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Comment Re:If everyone loses their jobs... (Score 1) 530

If everyone loses their jobs

Not everyone is losing their jobs. Technological innovation usually leads to increased employment, as lower manufacturing costs lead to increased production, and expansion of non-automated jobs. As the cost of manufactured goods fall, people will consume more of them, but also spend less on them, and spend more on services, which are much harder to automate. Currently, China has a much smaller service sector than more advanced economies. That is changing fast.

Because of the one-child policy, China's labor force is already shrinking, and a looming shortage of workers is a far more realistic scenario than "everyone loses their jobs".

who will be able to buy the products?

I doubt if Foxconn's assembly line workers were buying many iPhones. Apple and Foxconn shareholders will have more money to spend. As profit margins go up, the incentive to design additional profitable products will increase, causing higher demand for engineers and programmers. Chinese workers will move up the value chain, just like in every other country that has industrialized.

Comment Re:I'll enjoy this.... (Score 1) 530

What fast food place pays it's base-level workers $15/hour?

$15/hr is the minimum wage in Seatac, Washington. There is political pressure to raise the minimum wage to $10-15 nationwide, and one likely effect of that is to increase incentives to automate those jobs out of existence.

Also, the poverty level (at least in Minnesota anyway) is currently $1000 per month for a single person, which works out to just over $11.50/hour at 40 hours/week.

The poverty rate is based on households, not individuals. So if you are single and making $11.50 or less, you might want to share the rent with some friends rather than getting your own place. Not every job needs to pay enough to allow a teenager to buy a house and start a family.

Comment Re:And in other news (Score 2) 139

Remember that adage that 90% of car accidents happens 5 minutes away from the departure point or 5 minutes before the arrival point?

No, because that is nonsense. The actual* figure is 52% (not 90%) of accidents occur withing 5 miles (not five minutes). But that is not because driving within that radius is particularly dangerous, but simply because most driving occurs within that radius.

* This figure comes from a survey conducted by Progressive Insurance in 2002. Many articles attribute the study to the NHTSA, and often exaggerate the percentage, or the distance, or both.

Comment Re:Christmas is coming early this year (Score 2) 702

How difficult do you think it is to show a working laptop which happens to have 500g of C4 wedged inside?

Quite difficult. C4 has a density of 1.6 gm/cc. So 500g of C4 would occupy 300cc. That is more than half the volume of my laptop, including the case. I would have to strip out the battery, and circuit board. I don't see any way to do that, and have it still work.

Comment Re: Failsafe? (Score 3, Insightful) 468

These screens we don't know about, and always have a single-point of failure: the screen itself.

Obvious solution: Have more than one screen, so each one is not a single point of failure. But that is already part of the design, since the pilot and co-pilot each have their own screen.

So if power dies off, at least with glass windows, the pilots can still see out and glide to a 'dead-stick' landing (even if it's not on a runway) using the backup power to the flight controls.

Obvious solution: Route the backup power to the view screens as well.

Comment Re: Two sides to every issue (Score 2) 401

you mean it's hard to find acceptable developers at the wage the company wants to pay.

Employers generally don't make a specific salary offer until after an interview. So if what you said was true, we would be interviewing plenty of qualified candidates, making salary offers, and then having those offers rejected. But that is NOT what I have experienced. We are simply not finding many qualified people. When we do find someone, they almost always either accept our offer, or reject it for reasons other than the salary, such as commute distance. We pay $80k-$90k for college graduate starting salaries, and a median of $150k for developers with five or more years experience.

Comment Re: Two sides to every issue (Score 5, Informative) 401

Basically, it's a step to get someone off H1B status and into a permanent resident of the US.

This makes no sense. Why would an employer want a permanent resident instead of an H1B? A permanent resident can quit and go work elsewhere, and is no better than hiring a US citizen. But an H1B visa is tied to a specific company, so if they quit their job, or are fired, they are sent back to where they came from, at their own expense. As an employer, I love H1Bs, because I can make them work long hours on tight deadlines, and if they complain I can threaten to send them back to Bangalore. Also, since H1Bs have to be paid the same as US citizens, I can use them as an excuse to hold down salaries across the board. If a US citizen employee starts whining about wanting a raise, I can tell him that if I give him a raise, I will be legally required to give the same raise to all of the H1Bs, and since there isn't enough money in the budget for that, it mean no raise for you! Heh, heh.

Comment Re:Not surprising. (Score 1) 725

The American dream being the fantasy that this isn't true.

The American dream is alive and well, depending on where in America you live. If you live in a rural county in South Carolina, then you are screwed, because those counties are some of the least economically mobile places on earth. Poor people there tend to stay poor. But the most mobile place, not just in America, but anywhere on earth, is Santa Clara County, California. No where on the planet are there more rich people that used to be poor. America is still the land of opportunity, but the opportunities are not evenly distributed. You have to go look for them.

Comment Re:Another child making unsupported claims (Score 2) 203

"The most advanced, the most reliable, the fastest 3D printer ever created"

He says it is "fastest", but he does NOT say it is "ten times faster" as the summary claims. He also says it is "advanced" and "reliable" but neither of those adjectives necessarily imply that it is precise.

Comment Re:Another child making unsupported claims (Score 4, Informative) 203

If an adult made this same claim without backing we'd label them a scam artist.

Except he really isn't claiming much. It is easy to make a 3D printer go fast, if you don't care about quality. Many existing 3D printers have a "fast" mode for quick prototypes, and a "slow" mode for higher quality parts. Of course, it is hard to get speed and quality, but I don't see where he says he can do that. Also, I don't see where he claims it is 10x faster than "any existing" printer, as the summary says. He only claims that it is 10x faster than a Makerbot.

Comment Re:He's 15... (Score 1) 203

What 15 year old is outside climbing trees and riding bikes?

It is a stupid question in any case. The average American spends more than 40 hours a week watching TV. Creative, ambitious people that actually get stuff done, tend to watch far less. The presumption that his accomplishments come at the expense of "riding bikes" is idiotic.

Comment Re:Not surprising. (Score 5, Insightful) 725

But I know it's been pushed on the public about as unscientifically as Eugenics and Phrenology.

Whoa! Phrenology has no scientific basis, but Eugenics certainly does. If you take all the people with traits you don't like, and murder them, you will have fewer of those traits in the next generation. That is a scientific fact. Just because you don't like the political act of mass murder, doesn't make it scientifically invalid.

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