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Comment Self Awareness... (Score 1) 62

I agree, and I have always hated that aspect of social media. No FB for me. I was on Instagram for a couple of years, but I started to feel like I couldn't keep up. One day I noticed I was like a chicken, always having to peck peck peck at my phone. So I just stopped. Haven't been on IG for a few months now, and quite honestly I know I am not missing anything important.

If you don't read the news, you are uninformed.
If you read the news, you are misinformed.

Comment Re:Looks like RetroArch (Score 1) 91

There is definitely a market for this though.
I almost bought a Pi3 for this purpose, but then saw that you can compile retropie on Linux, so I did so on my machine.
Now I have it up and running, and it's mostly straight-forward... lots of config files if you need to tweak something. But when something doesn't go right, it's not so easy to troubleshoot. e.g. Vector MAME games weren't playing. Got that figured by using a different emulator, but now on Star Wars I can't get it to insert coins. Looks like others had the problem but none of those solutions worked for me. The whole mix of Pie/Retroarch/Emulationstation took a little while to understand... and it's still not crystal clear when and where to change what if needed.

It would be kind of nice to just be able to buy something for a reasonable price off the shelf, especially if you have no clue about Linux.

Comment Re:The jobs will be mostly construction jobs. (Score 1) 299

Big firms are powerful, and the US had done everything possible to destroy the unions where were the only force that could have resisted them.

Decline in US labor pricing power due to globalization did that. And we would still have globalization even if the US erected trade barriers way back when. Here is the usual failure to understand basic causes and to attribute current failure to convenient scapegoats.

Comment Re: We knew this going in (Score 1) 506

Say that after the coming battle over the very existence of Social Security.

Why haven't Social Security payouts already been trimmed back by the necessary quarter or more to bring future liabilities in line with future revenue? It makes little sense to complain about fights over the existence of Social Security if no one has done anything for the long term viability of Social Security ever since its inception.

The dissolution of Social Security is inevitable unless one is willing to stabilize it fiscally.

Comment Re:We knew this going in (Score 1) 506

C) If I have to carry B)'s analogy any further, there's really no point in even responding.

Ultimately, this is where we go. It isn't the analogy that's the problem. It's the lack of evidence for the supposed seriousness of global warming, both the actual degree of warming and the cost of the supposed harm of global warming.

Poverty is such a serious threat because there is a well known correlation between poverty and high human fertility. And overpopulation already is a key driver of many big human problems like war, disease, habitat destruction, pollution, global warming, etc.

To claim that global warming is bigger than one of the biggest problems on Earth requires more than analogy, it requires evidence.

Comment Glitchless streaming. (Score 3, Interesting) 157

Can you name one thing that your customers actually want that is actually being prevented by network neutrality regulations?

Glitchless streaming.

Streaming (things like audio, video, phone calls) requires relatively small and constant bandwidth (though compression adds variability) but isn't good at tolerating dropouts or variations in transit time. When it does get dropouts it's better to NOT send a retry correction (and have the retry packet risk delaying and/or forcing the drop of another packet).

TCP connections (things like big file transfers) error check and retry, fixing dropouts and errors so the data arrives intact, though with no guarantee exactly when. But they achieve high bandwidth and evenly divide the bandwidth at a bottleneck by deliberately speeding up until they super-saturate the bottleneck and force dropouts. The dropouts tell them they've hit the limit, so they slow down and track the bleeding edge.

Put them both on a link and treat the packets equally and TCP causes streaming to break up, stutter, etc. Overbuilding the net helps, but if the data to be tranferred is big enough TCP will ALWAYS saturate a link somewhere along the way.

Identify the traffic type and treat their packets differently - giving higher priority to stream packets (up to a limit, so applications can't gain by cheating, claiming to be a stream when they're not) - and then they play together just fine. Stream packets zip through, up to an allocation limit at some fraction of the available bandwidth, and TCP transfers evenly divide what's left - including the unused part of the streams' allocation.

But the tools for doing this also enable the ISPs to do other, not so good for customers, things. Provided they chose to do so, of course.

IMHO the bad behavior can be dealt with best, not by attempting to enforce "Network Neutrality" as a technical hack at an FCC regulation level, but as a consumer protection issue, by an agency like the FTC. Some high points:
  - Break up the vertical integration of ISPs into "content provider" conglomerates, so there's no incentive to penalize the packets of competitors to the mother-ship's services.
  - Treat things like throttling high-volume users and high-bandwidth services as consumer fraud: "You sold 'internet service'". Internet service doesn't work that way. Ditto "pay for better treatment of your packets" (but not "pay to sublet a fixed fraction of the pipe").
  - Extra scrutiny for possible monopolistic behavior anywhere there are less than four viable broadband competitors, making it impractical for customers to "vote with their feet".

Comment 100x this... (Score 1) 283

I have a BLU Life One X, and it is pretty thin. When I first got it, someone at work said "can you shave with that thing?" I have long wondered why makers don't add a few more mm and make all that extra space battery. More battery life is probably the ONE feature that everyone can agree on. I mean, they had to invent cases that acted as supplemental batteries for crying out loud.

Comment Re:That can't be right (Score 1) 532

Food prices continue to be extremely low because population doesn't expand to drive prices up.

[...]

My argument is that population expands to fit abundance.

How do you have both of those happening at the same time? Keep in mind that population growth in the US has remained at the 1% for three or four decades while coexisting with cheap food prices. There has been no population expanding to fit abundance going on.

Do you see population rapidly expanding to consume all of our employment opportunities?

No.

What if I told you that the labor force would slow its expansion during high unemployment?

And that's relevant how?

What if that actually happened from 2008 to 2012? What if the population somewhat dipped during that time?

I'll note that you refer to a four year period with a lot of other stuff going on. Meanwhile I referred to your own example which was a far longer period of time (at least a century) which doesn't show that effect. And we also can compare countries world-wide and not see that effect. You just cherry picked a brief span of time.

You haven't provided any argument that says that expanding beyond our means would not cause population to slow its growth, while I have shown good reasoning that it does and demonstrated the effect actually occurring during times when poverty (and thus individual access to means) has increased.

And I don't have to. We aren't expanding beyond our means. This is not a relevant scenario.

The developed world, which are the countries with by far the most abundant food production, have the lowest fertility. One doesn't have to go far to explain why. There are two well known effects that cause this situation: first, women in the workplace mean lower fertility; and second, higher survival rates of children to adulthood mean lower fertility.

Comment Re:That can't be right (Score 1) 532

Food happens to be a relatable tangible good. I've had trouble with people claiming things like Netflix or cellular communication aren't "making things" and that the US doesn't "make things" because anything that's not concrete isn't real. If people are going to point at an increase in medical care, high-speed internet availability, and personal entertainment services and call that "not really making anything" to argue that the economy is failing and the US has collapsed, I'm going to have to start pointing at things that people can actually relate to.

So what does that have to do with your Malthusian stuff? I'm not those people with the above argument so this post seems quite irrelevant to me.

Comment Re:That can't be right (Score 1) 532

That's only because there is massive government interference in the markets to keep them low.

Not in the US at least. Most such subsidies increase the cost of food.

The suppression of food prices leads to other things being more expensive, including and especially what it costs to start new businesses and jobs. Less job prospects means people feel less secure to have more kids.

It's just not that big an effect. There's a lot of other stuff that has way more effect on employment such as social safety net costs, adversarial relationship with regulators, etc.

Labor participation is down, remember? You can't have it both ways saying how the economy is doing worse because participation is down but then claim we should be having more population growth because things are doing great.

"Doing great" is not a bit you set for your whole economy. For example, the US economy is quite good at producing food (which is a bluefoxlucid obsession). It's not so good at producing jobs in a job-hostile environment. There is no contradiction here.

Comment Re:Who do they think is going to buy their product (Score 1) 524

Mod parent up. This is the limiting case we're heading for. Not everyone can design robots, or fix them, or be trained to, and we really don't have any smart ways of paying people who can't to just sit around and stay out of trouble, and even if we did...that money would come from...those same corps and people still creating value. They don't win in the long run without a complete re-think of how things are done. And this is from a card-carrying super-capitalist.

Comment Same credibility as a **IA-paid report (Score 3, Insightful) 136

Really, this should be obvious. Outfit that sells stuff pays for a report that says they're being ripped off - likely inflated numbers - as a background to get legislation to tax DVR owners or whatever other skim they can easy-street or litigate from. "Look, we lose x-zillion bucks from every recorder". Sound familiar? Remember the "tax" on blank CD's and so forth, since "they can only be used to pirate"? This is how the big boys operate, we should have learned long ago.

Comment Re:That can't be right (Score 1) 532

The obvious rebuttal here is that food prices continue to be extremely low for the developed world. There's not going to be an enormous change in fertility from minor changes in a minor cost.

Look, your whole argument is a combination of circular reasoning and ignoring reality. It's just not happening. You need a new model.

Comment IQ and attention to detail are different things. (Score 1) 168

"How hard is to remember to unload your weapon before packing it?" I guess there's no I.Q. check for firearms purchases, maybe there should be.

IQ and attention to detail are different things.

Also: Even the best-trained, most reliable, gun user can have a lapse when in a hurry, as in when packing for a flight.

That's why firearms training stresses redundancy, with rules like "A gun is loaded as soon as you put it down and look away". Or "Don't point (even an "unloaded") gun at anything you don't want to destroy."

The phenomenon is referred to as "a visit from the Ammo Fairy". That entity is similar to the Tooth Fairy, but instead of leaving a coin under you pillow it leaves a round in your chamber. B-)

Comment I have read much of it, as I would an encyclopedia (Score 3, Interesting) 376

My wife and I each had a copy of the first three volumes when we married. Yes, there are female computer nerds. B-)

I first encountered it when assigned one of the volumes as a text back in 1971. Of course the class didn't consist of learning EVERYTHING in the volume. B-)

I use it from time to time - mainly as a reference book. Most recently this spring, when I needed a reference on a data structure (circular linked lists) for a paper. I've found it useful often when doing professional computer programming and hardware design (for instance, where the hardware has to support some software algorithm efficiently, or efficient algorithms in driver software allow hardware simplification).

I don't try to read it straight through. But when I need a algorithm for some job and it's not immediately obvious which is best, the first place I check is Knuth. He usually has a clear description of some darned good wheel that was already invented decades ago, analyzed to a fare-thee-well.

I only see him about once a year. He's still a sharp cookie.

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