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Comment Re:Double standards (Score 1) 243

The difference is that Uber is disrupting a service/industry that is only non-competitive because of monopoly style regulatory capture. That is anti-capitalist and therefore ripe for displacement (and subsequent cheering). A typical employee cab driver still has the option to drive for Uber. It's the 'badge' holders and dispatch companies that are being hard hit, because they were protected from competition for so long by being able to buy up the limited number of taxi licenses that were made available in a given area.

Whereas there IT workers being displaced is happening for the opposite reason. Ie. H1-B regulations are allowing employers (monied interests) to bring in temporary cheap labor thus driving down the value of the resource in a smaller segment without affecting the value of the economy as a whole.

If either workers were required to have some kind of permanent residency (or be aiming towards it - i.e. immigrants), or if there were absolutely no restrictions on workers or immigration, then the system would be pure capitalist. However, in that case, the whole economy would be affected equally, and the cost of living would drop (or the dollar would drop), thus equalising/buffering the effect. That would effectively remove any benefit to the corporation from the above behaviour, thus curtailing the behaviour in a natural capitalistic way.

So, no, this is not capitalism working. If anything, it is 'corporatism' working.

Comment Circular reasoning (Score 1) 171

How can this guy seriously make the argument that something should be legal simply because people knew it was happening (likely illegally) before hand. Taking this line of reasoning, it could be argued that being illegally searched without probable cause is now legal simply because people expect it to happen anyway (even if they don't agree or like it).

While he's at it, why not apply this argument to every clause in the Bill of Rights and have the whole constitution repealed! Law enforcement have been 'getting away' with all sorts of activities that fly in the face of just about every clause in there. If there was a clause that specifically forbad the use of the Constitution to wipe one's ass, you know it'd be covered in shit. Come to think of it, I wonder what was written under that brown stain at the bottom of the document.

Comment Re:Real power generation doesn't need belief (Score 1) 344

The problem with that reasoning is it assumes someone has secretly funded a potentially long and expensive development path that extends well beyond what a first stage researcher may have discovered.

For example, let's say the Pons & Fleischmann experiment actually did work and was reproducible. It still wouldn't have sufficient output to do anything useful without further research. So there is no way they could sit on their discovery and make their own megawatt scale cold fusion generator.

The key to dealing with those types of discoveries is either requiring scientific disclosure with appropriate reproducibility (and possibly a patent application with supporting evidence), or hoping an investor will pony up some cash to build a research team to further the investigation (day 1 being reproduction and measurement of the initial claims by an independent group and day 2 depending on the outcome of day 1).

Shenanigans like 'black boxes', and NDAs requiring an investigating party not disclose negative results, etc, are a red flag indicating that the claimants are trolling for gullible investors.

Comment Re:More info (Score 3, Insightful) 82

Probably a really good thing that they ran, as they would have been dramatically outnumbered if they'd hung around to 'fight'.

Keep in mind that this was a couple of guys in a vehicle pretending to be a whole battalion. So any attack on them would have been made by a force big enough to have some chance of success against the much larger 'illusory' target.

Comment Extend this concept to other areas too (Score 2) 31

Any research or study of merit should be put into a database. This helps not only verification and result replication, but also makes searching and cross referencing far more effective. The verbosity required for journal publication is unnecessary, and the formats unusable without re-entering the data for proper formatting and processing.

Other areas that desperately need database coverage are things like copyright / patent / trademark registrations. In fact, copyright should go back to registered concept (instead of the default copyright system that we have now) and the work must be added to the fully searchable database with all appropriate key fields and variants (eg. lyrics + score + references + recording for music, etc). Trademarks and patents are currently searchable only because of entities like google, and not because they are made properly accessible (by the government offices in question) including all pertinent raw data, references, and patent examiner notes that go into the applications.

Comment Improvements to OCR? (Score 4, Interesting) 66

I hope this heralds in some significant improvements to basic OCR. It amazes me that OCR against a printed document still doesn't always yield 100% success. Even worse are OCRs on printed music manuscripts. The recognition and transcription quality is atrocious.

And yet, these guys can recognise handwriting with incredible accuracy.

I keenly await when these algorithms can be expanded to general OCR / document recognition. Even if there need to be specific models for each type of document.

Comment Would this also apply if shared by word of mouth (Score 1) 86

I wonder if this ruling would equally apply if the same piece of information was shared by word of mouth through the 'grapevine'. That's technically also a 'thing of value' if it sets off a wildfire of gossip.

And what is the threshold for 'value'? If someone gives their old newspaper clipping to someone else and says, "please pass this on when you're finished". Is that also sufficiently 'of value'?

I'm not trying to be sarcastic here. It is a legitimate concern in how to measure 'campaign contributions', and where the threshold falls where the guarantee of freedom of speech for one person crosses over with the ability to 'pay' for additional 'speech'.

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