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Comment Re:Basic income (Score 1) 487

One of the issues is that UBI is different things to different people. Many argue that it will replace almost all other programs, but only if you want the high school dropout that'll take the "one bedroom studio, ramen, and a bag of pot and an World of Warcraft subscription" for a semester or two and lump him in with the faultless traffic accident victim who's fucked up pretty bad and has no realistic prospect of being employed ever again and will have to live at that level of poverty and zero additional aid for the rest of their lives.

Or we could start making value judgements about who "deserves" our help, who are capable of contributing, who has contributed, who's looking to contribute and what help have they already gotten and then we're pretty much back to the complexity where we started. I already pay taxes. If you want to give me a "UBI" all you have to do is adjust the income tax curve, paying out a UBI and then taxing me more to pay for it is just an exercise in how to create black labor and tax fraud.

Comment Re:Through democracy, careful planning (Score 3, Informative) 487

The trouble with all that is branding. When the right wing start a debate they've got simple answers to complex problems. They're always the wrong answers, because if a problem has a simple answer then, well, by definition it's not complex. But those simple answers feel good, sound good, and just got a Demagogue elected President of the United States...

Norwegian here, you don't think socialists have simple answers? Some people have a [something] problem, let's regulate [something]. Which means that right now at 8:30 PM on a Monday I can't buy a damn beer at the store. We need more money for [good cause]? Increase taxes. I could work harder, but I don't. Why? Because on my marginal dollar I pay 25% + 8.7% + 8.2% = 40% taxes and 25% VAT on most things mean I lose another 15%. Sorry for 45 cents to the dollar I'll just get an easy job (37.5 hours/week, paid overtime, flexible hours) and be lower middle class. If was in the US I'd probably work 50-60 hours/week and make $200k.

Getting kickback from creating value is not a socialist virtue, if you got lots of money you can pay lots of money is their thinking. The day we run out of oil all hell will break loose because we're lazy and think everybody deserves good pay just for showing up at work or doing meaningless paper pusher jobs. And since I can't change the public opinion and tax system to reward hard work, I've decided if you can't beat them then join them. Even on cruise control I seem to get praise for good work, which is both cushy and a bit creepy at the same time. Maybe it's just that I can't stand all the stupid and make actual working solutions from time to time.

Comment Re:A problem without a good solution. (Score 1) 267

There isn't really a good solution to this. If everyone has the same price, then people in poor countries are likely to pirate.

And...? People who can't afford a Rolex are more likely to steal a Rolex too, is that a problem you should solve by adjusting the price? The flip side of "lowering prices for poor people" is "gouging wealthy people for being rich". We generally hate companies trying to size up our wallet to see just much they can fleece us for. Isn't that what we'd be asking companies to do? I want to be able to go on Amazon or eBay and get the best product to the best price anyone will offer. That's how capitalism, competition, supply and demand and voting with your wallet is supposed to work. Companies shop around for labor, consumers shop around for products and services. And maybe that's not working out so well for everybody, but letting them put region locks on things to screw us while they continue to shop around the whole world is worse than nothing.

Comment Sounds overly complicated (Score 4, Insightful) 261

The key difference between this and interfaces in Java seems to be push vs pull, does a class explicitly declare that it is say sortable or do you just check if it has functions that match something that's sortable. If you look at the example he does on page 8 with Shape.draw() and Cowboy.draw() sure you could be more explicit in the template requirements or you could demand that the cowboy explicitly has to say he's "drawable". To me Stroustrup's idea sounds a bit too much like the story about the blind man and the elephant, if you only touch it in enough places you can be sure it's an elephant. The obviously problem is that once you have a birth defect or amputee with only three legs, it all fails.

For example I might like to define a class "SequenceNumber" that has functions like setInitialValue(), getNextValue() etc. but lacks typical characteristics of a number like being able to add and subtract them, but I can still sort sequence numbers. If it's explicit I only have to declare it sortable and implement the necessary functions. If it looks at the "concept" number it'll say nope, you're not a real number because we can't add two of you together.

This could be trivially avoided by having the possibility to supplement class definitions as implementing additional interfaces, like here's a library with the Circle shape header and I say it's a drawable even though it doesn't say so itself. It'll still have to actually fulfill the interface, but that way you're not bound by the ones supplied by the library. Since that's purely a synthetic check on whether your code should be able to call that code I don't see how that should be a problem.

Comment Re:People should learn english (Score 4, Interesting) 66

If one knows their native language plus English, they'll have the vast majority of the world's knowledge at their fingertips.

And tools. For every mainstream app there's ten obscure apps that haven't been translated to your language. And other people interested in the same things you are. The Internet has made a vast difference here, dubs / subtitles / translations worked pretty well for broadcast and print media and international calls was rare. And I don't mean just chit-chats, go on eBay and the whole world is your marketplace as long as you pay shipping. There are so many other benefits to language convergence that you won't get through more translations.

There's really no credible competitor to English because there's no other big pairings. If you know two major languages it's likely Chinese/English, Spanish/English, French/English, Portuguese/English, Japanese/English, Arabic/English, Russian/English, German/English, Hindi/English etc. you just don't find many Chinese/Spanish or Hindi/Portuguese speakers. If you look at the EU it's quite clear that 94% now learn English and fewer people learn French and German, I don't have the numbers for Spanish or Portuguese but I'm guessing the trend is the same.

Sure it's always possible that English is locally going a little backwards like that Spanish is creeping up into the US but for the world as a whole there's no debate. Particularly since China as the only potential challenger has put huge effort into English proficiency, giving everybody else much less reason to learn Chinese instead. I know linguists hate it but I think that's misunderstood, if all you needed to know was your native language and English most can be bi-lingual. If you should learn your Amazon tribe's language, Portuguese, Spanish and English then it's for the few.

Comment Re:Same could be said for color TV (Score 3, Interesting) 397

The problem with 3D is the glasses - without the glasses, 3D would be a nice enhancement, much like color.

Well maybe... but if I'm watching a GoT episode do I really want to feel like I'm flipping from being 1m away from a combat scene to suddenly being 50 meters up in the air overlooking the battlefield and back down to 1m again in a matter of seconds? Just saying that maybe we want some kind of grounding that we're really watching a screen and not teleporting around.

Comment Re:There will be commercials (probably) (Score 2) 147

Yeah we've seen the "no commercials" promise before when cable TV was becoming a thing and it was bullshit then too. They'll only stay away from commercials long enough to get a subscriber base. Commercials are where most of the money is and it will be hard for them to ignore that fact. I have a hard time imagining Netflix being immune to the siren's call of that much cash forever.

Is it really? Take the Superbowl which is one of the few items where we have pretty much all the numbers. In 2014 there was 49 minutes 15 seconds of commercials, $4.5 million average per 30 second slot and 111.4 million viewers. That works out to a little less than $4 per viewer. So if you offered $5 to watch it ad-free you'd be beating the advertisers. That's not bad for about four hours of entertainment with both a football game and the half time show and it's supposed to be super-expensive compared to normal ads. Granted one display != one viewer so they'd have to charge more than $5 but still I bet there's a lot of people who'd like to out-bid the advertisers.

Comment Re:And ISPs are jacking up rates (Score 1) 147

The real reason net neutrality is on the ropes is this: the idea was barely discussed by anyone during the election, in comparison to other issues. The companies that stand to profit from net neutrality are electronic media companies, and the companies that stand to profit from its removal are electronic infrastructure companies, and both will continue their fight under the covers. There wasn't much input from the electorate on the topic at all this cycle.

Actually I think it's way more old media vs new media, here in Norway where the main broadband revolution was DSL from telcos and the fiber revolution was lead by a former power company the "electronic infrastructure companies" seem pretty happy just to sell you bits and bytes. My impression is that in the US it's different because so large a part of the American population get their broadband through cable. It seems both bandwidth caps and anti-net neutrality gouging is primarily driven by cable companies wanting to drive customers to their own services instead of using online services and remain the gatekeeper and middle man between the content and the customers.

Comment Re:Can it beat the doctors (Score 1) 153

Yes, and we already have that. There are people who die every day waiting for a transplant organ. There's a limited amount available so they must be rationed and someone (or a panel of people most likely) has to determine where the limited supply will do the most good.

That's what other western countries do. The US goes by who has the best health insurance, like how big of a bill can we justify sending...

Comment Re:Down with Putin - Down with Trump (Score 1) 278

Yes. Timing is the key to understanding it. Sanders would have defeated Trump easily. The timing of the releases were carefully placed so as to build suspicion with independants while not hurting her primary bid. Then once she clenched that, proof that it was a rigged primary sent a lot of independants away from the DNC to either Green, Libertarian, and even a number to Trump. If they had released it all in the beginning, we would be swearing in Sanders tomorrow.

Let's not forget that the DNC wanted Trump to win the Republican nomination. So first Trump let Hillary drag him center stage as the enemy, then he let her eliminate Sanders before landing a final blow nobody saw coming until late election night? If all of that was planned Machiavelli could take lessons from him. If could simply be that they know the media has the attention span of a humming bird on speed, let's just pace this out so we get a good buzz and can keep it going until the election and that the rest was plain lucky. It's either that or we're in a Bond movie.

Comment Re:The two seem very related... (Score 2) 282

I won't provide an example, but it is fully possible to be honest and considerate at the same time, for example, just like it is possible to express even severe anger and dissatisfaction without shouting or getting into a fight.

Language is communication, you may think you're expressing it but does the recipient comprehend it? I've met the kind of people that seem to think if you're not shouting and cursing at them, you're not really angry. It's like they just hear "blahblahblah" but if you were really angry you wouldn't be calm and collected, so evidently you're not. There's no doubt that some people not only bubble wrap it but shy away from the truth in their quest to be considerate. See the Florence Foster Jenkins movie, she could have used some honest feedback before she booked Carnegie Hall...

Comment Re:Explore the ocean depths (Score 1) 99

The dream of space exploration & colonization is that it's a stepping stone towards other worlds and a vast spread of humanity across the galaxy. Not simply a one-time deal that adds a new region of Earth for humans to live in, but at great expense & difficulty.

Earth to Mars (shortest): 56,000,000 km
Earth to nearest star after the Sun: 40,000,000,000,000 km

I think you need to make the same kind of leap as going from horse and carriage to the Saturn V to go from interplanetary to interstellar. Sure keeping people alive is an interesting challenge, but somehow I don't think generation ships that take ~70000 years is the solution. For that we need a revolution in propulsion technology that we're not going to get from Falcon Heavy, SLS or even Musk's ITS. A bit like if I wanted to lift 100kg, I could do that with exercise but none of those plans or experience really bring me closer to lifting 10000kg.

Comment Re:Only a fraction of US munitions... (Score 1) 199

In this case, their grievance is that we exist. ISIS wants a new caliphate to control the entire Middle East and they want to pursue holy war, you can't really negotiate around either of those even if they wanted to.

I think you misspelled "the world", basically their strategy is to generate so much resentment towards Muslims (you know, 1.6 billion people - bigger than declaring war on China) that they get two new recruits for every one that's killed. The only reason it's not working is that so far we haven't taken the bait. We grieve for the dead, increase the military effort but we don't lash out in revenge. I sorta expected some militant nutters to go postal in a mosque or to burn them to the ground but apart from a lot of very vivid commentary there's been very few actual attacks on Muslims in general. If we were as short-tempered as they are like going ballistic over drawings we'd be in WW3 by now.

Comment Re:It's about landmass (Score 1) 467

If you regularly need to travel 2-3 hours away from home, the time loss from long mid-trip recharges is not small.

True. But unless it's their day job, how many regularly spend that much time in a car anyway? If you're working eight hours a day - low for the US, I hear - and sleep eight hours you've go no life left with that commute. On the weekend I suppose if you have close relatives or a cabin that's just in the sweet spot it could be a regular thing, but if it's two-three hours one way and you're staying can get destination charging. Or not if it's a remote cabin, but then EVs aren't for you. Don't get me wrong, I've driven much longer but those were hardly trips I'd make every week or every month. If you divide number of cars by number of miles driven it seems to me a lot of cars don't actually go very far.

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