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Comment Re:The problem is? (Score 1) 93

It's harder to enter the country illegally, so it's harder to hire people illegally, so you buy robots cuz people on welfare won't do the job. I fail to see the problem, outside of the "people on welfare" part.

You fail to see it because your buried in your own bullshit. Companies don't want to pay minimum wage for someone to pick fruits and vegetables. Why the hell do you think these companies employ illegal immigrants in the first place?

And even if they did, only a small segment of the population can even do it. You have to be young, strong, and healthy to carry 100 pounds sacks of apples up and down a ladder 10 hours a day. And to even make minimum wage, you're talking about moving literally tons of produce (you're paid by the pound/bushel/etc. not by the hour). Of course, you don't get benefits or insurance either. You fall off a ladder and now you're under a pile of medical debt as well as losing your job.

It's a transient shit job that pays less than a wal-mart greeter with even less benefits. THAT'S why people don't want to do it.

Comment Re:You can't generalize. (Score 1) 372

It does *sound* a bit sociopathic, doesn't it? But sociopathy is a pathological disregard for the rights of others. While deception is often used to violate someone's rights, but it can *also* be used to protect someone's rights.

For example if I knew an employee was embezzling money, I don't have to tell him I know. I can deceive him into thinking I'm not on to him until I gather enough proof or discover who his accomplices are. This is deceptive, but not a violation of his rights.

Comment You can't generalize. (Score 2) 372

Anyone who works on unauthorized personal projects should certainly expect to be subject to firing. But as a supervisor I would make the decision to fire based on what is best for my employer. That depends on a lot of things.

I don't believe in automatic zero tolerance responses. The question for me is whether the company better off booting this guy or disciplining him. Note this intrinsically unfair. Alice is a whiz who gets all of her work done on time and to top quality standards. Bob is a mediocre performer who is easily replaced. So Alice gets a strong talking to and Bob gets the heave-ho, which is unfair to Bob because Alice did exactly the same thing.

But there's a kind of meta-fairness to it. Stray off the straight and narrow and you subject yourself to arbitrary, self-interested reactions.

Now as to Alice, I would (a) remind her that anything she creates on company time belongs to the company (even if we're doing open source -- we get to choose whether the thing is distributed) and (b) that any revenue she derives from it rightly belongs to the company. But again there's no general rule other than maximize the interests of the company. I'll probably insist she shut down the project immediately and turn everything over to the company, but not necessarily. I might choose to turn a blind eye. Or maybe even turn a blind eye until Alice delivers on her big project, then fire her and sue her for the side project revenues if I thought we didn't need her any longer. If loyalty is a two-way street, so is betrayal.

Sure, you may rationalize working on a side project as somehow justified by the fact your employer doesn't pay you what you're really worth, but the grown-up response to that is to find a better job; if you can't, by definition in a market economy you are getting paid at least what you're worth. If you decide to proceed by duplicity, you can't expect kindness or understanding unless you can compel it.

Comment Re:60Ghz (Score 1) 136

I agree it sounds impractical. So I looked at the patent -- which not being a radio engineer it's perfectly safe for me to do (n.b. -- it's always dangerous to look at what might be bullshit patents in your field because you open yourself up to increased damages for using common sense). But I was a ham radio operator when I was a kid so I do know the lingo.

There are a number of problems with broadcasting power, starting with the fact that it's inefficient to saturate ambient space with enough radiation to be usefully harvested. But that's not what they're proposing. 802.11 ad operates in the extreme microwave range -- about 5cm wavelength aka the "V" band. This band is also unregulated so you can try weird things in it. What they propose is to use an array of antennas to create a steerable beam -- like a phased array radar. This would confine the power to a specific plane so that you wouldn't have to saturate all of ambient space with power. The beam steering would be done "dynamically", which I take to mean it would figure out how to maximize signal strength with some kind of stochastic algorithm. So it might not work if you are unicycling around the room.

And because the wavelength is so short an antenna array would be relatively compact.

Even so, it doesn't sound that practical. It's bound to be limited to line of sight, for example: the V band does not penetrate walls or the human body at all, in contrast with the S band that conventional wifi operates on. I can certainly imagine applications for it, but making it practical for charging your phone is apt to be very expensive. You'd have surround yourself with V band antenna arrays.

By the way, reading this patent reminds me of why I hate reading patents. They're infuriatingly vague in order to make the claims as broad as possible, and yet are cluttered with inanely obvious details ("the radio receiver can include active and passive components") and irrelevancies (the device may include a touch screen). I think the purpose may be that someone trying to figure out whether the vague language applies to a cell phone will think, "I don't know WTF this is claiming, but look this phone *does* have a touch screen." It just shows how broken our patent system is.

Comment Re:"popular belief"??? (Score 1) 270

No, sitting on your ass and eating far more calories than you need to sustain said sedentary lifestyle is a prescription for weight gain and all the other problems that go with it. The calorie (or more precisely, kilocalorie) is a measurement of energy. It doesn't matter if it's coming from carbs, protein, or fat. A calorie is a calorie.

I'm tired of all these idiotic "diets" that tell you to eat this and not eat that and by MAGIC you'll be slim trim and healthy. You can not beat the laws of thermodynamics and conservation of energy. It doesn't matter where your calories come from. If you aren't burning more calories than you take in, you're going to put on weight. Period. End of fucking story.

That being said, other side effects from what you eat need to be considered. You can get your daily calories from a well balanced diet or by eating a cup of Crisco. From an energy perspective, your body doesn't care. But saturated fats, cholesterol, and all that other crap can and does affect your body. So you can be slim and trim, and still be a cheeseburger away from a heart attack if you've been stuffing yourself with nothing but grease all your life.

BTW, an editorial from a group of rejects funded by big beef probably isn't the best source of unbiased research.

Comment Re:It's pretty simple (Score 0) 272

And a single F-35 costs more than the whole energy star program does over the course of two years. And unlike the F-35, the Energy Star program has saved billions of dollars.

Are all of Trump's supporters just plain stupid? You could literally cut the entire EPA and make nary a dent in the national budget. Meanwhile the Mango idiot wants to cut government revenue by 20% and yet INCREASE government spending.

Gee, I can't imagine how the fucking moron managed to bankrupt a casino.

Comment Sure, Uber is evil. (Score 2) 286

It's an anti-social company that's a horrible place to work. Everybody knows that by now.

What nobody can know for sure is why an individual takes his life, or what circumstances would have to be different.

Take Google, which in several recent lists is the best company in America to work for. Google has just shy of 60,000 employees. Given the US suicide rate of 46/100,000, if Google were largely reflective of that you'd expect 28 suicides/year among Google employees. Of course (a) not all Google employees are Americans and (b) Google employees are economically better off than most people in their societies, so you'd expect there to be a lower rate of suicide. But it's safe to assume a dozen Google employees a year take their lives.

And if you look at them as individuals, you'd inevitably suspect work stress was involved, and if you'd look you'd probably find it -- because it's a chicken-or-egg thing. Suicide is a catastrophic loss of coping ability; when you head that way you will find trouble everywhere you turn.

When something like this happens to an individual, everyone feels the need to know why -- even strangers. But that's the one thing you can never know for certain. Now if suicide rates were high for Uber, then statistically you could determine to what degree you should be certain that Uber is a killing its employees with a bad work environment (or perhaps selecting at-risk employees).

I think its inevitable and understandable that this man's family blames Uber. And it's very likely that this will be yet another PR debacle for the company. But the skeptic in me says we just can't know whether Uber has any responsibility for the result.

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