Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Robots, robots everywhere! (Score 1) 202

paid for by taxing the owners of the capital infrastructure (i.e. the robots) that do all of the production

You're making a crazy assumption that the owners of the infrastructure will agree to voluntarily pay taxes in order to support useless masses.

As long as the masses have the vote, and therefore the ability to command police and military forces, there's no "voluntary" about it. That said, as long as there's still room for making more money, even with the taxes, they'll do it.

Comment Re:Dilemma Solution (Score 1) 202

Fine, a massive capital gains tax on dividends, on resource extraction licenses, and a massive tax on any income over $500,000, including any "interest-free loans", shares, and any other financial instrument.

Rather than a flat "over $500K", the scale should be graduated, up to very high rates at the top end. Also, it's worth noting that interest-free loans, etc., are already treated as income by the IRS.

If you think taxing corporations is bad, then tax the living fuck out of those that are making the money.

You make it sound punitive. No need for that. In fact, you want to be careful not to remove the incentive for generating even high

Oh, and repeal all corporate personhood. All shareholders will be liable for the misdeeds of the corporation, up to and including imprisonment for death and injury a corporation causes, and seizure of shareholders' assets in the case of insolvency or financial penalty beyond current cash and asset reserves.

Oh, hell no. I'm a shareholder and so are you if you have any kind of retirement investments. There are very good reasons for limiting shareholder liability. If you want to hold someone criminally liable for severe misdeeds, the target you want is the executives who ordered the misdeeds, not the shareholders.

Comment Re:It doesn't take 7 billion people (Score 1) 202

But keep in mind that not all civilizations are technological. Humanity existed for 250K years without computers.

Not in any lifestyle that I would want to live. Nor that I'd call "civilization", at least not for any but the top 0.01%. The GP mentioned millenia of dark ages... but the dark ages were actually significantly better for the average human than earlier ages -- including the peaks of the earlier great civilizations, all of which were built on the backs of vast numbers of slave laborers. Serfdom sucked, but it was better than slavery. Serfs had more rights, were better fed, etc.

I don't disagree with your basic argument, just the part that pre-technological civilization wasn't so bad. It was bad. But there's absolutely no reason to think we're going back to it. The robots are going to dramatically improve productivity yet again and, combined with ongoing technological advancement, usher in an age of abundance in which there aren't enough jobs because there's simply no need for everyone to work. I'm confident humanity will be able to find other ways to keep itself occupied.

Comment Re:It's just smart business. (Score 1) 202

There may be countries that will adapt to this brave new world with minimal disruption. I somehow don't think the US is going to be one of them.

The US may fair better than countries that currently base their economy on manufacturing cheap labor, though...
The primary risk to automation in the US are service sector jobs in the retail and business services area (about 20% of the economy). Certainly that will hurt, but the job mix in the US isn't too much different than most developed western economies like Germany, Japan, UK, etc...

Comment Nassau Golf Company of South Korea (Score 1) 197

The reason Costco sells them cheap is because they deal in volume - instead of making balls in hundreds of thousands, they can make balls by the millions, extracting mass production cost benefits.

And because they were partnered up with another company who designed the balls, they got a good quality ball, made quite cheaply in volumes that out-do the other manufacturers since Costco does stuff in bulk.

Apparently the golf balls in question are a OEM ball manufactured by Nassau Golf Company (located in South Korea). Nassau has also sold OEM golf balls to TaylorMade (a golf equipment subsidiary of Adidas). Although I suspect nobody knows for sure, the word on the street was it manufacturing over-run which is unlikely to be repeated.

The interesting thing that most folks are missing is that Costco is pre-emptively suing Acushnet (the seller of Titleist balls) seeking declartory judgement (yes, Costco is doing the suing) in response to a lawyer letter sent by Acushnet. This is mostly because they need to defend the tag line "meet or exceed the quality standards of leading national brands" of their Kirkland branded products, not because they want to sell more golf balls (although they probably do, it's not the main reason for their lawsuit). They want to establish a legal precedent that they can use this tag line in the rest of their business to deter future lawsuits on this basis.


The Best and Worst Cities To Live in For Tech Workers, Based on Rent and Commute (qz.com) 79

An anonymous reader shares a report: Most cities with a cluster of tech companies can offer those workers either a short commute or low rents -- but not both, according to a study by property consultancy Savills. Berlin is the exception to that rule. Savills found that the German capital offers tech workers some of the lowest rents and among the shortest commutes of 22 cities it surveyed. Commuting is a hugely important factor for worker satisfaction. One study, by the UK's Office of National Statistics, found that each additional minute of commuting increased workers' anxiety and reduced their satisfaction with life. Based on how long it takes to get to work.
The five best cities are: Austin (16 mins), Melbourne, Stockholm, Berlin, and Tokyo (24 mins).
Five worst cities: Bengaluru (47 mins), Hong Kong, Seattle, Seoul, and Toronto (40 mins).

Based on how much tech workers pay in rent (per week).
Best cities: Seoul ($153), Santiago, Berlin, Buenos Aires, and Cape Town ($192).
Five worst cities: San Francisco (with $775.45), New York, Boston, London, and Singapore ($488.16).

Comment Re:Robots, robots everywhere! (Score 1) 202

Your ignorance blinds you. The fact is damn near every fucking example you've brought forth here is at risk within the next 15 - 20 years.

Think about that before you rant again, because much like the rest of society, you have no solution for it.

Solution for what? What is the problem?

The coming wave of automation is going to create an unparalleled era of abundance. The reason many jobs will disappear is because there will be no need for humans to labor. This isn't a problem, this is awesome!

We do have to figure out a way to transition from our current scarcity-based economic structure, with incentives that are focused on making sure as many people as possible work, to a post-scarcity economy that has no need of such stark and powerful labor incentives (e.g. work or starve). My guess is that this will take the form of a universal basic income, paid for by taxing the owners of the capital infrastructure (i.e. the robots) that do all of the production. But because automation will dramatically lower the cost of goods and services, this should be easy to do. The only real obstacles are getting everyone to understand the need to make the transition, and handling the timing so that the need to work is phased out in step with the reduced demand for work.

Comment Re:Dilemma Solution (Score 1) 202

yes, it's going to be funded by taxing the robots, or more likely the commercial entities that employ the robot

That's a bad idea. Corporations never actually pay taxes, they pass the cost to employees, suppliers, customers and investors, in some mix that seems good to them. What you really want to tax is the owners of the capital, the investors. Not only do they not have an easy way to shift the cost onto someone else, they also have a much more difficult time shopping tax jurisdictions to get the best deal... because that requires them to actually live in those other jurisdictions. Well, okay, so the super rich can probably skate around that a little bit by living officially in one place while actually spending their time in others, but not as easily as corporations can, and the super rich don't own the bulk of the capital. Most of it is owned by the upper middle class and lower upper class, largely in their retirement savings accounts.

Taxing people, rather than corporations, allows lawmakers to target the taxes where they want them, rather than letting the corporations figure out who to pass it to. Because at the end of the day it will always be people who pay them anyway.

Comment Re:Nope, I'll use he, she, they, there, their etc. (Score 1) 268

As an undergraduate, I had Set Theory class taught by Paul Halmos (yes, *that* Halmos).

On the first day, during his introductions, he suddenly veered into grammar. He addressed the ignorant statement as put forth in the quoted text above that "To recap: In English, there is no gender-neutral pronoun for a single person."

First noting that some languages have a pronoun for persons of unknown gender, he finished with "English is such a language. The word is 'he.' So you will forgive me if I do not say 'he or she' throughout this course."

He was (and remains) correct. "He" and "him" do not imply gender in English unless context indicates otherwise.


Comment Costco is the one suing (Score 4, Interesting) 197

This won't be like before, when the manufacturer sent threatening letters and forced smaller manufacturers to either go to court of get out of the business entirely. Costco is suing, and now Acushnet Holdings has to either prove their claims or fold. Same as IBM and Novell when SCO made similar bad noises about patent infringement, the big boys can't afford to let someone slander them.

Any bets that another patent troll is going to get a kick in the balls?

Comment Re:Adjust your vm (Score 1) 10

Milo deplatformed? I wouldn't bother - he's a useful idiot, same as the former governor of North Carolina with his HB2 bathroom bill that backfired on him. Same as Trump is doing more damage to the tea party in 2 months than ... well, than anyone ever. Now the party has no choice - it has to either re-invent itself as a party that actually listens to the majority, or die. Already, they've pretty much moved away from defunding medicaid because too many of the "white trash racists" who voted for them depend on it. Going to be interesting to see how they explain that away ...

Those Russian connections have also got the leadership more than a bit antsy. Trump is no Nehemiah Scudder - and he may just end up inoculating the electorate against any such demagoguery in the future, as people, burned by promises with no substance, learn their lesson.

Comment Re:Once again slurs against certain groups OK. (Score 1) 532

Why would I object to being called a barbarian? Seems to me it's the best thing to be when dealing with assholes like you. Far better than being named after a fictitious religious character in a fictitious religious tale.

That's one thing about barbarians - we want concrete proof of claims. We don't believe in fairy tales, whether they were made up a couple thousand years ago or posted by Trumplestiltskin within the hour. In other words, we're not stupid.

Comment Re:Burn it up??? WTF?? (Score 1) 225

Interesting. Is the issue just passing through the Van Allen belts around the Earth, or would more shielding be needed in a lunar orbit, too? If it's good enough for lunar orbit as-is, I wonder if it would be okay to execute the (years-long, I'm sure) transfer maneuver uncrewed, and then resume crewing it once it's beyond the danger zone.

Slashdot Top Deals

UFOs are for real: the Air Force doesn't exist.