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Comment Re:Look at the economics (Score 3, Insightful) 186

Solve out the server-side economics, and you have a shot at building an open-source Siri. Until then, you're better off putting your open-source efforts into client-side applications.

There is a new wave of decentralised open source applications occuring at the moment which changes the server-side economics considerably. Perhaps not so much in terms of something compute heavy like Siri, but certainly other bandwidth heavy things like youtube. Things like Ethereum, IPFS, ZeroNet.

Comment Re:Distributed websites (Score 1) 205

This sounds like a good use for some torrent-type technology to supply "distributed websites" Rather than having a server or "servers", articles go out from a seed source and are quickly seeded throughout the world. Maybe add some sort of checksumming/encryption to help validate that an article did in-fact come from the real source and not an impostor... it would stop sh*t like this from happening.

You've almost literally described IPFS, which is like the lovechild of Bittorrent and Git

Comment Re:Analog Hole (Score 1) 495

Digital all the way to the neural interface!

Yes. Converting a digital signal into an analog signal, which vibrates a drum, which creates pressure waves in the air, which induces a vibration into another drum, which creates pressure waves in some fluid, which moves some hairs which gets converted back into an electrical signal... is a seriously a rube goldbergian solution that has no place in the 21st century.

Comment Re:GMOs (Score 1) 527

On the flip side, don't you think that companies should pay for the studies needed to make sure their products are safe? Why should the public have to subsidise the development of a for profit company's products?

This is what gets me with the whole 'follow the money' idea here, the companies have a duty of care to make sure their products aren't hazardous, and if they were acting as socially responsible entities then they would genuinely be interested in conducting the tests.

Comment Re:Won't work in America (Score 2) 630

If they don't buy food, they will be hungry. Next month their primary need will be food, not shopping. So they will go eat. If they keep getting the money, eventually they will learn to balance their spending on their needs.

If people spending the money on the wrong thing is a concern, why pay them monthly?

Retail workers in Australia get paid every week, and office professionals every two. If you are spending irresponsibly its not that difficult to wait until pay day if that's only next week, where as if someone has a gambling problem and loses too much of their monthly UBI they don't have to somehow survive for a whole month until getting another cash injection.

Comment Re:Hooray! (Score 1) 163

It's an especially pointless argument considering that the effect of CO2 is cumulative, and the only statistic that actually matters is total global greenhouse gas emissions per annum, not per capita or GDP or any other division.

Anything that lowers global emissions, even if only temporary, will help. This is a global issue and will affect us all, so all countries big and small need to do what they can.

Short of starting a war, China will do whatever China wants, and there's nothing to be done about that. Their air quality issues alone should be enough to get the attention of the political class over there, and they are expanding their use of nuclear power to try and combat that issue.

Comment Re:The entire premise is pure BS (Score 2) 294

Lets do a little common sense here, I am a hiring manager and just interviewed two people with very similar qualifications, backgrounds, and work ethic, but one of them I can save ~20% on pay/benefits.... Wow, I wonder who I am hiring...

It's not pure crap, but you can explain it using market theory because the assumption here is that all other things are equal when they are not.

At any point in a womans career she can fall pregnant, whether this was planned or not. This means that at any point the employer is on the hook for maternity leave which is typically much greater than paternity leave. So given that disparity, if you had two otherwise equal candidates and decided to use economics as a tie breaker you would either choose the male candidate and not take the risk of maternity leave, or choose the female and hedge against the risk by paying her less.

I would expect that focussing purely on equal pay without accounting for this will lead to other effects, like less women getting hired, or promoted which isn't exactly what you'd call equality.

Comment Re:What if we don't care? (Score 1) 219

Most countries have anti-discrimination laws which could be used to guard against firing someone on the basis of political afilliation, at least in Australia we have a culture of respecting each others choice when it comes to politics and I've never heard of a company taking a stance on which party their employees should be voting for.

I don't see a need for one size fits all election process, some types of election might benefit more from being electronic than others. In particular it would be great if my home country national elections were electronic simply because it takes quite a long time to count all the votes, and do a nondeterministic number of recounts thanks to the wonders of ranked choice voting and crazy senate ballots in some states (I got to number candidates from 1-52 in my recent senate election).

For national elections I would be happy with pseudonymous elections, have the results on a public blockchain which everyone can verify the overall outcome and be given a code to check that their vote was unaltered and as they wished. People can destroy the code if they want it kept secret, even immedately if they trust the system.

However, if you're happy with your electoral process, and theres no issues with it then why ruin a good thing?

Comment Re:What if we don't care? (Score 1) 219

What about people who live or work in areas in which voting for the wrong person could have consequences? Someone working at a coal mine who wants to vote Democrat? A person with an abusive spouse who doesn't want to vote they way they were told to? Just because you are comfortable telling people who you vote for not everyone else has such luxury.

Voter coercion is a really bad way to rig an election though. Sure it sucks for the individual involved but it would have to be done on a mass scale to have any effect on the outcome for any major election. Lets take the Brexit vote in the UK as an example, the Leave side had a margin of around 1M votes, so if you wanted to rig this so that the result changed, you'd at minimum need to coerce 1M people or more likely 2M people to ensure the result you want. Keeping a lid on 2M people and making sure nobody talks is a rather significant consipiracy

Whilst keeping the process free and secure for the individual is important, I can't help but think in the grand scheme of things simply making voter coercion and vote buying illegal is enough to squash the most egregious examples from happening.

Comment Human Readable Summary (Score 2) 78

Blockchain-based entertainment industry startup SingularDTV plans to use distributed computation network Ethereum to sell access to a new Sci-Fi television show about the Singularity. The Ethereum Blockchain is known for it's 'Smart Contracts' or distributed programs that can handle transactions of arbitrary tokens between different cryptographically signed accounts. Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum Tokens can be created in any quantity at will for any purpose without the need for computationally expensive mining operations.

SingularDTV will create their own Ethereum Token backed by a Smart Contract to handle access to their show, this is made possible by the cryptographically signed accounts and public blockchain so you can mathematically prove you control the account which has the access token in it.

Comment Re:Physical Review Letters (Score 1) 240

Attempting to up the hype a bit... Physical Review Letters is the well respected publication where Einstein his paper 1936 “Do gravitational waves exist?”, in which he concludes they do not, which turned out to be wrong. A couple of takeaways here: 1) Physical Review Letters is a forum for heavyweight players in the physics world; 2) that doesn't mean it's always right; 3) Einstein predicted gravity waves in 1916. Later he changed his mind and thought that he was wrong, but he was wrong about that.

Slightly off topic, and I'm probably way off anyway. But if we have gravity waves, can we have gravity standing waves? Could this be a possible explanation to the gravitational lensing phenomena we currently attribute to Dark Matter?

Comment Re:Automated coding (Score 1) 140

The choice of 'automated" word is unfortunate. This helps coding, but an human operator still has to tell the machine what to do, which is programming.

True automated coding could only be claimed the day human operator will be removed from the process.

As someone who works in industrial automation, I have to disagree. This is what automation looks like, you take something that is labour intensive and make it less so with machinery. Until we create hard ai someone will always have to tell computers what to do, and the manner in which to do it, what this is doing is evolving the language we use to get computers to do what we want.

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