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Comment Re:Not until the laws are changed (Score 3, Informative) 87

Any employee taking this option is a fool. They would be voluntarily giving up the (sometimes meager) benefits of being defined as a full time employee under US law. Great for Amazon, terrible for the employee.

Under 32 hours and the law would say no benefits are required. Amazon is actually giving them a straight ratio of benefits instead of dropping them to part-time. It's the opposite of a dickish move, as far as the law is concerned (and Amazon is showing that the law need not dictate when businesses are competing for employees).

There are probably many parents who will jump at this kind of opportunity (plus others who want to start a business, do more volunteering, or just have more leisure time).

Comment Re:Speed or density? (Score 1) 121

Or cheaper. We've been hearing about SSD under 30 cents a GB "real soon now" for, what, five years now? At ten cents it replaces hard drives in all small capacities. The slope still puts that many years out.

Maybe 3DXpoint will depress the NAND prices for existing fab utilization next year. Here's hoping.

Comment Re:Math is hard (Score 1) 121

Was MB ever 1024K? (except for memory)

I didn't ever see/use a 8 inch floppy.

Early 5 1/4 floppy was 40 tracks, 18 sectors/track - 360K. That was 1024 bytes/K

Early 3 1/2 floppy was 80 tracks - 720K.

Double sided - 1.44M (we'd already started confusing multipliers)

At some point the remaining factor of 1024 got dropped - probably when we stopped thinking about heads, tracks, sectors/track. Prior to that the first 1024 was baked into the disk geometry. I don't remember enough detail of the early hard disks to recall whether a 30MB disk was 30000000 bytes or 30720000 bytes.

Submission + - Linus Torvalds on the Evolution and Future of Linux

snydeq writes: The creator of Linux talks in depth about the kernel, community, and how computing will change in the years ahead, in an interview commemorating the 25th anniversary of Linux. 'We currently have a fairly unified kernel that scales from cellphones to supercomputers, and I've grown convinced that unification has actually been one of our greatest strengths: It forces us to do things right, and the different needs for different platforms tend to have a fair amount of commonalities in the end,' Torvalds says. Read the interview for Torvalds' take on OS updates, developing for Linux, the competition, containers, and more.

Comment I read the version with the photos (Score 1) 4

I've got to say your camera barely qualifies as a potato.

I used to do the convention thing, but then I realized that all I ever did was gawk at better-dressed people and occasionally spout gibberish at people who are significantly more famous than myself (As an example, back in the 90's I met Brian Jaques and handed him Salamandastron to sign. When he asked me who to dedicate it to, I replied "uh... I dunno?") or embarrass myself by asking really, really stupid questions at panels.

I just realized it's been a decade since I drove half a day to Dallas on a lark and went to A-Kon. Every now and then I think of going to cons again but work hasn't left time for having a life, even a nerdy life such as that maligned by the masses.

Submission + - Linux at 25: How Linux Changed the World

snydeq writes: Paul Venezia offers an eyewitness account of the rise of Linux and the open source movement, plus analysis of where Linux is taking us now on its 25th anniversary. 'I walked into an apartment in Boston on a sunny day in June 1995. It was small and bohemian, with the normal detritus a pair of young men would scatter here and there. On the kitchen table was a 15-inch CRT display married to a fat, coverless PC case sitting on its side, network cables streaking back to a hub in the living room. The screen displayed a mess of data, the contents of some logfile, and sitting at the bottom was a Bash root prompt decorated in red and blue, the cursor blinking lazily,' Venezia writes. 'Those enterprising youths were actively developing code for the Linux kernel and the GNU userspace utilities that surrounded it. At that time, this scene could be found in cities and towns all over the world, where computer science students and those with a deep interest in computing were playing with an incredible new toy: a free “Unix” operating system.' What's your personal history with the rise of Linux?

Comment Rarely mentioned on "comparative advantage" theory (Score 1) 332

is that it only applies if there is full employment in both countries and zero cost to labor mobility...
http://internationalecon.com/T...
"The higher price received for each country's comparative advantage good would lead each country to specialize in that good. To accomplish this, labor would have to move from the comparative disadvantaged industry into the comparative advantage industry. This means that one industry goes out of business in each country. However, because the model assumes full employment and costless mobility of labor, all of these workers are immediately gainfully employed in the other industry."

Comment The limits of the Broken Window Fallacy (Score 2) 366

While of course what you say is true as far as it goes (money can be spent either on repairs or on new stuff), here is a way the broken window fallacy can itself be a fallacy.

If almost all the currency in a society is hoarded by the wealthiest 1% (like kept in the "Casino Economy") and the 1% control the government so it refuses to directly print more currency according to the needs of the 99%, then the economy for the 99% functions as if there were a depression due to insufficient currency in the economy of real goods and services.

The health of an economy for most people (as well as the political health of a democracy) is not just how much currency there is, or how fast it moves, but how broadly the currency is distributed. Many average economic indicators may not reflect this economic depression for the 99% due to currency unavailability -- in the same way that if Bill Gates stepped into a homeless shelter by accident, everyone in the building would on average be a millionaire.

For more on the "Casino Economy" or "Gambling Economy" of abstract finance see the section of Money as Debt II starting around here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

In such a circumstance (which is close to the economy we have now), if a window breaks that a wealthy person or the government wants to fix, then some of the hoarded and speculated cash from the Casino economy may be leaked into the real economy of the 99%. This would temporarily alleviate a tiny bit of the ongoing defacto economic depression until the money is sucked back into the ever expanding Casino economy again via interest on debt or other forms of rent-seeking. Someone breaking a to-be-replaced window of a wealthy person or government in such a situation is then engaging in an indirect form of theft. WWII was another example that led to increased government spending and progressive taxation in the USA, although to great human suffering across the globe in other ways.

To be clear, breaking a window that needs to be repaired by the 99% does not have this currency redistribution effect since no additional currency will be moved from the casino economy to the real economy. Then we are just left with the fallacy in its standard form -- not the fallacy in the limiting case of concentrated hoarded wealth.

Of course, in practice, things getting broken only gives excuses for future crackdowns on "terrorists" and the diversion of what little cash is left circulating in the real economy for the 99% into new taxes for a larger security apparatus to protect the windows of the 1%, so ultimately the path of breaking windows is likely self-defeating.

Better options include alternative currencies, local exchange trading systems (LETS), an improved gift economy like via free software and shared knowledge like with Slashdot, improved local subsistence production like via 3D printing or home gardening robots like Farmbot, better democratic processes leading to better government planning, and political change towards a basic income (with the BI funded by progressive taxation and rents on resource extraction or government-granted monopolies like broadcast spectrum use). I discuss those and more options here:
http://pdfernhout.net/beyond-a...

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