Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 161

by ultranova (#48684987) Attached to: Sony Accused of Pirating Music In "The Interview"

If we do it, people say that no one loses anything if you make a copy, and that sharing has been part of human culture for ages. These people should have nothing to whine about if Sony then goes to do the same thing.

Sony has been one of the advocates for de facto life-ruining punishment for copyright violation. They will almost certainly continue being that in the future too. So why shouldn't they get hoisted by their own petard when it turns out they're not just cruel but also hypocrites? Avenge their victims and dethrone the malefactor.

Comment: Re:Zero-Day Flaw? (Score 1) 82

by ultranova (#48681571) Attached to: Lizard Squad Targets Tor

This is why we can't have nice things.

Of course we can. Reality - including human nature - simply sets the design parameters for those nice things. For example, would it be possible to fit major torrent clients with built-in (non-exit) Tor nodes? That way, torrent traffick would not swamp exit nodes and would actually help hide the kind of traffick Tor was originally designed for.

Comment: Re:Ouch (Score 2) 157

by ultranova (#48680703) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

At least if most of the learning happens at school, kids get mostly the same shot at it.

Those who aren't bullied, at least. Those who are get to spend some more mandatory time in Hell. And longer school days mean more stress and thus more bullies and less teachers willing to do anything about it.

Comment: Re:Cue Liberals (Score 1) 117

by ultranova (#48679917) Attached to: NSA Reveals More Than a Decade of Improper Surveillance

Democrats hate the thought of anyone determining their own fate and Republicans want to prevent anyone from enjoying the same advantages they do.

And once you accept such a premise - that everyone who disagrees with you is acting in bad faith - how could you possibly behave any differently than the NSA did? After all, you are surrounded by Fifth Columns trying to subvert the nation for whatever reason. What else can you do but keep them under surveillance in hopes of catching them in the act?

This is what's really wrong with American political process: treating political opponents as enemies. Democracy works because everyone gets to make their case without having to resort to violence. Democracy is efficient because every viewpoint gets represented and thus considered. But there's also the temptation to simply hurl mud on one's opponents rather than argue one's policies on their merits, and for whatever reason that's the road US has taken. It's a flaw that needs to be corrected.

Both Parties have become useless to the majority and only serve specific, rabidly vocal special interest groups.

So both parties listen to the voters, otherwise being rabidly vocal would have no effect. So rather than complain that they can't read your mind, why don't you learn from these special interest groups and start your own? Because "Party X only listens to me if I speak" is not exactly a damning judgement, at least not on the party.

Comment: Re:Tree of liberty (Score 0) 358

by ultranova (#48670647) Attached to: UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

Well, as they say, the tree of liberty needs to occasionally be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots. It appears that their tree is in need of some watering.

Neither the US nor the UK have tyrants. They have officials who were elected by popular vote. So unless you were planning immolating yourself in front of Buckingham Palace as a protest for your country's policies, the quote is not really appropriate.

Democracies reflect their citizens. You don't have to like that reflection, but if you don't, breaking the mirror only adds more disfigurements from the flying shards.

Comment: Re:Yet another clueless story on automation (Score 1) 623

by ultranova (#48670441) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

So what? We already made that choice to do so. Forcing companies to go with automation over employment doesn't make this situation any better.

We decided to not let people starve, and institutionalized that decision in the form of social security. However, setting up said social security in such a way that businesses suffer less costs from paying their employees insufficient wages than they would without social security in place - because automation is not free - creates perverse incentives. It rewards paying employees less and punishes any competitors who pay decent wages. That's a dumb and arguably evil thing to do.

Comment: Re:Why dashcams? (Score 1) 93

by ultranova (#48646433) Attached to: Seattle Police Held Hackathon To Redact Footage From Body Cameras

Dashcams stay on the cruiser which is always in a public space. There is no need to redact that video unless you have something to hide.

So, just hypothetically speaking, you would be okay with being followed and every single one of your actions recorded and publicly reported 24/7? Because with modern computer vision and ubiquitous cameras, that question is becoming less hypothetical every day. And that, in turn, is quickly turning the entire society into a giant panopticon.

Look up Finlandization. Hell can take many forms, and none are made better by being forced to smile and pretend everything's okay.

Comment: Re:Yet another clueless story on automation (Score 1) 623

by ultranova (#48644457) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Who's going to employ poor people once you destroy the businesses who employ poor people?

The question is not who employes them, the question is who pays for their living expenses. If companies don't pay a living wage, then that's you and me.

Society is not a suicide pact.

?

These people are paid so little because their labor is worth so little. Making them unemployable doesn't make their labor worth any more than it currently is.

Then it shouldn't really matter if they're employed or not, now should it? After all, if their labor is worth little, then the economy is little affected if it's removed, right?

We will see not only jobs moved to other parts of the world, but the automation as well. Call it "race to the bottom", "exporting the pollution", whatever, but it remains that a growing amount of valuable economic activity has been chased out of the developed world and it's not coming back.

What valuable economic activity would that be? Surely you aren't referring to activities so unprofitable that paying minimum wage for them is a "punishment"?

Manufacture for example. And Walmart and McDonald's do have valid business models and very useful services that depend on low wages. They can achieve that by automation or by paying people what they're worth.

You can't have it both ways. Either these people's labor is valuable, or it is not. If it is, then pay them for it. If it's not, then it doesn't matter whether they're employed or not, because they're poor either way and the economy is by definition unaffected by losing low-value labour; the only ones affected is McDonald's and Wal-Mart who'll have to shell out for automation rather than continue having their profits subsidized by having me pay their workforce. Which one is it?

Comment: Re: News at 11.. (Score 1) 718

by ultranova (#48644393) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

Says the guy who doesn't know what "begging the question" means...

"Begging the question" has multiple meanings: the literal meaning, similar to "rising the question", and another: "assuming the conclusion" which originated from a particularly bad translation of a latin phrase. You, on the other hand, confused the concept of sharing with its exact opposite, "exclusive use".

Comment: Re:Yet another clueless story on automation (Score 1) 623

by ultranova (#48643091) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

No, that's what happens when you raise the minimum wage while keeping interest rates so low that the cost of capital makes automation much cheaper than humans.

No, that's what happens when you pay your employees so little they require public assistance to survive.

Rather than pay people to do stuff, you just borrow money to install machines that do it, instead.

Those people will require food stamps either way, which I'll end up paying for. The only difference is whether you get free labour or have to shell out for machines. So tell me: why should I subsidize your business?

You and your comrades in government are effectively paying corporations to get rid of human employees, just so you can whine about it afterwards.

And the alternative you're proposing is me effectively paying the payroll of those corporations. Even if I'd be willing to do so, which I'm not, it'll become impossible when my job is replaced by automation in turn.

Comrade me all you want, it won't change the fact that the system is breaking down. All defending status quo does is make the crisis deeper and the resulting changes more drastic.

Comment: Re:Wrong way of thinking. (Score 3, Insightful) 623

by ultranova (#48642663) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

A minimally regulated market which has perfect knowledge by all participants.

Apart from "minimually regulated" being vague, it's in principle impossible to have "perfect knowledge". So claiming yours would be an awesome economic system is a bit like claiming that theocracy would be an awesome political system because it would have an omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent deity at the helm. More than a bit, actually, since such ideologically pure economic systems always end up with deityfying their guiding principles, whether they be the Historical Inevitability of Communism or the Invisible Hand of the Marketplace.

Comment: Re:Yet another clueless story on automation (Score 3, Insightful) 623

by ultranova (#48642509) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Once again we have a clueless story about automation destroying jobs which ignores that the claimed effect doesn't happen.

Do you have any evidence for this assertion? Because last I looked, most of the developed world continues to struggle with unemployment.

Most of the developing world just doesn't have this problem. It's just another imaginary first world problem.

It sucks that the second and third world have problems. That doesn't mean the problems of the first world don't exist, or aren't potentially lethal.

Instead the problem is the punishing of employers. When you mandate high minimum wages and plush benefits, regulations which drive up the cost of an employee while simultaneously making them hard to fire, and the creation of a variety of liabilities (eg, being exposed to large liabilities due to unsanctioned actions of your employees), you create an environment where it is better for employees to move the work to a better location and/or automate it.

Lowering or removing the minimum wage means that the poor will either starve or receive food stamps. Both jackbooted security forces and food assistance require money. And that, in turn, means the only difference between keeping - or preferably rising - the minimum wage or lowering it is that in the latter case my taxes ultimately go to subsidize McDonald's and Wal-Mart's profits and oppress people.

We will see not only jobs moved to other parts of the world, but the automation as well. Call it "race to the bottom", "exporting the pollution", whatever, but it remains that a growing amount of valuable economic activity has been chased out of the developed world and it's not coming back.

What valuable economic activity would that be? Surely you aren't referring to activities so unprofitable that paying minimum wage for them is a "punishment"?

Don't sweat it -- it's only ones and zeros. -- P. Skelly

Working...