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Comment Re:Ignorant (Score 1) 130

Here in Brazil the vast majority of Uber drivers are so because the recession the country is going through destroyed the companies they worked for and they've been unemployed for several months without perspective of becoming employees again for a long time. It has literally saved many people from foreclosure and from being ejected given there's no barrier to entry: just take your car and go earn money.

If this rule sticks, guess who will be back in the queue for non-existing jobs?

Comment Re:More likely they will pull out (Score 1) 130

I'm Brazilian too, but I don't know enough about labor law so as to figure this out, and I'm curious.

Suppose Uber changed it's system so that they charged drivers directly for use of the driver version of their app instead of charging drivers a percentage of each run. As in, I want to drive for Uber, I enter the App Store or the Play Store, and I find I can subscribe to it for, let's say, $1.000 BRL (about $300 USD) per month, with the first month free. In this scenario, Uber is literally selling an app and an associated service of locating people.

Would this fly? Or even in this case would drivers be considered employees?

Comment Re:What in the blue hell are you talking about (Score 2) 834

the current hub of innovation exists in the western world. GMT -7 -- GMT +1.

Here in Brazil (we're GMT -5 to -1) successive governments have tried half arsed ways to improve technological prowess, without much luck due to corruption and an absolutely insane tax regime. Even so, many companies and businesses got built to provide services and software development to customers in 1st world countries.

If the absurdly huge US tech giants were to begin feeling that "investing" in having Brazil, and probably Uruguay, Argentina and Chile too get their shit together so as to become good places to establish software development operations in sync with US time zones, I'm sure they'd be able to pressure these countries into doing whatever is needed for them to become workable.

I deeply dislike Trump, but I cannot deny this might turn out to be a great opportunity for us around here. It's just a matter of our politicians not being as dumb as they usually are and presto, jackpot.

Comment Re: the lengths people will go to... (Score 0) 242

No country just let's you walk in uninvited.

Of course many countries let you do so! For example, you can easily walk uninvited from New York to Pennsylvania, then to West Virginia, then to Kentucky, then to...

Should all these countries start requiring visas for people to walk from one into the other, and border patrols so as to make sure people have theirs in hand?

Comment Re:Asking the wrong question (Score 1) 370

I'm impressed with people who see the absurd level of technological advancement humanity pulled off in mere 400 years of the scientific method, and think "gee, we'll never surpass nature's trial and error process!!!"

Come on. Unless you think in Biblical time scales, what we did so far was many, MANY orders of magnitude faster than nature managed to do in any equivalent time frame. Human engineering is astoundingly fast. We fly over nature's rate of problem solving. 400 years and we're on the brink of creating artificial brains. Whether it takes us 40 years or 400 more, it's still an eye blink compared to the alternative.

And afterwards things will accelerate even more.

Comment Re:Asking the wrong question (Score 1) 370

It's simple. Do you know how, once we applied human brain power over the problem of flying we managed, in a matter of decades, to become better at flying than nature ever did in hundreds of millions of years of natural selection? Well, what do you think will happen now that we're focused on making AI better than brains? As in, better than any brains, including ours?

AI is catching up to human abilities. There's still a way to go, but breakthroughs are happening all the time. And as with flying, it won't take thousands of centuries of research and development until we make that happen. It'll take decades.

And once that happens, bye, bye, relevance of human brains for problem solving. AI will have solved it before you managed to articulate the problem.

Comment Re:As if this is new (Score 4, Insightful) 370

The problem is that AI is becoming faster at learning the new job opportunities than people are, thereby gulping them before people even were there to be replaced. And this speed is growing. You cannot beat an exponential growth with a linear one, or even with just slightly slower growing exponential one.

Comment Re:That sounds good to me (Score 1) 158

A few hosts offer pay-as-you-go models for both storage, CPU usage and bandwidth so you can host anything you want and pay almost nothing or a lot, but still something fair. One I like a lot, targeting technical folk in particular (no wizards for anything: you get a shell account, a BSD jail, an SSH account, and move from there) is As the name implies they also have almost no content restriction, the only one being that it must be legal under US law.

I guess I should point out I have no relationship with them other than the fact I host a few Wordpress sites with them.

Comment Re: I'm going to make a prediction (Score 1) 230

Where is the end product? Why isn't it available?

Because it costs several billion dollars to create the whole infrastructure needed to make any of these things at an industrial scale, while the infrastructure for Li-Ion one is already in place and can be cheaply adapted to new improvements on the already proven technology. Besides, Li-Ion has the "advantage" of forced obsolescence, requiring user to purchase new ones for their devices every few years.

Down the line it might be worth it to invest in these new technologies, particularly if some new technology appears that requires such massive power densities and speeds and there's huge demand for it, as was the case with electric cars and the new battery tech they require. Right now however the economics of scale, coupled with the potential lower long term profits, don't favor investing in it.

Comment Re:Wonderful! (Score 3, Interesting) 128

Oh, really? Do tell.

From the Books and Media section of the Vatican Observatory Foundation's website:

"Intelligent Life in the Universe: Catholic belief and the search for extraterrestrial life", Br. Guy Consolmagno, SJ

Originally published by the Catholic Truth Society in London, and long out of print, this pamphlet outlines what we know about the search for intelligent life, both how we search and why we search, and what it can mean for Catholics and our understanding of our faith.

Download Now (1.5MB PDF) Suggested Donation $5.00

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