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Comment Re:Pity there isn't a -1 ; Conspiracy Theory mod (Score 1) 216

You: "I'm your new owner, don't call home"
Windows 7 et al: "OK"
  "Hmm... it obeyed me"

You: "I'm your new owner, don't call home"
Linux et al: "OK"
  "Hmm... it obeyed me"
  "Hmm... its meant to obey me"

You: "I'm your new owner, don't call home"
Windows 10: "OK, jump through these extra hoops"

  "No, not obeying me"

Comment Re:Foresee MIT offering affordable online degrees? (Score 1) 55

Regarding their goal, its in their charter:

[...]for the purpose of instituting and maintaining a society of arts, a museum of arts, and a school of industrial science, and aiding generally, by suitable means, the advancement, development and practical application of science in connection with arts, agriculture, manufactures, and commerce; with all the powers and privileges, and subject to all the duties, restrictions and liabilities, set forth in the sixty-eighth chapter of the General Statutes.

Comment Re:Inevitable (Score 1) 412

"You are thinking like an angry manager that does not understand money.... I have to spend $24,000 on this new checkout lane, my customer will pay dearly for this."

But I am no angry manager - just a manager of my personal time and resources. :) My thinking actually goes like this: "I just wasted $2.4 worth of my time, energy and stress bagging groceries - my supplier will pay dearly for this."

Yes, a SINGLE automated checkout lane is less than the yearly cost of an employee and will operate for years. But the only reason it is, is that it offloads the burden of scanning and bagging to the human customer. If the store actually bought a robot that truly scanned and bagged my groceries, the capital payback period would be several centuries.

Its the same stupid mentality that costs me $2.95 to pay a bill online but sending a check that an employee has to handle is free?

Yes, that mentality is stupid. No, it isn't mine.

Comment Re: Inevitable (Score 1) 412

For me, farmers markets are both cheaper and better. I'm not contradicting what you say - I've been to farmers markets before where the choice and the produce weren't quite there. But keep looking: markets change and mature.

Lets think about food a moment - Amazon is a middleman, typically several relationships removed from the actual producer. So when a *local* farmer sells *local* produce in the *local* area, when its *in season*, he has an advantage in geographic and temporal locality that Amazon will struggle to match.

> At some point people will have to adjust to the fact that there will be technicians and programmers to fix everything and no more banal labor like cashiers or farmers.

All work can be "banal labor". Its the specific situation and your attitude to it that matters.

For example, a farmer actually deals with sophisticated self-replicating nanomachinery out in the wild. So when...
(a) the farmer owns land (i.e. has some security)
(b) is excited about applying his knowledge to improve his produce and the land
- he is as engaged with his farming as Stallman is with computing.

Cashiers? Yes, a bit harder to get excited about those role. :) And if it can be automated at truly no cost to the consumer, it should. But again, the 'augment versus replace' rule applies when humans are useful. For example a bank cashier performs roles a machine cannot. So if an ATM-like slot next to a bank teller's window actually counted out and exchanged cash, the transaction would be sped up tremendously.

Comment Re:Inevitable (Score 3, Interesting) 412

Automation is replacing human labour, but its not free - the cost is being passed back onto the customer.

Automated grocery checkouts have *you* scan and bag groceries while machines weigh and cross-check everything. McDonalds ordering touchscreens have you enter data entered by employees earlier. The bank phone line has you authenticate ID and passcode while on hold - versus employees in a branch checking IDs.

Instead of augmenting humans, big capital is getting greedy and opting for replacing them. There's only so much clerical rubbish the customer will accept before pushback. I eat better and shop at farmer's markets now.

Comment Re:Lawyers are Going to Love This! (Score 1) 223

> So let me get this straight - Brave strips ads off of websites, replaces them with those of Eich's choosing? Ha ha, fuck no.

I get that you are irate about this, but ...

- these are my eyes
- ... and unless I am contractually obligated otherwise...
- ... websites can't sue me (or my agents) for choosing what to see

> Brave is a dumb, dumb idea.

Sort of ... it doesn't go far enough and just ends up moving ad content from one platform to another. Unless Brave transforms into some sort-of hyper-personal Siri/Cortana, not enough users will find value in it -- they will just use ad-blockers.

But the underlying problem it addresses is serious enough for it to be somewhat successful. Ads have become obnoxious. My eyeballs automatically skip parts of the screen by habit. Something has to give. Brave is just being gmail for the web. Sure - you can run your own mailserver, but you'll be inundated with spam. People opt for sites like gmail because (a) cost (b) spam filtering. Expect other browsers to follow.

Now - there'll be a lot of sound and fury once website publishers realise the old model is dead, as browsers finally hand control to the user. This has always been possible (e.g. older browsers gave a prominent place to 'User CSS')

> And advertisers would just need to count hits from Brave browsers to assess legal damages.

What legal damages? :-) And can Brave browsers be distinguised from, say, Chromium with Privacy Badger? The only option a website has is anti-adblock technology. i.e. if a browser fails to load ads (say, when the page is halfway loading), or if you can't fingerprint the browser, block it. Expect ad-aggregators like Double-Click offer this as an option to some customers.

Comment Re: How would that work? (Score 1) 317

Are you calling most people dopes who don't comprehend their personal knowledge has limits? Or saying people need to be licensed to program? Surely, unlicensed internet access by programmers won't cause fatalities on the information superhighway? :)

The reality is our occupation is closer to plumbing than driving -- people know their limits and dabbling wont kill people (but may flood your and your neighbour's apartment).

The main barrier to entry in programming is the Babel effect and primitive tools. Plumbing has its standard pipes and wrenches and drainpipe cameras. We have tens of thousands of isolated languages and frameworks and debuggers. Practically all based on monocolour text. No Babelfish/Google translate to automatically map concepts across.

Comment Re: It has begun! (Score 1) 145

Not sure if you ment what you said, but...

Bugs exist in hardware too - they are just more accessible to normal people.

All hardware - even a doorknob - is just design in some sort of materialised form. So is software. Except its materialisation is less ... material.

Design implies a designer - thus his liability.

Comment In other news... (Score 1, Funny) 83

China today asserted its “indisputable sovereignty” over the landing site surrounding its Chang'e 3 moon probe.

The area under Chinese claim - approximately one lunar hemisphere - has been renamed the 'North China Ocean'. As justification, China noted its long cultural and historical ties to the moon, recently underscored by the arrival of Chang'e 3. China also angrily objected to a US lunar satellite currently orbiting the moon. "It is intolerable", said a Chinese Defense Ministry spokeswoman. "Our national sovereignty is violated during half of each orbit of the US craft". She demanded the United States immediately restrict its satellite to orbit the hemisphere outside of the Chinese claim.

Plans were also announced for a new Chinese heavy-lift spaceship. The first launch - planned for 2018 - will send 240 Chinese astronauts (or 'taikonauts') to the moon, accompanied by several hundred tons of construction equipment. Once on the moon, the taikonauts will launch a massive lunar rock-mining operation designed to provide raw material for new Chinese lunar city. The city (tentatively called "New Kangbashi") will eventually house 202 shopping malls, 2002 security personnel, and 20200 visiting tycoons. It will also serve as operating base for hundreds of Yutu Guàiwù (or 'Moon Rabbit') vehicles. A uniquely Chinese design, the Moon Rabbit is large 2-legged, hopping spacetank. The design takes advantage of the weak lunar gravity to use two 'legs' to propel itself long distances over the lunar surface. This allows the comparatively small Chinese security presence to patrol the large Chinese claim. Equipped with large footpads, each hop of the Moon Rabbit also flattens the lunar surface underfoot. Over time, it is hoped this action will create extensive flattened surfaces, jumpstarting further property development, especially in the highly coveted lunar maria areas.

Treaties prohibiting the weaponization of space also mean that each 'Moon Rabbit' patrol vehicle is unarmed. Instead, it enforces security by simply stomping security threats (or recalcitrant residents) underfoot. The Moon Rabbit is designed to detect the presence of cameras and other digital recording devices nearby. If detected, it can simply hop over protesters blocking its path without loss of face (A design feature developed in response to the Tank Man incident).

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