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Comment Re:Money stores value (Score 1) 128

The American Revolution is proof that you are wrong, as they won the war using only paper money.

Might want to brush up on your history a bit. They won despite the paper money, which was a major hindrance. Google for the phrase "not worth a continental". When the constitution was written, the memory of America's first hyperinflation was very fresh in their minds, which is why the gold and silver clause in the constitution forbids fiat currency.

-jcr

Comment Re:I have always wondered... (Score 1) 114

...but our immune systems do it in a couple of days, no sweat.

Except that's not always the case. We don't do it sometimes, see the various plagues and incurable infections like HIV, and in other cases, our bodies fuck this process up, and create for themselves autoimmune diseases. There are a surprisingly large number of autoimmune diseases out there, some minor and some debilitating and deadly, and these are the result of our bodies screwing up this process of developing antibodies.
 
Even as we can replicate this process better, we're going to have to be very careful that we're not causing issues like these. Last thing we want is to start injecting people with cold and flu antibodies that turn out to be a latent T-virus.

Comment Re: Revolution (Score 2) 127

As a vague theme along what is being described here, I don't see why that's a bad assumption. Most technological innovations have been about shifting where human labor is applied. What we're talking about here is outright replacing it. Anywhere it could get pushed to, we can replace that with robots too.
 
We're not too far off from robots handling almost all commercial agriculture, and almost all packing, shipping and delivery. Our robots will build other robots, and other robots will service those robots. Or just recycle them so the first group can rebuild more robots.
 
Robots already make a tremendous amount of the food we eat - if it's pre-packaged in the store, good chance that human hands never touched it. Self-serve kiosks, touchless carwashes, Siri, tax prep software, ATMs and online banking, etc., etc., etc.
 
We've still got our fingers in the art pie, at least for a bit now. Although we can now synth entire orchestras well enough for movies and video games that even those are getting squeezed. It will be a bit before we have robot opera singers and ballet dancers, painters and graphic designers. But how many people do these things?
 
What jobs are there for the tens of millions of people who drive something for a living? Who work in the food service industry? Who work in investment and tax fields? Law? When machine learning does a better job of medical analysis, do we still train doctors to do that work? Do we still need that many doctors?
 
It's not going to be a fast shift, but this isn't like the other technical advances in history. I honestly don't know what jobs people losing their jobs to automation are going to find. Because anything I can think of could likely be done better and cheaper by a robot.

Comment An IBM 5150 purchased from a TRW surplus sale (Score 1) 857

This one wasn't an XT model, although it did come with a 10MB hard drive as well as a 360K DS-DD floppy drive, monochrome green screen, 256K of RAM, and IBM PC-DOS 3.1. Took about five minutes to boot, and came with a copy of WordStar for DOS which got me through 4th, 5th and 6th grades.

Middle of 7th grade, one of my mom's friends had just bought herself an IBM ThinkPad, and needed to get rid of her Compaq 286, 40MB hard drive, 14" 640x480 VGA monitor, MS-DOS 5. I only had that computer for about a month, because one of dad's coworkers in computer resources heard about my interest in building computers and dug an Intel 386DX-25 chip, motherboard and 4MB RAM out of company storage, suggested we get the rest of the parts needed to get it running at the San Diego Computer Show. That ended up being the first computer I built.

Comment So fucking what? (Score 5, Insightful) 477

As I said on the previous post about this situation, who cares? His code still works, and there are no allegations that he's trying to fuck the other contributors or for that matter, practicing his kinks with anyone who's not consenting to how he gets his rocks off.

However repugnant "goreanism" might be, I'm rather more repulsed by someone like you demanding that hackers pass some kind of political purity test. Go fuck yourself.

-jcr

Comment Re: CueCat all over again (Score 1) 191

I pretty much guarantee you that you spent more time setting that mode up, then I'd ever get back using it.

I'm about break-even on my Hue bulbs. It took awhile to set them up to mimic a sunrise in the morning, and a sunset in the evening. Living decently far north, I find it's really helpful during the winter to have a stable sunrise and sunset despite the darkness outside. I've had the same settings for 2-3 years now, and it's really, really nice. I wake before my alarm most mornings, and as the house "sunsets", it triggers me to go to bed at the same time every night.
 
But some time ago they released an "improved" Hue app, and while it's much simpler to use, I don't see a way to recreate what I spent a lot of time setting up. I ended up having to revert to the old one and fix a bunch of lost settings. That was a definite time-sink. And that's even with disallowing my IoT light system to access the broader internet. It's isolated on my network, and I just let one phone update its app.
 
And that's the other problem with IoT things - even when you have them set the way you want them, there's no guarantee that the company that you're relying on to allow you to manage them will keep them in the same state. Cue the time-sink and tinkering, to try to get what you want out of them.
 
The bulbs I bought and programmed were for a distinct need, and they fill that need. I have yet to find anything else in the IoT that falls into that category.

Comment Re:It's managers that should telecommute. (Score 1) 207

Managers telecommute? Are you kidding? You must never have worked from home.
 
When I do, I tend to get 8 hrs of work done the first 4-5 hrs, and then start looking for other stuff to do. If a manager did that, office productivity would be destroyed before anyone could figure out what happened.
 
I can't imagine the horrors that would be produced if a manager had tons of free time and peace and quiet to think about efficiency and team building. It's far better that they be busy most of the time talking to a groups of people in the office, because at least then, they're only impacting those people.

Comment Re:Suggestion: Alternative technology (Score 1) 98

We used Wunderlist for a while in the same way. The problem is that the dry-erase board on the fridge is always the closest thing when we discover we're out of something, so it gets jotted down there. Phones are often in another room. Then we were trying to remember to update Wunderlist from the board on the fridge, but that was 2x the data entry. So now we just snap a picture of the dry-erase board when we're headed out. And text the picture to each other if needed. It...actually is easier than any of the other options.

Comment Re:Another point to consider - truck drivers (Score 1) 168

I don't think 'freshly unemployed truckers' is going to be that much of a problem. It's not 875,000 people all at once. It's more likely going to ramp up over those 15 years, but that's a lot of time.
 
How many drivers will retire in that time? For every one that retires, you just won't need to hire a new one. It's not a job lost, unless you somewhat disingenuously call "I would like a job in that profession but can't find one" a lost job.
 
How many people considering trucking are going to look at the automation and decide that it's not a viable career path? Again, not really jobs lost.
 
Buggy whip makers didn't immediately go out of business when the Model T rolled off the lines. Like most change, truck driving will likely be a slow decline with a few dramatic drops as major businesses change over wholesale.
 
Just guessing, but UPS and FedEX are huge shipping companies, and I bet the first automation there won't replace the employee in the truck, because there still won't be a way to get the package to the door. However, that package handler could be relegated to the passenger seat. Just jumping out to deliver and jumping back in. The truck knows what's in the back, where it needs to drop it off, the road conditions and traffic, and picks the most efficient route. Not a job lost, but likely one that gets a reduction in pay, because the the reduction in job duties.

Comment Re:Pooled driving? Already exists. (Score 1) 168

Carpooling is ok, but thinking about where I live, I'd totally go for owning a self-driving car. My wife works about 10 minutes from home, I work about 20-25, depending on traffic. She leaves a half hour before I do, gets home a half hour before I do. Car could drop her off at work, come home, get me, drop me off at work, go home, and park in the driveway. 10 minutes before she heads out of work she can summon it, and it will take her home. Then 20 minutes before I want it, I call it. Or I go grab a beer if she's going somewhere.
 
No street parking, no lot parking, no real need for 2 cars, no adjusting the seat, no sharing with strangers. If she's going to be at the yoga for an hour, the car can come get me, drop me off at home, and head back to yoga.
 
I think this means a bit more congestion on the road, however. This should be mitigated by the auto-driving capabilities, and can be further mitigated by reclaiming parking for more lanes. We'd need a small fraction of the metered spots if cars could go park a little further away, and they could park in dense clusters, because they could move when one needed to get out.

Comment Re:Popcorn time (Score 1) 289

current battery systems suck for the edge cases.

I'm convinced that battery cars will prove to be the transitional stage between gasoline and hydrogen. Toyota and Honda are the biggest makers of hybrids, and they're both betting on hydrogen, big time.

Toyota's HFC car takes three minutes to refuel for a 300 mile range. That beats any existing battery charging technology all to hell.

-jcr

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