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Comment Re:Can't a magic 8 ball replace most CEOs? (Score 1) 244

In my experience with ceo's and senior executives- the "numbers" have a funny habit of changing to match projections. I saw them waste at least 6.5 billion dollars over 5 years in failed project after failed project. All based on unrealistic assumptions. And in every case, the failures were redefined as successes except for the failed SAP rollout.

A large corporation can cover some terrible errors and CEO's (and executives) are paid for changing things- not for running them well as they are. So you can have a good business practice and it will be removed and replaced with something else which is much, much worse.

If the change works- yea! Big bonus for the CEO and/or executives. If it fails- yea! Big golden parachute. If it's in the muddy middle- there will be a lot of pressure to say the change worked. Because deadlines, definitions- sometimes reality- is subject to intense pressure and manipulation to say the change worked.

Actual reality doesn't set in until they leave or the company goes tits up.

Comment Re:The pain starts in 2030... (Score 1) 244

OTH, as of 2024, the boomers will already be dying in large numbers. Roughly 4 million a year by that point.
60% of men and 43% of women boomers born in 1946 will be dead by 2026. Actually, those who are not well off are more likely to be dead at that rate by 2023 and that's 80% of the population.

But going by the more conservative figures...

By 2030, almost 5 million boomers will have already died.
By 2040, about 30 million boomers will have already died.

The biggest crisis we really need to address is medical care expenses for the last 90 days of life. Speaking as a boomer myself, we cannot afford to spend over a thousand dollars a day to keep someone alive for an extra three months. That's were we need to cap our spending and limit our losses. If someone wants to spend their own money or has insurance- fine. Otherwise, we have to make some hard rational choices.

However, if we destroy 30% of jobs for young people with automation and AI, then there won't be tax revenue to pay.

Comment Re:Like what? (Score 1) 244

Actually, there has only been a job if you speak of humans generically.

Sure, the generation after the luddites had jobs. But most of the luddites died homeless or exposure and starvation years earlier than they should have.

We *may* have jobs again 30 years after this hits but the most likely scenario is 33% unemployment for decades. And almost all manual labor jobs suitable for people with low drive or low iq being replaced by robots. And many high intelligence jobs being replaced by automation. And many skilled jobs replaced by a combination of automation and robots.

Over the next 10 years, it looks likely that 10% of jobs will simply go away. This includes m ost retail clerks (4 million jobs) (as you simply pick up the goods and walk out of the store with an rfid charging you automatically) or you order it online (for less- and no gasoline or miles on your car and no going to the store to find it is sold out), drivers (3 million jobs), most manufacturing jobs, and most manual labor jobs.

In the end- taxes will have to be collected from those who still have incomes. And overall our productivity will be higher than it is today- so providing for everyone should take a smaller share of gdp. But if people are left without jobs and without safety net benefits- it could become a hell hole and possibly fall to civil disorder and even civil war.

Comment Re:Like what? (Score 2) 244

Climate change is serious but not as serious as the limits to growth coming up. They are going to hit harder and sooner.

No more cheap stainless steel will be a big one.

We could see a billion people die ahead of time over a single decade sometime between 2050 and 2100. Likely to threaten civilization, provoke wars, and be a period when the carrying capacity of the earth drops by a couple billion people over 50 years.

Our usage of many resources continues to grow exponentially as the population continues to grow and the standard of living continues to rise. We consumed more chromium in 2014 than we did from 1901 to 2000 combined. And similar for many, many other resources.

At the same time climate change might destroy our ability to raise grain as it destroys viability of many of the worlds major growing zones and pushes the climate into areas not capable of growing. And changes the pattern of rainfall.

Climate change is dangerous and big- but limits to growth are much bleaker. And the most likely scenario is they will hit way to fast for us to mitigate them so we'll still be accelerating as we hit them head on.

Comment Re:Privacy (Score 3, Interesting) 74

Seems that the US is actually the anomaly, having a high GDP *but* happily providing all their personal information to be abused by marketeers/advertiser, by three-letter agencies, and by pirates leaking databases and personal photo collections.

I dunno if it is so much "happily provide", but likely last not, too uneducated, ill-informed, or ignorant of the fact that massive data even IS being collected on them, much less the implications of such massive data collection and analyzation can do the people and their privacy.

I'm guessing that sure, a lot of folks wouldn't care, but I would posit that the majority of the populace using social media even is NOT aware of the massive information collection going on, nor how it is used.

Comment Re: They simply remember your UDID (Score 3, Insightful) 112

They're adding functionality that Apple refuses to do.

Apple refuses to do it for a valid reason, and I see Apple as the ethical winners here. If Uber is experiencing a high rate of fraud, that's a business process problem that needs to be addressed within Uber's own internal systems. Considering Uber can afford a "competitive intelligence" team that buys and crunches data about Lyft, and they can afford to develop "Greyball" deception tools to evade law enforcement, they should also be able to afford a couple of employees to build some better fraud detection into their signup process. A little less offense and a little more defense might be a rewarding strategy.

Thousands of other companies conduct business via iOS apps without resorting to breaking the rules. Uber is showing once again that they don't give a fuck about the rules, and that puts them squarely outside of the "ethical right."

Comment C++ should be the introductory language (Score 1) 618

I did my own research on this, and went through the top 10 computer science universities and looked at what they taught in their introductory CS classes. Python and Java made up 100% of them, with only one (Stanford) having a C++ option.

Personally, I think C++ should be the introductory language for computer science majors. (Non-CS majors? Sure, teach them Python or Javascript.) Why? Because CS majors all have to learn computer architecture and usually assembly programming is part of learning architecture. It's way, way easier for people to go from C++ to ASM than it is to go Python to ASM or Java to ASM. So a lot of assembly classes I've gone through have backed away from teaching ASM and instead teach C with a touch of ASM in it, which means that their education gets compromised by an attempt to make the introductory class easier.

But research in computer science education shows that you can learn basic computer science principles pretty much equally well regardless of language taught, so we're sacrificing educational quality for no real benefit.

I think most opposition to C++ came from people that learned it back in the day with square bracket arrays and char* strings, none of which really should be used any more now that we have vectors and strings. (And have had for a very long time, really.) Modern C++ is a very enjoyable language to code in.

Comment Re: They simply remember your UDID (Score 1) 112

>Who would have ever thought that a company founded on the principle [sic] of breaking the law in multiple jurisdictions would ignore and circumvent the terms and conditions, to which they agreed, of an entity with which they do business. Whodathunkait.

They're adding functionality that Apple refuses to do. If you cheat in a Steam game, your device and account gets banned. On iOS, apparently, you just uninstall and reinstall and then you can fraudlently order cars all over again.

Might violate the Apple TOS, but they're in the ethical right on this one.

Comment Re:Fortran (Score 1) 618

I'm not quite old enough to have used FORTRAN.

What does age have to do with anything? I took a computational linear algebra course in the late '90s that used FORTRAN nearly exclusively.

That said, I started out, like most kids in the '80s, with BASIC and assembly language (6809 and 6502, in my case). I started college early enough that the introductory computer-science courses were still in Pascal, but pretty much every course that needed to do real work used anything but Pascal...lots of C, with a systems-programming course splitting time between 8086 assembly and VAX assembly and a database course that introduced us to SQL (of course).

The computational linear algebra course mentioned above was a math course specifically for computer-science majors; other engineering students took a different linear-algebra course.

Comment In Order (Score 1) 618

Basic...in high school, circa 1973, on teletypes, with acoustic modems and paper tape.
FORTRAN... the first language I was taught in CS when I decided it was time to get out of working on hardware...around '84
Pascal... intermediate CS
C...one of my last CS classes
C++...at work in the late 90s
PHB...when I was pushed into management

Comment Future of Yahoo Mail? (Score 2) 71

I wonder what the implications will be for Yahoo Mail once Verizon finishes acquiring Yahoo. Aside from @yahoo.com accounts, the Yahoo Mail platform powers most of the baby bells' ISP email. Mail for users @sbcglobal.net, @bellsouth.net, @pacbell.net, etc. is all part of the Yahoo Mail service whether the users realize it or not. I can't see Verizon being too benevolent about taking on "competing" ILEC/bell users' mail hosting. And if they were impressed with the Yahoo Mail platform, you'd think they would have waited and migrated their own users there instead of to AOL.

What a tangled fucking web.

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