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Comment Re:Price caps cause market distortions. (Score 1) 256

Let's go with a nice capitalist version: A worker is underpaid when his or her regular expenses are higher than what they make in net income during the same average period.

This could not be farther from "capitalist." As a business owner I could not possibly care less how much your life decisions cost you. My only concern is whether the cost of employing a person is justified by the value they will provide, either now or eventually.

A worker is a human life whose value is independent of what they are able to produce, period.

Is it not obvious I am talking about a worker's output and not their value as a human being?

If the worker's output is not profitable for the company, the business should raise its prices so it can be profitable while still supporting its workers for their time. If the market does not support such prices, the business model should not be considered viable.

No. Please take note of all the restaurants in California that have closed in the last few months that found out what happened when they tried to raise prices to accommodate the increased minimum wage.

Rather than say "this worker produces $5/hour of output", let's phrase it as "this worker produces output for which the market now pays $5/hour". That leaves open the options to increase the rate the market will pay (marketing),

See above

increase the worker's output (automation)

How about the machines that replace workers altogether so their wage goes to the true minimum wage of zero?

or to accept that the business as it exists now is not viable (reorganization).

This is a false dichotomy. It isn't "raise prices or re-org" The third choice is that the business can choose to limit production capacity to that which it can do profitably. There are businesses that do this.

I have yet to see an argument for why "business" is a good reason to lock people into a job that doesn't cover their expenses.

Who says they are locked in? Right to work goes both ways.

I fail to see how it is beneficial to society to essentially enslave people so an entrepreneur can pitch a product to a market that won't sustain it.

Whoever said society is supposed to benefit from anything a business owner does? A business owner operates a business to accumulate value for himself and no other. His goal is to be compensated for providing a service or good at a price greater than the cost to produce. He doesn't care if he hires people to do it or buys robots to do the same job. "Societal benefit" is the last consideration. He might realize a profit for providing a service or good that society views as beneficial but that is not the same thing.

Comment Re:Price caps cause market distortions. (Score 2, Insightful) 256

What makes starting a business such a special event that it requires employees to live in poverty? If your business model is so bad and your business so unsuccessful that you have to underpay your workforce, perhaps you shouldn't be starting a business. I know it's the Great American Dream to own a business, but perhaps we should ensure nobody else gets screwed over in the process?

Please define "underpay." A worker is worth less than the value he or she creates, period. If the work a person does only generates $5.00 an hour in value, are you making the case that the worker should be paid more anyway? How long do expect that employer to continue employing that worker when the revenue generated doesn't cover said employee's cost? Is it okay to "screw over" the employer by making that person pay more to the employee than he/she generates in profit?

Comment Re:Driverless (Score 1) 272

This includes 8 cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors, a forward-facing radar,

I am very interested going forward to know what the maintenance is going to be on this stuff. A relative who owns a garage maintains a fleet of 100 vehicles for a company and says that a significant part of his work is related to sensors that have nothing to do with driving, e.g. mass O2 sensors. Self driving cars depend on absolute values for all these sensors. How many can become non-functional before the electronic brain goes into lockdown because it doesn't have sufficient info? We like to think that this stuff just works and in a safe environment, it does. Out on the road where there are potholes, or rocks, or squirrels that run out into the street these sensors take damage.

I think driver-less cars are ahead but there is a whole host of major issues we have not even foreseen with this technology.

Comment Re:This is unnecessary and stupid (Score 1) 178

With how employees are hired/fired, having an armful of chips will suck over time.

I think it more likely that this will become the equivalent of badges in games. People will brag about having a chip from Google, Snapchat or [insert trendy tech company here.] Next there will be dating sites where prospects will be filtered by previous employment.

Comment Re:Baby Goes Whaaaaaaaa! (Score 1) 172

Often times a change may be warranted but not implemented because the cost recovery time does not definitively justify said change at the current time. In this case there is an external factor that may influence the decision. Management may have previously deemed the cost not worth it but a day of lost productivity may reveal unexpected costs that may force the switch. In a world in which fears of worker replacement are a constant discussion poking this particular bear is not smart, imho.

Comment Re:Baby Goes Whaaaaaaaa! (Score 2) 172

That train is going to be run. You have no choice about that. But you can choose whether it’s going to be run by one of your men or not. If you choose not to let them, the train will still run, if I have to drive the engine myself If you think that I need your men more than they need me, choose accordingly. If you know that I can run an engine, but they can’t build a railroad, choose according to that.

It's in the best interest of the union

Not if striking lets the union find out that the employees they represent are no longer needed and the union's membership suddenly no longer pays union dues.

Submission + - Remote Destruction? H*ll No! (

es330td writes: Soon, you can buy gadgets that can self-destruct when stolen

From TFA:

The self-destruct mechanism consists of an expandable polymer, which crumples the device's chips within a few seconds. When the mechanism is remotely triggered, heater electrodes that draw power from the device's battery activates the polymer, which rapidly expands to seven-times its original size when heated to 80C (176F).

There's zero possibility hackers will figure this out, right?

Submission + - Researcher Develops Explosion-Proof Lithium Metal Battery, 2X Power Of Li-Ion (

MojoKid writes: Tufts University professor and founder of Ionic Materials, Mike Zimmerman, hopes that his resilient ionic battery technology will finally replace Lithium Ion. The reason scientists and researchers pay so much attention to battery design is because today's lithium-ion technologies have several downsides, as we saw recently with Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 recall. If you were to take apart a lithium-ion battery, you'd find a positive electrode called the anode and a negatively charged electrode called the cathode. There's a thin separator that sits between the anode and cathode. Everything else is filled up with liquid, or electrolyte. Charging the battery causes positively charged ions to flow through the liquid from the negative side to the positive side. As you use the battery, the ions flow in the opposite direction. However, the electrolyte is extremely flammable and they can explode when pierced or overheated. Zimmerman's ionic battery trades the flammable liquid for a piece of plastic film to serve as the electrolyte. It isn't prone to overheating and catching fire. The same goes for piercing, cutting or otherwise destroying the battery. Also, unlike lithium-ion batteries, Zimmerman's ionic batteries use actual lithium-metal, which can store twice as much power. Lithium-ion batteries don't contain lithium-metal because they're even more prone to overheating and exploding than lithium-ion, but that risk is removed by Zimmerman swapping out the liquid electrolyte for a solid.

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