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Comment Re:Cashless = No tips (Score 1) 425

Chefs get paid more

Not universally true. For example, New York has a skills shortage for kitchen staff because they require at least a 6-month vocational training course and then end up making less than unqualified front-of-house staff (and in New York State it is legal to pool tips between front of house staff, but illegal to share tips with kitchen staff). A few of the upmarket restaurants have now started banning tips. This has been popular with their staff, because their income is now much more consistent (prior to that, it could vary hugely when, for example, you got a table of teetotalers or someone who orders the $200 bottle of wine, even if you give precisely the same service).

Comment Re:Receipts (Score 1) 425

Good suggestion, except don't use Bob'sFineEatery as the username. As Bruce Schneier said, if you give him schneier@example.com, he can probably guess the email that you use for Amazon. Instead, generate either a random ID and store who you've given it to, or use some term that's easy to map back to the original name but isn't obviously tied to it.

Comment Re:See, told you so (Score 1) 153

There are some places I'd like to see a merge. AppKit is showing its age and adding support for things like windows, drag and drop, and so on to UIKit and making the desktop a new UIKit mode (just as it already has separate tablet and phone personalities) would make it possible to share a lot more code between the two. Being able to have almost identical code bases for iOS and macOS, with just a few tweaks to the UI to make them more appropriate for the different UI models (rather than a load of code duplication for UIKit and AppKit versions of common UI elements) would be an improvement.

Comment Re:Jobs likely hated that he got caught by the FSF (Score 1) 363

NeXT believed that they were complying with the GPL. They shipped GCC with the option to load a plugin that handled Objective-C. The Objective-C code was in a separate module. It never went to court, so it's not clear which way the license would have been interpreted, but this is exactly what nVidia does with the Linux kernel, so it's not clear that a court would have found that this actually was copyright infringement. NeXT decided that the code was not worth very much and throwing it over the wall was cheaper than going to court. If the code had been valuable, they'd have defended it and may or may not have been forced to release it.

As the maintainer of the GNUstep Objective-C runtime, I can attest to the fact that the code in GCC is of negative value. If the FSF had been forced to implement it from scratch, they'd have been better off (Iain Sandoe is now starting to clean it up, some decades later, and I wish him well). Meanwhile, I started hacking on clang and added an abstraction layer that makes it easy to support multiple runtimes. The Apple folks, including quite a lot of former NeXT employees back then, picked this up and helped us maintain something that made it easier for us to support a different implementation. Oh, and they also open sourced their runtime, though it's quite closely integrated with functionality that's only available on Darwin so it's not that interesting to anyone else.

Comment Re:Color me surprised (Score 1) 137

These names are all pretty self explanatory. Outlook is a pun, as in 'look out, you're forced to work with Exchange!'. Excel is also pretty obvious. The ex- prefix means dead, and cells are the things that you find in spreadsheets: it's where data goes to die. Powerpoint refers to mains sockets, as in 'I would rather stick my fingers in a mains socket than watch another Powerpoint presentation'. Access is a credit card brand, and the name is intended to signify that you'll pay for putting your data in an Access database. Word is used in the singular to highlight the fact that it doesn't work so well with sentences or paragraphs.

Comment Re:Why does it need to be carrier based? (Score 1) 137

Their stated reason for dropping XMPP support was spam. XMPP makes it possible to validate the server that a message is coming from, but it's still possible for a new XMPP server to pop up, send spam until it's blacklisted, and then shut down and restart with a new domain name and IP address. Within a walled-garden network, you can require some external identification for new users and rate limit them until other people have added them to their rosters and validated that they're probably useful. Within an open federated network, this is much harder (and, unlike email, if you block suspicious instant messages for a few hours until you've learned if the server is malicious, users get really grumpy).

None of the newer distributed IM systems have really done anything to tackle this problem either. You really need some form of distributed, anonymous, reputation system, but designing such a thing is really hard.

Comment Re:Why does it need to be carrier based? (Score 2) 137

The problem with XMPP is fragmentation. The core protocol is an IETF standard, but it's very minimal (messages, presence notifications, basically nothing else, including how clients authenticate with servers). Everything else is handled via XEPs and for every feature there are 3-4 XEPs describing incompatible ways of providing it. Google did a pretty good job with Jingle, which provided file transfer and a way of setting up streams to use for video / voice, but clients all implement different file transfer mechanisms. I don't think I found a single pair of Android XMPP clients that could exchange files, for example. There are multiple mechanisms for publishing avatars. The last time I looked, the most widely supported one was vcard-temp, which involves setting an base64-encoded image in an XML encoding of a vcard that you publish inside your presence stanzas. This XEP was deprecated as soon as it was published because it had a bunch of well-known problems and was intended as a temporary stop-gap. The replacement was built on top of PEP (personal eventing via PubSub) which was, in turn, built on top of PubSub. The PubSub XEP is fiendishly complicated to implement and PEP adds even more complexity, so it was years between the standard being published and any clients or servers properly supporting it.

This last point really highlights the problem with the XMPP standards process. The IETF requires two interoperable implementations for an RFC to advance. The XMPP Foundation happily publishes standards-track XEPs with zero implementations. They never produced a reference implementation of a client library. Some newer open IM standards have learned from this mistake. For example, Tox provides a client library that is used by multiple clients and serves as a reference implementation. Unfortunately, it's not GPLv3, so anyone wanting to implement a non-GPL Tox client must reimplement the protocol (it's still better than no reference implementation though, and providing an incentive to implement a second client library may be good for the protocol in the long term).

Comment Re:data pkan instead of sms plan? (Score 1) 137

Depends on the plan. I pay 2p per SMS and 1p/MB of data on a pre-pay plan, but if you're on a contract you typically get a bundled SMS allowance that's more than anyone who isn't a teenager can possibly use or unlimited on the less-cheap plans. I don't send more than a dozen SMS messages in a month, so paying 2p each cost me very much in aggregate (I typically spend under £1/month in total on my phone, which is less than the cheapest contracts with inclusive allowances). SMS is, per byte, very expensive. One SMS is 140 bytes, so I'm paying more than 14 times as much for SMS than data. That's gone down a lot - about 15 years ago, I was paying around £500/MB for SMS data, and a tiny fraction of that for IP data - but carriers are still milking SMS.

Comment Re:Get off my Internet! (Score 1) 97

If you can't afford broadband, you can't afford a BT phone. We have their FTTP service, but are required by them to pay for a landline service that we don't even have a phone plugged into. Their line rental costs more than both of us pay for the mobile phones that we actually do use. If you actually make calls on the BT phone, it becomes even more expensive.

Comment Re:Doesn't work as an experiment (Score 1) 559

That won't help you measure one of the hypothesised benefits of UBI: adjusting the balance of power between worker and employer. If a worker can always quit their job and continue to live, then that shifts the balance of power considerably. The predicted outcome is an increase in pay for low-skilled but unpleasant jobs (e.g. the folks that collect your rubbish and clean your toilets) and a push to automate more things where no one would take the job if they didn't have to work to live.

The GDP of the USA is around $60K per capita. Give everyone 0.1% of that and they'll each get $60, or $5/month. That's not enough to make a measurable difference in anyone's life (unless they're really, really close to starving already). Turn it up to a liveable amount but then turn it off periodically, and you don't remove the fear of losing a crappy job. Employers can still threaten unemployment, because even if you won't starve this year while you're receiving UBI, you will next year.

Comment Re:Doesn't work as an experiment (Score 1) 559

The fully-costed UBI proposals that I've seen include tax increases at higher rates and eliminates the tax-free personal allowance. You begin paying tax on all earned income. In the US, around 45% of all households are estimated to pay no income tax. With a UBI proposal, they'd still be net recipients, but they would be paying some money in income tax and so their impact on the budget would be less than you are calculating. Most people in well-paid skilled professions would see their income drop slightly, factoring in both their receipt of UBI and their increased income taxes. The last proposal I looked at for the UK suggested that I'd pay around 2-4% more tax (depending on how big the administrative savings from removing means-tested benefits were and a few other costs that were difficult to accurately predict) if we rolled out UBI, which seems like a pretty good deal considering the benefits.

Comment Re:You are american, right ? (Score 1) 559

Sweden , Danemark seem to work because these were very rich capitalist countries before they became solcialist

So you're saying that countries that follow the transition path that Marx outlined work, whereas ones that try to skip a step and jump straight from feudalism to communism don't? I'm sure Marx would be shocked to learn this!

Comment Re:Duh? (Score 1) 559

So your argument is that life for you sucks and so life for everyone should suck? Like Opportunist, I have never been in that situation and have always been able to turn down paid work that didn't look interesting and have enough paid work that I enjoyed to live comfortably on. I have basically been able to use offers of payment to prioritise my list of things that I want to do: things that I want to do that people will pay me for get moved to the top of my to-do list. I could have made more money if I'd done things that I didn't want to do, but I've never had to chose between doing something that I didn't want to do for money and starving / being homeless / giving up activities that I enjoy.

So my attitude is similar to yours in one respect: I think everyone should have the opportunity to live like me. The difference is that I want to extend an opportunity to people who weren't as lucky as me, whereas you want to make sure that everyone suffers as much as you.

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