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Comment You need the "golden unicorn" distro (Score 0) 207

Linux that works without constant under-the-hood tweaking (ala early Windows flavors, 3.1, 95/98). Does such an OS exist? For the record, I am not an IT tech. I just need something to work with the mechanical equipment it controls. Any recommendations?

In short, there isn't one and will never be one.

Linux distributions are based on the assumption that there will always be someone, somewhere, who can interpret the misleading, technically dense, and often incomprehensible data, conditions and messages that Linux: both the O/S and the applications it runs, constantly throws at its users.

The best possibility is to find a version of Linux that does what you want it to, install it, then keep it far away from any and all internet connections. That is the only hope you have that it won't try to update itself, install new versions or discover that external stuff it expected to find has mysteriously been moved or deleted by the notional owner.

Comment Mechanical equipment? (Score 1) 207

Reading is not a strength on slashdot. The submission says "I just need something to work with the mechanical equipment it controls", which seems to indicate that custom software is at play. In that case, especially if it is a non-standard interface, Linux may not be an option.

For general use I would recommend Ubuntu, too, but this does not seem to be general use.

Comment Re:Lock her up already (Score 1) 69

My assumption is he wanted to distance himself from the situation as fast as he can. There's a clear lawsuit or more coming for this company, which is privately owned, not publicly, and being a major shareholder in a privately owned company that's getting super-sued is ?possibly? bad news. That was my assumption - he wants the hell out before it gets worse.

Comment Re:but you arent a traditional CA (Score 1) 212

The entire reason this is happening is because the browser vendors got a stick up their ass and required HTTP/2 connections to be run over TLS.

And by that, you mean the browser vendors realized that "unsafe by default" is a shitty choice for a widely used Internet standard.

For the "HTTPS-everywhere" has basically made website operators costs double if they want to jump on that bandwagon because the bandwidth costs explode when they can no longer be cached.

Totally worth the tradeoff for making strong encryption the expected default.

Comment Re:Yeah, real "terrifying" (Score 1) 181

Kitchen knife use case #1: Kill insufficiently Muslim heathens working for the oppressive British Government! (this use case was seen just the other day)

Kitchen knife use case #2: Make a sandwich. (this use case also seen just the other day)

Maybe you don't have the problem. But, for example, a city here in our state has been known to have a problem with "protesters" deciding that they're going to fix the problems with the culture in their local neighborhood by smashing the few remaining businesses in that neighborhood and burning the houses of the few little old ladies who haven't already decided they'd be safer living elsewhere as a homeless street person than in the middle of place like that.

The cops are too scared to even attempt to mitigate all of that violence and destruction unless they have function physical protection while trying to push a mob of looting arsonists away from the stores they're trying to destory. A tool that helps them to do that is a good thing. If somebody has a problem with the fact that a politician with the wrong idea about things might use such a tool to chase away people who aren't being violent and destructive, then they need to vote for different politicians. In the meantime, recognize the fact that there actually ARE violent, destructive herds of "protesters" who actually do get together to destroy and smash and steal things, and that it's absurd to tell a police officer to risk being, say, burned alive or having her head caved in to try to repel looters. A tool is a tool. There are always going to be outlandish or absurd use cases. If there is NO good use case (say... police batons with spikes on them?) then of course the tool is worth ridiculing. Giving cops a tool to protect themselves while preserving others' lives and property is a good thing. Misusing it is a bad thing, but that's true of cop cars and every other tool they've always had.

Comment Re:But Dissent is Now HATE (Score 2) 266

Why would you need to watch or listen to 150 hours of new content?

A dozen unpaid interns can adequately police all videos for advertisers.

1: A video doesn't have ads on it for the first 50,000 views. Adjust to the 98th or whatever percentile Google feels is worth losing ad revenue over vs. not hiring more people. (Even unpaid interns cost money.)

2: Once a video crawls out of the sewer and hits 50,000 views, or whatever magic number you have decided upon, toss it into a reviewer queue.

3: An unpaid intern is automatically assigned the video, watches it at 1.5x speed, and determines if it will make special snowflakes cry, or whatever it is that advertisers are concerned about.

4: The unpaid intern flags it for a handful of categories/companies that should be blocked from having ads on it, then approves it for ads. No ads from gay companies, no ads from Disney (Disney can pay extra $$$ to get elevated to an entire category), no ads from sissy little shits who want a "family friendly" image, whatever.

5: Google's ad system injects ads as usual, with an additional search clause to not select ads for categories that are banned on that video.

Your mistake is that you think you have to watch all of the content. You don't. You need to watch all of the content you run ads on. Since the vast majority of content on YouTube goes unseen except by the uploader and a handful of people, you can skip ads entirely for those videos and not lose any meaningful revenue. You just need to target ads that have lots of views to maintain your revenue. And you could even have some viewer go into ad debt if they watch a lot of monetized, low-view (and thus ad-free) videos. Simple show them ads more frequently when they do watch videos with ads until they catch up.

Comment Re:Our Future. - non-stick companies (Score 1) 250

corporations are some of the worst entities when it comes to actually paying taxes

The real problem is that corporations can easily move to countries where the tax burden is lighter. And if their entire operation: whether manufacturing, services or simply annoying people by phoning them up - is automated, it becomes even easier. These corporations are not "sticky": they are not bound to a specific geography, unlike people who tend to put down roots, dislike disrupting their kids' education by moving school, dislike moving to other countries where they don't speak the language and generally dislike change in general.

So for those companies, they can effectively play one tax-collecting country against another: getting deals, moving to the lowest tax-rate region, engaging in "creative" practices. There is already a question among economists of why corporation taxes are already non-zero (ans: probably because political stability, low corruption, "friendly" laws and lack of a nearby war are attributes worth paying for). It would seem reasonable that companies would seek to minimise any robo-tax they were subject to. Especially as it would be difficult for a single country to implement - they'd just see all roboticised industries leave.

I suppose the next thing would be for corporations to buy their own, independent, islands and set themselves up as sovereign states.

Comment Re: Machines replacing bank tellers? process-drive (Score 5, Insightful) 250

The Moravec's paradox of jobs

This is just another aspect of de-skilling. Since the 1990's the fad has been for people to perform "processes" rather than jobs. The idea being that so long as you adhere to the "process", all your actions will be of the same high quality as your co-irkers. Ha!

But as soon as you are able to write down a formal description of your job, you have effectively written a computer program for doing it. So the most easily replaceable jobs will be the ones that require little judgement, little experience (esp. when there is no possibility of having to deal with exceptions) and simple interfaces to other "cogs" in the great machine.

So if you can replace a personnel officer with a computer, then companies will do it. Just feed in the parameters for the sort of people you wish to hire. Merely give the machine stock replies to the most common workplace complaints. Give it an algorithm for employee assessment - and let it it do its thing. It won't replace the entire personnel dept. But if it can perform the mundane operations, it should considerably cut the number of actual people required to support the company.

And it it this reduction - rather than complete replacement - of mid-level and managerial posts that is where the job losses will occur.

Comment Since I left IT and joined academia... (Score 1) 145

Yeah, it's been many years since I worked in IT. I can see it now that it took me several minutes to decipher "SAS". In academia we use and love open source, and abbreviations such as "SAS" mean little to nothing. At first I thought "the British SAS? Or is it the Scandinavian Airlines (that would be more plausible)?" I guess it's not only me having left the world of IT industry but also the arbitrariness of the statement of 60% proprietary + 40% OS. I haven't had to deal with such BS in over a decade.

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