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Comment Re:Wrong (Score 1) 540

Nobody said that automation would happen magically with no effort. So if you're offended by the claim that you imagined, you can stop. Rather obviously, it's a huge investment of effort/money to automate any complex process well, and that's invested because it makes the ongoing economics much better.

And while construction is harder to automate, there are companies automating construction. It's a complex collection of tasks to automate, and construction by definition is done in the field which complicates things, so it's not as far along as factory automation. But there are companies automating production of home components, for assembly on site, which does in fact make home construction much more efficient (and higher quality). And there are companies doing POCs with huge-scale 3D printing (using concrete) and pick-and-place (using bricks) to automate construction.

I'm not sure why you think that construction being fairly manual right now means that millions of other jobs aren't being automated out of existance. Or that construction jobs won't be increasingly automated.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 472

Right. The US still does small-scale manufacturing. It's the large scale stuff (e.g. tens of millions of units a year) that the US isn't capable of. Note that Apple makes their small volume products in the US (e.g. the Mac Pro), just not the cell phones and laptops that they sell millions of.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 472

Nope. Apple was willing to pay above-average US wages. The problem was that the people they needed to hire, experienced manufacturing engineers, didn't physically exist in the US in sufficient numbers to staff a large scale consumer electronics manufacturing plant. They're all in China now, because that's where manufacturing is done.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 472

No, they were willing to pay above-average US wages. There are very few experienced manufacturing engineers in the US, and schools train very few, so they don't exist. Apple would have had to spend years talking US schools into training people for jobs, then waiting years for those people to be trained, then hired them.

In contrast, FoxConn staffed the iPhone manufacturing line with experienced staff in weeks.

This is because US manufacturing destroyed itself. We no longer have that capability, because those companies all wiped out their US capacity and trained China to do their jobs, in order to get hire investor ROI. At least, until the Chinese companies wipe out the US companies. Look for example at how IBM trained Lenovo to make their laptops, then sold the whole business to Lenovo. That made IBM investors money, but wiped out an huge, successful US business. That is, it was bad for EVERYONE other than IBM's investors...

Comment Wrong (Score 2) 540

For most of history, anyone who was able and willing could find a job, because the vast majority of jobs could be done by nearly anyone with perhaps a few weeks' training. There are also skilled jobs, like doctors and engineers, based on deep training.

With automation, the large bulk of jobs can be automated, meaning that people who are able and willing can't get work because the work isn't done by people anymore. For example, look at coal mining - 90% of the jobs were eliminated by coal companies buying huge industrial equipment that can get the coal out at lower cost with 10% of the number of people. Those jobs aren't coming back. And many manufacturing jobs are being automated, because it's cheaper and produced more consistent output.

What that means is that people able and willing to work are unemployed, or at the very least get paid wages 1/2 what people were paid decades ago to do the work (in constant dollars).

And as automation continues to improve its capabilities, and gets cheaper and cheaper, more and more jobs will be automated.

GIven that society can produce things for 1/10th the cost, that means that we could easily provide everyone with food and housing for free. Sadly, in the US, some "Christian" people are so terrified of the idea of anyone getting anything for free, they'd rather force millions of people to be homeless and starve, just because their jobs were eliminated.

Comment Re:Focus on automated assembly (Score 1) 472

Apple's manufacturing lines are highly automated. People only do the parts that people are better at than robots. Last time I saw the number (a few generations back) human hands only touched the iPhone for a few minutes per phone. The rest is all robots - placing chips on PCB's, flow soldering, most of the assembly, etc., is automatic.

Comment Re:profit margins, and protectionism (Score 1) 472

Production cost is not the entire cost of the phone, just the cost of the assembly. That's about $10 per phone, because Apple's manufacturing is highly automated - people just do the steps that humans are better than computers at. Adding $10 to the cost of the phone isn't going to kill anyone.

Comment Re:So let me get this straight.... (Score 1) 472

Apple wants to manufacture in the US, has made many products in the US, and still makes some low volume products in the US, and _tried_ to manufacture the iPhone in the US. But large scale consumer electronics manufacturing is dead in the US. There aren't enough experienced line managers to hire to train and operate enough production lines that can produce tens or hundreds of millions of units a year. It's not about US salaries at all - Apple could easily cover the few dollars per unit cost of higher US wages.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 5, Informative) 472

Apple tried to manufacture the iPhone in the US initially. The reason they didn't wasn't wages - in highly automated mass production, wages are a tiny percentage of cost of goods. The "deal breaker" was that the US didn't have enough industrial engineers to manage the production lines. Apple would have had to hire 100% of the new graduates from all US universities for 3 years to have enough engineering management to run the lines. The secondary issue is supply lines. All of the suppliers manufacture in or near Foxconn in China, so they can iterate on designs in hours, rather than weeks (shipping). So, to be in market years earlier, and with maximum agility, Apple had to be in China. Manufacturing on a large scale in the US was killed long before the iPhone launched.

Comment Re:Obviously, a failed time travel mission (Score 1) 360

And most other analysts put Clinton 85-95% odds of winning. If you dig into 538's numbers, the polls average Clinton being up by 5%, and 538 shifts everything 2% in Trump's favor (their opinion: all polls are biased 2% towards Clinton, though it's not clear why they think so) then say that since it's only 3% gap, and individual polls typically have around a 3% "margin of error" for 95% confidence, it's possible that ALL polls are off by 3% in Clinton's favor. Mathematically true - but the odds of hundreds of polls all being off by the full margin of error in the same direction is not 35%, it's vanishingly small.

Comment Re:Apple has made this tradeoff before (Score 1) 108

Apple helped invent and continues to lead the USB standards. Apple worked with Intel to get USB to the point where they could consolidate Thunderbolt into USB-c - the capability to run DisplayPort and Thunderbolt within the USB-c connector and protocol isn't an accident, it was Apple's intention, allowing them to kill off and old, less widely adopted technology, and consolidate multiple ports into one (the proprietary power connector, Thunderbolt (mini-DisplayPort, not quite proprietary but not widely adopted outside of Apple), and USB. That was the point of my post - Apple kills off old tech in favor of new tech, and in particular has a habit of innovating ahead of the market (Thunderbolt, the magnetic power ports) and then killing off those innovations when the industry catches up. And, even more impressive, Apple leads the standards that allow the market to catch up and displace Apple's innovations! That's pretty gutsy!

Comment Re:The FBI is not reopening the case. (Score 1) 822

No, he said that they had emails that might possibly be pertinent. Given that the FBI had no access to the emails from the other investigation, and thus hadn't read them, he had no idea whether they were actually pertinent, much less relevant. Given that, it's completely unclear why he thought that he had to notify Congress of the emails. Particularly since doing so was violating the Hatch Act, a fundamental rule making it illegal for government employees to do anything that affects an election within 60 days of the election.

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