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Comment: Re:Government Intervention (Score 1) 451

I wasn't really arguing against your point. Rather, I was just pointing out that the comparison on the country level isn't really a fair one. You'd likely get much different, and in my opinion more informative, results if you broke out each state in the US separately.

Comparing the connectivity of the top 50 cities by population would be interesting as well.

Comment: Re:Government Intervention (Score -1) 451

I think there's more going on here than just European "socialism" vs. American "capitalism". Demographics, for instance, are wildly different for the US.

Average population and population density for countries 1-15: 34 million and 193/km^2
United States population and population density: 316 million and 34/km^2

Comment: Re:Time for a UNION! (Score 1) 263

by slinches (#48867973) Attached to: The Tech Industry's Legacy: Creating Disposable Employees

- Do not hire a person until existing employees are nearly 100% overbooked. No training or ramp-up time in the schedule.
- Want to hire the cheapest person who can barely get the job done
- Do not want to spend money on training or other activities that might increase employee value on the market (even though, in my opinion, that shoudln't be true)
- Do not significantly value sub E-level employees as investments, but rather fungible commodities to broker
- Vastly prefer to lay off people in position who have become expensive and hire H1Bs to replace them to cut payroll costs, essentially creating a glut of people with the same skillset.

But that would cost money and none of those things have (easily measurable) returns to justify the investment. Although, that really means that we have to get smarter about how we estimate cost avoidance and the value of missed opportunities.

Employees, particularly in Tech:
- Tend to focus on job skills over job experience. Skills can be taught to any college hire, and ARE taught in low-cost regions, but tend not to be taught in western schools. Think languages (C), tools, mechanics. Things if you have the proper background and education you can pick up in a month or two. For any non-trivial job however, this is nearly worthless.
- Misapprehend "experience". Experience is not, or should not entirely be how long you've done a particular task. Most tasks can be mastered in well under 5 years. Experience is how many problems you've worked on and solved in your life. It's one thing to learn a solution (i.e. school), it's another thing to learn a problem. The more you've seen and internalized, the better you will be. Instead we interview for how well so-and-so knows how to write python, or how long as he been a python-engineer. Useless. I want to hear what projects he worked on, what solutions he considered and rejected, etc. I don't care what language he did them in, or if he was a cardboard-box folder for 5 years and has the audacity to apply to a plastic tub sealer position without any industry experience!

The employee focus on skills is a direct result of HR keyword filters. A well written resume that details an applicant's exceptional capability and experience will be round filed before a human ever sees it if it doesn't have the right words/phrases.

I don't have a solution for any of this. It's a difficult problem and the tools we've created to address it have already exceeded their usefulness. We need a ground up rethink of how to train, hire and keep valuable employees. Until that happens, we'll all have to just do our best to understand the limitations of the current system and work around them.

Comment: Re:Would someone please explain ... (Score 1) 328

That same freedom is available to both with the same restrictions. Either license the use of the patented/copyrighted item or find another way to accomplish the same goal.

The biggest differences in that regard seem to be that it may be somewhat easier to work around copyright due to the flexibility of human communication. But there's also a much larger corpus of work to search through to ensure anything you create isn't infringing.

Comment: Re:Would someone please explain ... (Score 1) 328

How so? I obviously disagree on that point, so could you explain your reasoning in more detail? What parts of the laws are so fundamentally different that any comparison is inapplicable?

If there is an obvious difference that I'm not aware of, I could try to come up with a similar argument with copyright directly. I'm just more familiar with the patent side of IP law, so that came to me more naturally.

Comment: Re:Comcast's Nightmare?? (Score 1) 221

by slinches (#48713771) Attached to: Google Fiber's Latest FCC Filing: Comcast's Nightmare Come To Life

Thanks for that insightful comment, Dick.

I guess we should make sure to append "in the USA" to every sentence for the sake of clarity. We wouldn't want people coming to a US site to discuss news about the opinions of a US corporation on potential policies of a US government agency to get confused about it being relevant only to those in the USA.

Also, I'm really glad the English language only uses literal interpretations and never relies on context to alter the meaning of words. That could be very confusing.

Comment: Re:Would someone please explain ... (Score 3, Insightful) 328

The "hysteria" is about a perpetual monopoly on our cultural history. If every piece of art created in our lifetimes is locked down, then we don't have the freedom to create anything new. Everything we do is built upon the ideas of the prior generations that we are exposed to through our culture.

Ultimately, infinite term IP ownership is unsustainable. Our technological and cultural development will stall. Imagine if someone (ie a corporation or estate) still held the patent on the transistor or the lever. Those companies would control the markets for basically every electrical or mechanical device. Do you think we'd even be able to have this discussion? And why wouldn't the same effect occur with copyright once there's nothing left in the public domain to draw from?

Comment: Re:Copyright reform. (Score 1) 328

Hmm... that is a tough one. Maybe you could print and sell new copies? If it's not worth enough to the copyright owner to make a work available to the public, then why not allow it to fall into the public domain after a decade? Maybe someone else will be able to find a way to bring it back to life and extract additional value rather than letting it sit there and fade into obscurity.

Comment: Re:Sexual Harassment shouldn't cost us knowledge (Score 1) 416

by slinches (#48583099) Attached to: MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

Deleting all of Cosby's TV shows and movies would still be wrong as they are a part of our cultural history.

No one is doing that though, there is a difference between no longer promoting something and erasing it from history.

Actually, there isn't in the case of copyrighted works. If the rights holder stops selling and promoting something without re-licensing it for public use, then it is dead and nobody else can legally acquire a copy. This is one of the reasons there should be a requirement in copyright law that the work must be made available or the holder loses their exclusive rights to it.

To stretch the Cosby link further, you might (quite reasonably) think things Cosby did in the past are funny and even have value beyond pure humour, as social commentary etc. If that were the case and you know someone who had been abused by Cosby, would you choose to put a Cosby video on for them and expect them to find it an enjoyable experience?

That is the situation MIT is in. They aren't just dealing with 'theoretical' students who might somehow be deprived of some value that only those videos can impart. They are dealing with real students actually effected by the situation at hand.

If you wouldn't knowingly ask someone you care about to be entertained by someone who had abused them, why would you expect MIT to ask someone to be educated by someone who harassed them?

I wouldn't ask them to watch something from their abuser, but that isn't what's happening here. No one is being forced to watch anything. They're not even being asked to. Worst case is if one of Cosby's victims happened across a rerun of his, they quickly change the channel. The MIT lectures are even less likely to be seen accidentally and the professor's name is clearly listed on it. Are you suggesting that the right thing to do is to eliminate every reference to a person just so that a few people who were hurt won't occasionally stumble across a reminder that their abuser exists? If so, where do you draw the line there? The MIT professor only violated sexual harassment rules and as far as I have seen isn't even charged with a crime. Is that really enough to warrant erasure of his work? What about a high school bully? Are they so tainted that they should never be allowed to participate in our culture again?

Comment: Re:Just wondering... (Score 3, Insightful) 416

by slinches (#48575333) Attached to: MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

The best thing MIT could do is release the lectures for free (i.e. remove a profit motive from themselves), eliminate their name being used in association with it, and step back. That's reasonable. Trashing the whole thing is silly.

Maybe there needs to be a creative commons license that expressly forbids attribution, just for this circumstance. I suggest calling it CC-CYA

A list is only as strong as its weakest link. -- Don Knuth