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Comment Re:over-simplification of economy (Score 1) 406

Nonsense. Economics is the study of how people exchange goods and services.

Yes, but apparently a 'successful' economy is one which is always growing...

Sure it is. But the AC assumes that growth inevitably means increasing consumption of natural resources. It can mean that, but that actually only works in a context where the natural resources in question are abundant. Once they become scarce (perhaps artificially), then growth comes from finding ways to use resources more efficiently.

A successful economy is one which is improving the standard of living of the people in it. There is no reason why that process cannot be endless... though the definition of what constitutes improvement absolutely will change over time.

Comment Re:Question (Score 2) 406

So unlike what Marxist said central planning actually works best to quickly grow backwards, agrarian even, economies rather than improving advanced economies.

That actually makes perfect sense if you study Marx's core economic theory, the labor theory of value. In that view, all production is about organization of labor, with some attention to the sources of raw materials. There is no discussion at all of the role of innovation, or information, and the theory is focused on a world in stasis, in which the materials, processes and outputs are all well-known, and unchanging.

But progress comes from the creation of new ideas, ways to make new goods, or make old goods with less labor or less, or different, raw materials. An economy organized on communist principles has few mechanisms for encouraging innovation. The Soviet Union made a big deal of identifying and nurturing smart people and giving them the resources to invent new science and technology, but that is perhaps the least important part of the innovation that moves an economy forward. Not that new science and technology isn't hugely important, but the aggregate impact of millions upon millions of small improvements in processes and business models is larger, especially on the general standard of living. So, the Soviet Union was able to stay in shouting distance, more or less, of the United States in terms of technological progress... but was unable to keep the grocery store shelves stocked. That is in the inevitable result of a system that doesn't incentivize and reward small-scale innovation.

Comment Re:The Verge is 100% wrong (Score 1) 48

History has also shown us that most new ideas fail. Even good ideas.

I agree that the idea of accessories per se, attractive as it is to me, isn't enough to make a product a success these days. However I should point out that back in the day of PDAs it was normal for mobile devices to have a CF or SD slot that could also be used to add features. This was in the day when mobile devices didn't have cell data connections, GPS or even wi-fi, and it was quite common for people to add memory cards, wi-fi, bluetooth, and GPS. I have a box full of accessory cards in my attic.

Handspring, a company that made Palm Pilot clones, initially did very well with their Springboard modules which allowed you to add any kind of functionality to the base system, just like what we're talking about here. Then a few years after introducing the Springboard module Handspring stopped making PDAs altogether in favor of what was then called a "converged device" -- aka a smartphone -- without the slot. It's all about timing; Handspring was perhaps a little ahead of the curve on convergence, but a lot of manufacturers were getting pushed that way because of falling hardware retail prices made it attractive to put more stuff in the base device to keep the price high.

The standard inclusion of GPS + Cloud + Camera + Bluetooth built-in means that there really isn't a need to physically connect a device to a mobile device. The only exception is battery; there is a real need for a more elegant and secure way to extend the operation of a smartphone than plugging it into a powerbank via USB.

But I may be wrong. Maybe there's a compelling use case for a modular architecture that I just haven't thought of yet. That's why I like to see vendors trying something different, although I usually expect them to fail. I've watched tech long enough to realize that success isn't just about an idea being right, it has to come at the right time.

Comment Re:Old stuff "discovered" by the ignorant (Score 1) 406

While I don't necessarily disagree with you, let me point out that orthodox economic models are also based on assumptions that are not entirely true. For example you don't necessarily assume that any one agent (e.g. the central planner) has all the information relevant to making decisions, but you do assume that all relevant information is available to parties making decisions about transactions they'll take part in. That's not true, but it's close enough to being true that the models have practical utility. Oh, and there's the bit about people being rational in their decision-making.

Comment Re:Question (Score 1) 406

Because believe it or not, while working sucks, not working also sucks. You don't know how much you get out of work until you don't have it anymore, and I mean stuff beside money: social interaction, purpose, challenge, someplace to go and someplace to look forward to take a vacation from.

In Sweden they're offering an intriguing compromise: work less, or more precisely work for fewer hours, which isn't precisely the same thing.

Comment Re: Not entirely true (Score 1) 115

Posting something about your employer without being anonymous is just plain stupid!

Depends on your employer. I post stuff about my employer all the time, under a slashdot username that is the same as my corporate LDAP username, and have gotten kudos for it. I've also gotten a couple of calls from legal, asking me to be careful about commenting on legal issues, but the attorneys apologized effusively for doing so, and pointed out that they recognized I was being careful but just want to reiterate that it was important.

But my employer is particularly open-minded, and particularly confident in its employees' judgement. You need to understand your context, and YMMV.

Comment Re:What a mess (Score 1) 440

You know, taking the dichotomy you propose as accurate, I'd go with the sleazeball hands down. You might not like them but you can work with sleazy people if you know what they are. They are simply pursuing their self-interest and respond predictably according to realistic calculations of where that lies.

A narcissist on the other hand you can't work with on the basis of realism because he's not rooted in the real world. He operates in a fantasy world. A sleazeball won't act in a way that harms himself but a narcissist, while every bit as self-oriented and deceptive will, and then go looking for scapegoats, even when that does more damage. A sleazeball only scapegoats when it's to his advantage.

So would you rather deal with someone who is rational but selfish, or someone who is unpredictable, self-destructive and selfish?

Comment Re:Anything incriminating? (Score 3, Interesting) 440

I was a Sanders supporter, and I'm neither surprised nor particularly upset. You have to be realistic. Hillary has been active and well-known in the party since 1974, when she rose to prominence as a whip-smart young staff attorney of the Children's Defense Fund. She's spent the last forty years, building contacts and networks in the Democratic party, including nationally as first lady for eight years and with nearly successful presidential run that took her across the entire country. She has a massive rolodex, war chest, and ground organization.

Bernie Sanders only joined the party in 2015. That the DNC was less than perfectly impartial towards the two won't come as news to an Bernie supporter, but to be frank the idea that long-time party insiders and activists would treat someone who joined the party last year the same as someone who's been a big deal in the party for decades is simply unrealistic.

Comment Re:Google giving the Business.. (Score 2) 101

That does suck, though...introductory rates and such are never guaranteed. Still, it beats my Comcast by a pretty wide margin - $70 gets me 30/10, and that's consumer-capped. I'd jump at the chance for 100/100 (or even 50) at $75.

And you're only getting a consumer service level agreement which is, basically, that if it doesn't work they'll fix it when they get around to it. I'm sure the Google Fiber business class service includes a more typical business SLA, with defined maximum response times and compensation for excessive outages. That sort of SLA typically triples the price vs a consumer service with the same bandwidth.

Comment Re:Google giving the Business.. (Score 1) 101

So, with the price change, that means we'll have to pay, basically, double to maintain our 1 Gbps, otherwise we lose 75% of our speed to pay the same price.

Or, you could drop down to the consumer tier and pay less per month than you currently do... but give up the business-class service level agreement that you have.

If you're getting 1Gbps with a business SLA for $125 per month right now, that's an *amazing* deal. Comcast would soak you for twice that for 100 Mbps. I currently pay $120 per month for 15/3 (Mbps) with a business SLA, though that's because I'm out in the sticks where there are very few options available.

Comment Re:What is the appeal of these things? (Score 1) 128

I think you think the text is too small because you haven't actually used one. I have, and I'm almost 60 years old and need bifocals. I generally can't read ingredients on food or vitamin packages without glasses, but I have no difficulty whatsoever with reading calendar notifications or caller ID on a smartwatch without glasses. Would I want to read a book or webpage on one? Nope. But for notifications the text size is plenty big for me, and I have weaker-than-average eyesight.

Likewise it's not particularly uncomfortable to wear a watch, or hard to remember to put one on. Some folks with ADHD might have problems, because they're always misplacing things and many of them have comfort issues with things like t-shirt tags which most people don't notice but they find distracting. But most people don't find watches uncomfortable or hard to keep track of.

This is just the usual problem with managing the tech adoption curve; the point where you've saturated the early adopter segment. There aren't new features coming in to entice thosee early adopters to upgrade and there aren't enough people on the penumbra of the early adopter community that they become hip. And there isn't really a killer app yet, unless it's fitness tracking which can be done on cheaper devices. That's the only reason I don't wear one anymore; there aren't any that are as good at fitness tracking as a fitbit, so I'd be paying more and getting less for my main use.

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