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Comment Re:No surprise (Score 1) 42

Yep, that jives with what I've heard from current and past Amazon employees.

Most last 1-2 years, because that's what it takes for the stock options to vest and so you can leave without having to pay back relocation assistance.

As far as corporate culture goes, they do have a problem with excessive middle management, and those are probably the ones that want to keep their employees physically close to them so they can watch them and keep their metrics up. There's a lot of internal competition and finger pointing. Brilliant friend of mine tried putting in for an internal transfer within Amazon, so then his manager put him on a probation plan to prevent losing him to another internal team. Then finally after they had a falling out over this, the manager had him dismissed as a scapegoat for some api outage. A bunch of his other Amazon friends had also gotten scapegoated as well, often for existing problems that they were trying fix, but had been hushed or postponed during planning meetings. Then when it finally dies, the manager has to choose a scapegoat or else lose their own position.

Plus, the only perk Amazon employees seem to have is location. They've built up a pretty nice urban campus in South Lake Union over the past few years, so young'uns can live and work in condos downtown with their little doggies ... and that's about it. They offer few of the competitive perks offered by other Seattle area companies... in the name of frugality employees have to pay for their own coffee and beer in the lounge, and little stuff like that. I guess you get a free Prime membership, but not really any other lucrative "employee discounts" on stuff. So yeah, many, many employees just take the relocation money, hang on for the year or two that it takes to get out, and GTFO.

Like MS, Amazon is probably doing this on purpose to flood the local tech job economy with tech workers, to overall reduce the wages they have to pay the star software devs. The Seattle tech job market is still very tight, but all it would take is Amazon announcing a 5% layoff to completely bomb the market with tech jobseekers... though I'm not sure how much of a spike that would be from their normal attrition rate.

Comment Re:Alternate Headline (Score 1) 56

With HDDs you could access individual sectors and zap em as appropriate. With SSDs that's not the case. Everything is logically mapped by a controller and you have to trust it to do a secure erase properly - either resetting the encryption key or filling every block (even the ones used for over-provisioning) with 0s.

It's been a long, long time since you could do that. All modern HDDs do sector remapping behind the scenes, whatever written to a sector the disk later identifies as wonky and remaps is untouchable. Only secure erase will overwrite every sector, it predates SSDs by many years.

Comment Re:Most are warehouse employees (Score 1) 42

Read some expose on the warehouse work explaining how not great those jobs are.

Watched the Kiva Systems video. Doesn't look like they do all that much, they merely bring the shelves to the people, instead of making the people powerwalk out to the shelves. This allows them to pack the shelving more efficiently in warehouses, and will likely cut down a lot on workplace injuries. But doesn't seem like it will cut down all that drastically on the number of workers needed, they still need to grab and pack the shit.

Comment What's needed is a new architectural layer (Score 2) 23

which moves (encrypted) fragments of files around the world, ostensibly for performance and reliability reasons.
So it would act like a content delivery network does with whole files.
Except that this layer would be the default assumption for where you put data on the Internet.
Data in the new paradigm has no home physical location. It only has identity, and access rights granted by possession of decryption keys.
For data intended to be fully public, perhaps its metadata would be unencrypted in the layer, for searchability. But that would not imply a particular physical location for the data file payload itself. A search would result only in an identifier, which the layer infrastructure would locate an retrieve from multiple sources.

Data would automatically maintain sufficient worldwide distributed copies of itself, and the system would migrate (and cache) copies of data fragments closer to end-users of the data, based on speculative probabilistic co-access patterns. In other words, data would coalesce toward where it was needed, as an automagic feature of the distributed storage layer.

This kind of distributed encrypted storage layer thing (not owned by any single company of course, but rather both open/libre and partly peer-to-peer) needs to get implemented, and widely adopted so that it is a default assumption of how content on the Internet mostly works, BEFORE it is made substantially illegal by overreaching governments.

That's how to make the Internet remain borderless. Make it a fait accompli that is very hard to subvert technically without blocking nearly every ip address, which, if this is implemented right, could be a partial mirror of fragments of the content.
 

Comment Re:First Amendment ... no, sorry. (Score 1) 131

And I receive useless robocalls from the City about what THEY think are "important" notices (which are not) and found out they refuse to have a way for citizens to opt out (and remember, I have an UNLISTED NUMBER). I finally determined the City uses a third party system and went to THAT company and they said the City didn't pay for an opt-out option! But because I was making so much noise, they manually took my number out of the system.

I can't stand robocallers and I think their use should be not just illegal but criminal. If it takes a few "welcome" systems with it, so be it. Why? Because every single one would claim they have a relation to you or you some how "opted in", making enforcement a joke. Use Email lists instead.

Comment The 90s called and want their cyberspace back (Score 2) 23

Remember when tech pundits were talking like the Internet would transcend to become it's own nation that people would emigrate to and live in? Well shit turns out we still live in meatspace with countries and laws. And surprise, surprise so does our data. The cloud is just the new buzzword for the same concept without the people. I suppose companies will try to go jurisdiction shopping, but I doubt they'll succeed. The governments of the world will set requirements for dealing with their citizen's data and you'll either comply or get in legal trouble, like the EU's "right to be forgotten". Yes, it means data on the Chinese might stay in China but it might also mean data on US citizens stay in the US. Would you really like them to swap? Or do you just want to fulfill the NSAs wet dream that all data on everyone in the whole world go through the US? Seriously, for most of us local data is a good thing.

Comment Re:The RX470 makes me want to try AMD again (Score 1) 39

"I haven't tried AMD since the 43xx era because the 4350 I used to replace an aging 1650x could never stay stable in the game I was playing at the time"

That was ENTIRELY your fault. The 4350 is a mobile GPU while the X1650 was a desktop-class GPU of which the GT and XT versions handily STOMPED the HD4350.

Comment Re: most researched subject in the field. (Score 1) 284

At best, an adherent to your system could say “according to how the majority of people’s appetites seem, it is probably wrong to murder.”

Not at all, in several ways. One, majoritarianism doesn't matter. Nobody gets to tell anybody else that their appetites are aberrant and don't count; the objective good must account for all appetites, just like the objective truth must account for all observations.

Second, this seems to confuse what an appetite is: I can't have an appetite about whether or not it is wrong to murder you, so it's not like it would be possible to even have a unanimous-minus-one consensus of appetites that murdering the one objector is good; appetites aren't desires, or intentions, they're experiences. The most relevant appetites in determining that matter are those of the would-be victim, and the job of the rest in trying to answer the question of whether murdering them is OK would be to consider what it's like to be murdered and it that seems good or bad according to their hypothetical appetites as the hypothetical victim. In more contentious cases you'd want to actually go and experience the thing someone else experiences and see if that feels good or bad to you in those circumstances, but with something like there's experience enough to draw from to make that inference without further testing -- we've all been injured at some point or another, to some extent or another, and we know whether that feels good or bad, and since murdering someone would involve injuring them we can conclude a lot about it without having to be murdered ourselves, obviously.

Third, there don't have to be broad absolute rules for things to be objectively true or false, so the conclusion wouldn't even need to be "murder is (probably) wrong", but more along the lines of "it is usually wrong to murder"; it might be (though in the case of murder, it isn't) the case that some times a thing is right to do and some times it's wrong, but each particular case is objectively right or wrong, even though there isn't a pattern to them -- or rather, even though that pattern isn't the one that applies to them.

On top of all that it assumes uniformity of nature when your system can’t provide an absolute basis for that either. You have to accept it as an axiom to even begin to use your system.

Every system must take some things as axioms. I actually kind of misspoke when I called it an axiom of my system earlier though, as it's not taken without any justification, it's taken as a consequence of even more fundamental principles. Even these aren't really the ultimate starting point, but those more fundamental principles are essentially: we ought to try to figure out what's true and false, good and bad, etc; and to try try anything, we must assume neither success nor failure is inevitable. Denying uniformity of nature would mean failure at figuring out what's true and false was inevitable, so consequently we cannot deny it. (The deeper principles still answer the question of why we ought to figure out what's true or false, good or bad, and the answer to that is essentially that no matter what we do, we're attempting in one way or another to employ truths as means to achieve good ends, so no matter what we do it behooves us to figure out what's true and false, good and bad).

I believe that a consistent materialist worldview does reduce to skepticism.

It's interesting that you read my Codex, because just the other day I was thinking "wow, this guy is a walking almost-self-admitted example of my contention in the Codex that fideists are just nihilists hiding behind God, and nihilists are just godless fideists". (Of course that last part isn't very new, Neitzsche concluded more or less that, but that's not well-known about him). You and a nihilist (or radical skeptic if you like) share so much philosophical framework in common, and it all looks equally faulty to me; it hardly makes any difference that you believe in God and a nihilist doesn't, because introducing God into the picture doesn't fix the problems with the underlying philosophical framework. Take ethics for an example. Even supposing God exists, and that we have any way to know that, how does that ground morality? I ought to do something... because a book says that God commands that I do so? First of all how do I even know that book accurately conveys the word of God? God says it does? According to whom? The book in question? But even supposing the book can be taken as reliably reporting the commands of God: why should I do what he says? Why is that good? Should I just do whatever anybody says? If not, what's special about God? Is it because God is all poweful and will punish me if I disobey? Should I do anything that anyone sufficiently threatening says, in that case? (Also, in that case you've reduced your morality to egoism, and as just appealing to my own self-interest now). Or is it because God supposedly created me and I owe it to him? Well for one, owing is a moral concept, so how are you grounding that? And furthermore, my parents were at least intermediary creators of me, does that makes me beholden to their every command (so long as it doesn't contradict God's, I guess)? Or is it rather because God is all good and it's contrary to his nature to issue bad commands? Setting aside how we would know that, what does it mean to say that "God is all good" if "good" just means "in accordance with God's commands"? Is it just that God is consistent with himself? Should I then obey the commands of anyone who's consistent with themselves? No? Why not? (And even if it were yes, still I'd ask: why?) If God is good by some other standard besides just obedience to his own commands, then that standard is where you've really grounded your notion of morality, and God is just an intermediary conveying truths about that to you. And then we're back to where we started: where does that standard of morality come from? And at that point, why do we need God for it anymore? If we're evaluating God himself by that standard, it's clearly independent of him.

And so you end up in what seems more like blind faith because you don’t want to be a skeptic.

That's a lot coming from a theist, especially one whose theism is so central to their entire philosophy and not merely incidental. But to the extend that there's any truth to that claim, if I have "blind faith" in anything, it is "faith itself", though I'd rather say "hope itself" to avoid other connotations of the word "faith". My personal motto is "fortasse desperato sed conor nihilominus", which is Latin for "it may be hopeless, but I'm trying anyway". It all boils down to that pragmatism. We're alone in the dark -- or at least we might be, we have no sure way to tell -- and we have no idea whether there is any truth or falsehood, goodness or badness, or if everything is just a meaningless amoral chaotic figment of our own possibly-non-existent imaginations. Maybe there's no sense at all to be made. Ab initio we have no idea, and no way of even trying to get an idea; from that place of absolute nothingness (which we can arbitrarily plunge anyone into with an infinite regress argument), there's no way possible to prove, one way or another, even whether it is possible to prove things one way or another, much less if there is anything to be proven one way or another. We just don't know, at all, and have no way of knowing, and all we can do to start with is assume; everything else, if there is anything else, follows from those first assumptions. We could assume certain answers at random, and dust off our hands and call it done, but then we might be wrong on our first guess and never correct ourselves. We could assume there are no answers at all, and give up, and sit in the dark moping in despair, or thrashing about meaninglessly. Or we would assume that there are some answers, but admit that we have no idea what they might be, take a stab in the dark at what they could be, try as best as we can continually forever to find and fix and faults in those guesses, and hope that in time we make progress at figuring things out. We're going to assume something or another, all equally with no basis. So why make any assumptions other than the ones that, if acted upon, give you some hope, some chance of success, if there is any chance to be had. There might not be, you might just be fucked anyway, but that's not the way to bet.

You don't have to have faith in the supposed truth of some specific answer just to trust that there is some answer or another out there to be found and then go about looking for it.

Comment Re:Apropos of nothing... (Score 1) 46

Apropos of nothing... Just how hard is it to disable one of these $600,000 mobile golf carts? For example, can a high powered rifle pierce any of the antennas, control electronics, or motive hardware? Would an IED be sufficient? And having done so, what dangers might the recovery team face?

The US got massively superior firepower if they can just locate the enemy. And they won't be medics in a hurry because he's bleeding out. Taking out one of these would be announcing to the world here I am, come kill me. And you got them to reveal themselves without putting any soldiers at risk. And if they're plagued with hit and run attacks they can set an ambush of their own like a hidden sniper covering the patrol area or a squad that'll cut them off from behind. And you could probably make dumb decoys for a fraction of the cost for the enemy to waste their time on if they actually start attacking them.

Sure, some of these might be destroyed but what would be the cost of human patrols, with their armored vehicle and high end gear? If the enemy has high powered rifles and IEDs they could do damage to non-drone equipment and injure or kill soldiers too. Ultimately it's a matter of resources, if the US can get them to waste their sniper rifles and IEDs on non-human targets it's pretty much a win no matter what. It's dead soldiers that zaps the will to fight, the military industry and their lobby will make sure money is not a problem.

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