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Comment Re:That last sentence... (Score 1) 529

I don't necessarily disagree. The students that universities can accept or reject are, of course, the products of their parents, their school systems, and their communities in general. This probably doesn't position the university especially well to solve racial or other forms of socioeconomic inequality.

Then again, no single raindrop believes it is to blame for the flood. If a university thinks it can make a small difference by trying to encourage a more diverse student body, that seems pretty reasonable.

Of course, this debate is just a spectacle to distract the riff-raff. If you really want to assure your spot at a university, you should get yourself some influential parents or friends...

Comment Re:There is no such thing as equal work (Score 1) 349

That problem is solved by providing paternity leave.

Solved is a pretty strong word to use to describe a benefit that lasts for, what, a few weeks? Maybe two months? Three?

Paternity leave is great and I'm all for it. But what happens afterward? Daycare, grandparents, or one of mom or dad stays home. And you can probably guess pretty well who it's going to be.

Comment Re:Open source code is open for everyone (Score 1) 211

To be fair, derision toward the likes of Microsoft has historically been pretty well warranted. Windows has, historically, obviously, been plagued by viruses, malware, crapware, etc., to a degree far surpassing any other operating system.

That's not to say this necessarily has anything to do with proprietary versus open-source. Obviously Windows has always been far more popular than any alternative, making it a much more tempting target for attackers. High profile bugs like shellshock have certainly pointed out that open source isn't a magical elixir that wards off security problems.

Nobody does security very well, yet. (Well, maybe excepting folks like the CompCert people and Sel4 people.) The underlying causes, I'm sure, is that it's not what your average (or even above average) consumer can evaluate and value, and it's not what your average programmer can deliver.

Comment How about a web browser (Score 2) 264

Web applications are portable, easy for users to install (they don't have to do anything), easy for users to update (they don't have to do anything), and accessible from just about anywhere on just about any device. HTML/CSS/JavaScript have matured a lot. It is very easy to prototype your application's UI, and easy to develop very slick looking applications with rich fonts, colors, fancy tables, etc. Unless there's some fundamental reason you absolutely must have a native UI, I would never choose a toolkit over the web.

Comment San Francisco already did this (Score 5, Interesting) 178

San Francisco already did this. Almost all the masonry buildings in SF have been reinforced since the 1989 quake, and now the rules are being tighened on wood buldings. If you've been in an older building in SF, you've probably seen huge diagonal steel braces. That's what it looks like.

All new big buildings meet very tough earthquake standards. The bridges and freeways have been beefed up in recent years. Overpass pillars are about three times as big as they used to be. Two elevated freeways were torn down after one in Oakland failed in the 1989 quake. The entire eastern span of the Bay Bridge was replaced with a new suspension bridge. The western span was strengthened, and there are now sliding joints, huge plates of stainless steel, between the roadway and the towers.

Comment The corporate AI (Score 4, Insightful) 417

What I'm worried about is when AIs start doing better at corporate management than humans. If AIs do better at running companies than humans, they have to be put in charge for companies to remain competitive. That's maximizing shareholder value, which is what capitalism is all about.

Once AIs get good enough to manage at all, they should be good at it. Computers can handle more detail than humans. They communicate better and faster than humans. Meetings will take seconds, not hours. AI-run businesses will react faster.

Then AI-run businesses will start deailng with other AI-run businesses. Human-run businesses will be too slow at replying to keep up. The pressure to put an AI in charge will increase.

We'll probably see this first in the finanical sector. Many funds are already run mostly by computers. There's even a fund which formally has a program on their board of directors.

The concept of the corporation having no social responsibiilty gives us enough trouble. Wait until the AIs are in charge.

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