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Comment Re:Self-fulfilling Prophecy (Score 2) 266

I always thought the elite schools attracted people not for their education but for the benefits of their social connections to a lot of rich and well-connected people.

What would Facebook be if Zuckerberg had instead gone to Purdue or Texas A&M instead of Harvard? How much of his success is due to the fact that he had access to a lot of rich and influential people?

Comment Re:Remote work is validated once again. (Score 3, Interesting) 127

It's not really meant as a joke. For a lot of managers, at its core, managing is about being in charge, and being in charge is about dominance.

And it ultimately looks like innate primate behavior. They're achieved status in the troop and they need to dominate the other members or they fear they will lose their dominance.

Comment Re:Advertising and greed (Score 1) 141

I think the cable companies started ramping prices to consumers first, then the networks caught on and began demanding more carriage fees, figuring that they weren't going to let the cable company profit while they didn't.

Then the production companies and sports leagues caught on, and figured they weren't going to let the networks get fat and profitable, and THEY demanded more money, part of which the networks tried to make up with more advertising.

And now we're in this spiral where they've gotten used to just regular increases, and as soon as any one of them demands an increase they all demand an increase.

The net result is that the pricing to consumers is out of whack and it's so filled with commercials the value proposition is wiped out.

Comment Re:Remote work is validated once again. (Score 4, Interesting) 127

You're fighting the cultural expectations of management and power, and likely at the root, primate dominance.

Your boss assumes that being boss requires some level of physical control of you, and that means controlling your locality to reinforce his perception of dominance and control over you.

It goes a long way towards explaining why incompetent employees who show up and don't evidence much insubordination are tolerated so well.

Comment It's scaring the shit out of Davos globalists (Score 1) 160

This article perfectly encapsulates the extent to which globalists are scared and their complete lack of denial on the inequalities globalism has created:

Davos Elite Fret About Inequality Over Vintage Wine and Canapes

Much of this year's Davos meetings have been globalist hand-wringing over the surge in populism and the rejection of globalism, and the majority of Davos speakers are rejecting any notion of increases in labor negotiating or doing anything substantive about reducing economic inequality.

The article author does a pretty good job in questioning why the Davos globalists are unwilling to do anything that directly addresses the issues that have substantially led to an increase in anti-globalist sentiment.

I think you can create all kinds of narratives about why Hillary lost, and Hillary's personality/image had a lot to do with it, but I think a lot of it had to do with the attitude that Hillary was a big corporation globalist at the end of the day.

Comment Re:Only half true article (Score 1) 247

Selective omission. It creates a false impression that the only replacement power is renewables without mentioning additional nuclear capacity that presumably will also make up for the loss of this coal power.

If I say "My family has decided to cancel spending on a new SUV as part of a focus on increasing use of bicycles and public transit and wean ourselves off of cars" it sounds like we're really going green.

However, the reality is we're not just cancelling the new SUV, we're also adding another compact car, so the statement should read "My family has decided not to buy a new SUV, but instead bike and ride the bus more, and buy a second compact car to increase our transit options" we look a lot less green.

The first statement omits our use of the first compact car and the fact that we are increasing our compact car usage for transportation, creating the false impression that bikes and transit will be completely filling the transportation the SUV would have provided.

The second statement is much more accurate, as it shows while we want to bike and ride transit more, we're also expanding our use of compact cars for transportation.

Comment Re:Strange Logic (Score 1) 255

Commuting the sentence to what amounts effectively to release from prison is pretty much a soft pardon. It doesn't get you the civil rights restoration that a pardon gets, and that's largely a sop to those who claim Manning was a traitor.

But really, how is serving only 7 years of a 35 year prison sentence not some kind of refutation of the government's case against Manning, especially when it results in getting out of jail?

It would be more of a statement that the government didn't approve to commute the sentence to 10 or 12 years, forcing Manning to remain imprisoned for another few years but not the rest off the sentence.

I don't really have an opinion on whether Manning should or shouldn't be in prison. The government gets up to shady shit and punishes those who tattle on it severely. If you're taking a job in the government, especially in the military and decide to tell its tales, you should expect to suffer its punishments.

Comment Re:What Backdoor? (Score 1) 122

It my impression that most criminals aren't nearly clever enough.

Maybe small-time criminals like home burglars or armed robbery people aren't clever enough, but someone capable of delivering a working e-commerce site? I'm assuming there that all the cleverness required to pull it off is built-in.

My question is -- they caught THIS guy, but how many have done the same thing and not gotten caught? There's possibly millions of e-commerce sites out there written by people with nobody looking over their shoulder and not enough resources for someone to check for something like this.

Surely this isn't the only person to give in to a moral hazard like this.

Comment Re:I call bs (Score 1) 91

I don't know for sure, but I thought they had a method for fingerprinting songs that made it (relatively) simple for them find copyrighted audio in video audio tracks.

Since each porn star has a different voice, coupled with background music or sounds, it's they'd have to fingerprint the audio from every porn movie.

Plus I always thought that porn was detected more or less by people flagging the videos as porn if they weren't detected by more obvious screening methods (ie, keywords or something in the titles).

I found a series of German TV documentaries from the late 1960s/early 1970s on YouTube about the "german youth" that had pretty explicit sex and nudity, more explicit than I had ever found in YouTube. They had been posted for years with thousands of views and I was kind of surprised they had kicked around that long.

I guess I would assume that private, unshared content on YouTube would be subjected to all the usual automated scanning plus a higher than normal level of human review since it seems like an ideal way to swap prohibited content on Google's dime.

I've also wondered if it would be possible to use video content as a means of storing data while having it survive re-encoding. Tivo used to buy time on a cable network at night and broadcast a kind of flash block pattern that was decoded into data.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 1) 81

I'd be curious to know what the propeller-heads who study long-term valuation think of Comcast NBCUniversal.

I'm not one of those people, but I have this idea that of that combo-package, NBC has the best long-term business model, Universal second and Comcast third.

Comcast's primary value *now* is its local monopolies on broadband and cable television, and the cable part isn't an actual monopoly if you take DirectTV and Dish into account as viable competitors for most households. But long-term, doesn't the whole viability of the cable television model look shaky? Netflix, HBO Now, Prime Instant, the whole streaming thing looks like its undermining their cable business.

That leaves broadband, but who knows what that will look like in 5-10 years. 5G with high enough caps and/or more fiber rollouts could undermine that business, too.

Universal is mostly a production studio, and their future is probably decent as a content production business -- maybe not big growth, but at least competitive if managed right.

NBC still has a giant network of affiliates who actually broadcast their signal in addition to a fair amount of content that still draws eyeballs, which makes it seem to have some durability.

So at the end of the day, Verizon, with its giant cell phone network and terrestrial network seems to have much more asset value and long-term value.

Comment Re:AI as a marketing term (Score 1) 158

My question is that as AI is developed from machine learning or whatever it's antecedents are, at what point will we decide that we have AI?

It seems like the goal line for what we're will to accept is AI keeps getting moved forward, mostly driven by a science fiction version of AI, like HAL9000, Westworld robots or some other kind of self-aware machine consciousness.

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