person making $29k more than I actually am.

The BLS has not been the greatest predictor of which jobs will be in demand, but has predicted employment markets in aggregate pretty well. "The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted a 15% increase in the employment for all animal care and service workers between 2012 and 2022; however, employment of zookeepers was predicted to grow more slowly than other positions ("

Comment: Re:Very Unlikely (Score 1) 201

by retroworks (#49128599) Attached to: What Happens When Betelgeuse Explodes?

Ah, sorry, I saw this part, which I didn't take to be very definitive.

"We do expect a few supernova in our galaxy every few hundred years, so there are a number of stars that are nearing the ends of their lifetimes within our galaxy. It’s hard to predict exactly when a star will transition from “close to the end of its life” to “exploding in the next week”, so while we expect that none of these will be exploding in the next little while, it’s difficult to predict which one of the stars will be the first to go."

Anyway I didn't mean to pile on, it's not that bad an article or anything. It's just kind of general and without citations, and even the RTFA point isn't presented with much confidence. One might have presumed that the supernova makes stars brighter, so that while I might not see the majority of stars above me, the ones which have gone Supernova I'm more likely to see with the naked eye... thus half the stars I can see (a very small subset of total stars) might be Supernova.

Comment: Re:fuck (Score 1) 201

by retroworks (#49125937) Attached to: What Happens When Betelgeuse Explodes?
But it's so much easier when /. links to an article with no substance, as I can rely on my impulse, opinion, and a priori assumptions, generating faster posts. And no one ever says "RTFA".

I look at the sky every night, knowing the light is hundreds of years old. Half of the stars might have gone supernova already. Maybe we can't blame StartswithaBang for just blogging for slashdot effect.

Comment: Re:Sensational headline (Score 1) 147

by retroworks (#49115289) Attached to: Looking Up Symptoms Online? These Companies Are Tracking You

Also the article is so general that perfectly innocent tracking can't be distinguished from malevolent tracking. Do I realize that part of Google's search ranking involves tracking visits to a page, and to eliminate spoofing will keep a pageranking from being driven by a single IP address clicker? Yes. I want and expect that.

If they are selling particular information about MY search to insurance companies, I'll be as furious as anyone else here on /. But the description of tracking in the article is so general that I can't tell how concerned to be, which is equally annoying. I hate false positives.

Comment: Re:Radio vs on demand (Score 1) 303

by retroworks (#49113681) Attached to: Pandora Pays Artists $0.001 Per Stream, Thinks This Is "Very Fair"

Exactly (and this point was made by Dixie_Flatline several points above).

When I listen to Pandora, I specifically expect and want to discover new music I haven't heard before. I'm specifically wanting to hear something new. When I like something I hear, I look it up on Spotify, where I can listen on demand to an entire album. So Pandora really is more like radio and should pay less per track. Nothing to see here.

Another point that should be made is that I'm 53 and have already paid for most of the music I listen to on Spotify. I own it, I'm just listening to it on Spotify instead of LP or CD. So most of the artists being paid by Spotify wouldn't have earned a cent when I play their music. And statistically, that's true of MOST of the music on Pandora, although I hope to hear new stuff, I mostly hears things I already paid for.

All pretty reasonable, rational, and fair.

Comment: Re:Sony should return to its roots (Score 1) 187

by retroworks (#49098955) Attached to: Why Sony Should Ditch Everything But the PlayStation

Sony should be admired for diversifying decades ago. In the early 90s, they were one of the most respected device manufacturers, but they saw that the money was in content and diversified into Playstation and Sony Pictures. Microsoft moved into hardware (Xbox), and Apple stayed in both. Samsung stayed purely hardware, for the most part. Palm tried to keep both OS (GeOS) and make hardware.

You could fault a lot of Sony's moves, but they survived the turmoil in display devices. Did not make a big smartphone play early enough. But just saying they should return to hardware manufacturing is really ignorant of Pacific rim economies, Japan in particular. They may not succeed, or may retreat into a camera niche, but Sony aspired well and failed where many others failed.

+ - Can Slashdot Share User Statistics on Mod Points?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I've been visiting /. off and on since the 90s (though I lost an account and started over about 13 years ago). I'm trying to discern whether it's my imagination, or whether the sniping and trolling is getting worse. It occurred to me that Slashdot may be able to track how many "moderation" points are being used to send comments to -1 as a possible indicator (though not proof) that there are more trolls about. Or the percentage over the years of comments posted "anonymously". And what are the demographics for posts from Europe, Asia, etc? What's going on Slashdot? Is the neighborhood getting a little seedy?"

Comment: Re:Counting Alarmist Sheep (Score 1) 192

by retroworks (#49094733) Attached to: How NSA Spies Stole the Keys To the Encryption Castle
Thanks for explaining it so well. I was trying to think it through, how concerned I should be. So, idiot I guess. Curious who would the "plant" be working for. I take it that you believe NSA is in the business of taking trade secrets from companies like Siemens of Germany and giving the engineering to... um. USA corporations? Or multinational? Because Siemens medical equipment, CAT scans, etc., are.... um. Yeah, I'm still an idiot. Can you 'splain some more?

Comment: Counting Alarmist Sheep (Score 0) 192

by retroworks (#49091677) Attached to: How NSA Spies Stole the Keys To the Encryption Castle

Here's how I see this. For the average person, if an actual NSA person was paid to follow them or look at them, the NSA would get tied up and bored to death. There are far too many people using Sim cards than there are government employees.

So second, could this private information be used by a rogue NSA employee, say an old college boyfriend to stalk or "peep" into private correspondence? Snowden has absolutely demonstrated that risk, that any of us could be somewhat randomly spied on. But the odds of any single one of us being examined is still as low as previously stated. Annoying but low actual risk.

Could a dictator use this access to information to cow us into subservience? Seems a stretch. In the USA example, if a Democratic/Republican president let slip they were using this info collected by the NSA for political means, the opposing party would hang them with it.

So the most likely use is, as NSA claims, to catch bad guys. Saw John Doe used porn, saw Jane Doe was in AA, but no time or interest in that, they are looking for Bin Laden.

The second most likely use would be a politically active person trying to change the status quo. Like Martin Luther King. If FBI Director J.Edgar Hoover had his hands on this kind of access, the USA would have been screwed. But then again, they assassinated King, and today it would be much harder to cover that up. The FBI directors now have to worry about a Snowden in their midsts, which should keep them more honest.

Mathematically, I'm extremely unlikely to be affected by Bin Laden... the mathematical of terrorist threats is smaller than getting hit by a car (for now). And the likelihood I'd be targeted by a college stalker or NSA agent is also very small. So is the risk that my social security number will be picked off of dropbox. The risk here is that a true intellectual agent of change will be targeted, or that Al Quaeda or ISIS will screw the international banking system so bad that the entire world economy is screwed up and people panic and break into stores and start killing each other. So I sleep at night hoping NSA is as concerned about the latter as much as I am, and hope to God they also fear and realize the precedent set by J. Edgar Hoover.

In the final analysis, I hope people with liberal arts degrees choose to go work for the NSA. The one former employee of NSA that I know personally had a liberal arts degree, and I hope she's not alone. I hope people who care about and worry about the things I worry about are working there, and sometimes I fear the reaction to the NSA is similar to the reaction of hippies in the 60s to business and capitalism... all the agents of conscience were afraid to get their consciences dirty, refused to go into business management, and we had 2-3 decades of business management dominated by assholes. We want more Snowdens in the NSA, and hyperbolizing the agency's "evil" is perhaps the greatest risk.

"Well, if you can't believe what you read in a comic book, what *can* you believe?!" -- Bullwinkle J. Moose