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Comment Machines make customers irrelevant too. (Score 1) 537

We are only a means of production. If all of the means of production are automated, then we employees will be useless. The machines will do the production part. Why bother with employees when the machines will just create what their owners want? We will be cut out completely, and we will no longer have value.

Comment IMO this is a problem of experience. (Score 5, Interesting) 280

I've seen some shady things, and it was ALWAYS in a setting full of people too junior to ask questions. Junior people are sometimes naive, and will believe management when told that certain shady things are normal. Junior people may have no resume to speak of and are basically forced to look good at their first real job. Junior people may not be able to afford to quit without having something else lined up, and don't want to be marked as job-hoppers. Senior people have the marketability to leave, and the experience to see through BS. They may also have enough savings to quit out of principle and take a sabbatical, or the ability to shift gears to their side business. I don't really know how to solve the problem, given that young adults need to eat regardless of their ethics. I do know that the problem is hardly contained to computing. Maybe we gravitate to this field because we love logic, but the rest of the world isn't logical. We still have to deal with human nature in this field too.

Comment While this is a very tacky response... (Score 1, Informative) 813

It's worth noting that calling, or even visiting in person, are the most effective ways to get a response from a public official. As stated in the article, public officials are deluged with email. Phone calls and visits are less common, therefore getting more attention than other ways of communicating. Something as serious as a request for an investigation is serious enough to warrant the time investment into a more personal method of communication.

Comment Inequality is already in my DNA (Score 1) 367

Inequality is already in my DNA, in the form of epigenetic changes caused by my ability to afford a certain lifestyle. I can afford to shop at the organic grocery store. I can afford a gym membership. I can afford time to meditate because I don't have 3 jobs. I can afford to relax when I want. Instead of punishing people who can achieve something, lets plan to help the ones who can't achieve what they need, for whatever reason. I'd rather have a conversation about how to make genetic fixes available to the poor too, instead of screaming that the rich ought to suffer with the rest of us. The rich will have this anyway. Someone, somewhere else, will perfect the technology, and people who can afford to travel will have it.

Comment I used to work for a startup that did this. (Score 1) 60

Ad networks are totally doing this. I don't have proof so I won't name names because I don't want to be sued for libel. The root of the problem is that the phone's permissions allow an app with microphone access to listen all the time whether or not the user is running the app in the foreground. Be suspicious of anything that needs microphone privileges, especially if it's something that has no reason to need to use the microphone. Looking at you, Twitter.

Comment If you really want an answer (Score 1) 71

I had an internship at a place that did research bringing things like this to market. The problem isn't just marketability. The problem is being able to reproduce something. There is a big gap between what one very smart person can do in their lab, and what a factory can produce. A technique that can't be mass produced can't help the masses. Profit is obviously a motive, and that's an entirely different discussion. That being said, a lot of really interesting research is lost because it can't be made into a product, and it's a big problem. Even if a charity wanted to give this away for free, it's not possible without being able to make this into a mass marketable product.

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"An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of code." -- an anonymous programmer