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Comment Digital Cinema (Score 1) 209

"How did distribution innovate in the movie business in the last 30 years?"

Umm, I don't know, how about getting rid of film and adopting the Digital Cinema System Specification?

1998 was the first public demo of a digital cinema projector. As of 3 May 2016, 98.2% of the world's cinema screens are now digitized, likely saving $1 billion in distribution costs.

Comment Re:Great idea! Average wage $385/year (Score 1) 86

If you teach them modern mining techniques, tool fabrication, and suchlike, they could vastly overhaul their mining operations. Make them safer, more environmentally-friendly (hah whatever), and more profitable.

Why do you think that the techniques of modern mining, tool fabrication, etc. are unavailable to people in Congo? There is little barrier to the movement of information today, and one can purchase advanced mining equipment.

The problem is that a kleptocratic, socialist government combined with warfare makes it impossible for people in Congo to accumulate the capital required to purchase mining equipment and operate it profitably.

I know someone who owned a functioning modern gold mine in West Africa. The government came in and took it, breaking up into pieces for people to sell and make some money.

Comment Indoor air pollution (Score 1) 87

WHO says that 3.3 million deaths linked to indoor air pollution.

WHO Assistant Director-General Family, Women and Children's Health says "Poor women and children pay a heavy price from indoor air pollution since they spend more time at home breathing in smoke and soot from leaky coal and wood cook stoves."

Providing electricity or gas mechanisms for cooking could solve those 3.3 million deaths. But that simply requires some level of economic development.

Comment Re:Humans v Robots (Score 1) 440

Doing more orders with the same people is exactly the same thing as reducing human employees to service the same number of orders

The only way I see automation bringing in more customers is if customer wait time was a problem already (because perhaps they couldn't hire enough efficient workers?) Or if automation reduces the prices, it could bring in more demand.

However in most places there is a finite supply of lunch crowd, so a rise in customers in one restaurant means a reduction in another, potentially closing it.

Change is disruptive to people's lives. They need time to retrain and the economy needs time to figure out what to do with this labor supply that wasn't there yesterday.

A $15 minimum wage will sure speed that change up!

Comment Re:Great idea! Average wage $385/year (Score 1) 86

I'd pay the $17/month to replace a kid's wages if they went to school.

How would you get the funds to them without them being stolen?

So for $35/month you could pay the kid to go school and provide books

Then they'd be educated and without a job, because the economy is so screwed up there.

You may remember that communist Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union compared favorably with Western Europe and the United States in years of schooling attained, yet per capita incomes in those countries were substantially lower.

You can't "aid" your way out of an inherent problem with politics and governance.

Here is what the Index of Economic Freedom has to say about the DRC:

"Economic development in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been severely undermined by decades of instability and violence. Poor economic management worsened by repeated political crises has constrained economic freedom and driven much of the population into persistent poverty. The government's inability to provide even basic public goods reliably further limits economic opportunity.

Entrepreneurial activity is curtailed by an uncertain regulatory environment and the absence of institutional support for or facilitation of private-sector development. Arbitrary taxation, poor infrastructure, marginal enforcement of property rights, and the weak rule of law have driven many people and enterprises into the informal sector, which accounts for more than 80 percent of economic activity."

Comment S3 outage not the big problem (Score 4, Interesting) 169

The big problem is not the US-EAST-1 S3 outage.

The big problem is all the other Amazon "special sauce" that blew up when US-EAST-1 S3 went down, which means Amazon has not adequately made their own services reliable with multi-AZ/multi-region resiliency.

Other AWS services in the US-EAST-1 Region that rely on S3 for storage, including the S3 console, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) new instance launches, Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes (when data was needed from a S3 snapshot), and AWS Lambda were also impacted while the S3 APIs were unavailable.

So Echo/Alexa was down because it depends on Lambda, new subscriptions to AMI software, Simple Email Service, etc.

Comment Re:It's worse (Score 1) 391

It's bad enough the school is doing this to their staff, but the school is ALSO charging students for curriculum which will prepare them to work the very same sort of jobs the school just outsourced.

There is a big difference between IT Staff who are CompTIA A+ versus USC computer science majors who will be getting programming jobs at Google.

Comment Re:Lack of understanding rather than nefarious (Score 1) 115

As a liberal who knows a thing or two about the guts of ISPs I had many arguments about the wisdom of many "Net Neutrality" proposals with my friends. Some of the requirements people wanted amounted to being expected to fill out your tax forms while riding a unicycle along a tight rope.

Of course, the entire concept is bull. The (non-government) Internet developed under freedom of companies to freely decide to interconnect according to their business needs. Often one ISP rejected another until a mutually-agreeable solution could be worked out. Some ISPs could peer with others, some had to pay.

Any of the "OMG not neutral!" stuff I hear about today is about someone making big money from pushing Tbps of content into someone else's network and expecting that company to pay for all of it. It takes two to tango.

And while there may come a day when some end-user ISP is dumb enough to actually try to provide less-than-Internet to their subscribers, to date it hasn't really happened (sorry pirates), even in situations where the ISP is granted a local monopoly (which, of course, is the real lack of Internet freedom).

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