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Comment Re:It's the stigma (Score 1) 366

In the past in the USA, american corporations had career paths where someone could start as a mail-room worker and move all the way up to CEO (working in the mail-room would have given someone insider knowledge of all the important departments, who spent the most time talking to who).

And then e-mail was invented ed, and information assurance (security) practices, to ensure proprietary information - such as the minute dealing, was protected against disclosure to people without need to know...

Comment Re:It's the stigma (Score 1) 366

Well the whole being locked in and dieing in fire because the owners locked the fire doors is a bit of a disincentive ala Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911

In most countries, you don't have to worry about being locked in, due to legal requirements, requiring that office buildings provide accessible egress paths that are not blocked or locked, and with periodic random inspections.

The exception might be IT workers, and office workers, in high-security facilities, where entrances and exits are mantraps.

So anyways... China could easily adopt some regulation to assuage that particular concern.

Comment Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (Score 1) 732

never been illegal. Labelling it a cash rebate or a cash discount has been legit for a while now. Labelling a higher price for credit cards has not.

Not illegal: in violation of contracts. Offering a discount for paying in cash was allowed but discouraged.

Some merchants were explicitly allowed to apply a surcharge though and had special exceptions; such as paying government fees using a credit card, or paying tax preparers.

It may be the case that some merchants had special exceptions as well.

It was never illegal to surcharge use of credit card, but against the standard agreements/contract language that most merchants were able to get.

If you were 'special' enough, and had sufficient bargaining power, you could secure a deal that allowed surcharging credit card payment.

Comment Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (Score 1) 732

I wouldn't think twice about having the clerk go, "there's a surcharge for credit", to which I'd respond, "OK, thanks anyway." and leave.

What would you do if they didn't tell you anything? Maybe they have a 'discount' equal to the amount of the swipe fee, so you don't pay anything extra. But if you paid using cash, you would actually get the discount.

Your receipt might say:

Subtotal: $200.00

Large transaction discount (3% off amount more than $10): -$5.70

Credit card swipe fee (Mastercard's 3% transaction fee) : +$6.00

Subtotal: $200.30

Sales tax (12%): + $24.04

Total: $224.34

Comment Re:Come the robot revolution (Score 1) 299

And you will be the burger.

Naw... robots don't need to eat; and burning organisms is not an efficient fuel source. It's more like... come the robot revolution... humans will be the pest; just in the manner as humans consider insects and various rodents pests.

Leading to robots deploying hominicide sprays. Probably made up of toxins that wipe out 99% of humans, while leaving harmless wildlife untouched.

Comment Re:Hamburger vending machines! (Score 1) 299

Given that this machine is supposed to ground the meat and have to cook it, it would mean that each burger would take at least a few minutes to produce. That's a very deep pipeline operation with a few minutes of latency.

Not if you call ahead, or rather... launch the app, and buy the burger.... then you just come to the machine to pick up your order :)

Comment Re:The Luddite Fallacy (Score 1) 299

In many cases people who do manual jobs do so because they enjoy them and/or have an affinity for them which they would not have if they were doing some sort of indoor office role

Everyone has to have a Plan B; at least until/unless they invent such a thing as "Job Obsolescence insurance," to cover the risk of becoming unemployable in your favorite job, due to changes in economic client. That's just the way the economy works -- anyone's kind of job might be irrelevent tomorrow, and have to vary to a slightly different role to survive, it's just part of the business risk involved in being an employee.

Same as anyone... the more varied the job skills, experience, training, and knowledge you acquire, the better.

And especially.... leadership skills, and management experience; which doesn't necessarily mean working in an office.

OK, maybe not that useful in the "robot apocalypse" ; imaginary end of the economy scenario, where most of the labourers can be replaced by robots (and therefore, not need anyone to manage them, either)

Comment Re:Terrible, Terrible, Headline (Score 1) 154

People who don't do up their seatbelt buckles die.
Therefore, seat belts fail to protect people.

If researchers show people on average say they do up their seat belts but are actually fibbing, lying, or mistaken, and don't actually do up their seatbelts properly, then, yes, it does show seat belts fail to protect people.

But more importantly: it says, you can't trust people when they say they do up a seatbealt.

Which is where you and your analogy fall flat on the face.

It doesn't physically effect other people (much), if you fail to put on your seatbelt, and you lie about it -- you're hurting yourself.

If nobody follows the scientific method, or implements appropriate statistical procedures -- then they are generating garbage, that other people might accidentally rely upon.

Showing people don't actually follow the scientific method, is pretty much as good as showing the scientific method doesn't work.

Not the method is not valid, BUT: because people can't (or don't) actually follow the method, even when they say they do: AND, there's no method available of keeping people honest.

At least with the proper doing-up of seatbelts, there are police officers, to monitor, and enforce it in some cases (people still often don't wear their seatbelts) -- with scientific method implementation - not only is there no enforcement, but there are practical barriers that make enforcement, or reliable fraud detection, essentially impossible.

Comment Re:A very old elephant in the room (Score 1) 154

"Flubbing" of results was considered kind of, you know, ordinary, and if you didn't get what was expected, well, you were expected to just kind of ignore it.

See... research teams should have separation of duties, to avoid the temptation to cheat. The scientist does the experiment, someone else takes the measurements, someone else records the results, and enters into digital format; which quickly become immutable, digitally signed and timestamped; with noone taking or recording measurements allowed to be the people that know exactly what that measurement "is supposed to be".. finally, an independent auditor monitors, and signs off on the results.

The peer review journals then require the scratch sheets for each trial of the experiment, as signed off by the auditors and measurement takers :)

Comment Re:Terrible, Terrible, Headline (Score 0) 154

Right, but they are utilizing the scientific method to test the quality of published papers

This could turn into a study on... what is the quality of published papers/ ? :)

If studies show, that studies are meaningless -- eg if it becomes shown that very often, the scientific method has been ignored....

Then the scientific method is effectively shot, not because it's invalid, but because it's not being followed, and it becomes no longer reasonable to believe researchers are following it

Comment Re:Umm? How far away would it have been? (Score 1) 157

This is why we'll have to be careful once the scientists get off their lazy butts and give us hyperdrive. There you are, zipping along, and all of sudden, "chomp," you get eaten by an uncharted black hole. :)

There isn't such a high density of black holes that the risk would be that high.

Assuming your hyperdrive equipped vehicle still has to obey the laws of physics... the gravitational forces exerted by any celestial object, including dark matter, could be a risk.

Specifically... the risk of crashing into solid matter that doesn't emit or reflect light.

Comment Re:So, correct me if I'm wrong... (Score 2) 211

That is called deduplication and most modern SAN systems have this feature. You can have both thin-provisioning and deduplication for increased savings.

It's true that SANs have deduplication functions, but there are a few problems with SAN deduplication -- the main one, is this typically operates on a 'volume', LUN, or disk level. A SAN can't deduplicate data stored across storage systems, so there are scalability limits.

That is this doesn't scale very well to large numbers of volumes, with intentional duplicates for performance... and when you need to make backups of the filesystem, there is a tendency of the backup or replication target to Re-Duplicate the deduplicated data.

An application that actually implements this functionality can achieve far better characteristics than a SAN is capable of, because the application would be aware of consumers of the data, and logical pairings.

And at lower cost, by using non-specialized storage hardware

There are perhaps 2 SAN vendors out there with a scalable dedup option, and they are both very expensive per GB of storage options that would not be a very tenable thing to base a free service off of.

That is, the dedupping SAN vendors charge 10 to 20x as much per disk drive of a given capacity, than you can buy off the street, and claim efficiency, lower cost, lower power consumption because dedup means you get twice as much storage.

(E.g. SANs are expensive, and the storage vendors want to reap profit advantages by selling dedupped storage, for more, as well... which can be as much increase in cost as dedup supposedly saves)

Comment Re:So, correct me if I'm wrong... (Score 1) 211

That is a good description of data compression

It's not exactly the same as compression, because compression is a bit more of a flexible concept. Data compression can leverage some similar concepts. In fact, if they divide files into 4K blocks, they can choose to compress separate blocks they store, as well, or make a decision to compress or not, based on the ratio of size reduction.

Any sufficiently strong encryption algorithm produces a bitstream which is virtually indistinguishable from random.

This is true, but it would be unusual for someone to include large encrypted files, as encryption is inconvenient and difficult for the end user as well to work with at well -- normally there would be no reason to encrypt media, software, that other users would have in common.

This method could still be useful on DRM encrypted materials such as eBooks or DVDs, since multiple people would have the _same_ ciphertext.

I'm not sure of what their service policies are -- it might very well be a violation of their policies to upload large encrypted files, in which case, they could recover space from unexpected resource hoggers dedup doesn't work on, by terminating the offending accounts of people uploading encrypted blobs.

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