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Comment Re:How long before estates of dead entertainers su (Score 1) 98

>Sure, you can force a certain note, but it sounds artificial.

But it doesn't need to. They don't have to do auto-tune in discrete steps following a set scale, it could be (as far as the human ear is concerned) done in an analog fashion.

The technology will improve until you don't even notice it. It may already have done so, with the only auto-tune you notice today being deliberately worse than necessary for effect or simply the result of cut-rate sound engineering.

Which makes me wonder... can you get a mic with built-in auto-tune for home karaoke yet? I sing like a cat being strangled, I could use one.

Comment Re:more justification to cut off salesmen (Score 3, Insightful) 31

> I've come to realize that the only mission of a salesman is to manipulate your otherwise objective decision making in their favor.... Sometimes, it's hard to let go of the feeling I'm being rude.

Just remember that part of being an effective sales person is to deliberately use the potential customer's social conditioning against them. They are unrepentant manipulative bastards who have few scruples... and consider that they are intruding into your time, for their own purposes at your cost. Shutting them down ASAP is not rude, it's returning them the same (if not better) level of consideration they're showing you.

Now, I've had some great relationships with *technical* sales. People who simply know their products exceptionally well and have some social skills. But regular sales? Like people in advertising, they can rot in Hell.

Comment Re:Unintended consequences (Score 1) 398

I suggested splitting it - each adult having a BASE quota of '1' so that reproduction isn't purely in the hands of women and men get no choice, and that each child count as .5 against each parent's quota.

2.1 per female is fine, but 1 per adult (plus partial incentive sufficient to adjust for those who die before reproducing by choice or accident) seems like a lot more equitable a metric.

Comment Re:Every couple of years (Score 1) 145

We now have quadrocopter tech and can support a cargo pod on four independent rotors. That's new.

We have automated systems that can pilot those devices with incredible precision (even against gusts). That's new.

We have ballistic parachutes for low-altitude deployments. Those aren't new.

What we don't have, and what we never will have (yay, laws of physics!) is a flying vehicle that is anywhere near as efficient as a car on a road, that can operate safely in as wide a variety of weather conditions, and can carry as much volume and mass as a car.

In the end it'll be money and not safety that keeps the 'flying car' dream as a dream for all but the rich.

Comment Re:Wrong side of the equation (Score 2) 398

>Would someone with a $32k/year (or more) job give work up and play video games for $17k/year?

A long time ago, I worked as unskilled labour. I was a kid and didn't have many options. The 'career' guys not only didn't have options, they didn't have any urge to develop any.

If you handed them a cheque that would get them a bed, three crappy meals a day, and a couple of beers a night (and cigarettes and a bit of marijuana)... they'd drop out and do nothing but eat, drink, and smoke, of that I have zero doubt.

But so what? So long as they're not permitted to have more than a replacement number of children while collecting that money... we don't need them in the economy anymore. If they want to merely 'exist' from cradle to grave that's sad, but at least they're out of the way of people who want to do more.

Comment Re:Unintended consequences II (Score 1) 398

>Most economists agree that basic minimum income should be no strings attached, as the various costs of living can vary greatly from area to area, even within the same city.

Right now poor folk don't get as much choice in where they live as the rich, and I don't see how this would be any different.

If we ever get to a future where all resources and production capacity are fully communal, then where you live (as in, how nice a neighbourhood) would probably depend on how much you were willing to sacrifice elsewhere in your life.

I really don't see how we get to that state, or how it could possibly be stable. I do hope it gets figured out, because the current system fails when human labour is more or less unnecessary and automation's only going to get better at replacing us.

Comment Re:Unintended consequences (Score 1) 398

UBI only works when the U is true. They need to do an entire region, but I imagine the provincial tax adjustments would be brutal to figure out, especially for commuters who cross whatever boundary you've set.

This seems like fiddling with welfare and calling it whatever's trending right now... which I guess is OK so long as some valid conclusions can be drawn from the experiment.

Comment Re:Unintended consequences (Score 1) 398

Yep. Of course, you can look at the cost of living for people on this program, and then subtract the savings of co-habitation - shared rent and utilities.

A better way to handle it might be to divide the funding so that some of it is general use, but some can only be used for shelter and basic utilities. That way there would be no economic benefit either for or against cohabitation.

A stickier issue is children. They ought to cost you (and I say that as a parent), but they ought not to cripple you financially. The whole community (at any and every scale) needs children, and we need enough over replacement rate to cover early mortality. How about 'full' funding (whatever that is) for one child per adult (every child counting as 0.5/parent), then partial funding at whatever level is required to make having children easy enough financially that people reproduce enough to maintain population levels?

Comment Re:If you don't pay. (Score 1) 105

>Or alternatively convince marketers to pay them for helping clean up their leads.

Marketers LOVE people who want to unsubscribe - because while a lot of us just want to be left the hell alone, many of them are people who are fairly weak-willed and suggestible, and unsubscribing is an attempt to remove temptation.

They are, in fact, a spammer's target demographic.

The only time I hit 'unsubscribe' is when it's a specific, moderately trustworthy company where I know how the emails started coming. I mean, they MAY (probably will) still have already shared the data through parent and subsidiary companies under their 'privacy' policy, but there's some hope they won't bug you again.

But if I don't know how they got my email address? Best just to tag it spam because unsubscribing is likely a trap to identify you as an active address so they can just spam you more.

Comment Re:Its pretty important... (Score 4, Insightful) 306

The denial of man's role is part of denying the change at all, because they're happy with the status quo. For some it's economics - they profit under the current system and alterations to reduce or fight the effects of climate change will reduce those profits, for some it's pure denial that the world could ever change.

When the water's up around their ankles, they're scream bloody murder for levees, but that's about it. If it's somebody else up to their ankles they'll come up with some way to rationalize how it was always a risk and the climate hasn't actually changed, and how it's the fault of those who chose to live there.

Comment Re:Its pretty important... (Score 4, Insightful) 306

>They were born here; to suggest that they just pack up and move is pretty short-sighted and somewhat insulting.

The White House no longer recognizes man's effect on climate, which means there's little hope of policy directed at mitigating man's effects on climate - and still probably none even if they acknowledge the climate is changing and are merely ignoring man's role.

Beyond that, the White House already had very little control over other nations that are or likely will significantly affect climate going forward.

So... we're not going to fix the problem any time soon. The ocean doesn't care where you were born, it doesn't decide where its rising levels will flood land.

To suggest people pack up and move isn't insulting, it's unfortunately common sense given the circumstances.

Comment Re:BETRAYAL (Score 0, Troll) 369

You know Trump simply isn't very bright, right? He's a blowhard floated on daddy's money, otherwise he'd be a complete failure in life. Maybe he still technically is a failure personally; he's kind of someone else's 'success'.

Anyway, his ridiculous behaviour has been getting reported on by people inside the White House, so he's currently very much against leakers... and since he has trouble holding more than one thought in his head at a time, he's incapable of considering the consequences of a vigorous and public crusade against all security leaks.

Next time, try electing someone who understands actions have consequences, has some ability to restrain their own ego, and perhaps can consider more than one factor at a time when coming to a decision.

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