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Submission + - Kowtowing to #PresidentTweety? Not so much (mercurynews.com)

shanen writes: Reality is SO inconvenient? The public facade (what they call the tatemae in Japanese) is that (many companies and) IBM wants to "work with" Trump to make GREAT profits again. In that IBM used to have great profits, you can see why.

The reality is that IBM is involved in a different kind of business transition. To compete they need to get rid of all those pesky career employees. More jobs? Maybe, but poorly paid and MUCH more transient. This story is about one of the inevitably awkward results...

Comment This is why America can't have nice things (Score 1) 78

Mostly reminds me of my experiences as a volunteer trying to support the public-use computers in the Austin Public Library. That was almost 30 years ago, way before we had anything like network access problems. Basically I wound up just wiping the systems every time I visited and restoring them as well as I could to their "legal" condition. The big problem in those days was just pirated software, especially an expensive CAD package, but the big threats these days are keyloggers intercepting passwords used for email and data stored in the network...

That reminds me of a much more recent fiasco involving Amazon and a public library in Indiana. Someone created a fake Amazon account in my name and validated the email address using some kind of bug in the Android app. Amazon never volunteered any meaningful details, but I'm believing the name and email address were just a dictionary attack. However, this thing went on for a year and a half before Amazon finally stopped it. One aspect of the scam obviously involved borrowing electronic books from a public library. If that was the only thing going on, then I'm only offended by the association of my name with some rather execrable books, but I think there must have been a money trail, too, or it wouldn't have gone on for so long... (Did you know you can escalate to jeff@ when you get desperate enough? At least it seemed to work in my LONG case, though the two-step solution was obvious in my FIRST contact with Amazon's customer so-called service.)

Historical trivia. Always want to close with a constructive suggestion, but it's hard to come up with one... Follow the money and break the criminals' economic models is kind of obvious, isn't it? Easy to say, but hard to do, even if the criminals are just ingenious fools.

Comment Re:#PresidentTweety RULZ Fake News Nation! (Score 1) 1537

Wouldn't be the first time I was fooled, and it's always hard to make predictions, especially about the future (as the joke goes). I deliberately tried for more specific predictions than I made about Dubya early in 2001, but the more specific, the less likely they will be fulfilled. As regards those three predictions, you may notice that the premises are actually quite conservative and safe, but the conclusions could easily get derailed in a number of ways.

Just to focus on the first prediction, as regards the premise we know that Trump has promised to put pressure on foreign countries and has already said a number of provocative things to and about China. Though he lies a lot, I think he is mostly sort of sincere on hating his business adversaries. Now will China decide this represents an opportunity to get Taiwan back? Hard to say, and if so, will they decide that a military approach is feasible? Again hard to say, but if they are leaning that way, then creating the diversion in North Korea is obvious... It should also be obvious that the Chinese dictators would love to scapegoat Trump for their own economic mistakes and real world limitations, but the devil is in the details, as they say.

I actually sort of agree with you about "improve [the] lives of Americans", but NOT the way you probably meant it. I think he is going to make certain rich people much richer and they will think that is improving their lives, even though they already have far more money than they will ever use. Your other quasi-prediction of "unnecessary conflict" seems basically meaningless, since he is already creating plenty of conflict, but it must be "necessary", eh?

Hey, does the stock market need to have any relationship to reality or is the entire value just a matter of #PresidentTweety's opinions?

Comment Re:Sad to see Trump... (Score 0) 219

"How much is the State giving away in freebies of taxpayer money to subsidize these jobs?"

Math is interesting. If there are zero jobs, there is zero tax coming in to the state.

If there 50,000 jobs and the state has 50,000 employees each paying state income taxes and sales taxes on money they now have then YAY!. Does it REALLY matter that the state doesn't have money coming in from the company EMPLOYING these people (due to freebies and subsidies)? Because if it's too expensive, then these people will NOT be employed and the state gets a great 'ol goose egg on tax day.

So, what we've learned is that 50,000 x SOMETHING + zero (from corporation) is a bigger SOMETHING! And 50,000 x nothing + 0 (because the corporation wont build or employ anyone there) is a big goose egg.

Do the math.

Comment Re:two things I use Google's assistant for (Score 1) 67

You're not using "Google Voice VoIP" because that doesn't exist. You're using Google Talk/Hangouts/whatever it's called today. The relationship between the two is that GV can route calls to Google Talk, and Google Talk will use your GV number when making outgoing calls.

So, as this is a story about Google Voice, not Google Talk (or Hangouts etc) you can safely assume your setup is not affected by this at all. That doesn't mean it'll continue to work, just that this doesn't impact it.

Comment Re:How about running real Linux apps too (Score 1) 66

I wouldn't say they're simple steps, and Crouton suffers from trying to run both operating systems at once, which can only be done by heavily patching the "guest" operating system, which in turn means only supported revisions of specific distributions are supported - and the only in some configurations. Want to run Cinnamon? Don't even try.

(There's also very little reason to suppose this provides any real benefits to users either. Why would you want ChromeOS if you're already running Ubuntu? ChromeOS is bare bones GNU/Linux with Chrome as the UI, and Chrome runs fine under Ubuntu.)

Crouton exists mostly because it's awkward to install a "real" Ubuntu instance on a Chromebook, and so the authors figured that maybe getting bits to Ubuntu to work under the already running ChromeOS kernel might be "good enough". It's an illustration of the problems with Chromebooks, not indicative that Google has some kind of solution to "Linux on the desktop".

I'm not saying Chromebooks are bad, or even that you shouldn't buy one to run Ubuntu/etc (but use chrx, and be aware that the experience of installation is suboptimal, requiring BIOS patches and barely documented control key combinations at boot) - they can run more open distributions of GNU/Linux, and if you like the hardware, then go for it. But this "Crouton proves its awesome" stuff is overblown. Crouton is a smart, interesting, hack to workaround a problem, but it's probably not going to deliver what the average "I want to run Fedora/Ubuntu/Mint/Debian/CentOS" Slashdot GNU/Linux user wants.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 66

I'm generally finding little difference in price between Chromebooks and low end Windows laptops - compare HP's "Stream" series, for example.

It's also a lot simpler to install Ubuntu et al on a cheap laptop built for Windows than on a Chromebook. I've done the latter, and it's an, uh, interesting experience. Having to patch the BIOS was my favorite part I think. Also awesome was the fact it forgets there's a partition with a non-ChromeOS operating system on it if the battery runs out, so you have to boot into ChromeOS and set a flag to remind it its there.

Comment Re:AI does what AI is programmed to do (Score 1) 159

The "DANGER of AI" is that the AI will be somebody's bitch. Whose?

AI is "merely" another form of power, and adversaries-who-have-power are always a threat. Don't worry about AI; you should worry about $THEM getting AI, thereby causing $THEM to have an edge over you.

100.0% of techs are just like this. When you're pointing your nuclear missile at someone else, it's good. When someone else is pointing one at you, it's bad.

Comment Ekronomics says "Hell, yes" (Score 1) 268

Per https://ello.co/shanen0/post/n... the software that increases productivity is investment and extremely poor societies can't afford those investments because essential production is already absorbing all the available resources. Or in other words, there's no sense in trying to squeeze blood from a turnip when he doesn't even have a turnip.

Entertainment category software is different and there is no rationale I can see for discounting it. Right now I'm having trouble thinking of any software that would qualify as essential, at least in the context of an extremely poor society.

Comment Memories of happiness? (Score 1) 124

The time I can recall being happiest with my Internet access situation was when I had a one-device (smartphone) solution. I had unlimited data, though at moderate speed. I tethered all of my computers through the phone and had enough data for watching videos. Ran through 50 GB in most months, but I was only paying about $50/month, if I remember correctly. Before that I had almost the same deal with that company, but I had to use two devices, a dumb phone and a USB dongle.

Unfortunately, the company got bought by another company and they destroyed the old plans. What I have now is basically inferior, involves three devices, and costs more. Actually, it costs much more if I add in my wife's separate expenses, though at least she was able to get rid of her second device recently. I think the funny part is that one of my devices is mostly used as a PDA, and back in the old PDA days was another relatively high point of satisfaction. The more things change the more they stay the same?

Comment Re:more open (Score 3, Interesting) 207

Yeah, last few devices I've bought had something very close to AOSP with only a minimum of extra apps installed, apps that aren't causing me any problems. Android itself doesn't vary a lot between versions any more, the chances are the version you have varies little - from a user's point of view - from the latest greatest. This is a far cry from the early days of Android where:

1. Every phone had a heavily customized version of Android, in part because stock Android wasn't very pretty, but those customizations were usually horrible and bug ridden. As an example, my T-Mobile Slide 3G's dialer would crash if you changed from portrait to landscape.

2. Android itself was barely feature complete. Third party tools were needed to provide a decent launcher, decent keyboard, and so on, as well as tethering and other features carriers were nervous about.

It just isn't as important any more.

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