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Comment Only 500,000? (Score 1) 86

I bet that in this case "persons of interest" comprises every plebe on the whole damned planet. I think this exercise is just an excuse to take a lot of pictures so they can significantly enlarge their 'faces' database, get better photos of faces they already have catalogued, and take note of connections among people to give more detail, depth and breadth to the profiles they're already building on every citizen. This is Big Brother's Big Data at its finest, most perverse, and most dangerous. Look for such 'security initiatives' to become ubiquitous. They'll gradually start targeting smaller and more innocuous public gatherings, until cops with cameras will become commonplace at high-school sporting events and church bake sales.

Comment Diversify? (Score 2) 178

...as Microsoft-owned LinkedIn searches for ways to help diversify its workforce.

as Microsoft-owned LinkedIn searches for ways to help Microsoft make H-1B irrelevant by churning out new American programmers until programming becomes a low-wage commodity-class skill. FTFY.

That's not to say they will, or even can, succeed in that goal - but I'm pretty sure 'diversity' is just a politically-correct red herring.

Comment Re:Recyclers forced to recycle (Score 5, Insightful) 223

Say what?

Yup, the idea that components can be reused is absurd.

While re-using parts soldered onto PCB's is usually not practical, there certainly ARE components such as keyboards, displays, and drives that could well be re-used. But that's not even the real point - in may cases we're talking about fully functional devices that are being shredded. That's outright fucking criminal. Each device represents a huge investment of energy - therefore each device should be used as long as it works and someone wants it. Destroying fully functional equipment 'because business' or 'because shareholders' is stupid, shortsighted, and immoral.

Repair is likely to cost as much as buying a new one...

'Uneconomical to repair'? Most often these days, that's a pile of contrived bullshit. Manufacturers set it up that way. They do so partly by purposely making equipment difficult or impossible to service, and by charging scandalous prices for replacement parts. They also do it by having artificially low prices for their goods. If the REAL costs were factored in, (depletion of natural resources, environmental damage, climate change, the human costs of slave labour, etc.), goods would be much more expensive to purchase, as they should be. Repairability and longevity would then be not only cost-effective, but necessary, and the market for used equipment would be huge. Instead, we have companies fattening their bottom lines at the expense of future generations, in the service of a Ponzi scheme of an economy whose only guiding principle is "more growth is better, and unlimited growth is best". Which, incidentally, is the guiding principle of cancer, infections, and a whole host of other similar phenomena which rob human beings of life and dignity.

Submission + - Subway Fights Back - In Court, Of Course

jenningsthecat writes: As reported here back in February, the CBC, (Canada's national broadcaster), revealed DNA test results which indicated the chicken used in Subway Restaurants' sandwiches only contained about 50% chicken. Now, Subway is suing the public broadcaster for $210 million, because "its reputation and brand have taken a hit as a result of the CBC reports". The suit claims that "false statements ... were published and republished, maliciously and without just cause or excuse, to a global audience, which has resulted in pecuniary loss to the plaintiffs".

Personally, my working assumption here is that the CBC report is substantially correct. It will be interesting to see how the case plays out — but should this have happened at all? Regulatory agencies here in Canada seem to be pretty good when it comes to inspecting meat processing facilities. Should they also be testing the prepared foods served by major restaurant chains, to ensure that claims regarding food content are true and accurate?

Comment This may seem off topic, (Score 5, Insightful) 114

but this sounds to me like an additional call to, as a species, get our environmental practices under control and stop 'instinctifying' flora and fauna at a breakneck pace. With findings like this, I have to wonder how many illness-treating, disease-defeating compounds we may have sent into oblivion by killing off the plants, animals, and insects which produced them.

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 177

Your idiotic approach is based on very poor understanding of how much it costs to deal with people. Preventing people from getting sick is far cheaper and more effective than replacing sick people.

Corporations, (and arguably, humans in general), tend to favour 'short term gain for long term pain' rather than the other way around.

This is also why my workplace provides a free doctor, physio, gym, and additional annual leave.

You are fortunate to work for a company with a modicum of foresight. However, if some new whizz-bang CEO came along with a (real or imagined) mandate to cut costs, I suspect those perqs you mentioned would be among the first things axed. Shareholders are much more impressed by year-over-year gains, (or even quarter-over-quarter), than they are by a five-year or ten-year forecast.

Comment Re:Awesome!! (Score 2) 130

Every person freed from mundane repetitive tasks easily performed by machines is a person who is free to contribute to the intellectual and spiritual growth of mankind! A future where everyone is not required to work just to survive is a bright future for the human race.

I'm pretty sure you're trolling, but I'll bite anyway, with this FTFY: "A future where everyone has no opportunity to work in order to survive, and has no other means with which to secure the necessities of survival, is a hellish future for the human race.

What makes you think the owners of all the businesses that employ all those robots will willingly support the rest of humankind? Do you really think they'll pay living wages even to those able "to contribute to the intellectual and spiritual growth of mankind"? What about those who aren't able to do so? Can you really see Roman Mir giving a portion of the profits of his business to unemployed and unemployable people, even though the raw materials which he uses in his products come from an Earth which in a moral sense is owned in common by all of humanity?

Comment No. No, it couldn't. (Score 1) 206

The story is newsworthy, but msmash should have given TFS a different title than TFA. I think VERY few people on Slashdot will rush out to buy one of these things, and probably the majority here are at least a little bit insulted at being implicitly lumped in with Windows Magazine subscribers and other such MS fanbois.

As for the CloudBook mentioned in the article, I'm guessing it will have all the spying and advertising of Windows 10, PLUS the additional vulnerability and privacy loss associated with all your everything being stored on Microsoft servers. Now that's what I call an enticement - NOT! I won't own one of these at any price - not unless I can entirely eliminate whatever Microsoft OS / software is on it and install Linux, or unless bits and pieces of the hardware turn out to be useful for other projects.

I guess Microsoft never gets tired of copying other companies' ideas, being late to the party, shouting "me too! me too!", and then writing off losses on also-ran products that fail to gain any worthwhile market share. But who knows - maybe all those uncritical chumps who make shit like Facebook so successful, will give this product their blessing and help ensure that the scourge from Redmond remains profitable and plagues us all for a little while longer.

Comment Re:Brazil! (Score 1) 1222

Man, came here looking for Brazil, no mentions so far. I hope everyone takes the time to see this film.

Agreed - as long as you're talking about one of the versions with the real ending, not the sanitized bullshit happy ending that Gilliam fought so hard to bury.

Although I recommend Brazil highly, I've only seen it once; it was one of a handful of movies with such strong emotional impacts that I've been reluctant to watch them a second time.

Comment Re:It's not a free market (Score 2) 341

... some local entrepreneur will decide that bringing good internet in a town of 20.000 in bumfuck rural america is profitable in two years and will bite the bullet. he will then be bought by another entrepreneur who's servicing the slightly bigger town next door, and soon you'll have competition.

Yes, you'll have competition - until there are only a few big players left forming an oligopoly that is the antithesis of a 'free market'. That's the thing that free marketards don't get - it doesn't STAY free. And no, don't trot out that old 'if the big players abuse the market someone else will come along to compete' BS. Anyone who comes along to challenge the oligopoly, either gets squashed by the greater resources and deeper pockets of the incumbents, or becomes big and abusive in the process, thereby joining the oligopoly. When for-profit companies get past a certain size, it's almost impossible to bring them down without regulation that has the force of law. (And when laws are purchased by big incumbents, even that's not an option - see TFS). Also, customers in a free market have no power to KEEP that market free unless they get their shit together and act collectively to boycott abusers consistently, for a long enough time to deplete the abusers' war chests. That almost NEVER happens.

... a free market works well in the rest of the world, why not in america?

Citation, please.

Comment Fair? (Score 1) 131

... you reach the point where you wonder if it becomes possible to understand how to ensure they are being fair ...

We seem utterly unable to solve this problem even with the current (allegedly) human banksters - I'm not so sure it will be significantly different with AI running the markets. Also, this is but one tiny portion of the grief that might lie ahead of us if AI becomes ubiquitous, omniscient, and omnipotent. We don't need to worry about AI in the financial sector - we need worry about AI, period.

Comment Re:My favourite thing about this (Score 1) 245

That's a terrific idea, and I'd be there in a heartbeat. Not just coffee shops, but also pubs. With the addition of some battery packs of reasonable capacity, the idea could be extended to public spaces, and perhaps even to food courts in shopping malls. Pop-up BBS events!

In densely populated areas, this idea could also become usefully subversive. Connections made between those local networks could form a mesh network - an open, democratic, providerless alternative to the Internet. That's definitely getting away from the retro spirit of a pure BBS, but it's still an interesting thought.

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I think there's a world market for about five computers. -- attr. Thomas J. Watson (Chairman of the Board, IBM), 1943

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