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Comment: Re:Easy Solution To H1B Problem (Score 1) 407

Unions have stopped working in the private sector.

If unions worked, we'd use them. Well I would at least.
The problem is even greater than the H1B Visa and its the same problem manufacturing workers faced.

You're not that special in the world. Free trade killed the viability of private sector unions in this context. You ever wonder about the H1B? He comes from India/China. Oh you plan to unionize the American labor location. No problem, we can setup shop in India/China and they can do their job there. Heck, most major American tech companies have over seas locations like that.

Once a company has multiple locations, the power of the union diminishes greatly. About the only private union that even has some meager power these days is the auto union. I'm Canadian, and even that is under threat as Mexico and even other parts of the US get capacity.

This does not mean private sector unions are impossible. It's just not as simple as organizing. You need changes to corporate governance, union structure, industrial policy... all kinds of changes, like in Germany.

And then you get into the weird area where everyone wants to be Germany making 'high-value' items. Well then you start to dilute that specialty making that model less likely to work.

Comment: It is all in the details (Score 1) 489

by scamper_22 (#49440845) Attached to: Reason: How To Break the Internet (in a Bad Way)

What is/isn't under a banner of net-neutrality will determine whether or not it is a good regulation.

I've met people who think net neutrality should mean ISPs can't throttle anything. Well jeez, have these people ever tried to manage a network?

Then there's people who think the ISPs are just making money with data caps and surcharges. Often times, these are the same group of people.

Well one way or another, you have to manage your network. Either impose extra costs on users, or you as the ISP do it for them.

Myself, I prefer the unlimited use. You might pay more for a bigger pipe (25 mbps versus say 10 mbps), but in both cases you can use it as much as you life.

As long as the ISPs are using throttling in a 'fair' way, that is good. Maybe require them to publish their throttling rules. Things that could be anti-competitive could be taken to court.
Or have simple rules, like they can only throttle a users overall speed. So maybe if you use too much, you get your entire bandwidth reduced to 1 mbps or have your packet priority lowered... whatever

And you might not want to prevent big users/network from working together. Not in an anti-competitive way, but in a way that keeps the network functioning better. Again as long as these deals are public and are available for all players for a fair price. Whether that is co-locating servers, being able to label packets with certain priorities when congestion happens...

Regulating a network is complex, but it has been done before, like regulating rail network and making sure it is open and fair access for all rail companies that want to use the tracks.

Comment: Re:Hits Home (Score 1) 210

I used to be really concerned about it. Heck, I still am.
What do we do when computing and automation reduces mass jobs?
What happens when population growth stops?
What happens when the West stops getting the best people from developing countries? ...

I really have no idea of the answer to any of these questions. Yet, what I do know is the powers that be will do everything to keep it going.

Communism is discredited, but I wouldn't count it out (i'm being genuinely neutral here). I've been hearing for years that interest rates will go up to 'normal'. Yet, it seems they've been able to pretty much make 0-1% the new normal. Quantitative easing or whatever financial games they do at that level seems pretty common place too. Automation and efficiency's are helping keep inflation under control.

Basically, the governments/banks are able to basically have infinite spending in this manner and thus the ability to control the economy. They can dictate how much is spent on public services, how much to give to the elderly, how much to give to companies, how much to spend on R&D/startsup, how much to invest in the military...

Things keep on chugging along. Now I'm under no illusion. It could come crashing down any second now, but at the same time, they could simply keep this system chugging along.

Most people are already convinced of the need to keep the governmnet/banking stimulus, and most people like stability, and most is so abstracted today that it doesn't really matter anymore. We could very well end up with communism or something like that. We'd just have less force and probably involve banking/consumerism at some level. But the idea of a government run economy with all parts focusing on creating jobs/getting things the leaders deem need doing done. It's like we're already there. eh?

I'm not saying if it is good or bad, but it is interesting to see it develop. Bankers are pretty much onside with progressives/socialists now in terms of free money. Bankers don't want growth to stop and progressives/socialists need free money for the public sector and other spending. About the only ones against it are libertarians/anarchists. Maybe they can be placated with some kind of guaranteed income, and they can move out of the expensive areas and have a low cost sustained living.

Comment: Re:Hmm (Score 1) 892

This is more true than you think.

One of the big issues with feminism/gender wars is that it tries to view all issues as part of feminism/gender.

90% of the gender wars issues I've seen in terms of employment are just regular issues that would apply to a lot of men in the field.

The vast majority of men aren't hard driving negotiators seeking to rise to the very top to dominate the rest of men. A lot of men I work with are pretty darn cooperative, want vacation time, want time with their family...

We had a huge development in labor laws in the 1900s. But it was aptly called... a labor movement because it had to to do with labor issues. Minimum wages, overtime, safety regulations... I'm sure the arguments at that time were the time. If someone wants to work harder for the company by working more overtime, shouldn't they be allowed to? I'm not here to say whether this is right or not. It's not the point of the post. It's simply to say that back then, labor issues were called labor issues. Heck, I'm pretty sure communism had a huge male following.

But feminists today want to see everything as men as the enemy.
Crap loads of men are really really really shitty negotiators. Most engineers who toil for these companies are crappy negotiators. Standing up to the domineering male/female leader and be willing to risk being a trouble maker is a hard thing when the bills need to be paid. A lot of men would love universal laws that improved their labor conditions, standard pay, more security...

For any exploiting women think 'men' are doing to them, I guarantee you, 'men' are exploited even more. Ultimately, it has more to do with those in power, than any kind of gender issue.
Being raised Muslim, I often use this example.
Feminists will often say Islam is horrible to women because women could be taken as war booty (concubines/sex slaves). Men are the enemy!

Here's what they often miss. When wars happened in the past, the women might have been taken as concubines... the men were simply slaughtered and butchered. The powerful oppressed the weak... and despite what you might think... a lot of men are pretty weak relative to the strong man.

It's the same with pay. For every 'man' in power who pays a woman less than she 'deserves', there's an army of men being paid less than they 'deserve'.

Ultimately, this kind feminism is really the feminism of the top 5% (not exact number). If you're good enough to be able to really substantially negotiate your salary, chances are you're probably pretty okay in life and battling for some kind of leadership position. Who should get the leadership position? I really have no idea. Sometimes in tech for example, I wish some of my leaders were more pushy alpha types who'd push back on other people. Maybe the better negotiator should win here? This is ultimately the top players playing around and some top women trying to gain power from the top men by using other tactics.

Comment: Re:XP phobia (Score 1) 197

by scamper_22 (#49425609) Attached to: Windows 10 Successor Codenamed 'Redstone,' Targeting 2016 Launch

I'm not sure how much of an issue this really is today. Just a couple of years back, for sure. It was a huge issue.

Heck, right now, many workplaces are switching to web solutions. This has one big advantage in terms of standards and legacy. There is definitely some QA here. many of these were big issues just a few years back. Be it IE6 or older windows applications. I think at my current slow enterprise role, we just got rid of the last non web solution. It still ran though on Windows 7, but its out of there.

If it really becomes a big enough issue for them to lose enterprise customers, I'm pretty sure they have a virtualization solution or they will keep sandboxed versions of legacy applications. It's a very solvable problem. Heck, it would probably cost them nothing at that point to release a free Windows XP Virtual Machine for that rare legacy support.

Comment: Re:feels manufactured. (Score 1) 286

by scamper_22 (#49267793) Attached to: Elon Musk Pledges To End "Range Anxiety" For Tesla Model S

Ummm no.

I've been close to running out of gas a few times in my life. Most of the times involved long distance travel on highways away from cities with sparse gas stations and you just say F**K, why didn't I fill up at the last one. I had no idea it would be 200k until the next one.

There is simply a lot of anxiety in that. For whatever reason, I've never actually ran out of gas. But that fear is real and lucky for me, only happened on a few trips in rural areas when I was younger. Now I just know better.

I can only imagine driving an electric car, the kind of anxiety that would result. Heck, it might even affect regular day to day driving unless you live in an area with lots of recharge stations...

1. fewer recharge stations. With gas, you just kind of expect them everywhere. Heck, that's the attitude that got me in trouble on those rural trips when I was younger. I just magically expected gas stations.

2. Shorter range

3. longer recharge. My internal rational for now getting into low gas situations is simply that I convinced myself that the quick 5 minutes it takes to refill my gas is worth it to always keep my tank at least half full. I'm not sure how that equation changes with electric.

Comment: Re:seems about the same (Score 3, Interesting) 320

I'll add to this.

We have to separate 'science' from 'scientists' in a similar way you have to separate any practice from its practitioners.

Science is a really good methodology to get at the *truth* mainly by testing your hypothesis (scientific method).

In the end though, scientists are just people, as in any other group. They can and will be influenced by pride, status, money, power, any other group of people.

It's a tough line of argument where people end up talking about 'true science'

It's not just scientific journals, people will sometimes dismiss entire areas of 'science', especially in the social sciences/economics. Yet, from the outside perspective, its the same voices of experts touting studies and reports to get at the *truth*.

In the end though from a social perspective, how can we guarantee scientists adhere to the scientific method and search for truth, any more than catholic priests adhere to their creed (while raping little children).

I don't they will as scientists are just people. Put more power, money, politics, institutions under the scientific banner, and I think human behavior will take precedence over the adherence to the scientific theory.

Comment: What's the rush (Score 1) 341

by scamper_22 (#49153989) Attached to: We Stopped At Two Nuclear Bombs; We Can Stop At Two Degrees.

I just don't get the big rush. I understand that green house gases are rising temperatures. I understand the possible impacts of rising water levels, more chaotic weather, changing farm lands...

But lets be clear. This polluting has been going on for the industrial revolution. Over two hundred years.

We're already getting fairly competitive hybrid and electric cars. Most car companies have decent models. Revolutionary firms like Tesla are there. Who knows what Google and Apple will do.

We already have a fair amount of renewables and it is continuing to increase. Even coal and other polluting fuels can be improved with better technology.

Much of the world is industrializing and this has lifting millions and billions of out poverty. Better still, this means stabilizing or even declining birth rates. People like to think of the world is getting overpopulated. But the pattern has been pretty consistent with much of the world getting down to a fertility rate around 2. If this is the case, that alone should massively reduce green house consumption in the next 100-200 years or so.

We have the technology and skill to avert much of the impacts of global warming. We can build levies and other flood protection measures. Maybe some regions are moved. Maybe we start different form of controlled farming. Global supply chains can move goods around the world pretty rapidly. If one region suffers a drought, things can be brought it from elsewhere.

And I am really skeptical if our leaders, even the ones championing global warming, actually see it as a great thread, instead of a means of political power.

Simple case. Obama spent his terms pushing through ObamaCare. Maybe worthy on its on right. But if we were truly facing a global disaster of global warming that threatened our existence, maybe... just maybe... he should have used his political capital and resources on that instead of healthcare.

And it's not just Obama. How many politicians or even scientists are willing to sacrifice for the anti-global warming effort?

Much like war, we get pretty cynical when they don't appear to make any sacrifices or when they don't demand sacrifices of everyone. Hey Bush, why don't you send your daughters to war in Iraq or why didn't you volunteer to go into actual war. Yet you seem pretty giddy about going to war in Iraq and other places.

The public's reaction is no different when facing politicians/scientists/academics who push for more power/taxes for 'global warming'. Are they willing to take a 30% paycut that would go to anti-global warming efforts? No... can't have that! Matter of fact, they really want to have increased funding!

Again, I'm not saying it is wrong. I am talking about perception here. Much like to win a war, maybe you need to pay your military contractors good money so they make really good weapons. But let's not pretend it doesn't create a high degree of cynicism about the true motivations.

In the end, maybe I'm just a bit positive, but I see the Earth warming a bit. We get through this. The technology is there. Our capabilities to fight the bad affects are there.

Maybe some parts of the world are hurt by it. But is global warming really the top concern for every part of the world. Turn on the news people. Thousands upon thousands are dying every day in a brutal civil war in Syria and the ME. Problems like this happen throughout the world.

Comment: Re:Here's a great idea... (Score 1) 481

by scamper_22 (#48991361) Attached to: DOT Warns of Dystopian Future For Transportation

Yeopi, this is the strange irony of our times.

People have inflated the value of healthcare and education over infrastructure.

This is not to say spending on healthcare or education is not good, just that it should come AFTER investments in infrastructure.

Roads, sewers, electricity... were the things governments were responsible before. Long before healthcare and education. Then these were added. Then people forgot about infrastructure.

You don't need large organization to get an education. All you really need is an adult and a room. Today, maybe even just a computer. For basic healthcare, all you need is a doctor to setup shop.

Heck, I grew up in an area without much healthcare aside from a doctor who practiced in his home.

But try getting by without roads, electricity, sewers...

Again, I'm not saying increasing healthcare and education is bad. Just saying it is a sad state where infrastructure if falling apart in many western nations and we spend so much on healthcare and education.

Comment: Re:Excellent idea (Score 1) 779

by scamper_22 (#48961449) Attached to: WA Bill Takes Aim at Boys' Dominance In Computer Classes

I would have much less resistance to this focus on equality of outcomes if people were not so keen to celebrate and profit from the benefits of the merit based system.

Tech is the prime example. Intense risk taking, insane work, insanely challenged environments, no security, crazy egos, ... kind of field.
Most progressives/leftists are willing to celebrate these companies and the 'new economy'. They celebrate in taxing these firms. They celebrate in the exports of these firms. They celebrate the greatness of their country via them.

Hey, you want to start talking about equal outcomes and leftist/progressive values, sure, I'm game. My family life is pretty important to me. Let me know when you give the 'boys club' mandatory 5 weeks vacation, fixed 40 hour weeks, job security, pensions, roles... every other bureaucratic tool.

But you know that won't happen. They profit from it too much.

It's like they want to leech of every success that is driven by the very culture they despise.

This is much more of a north american problem (canada included) as far as I can tell. In europe the private sector also has some of those benefits...

Comment: Re:Double Irish? TAX ALL FOREIGNERS!!! (Score 1) 825

by scamper_22 (#48959911) Attached to: Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas

The tax issue is pretty complex and the idea that companies are 'hiding' profits or something is much more complex.

1. Most countries have a sales tax which captures the economic activity in their own country. I'm in Canada. For every IPhone sold, the government is going to get something like 10-15% of the sales price. Heck for a lot of low-margin business, the government gets more in sales tax than the company is going to make in profit for that sale

2. Most countries have taxes on wages. Apple employs thousands of people on its own dime. The government is then going to tax those people at anywhere from 20-50% depending on the country. To top it off, people employed by these companies don't get government assistance.

3. Money leaving the company to actual people in the form of capital gains, dividends... is also taxed again.

There is actually very little in the way of 'hiding' going on.
At every turn, the government gets to put it's hand in the jar so to speak. I'm not saying it is a bad thing,

But why is the corporate rate attractive to tax? I'd guess it is because the corporation is this abstract entity.

But its very interesting to see how different countries approach these things. The US has a number of really high profile companies and views that as things to be taxed to enrich America.
In say China, companies are backed by the state because they generate jobs and exports.
In Canada, we lack many such high profile companies and want to attract these companies, so we actually start lowering tax rates, giving incentives for companies to locate here, but fall short of actually backing them.

It's just interesting to see how things are viewed as either things to be taxed or things to be encouraged. Even something as simply as airports. In Canada, the government views airports as just another thing, so they have hefty leases and other things that airports have to pay. This results in airports, like Toronto Pearson having high fees that many people even choose to drive to Buffalo, NY, to take flights from there.

In the US, airports are viewed more as infrastructure, not revenue generators or to be revenue neutral; heck they're often subsidized.

It really is a matter of perspective.
But like all things, increase costs too much on anything relative to other countries, and people will find a way to avoid it.
Increase sales tax too much, and people will drive to the next country over with lower sales tax.
Make life hard for corporations... don't worry... you're corporations aren't that special in the world. Apple is nice, but it's not like Samsung isn't producing many phones. ....

Comment: Re:18B on 75B (Score 1) 534

by scamper_22 (#48927805) Attached to: Apple Posts $18B Quarterly Profit, the Highest By Any Company, Ever

What's interesting is people have problem paying 10-15% sales tax on products. That means the government takes on more in sales tax than most companies make in profit on the actual product.

Of course this depends on where you live. In some parts sales tax might be 0% and 25% in others. It's just funny looking at it that way.

Comment: Re:So what was the result?? (Score 1) 497

by scamper_22 (#48877963) Attached to: Science By Democracy Doesn't Work

We're actually not that far off.

It's very interesting actually going through the questions from the most agreeable to the contentious. I like how you stated it, but I will expand.

Is climate change real and not a hoax? (few disagree)
Do humans contribute to it (probably 90/10)
Do humans contribute significantly to it (probably 50/50)
Should we take action to counter it (probably 40/60)
Should we take significant action to counter it? (???)
Should we impose a carbon tax? (???)
Should we prepare for raising water levels (???) ...

All these are separate questions. The problem is just how linked they are in politics.

For some, the link is direct.
Do you believe climate change is real? If yes.... then carbon tax!
Disagree with a carbon tax,then you must not believe in climate change.

On science, a lot of people don't actually disagree. it's actually become the linking of policies to scientific reality that infects and distorts science.

Comment: Re:Please develop for my dying platform! (Score 1) 307

by scamper_22 (#48877139) Attached to: Blackberry CEO: Net Neutrality Means Mandating Cross-Platform Apps

Just an FYI. I'm not advocating any particular position. I am simply stating the dynamics of the discussion.

Those on either side of what is a 'right,' speak in common ways.
Obviously you view negative rights as rights as the positive rights requires forced labor or ...

On the flip side, many would say negative rights mean many people are still 'forced' to work for a living and be a wage slave. So they have to work anyways and that is forced labor.

We should probably have different words for things like rights and freedoms, but in the end we don't and so that is where the interesting discussions is.

Even if you call net neutrality an entitlement, which I don't really care about, I really don't like dictionary battles, what changes about the discussion? John Chen's point is still relevant and all the issues it raises are still relevant.

This is the same with any argument over rights. Fight the word battle if you wish, but I'd much rather discuss what it actually means in practice.

Comment: Re:Please develop for my dying platform! (Score 1) 307

by scamper_22 (#48876191) Attached to: Blackberry CEO: Net Neutrality Means Mandating Cross-Platform Apps

He's not an idiot and it is pretty consistent with everyone's talk of rights as we normally do in out political discussions.

He is choosing to view net-neutrality as a positive right. You know, like how people view education and healthcare and housing. These things require other people to actively do things for you (time, resources, money).

The other net-neutrality is just a negative right, preventing the ISP from blocking, discriminating between content...Like freedom of speech, freedom of contract...

It's an interesting discussion that mirrors many political ones in its own way. Living constitution, access, rights, monopoly...

No, I don't think the CEO is actually arguing from such philosophical points. He is just trying to save his company... but it is interesting nonetheless.

"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340