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Comment Re:Workplace Shell & virtualisation engine (Score 1) 94

It used a lot of COM/DCOM to get its job done, though, and there are implications for creating long-term persistent system objects with those things, that aren't released when you close applications. So you could end up tying up a system resource until you rebooted, if your application crashed in the process of using an object. System-level objects look good on paper, but there they really don't handle failures very well, most of the time.

Comment Re: Uh, why? (Score 1) 94

I got it working on a 386sx with 4 MB of RAM and a standard VGA card. Linux would run on the system as well, but I never could get X11 running well on it and ended up just using terminal mode, with one of the virtual terminals dialing up gate.net and running slirp. OS/2 had a number of artifacts from Windows, so even though it was preemptively multitasking, one program could type up the system event queue. They came up with a workaround for that, but it never really worked all that well. So if you really wanted OS/2 to shine, you had to install it on a multiprocessor system. That version of OS/2 created an event queue for each processor, so you could tie event queue up and the system would still be responsive. We did a pretty impressive demo at the '95 COMDEX in Atlanta on a massive Compaq quad processor 486 with a ridiculous 16MB of RAM, running 4 videos in 4 different video players without slowing the system down.

Funnily, even though OS/2 sported newfangled "threads", very few IBM applications used them -- most IBM OS/2 programs were pure windows ports. Ironically, if you ran the windows versions of those programs, you could run them in separate memory spaces so that the programs couldn't interfere with each other when doing processing in the event-handling thread. So Windows programs ran better on OS/2 than they did in windows and better than OS/2 programs ran in OS/2. You could format a disk and run a print job at the same time, as long as you did it from the command line. The GUI versions would tie the system queue up, so you could only do one at a time.

Comment Re:Incoming (Score 1) 175

None of this is significant in terms of being any kind of a showstopper, in my estimation as an engineer. Yes, there are lots of things to cover in such an undertaking. No, none of the ones you mention are expected to pose significant problems.

Adequate power systems (power to weight, and charge issues) and the highest level management software are the only two hurdles really still a distance away. The former looks like it's going to fall within a year or two, the latter I give ten years, max.

Comment Re:Incoming (Score 1) 175

I didn't say a word about drones, if by drones, you mean quadcopters and the like.

As for robots, your thinking is too constrained. There are lots of design options that will handle snow just fine (and every other kind of terrain) that don't involve tires. Spider legs, for instance.

Vandalism: easily vandalized robots are counter indicated, obviously. Likewise robots that don't record what's happening to them. These are trivial engineering issues in the sense that solutions are readily available. They're no significant impediment to robot deliveries.

Fraud: One obvious solution is payment before delivery. Another, for payment on-site, is the same tech, or related tech, to that which lets a soda machine know you actually fed it dollar bills, before allowing access to the cargo. This isn't even a problem requiring solution before proceeding -- otherwise there would be no delivery now, and that's obviously not the case.

The only tech that really needs to happen that we don't quite have yet is the smarts to run the robot, and we're a little short on power systems, too. But we're very, very close. Solve those, get the cost down to where it needs to be, integrate available tech, and done.

Comment Tracking (Score 2) 175

I have a statement every month that tells me what and where I've spent my money. I can also use those purchases to show where I was at at the time if need be.

Mmm-hmm. Well, if you can't keep track of your spending, I suppose that'd be a reason to want to have others do it for you. I don't have that problem, personally, so it's difficult for me to emphasize with your use case. As for needing to show where you were... who do you need to show this to? The very fact that you think you need to show it to someone is worrisome, and speaks more to the problem than any solution.

Why would you worry about your purchases being tracked?

Because the government thinks it's perfectly okay to directly violate the constitution that authorizes its existence, that's why. Because the government is trying to look at the people's persons, houses, papers and effects without warrants, that's why. Because the government will, if given a chance, interfere with personal and consensual choices it has absolutely no ethical reason to concern itself with, that's why. Because the government runs a system of unjust gulags, driven by a manifestly corrupt legal system, which one should avoid with great care, that's why.

Comment Servicability (Score 1) 175

Sooner or later we'll give homes easily serviceable plumbing under raised flooring

That's exactly how I designed the plumbing in my home. You can get at every inch of plumbing, and where it transits a wall or floor, you can unhook it and pull it right through if you need to. The only in-wall plumbing in the entire home is for the shower, and the shower was emplaced on the back face of the wall the refrigerator is pulled up to; pull the refrigerator out, and you're looking directly at an open wall face containing the shower plumbing, just stick a wrench on it and do what you need to do. All sink plumbing and toilet plumbing is direct to the basement through the floors, and presents zero access challenge for service.

I did the electricity in a similar manner; it was even easier to design, due to the physical flexibility of the wiring and its relatively lower demands on space.

Houses don't have to be designed to have difficult to access utilities. Likewise a lot of other conventional approaches can be improved, such as insulation, wall thickness, concrete grades, mutability of internal space. If you ever get a chance to put a home together, it's entirely worth your time to think about things like these before agreeing to anyone's plans.

Comment Incoming (Score 1) 175

f you use drones/robots/self-driving cars or some combination of them they will have to get a lot more advanced to get to that level.

If you use drones/robots/self-driving cars or some combination of them they will have to get just a tiny bit more advanced to get to that level.

FTFY

Look around you / do a little search engine work. We have walking robots, ramp-ascending robots, stair-climbing robots, door-opening robots, button-pushing robots, robots with internal cargo storage, robots that can navigate offices and homes. Right now.

That stuff doesn't even have to be developed at this point, it just has to be aggregated. As the financial case has now been made to do it, it's going to happen very quickly. Within ten years, max.

Comment Singularity (Score 1) 175

AGI is not going to give us an infinite supply of workers. It'll give us an even larger supply of free-willed individuals. They're not going to be any more willing to do drudge work than humans are. Probably less.

LDNLS constructs, non-intelligent but highly capable, are the incoming infinite worker force. They're already present, and getting more sophisticated by the day. Rapidly.

The singularity has been relatively soft-edged; people don't realize they're in it yet. But they are.

Comment Re:But remember, basic income is an unfair handout (Score 0) 175

unless we want the government to take all our land

The government already owns your land. You certainly don't. Stop paying the government the rent ("tax") on it and you'll find yourself out on the street with the property locked to you and being immediately offered to others. Citizen land ownership is an illusion in the USA.

If you're always in possession of enough capital such that you can always afford the rent ("tax"), you can be reasonably certain that you may be able to stay where you are. Otherwise, no. And even if you do always have the rent ("tax") available, you still can't be sure that the government won't take it for some other reason -- for instance, they took my home for a supposed dam project (Tock's Island Dam), giving them the excuse that they "needed" to. Which dam they never built, and changed into a "park."

Once you've experienced the process at work, all the illusions about citizen's owning land go away. I speak with absolute authority on this matter. You don't own the land.

Comment Tax reform (Score 1) 417

I 100% expect the Republicans (congress in general, really, but the Republicans are presently driving the bus) to do exactly the same thing to tax law that the Republicans attempted to do to the healthcare law. Which is to say, rewrite it to further benefit the wealthy and further disadvantage the poor and middle class.

What congress thinks is broken about tax law and what the poor and middle class thinks is broken about tax law are two entirely different things.

It's not that congress can't figure it out. It's that what they want has absolutely nothing to do with benefitting the voters who elected them. They serve those who write them checks, hand out lucrative speaking engagements, "think tank" positions, lobbyist jobs, property and stock tips/deals, etc. They care very little for our votes. They know full well that when disapproval of congress is high (86% in a recent election), re-election rates remain high (94% in that same election.) So until disapproval numbers for a bill hit really dangerous looking extremes (83% for the ACHA, basically everyone that doesn't drool all their waking hours), they pretty much do whatever they want, and what that is, as always, is fluff the wealthy.

The key to stopping them is exactly what happened with the ACHA: The media and the Internet need to repeatedly and in a way that cannot be ignored, put the information about what the the proposed revisions to tax law is trying to do to most everyone out under bright lights. If that can be done, it'll kill their tax agenda, which is absolutely guaranteed to be harmful to most of us. Just like the ACHA.

The problem with actual reasonable tax reform is that you're asking the foxes to voluntarily reduce their access to the henhouse. No matter what they say about it, they are thinking "LOL, as if." That's not just the GOP, either; the Democrats trade on tax leverage too.

A truly fair and simple federal taxation system is literally no more than a few pages of clear and simple law away. The same is true for any state or town. Likewise decent healthcare mechanisms. But we can't get there from here. The monied interests don't want that; and that means we're not going to get it. What we are most likely to get, if we're not vigilant, is something a good bit worse. Just like the ACHA.

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