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Comment Free speech is overrated (Score 1, Flamebait) 79

It's always interesting to contrast European and American views on the limits of speech. The Germans have very strict regulations on what you can say for obvious reasons given the abuse of free speech in that country's mid-twentieth century history. They recognize that sometimes one man's rights conflict with another's. Which was more important, Hitler's right to speak or the right-to-life for a million Jews?

In America speech is a lot more free but this also brings with it the danger of propagating hate speech. Organizations like the NRA, KKK and Westboro Baptist Church are examples of people who abuse that freedom and help to sow hatred which puts the lives of others in danger.

Thankfully FB is a private entity and hence not bound by the First Amendment. It's good to see Zuck finally waking up to his responsibilities and snapping out of the libertarian dream-world where nothing bad happens when people get to say what they like. Hate speech and lies have real world consequences, and it's okay to take a stand for truth.

Comment Re:where does all this money come from? (Score 3, Interesting) 513

i'd be mad as hell if i lived in one of these places and was subsidizing experiements to give people money without them contributing in any way

The liberal in me wants to react very strongly to this, but I did spend four years as a student in an English city called Salford. That place was infested with vast numbers of people who lived out their lives on the dole, many of them with no family tradition of work going back a few generations. They were generally troublemakers who got their kicks from attacking students (physically and verbally) on a regular basis. Crime levels were very high. One good thing is that there wasn't much gun crime since guns are so rare and hard to get in England, but instances of burglary, auto theft, shoplifting and anti-social behavior was just off the charts.

It will be interesting to see the outcome of these experiments, but I'm not optimistic about them.

Comment Unemployment (Score 5, Insightful) 513

Automation has been going on since the industrial revolution, yet new jobs seem to keep on being created. My current job didn't really exist twenty years ago.

People keep predicting the obsolescence of humans but unemployment these days in most rich world economies is not that high. That said, it would be good if we had better ways of measuring employment beyond the binary employed/unemployed states. If someone's not claiming unemployment benefit and working then it's assumed that they're doing okay, but they might be working three minimum wage jobs and barely getting by. That should be as worrying to policy-makers as someone not working at all. Then we might be in a better position to see if we're at the point where we need a universal basic income.

Comment Facebook (Score 1) 388

Version 1 - "Cool"
Version 2 - "WTF? Why are you doing this? I loved version 1! I'm going to Orkut!"
Version 3 - "WTF? Why are you doing this? I loved version 2! I'm going to MySpace!"
Version 4 - "WTF? Why are you doing this? I loved version 3! I'm going to Ebo!" (or whatever that black & white social network was called)
Etc..

Comment Re:Driverless (Score 1) 273

A lorry is a large vehicle which attaches a 40-foot shipping container to produce an 18-wheeled vehicle-plus-trailer with over 12,000kg of gross vehicle weight. They typically drop off a trailer at a loading dock and take a new, empty or pre-loaded one (generally a pre-loaded one if the place has incoming and outgoing shipping; empty at termination points, loaded at distribution centers).

Huh? 44 tonnes is the maximum weight in the UK. 12 tonnes is nothing.

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