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Comment Re:Down with big business... lingo (Score 1) 150

"Going/moving forward" is not the same as "soon", it means "starting immediately* and continuing until informed otherwise".

I normally try to avoid jargon that spawns from Management, but I find "going forward" to be softer/indirect language than "from now on" which I take to be more authoritative/direct. If I managed people I would use "from now on" in conversations with them when I want to firmly set/change something, but when communicating with other people (particularly external contacts) and I want them to start doing something I use "Going forward, please blah blah blah", a half request/half command.

Despite all that, in the context of the sentence in the summary I agree it's misused. The meaning of the sentence doesn't change without the phrase, and it would be more useful to have an "effective immediately" or "effective $DATE" for clarity.

* even if it doesn't apply to an immediate task or project

Comment Re:As if this is new (Score 1) 370

Yeah, there are already people who make a living doing that (I recall that Wired did a story on them many years ago), but it's a very small group, like professional mimes. I'm talking about the majority of entire cities being used in testing, and without silly things like "ethics panels", "FDA regulation", or "palliative care".

Comment Re:As if this is new (Score 1) 370

Control.

At insane income rates money is a means. For most people it's as an end, how they survive, but past a certain point it the ends are nicely wrapped up and become afterthoughts. There's a lot you can buy with ever-increasing money supply, but at some point you can also afford or already own most of these things. Thereafter, the point of money is the pursuit of that which cannot be directly purchased. For many this takes a philanthropic route, donating unneeded portions of their wealth or income to their charities or goals of choice. For some--and, I think the majority in future filled with AI workers but no universal income--it's about control.

There are many ways to control people directly with money, by paying them to fulfill various desires. It's surprising what some will do for money, particularly if they are in desperate need. But a single person could reign heavily over a thousand people by being a CEO of some busybody company. Control their schedules, who they meet with (and when and where and for how long), what they spend the majority of their day doing, and you don't even have to pay them that much. The rich will control the government, of course, and so worker protections go out the window and now all employees are considered always on the job (and thus under that much more control.) This is a more direct control than simply paying them to do whatever (it's surprising what people will endure to stay employed, things beyond what most people would be willing to do if told directly, at least at a moderate income level.)

I think this outcome is far preferred by the lawful-evil rich, as opposed to maintaining small personal armies to stave off riots and raids (an army that could turn on them), or being forced to share the money they "earn" with the government (who then redistributes it to the people.)

(If you think that sounds soul-sucking, an alternative but not-completely-exclusive outcome is that common people are used as lab rats in medical trials for drugs and procedures that keep the rich fit, healthy, and grant longevity.)

Comment Uh (Score 1) 449

Another said that Windows 10's spyware aspects made him give up on his beloved PC platform and that he will use Linux and Android devices only from now on

Sounds like someone is in for a rude awakening about Android. (I think Win10 is worse than stock Android re:data collection, but if your primary concern is privacy...)

As to the question itself: It absolutely is, for varying definitions of "cool" and "fun". I'm a 90s kid (so many things I have to remember) so I didn't cut my teeth on a C64, but as a youngling I got sucked in by the potential of PCs and what I could do with them after discovering epic tools like "dir" at 12. (Oh, and playing Zork.) There's still a tremendous amount of potential, but a lot of us have turned what were once hobbies into jobs and started specializing in a sub-aspect of computing. The former can easily deprive the "cool" of the hobby if your job is a negative aspect of your life (and thus whatever "computing" you do is associated with that negativity), and the latter limits the "fun" because the simple problems are mostly rote at this point and discovery means chasing the long-tail, if at all.

In my case, a major lure for general computing—that made it "cool" or "fun"—was that discovery. While I've lost my own wonder and interest (for varying reasons), there seems to be as much uncharted territory now as there was in the 80s/90s: augmented/virtual reality, Internet-of-Things, alternative inputs (particularly in motion controls and applied to VR), biomedical, brain interface (both direct and indirect, such as simple headgear that react to brain waves). Computers are far cheaper and more powerful than they were, with software that can allow Joe American to start basic 3D modelling with something he picks up at Best Buy.

Computing itself isn't necessarily static: I think we're going to see computers in general converge, where either your phone/tablet is also your main PC, which, when docked, has more processing power (Nintendo's upcoming Switch is reported to work this way, in fact) or "always-on"+"cloud" means your various devices are just UI for data on the internet. Regardless of which direction you prefer, either will be enough of a shift to provide tons of creation/discovery potential driven by demand.

A point of general agreement was that big tech companies in particular don't treat computer users with enough respect anymore.

A bunch of assholes deciding against consumer interests (and then consumers rewarding them for such) doesn't deprive computing of being "cool" or "fun"; it just means you may have to seek alternative platforms depending on the aspects of computing that drive you and how you want to enjoy that.

Comment Re:I actually don't remember that (Score 1) 534

I had a "discussion" with someone who claimed it was a hoax to sell energy-efficient appliances. I mean, Poe's Law, but he appeared to be100% serious. Claimed there was no evidence at all for AGW, though he seemed to acknowledge that humans produce the vast majority of CO2 and that the Earth is getting warmer. He tried to say it was 100% due to the Sun, and I couldn't get him to give a definitive answer as to if he thought CO2 trapped heat.

Then he said that all links and websites are just opinion and can't be used to provide any evidence (despite trying to do so himself, failing to read his own links.) If I thought I'd get a half-coherent answer I would have asked what he would accept as evidence; probably be something like "show me a cloud made of nothing but CO2 reflecting heat" (and then, because he couldn't "see" the heat, it still wouldn't count.)

I know that intelligence tests for voting are bad in multiple ways but, damn, people like him make me wonder...

Comment Re:Where is the news? (Score 1) 216

it would be ethically unsound to deliberately expose groups of people to the well-documented risks that this deficiency would cause, and it would be extremely difficult to control the parameters, I think

I agree, but what is the possibility of a doing just one-half of the study: Find willing, pregnant women, make sure they're getting a full dose (or more) of Vitamin D routinely, measuring their Vitamin D levels throughout pregnancy, then checking in after birth at 1, 5, and 10 years to see how the kids are. Figure out the rate of kids on the autism spectrum, then compare this "trial" group to the general population rate (i.e. the "control").

You then have some manner of comparison without intentionally creating any risk. The "trial" group would have to be quite large to be meaningful, of course, but I imagine that Vitamin D intake/measuring is relatively simple, so you can partner with OBGYN, hospitals, etc. to collect data.

Comment Re:"Suggesting" ... (Score 1) 715

I'm not waiting that long before becoming dour; nominating his golf buddies to top positions is not something I consider a positive action, and he's made no positive actions of note to counter that. (He's said a few positive things, but much of it is contrary to his own, prior statements so I'm focusing only on actions.)

It's not a guarantee, of course: Tom Wheeler, former cable lobbyist, actually turned out to be a pretty good FCC Chairman. But he's an exception, not the rule.

The only potentially good nomination is Gen. Mattis to SecDef, who has many accolades and good stories from Marines, but even then I can't be certain he won't encourage more foreign conflicts.

Comment Re:Shocking (Score 1) 715

This.

I don't think that Pres. Obama lost the election for Clinton. If he weren't term limited, I think he would have won against Trump by about the same as against Romney, and I say this as someone who sees as much negative in Obama as I do positive. The Democrats created this mess for themselves:

  • by deciding that Clinton just had to be the candidate so they didn't put up any serious primary contenders until Sanders stepped in a ring (Chafee, O'Malley, and Webb were never serious contenders, they were just there to lend credibility to Clinton being chosen by the people)
  • having the vast majority of their superdelegate[1] system "pledge" to vote for her before a single primary/caucus ballot was held
  • the DNC brass colluding to shove out Sen. Sanders
  • and then the Clinton campaign immediately hired Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the DNC during said collusion who stepped down in the wake of revelations, which didn't improve appearances

As far as I can tell the Russians (if it was them) just "hacked" private servers/accounts and revealed all the dirty laundry: if the DNC wasn't pulling shit, there would have been nothing worthwhile to be released.

We could have had President-Elect Sanders right now (primary polls showed him beating every Republican challenger, and he spoke to the exact same group of Americans that voted for Trump but with actual plans and a history of efforts; if the labels Republicans gave Trump in the primary didn't stick, "Socialist" never would have), but, no, it was Clinton's turn. I don't expect Trump's administration to be anything close to positive, but if there is any silver lining to this it's that the Clintons will never be a political force again and that people thinking of running on dynasties will lose credibility (due to both Jeb! and Clinton). I would like to think that the Democrats would also get their house in order, but from everything I'm seeing they're trying to blame external things (Russian hacks, "fake news") and mudslinging Keith Ellison in an attempt to keep corporate parties in control of the DNC, I've no expectation of the sort.

[1] It's so funny that I see Democrats all over crying about our Electoral College, considering their use of superdelegates. I do want to see it reformed and have states move away from winner-takes-all, but the Democrats don't have a single leg to stand on claims of "unfair" systems if they don't first get rid of their superdelegates.

Comment Re:"Suggesting" ... (Score 1) 715

I had much the same opinion. It seems a lot of people did, even when the data said otherwise (particularly in the primary, when polls showed Trump with a narrow victory but basically every mainstream outlet, including many conservative ones, saying the polls were wrong).

If Trump's victory had any positive effect on me personally, so far, it's that I now question everything and assume/accept nothing outright, even consolidated polling data.

Comment Re:I Would Rather Go To Theatres (Score 1) 341

My general understanding of the average /. is that A) they have above-average income, B) are more introverted than average, and C) have no problem with simple DIY projects. Ergo someone who is more likely than not to have a nice home theater setup if they enjoy watching movies, and prefer the experience of that over anything that theaters can offer. For this reason common problems at theaters are far more irksome when you could get a better everything at home, except for the delay in release (and that's only a problem for those who have no interest in torrents.)

From your anecdote, another component may be frequency. If you go to the movies at least every (other) week, issues that bug less-frequent goers might have become the equivalent of "background noise" for you. Maybe you also choose to go to movies that have been out for at least a week, when the audience is far more likely to be interested in the movie and not just going to a movie because it's new and played up.

Comment Re:Better be ready to be beat up when layed off wo (Score 1) 541

A sense of purpose is important.

And why, pray-tell, does that require being employed?

Let's say that it shakes out and only 30% of employable people desire to work. That doesn't mean the other 70% loaf around. Some will, absolutely, but I doubt it's even most. Hobbies will still be a thing, and some of those hobbies will generate a bit of extra income (particularly "Maker"-type hobbies, repair and fixing) as they already do. Charities will still be a thing--though the types might shift hard, less soup kitchens and such--and many will still need volunteers. I bet a lot of people will be happier caring for stray dogs than crunching numbers in Quickbooks.

Some people will be happy just spending their entire lives in libraries (which also need volunteers) reading books. Some will focus on religious or philosophical pursuits.

How do we NOT support breeding?

A good start, even before UBI, is to give thorough sex education in schools and make contraceptives so easy (and cheap/free) to get that a person has to go out of their way to not avail. Stop all the attempts to get around Roe v Wade. Once you get UBI you make kids a diminishing return: An adult gets X, an adult with a kid gets twice as much minus a small-but-noticeable amount, lets say K, and each kid gets another X but K increases at a faster rate. Balance K such that the kids can be cared for, but takes shared resources (e.g. housing) into account and doesn't leave much extra for niceties. And if the parent/guardian ignores the kids and spends the X on themselves? Well, we already have methods against child abuse like that, they won't suddenly disappear.

And if you're going to get a liveable income without kids, why would you want to go through the hassle of having them unless you actually want them?

Comment Re:Ok, both parties are complicit, happy? (Score 1) 270

No, the buck stops back in Congress who can overturn the Veto. While their majority wasn't Veto-proof, I can't see them having a hard time getting (D) Congresscritters on board if Obama was willing to sign off on it in the first place.

Consider, also, that Obama would have nothing to sign or veto if not for Congress first passing it.

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