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Comment Re:Threshold (Score 1) 397

No company has ever passed on the savings out of good will; the pressure mounts over time, and time is vicious.

As technology has made manufacturing cheaper than even, the price of my Levi's has only grown. As has the price of my car, the price of a drill, and even the price of nails

These things have all gotten cheaper over the time span you discuss.

For your 40 hours, your income has grown by 10 times. Meanwhile, these prices have grown by 5. Do you know what that means? A half hour of your labor buys what an hour's work used to buy. That means the price has gone down.

You're essentially moving from a house 10 miles from your job to a house 5 miles from your job, and then complaining that you now drive 8,000 meters instead of 10 miles, and so it's gotten farther because 8,000 is more than 10.

So, yeah, a 1940 dollar is smaller than a 1960 dollar; a 2000 dollar is smaller than a 2015 dollar; and something in 2015 which isn't bought for a 2015 price proportionally larger than its 1990 price is cheaper, even if the price tag displays a value numerically-greater.

Comment Re:Threshold (Score 1) 397

All you have to do is look at the history of the ice industry. You'll also notice that there are no seamstresses with wooden looms anymore either.

We also have 4.7% unemployment in a ridiculous labor force with a high participation rate.

The purpose of technological innovation is to improve the quality of life of human beings.

Technical progress is, exclusively, the reduction of labor to reach an end. It took 40 hours before, now it takes 20 hours, costs half as much. Sometimes we invent new things, but why? Why did we create the railroad after the hot blast furnace allowed us to create 86,000 tonnes of iron using the same labor that used to create just 200 tonnes? Why GMOs, fertilizer, irrigation? Why computers, spreadsheets, and accounting software?

One of the main reasons there is a raging debate about this in terms of what happens to jobs is because some people can't stomach the idea of us having innovative technology to the point that it doesn't require every citizen to participate in the labor force.

it never has. Our labor force participation rate in 1948 and for decades up to then was measured substantially-close to 58%, with little fluctuation; it ballooned rapidly after the 60s. The peak near-70% participation rate was a bubble spanning decades--it literally spans multiple generations, and now people think that's normal.

What would a world look like where there is little or no resource scarcity and there is a limited need for labor

You're living in it.

90% of US workers were farm laborers in 1790. People hunted and homesteaded. Housewives would do a little knitting and such at home and make a little income that way; largely, they handled the household--repairing and making clothes for everyone in the house, cooking, cleaning, all those things that are hard when you don't have $18 shirts at WalMart and an automated Roomba and dishwasher.

Our parents and grandparents bitched a lot about work.

They bitched a hell of a lot.

The standard work week was 6 days per week, 10-16 hour days, back a century and a half ago. 90 hours was a normal work week. The demand for a 60-hour and then a 40-hour week, for a 12-hour day 6-days (2 hour-long meals) and then for 8 hours, it was incredible. People whined that they had to work so damned much.

Here you are talking about a world with a limited need for labor--a world where the labor force in 1940 and 1950 was 58% of the adult population, working 8 hour days, leading history from an 1880s and 1900s world where people worked twice that and... cried about how unfair it was.

I can probably actually engineer an American economic plan that gets us down to 28-32 hour work weeks (3.5-4 days) without reducing the available wealth--in the next decade, no less. You'd think it's great; 40 years from now, someone will be working 3 days a week, 24 hours total, talking about the way we're driven as slaves by greedy employers and overpaid CEOs.

Why some people don't ever want to get here is beyond me

They don't want to lose their jobs today for a world that fundamentally can't exist without far-future technology; and, when a world like that exists, we'll stagnate as a species and a culture. Even if we didn't, we'd end up with the worthless and useless masses kept like cattle or pets by the oligarchy of the elite.

Get the audiobook from Audible for Perfect State. It's performed quite well, and you'll get the idea by the time you finish.

There are some people that think that it's noble to dig a ditch with a spoon when a free back hoe is available. There is nothing noble about that. It's pure stupidity. We have better uses for our time and energy.

Yes: digging a million ditches with automated, controlled, maintained backhoes; building floating platform environments for Venus and deep-ground dome environments for Mars; and generally producing shit from the future using technology from the future. When you can wave a magic wand and terraform a planet, you need a hell of a lot of human labor to back you up; the thing is, the current population of Earth doesn't have the labor to spare to do it--or maybe even to accomplish it with every available hand if we worked ourselves to extinction just to show if we could.

Jobs will be plentiful in that world. They won't be the jobs we have today; and their superficial similarity will stand in stark contrast to their modern counterparts, with small crews of grunt labor and single engineers handling the job of thousands of men spanning hundreds of crews. They'll produce a hell of a lot more, which is the only way there will still be jobs.

We just need them to produce floating hotels and interplanetary transport, not worthless holes some people dig while other people fill them back in again.

Comment Re:Threshold (Score 2) 397

The point is there aren't 4.9% of people unemployed because they are too lazy to get jobs; 100% of unemployment is essentially unemployable at the given moment because the consumers spending money and buying things aren't [capable of] buying enough to require their employment.

This has to do with how people economize: they allocate means (resources) to maximize ends. That means they'll allocate time (labor) and money to maximize stability and amount purchased. People won't work 60 hours for 40 hours of pay (lower wages) so that other people can afford to purchase more and thus spend their money giving others jobs. They seek the lowest-cost goods, which stems from lower-cost wages (wage inequality) as much as it does from fewer labor-hours involved (technology).

Ultimately, though, population still grows to the limit of economy, which leaves some people with partial unemployment--they on and off have jobs, they work less than full time, and they may have trouble actually surviving on that. This happens because, again, there isn't enough purchasing ability to require them: we aren't capable of paying their wages, thus we can't buy the things they'd make if they had jobs.

Welfare basically preempts this by cutting a chunk of what we can buy away and using it to cover the stable point reached on what's left. Some people care because it's humane; others care because it's efficient (welfare makes sense to supply when we're more-wealthy supplying welfare than not supplying welfare).

Comment Re:Threshold (Score 1) 397

yeah, I'm getting tired of trying to teach an entire course of economics in a slashdot comment. The long and short of it is replacing 50% of your workforce in a week with machines is bad juju; replacing 100% of your jobs repeatedly over a couple decades is awesome. GDP-per-capita doubles when you replace 50% of work with technology--which means your ability to buy things (complicated technology and just "more stuff") goes up.

For example: between 1970 and 1990, we about tripled the amount of food produced per labor-hour worked on the farm or in the supply chain feeding into the farm. That has reduced the percentage of American employment invested in food production, shifting it to other jobs in that time. Note that's 20 years of time, impacting some 15% of jobs--less than 1% per year, and the population has grown in that time and so the actual amount of worker displacement is not exactly "X million jobs were there, then got lost" (we actually have more farm-related jobs than we did in 1970, because we have more than double the population).

It would be like assuming Comcast would drop its data cap since it costs them next to nothing to provide infrastructure. Yet here we are with data caps in 2016.

Actually, Comcast has increased bandwidth speeds from about 1.5Mbit/s in 1998 to 200Mbit/s in 2016. A 128k ISDN line cost $35/month in 1998, and now I pay $83/month for 1,500 of those--that is to say, I pay $83/month for $52,500/month of bandwidth. Even Comcast charged $40/month for their 1.5Mbit/s in 1998, meaning I'm sitting on a connection Comcast would have sold me for $5,300/month in 1998 and paying $83/month for it in 2016--BLS says I should be paying Comcast about $8,000/month.

Comcast has an actual total corporate profit average of something like 7% across 10 years. The gross profit on bandwidth is considerably-high and used as a political talking point by people who would like you to ignore the cost of running the rest of the supporting business (gross profits just take an arbitrary set of inputs as costs to outputs, while ignoring all other business activities related to and required for the production of those outputs). The truth is Comcast is charging me $83/month for what costs them $77 to supply.

Those bandwidth caps are there because Comcast has to provide additional infrastructure to keep up with that kind of bandwidth usage. They're new because people found new ways to consume faster than Comcast could find cheaper ways to supply, and Comcast can cheaply supply the capacity for high throughput but not the capacity for high total volume--they can supply a 10Mbit/s network where you can't even hardly watch an HD stream, or they can allow you to download system updates in 1 minute but not allow too many people to download that much shit continuously without buying and maintaining more infrastructure and raising the price.

Verizon thinks they have a better way to do it, or at least that they can pretend to without actually incurring too much amortized cost. Maybe they're right.

So yes, those data caps are there because we can't actually afford to provide the kind of service nobody has ever had before, but somehow everyone expects to materialize.

Comment Re:Threshold (Score 1) 397

What happens when you only need 1 human to maintain 300 machines who can each do the work of 500 people?

You mean a $78,000 Tesla is only going to cost 52 cents, and I can now afford to add third floor to my house, buy a few musical instruments, and hire a couple private tutors?

Sounds great to me. We'll all drive Teslas.

Comment Re:Threshold (Score 4, Interesting) 397

It's not people who refuse so much as who can't; and that doesn't mean automation will wipe all jobs away, either, regardless of what the doomsday predictors who fear the pneumatic air gun and wooden shipping pallet say.

Wages are paid from revenue--from what's spent. Savings is made by keeping wage instead of spending, and spending more than wages means cutting into savings or creating debt. Wages represent labor time, and form the basis of price: if you need 10 hours of $10/hr work to make a thing, it can't sell for any less than $100 (although it can sell for more than that), else you can't pay your workers at all.

There are a lot of weird economics involved; one of them is that the money transfer only supports so many jobs at a given time, and that trade and technical progress make temporary unemployment. Technical progress is the purer form: internally, new technology means some people become unemployed for a few months or so, and your unemployment bumps by 0.1% until the prices fail to keep with inflation and the consumers buy more stuff with the money they're no longer spending--which requires more labor, thus replacing the jobs. Trade resolves itself in 1-3 years generally, and causes more or less labor force growth--early or late retirement, grad school versus employment, birth rate changes, more or fewer immigrant workers (trade uses outsourced workers--sending money away, not bringing workers here), and the like.

During these temporary transitions, some people can't get jobs. Some people need to be around when we suddenly need more laborers, but also will only work half the time as a result of our fickle economy and their happenstance place in it. As trade and technical progress increase the purchasing power of our same amount of labor, a smaller fraction of our income represents the necessary funds to support these people, and thus the general welfare; eventually, that fraction is smaller than the economic cost of not supporting them (e.g. if a transient laborer dies homeless, then you need to replace him by raising a child--a useless human being who only consumes for 15-20 years, providing no wealth of labor back to the economy during this time).

Comment Re:Threshold (Score 5, Insightful) 397

90% of the workforce was farmers in 1870. It's 2% now, with a total of about 10% of all work supporting that (chemists, GMO, shipping, irrigation, fuel for all this shit...).

Economic growth is basically either "we have more people, so we make more stuff, because more people work more" or "we figured out how to use the same people to make the same shit in half the time, so we made twice as much shit." Wages essentially represent time.

Comment Re:Nice try Apple (Score 2) 120

Apple should have used the argument that they sell devices which run controlled sets of software, with part of their product being a best-effort attempt at device security via application white listing managed remotely through the Apple store.

Because developers make "iPhone Apps", they have to sell onto the iPhone platform, the same as with Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony locking out their console platforms. This is not unusual in the device market.

Because Apple does not sell software outside the core system software available on the phone and supplying Apple services, it isn't abusing a device monopoly to gain a software monopoly. Further, Apple allows various software in its store, such as Spotify and Google Maps, which competes with Apple's own software and thus precludes the leveraging of a device monopoly to expand a monopoly of a particular bundled software or service.

Because Android phones are available, Apple is not locking consumers into its platform by controlling the market: software developers can produce equivalent software for Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, or any combination thereof, and sell in one, several, or all of the available markets for all devices.

There's no case here.

Comment Re:Neither fish nor foul (Score 1) 154

True. I meant by form factor; and the Wiimotes I still feed with EBL or Eneloop batteries, which will last like 180 years in that use continuously (most of them are going to last me 3,000 years--by then the batteries will have decayed into dust, so the fact they can hold 80% of their charge and can carry 70% of that for 1 year at that point is moot). Rechargeable battery is just a matter of form factor.

We could have put a light into the GBA.

Comment Re:Neither fish nor foul (Score 1) 154

The 3DS was like $200. In the past decade, the median income in current dollars has increased (~2% inflation per year, but dollar income goes faster); so more like $225 vs $300. Neither is really much money.

Its clamshell design is a bane; the Gameboy Advance was the best Gameboy, except the SP had a better D-pad. Damaged screens have never been a problem in the Gameboy line; Nintendo wanted a larger system that still fit in your pocket, and went with the DS design.

Battery life doesn't seem like an issue when you're constantly surrounded by charging ports.

Performance is unlikely to be an issue. "Game runs at 60FPS" is about a constant, whether you're running a DSi or the OmenX with Intel Core i7 processor; the games just won't try to reticulate splines in realtime at 4K resolution. Performance is the kind of thing PC gamers complain about because they're used to everything being fickle and hardly ever working if they don't keep up on a $3,000/year upgrade cycle.

Comment Re:Additional Info (Score 1) 154

Well, the Game Gear ate batteries like a motherfucker. Six batteries. In three hours.

This pulls power from anywhere, such as the USB port in modern cars. Did your Game Gear recharge every time you got in the car, sat down at a desk, or otherwise spent more than a few minutes near an electrical port?


New FCC Report Says AT&T and Verizon Zero-Rating Violates Net Neutrality (theverge.com) 74

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Just a week and a half before he is set to leave office, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has issued a new report stating that the zero-rated video services offered by ATT and Verizon may violate the FCC's Open Internet Order. Assembled by the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, the report focuses on sponsored data programs, which allow companies to pay carriers to exempt exempt their data from customers' data caps. According to the report, many of those packages simply aren't playing fair. "While observing that ATT provided incomplete responses to staff inquires," Wheeler wrote to Senators, "the report states that the limited information available supports a conclusion that ATT offers Sponsored Data to third-party content providers at terms and conditions that are effectively less favorable than those it offers to its affiliate, DirecTV." In theory, sponsored data should be an even playing field, with providers bearing the costs and making the same charges regardless of who's footing the bill. But according to the report, ATT treats the DirectTV partnership very differently from an unaffiliated sponsored data system, giving the service a strong advantage over competitors. "ATT appears to view the network cost of Sponsored Data for DIRECTV Now as effectively de minimis," the report concludes. While ATT still bears some cost for all that free traffic, it's small enough that the carrier doesn't seem to care. The report raises similar concerns regarding Verizon's Go90 program, although it concludes Verizon's program may be less damaging. Notably, the letter does not raise the same concerns about T-Mobile's BingeOn video deal, since it "charges all edge providers the same zero rate for participating."

Japan Researchers Warn of Fingerprint Theft From 'Peace' Sign (phys.org) 119

Tulsa_Time quotes a report from Phys.Org: Could flashing the "peace" sign in photos lead to fingerprint data being stolen? Research by a team at Japan's National Institute of Informatics (NII) says so, raising alarm bells over the popular two-fingered pose. Fingerprint recognition technology is becoming widely available to verify identities, such as when logging on to smartphones, tablets and laptop computers. But the proliferation of mobile devices with high-quality cameras and social media sites where photographs can be easily posted is raising the risk of personal information being leaked, reports said. The NII researchers were able to copy fingerprints based on photos taken by a digital camera three meters (nine feet) away from the subject.

Buggy Domain Validation Forces GoDaddy To Revoke SSL Certificates (threatpost.com) 33

msm1267 quotes a report from Threatpost: GoDaddy has revoked, and begun the process of re-issuing, new SSL certificates for more than 6,000 customers after a bug was discovered in the registrar's domain validation process. The bug was introduced July 29 and impacted fewer than two percent of the certificates GoDaddy issued from that date through yesterday, said vice president and general manager of security products Wayne Thayer. "GoDaddy inadvertently introduced the bug during a routine code change intended to improve our certificate issuance process," Thayer said in a statement. "The bug caused the domain validation process to fail in certain circumstances." GoDaddy said it was not aware of any compromises related to the bug. The issue did expose sites running SSL certs from GoDaddy to spoofing where a hacker could gain access to certificates and pose as a legitimate site in order to spread malware or steal personal information such as banking credentials. GoDaddy has already submitted new certificate requests for affected customers. Customers will need to take action and log in to their accounts and initiate the certificate process in the SSL Panel, Thayer said.

Comment Re:Why "I" shouldn't trust Geek Squad? (Score 1) 389

Browser cache is an interesting consideration. I bet if you google image search for some freaky shit like chicks in dog collars you might find chicks with dogs in them in some of the results--you know, the results displayed as images, downloaded and cached to your hard drive along the way. Are they downloaded scaled down, or sent as full size (well, GIS scales to something like 300-400 pixels) and displayed scaled down by the browser?

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