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Comment Re:Easy (Score -1) 139

So what did Unions, OSHA, Workmens Comp and the EPA accomplish in the long run?

They made the U.S. a horrible place to engage in any business that could easily be outsourced to another country with a lower regulatory burden, taxes and wages. The worker's paradise angle worked until the economy globalized, now it doesn't.

So increasingly there are no low skilled jobs in the U.S. Automation is also a union and job killer because its better to spend a lot of money on a machine than deal with employees. Wage rates are dropping, the U.S. runs massive trade deficits and government is massively in the red because its spending more than its shrinking tax base will support (tax cuts for the rich under Bush certainly helped, as did over promising on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and squandering on the defense-intelligence complex.

Wonder why healthy unions in the U.S. tend to only be fire, police, teaching, government, truck driving. Because those are the jobs that can't be outsourced.

There was a sweet spot in there, maybe around 1950 where unions and government regulation hit a sweet spot, they'd wiped out all the massive abuses of workers earlier in the century and built a big middle class, and then they over rotated and made the U.S. a horrible place to do business. If you don't have business you tend to not have jobs, then you have a lot of people living on food stamps and Medicaid.

Comment Re:that's not even wrong... (Score 1) 250

The whole point of the Thompson hack is that it would survive a source code audit. If you compiled the clean source for the compiler with a dirty compiler, it would insert the backdoor into the new executable, making it self-replicating in an virtually undetectable fashion. The code you compiled yourself would be byte-for-byte identical with the bootstrap compiler.

Comment Managing results and not controlling behavior? (Score 3, Insightful) 228

I work as a SMB consultant and we run into a fair number of small business owners really intent on managing their employees "behavior" (web browsing, emailing, occasionally down to installing and running commercial spyware).

I get why some situations (harassment of other employees, strong suspicions of financial crimes, corporate espionage, etc) may warrant this, but so often it seems like they're trying to manage behavior instead of managing the results of their employees work.

If you have an employee who is supposed to produce a given work product, wouldn't it be more effective to actually focus on the work product (quality, quantity, etc) and not on whether or not they buy stuff from Amazon during work hours?

If your employee can't produce the desired work product then you have a business-rational reason for firing them. If their work product meets the stated goals, then why do you care what else they may be doing provided it is not a detriment to the rest of the business?

At the end of the day it seems like a kind of paternalism that is focused on controlling people, not managing their work.

Comment Aggressive and not smart cyclists (Score 2) 947

Cycling seems fairly safe to me if you wear a helmet and you choose your routes to avoid cars.

Here in Minneapolis I notice what I would call a lot of "aggressive" cyclists -- people who run traffic control devices (stop signs, lights, etc) and get dangerously close to traffic that might otherwise change speeds/lanes/turn/etc very quickly. From the cyclists I talk to, it almost seems like cycling is taking on a political component, too, which seems to contribute to aggressive cycling or at least an aggressive attitude.

The other thing that kind of amazes me are the people who INSIST on cycling on a busy through street (like Lyndale through South Minneapolis) instead of moving over just a block on either side and riding on a nearly empty residential street, like Garfield or Aldrich. Or the bike racing gear wearers who insist on riding on the parkway instead of the bike path 25 feet away, in spite of the fact that the parkway is a single lane and the parking cutouts along the parkway are pretty narrow -- if cars are parked in the cutouts there's precious little room to pass a cyclist.

As long as people insist on riding in traffic and people kind of a jerk about it, it doesn't surprise me that there are conflicts a cyclist will lose simply based on mass.

Comment Re:Whay doesn't /. save some time (Score 1) 559

I had a 42" Sony LCD rear projection TV until about a year ago and there was no way that was "big enough" at 3m viewing distance. With letterboxed content (most movies), the shrinkage in vertical size was enough to make it even smaller.

I replaced it with a 70" Sharp and for about the first couple of days I was like "this may be too big.." but I'm now completely used to it and I don't think it would be a problem to go even larger in this space.

Comment Re:Maybe I am stupid, please explain. (Score 2) 192

As it happens, they lost an amount of money they could just about afford. But they could have lost more money than they had - leaving other people with losses in what is supposed to be a safe market place. It is like fining people for speeding - they have not caused an accident, but they are driving in a way likely to cause an accident. As it was, it nearly wiped out Knight: if it had gone further, it would have wiped out other, innocent, parties and done serious damage to the market, which the SEC is tasked to protect.

Comment Re:Why dribble about GPUs? (Score 5, Informative) 91

Some nerdy sheeple won't believe what I've just said about Intel's lies. Well Intel gets 10 million transistors per mm2 on its 22nm process, and AMD, via TSMC, gets 14+ million on the larger 28nm process. Defies all concept of maths when Intel CLAIMS a smaller process, but gets far less transistors per area against a larger process.

Comparing apples and oranges are we? Yes, AMD gets 12.2 million/mm^2 on a GPU (7970 is 4.313 billion transistors on 352 mm^2) but CPU transistor density is a lot lower for everybody. The latest Haswell (22nm) has 1.4B transistors in 177mm^2 or about 7.9 million/mm^2, but AMD's Richland (32nm) has only 1.3B transistors in 246mm^2. or 5.3 million/mm^2. Their 28nm CPUs aren't out yet but they'll still have lower transistor density than Intel's 22nm and at this rate they'll be competing against the even smaller Broadwell, though I agree it's probably not true 14nm. Very well formulated post though that appears plausible and posted as AC, paid AMD shill or desperate investor?

Comment Re:eh (Score 1) 568

Charge per unit plans, that don't place any barriers to excessive usage, and unexpected bills, inevitably backfire. (...) In response the ISP's all set up "unlimited" plans, which have a fixed limit of usage per month. After you hit your quota they throttle your connection back to modem-ish speeds to prevent you from using too much more bandwidth. Without cutting you off completely. You may then have the option of paying for another unit of bandwidth, or bumping your monthly plan permanently.

This is the only sane way to do it, automatic overage billing is the work of the devil. One of the really huge benefits of going to broadband over pay per minute dial-up was that the price was fixed. No more surprises, no way for anything to hijack the line and cause you crazy expenses. They use the same principle here on "unlimited" 3G/4G mobile broadband plans still, if you hit the cap you're slowed to a crawl then the ball is in your court.

Comment Re:Stallman ain't gonna be happy (Score 2) 304

I hear this myth perpetuated a lot and it's not really true. Stallman has said on several occasions he believes developers can and should be compensated for their work and he believes this is perfectly feasible within a free software ecosystem. The problem is that many traditional methods of monetization don't hold up in a free software world and it would require people to rethink how they plan to monetize.

The trouble is that most of these ideas are crap for application development like service and support, though they're okay for platform/distro/device development like Android / Tivo / RHEL / Ubuntu and so on. Particularly those where you have a huge number of users who each contribute very little, like say a million people paying $1 on the app store. That's a pretty good income for a small development house of say ten people, less Apple's cut it's $70k/head before expenses and taxes. I wager that if you made it open source and asked for donations you'd raise less than $1000, that's more like $100 each in beer money instead. Sure you can raise more money in the Humble Bundle for charity, but that's not money to pay your bills and you can also question how much people's total charity budget goes up as a result.

Basically it's this: Before the work is done, it's a wild guess what you'll actually get and everybody is in a game of chicken about who will fund it. After all, it's going to be open sourced so if it gets funded but you didn't fund it you get to have your cake and eat it too. Nobody wants to carry the burden and even when trying to share the burden through Kickstarter it's still easy to be a cynic and freeload if you see the goals are met anyway. After the work is done, well the work is already done. Nobody loses out by not giving you anything, so they don't. It's very different from closed source where you put down $2000 in work thinking you can sell it back to 100 people for $20 each, you take the risk and people buy a known quantity with reviews or go without.

Maybe a "delayed" open source licence would do the trick, like any time you compile a binary you get a one-year BSD license but after that year is up you must provide the complete corresponding source code for that binary with a GPL-compatible license. That way you get a good exclusivity period for people who want the new features right now and you don't have to wait life+70/95 years for it to go out of copyright - and you still wouldn't have the source, just the binary. The hook needs a little more bait than that everyone can copy everything you do, instantly.

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