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Comment Re:More holes than swiss cheese (Score 1) 49

Moreover, it's incredibly complex code that performs real-time media playback, animation, and scripting. Essentially, it's got all the vulnerabilities of a complex media player (like the Stagefright library) combined with a scripting language runtime environment (like Javascript), all written in a language (C) that more or less hands an attacker a potential security vulnerabilities if a programmer made the tiniest of errors when handling memory buffers and file formats with deliberately malformed data, and which occurs in hundreds of thousands of places throughout the codebase.

Then someone said: Hey, let's allow unvetted content from remote servers on the internet to be interpreted and executed in this incredibly complex module on a client's machine! Because in the early 2000's, that apparently sounded like an awesome idea, and thus were born Flash, ActiveX, the Java plugin, PDF readers with Javascript enabled by default, and other monstrosities of the early web.

Comment Re:IL had free rides to all senior citizens 2008-2 (Score 0) 71

IL had free rides to all senior citizens 2008-2011 costs forced them to cut it to just low-income seniors.

No, there are no free rides. What you mean is, "Illinois decided to have taxpayers buy rides for certain people from 2008 to 2011" ... and ... "they couldn't get the taxpayers to pay even more, so they cut down the number of rides the taxpayers were buying to a more select group of those certain people."

Submission + - Shed a tear for the dying gasp of the First Amendment. (zerohedge.com) 2

flopwich writes: Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and probably others have met in agreement to bar any content they deem "extremist". Of course, only the "wrong" content will be banned, and they wouldn't use Politically Correct standards to evaluate "extremism". We can probably use the founding fathers of the US as generators at this point, given their rapid spinning in their graves.

Comment "Sources?" (Score 1) 59

Did this sentence..

Eighty-four percent of Americans with online access through three sources -- home broadband, smartphone and tablet computer -- say they like having so much information available.

..strike anyone else as a weirdly alien concept of what the word "source" means? It's so incomprehensible, that I can't even say for sure that it's wrong!

Comment Re:Inflation is tax on savings (Score 1) 227

It's the old-school definition

Which you would not cite despite an explicit request...

the definition one uses to become or remain wealthy.

Citing definitions rarely makes one wealthy. Given your cavalier attitude towards the meanings of the very words you are using, I'm beginning to doubt the value of continuing the conversation...

Which means, that whoever earned those dollars lost some of their value. Where did it go ...?

They had value only by convention and that convention changed.

That means, the money is failing in one of its primary purposes — being means of storing value.

When inflation rises, the interest rate for the best savings accounts will rise as well (ditto new CDs).

Whether you can still beat inflation or not, the point is, you are losing some of the wealth you had. The government, which spent the freshly-printed money before it loses value, gains gained what you lose — thus making it indistinguishable from tax. Whether that's good or bad, it is a form of taxation.

Your arguments make a case for it being a "good" form of taxation — you should stick to that and stop denying, that it is a tax...

Comment Re: Americans? (Score 1) 296

That's true. That's a continuation of when Ikea adjusted the shape of their boxes to stack three times as much stuff onto one shipping pallet, reducing the number of shipping employees involved by 60%; and when the shipping pallet was invented; and when the automobile and train replaced the horse and buggy; and when overland shipping replaced a large population of sailors, which happened after the old cold blast process that made 400 pounds of iron was replaced with a hot-blast furnace that could make 86,400 pounds of iron with the same amount of labor time.

We've been cutting back at the amount of work to do anything since we sharpened spears. We changed from stone to bronze and then to iron and steel; we created better tools; we got rid of artisans who take forever to make anything and went to assembly lines that use 1/8 as many people to do the same shit, and then to cellular manufacture that achieves the same in 1/12 as much labor. Better logistics, better management, new tools, power tools, and the like have continued to cut this back. Fertilizer and GMOs have eliminated nearly 100% of the labor used to make food over the past 200 years.

It's a beautiful forward march of progress, isn't it? The standard-of-living of all classes goes up as the labor required to make any one thing goes down; and the laborers working their full time to make those things--fewer they are--still have the same money representing the same labor-hours, even though to buy anything they don't need to induce the labor of so many labor-hours. They can then buy more things, and so do so, which is why we tend to stabilize around 5% unemployment even as we eliminate nearly all jobs that have ever existed.

Imagine what it'll be like when only 1/4 as many people are required to make Tesla cars. That $85,000 top-tier Model S will be replaced by something ludicrous for the rich folks, and the common man will buy something roughly equivalent to the top-tier Model S performance box for $21k. That'll be the car we drive, the car the working-man owns.

Comment Re:Greed by any other name... (Score 1) 522

My point is that GDP-per-capita says what was produced; median income says how much people have to spend. If you produce $57,000 of stuff per capita and you have $52,000 to spend, guess what? That's more than $38,000 of stuff--the amount of stuff produced per-capita in 2000.

What I'm saying is $52,000 worth of stuff is more than $38,000 worth of stuff. Median income of $52,000 means you can buy $52,000 worth of stuff.

My point is that the median income remaining flat while that amount of income buys more and more stuff means you are getting richer; and we don't have a good indicator that shows what people can actually buy.

Median income in constant dollars is probably the best single number to indicate average income. GDP does not enter into that. Given constant income in constant dollars, it doesn't matter how the GDP changes.

Except that the median income in constant dollars has fallen by like $5,000 in the past 15 years, yet the amount of stuff you can buy with the current median income far-exceeds what you could buy with the median income 15 years ago.

The same percentage of the median income buys a car that's got more-complex technology like complex suspensions, electronic stability control, fuel-injected engines, power locks, bluetooth radio; that's a lot of complex, expensive shit that you could get in a high-dollar luxury vehicle a decade or so ago, if you could afford to spend 2-5 times as much for a car.

Each family spends a smaller percentage of their income on food now; and they eat out about twice as much as they did a decade ago, meaning they buy food and pay servants to cook and wait on them while they eat with less money than they previously paid to cook their own food.

Services like internet have exploded. In 1998, you would pay $35/month for 128K ISDN service, demarcated by a $250 ISDN modem; today you pay $83/month for 200,000K cable internet demarcated by an $80 DOCSIS 3.0 modem. That's 1,562 $35 ISDN lines. What percentage of the median $52,000 income is $54,687?

Smart phones. We have high-speed computers in our pocket that can get e-mail, stream music, play games, and do voice chat. Do you remember paying $600 for a Compaq iPaq with 32MB of RAM that used RAM as storage (yes, if you removed the battery, it wiped the phone!) in 2001? Do you remember it not having a cell phone radio? Instead you got that Motorola V3 RAZR for $350; and today you can throw $350 and get a cell phone with 64GB of storage, 2,048MB of RAM, and a 1080p AMOLED screen--and it's got four friggin' radios so you can do Wifi, Bluetooth, GSM voice, and LTE data simultaneously.

What the hell happened that our real income went down yet we became fucking rich as the Sultan of some backwater oil capital? How does that work? How do you sit on coal, turn it into diamonds, and get poorer?

Comment Re: Americans? (Score 1) 296

Actually, outsourcing and importing for cheaper is part of what gives the poor a better quality-of-life. The unemployment argument is a red herring: bringing any trade jobs back incurs an added cost, which raises prices and thus eliminates other jobs. If those prices raise enough to diminish the newly-created jobs beyond the number of jobs lost, then you have a net-loss of employment; this means American workers producing trade-import goods would need to be paid little to net-create jobs.

Even then, the change is disturbing.

Right now, Men and Boys's Cotton Trousers and Shorts retail for an average of $14.97 per pair (this is a rough Google number, and is probably inaccurate; it's also the only factor that can be variable and still correctly-demonstrate the principle). The Chinese import cost is 6 cents per pair (40,000 pairs shipped in a 40-foot shipping container, at an import cost less than $1,300 from China to US), with the Chinese labor cost at $6.14 per pair (via the published total number of imports of MBCT from China PRC and the total cost of those imports at import time). The difference in import and price includes the domestic shipping (truck drivers), retailing (inventory associates, cashiers, managers), logistics, and infrastructure (power, maintenance, rent) involved in local sale, as well as the profits.

If we paid American factory workers above $18/hr to make MBCT, with a retail average of $14.97, we would lose total American jobs; if we paid under $18/hr, we would gain jobs. This is because the cost of MBCT would increase, and the total purchaseable goods would thus decrease, impacting the entire logistics chain of shipping and selling them, as well as reducing the number of factory jobs to make them; and the factory jobs recovered from China are added to the job market, offsetting this. If more jobs are lost than gained, you lose jobs in total.

That's not the issue.

Say you pay your factory workers $21/hr, the same salary as a GM line worker. The price of MBCT goes up from $14.97 to $50.57 (remember: $8.83 of that goes to American wages for cashiers, truck drivers, shelf stockers, and the like, with some carved out for taxes and profits; I'm assuming profit margins and taxes fall instead of increasing as well, instead of adjusting that $8.83 larger). Today, a $21/hr income lets you buy MBCT at 0.71 hours's work per pair. With $21/hr factory workers, they'd work for 2.4 hours to afford a pair.

If you pay them an $8.25 minimum wage, the price rises to only $25. Today, an $8.25/hr wage lets you work for 1.8 hours and buy pants; at $25, an $8.25/hr wage requires you to work for 3.0 hours to afford the same pants you're making.

If you think that sounds ludicrous, consider: before globalization, the median American household spent 12% of its income on clothing; once we started outsourcing to China, this rapidly fell to 4%. It's now under 3.5%--it's only slowly continued to fall since the great globalization revolution. That means globalization in fact decreased costs to 1/3 what they were.

Outsourcing your jobs to another country that does the work a hell of a lot more cheaply creates an enormous capacity to buy, but somebody has to transport all that shit you're buying once it comes off the docks. You can't sail a ginormous shipping friggate up the mid-western basin to Colorado. That creates local jobs. Even then, unemployment dips nice and friendly-like, but it gets buffed out as population expands to fill the abundance of jobs, until some factor of scarcity (job scarcity, food scarcity, etc.) creates an expanding population in poverty and slows growth. Likewise, a small loss of jobs slows population growth until it adjusts to fit its economy's capacity, and can have a profound effect on the size of the labor force.

Comment Re:Inflation or Rally? (Score 1) 227

Small amounts of inflation are NOT a "tax on wealth." I suppose you might consider it a "tax on money you hide under your mattress."

Wherever I keep it — under mattress, in a sock, or in a savings account — inflation (small or large) taxes it away.

But in the real world, mild inflation encourages people with wealth to get that money out from under their mattress

And even then I am not gaining as much from my investment, as I should've. But, yeah, taxes are often used to discourage some behaviors while encouraging others — a regrettable practice, which itself is a government overreach, I might add.

Unless you have a giant money bin full of enough to keep you going for the rest of your life already, you likely would do much WORSE in a deflationary economy than having mild 1-2% inflation with its supposed "tax."

All of this is irrelevant to my point. Which was, and remains: inflation eats away at savings.

The $100 earned today would buy me 25 cartons of milk. I can not consume so much, so I buy only one carton and save the money. Well, a week later, when I go to buy another carton, it costs slightly more — through no fault of my own, I've lost some of the honestly earned $100.

Deflation may be bad, but that only reinforces, what I said: the two reasons offered by TFA for BitCoin's future rise contradict each other.

Comment Inflation is tax on savings (Score 1) 227

Wealth is the ownership of the means of production

That's an interesting definition, could you cite, where you got it from? It seems wrong — as it totally ignores non-productive wealth, such as precious metals, Bitcoins, intellectual property, and currency. By your definition, an owner of, say, a shoe-repair shop is richer than a guy with a $10 mln bank-account...

If dollars have less value, the number of dollars needed to buy the means of production increases

Which means, that whoever earned those dollars lost some of their value. Where did it go — dollars aren't apples, they don't spoil? In a fiat-money situation, the government prints paper money — it gets to spend it first, before inflation diminishes it. When people lose wealth and government gains it — even if not all of it — how is it not tax?

Now, it is not tax on all forms of wealth, merely on savings held in dollars. You may think, you are earning by holding your monies in a saving account, but in reality you barely keep up with inflation — whatever profit you should be getting is taxed away from you. By inflation.

Comment Re:Americans? (Score 1) 296

Actually, there's something to that, but you're missing a factor.

Remember that part where I said the break-over point wasn't zero? For men and boys's cotton trousers and shorts eliminating all import from China, if all American jobs created to make those average above $18/hr wage, you have a net-loss of American jobs; if they average below $18/hr, you have a net gain. In either case, the cost of MBCT increases in terms of labor-hours, especially to the line workers--where a minimum-wage line worker model would raise the price from $14.97 average per pair to $25 and 1.8 hours's wage to 3.0, and a $21/hr worker model (GM factory line worker wage) would raise the price to $50.57/pair and from 0.71 hours's wage to 2.4.

In both cases, the worker making the given salary (and every other American) spends more time working to buy the same good. That's called "being poorer", and the net result is fewer things shipped, fewer things sold, fewer retail workers, and so forth. The break-over point is non-zero because while you reduce the number of goods shipped and sold, the reduced number of formerly-Chinese jobs are added onto American jobs when the dust settles: if you lose 40,000 Chinese manufacture jobs, 57,000 American retail jobs, and you transfer the remaining 57,000 manufacture jobs form China to America, you get a net-zero change in American employment. Reduce the purchaseable goods further (by making them more-expensive) and you lose jobs; reduce it less (by paying lower wages and thus lowering the price) and you gain jobs.

As for eliminating all American jobs, that's actually a viable goal. The main factor is time: if you eliminate some American jobs today, we will experience some unemployment, and also an increase in wealth (purchaseable goods per person). Give it time and our spending and labor force adjust to fit, buffing out the unemployment. Obviously, this means eliminating 30% of jobs today would wreck the economy; while eliminating 30% of today's jobs over the next 30 years would end in no increase in unemployment while every American ended up that much richer and capable of buying that much more stuff.

Projecting this back, far more than 100% of all jobs which have ever existed have been eliminated (by technical progress), and we've outsourced a hell of a lot of jobs. There are things Americans simply don't do anymore, and the outsourced workforce is enormous. Furthermore, combining trade with technical progress, the sheer amount of stuff we import greatly exceeds what we were able to make before it was outsourced--which is only an amusing interpretation, because it's also true that technical progress has replaced pretty much all of our jobs several times over, and now we make here in America several times more than we could make a hundred years ago.

The technical progress thing should be obvious, too. Imagine the farm workers it took to irrigate a field before we proposed a better way. It takes far fewer people to build, maintain, and operate the factories, pumps, and irrigation equipment to pivot-irrigate a farm than it does to have folks carry buckets of water back and forth all damned day.

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