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Comment Re:Did you even RTFS? (Score 1) 49

It's also at least 15 thousand new employees they didn't need to hire (give or take an engineer or two)

But that's really not true. The robots don't eliminate the need for human employees.They just carry the pods (four-sided metal and fabric shelves) to the stowers and pickers, who are still people. So whereas these people used to have to traverse a giant warehouse of shelves to stow and pick merchandise, now they just stand in one spot and the shelves come to them. Which would you prefer, as an employee? I'd rather Amazon create fewer less shitty jobs using robots (and it's not a 1 for 1 reduction in jobs per robot, anyway) than more shitty jobs that make people walk miles every shift.

Comment What about crab fishing? (Score 4, Insightful) 647

As an avid viewer of Deadliest Catch, I am troubled by the lack of female representation aboard Alaskan crab fishing vessels. Women should be encouraged to enter this lucrative filed where they are grossly underrepresented. Of course, that would involve risking their lives and destroying their bodies like men do, while being isolated from their families for months at a time, so I doubt the women's studies departments will be pushing for this.

I get the feeling that the people who are troubled by women's underrepresentation in STEM fields and C-suites somehow view this as women missing out on easy money, when that couldn't be further from the truth. These fields typically require huge sacrifices in terms of time and stress, not to mention isolation. Men seem more willing to accept these sacrifices because we're taught to do that from a very young age. We become providers (wallets) and sacrifice our time as nurturers within the family because it is expected of us. Women can't expect to take on these roles without the downsides that come with them, and the lack of women in certain fields is likely a reflection of women valuing family time over work time.

Comment VTOL planes a/k/a Widowmakers (Score 3, Insightful) 135

There's a reason that both the Harrier and Osprey are called the Widowmaker. I doubt a commercial VTOL Uber plane will be a reality in my lifetime due to liability concerns. This is the kind of research that is always "5-10 years from application", like all the miracle cancer cures I've read about over the years -- which I then never heard about again. Just say "20-50 years away at best" and assume Uber won't be around any more when it happens. What a joke of a story.

Comment The argument for having your own e-mail server? (Score 5, Interesting) 107

I used to think that the only reason someone would want their own e-mail server would be to try to erase a central record of sent e-mails should the need arise, but after reading this summary I see that there is merit in not entrusting a third party's low level tech support person with the ability to either read or reset your password.

In other news, Verizon knows its users' passwords? Let me guess -- they're stored in plaintext.

Comment Re:Smart refrigerators (Score 1) 178

Your milk and egg cartons are transparent?

Actually, both of mine are, so it's not unheard of. My gallon of milk is in a plastic container you can see through and I buy eggs in a 30-pack that has a clear top and bottom plastic enclosure (which also makes it easier to to check for broken eggs at the store).

Comment So. . . (Score 5, Insightful) 104

So, they've had this ability for 7 years. How's that worked out for them? The fact that they're getting a patent on a process that hasn't stopped their content from being pirated doesn't seem like that big a deal. I think the decline in the quality of their content is a bigger deterrent to piracy than anything else they've done.

Comment Re:karma's a bitch (Score 2) 393

Why do cops get trials where a judge decides?

Everyone gets this. The right to a jury trial is something a criminal defendant has and can waive. There are rare cases where an average citizen thinks he'll get a fairer shot at acquittal from a judge than a jury and waives the right to jury trial. Usually, this happens if the accused thinks that a jury will hold a particular prejudice against him for matters unrelated to the crime which the prosecutor has a way of putting in front of the jury. For them, it's about avoiding unreasonable jury bias. For cops, it's about seeking unreasonable bias in their favor from the judge.

Comment No additional funds authorized? (Score 5, Informative) 95

The law itself specifies that no additional funds are authorized to comply with the new requirements, so we'll see how these changes will actually be implemented. The Washington Post article cited in the summary already notes "Federal agencies have often starved their FOIA departments for resources; the new law will not change that. Backlogs stretch for years."

So, yeah. In theory, it gives broader and easier access to records. In practice, expect to wait forever to have your records request processed, just as before.

Comment Adwords for dummies (Score 1) 17

"The Adwords service was primarily aimed at placing ads next to relevant Google internet search results. But the plaintiffs said Google should have disclosed that ads would also appear in undesirable places such as error pages and undeveloped websites known as parked domains."

When you sign up for adwords, you can choose if you want your ads to appear in (1) search results and/or (2) the google content system (basically blogs and websites that use adsense). When an adsense user (a website owner) gets approved for adsense, they get approved based on one website and can then put adsense ads on any of their sites without needing any further approval. I can see how some people would abuse this and put their ads on garbage pages, but for them it's just a matter of time before someone reports them to Google for a TOS violation (use the little arrow attached to any adsense ad) and gets their account banned.

In short, an advertiser can easily opt to only have its ads appear in search results. If it agrees to have its ads appear on the Google content network, it runs the risk of its ads occasionally showing up on garbage sites. Of course, for most who pay for ads on a per-click basis, this won't have any affect because no one is clicking on the garbage site ads. And before anyone says anything about click fraud, Google is actually pretty aggressive about detecting that and disallowing adsense users from making money on illegitimate clicks.

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