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Comment Re:I don't even like Uber but (Score 1) 501

First of all, you obviously have no idea how much some of those jobs pay. I'd wager most garbage men out earn me, for example. Waiters/waitresses can, too. Cooks have more variance, but can still earn a comfortable wage in a lot of instances.

However, what value do gas station clerks really provide? Or, more accurately, what value do they provide that you can't find in any one else who walks through the door? Drivers provide a bit more value, but not much; valid license and clean record. Not that hard. Why should the bare minimum be rewarded with unbalanced compensation?

You want to talk about history repeating itself, how often must we bungle heavy handed attempts at market manipulation before we finally get that it doesn't work. If a job doesn't provide a livable wage worth of value to the company, then how do you expect the company to survive by forcing it to pay one? You can't just wave your hand and it magically happens, nor can you demonize companies for wanting to stay solvent.

Comment Re:I don't even like Uber but (Score 1) 501

Did you really just compare forced labor with the threat of harm and/or death to voluntary employment?

I realize that making outrageous comparisons is exciting, but rarely is it accurate. Willful ignorance in pursuit of the party narrative usually does more harm than good.

These people, much like those fulltime fastfood workers we keep hearing all about, are not owed shit from anyone. If they want a "living wage", then they should be making better life choices and stop relying on others to fix their mistakes.

Comment Re:I don't even like Uber but (Score 2) 501

Who's responsibility is your own welfare? Is it a company's? The government's? Or yours?

The responsibility for your life is *yours*, and no one else's. If I decide to leave my full time job with benefits for Uber, I have no one to blame but myself if I can't make enough to get by. Further, it continues to be my responsibility if I don't find another job because my dream of driving for a living isn't working out.

It's not any company's job to assume your position in life, which is what you advocate when you say this: If they're willing to let people work full time then they should be willing to pay full time wages.. They offer the work and pay, it's up to the individual to decide if it works for them.

Comment Re:As someone with a masters in this -exact field- (Score 1) 266

If you are a true master, you should be able to explain concepts in a way that even a child can understand

This is, in a word, horse pucky. It's the same reasoning my niece uses to justify her anti-vaxxer beliefs: the quacks and charlatans she listens to are more credible than epidemiologists and immunologists because they're easier to understand. This is the real-life equivalent of the joke about searching for the $20 bill under the street light because where you actually lost it is inconveniently dark.

If it were true that a child could understand anything, there wouldn't be a need for education. You'd just find a "true expert" to explain, say, fluid dynamics to a random bunch of people off the street and then set those randos to work designing aircraft. Or cryptographic systems.

There's an unfortunate cultural trend to devalue anything that requires mental effort and dedication to understand as elitist bullshit. This is a dangerous development, especially when combined with our national vanity: ever since the Moon landing we see technological and scientific leadership as a birthright. It's not. It's something we have to earn, and continue earning every day by dint of hard labor.

The humbling truth is that real understanding in many things requires trekking a long and arduous road. It's a near certainty that you don't actually understand General Relativity; crude analogies about balls and rubber sheets notwithstanding. General Relativity is like a mountain that looks easy to tackle from a great distance, but the fact is it takes years of toil before you can even grasp how arduous the foothills of Mount Einstein are.

Comment More "fair"? (Score 1) 269

I don't even know what that means.

If we were talking about a commodity like prescription drugs, the marginal cost of each additional pill is probably a few cents. Companies can make a profit by selling to foreign countries at prices much lower than USA prices because there is a ban on bringing the products back into the country.

The marginal cost of creating another copy of a piece of software and issuing a license key is practically nil, but there's no good way to enforce an import ban. If software companies (I'm thinking EDA software like Synopsys, Cadence, Mentor Graphics, etc.) started selling cheap software licenses overseas, customers will just set up their license servers in a country with "fair" prices and have their USA/European employees point to those license servers.

Bad idea. It would practically be a death sentence for companies making expensive CAD software.

Comment Re:Heads-up Texas Holdem (Score 1) 156

You have never done any game development, it's obvious.

The step from single-player game to multiplayer game is not a simple upgrade, it's a complete shift in everything. It requires a completely different approach, not a refined version of the same approach.

In any non-trivial multiplayer game, the interactions between all the players matter, and the complexity of those is subject to combinatorial explosion. Poker being a relatively low-interaction game will not make this as bad as some others, but beating one person and beating a table of people is not the same system with a little more cycles, it quite possibly requires a different approach altogether.

It will be interesting to see the jump happen, but it is a jump, not a step.

AI beating humans at a game is merely a beta test. The real application will feed unending greed, which will never die.

Greed is a game.


Geek Avenges Stolen Laptop By Remotely Accessing Thief's Facebook Account ( 355

An anonymous reader quotes Hot Hardware: Stu Gale, who just so happens to be a computer security expert, had the misfortune of having his laptop stolen from his car overnight. However, Gale did have remote software installed on the device which allowed him to track whenever it came online. So, he was quite delighted to see that a notification popped up on one of his other machines alerting him that his stolen laptop was active. Gale took the opportunity to remote into the laptop, only to find that the not-too-bright thief was using his laptop to login to her Facebook account.

The thief eventually left her Facebook account open and left the room, after which Gale had the opportunity to snoop through her profile and obtain all of her private information. "I went through and got her phone numbers, friends list and pictures..." Given that Gale was able to see her phone numbers listed on Facebook, he sent text messages to all of those numbers saying that he was going to report her to the police. He also posted her info to a number of Facebook groups, which spooked the thief enough to not only delete her Facebook account, but also her listed phone numbers.

In 2008 Slashdot ran a similar story, where it took several weeks of remote monitoring before a laptop thief revealed his identity. (The victim complained that "It was kind of frustrating because he was mostly using it to watch porn.") But in this case, Gale just remotely left a note on the laptop -- and called one of the thief's friends -- and eventually turned over all the information to the police, who believe an arrest will follow.

Gale seems less confident, and tells one Calgary newspaper "I'm realistic. I'm not going to see that computer again. But at least I got some comic relief."

Comment Re:He's missing the point. (Score 4, Insightful) 148

It would be nice if people could learn to think in terms of threats that fell somewhere between "safe to ignore" and "extinction level event". Or could distinguish between "extreme and expensive" responses and "effective" ones.

9/11 could have been prevented by simple, conservative and inexpensive countermeasures. After 9/11 politicians droned on about how "9/11 changed everything," but the cold sober fact was that it in fact changed nothing. It just showed that some of the things sensible people had already been telling us to do (like reinforcing cockpit doors or getting agencies to work together despite institutional rivalries) really did need to be done. Instead "9/11 changed everything" became the rallying cry for every pet scheme that had heretofore been correctly dismissed as too expensive, hare-brained, or just plain dumb.

Which doesn't change the fact that something needed to be done. Here's the lesson I think we should take into this infrastructure debate: we should take sensible and conservative steps to secure infrastructure against terrorism now, before events put foolish ones on the table.

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