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Comment Re:Americans no longer want to pick fruit. (Score 4, Interesting) 119

I'm in a "weird" part of the country without much in the way of migrant workers and Americans do all "the jobs Americans won't do".

A friend of mine has a teenage son who's worked at a nearby orchard for a couple years, after school and summers. I know, he can't exist according to labor economists who don't get that bottom-wage jobs are for kids with no experience. He's off to college next year, and I doubt a robot will be taking his job.

Comment Re:2-3 hours a day! (Score 3, Interesting) 386

I agree with pretty much all of that. As an ex-smoker of around 5 years, I'll say that while taking a smoke break meant I wasn't working, it was not without it's benefits to my work process. Stopping for a smoke was something that often let me go from a tangle of competing thoughts to a solution. It also often led to conversations about work that might otherwise not have happened and that helped move things forward on projects.

I'm not saying that there aren't alternative ways for similar interactions to happen, but there aren't many other generally-accepted ways to say "I'm going to stop working for 5 minutes and let my thoughts settle or mingle with some folks".

Comment Re:Er...so it was about greed? (Score 1) 158

It's one of those sort-of catch-22s. I am all for the free market - if it's actually free. I'd like it if businesses "played fair," but they don't, so I grudgingly accept government intervention - but only to help keep the free market free. I do feel the government intervenes too much in some ways, but not enough in others.

Comment Re:Myth: Mayer didn't do well for Yahoo! (Score 3, Insightful) 156

The bottom line is that CEOs are supposed to generate value for shareholders

Reports say that Meyer ordered underlings to not buy the resources to prevent and then not report the security breaches at Yahoo! That cost shareholders more than $1B in valuation on the Verizon deal.

That's one heck of a negative RoI. She had the wrong instincts, she did the wrong thing, and her owners paid dearly for it.

speculation about what someone else might have done is unproductive

No, all her competitors invest in security and are not punished by the market for doing so. This is comparing her to the field, not some ubermensch ideal.

Comment Re: AT&T (Score 1) 208

I have to raise an eyebrow about your comments. Granted, I'm not out in the middle of nowhere, but I live in North GA and can drive all the way to Orlando, FL and not lose service, although it may not be as strong in some places, it's still there. On the other hand, there's a control room at work, buried deep in the middle of the building, and if the door to the room is closed, I get nothing. If the door is open, I get enough to get the occasional text message. I have to go to my office to make a call. I have T-Mobile, and had the same problem when I had Virgin (Sprint network). On the upside, I've traveled to Canada, and my son to Germany, and our phones "just worked." So I can't attest to network performance for where anyone may live, nor customer service (haven't needed it, which is the best service, IMO), but if you travel internationally, T-Mobile can be very handy to have. I pay $160/month for my family of four. I was paying the same at Virgin, but for prepaid without as many minutes and much less total bandwidth.

Comment Re:BrickerBot (Score 0) 112

Yeah .. there's nothing like a vigilante of whom you approve.

That Batman is the #1 superhero indicates that a very large majority of the public recognizes that the State is limited in ability, resources, effectiveness, and competence.

Imagine you're at a shopping mall, some nut comes in and starts throwing knives at passersby, taking out one shopper every five to ten seconds. There's a grandpa there packing a 9mm under his coat. Do you:
a) want the grandpa to take out the knife-attacker
b) call 911 and wait for the police to arrive

Statists will generally sacrifice all the people's lives in scenario b) because they value group power over individual life, liberty, and property. Non-statists believe in self-defense and third-party defense as a right and even a societal obligation and will go with a) and save all those lives. The Statists will then show up to call grandpa a 'vigilante'.

Fortunately, the Internet is inherently Stateless so the third-party defense doctrine applies. As far as motive - we just heard a couple days ago about the teens on moral crusades, and then there's the possibility that people (at Dyn?) lost their jobs over the recent high-profile Mirai attacks and would want to see that botnet brought down.

Comment Price Elasticity (Score 1) 249

the one that will extract the most profit from consumers' wallets

Oh, dear, an article by a Marxist still living in 1860. They love them class warfare vocabulary.

The online shopping sites are not trying to get the highest price they can for every product. They are trying to get the optimal price for every product.

Often times the optimal price can be the lowest price, or close to it. One only needs to look at Walmart's position at #1 on the Fortune 500 to understand this is true.

The optimal price is one that enables the highest overall profit for the company. Keeping customers coming back is absolutely one requirement for maximizing profit. Low prices directly benefit consumers and producers in many markets.

What Marxists fail to understand is that profit is the information signal that is sent through the economy from consumers to producers to indicate that they approve of what they are doing. A 'Like button' in the parlance of our times.
  Profit is a very good thing, and it benefits consumers by constantly refining the goods available on the market and the prices of those goods.

Granted, Marx didn't have the benefit of game theory or information theory to work with, but modern writers have no excuse for ignoring modern learning (that's already 60-80 years old). Here's a recent Freakonomics episode on price elasticity that might help some aspiring writers (or even economists) who don't even want to take the time to read.

Comment Re:More Vehicle compatbility (Score 1) 177

Would be even better if there was a practical way to plug other vehicles into the network.

I kinda doubt the Tesla superchargers suck at what they do. Tesla has the biggest infrastructure to date and has opened its patents to other manufacturers to use. There is very little benefit to the owner of a Volt or Leaf to not being able to use the supercharger network. There may be benefit to the other vehicles' manufacturers to make their systems proprietary (maybe GM is delusional about "owning all the gas stations of the future" or some silly thing like that).

Y'know, some manufacturer had to first develop the standard gasoline filler spout and gauge, and the other manufacturers' have done pretty well by cooperating on those, keeping diesel out of gas engines, etc. Perhaps at the time Studebaker thought they'd own all the gas stations of the future. Coopetition needs to be described to the boardrooms often times, though.

And, there, you have a car analogy for your car problem. Yo, dog.

Comment Re:No data, pay as you go only. (Score 1) 208

People are trying to minimize the money you get constantly while trying to maximize what they take from you.

Don't take the money from yourself. I pay $36-something for 4G Verizon MVNO / 5GB through Walmart and the ability to access data on the road saves me more than $36 a month (Gas Buddy, kids-eat-free deals, GPS navigation, Prime audio books, etc.). It would harm me economically to get a cheaper plan.

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