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Comment Makework (Score 4, Insightful) 1126

He suggests instead focussing on the neediest people first, possibly by subsidizing jobs programs.

In today's world of increasing automation, how many of those jobs are essentially going to be makework? Or part of marketing efforts that try to convince people they need something frivolous that they don't have? Is the current economic system so inevitable or desirable that those things are preferable to just letting people stay home?

Comment Gibson envisioned a similar thing (Score 1) 50

In his most recent novel The Peripheral , about a near-future America, William Gibson also envisioned one's mobile phone eventually being usable a virtual-reality headset. Since so much functionality (bank cards, photography) is being integrated into the mobile phone, then it seems a safer bet for a company than trying to introduce awkward standalone hardware into the market.

Comment Re:Misleading topic (Score 1) 103

If you're using Tor instead of something like Freenet, you deserve what's coming.

Freenet, where once quantum computing breaks commonly used encryption algorithms, everyone is going to be revealed to be hosting child porn (unwittingly, but still) on their computers. Yeah, sounds like a really worthwhile network. :rolleyes:

Comment Re:Why do people think self driving cars will catc (Score 3, Interesting) 622

Some have suggested that self-driving cars will lead to a decline in personal vehicle ownership. Instead, people will rent a car from a membership pool when they need it, paying a simple fee per use or per month instead of bearing all the costs of insurance, inspection and registration on themselves.

Comment Re:This is a case of time or money (Score 1) 94

And if I had the time, I certainly wouldn't be wasting it watching movies, aka pop-culture training.

It has been over a century since cinema has been recognized as a valid form of art. Sturgeon's law applies, of course, but among works of film are some timeless contributions to world culture. Why do you assume that people who buy such a home theatre would only be watching vacuous pop-culture films in it? Men like Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni had their own fancy home theatres, and the films they screened for themselves and their guests were mainly the work of their fellow auteurs.

Comment Re:Of course! Competition is the ONLY solution (Score 1) 81

The Mises Institute is the very same organization that has, repeatedly, praised Somalia for its lack of a central government and supposedly free market, leading to enormous facepalm for the rest of the libertarian world. Surely you could have found a better link to support your point.

Comment Re:Unenforceable law is unenforceable (Score 5, Insightful) 109

apparently are uncomprehending of the fact that the Internet is not just inside Russia or controlled by Russia.

The Russian government already has a well-mapped plan to isolate the country's internet by 2020, roughly following the Chinese model. Of course, there will always be ways around restrictions, but the aim is not to completely wall off the country, it is to ensure that the vast majority of the population can be kept under tabs and that it doesn't see too many things that the state doesn't like.

I'm very happy that Russian legislation doesn't apply to the rest of the world. Nonetheless, claiming that this law is only a problem for Russia and needn't bother us here, tends to obscure the fact that there are at least a couple of hundred thousand people in Russia who are just like us, and it's sad if our nerd peers there suffer.

Comment Re:No thanks. (Score 3, Interesting) 87

I'll read PDFs and use audiobooks on devices that won't delete my library whenever they want

I have owned a Kindle now for three years (upgraded to the Paperwhite last year) and have never bought an ebook -- everything that I read comes from pirated ebook communities or Project Gutenburg. Since the moment I took the Kindle out of the box, it has been in airplane mode, so it doesn't connect to anything outside. Kindles have been problematic if you use them to read content purchased from Amazon, but if you simply don't do that, they are great and reliable e-readers.

Comment Re:"Business people like me" (Score 3, Interesting) 241

Did you read the article? Don't assume that he's a "little", "low-rent" conman. He may well be in a country where the scams he is pulling off, net him an income that allow him to live very comfortably and have considerable pull in local society. And in many developing countries, the line between "businessman" and "conman" is far more blurry than people in North America or Western Europe might think.

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