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Comment Re:People agree that Windows 10 has better tech (Score 1) 122

I own a Surface Pro 3. Windows 10 is buggy, but the touch support is quite nice and so are apps like Netflix when on the road.

I am stuck with Windows 8.1 on my desktop as Gigybyte won't update the EFI to work better with 10 and Hyper-V without BSOD that appear randomnly. I like the Netfix but guess I can load it on Chrome.

Also Windows 8 and better have far better battery support if you run a laptop. This is 2017. All the new cool laptops are tablets and hybrids. I think a lot of those who complain about the tiles do not like change and this is part of aging. A tile on a start menu is not a dealbreaker at all. However, the Windows 8.0 metro was pretty awful.

Comment Re:User convenience is what is being asked for (Score 1) 454

The first Pc's were easy compared to the competition.

The Mac was expensive and you had to meet quality approved by Apple and had to buy the SDK which was limited and very expensive. Unix ... yeah kids today you have idea how much a Unix workstation cost. Guess what? You needed an exotic $$$$ CPU from a proprietary vendor. It was the opposite of today.

Adjusted for inflation Unix would cost $50,000 for the hardware and c/c++ compilers. No GNU was not an option as the internet did not exist for mere mortals. No one know what it was outside of academia. So that meant ording from a computer shopper magazine or Byte.

All the hardware was accessible via assembly and Borland Turbo C or MS C was relatively cheap

Comment Re:False premise (Score 1) 454

It most certainly is.

The mainframe IS NOT DYING! was also a common 1990's mantra because someone still uses one therefore people are not ditching their green screen terminals just yet.

I own a surface Pro 3. It is a tablet that does Windows. All the new sexy high end laptops are hybrids at Bestbuy and are tabletized. Moms and poor people now use phones for Facebook not PCs.

This is a pro PC fanboy website but just because YOU use a PC doesn't mean everyone does. In the end what is starting too is VDI over the cloud. In 2027 you may still have a last of breed PC in your home office but at work you will be using Android tablets with a Citrix or Amazon E3 for your legacy win32 apps.

Comment We lack the power supply (Score 1) 86

We don't have flying cars for a number of reasons.

Actually we don't have them primarily for one reason. We don't have an energy supply of sufficient power to weight (including fuel) to enable a robustly built vehicle to get off the ground and travel. Basically we need something like Tony Stark's fictional arc reactor to make a flying car feasible. We can build a "car" that flies but with the state of the art in power plants there are simply too many engineering trade offs to make something more than a crude prototype.

All the other problems you mentioned are to a large degree already solved today. They would require large economic investments but they are possible. The only problem that so far is intractable is the power supply for the vehicle. Our current ones are FAR too heavy even if you don't include the fuel.

Comment Is it a car or a drone by another name? (Score 1) 86

Airbus plans to test a prototype for a self-piloted flying car as a way of avoiding gridlock on city roads by the end of the year, the aerospace group's chief executive said on Monday.

If it doesn't drive on the roads then it is not a flying car. It's basically a form of a drone that happens to carry people.

I'm curious how they think they have repealed the laws of physics sufficiently to allow a car that is robust enough to survive travel on normal roads AND still remain airworthy. All the so-called flying cars anyone has come up with so far lack power plants with sufficient energy to avoid massive compromises in design. A car that is light enough to get off the ground is too fragile to survive a collision of any consequence. I'm not aware of any breakthrough in propulsion technology that would enable a normal car to get aloft or a single person aircraft to drive like a normal car.

Comment We are tool makers (Score 1) 94

These are the technologies threatening jobs in the short term. We don't need AI robots with consciousness for workers to be displaced.

There is always some new tool that will render certain jobs obsolete. We're tool makers. That probably our most defining characteristic. We've been displacing workers from jobs since before we became a distinct species. I see no technology in the near term future that I think has any reasonable probability of causing mass unemployment greater than we've seen in previous generations and in previous technological eras. Yes some people will have to change what they do just like has always been the case and always will be the case.

Comment Ideaology misplaced (Score 0) 94

But I fear this transition may be different. (And I say this as a Free Market, Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand Capitalist.)

I suggest you learn why Ayn Rand is nothing but a bunch of selfish preposterous nonsense. Her writings obviously have a visceral appeal to many who cannot be bothered to think about them very deeply but they mostly are selfish ideology with no basis in evidence or factual reality. Christopher Hitchens does a rather eloquent takedown of her malarky.

We may need to come up with a different solution.

Every scenario requires a different solution. I have good faith in human ingenuity and self preservation that we will come up with one.

Tech can bring a dystopic future or interestingly enough fuse the Marxist and Libertarian dreams and come up with something very interesting and good.

You seem to be presupposing that Marxism and Libertarianism are inherently virtuous somehow and that somehow tech is supposed to reinforce either or both. No idea where you are going with that. Whatever your argument is I'm not sure we're going to find it here.

Comment Labor costs vs automation (Score 1) 94

Talk to the millions of workers still displaced by technological advances in manufacturing about how those 1970's fears were unfounded

Millions of workers still work in manufacturing. The difference wasn't robots or automation of any other sort. The difference in the US market was labor cost arbitrage. Prior to the 1970s labor costs in the US for labor intensive goods were still competitive. Since then US labor rates are among the highest in the world so the manufacturing of labor intensive goods went elsewhere. Robots didn't replace people's jobs in most cases. Other people in China did. Now the US primarily makes capital intensive goods instead while the labor intensive goods are made in countries with low labor costs.

In the first industrial revolution it took generations for workers to recover from crippling job losses due to new machinery.

The first industrial revolution was hugely beneficial overall to workers and company owners. People moved from farming to manufacturing in vast quantities. While I'm not saying it was all peaches and rainbows along the way, in aggregate your claim is demonstrably nonsense. The industrial revolution pulled millions out of poverty in relatively short order. "Generations to recover"? I'm sure you can find some corner cases but that's simply not true as a general proposition.

We already know new jobs are almost never created fast enough to help displace workers.

You can put that idea to bed by looking at employment rates. New jobs are routinely created fast enough to keep up with worker displacement and growing populations. The only time there is trouble keeping up is when there is a recession/depression which generally has nothing to do with the rate of technology advancement. (and in fact recessions tend to slow it down) The crash in 2008 didn't happen because of technology advancement. Nor did the one in 2001. Nor the one in 1987. Those were all financing related. At no time has there been a sustained loss of jobs faster than the rate of creation of new jobs in the aggregate.

Comment Re: Remember kids! (Score 1) 356

Maybe US machines are different to the ones in the UK. In the UK you don't just press a button or pull a lever to spin, you have multiple buttons that allow you to "hold" a wheel and stuff like that.

Say you have fruit-fruit-bar. You spin and get bar-bar-jack. You can roll the emulator back and repeat the spin, you always get bar-bar-jack because the PRNG is deterministic and not based on timing. So it looks like if you hold the original bar that you had, you should get bar-bar-bar and win. If you do hold it, the machine has already decided that you are going to lose this one so produces fruit-bar-bar or something so that you lose.

The display is supposed to make you think that if you had just held that bar you would have won, but it's a lie. You were going to lose no matter what, it's just trying to make you think you have a chance when you don't.

Comment Car fires (Score 2) 57

What makes a battery more hazardous than fuel, is having the reaction occurs at the same location as the stored energy.

There are an estimated 150,000 car fires in the US every year. I don't think either of us has the data available to make an apples to apples comparison but I very much doubt that battery powered cars will prove to be meaningfully more hazardous that gasoline powered ones.

With fuel, combustion chambers are very distinct and distant from storage tanks.

Gasoline does not have to be in a combustion chamber to ignite. A hot manifold with a leaking fuel line is more than enough to set a car on fire.

Comment Just PR speak (Score 1) 94

It shows such a lack of understanding of the problem when he says the industry should focusing on saving people time instead of replacing people.

I think he understands the problem just fine. I also think he's smart enough to understand that saying they intend to replace a bunch of people with shell scripts is terrible PR.

Saving workers time so they can be more efficient is what allows companies to cut staff.

That's ONE of the outcomes. The other is that saving worker's time allows them to accomplish more. My company is a small company and we really don't have any workers that we could cut. But we very much could make use of automation that allows our current workers to product more efficiently. Cutting staff is not always the goal. In my company I have a particular type of press I'd love to buy to let us build a product we cannot currently be cost competitive on. I could actually hire more people if I had this press because I could win jobs I'm losing currently.

Saving time and working more efficiently is the whole reason AI threatens jobs.

You could say that about any technology. Most of the hand wringing over AI taking everyone's jobs is the same sort of paranoid response we've had to every technology improvement. We've seen this play before. Back in the 1970s everyone was convinced industrial robots were going to take their jobs tomorrow. Robots did become an important tool but it took decades and most of the displaced workers found new employment in comparatively short order. And plenty of people are still employed on the assembly lines right next to those robots they worried about.

The threat is not that AI will replace all workers (in the short term anyway), the threat is it will increase productivity rapidly enough to replace 20%+ of workers quickly enough that new jobs won't be created fast enough to offset the losses.

While I think your numbers are suspect, this is the only rational argument worthy of concern. There is literally an unlimited amount of work to be done but it takes some amount of time for people to adjust to new economic realities. I think that people are vastly overestimating the risks involved here but fast increases in productivity make for short term dislocations in the work force. Some people have a hard time keeping up.

Comment Re:False premise (Score 1) 454

Well, it hasn't happened yet. That said, why would you cancel your cable Internet for this? Yes, cellular Internet will be useful for your Chromebook when you're away from home, but in the same way it is today - a useful supplementary service that fills in the gaps, not as your primary system.

As for how you'd connect to a server at home, there are two options: VPN, or IPv6. The latter tends to get forgotten, but I connect to machines at home directly via IPv6 from my (T-Mobile) cellular connection without any problems. This sounds horrifying in terms of security, but if you imagine the development server being as locked down as a Chromebook or iDevice, without the back doors associated with too many modern IoT devices, it should be fine.

I'm more bothered about having to develop using a web interface, especially in an era in which leaving Firefox open for a day with 20 or so tabs open seems to result in it eating 4+Gb of memory, not the connectivity part. The connectivity part is actually the nice part.

Comment Re:Very true, until everything was on the internet (Score 1) 189

These days, the spreadsheet is probably in the cloud (on the internet), pulling data from some source on the internet. Having people who can almost barely code creating code for your business, including those web-enabled spreadsheets, will very likely end up with one of them making all your data from your spreadsheets available online.

I'd have thought the opposite. Files on Windows rarely make use of permissions and it's really easy to attach one to an email or throw it on a USB drive. Few organisations have much control over all the random files their employees use. On the other hand web services always require a log-in and the better ones enforce per user permissions by default too. They are still vulnerable to copy/paste leaks but at least emailing a link will still require the recipient to have viewing/editing rights.

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