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Comment Re:too late (Score 4, Insightful) 500

after 8 years of Obama we have more racial tension than ever before

No, we don't. All of that racial tension you're seeing was already there. What happened was that having a black president encouraged black Americans to speak up about the ways in which they're systematically oppressed, which means that you are now more aware of the existing racial tension.

Comment Re:Just another mindless attack (Score 1) 500

Hillary did exactly that, but the left doesn't seem concerned that they are constantly hypocrites. She had an unsecured device that they told her not to use, and she did anyways. Likely was hacked while she was in Russia.


Yes. That's a terrible breach of security when a Secretary of State does it.

It's about a hundred times worse when a President does it.

Comment Re:Lucky few? (Score 1) 102

I realize that the point of this is to generate buzz, but what's the point of buzz if you're going to follow it up with, "Ha ha, just kidding. We're not actually going to sell you the thing we're advertising."

The thing they're advertising is the shake, and they'll absolutely sell it to you. Now, you may not be interested in buying it if you don't get to try the funky straw, but advertisers know that a lot of people who see their ads won't be interested in buying the product. But some will.

And... would you ever have heard of this shake if it weren't for the straw? I wouldn't have. And neither, I'm sure, would many people who actually might be interested in a chocolate mint shake.

This is pretty much the definition of a successful advertising campaign, at least in nerd circles. We're voluntarily discussing a novelty shake from McDonalds! I can't comment on how it will play to the wider audience, but it worked on you. And me.

Comment Re:The work is more important than the idea (Score 3, Informative) 356

Parallel computing, virtualization, all these things were either developed on paper or implemented in some form long before many of us were born.

And yet none of them were available to me for the majority of my life. Why is that? It's because nobody had gotten around to the hard work of turning into something actually useful.

Available to you. Mainframes have made extensive use of both since the early 80s, at least. The hard work was done, it was just done in an environment that relatively few people interacted with directly.

Comment Re:RICH AMERICANS (Score 1) 131

While there are some Stockholm syndrome poor and middle class people who might balk, the majority of us WOULD like the health and safety regulations in place worldwide, mostly because it would be a barrier to the cost effectiveness of domestic firms outsourcing to foreign locations.

It's really those other countries who would object strenuously. In most of the developing world, the only competitive asset they have is low-cost labor. If you could legislate that away from them, they'd have nothing, no way to lift themselves economically. All of the education resources, all of the intellectual capital, all of the big markets... they're all in the rich world, especially the US and EU. We have every possible competitive advantage, including much higher per-hour productivity, the only thing they have is being cheap because their standard of living is so low.

Comment Re:Not going to happen (Score 1) 401

of course the consequence of that is that 'the young and reproductive' of other countries are entering and replacing the indigenous population that has stopped reproducing. Darwin would claim that the more productive shall win. I guess we will see.

You missed the point. The global birthrate has peaked and is declining. That includes those young and reproductive. They're still reproducing at more than replacement rate, but they're trending downward, too. And much of the developed world is already well below replacement rate. Some northern European countries have actually started public service advertising campaigns encouraging couples to make babies, because the declining population numbers are playing havoc with their labor market and their economic structure (especially pension systems).

It turns out that birthrate is positively correlated with infant and child mortality and negatively correlated with wealth and female education. Better access to medical care reduces infant and child mortality, which appears to reduce the motivation of parents to make lots of 'em, just in case. Wealth and female education both enable family planning, and while women generally like babies, they also don't want to have more than they can really manage or care for. And given the very low baseline much of the world is at, wealth and education levels are exploding. People are still living in what you and I would consider unbearable poverty, but it's dramatically better than what the last generation had.

These facts also point out exactly how we can take action to reduce population even faster: Work harder to empower and educate more people in the third world. Actually, great progress is being made in the poor areas of Asia. The big opportunities are in Africa. Teach African men to farm more effectively, make education more available to men and women, make medical supplies and facilities more accessible, and provide international oversight to reduce the damage done by their kleptocratic (and in some cases, genocidal) governments, and you'll make peak population happen sooner, and at a lower level.

Comment Re:Rex Tillerson (Score 1) 95

The way I see it, there's only 2 benefits to a startup

There's a third, and an even more important one: Having it be yours. Even given the significant freedom that Googlers have (and we do have a lot... and as you move up the ladder it increases), there's no substitute for seeing if you can really build something from scratch, with absolutely no one to question you, and being able to look at it at the end of the day and say "I did that"... which includes all of the business stuff. It's about playing the grand game and winning, and you can't really play it while drawing a paycheck.

Also, Google's founder's award didn't really compete with the open-ended possibilities of a startup payout. I mean, you could end up with Larry Page money. You won't, but you could, and you could never get that at Google. Unless Larry Page gave you all his money, which he won't.

Comment Re:Not going to happen (Score 1) 401

Climate is only one of the big threats we face, and we can to some extent simply adjust to it, but unless we learn to curb overconsumption in a serious way, it won't matter all that much.

What are the others? Keep in mind that we're already on track to have a smaller population by the end of this century than we did at the beginning, and it's also quite clear that we'll have no trouble feeding and housing the expected peak population of just under 10B. In terms of energy generation, we're moving pretty quickly away from fossil fuels, within a few decades renewables will be cheaper. That won't happen quickly enough to head off serious climate change, but we aren't going to have population-driven energy shortages.

So unless there are some other serious problems related to overconsumption (whatever that is), it seems to me that it just might be easier to engineer the climate than it is to engineer human behavior. Not that the former is easy, but the latter is damned near impossible.

Comment Re:Not going to happen (Score 1) 401

Yes. Make. Fewer. New. People.

We already are. The global birthrate peaked a few years ago. The population continues growing only because the global demographics are skewed young, so as we fill out the older cohorts the population rises. But each generation is smaller than the ones that came before and barring significant life extension the population is going to peak in 30 years or so, then start declining. This is globally; many regions of the industrialized world are already at negative population growth when you subtract out immigration.

Comment Re:Low Interest In The Public (Score 1) 216

Heh. I did notice the change in spelling but wrote it off as a typo.

Your point is a good one, though, and it's actually a little worse than what you described, since Gmail normally displays the user's name, not their email address. I suppose one simple countermeasure would be to display first-time senders' messages in a different color, or even to specifically notice and warn about new emails from addresses/names that are very similar to previously-received messages but from a different user account.

Comment Re:Low Interest In The Public (Score 1) 216

If you're in the habit of accepting public keys from anyone that sends one, and rekeying, automatically, then you're never going to notice an intercept, and you're sure as hell not going to notice an email from zealath at gmail.com as being something other than zaelath at gmail.com so I really don't have to be government.

The question is how you would obtain a forged certificate that would be signed by the Gmail CA.

Comment Re:Rex Tillerson (Score 4, Interesting) 95

Yeah, that's one. What do you think the odds are of the same thing happening to every Engineer at Google w/ aspirations of being a CEO?

Low, but that's not really the point.

The point is that if the engineers are paid so well that they no longer need their Google income, they're free to go try to become a CEO of their own mega-successful startup. Whether or not the startup is likely to succeed doesn't change that equation, especially if they're careful to avoid putting much of their own cash into it, so they are still comfortable even if their startup bombs -- as it most likely will.

Another Google-related example of this phenomenon, I think, is the now-discontinued "Founder's Award" program. It used to be that truly exceptional performers could win a Founder's Award which came with a huge cash (or stock, not sure) bonus... like $10M. The theory was that it was a way to convince people that they could become wealthy by staying at Google, rather than leaving to found their own companies. It was quietly discontinued, though, and the rumor is that it's because they discovered that nearly all of the winners took their big pile of cash and left to found their own companies. The sort of people who won the awards were exactly the sort of technically-skilled but entrepreneurial leaders who were well-suited to and interested in starting their own companies. Not giving them a big pile of cash might make them decide to leave, but giving them one pretty much guaranteed it.

So, I guess the ideal compensation approach for retention is to walk the line between paying them enough that they can't leave without taking a pay cut, but not so much that they become financially independent.

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