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Comment Re:*All* pay rates will TANK when robots come in! (Score 1) 356

Because if robots take up a lot of jobs, then ALL the workforce is going to be fighting for the remaining few jobs and the value of labor will tank!

We're in a market folks! If there are a bunch of unemployed people, an employer will be able to find someone willing to do YOUR job for less.

"Fortunately" industry has shown great reluctance to hire unemployed people so they won't directly weigh down salaries all that much. Of course, if you are already unemployed you are screwed and if those currently working are terrified of becoming unemployed that will certainly limit salaries.

Comment Re:I don't worry... (Score 1) 356

If a robot ever replace my IT support job, I would have already moved on to something else. The days of spending 50 years in the same job to collect a pension and gold watch are long gone.

It isn't just the job you have that is at risk of being replaced by automation. It is also the jobs that you would move to. Further, if the trend is accelerating then the time between becoming adequately trained to do a job and when it becomes unavailable due to automation. At some point, this period may shrink to zero or even negative (The job disappears before you can obtain the skills necessary to perform it)

Comment Re:Always Assuming... (Score 1) 120

How do you think every single human will die in the next 200 years? Who's going to hunt humans to extinction if we don't find aliens? A nuclear war might work, but even that is no guarantee (ending the comforts of modern civilization is different than no humans). Overpopulation, assuming it even happens, would just lead to a population crash as people die from disease and starvation.

An engineered plague might do it, though it would take some significant engineering to ensure that no natural resistance exists about billions of humans. It has the advantage of easy spread to non-combatants and rural dwellers.

I don't think nuclear war would do it, at least not without a huge increase in the number of nuclear armed states. Humans are resourceful and getting an extinction level event would require hitting improbable places like South America and Pacific islands.

Comment Re:Poll already has an answer (Score 1) 120

Correct me if I am wrong, but didnt we find pretty compelling evidence of bacteria on Mars? Doesn't that make everyone who voted "no" pretty much wrong?

You're wrong. :-) Actually there has been rather compelling evidence just not anything conclusive. Twenty years ago a meteorite of Martian origin was found to have chemical and physical traces highly suggestive of life. However, no DNA or actual fossils were found. Similar inconclusive chemical results have been found by Mars landers as far back as the Viking probes.

So, bottom line is: we still don't know. We have hints but we still don't have answers.

Comment Consultancy = little company structure (Score 1) 181

They looked at their C-level executives and said: hey, they don't do anything anyway, why bother.

Which is not all surprising given the business the company was in. When most of the employees are working at customer sites doing customers' bidding, the company structure isn't doing much. I don't know the details of how this particular Swedish company, but many consultancies here operate as little more than recruiting agencies. They hire and fire based on customer needs. They provide no internal training. The only people who come into the office on a regular basis are those that seek customers and those that recruit employees to meet that demand. With a total head count of forty, there might be only three or four people who truly work there and almost nothing that needs to be decided quickly has company wide effect. Those handful probably operate by consensus most of the time anyway. What's the point of a CEO?

Comment Re:Competition (Score 2) 78

Competition is quite a bit behind Intel at the moment, so no reason to move forward while they can milk this current generation. Once competition starts getting *near* 14nm.... Intel will nudge forward to keep a few steps ahead.

What's beyond 7nm though?

It's another confirmation that Moore's Law is dead. If Moore's Law were still in effect, Intel would make their new chips at smaller geometry regardless of competition because it would be cheaper to do so and that would make for fatter profits. Cost per transistor is the driver of Moore's Law. That stalled at 28nm because that was last node that could be made without resorting to multi-patterning. Scaling worked in the past because the cost to make a wafer was roughly constant. By making features smaller, you either got more chips or bigger chips for the same cost. Multi-patterning means the cost per wafer as you scale down is going up faster than the transistor count per wafer. Performance still increases but you have to have customers willing to pay more. If the cost delta is large enough, Intel my not jump to 10nm even if AMD catches up. Process performance isn't the only knob they can turn to improve performance.

Comment What attracts the bacteria to the tumors? (Score 1) 79

TFA did not say, which is curious, because I would have thought that would be an important discovery. The body's occasional failure to distinguish cancer from non-cancer is pretty much the sole reason why cancer is even a problem.

The article did say that this variety of salmonella prefers a low oxygen environment but doesn't explain if that environment was unique to tumours or if it was sufficient to attract the bacteria.

Comment Re:The Weather Indoors... (Score 1) 233

If there's a booth babe wearing little compared to man wearing a suit and tie a few feet away.

[scans booth babe] "Hmm. Cold in here, isn't it? :-)"

Probably not the problem that you think, albeit not so pleasant for the booth babe. 'Ever stumble on one of those "out take" segments from swimsuit modelling? Complaining about the cold seems to be a common thing.

Comment Re:Consider why they moved to Intel in th first pl (Score 1) 267

"Their meat and potatoes was in the server market"

I'm actually curious to what degree IBM's PowerPC engineering focus is/was on the server market, even at the time. Clearly the custom embedded stuff accounts for a lot more shipped units these days. With that said, I really have no idea who is using IBM PowerPC workstations/servers or for what or what so it's hard to guess what portion of the dollars are involved. IBM always seems to have a bunch of capacity-on-demand type offerings available and doing almost all of the design in-house is a way to make those cost-effective to provide.

I think it is more fair to say that IBM's meat and potatoes was not the laptop market. Apple was getting killed in the laptop market. They needed lower power processors but no one else was making PowerPC laptops and IBM was not inclined to make a special low power processor just for Apple. I think even embedded PowerPC's were generally hooked up to main power, not batteries. (Bear in mind that this was before power and heat became a significant problem for desktop PC's and servers)

Comment Re:Consider why they moved to Intel in th first pl (Score 5, Insightful) 267

And this battle - CISC (Intel) vs RISC (Alpha, MIPS, Sparc, Power, ARM) - has been fought before. Every time, CISC has come out the winner.

It wasn't really a battle of RISC vs CISC. It was a battle between incumbents and upstarts.

In the workstation arena, the CISC incumbent was Motorola with they 68k series. Despite being better CISC architecture than Intel, 68k lost to the RISC upstarts. Motorola had more resources than MIPS and Sun but not enough more and their customers were nimble enough to take advantage of the performance advantages the RISC upstarts offered.

Intel's had a much larger customer base and those customers were much more dependent on binary compatibility. It took a little while. Neither the 386 or 486 were a match for their RISC competitors. But Intel was able to outspend their RISC competitors on R&D, holding their ground until chips became complex enough that process and ISA independent features dominated. If Intel's architecture were also RISC, they would still have won, even sooner if the upstarts were CISC. Actually, with Intel RISC and CISC upstarts. there would not even have been a battle. Without a short term advantage to exploit, the upstarts would have not have gotten off the ground.

I can't see an Apple only processor wining over Intel, either. At minimum, Intel's process advantage would have to be nullified and I can't see that happening until scaling comes to a full stop.

Comment Re:Slightly off-topic: I want "WORM SSDs" for back (Score 2) 232

I'd love to see someone come out with a cheap, trivial-to-use "WORM* USB stick" along with "plug and play" backup software.

You may be waiting a while. Flash isn't cheap enough and it has data retention problems. Phase change memories (of which 3D Crosspoint seem to be a variant) also have difficulties with long term retention. If you don't need it to be a USB stick, WORM behaviour is a commonly available in optical storage media, including Blu-Ray.

Comment Re:I don't even like Uber but (Score 1) 726

What happens if everybody has an education and is competing on the same level for "skilled" jobs and nobody wants to do the "unskilled" jobs?

Not to worry. More than enough educated people will find their skills in low demand and will work unskilled jobs in order to survive. Just as happens today. The danger comes when unskilled jobs are no longer available and the losers of the macabre game of musical chairs no longer have options.

Comment Re:Have they actually prodcued anything? (Score 1) 99

I know they have concepts and maybe some engineering drawings but have they actually contracted out for the development of anything? There has to be some supporting equipment they could be accumulating right now, right?

Exactly. To meet the original schedule there would very soon be evidence of physical progress. Since they haven't done anything real, the schedule had to slip.

Comment Re:A possible solution? (Score 1) 221

A possible solution is to not ban sales to bots per-se, but instead verify that the identity of the person redeeming the ticket at the door is the same as the person who purchased the ticket (via verifying CC details, or even something as basic as their name).

This runs into trouble with tickets purchased for other people, including gifts. It is also a problem if the purchaser is unable to attend. The ticket can not be given away and if the purchaser was buying for a group, the remaining group members will be unable to get in.

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