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Comment It is a problem I've talked about for a long time (Score 0) 130

And one that often gets me downvoted since Mac users don't like to hear it: Apple is a fashion company. That's why they've been able to do what they do. In fashion, a higher price can be a GOOD thing not a bad thing, whereas consumer electronics are one of the most notoriously price sensitive markets out there.

However the downside is as you say: What is fashionable changes and it is really hard to stay on top of it forever.

Comment Re:No, it wasn't (Score 1) 104

Well two things there BTChead:

1) Some currencies DO move large amounts and that is NOT considered successful. When the pound was experiencing instability, that was a big cause for concern. It was not considered a "success" as people seem to think for BTC.

2) It was 8%, not 30%. Bit of a difference there.

Like I said before: You can't have it both ways. If you want it to be a good currency, then stability is what you want. If you are happy with rapid fluctuations, then it is a speculative betting opportunity.

Comment No, it wasn't (Score 3, Interesting) 104

Not just because it doesn't work as a currency, but because for currencies big swings in valuation, up or down, are no "good performance". Ideally a currency would be completely stable. What $1 buys now would be what $1 buys tomorrow, and what it buys in a thousand years. Of course in reality none of them are totally stable, but the good ones are pretty stable. They move a very small amount, and do so very gradually. They function as a good store of wealth for that reason, and more importantly make for a useful medium of exchange. Since their value is pretty constant, people have a good feeling for how much they are "worth" and can mentally price things.

Bitcoin did well as a speculative bet. If you want to play financial speculation, Bitcoin is a good target as it moves like a very thinly traded stock. That means it can swing bit and make you a lot of money. Also means it can swing big the other way and lose you a lot. So like any sort of speculation, you need to know what you are getting in to and understand the risks.

You BTC promoters can't have it both ways: If Bitcoin is a good currency then it needs to be stable. If Bitcoin is a good investment, then it isn't a currency.

Comment Exactly my point (Score 1) 635

I am not against progress, but there is a social cost that partially offsets the gains. We seem to regard this a collateral damage and want to ignore the people that are hurt in the name of progress.

This. This is exactly what I was trying to say, thank you.

I think the future is going to be wonderful, I really do. I agree with that fellow upstream who thinks that jobs steal your life from you. When we figure out a way to automate everything so that's not the case it will be wonderful. But we have to get there. It won't happen all at once, and some of the intermediate steps will be painful. When trucks become automatic and 3.5 million workers are suddenly unemployed, what then? We won't have a safety net in place yet. What are these poor people going to do in the meanwhile?

When we solve the scarcity problem - and we will - we will need to rethink the entire concept of work and income. I don't think anyone has really done that yet. What happens when the amount of work society needs from you permits you to retire at 25 instead of 68? We need to start planning for that.

Comment Fleet vehicles FTW (Score 2) 635

I got into a debate with someone on this exact point. I would not be surprised if in the future, fleet vehicles are all there are.

We've seen how successful Uber is, the whole concept of distributed travel. The next logical step with self-driving cars would be a fleet of them maintained by a single corporation similar to Uber. Imagine a phone app that summons a car and a monthly fee like Netflix. Tell me that wouldn't be a smash hit! A monthly fee, about the same price as a car lease payment. No car maintenance, no insurance payments, no stopping at gas stations. No tickets, no parking fees. You can watch Netflix while it drives you to the store, then to your friend's house, then home. Stop by the pub and have a drink, why not? Drunk driving is a thing of the past - you're not driving! And the computer driving is safer than a person could ever be. Humans don't have 360 degree vision or radar.

Press a button and take me anywhere. I'd be the first in line for that.

Comment Absolutely 100% (Score 1) 635

Could not agree more. You're talking about the step-after-the-step, though. In the short term people are going to suffer. Greatly. We don't have an Elon Musk style universal income just yet. But eventually we will. We'll have to - there won't be any other options to keep everyone alive. If you buy food with money, and there aren't jobs to give you money, what other choice would we have? And what good would all those factories be in that case? Nobody would be able to buy all those goods.

From a certain point of view, an economy and it's attendant government is simply a method of distributing goods. I'm not saying anything new there. Everyone from Smith to Marx says pretty much the same thing, they just disagree on how to proceed. But there is an underlying given in all their proofs though - scarcity. They all assume scarcity. We only have so much food, how best to distribute it? Communism? Capitalism? Something in-between?

All of those arguments though are outdated. Automation is about to eliminate scarcity. The old arguments will go along with it, since a foundational principle of them will suddenly be invalid.

Comment Forget factories (Score 5, Insightful) 635

The next big hit will be the trucking industry. Everyone thinks Google's self driving cars are pretty cute, right? Fewer accidents, vision impaired people can get to the grocery store, your car can drive your drunk ass home from the bar safely? All good, right?

Two things about that. First thing, they want this for the trucking industry. Don't tell me they're not working on it because they absolutely are. First article, second article.

Second thing. Truck driver is the most popular profession today. First article, second article.

The USA is set to lose 3.5 million jobs, just as soon as we get this tech ironed out. And it doesn't matter who the president is. Trump, Hillary, Vermin Supreme - it'll happen no matter what. It has nothing to do with politics, NAFTA, any of it. It's progress, it's capitalism, and it's going to happen.

People need to look a little farther afield than simple manufacturing to see how automation will affect the economy.

Comment Re:Maybe he does support those values (Score 1) 600

= = = No theologian would use the Old Testament as an example of Christian beliefs. The Old Testament is there for historical context, and as contrast to Jesus's message. = = =

You might want to spend a little time listening to what the hard right evangelical Christians in the US say and advocate for: 90% of it is based on the Old Testament, and much is in direct opposition to the message of the synoptic Gospels.

Comment Ummmm (Score 3, Insightful) 531

How is this our infrastructure being vulnerable? Russia didn't hack US infrastructure, at least not that I've seen (please provide reliable sources if you know otherwise) they got in to the internal e-mails of campaigns. Also "hack" seems to be a bit of a strong word for what they did. Sounds like they got in to Podesta's e-mails by phishing his username/password. I'm not really sure what you think the federal government can do to fix/prevent that. I mean they already have information out there about "don't click on shit in e-mails" and there is training out there organizations can point people to from groups like SANS.

That aside, even if it was a hack (as in exploiting vulnerabilities) it wasn't a federal government controlled system. So again, what is the fed supposed to do? Take over private e-mail systems? Put up a national firewall on the Internet?

Comment How would that make you safe? (Score 5, Insightful) 137

You know a large number of commercial routers run on Linux, right? The Linux kernel isn't some magic sauce that makes you immune to hacking. On the contrary, we see flaws in programs that run on Linux all the time, these being one of them. An exploit like this can work on anything, it isn't limited just to prepackaged routers.

So what you mean is get an x64 system and run a Linux distro, with some built in tools for configuring routing. Ok... So long as it doesn't have any bugs they can exploit or check for, you are fine. If it does, well then you are back to having to update... if an update is available. A lot of the router-type Linux distros aren't very well maintained. Smoothwall, the one I hear the most crowing about, had its last release in 2014.

If you were going to point to something freely available, BSD would probably be a better bet in the form of PFSense as it is actually maintained and supported pretty well. Of course the fact that it runs on BSD is incidental to its security, it is (as best we know) secure because it has competent programmers who maintain it regularly.

However the real problem is that for many people, this is just not affordable. When you try and do all your routing and filtering in software on an x64 chip, you find you need a lot of power to push traffic. The CPUs aren't designed with routing in mind so they aren't super fast at it. PFSense needs about a 2.4GHz 4 core atom to push a gigabit of traffic, and then only if the ruleset is reasonably simple. That's about $550 for an appliance from Netgate that can do that, and that is with no wireless. Well for $180 a Netgear R7000 will push a gig of traffic no issue, and comes with a 3x3 802.11ac radio that does 2.4 and 5ghz at the same time. Likewise an EdgeRouter Lite gets a gig and is wired only for $100. They pull that off by having chips with dedicated routing logic on board.

For normal users it also needs to be easy. A suggestion of "Assemble a computer from parts, load Linux, configure routing in text files and you are good," is totally unreasonable. Even something like buying an appliance and loading code on to it from a cold state is out of reach for most people. They need a ready-made solution.

Comment Sure (Score 1) 189

Target is one I can think of off the top of my head. They have extremely low profit margins, in the realm of 3%. So you know that you are getting pretty much the best price they can offer you when you shop there based on what they are paying and the overhead of running their stores.

In terms of making lower margins than Apple though, that would be basically anyone. Apple's margins are INSANE. The only companies that see margins as high as they do are software companies, and then only a few. No other electronics manufacturer is even close.

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