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Comment Re:Basic income (Score 1) 535

One of the issues is that UBI is different things to different people. Many argue that it will replace almost all other programs, but only if you want the high school dropout that'll take the "one bedroom studio, ramen, and a bag of pot and an World of Warcraft subscription" for a semester or two and lump him in with the faultless traffic accident victim who's fucked up pretty bad and has no realistic prospect of being employed ever again and will have to live at that level of poverty and zero additional aid for the rest of their lives.

Or we could start making value judgements about who "deserves" our help, who are capable of contributing, who has contributed, who's looking to contribute and what help have they already gotten and then we're pretty much back to the complexity where we started. I already pay taxes. If you want to give me a "UBI" all you have to do is adjust the income tax curve, paying out a UBI and then taxing me more to pay for it is just an exercise in how to create black labor and tax fraud.

Comment Re:Through democracy, careful planning (Score 3, Informative) 535

The trouble with all that is branding. When the right wing start a debate they've got simple answers to complex problems. They're always the wrong answers, because if a problem has a simple answer then, well, by definition it's not complex. But those simple answers feel good, sound good, and just got a Demagogue elected President of the United States...

Norwegian here, you don't think socialists have simple answers? Some people have a [something] problem, let's regulate [something]. Which means that right now at 8:30 PM on a Monday I can't buy a damn beer at the store. We need more money for [good cause]? Increase taxes. I could work harder, but I don't. Why? Because on my marginal dollar I pay 25% + 8.7% + 8.2% = 40% taxes and 25% VAT on most things mean I lose another 15%. Sorry for 45 cents to the dollar I'll just get an easy job (37.5 hours/week, paid overtime, flexible hours) and be lower middle class. If was in the US I'd probably work 50-60 hours/week and make $200k.

Getting kickback from creating value is not a socialist virtue, if you got lots of money you can pay lots of money is their thinking. The day we run out of oil all hell will break loose because we're lazy and think everybody deserves good pay just for showing up at work or doing meaningless paper pusher jobs. And since I can't change the public opinion and tax system to reward hard work, I've decided if you can't beat them then join them. Even on cruise control I seem to get praise for good work, which is both cushy and a bit creepy at the same time. Maybe it's just that I can't stand all the stupid and make actual working solutions from time to time.

Comment Re:A problem without a good solution. (Score 1) 275

There isn't really a good solution to this. If everyone has the same price, then people in poor countries are likely to pirate.

And...? People who can't afford a Rolex are more likely to steal a Rolex too, is that a problem you should solve by adjusting the price? The flip side of "lowering prices for poor people" is "gouging wealthy people for being rich". We generally hate companies trying to size up our wallet to see just much they can fleece us for. Isn't that what we'd be asking companies to do? I want to be able to go on Amazon or eBay and get the best product to the best price anyone will offer. That's how capitalism, competition, supply and demand and voting with your wallet is supposed to work. Companies shop around for labor, consumers shop around for products and services. And maybe that's not working out so well for everybody, but letting them put region locks on things to screw us while they continue to shop around the whole world is worse than nothing.

Comment Sounds overly complicated (Score 4, Insightful) 271

The key difference between this and interfaces in Java seems to be push vs pull, does a class explicitly declare that it is say sortable or do you just check if it has functions that match something that's sortable. If you look at the example he does on page 8 with Shape.draw() and Cowboy.draw() sure you could be more explicit in the template requirements or you could demand that the cowboy explicitly has to say he's "drawable". To me Stroustrup's idea sounds a bit too much like the story about the blind man and the elephant, if you only touch it in enough places you can be sure it's an elephant. The obviously problem is that once you have a birth defect or amputee with only three legs, it all fails.

For example I might like to define a class "SequenceNumber" that has functions like setInitialValue(), getNextValue() etc. but lacks typical characteristics of a number like being able to add and subtract them, but I can still sort sequence numbers. If it's explicit I only have to declare it sortable and implement the necessary functions. If it looks at the "concept" number it'll say nope, you're not a real number because we can't add two of you together.

This could be trivially avoided by having the possibility to supplement class definitions as implementing additional interfaces, like here's a library with the Circle shape header and I say it's a drawable even though it doesn't say so itself. It'll still have to actually fulfill the interface, but that way you're not bound by the ones supplied by the library. Since that's purely a synthetic check on whether your code should be able to call that code I don't see how that should be a problem.

Comment Re:People should learn english (Score 4, Interesting) 68

If one knows their native language plus English, they'll have the vast majority of the world's knowledge at their fingertips.

And tools. For every mainstream app there's ten obscure apps that haven't been translated to your language. And other people interested in the same things you are. The Internet has made a vast difference here, dubs / subtitles / translations worked pretty well for broadcast and print media and international calls was rare. And I don't mean just chit-chats, go on eBay and the whole world is your marketplace as long as you pay shipping. There are so many other benefits to language convergence that you won't get through more translations.

There's really no credible competitor to English because there's no other big pairings. If you know two major languages it's likely Chinese/English, Spanish/English, French/English, Portuguese/English, Japanese/English, Arabic/English, Russian/English, German/English, Hindi/English etc. you just don't find many Chinese/Spanish or Hindi/Portuguese speakers. If you look at the EU it's quite clear that 94% now learn English and fewer people learn French and German, I don't have the numbers for Spanish or Portuguese but I'm guessing the trend is the same.

Sure it's always possible that English is locally going a little backwards like that Spanish is creeping up into the US but for the world as a whole there's no debate. Particularly since China as the only potential challenger has put huge effort into English proficiency, giving everybody else much less reason to learn Chinese instead. I know linguists hate it but I think that's misunderstood, if all you needed to know was your native language and English most can be bi-lingual. If you should learn your Amazon tribe's language, Portuguese, Spanish and English then it's for the few.

Comment Re:OK, so (Score 1) 87

Are you saying Samsung doesn't make the best wannabe iPhone? :-)

I used to like Samsung's products. After the S5, not so much. But I wasn't a fan of Samsung they way I was a huge Apple fan back in the day. However, Apple today is a very different company than the great company I remember. I've found a phone I like really well. I hope you do also. I don't expect that I will ever view Apple they way I once did. (And I never viewed Samsung the same way that I did the classic Apple.)

Comment Re:No surprise... (Score 1) 17

You may mean that they can get away with any crime. Probably true.

But don't say bad things can't happen to them. The people in charge can make mistakes that have a significant impact on the country. Examples: banksters too big to fail. Detroit rust belt bankruptcies and bailouts. Wall Street nearly wrecking the global economy.

It is premature to suggest that nothing bad can happen to Samsung no matter what they do. After the excellent Galaxy S5, they afflicted us with the Galaxy S6, and then with the very hot Galaxy Note 7. I think the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco affected them significantly. The managers in charge of that need to be taken out back and promoted and given bonuses.

Comment Re:OK, so (Score 1) 87

I find it astonishing that the Galaxy S5 had removable battery, could accept an SD card, AND WAS FREAKIN' WATERPROOF. At least extremely water resistant. Oh, and had a headphone jack.

Then what did Samsung do in the Galaxy S6? Not waterproof. No SD card. And non-replacable battery. Why? (And Samsung stated as much . . .) to be more like an iPhone. More metal and glass. (freakin idiots)

Newsflash: if I wanted an iPhone, I would have bought an iPhone. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

In the end, it was the bloatware that made me move away from Samsung. Now I like my Nexus 6P, unlocked, with no bloatware and plenty of storage. All paid for up front. And it's got a screen as big as a Galaxy Note. (Is that a Nexus 6P in your pocket, or are you just excited to see me?)

Comment Re:Same could be said for color TV (Score 3, Interesting) 397

The problem with 3D is the glasses - without the glasses, 3D would be a nice enhancement, much like color.

Well maybe... but if I'm watching a GoT episode do I really want to feel like I'm flipping from being 1m away from a combat scene to suddenly being 50 meters up in the air overlooking the battlefield and back down to 1m again in a matter of seconds? Just saying that maybe we want some kind of grounding that we're really watching a screen and not teleporting around.

Comment Re:There will be commercials (probably) (Score 2) 147

Yeah we've seen the "no commercials" promise before when cable TV was becoming a thing and it was bullshit then too. They'll only stay away from commercials long enough to get a subscriber base. Commercials are where most of the money is and it will be hard for them to ignore that fact. I have a hard time imagining Netflix being immune to the siren's call of that much cash forever.

Is it really? Take the Superbowl which is one of the few items where we have pretty much all the numbers. In 2014 there was 49 minutes 15 seconds of commercials, $4.5 million average per 30 second slot and 111.4 million viewers. That works out to a little less than $4 per viewer. So if you offered $5 to watch it ad-free you'd be beating the advertisers. That's not bad for about four hours of entertainment with both a football game and the half time show and it's supposed to be super-expensive compared to normal ads. Granted one display != one viewer so they'd have to charge more than $5 but still I bet there's a lot of people who'd like to out-bid the advertisers.

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