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Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 186

I think this Friedman quote still has relevance though:

Oh, I thought you were trying to build a canal. If it's jobs you want, then you should give these workers spoons, not shovels.

Does it really serve a purpose if you make it harder than it needs to be? And self-driving cars will be a benefit to everyone else. I can go down to the store and get a liter of milk for next to nothing because of milking robots and other automation, if I had to pay a living wage for someone to pull a cow's teats it would cost a *lot* more. All those stores who transport goods will get cheaper. The money people don't pay on taxis will be spent on other things. Everyone can spend their commute watching TV instead of wasting home time. It'll be more practical to live further from the office. Elderly might get around more and live more fulfilling lives. Large groups of people would have the benefits of a private driver, previously a rare luxury. In ways perhaps even better, since you get total discretion and it's always at your whim 24x7.

Assuming you can still find a job, of course. But we've been pretty inventive about creating new needs and services once we could afford to. The burger flipper might be on the way out, I doubt the chef is. A robot vacuum cleaner isn't scrubbing the bathroom or dusting the furniture. The electric lawn mower doesn't do flower beds or trimming the hedge. The washing machine doesn't pair my socks or iron my shirts. Of course you might say that one day we'll have a "I, Robot" assistant that'll do absolutely everything a human does cheaper and better but that's not in 10 or 50 years. Neither is self-repairing, self-replicating and self-evolving robots that work almost by themselves.

Real wages in the US has been flat for quite some time now, but at the same time you've had a massive influx of cheap labor on the global market depressing wages. You don't get a zillion Chinese or Indian employees working for a pittance anymore, when you look at the whole world workers are getting better paid. If it keeps going up, sooner or later it will return to growth in the US too because US wages are normal wages and not super expensive wages anymore. There is no magic that makes Americans stay far ahead of the pack forever, even though that how it's been in the past with the old world destrroying itself with world wars and an illiterate, primitive third world. There are smart people other places too, when they get the opportunity.

Comment Re:Dr. Who (Score 2) 122

Some of the Dr. Who were already lost, and reconstructed by fans from audio and photographs, though I believe some were found recorded in Nigeria.

I believe that was mostly older material from the 60s where the original source was intentionally purged and reused. In this case it seems the issue is the original material exists but won't live forever.

Comment Re:Big government helping the people (Score 2) 204

The key element that you're missing is that you need smart people acting in the best interests of the whole people. Any time we've granted any elite power they've inevitably used it for personal gain or the elite's interest instead of the public good, it doesn't matter what they're capable of providing a better government if they're not willing. That's why we're weary of people seeking power, they usually want it for all the wrong reasons. And even those who try with the best of intentions find that to rise in the system you must work the system. And then you get caught in the same web of lies and deceptions, friends and foes, favors and kickbacks as every other politician.

That's why people say "democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others", because it's the only one where everyone's interests get represented even if their capability in recognizing those interests and selecting those most capable to act on it is lacking to say the least. That is really the unlikely side of the utopia we're clamoring for, some of the people we have in office are clearly skilled manipulators if nothing else but extremely few seem to rise above the party lines and really act in everyone's best interests. In that sense I guess (R) and (D) and (CPC) are pretty much all alike.

Comment Re:Calculated values can always be hacked. (Score 1) 204

I am sure for all of you who work in an organization with some sort of performance monitoring method can tell. It is rather easy to hack the system.

It's a lot harder to hack a system that wants to keep people from saying or doing things than to make people do things. Do something they don't like, lose "goodwill" points. Then you must perform something they like to get "goodwill" points back. It's a soft way to suppress dissent and subversive behavior, China will be fine one way or the other. It's to get you caught up in a game where you have to appease the government or find the whole system tilted against you, like a real world freemium game.

Comment Re:Wasn't CHAdeMO first? (Score 1) 72

* Large freight truck, ~30 tonne load (2 kWh/mi): 2.9 miles of range added per minute charging (60mph = 15 minutes charging per hour on the road)

I think your estimate is on the low side, Tesla X + big boat = ~4.7 ton = 575 Wh/mi average so I think 30 ton load + 5 ton car would be closer to 4 kWh/mi. On the other hand, if you just put say 8 of their 85 kWh battery packs in there and hooked them up separately you wouldn't need such exotic connectors. Sure it'll add a little extra inconvenience for the truck driver to hook up and unhook but if we say 10% -> 80% fast charge = 85*8*0.7/4 = 120 miles = 2 hours driving. Each battery needs to charge 60 kWh, with Tesla's current superchargers at 120 kWh that's 30 minutes or 80% uptime. It's not great, but also not terrible. Make that 4 hours and 90% uptime if 2 kWh/mi is correct and it actually sounds quite good. And you could put in more batteries for longer drives at higher cost and lower efficiency. If this is a regular route maybe you can have some sort of swap meet or car in rotation or something to make it work. Of course once you have self-driving cars stop-and-go driving wouldn't really be an issue at all, though that might be a bit off still. OTOH the costs of an electric truck are also pretty prohibitive right now. And big trucks have actually managed to reduce NOx and PM emissions way more than cars, it's pretty much pure CO2 now in Euro VI class trucks. It would make more sense to replace personal vehicles first.

Comment Re:To big to fail? (Score 1) 291

1st-world countries should be capable of running nuclear power without serious problems if their governments actually demanded quality. (...) And Japan? Japan put a ton of reactors on a freaking crowded island, and then didn't bother to inspect them properly. (Any moron with a badge could have noticed their backup generators weren't on the required stilts above the waterline--which failed when flooded.) The story of Fukushima is a failure of government to regulate greedy corporations, not an inherent failure of technology.

So first we need to get rid of greed and incompetence, then nuclear will be safe? Let's be honest here, before Fukushima everyone was dismissing Chernobyl as being the Soviet Union playing fast and loose with nuclear safety that would never ever happen in a first world country like Japan. But it did anyway. And after the next accident I'm sure that in retrospect we'll find some reason why it shouldn't have happened too, we usually do. That it won't happen in a perfect world is not applicable to the real world. Not that anything is perfect, but other power sources tend to fail in less spectacular fashion.

Comment Re:Agile is good for some teams & projects, ho (Score 5, Interesting) 332

Central to Agile is the proposition that the company is unable or unwilling to figure out what the requirements are before they develop the system.

The problem is that waterfall is presented as making extreme effort to try figuring it all out up front, while Agile then becomes to the exact opposite where you make no effort and just prioritize what's right in front of your nose. Reality is that you need some flexibility in waterfall projects and some structure in agile projects. In my opinion it's fine as a development method, it's all the people making requirements who don't even try anymore because agile. We're so dynamic, as long as we can spin in place it doesn't matter that we're not going anywhere.

Comment Re:Still not ready for cities (Score 1) 177

The government isn't going to let fully automated trucks run around with nobody to watch them any time soon, but they will slip these features into trucks to reduce driver fatigue. The driver is there to watch the truck, and the truck will also watch the driver and wake them up if they're passing out â" but also not let them cream anyone. When the trucks can manage a good safety record with babysitters, then they'll be allowed to run around on their own.

Have you ever tried to be a driving instructor? You are far more stressed than if you're driving yourself, because you never know when the pupil doesn't react or does something unexpected. If they don't trust it, they're going to turn it off. If they do trust it, the truck will drive itself. Sure they might help if it gets stuck, but sitting there ready to intervene at any moment? No way. So I'm thinking the safety record with babysitters is going to be the same as the safety record without babysitters, it better be good enough from day one. The rest is about not getting stuck when the computer can't figure out what to do.

Comment Re: Trump is a moron. Stop asking. (Score 2) 399

Yep. If he gets out of line the GOP congress will impeach him on any one of his many real scandals resulting in Mike Pence as president.

Not sure what delusions you have but impeaching their own president would be an ever bigger scandal for the GOP and be a months long circus show so unless it's proven that he takes orders direct from Putin it'd never happen. And even then they'd probably bury their heads in the sand and claim it's a fabrication. A million to one odds that won't happen.

Comment Re:Money in your pocket! (Score 5, Informative) 46

Cheaper to manufacture means the price I pay for a TV/monitor is going to drop right? Right? *crickets*

I don't think anyone has said QLED TVs will be cheaper, only better. Like OLEDs, there's one light source per pixel so you don't have all the backlight and uniformity issues of LCDs - not even the latest full-array local dimming ones with 600+ zones come close to per-pixel dimming. Unlike OLEDs, the colors are produced by a quantum dot layer so you don't have the intensity and lifespan issues of OLED. So the sum should be a TV with insanely high contrast (0-4000 nits?), extremely wide colors (90%+ of Rec. 2020) and excellent edge-to-edge performance with no halos or bleeding backlight but the cost would probably be beyond OLED because you need 3840x2160 = 8 million LEDs with an additional, expensive QD layer on top. Except for extreme brightness - but then you don't want to wear sunglasses to watch TV either - it should be damn close to looking out the window.

Comment Re:Sickdays==Lossofprofits, can't have those! (Score 1) 193

Never underestimate the power of words, like how some employees go ballistic when they're called resources "like we were cattle". Well tough you're hired to do a job and in that context you're just another input, like the bricks and the blender you need a bricklayer to make the wall. I usually sarcastically agree they're right, the proper term should be prostitute since we're pimping out our brains for cash.

I know that no matter how much they care about my physical and social well-being it's ultimately a means to an end and I'm not the end. The same way that no matter how much I care about my job it's ultimately a means to get compensation, perks, promotions, goodwill, recognition, references and so on, it's their goal not mine. That's the core of an employer-employee relationship, they're not my friend, family or partner and nobody should lose sight of that.

Which is not to say we shouldn't be on good terms, I think there's a lot of win-win in that. But I don't get angry when they refer to me as a tool to get a job done. And if they try any cog in the machinery analogies, I don't mind going to a restaurant analogy to say it's more like what happens when you drop-in replace tenderloin with shank because they're both beef. Hint: It's not going to be very good. Which I suppose is comparing myself to cattle. Moo.

Comment Re:Demonstrating something we already knew. (Score 2) 158

If you learned not to question Wikipedia in elementary school, that means I have moles on my ass that are older than you. That's exactly what I needed this holiday weekend. Thanks a lot.

If you lasted that long you got off easy, 13 years ago someone posted a troll post about how Stallman was a dinosaur from the 256 color era. I was thinking back to my C64 with 16 colors and that's when it really hit me that I was officially older than the dinosaurs. At the time I was 24, rythmic sports gymnastic and snowboarding got nothing on IT when it comes to obsolescence. I should probably be put in a museum by now.

Comment Re:an unpopular opinion. (Score 1) 269

It was never going to last, in the 20th century the US got it all laid out on a silver platter... the "Old World" fucked itself royally with two huge wars, the Soviet Union and China was stuck in a communist plan economy, many countries were colonies or stuck in old structures like caste systems or authoritarian structures or broken education systems and so on. It was not only that America had many opportunities but that other countries had few. Today I think most people feel there are opportunities at home and it's not like Americans are born smarter than other people, if other countries are achieving more of their potential the gap will narrow.

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