Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×

Comment Re:Moronic argument (Score 1) 1140

I agree. Furthermore, if you chop up programs so that this money can only be spent on this, and that money can only be spent on that, and nothing can be spent on anything fun, no matter how responsible someone is with the rest of his money, then you are asking for clever people who are not children to get as creative as corporate accountants in order to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions. I think if someone budgets so that they can treat themselves to steak or cake occasionally, it's not an abuse of the system.

Comment The economy is an engine, not a well (Score 1) 1140

Money is the oil that must be kept in circulation. If people can't eat and can't work because employers want to work some people hard and others not at all, then some things we consider antisocial (crime, begging, rioting, looting) become a more productive use of time and energy for the criminals, beggars, rioters, and looters. If taking from the rich is the only way, then debating the fairness politically would be less violent . BTW, the criminals, beggars, rioters, and looters may exist simply because they are the only ones that the elite and political class notice. Plenty of people want to be treated better, but don't have either the social skills or the anti social skills to get a soapbox.

Rent seekers have a long history of using the political system to get what they want. Much of what goes on in business is not productive, but rent seeking. Have you thought about how so many corporations are run by accountants and lawyers than by the people who actually design or make the products? It used to be, the C Suite was occupied by people with backgrounds in engineering, operations, manufacturing, and even marketing! At least the marketing department is focused on the customer, if not the product, instead of elaborate rent seeking schemes.

Comment The stigma of corporate welfare (Score 1) 1140

Many of the programs you list have stigmas attached by long histories that are not really rational. Social Security and Government pensions escape that by being described as deferred compensation or even "insurance". Whether or not the stigma is deserved is a political problem, but it affects the economic problem. UBI not only saves money by consolidating programs, it also allows the political debate to form which would reset stigmas that no longer make sense. The receivers of corporate welfare don't care about stigmas as long as the program is legal and available. Why should other parts of the economy be hobbled by obsolete moral issues?

Comment Productivity is not the problem. (Score 1) 1140

Lack of distribution is the problem. Coupled with a lack of a market for the available labor. If all the workers could work twice as hard, the compensation would just be cut. An example is farming. A farmer can work all day if he wants to, but it may not increase his income. So, the government paid farmers to stop farming the old money crops. So a lot of land lay fallow. I think some of that is being repurposed as organic, but much sat unfarmed for years. A farmer could work twice as hard without making twice as much money. All it did was put too much of the wrong stuff into the system and into our diets.

Similarly with labor, a worker can't double his income by working twice as hard if no one will pay him to do so. If everyone wants to work twice as hard, the market will just cut the compensation.

Remember when an honest day's wage paid for an honest day's work? It might now make sense to pay people what they need as long as they stay out of trouble. Unemployed at home with decent food doing just about anything is better for society than hungry and homeless with nothing to do but riot or rob or loot.

Comment Re:So... providing electricity is easy, IT is hard (Score 1) 192

That's kinda backwards except at unusually ignorant companies. When a system works without fail, that means it is properly funded and staffed. It is possible that it is over-funded and overstaffed, so it is something that would likely be reviewed. But, few managers thing that a system that crashes regularly is normal. That would indicate incompetence or or possibly good people not allowed to do their job. So if a good system deteriorate and it correlates to changes in staffing and/or funding, that would be noticed. If it isn't noticed by higher management, IT management should have the metrics to make a report showing it over time. I know correlation isn't causation, but it makes for a decent argument.

Comment Re:So... providing electricity is easy, IT is hard (Score 1) 192

not to mention banks of giant capacitors to keep your voltage and current in phase, reclosers and other safety systems to enable quick recovery from interruptions due to small trees or animals on the line, and humans who can respond quickly to more severe and dangerous problems.

Comment Re:*sigh* (Score 1) 358

There was a time when IBM preferred to hire Liberal Arts majors and teach them to code than to hire CS majors. Not sure how IBM hires now, but coding doesn't require a CS degree. All it needs is someone who doesn't mind spending lots of time writing detailed instructions and can tease unambiguous specifications out of the managers. If anything, it should be easier for someone without a CS degree to code now that the languages are becoming more idiot proof. Not that Liberal Arts people are idiots. But, hiring managers are if all they know how to do is hire CS majors for every job that involves using a computer.

Comment Re:They're just avoiding liability (Score 1) 332

Urine may be mostly harmless, but if someone can get close enough to pee, they can get close enough to dump small quantities of something else. It sounds like the reservoir has a security problem, not a urine problem. Now that it has been publicized, the government is open to lawsuits or even false alarms from people who want to cause trouble without actually going anywhere near the water.

Comment Bigger, faster, cheaper, or smaller (Score 1) 276

People are much better at thinking of what we already have and making it better in quantifiable directions. That is what that Byte cover is showing, what we already had, just smaller. So called "disruptive" changes, where we go off in a new direction, is much harder to predict, but when it's done, we get the "why didn't someone think of this already" sort of talk. So many companies are focused on optimizing what we already have instead of playing with ideas without a ROI that is obvious to the people controlling the money. That's why I think technology companies should be managed by engineers and people who read a lot of sci fi.

Slashdot Top Deals

When it is not necessary to make a decision, it is necessary not to make a decision.