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Comment Re:Good idea, bad name (Score 1) 31

Since these "uninformed" people don't actually own a Tesla, it doesn't matter one iota what they think about the system. If you actually own a Tesla, the capabilities and limitations of the system are very very clear.

And yet from almost the day that the "autopilot" feature became available, videos started circulating online of actual Tesla drivers doing stupid stuff like jumping into the passenger seat or back seat while letting the car "drive."

Whether those idiots are representative of Tesla owners is beside the point. Clearly SOME idiots who actually have access to Teslas have done stupid stuff, and I don't think it's coincidence that this started when the feature named "autopilot" was released.

Also, an autopilot on an aircraft doesn't completely fly the plane all by itself either. Pilots understand that. Do you think they should rename it so the passenger in seat 22C also understands?

Nope. But TERRIBLE analogy. When Tesla drivers have to pass a special exam with the rigor of a pilot's test before operating "autopilot" on their Tesla, then you might have a point. For now, any idiot can drive one of these things... including licensed drivers who aren't the primary driver of the Tesla and may "experiment" without understanding what's really going on.

Comment Re:Funniest crowdfunding scam to date (Score 1) 58

How true! Now, a mind-reading device for a cat...that's something I would help crowd fund. Then again, if you are going to crowd fund something, it should at least be possible to build, so maybe not.

Building it is the easy part.

Getting the cat to wear it while retaining all of your limbs: Now thats hard!

Comment Re:Fingers crossed (Score 1) 101

Better is to feign age. That gives you hard of hearing, confusion, memory problems and the need to go look for your wallet with the credit card. After diddling with them for around five minutes I carefully and quietly lay down my phone on the desk and go about my business.

That or, if I'm in need of catharsis, I speak very softly to make sure they're listening then scream like a I'm being attacked by an axe murderer. Always makes me feel more relaxed.

Comment Re:Typical studio assholes! (Score 1) 127

If you're going to invest your time and money in a creative endeavor, don't base it on someone else's property. That puts you completely at their mercy. Just like Zynga is completely at the mercy of Facebook, you are completely at the mercy of CBS/Paramount if you make Star Trek fiction. They own the creative works, they get to decide what should be granted a reasonable license, not you and me. If they want to be asses about it, they can.

Fanfics are fine since they represent a minimal investment of your time and resources. But if you're going to put enough effort and money into it to make a feature film, you really should be creating your own sci-fi universe. Or before you start production, you can negotiate with CBS/Paramount for a license to use their universe. Intellectual property law is completely made-up, so it isn't grounded by real-world physical limits and economics. That means it doesn't fall under the "easier to beg forgiveness than it is to get permission" rule.

Comment Re: What complete nonsense (Score 2) 239

$15/hr * 40 hr/wk * 50 wk/yr (2 weeks vacation) = $30,000/yr. Most people would consider that a living wage. Federal poverty level for a family of 4 is just $24,250/yr.

So the $15/hr target is too high. If you target the poverty level for a family of 4 (assuming it's a single income family), the target is $12.12/hr. Poverty level for a single person is $11,770/yr, which translates into $5.89/hr, which is actually below the current minimum wage of $7.25/hr. So the current minimum wage is in the right ballpark of a compromise between singles and single-income families.

Yes this assumes full employment throughout the year. The minimum wage has to be tied to productivity because wages are tied to productivity. If you try to set the minimum wage based on poverty levels for people not being productive the full year, you end up eliminating jobs of people who are fully employed and productive the full year. Inability to find full employment is an employment problem (number of jobs available), not a wage problem (how much you're paid for a job).

IMHO the problem isn't the minimum wage, it's the capital gains tax is way too high for lower income people. People always complain the 15% capital gains tax is too low without really researching who actually pays a 15% income tax. The tax rate is graduated meaning just because you're in the 25% tax bracket doesn't mean you pay a 15% income tax. The threshold where you actually pay a 15% income tax (single, standard deduction) is about $58,500. The threshold where the average American pays 15% income tax (after credits, exemptions, and itemized deductions) is closer to $90,000 (you can figure this out from the IRS tax stats). So it makes little sense for people making less than this to invest their money when it's going to be taxed more than if they just spent it and increased their income via raises (e.g. raising the minimum wage) rather than investments/savings.

The economy rewards you with income for two things - generating productivity (working), and deciding where productivity is needed (managing/investing). The current flat 15% capital gains tax effectively discourages lower income people from participating in the latter. It needs to be graduated like income tax so lower income people have more incentive to save and invest. (The rationale for the capital gains tax rate being lower than income tax rate at higher incomes is the same. It encourages rich people to invest their money thus re-injecting it into the economy, instead of wasting it on gold toilet seats. Same logic applies to lower income people, except some of them "waste" their money on big screen TVs, iPhones, car leases, etc.)

Comment Re:It's a start! (Score 1) 207

Yeah, no thanks. I'll compete with anything any other programmer can muster. If they provide a better value proposition, then I should reconsider my competitive advantages and lower my requisite salary. I do not need the government dictating my wage to me. I didn't vote communist, ever.

I'm a US Citizen

You are a US idiot.

Indian workers do not work for less because they are kind and generous. They work less because they don't have a nanny-state government that steals a lot of their income and uses it to build electrical grids, water treatment systems, inspect chemical plants in Bhopal or pay police officials salaries that discourage them from being for sale to the highest bidder. They don't have an incorruptible system of inspectors to ensure the safety of the food, water, electrical systems or whatever. They're not QUITE the Libertarian paradise where the only thing you have to pay for are the things you buy directly - including protection from your neighbors - but they pay cardboard prices for cardboard infrastructure. And, unlike China, if you poison a batch of food and neglect to pay your bribes, they won't execute you in India.

They also don't generally have private automobiles, air conditiong or often even refrigerators. Detached housing is for the wealthy - for ordinary workers you jam into a tenement and ride a crowded bus over a jammed-up road that's more pothole than pavement. Or, if you are lucky, your employer sends a shuttle because drivers are cheap and they'd prefer you make it to work without the risks of self-transportation.

The cost of a single lunch at Burger King would feed you for a week in Bangalore, but I hope you like a steady diet of mostly beans and rice.

The upshot of this is that in the year 2000, an Indian worker could live decently on ONE TENTH the income of a US worker (about 1 lakh per year of experience, and generally 5 years or less experience). Just try lowering your requisite salary to compete with that.

Indian workers are not stupid, however and since then, they've been aggressively raising their own requisite salaries to the point that you might have to pay as much as a full eighth as much of a US salary these days.

Of course, H1-Bs are expected to be paid US competitive wages, so many of them are compensated as much as 75% of what the US worker they replaced would be making. And, since they're used to a more frugal standard of living, they send a lot of what they don't need to live on back home to go into the tax coffers of India, rather than the USA. So that someday India may enjoy universal electricity on a reliable basis, refrigerators in every home and perhaps even air conditioning.

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