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Comment Full 2015 stats aren't out yet (Score 4, Insightful) 119

TFA links to some summaries, but some of the categories (particular deaths due to accidents) are aggravatingly unspecific. Alzheimer's and accidents (unintentional injuries) had the largest year-over-year increases, at +4.0 and +2.7 deaths per 100,000. The other causes were all +1.5 or less. The increase in these two exceeded the increases in all the other top-10 combined.

I'm really curious to see what the breakdown for unintentional injury deaths looks like for 2015. We're in the middle of a prescription painkiller addiction epidemic which is going largely unreported by the media. Two years ago, overdoses displaced motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of accidental death - a position it had held for over a half century. This year we lost more famous people to overdoses than to gun violence, even though the media spent a vastly disproportionate amount of time focusing on the latter. The day of the UCLA shooting (1 murder, 1 suicide), there was a synthetic drug poisoning incident at a concert in Florida which killed 2 and sent 60 to the hospital. But the media concentrated almost entirely on the UCLA shooting.

Comment Re:What's the point (Score 2) 51

I was on a Lufthansa flight from Chicago to Germany in 2006. They announced that since Boeing had decided to shut down Connexion, they were opening up the WiFi aboard the plane for everyone to use for free. I fired up my laptop while over the middle of the Atlantic, and used the service to VPN into my office. Got some work done, sent a few emails, and printed a quick document exclaiming in bold "I'm printing this from a plane in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!!!!' just for the folks in the office. I also logged into a MMO for a bit. The lag was too much to really do any combat, but I chatted with guild members about where I was playing from. Alas I had to shut down at that point because I'd drained my battery and they didn't yet have charging ports outside of first class.

I haven't tried the newer WiFi service aboard planes. But based on what you're saying, it sounds like the service is somehow worse than what Boeing had a decade ago and shut down because not enough airlines were interested?

Comment Re: Better be ready to be beat up when layed off w (Score 1) 531

So then you are looking at specialized equipment thinking it can replace a human at a generic job? I think you are doing a couple of things wring here: underestimating our desire to build generic robots while overestimating capacity of specialized equipment to replace people at generic jobs within newer companies that don't have the capital to acquire or build very specialized equipment. In either case I think my points still stand, if the equipment is too specialized and expensive, humans can compete if they can provide quality, if the equipment is so general purpose and ubiquitous that anybody can afford it with a few months of pay, then people would be acquiring it to rent it out to businesses or to do jobs just like the owner operator truck drivers of today.

As to taxes and regulations, obviously they are making human labour less competitive compared to capital, is this even a question? A robot will not sue the company for 'wrongful termination' or for 'sexual harassment' or anything else for that matter (regardless of the merits). Regardless of what /. says, robots will not form unions,there will be no mandate for payroll tax or minimum wage or medical insurance, etc. These are government inventions that make people uncompetitive against labour.

Comment I hope AI can make coding redundant (Score 1) 61

We should hope that AI can learn to code and do it well enough that I could converse with it in a human language, define the problem as I see it and it would immediately (it would be immediate, right) give me a number of ready solutions to pick from. The amount of new product development that could take place would be staggering, we could quickly realise any idea, I hope that the AI would be good enough at that point to do user support and maintenance for the selected solution.

You, guys, are basically looking at it all wrong. Why shouldn't we desire to have systems at our disposal that would be good enough to create software (and at some point hardware) that we could 'program' by explaining high level requirements to a machine? The machine would have to ask more questions, the testing would reveal problems, the machine could do support and maintenance. I see this as a huge net positive, not as something that would hurt us but as something that would save us from decades of sitting on ass, getting less and less active over time, going blind from the screen... And we could never achieve everything we needed anyway at the speed of a human coder.

Comment Re:Apple PAYS for your SS, Medicare, Welfare and W (Score 1) 195

No, US bonds are the definition of ponzi scam that even Madoff would be awed by. U S A cannot return the borrowed VALUE of the money, that is what the Fed and the rest of the central banks are involved in, global inflation, writing off the debt without admitting the technicality of the default. The actual USA debt is all of the federal, state, municipal, corporate and personal borrowing that exceeds 221 trillion dollars and cannot be repaid under any circumstances.

Comment Re:Change how tickets are sold (Score 1) 157

That's the perfect market efficiency method of matching supply with demand - adjust the price until the two match.

The performers who give converts frequently prefer to deliberately mismatch supply and demand. By underpricing the tickets, demand exceeds supply and you end up with lines and shortages. This sort of mismatch (insufficient supply) is a problem with essentials like food (or the long lines for toilet paper that the Soviet Union was famous for). But since concerts are almost always entertainment, they're nonessentials so this mismatch isn't a problem. You don't die or starve (or have dirty underwear) because you were unlucky and didn't manage to get a concert ticket.

So the performers consider the drawbacks of this type of mismatch to be acceptable if it means their fans are able to attend at a lower price if they're fortunate enough to get a ticket. Basically, the performers are willingly leaving money on the table in order to give fans a lower ticket price.

Scalpers try to take advantage of this market mismatch to scoop up some of that money performers are leaving on the table. They either deprive legit fans from a ticket, or force them to have to pay a higher price than the performer set. If there are enough scalpers or their methods of obtaining tickets are sophisticated enough, they could conceivably elbow legit fans completely out of the opportunity to buy tickets.

Laws are not a very good way to try to thwart scalping. The best method is to enforce the non-transferable legal restriction of the ticket sale. e.g. Attach a name to each ticket and require people to show ID when they present their ticket for entry, like the airlines do. This is essentially what companies do when they lower the price on a product with a rebate. If they just dropped the in-store price, ebayers would buy up the entire stock and sell it on eBay at close to the original price. But offering the discount via a rebate which is limited to x submissions per address prevents the biggest abusers. An ebayer might be able to buy a few extra of the product using a work address and relatives' addresses. But it's a lot of hassle and the long turnaround time for the rebate means they'll be out of the capital for a while. So the rebate, while mildly annoying to the legit buyer, makes flipping impractical for the ebayer, thus helping guarantee it's the end-user who enjoys the discounted price provided by the rebate.

Comment Re:I was fortunate to have met him a few year ago (Score 1) 99

My wife and I got a chuckle out of the young security guard that was with him. When people asked who he was, he said that he was the worlds oldest astronaut.

You misunderstood what the security guard meant. Glenn was the oldest person to ever go into space when he flew aboard Discovery on STS-95 in 1998. He was 77.

Comment Apple PAYS for your SS, Medicare, Welfare and Wars (Score 1, Interesting) 195

The actual headline should be: USA government is still able to run the ponzi scams such as SS, Medicare, all other Welfare payments as well as waging its wars thanks to Apple and others who are *STILL* purchasing and holding their bonds.

Apple is getting $6 from each individual in interest rates over *YEARS*? Think about it: over *YEARS* Apple has gained *ONLY* $6 per person while buying insane amount of US debt.

Apple is losing money in this transaction, it could have used that money much more effectively in many other ways and instead they are buying US Treasury debt.

Apple and the rest of the bond holders: what are you going to do when there is a mass exodus from the US debt? Will you be the first in line to dump it? I think you are not going to be the preferred seller.

Comment Re:So you say, Solandri.... (Score 1) 247

To the contrary, the Fed employed a large variety of new techniques.

- all of these so called 'new techniques' are the same old technique of printing money. The so called 'operation twist' (it should be called 'operation screw you' instead) was about the Fed taking upon itself to absorb the long side of the curve, buying long term bonds and selling short term bills, which means turning the US debt into short term, variable rate mortgage. Yeah, that worked so well in the housing market, why not do it for the entire government debt, right?

USA is *not* on any path to increase interest rates. That's buying into the nonsensical government propaganda hook line and sinker. USA SHOULD have normal interest rates and should have NEVER went to 1% with Greenspan and to 0 with Bernanke.

Until Bernanke, Greenspan has proven himself to be the worst idiot and after him Bernanke has proven that no amount of idiocy can be unmatched a worse idiot and then Yellen has proven that gender doesn't matter at all, idiots come in all forms, sizes and genders.

Greenspan was an absolute disaster, Bernanke was an absolute disaster, Yellen is an absolute disaster in a skirt. What's funny is that at least Greenspan admits it *now*, maybe it will take Bernanke another 10 years to admit it as well. Yellen will never admit it.

Comment Re:I think you're mistaken about gold (Score 1) 247

Deflation seems like it helps people who have already accumulated wealth. Inflation seems like it helps people who have not accumulated wealth.

- completely wrong. Deflation favours savings and puts people on the right track to accumulate wealth and to use it productively while inflation favours spending *instead* of production, it gets the borrowers off the hook, because they don't have to give back what they actually borrowed, it hurts savers, encourages borrowing for spending and because it is done with the hand of the government (through the Treasury and the Fed and other banks working together) it moves new money to the preferred and connected people, while causing rising prices for everybody else.

Inflation favours the politically connected and hurts the rest.

Comment Re:Preempting Apple (Score 1) 100

There's no pre-empting going on. Apple is not the originator of these ideas - they may be talking about adding them to the next iPhone, but Android has had them for close to 7 years. My Samsung Galaxy S (the first one they made) didn't have physical navigation buttons - it had capacitive touch buttons and used the phone's vibrate module to generate haptic feedback. The navigation buttons were simply a separate touch-sensitive OLED display. Heck, my current Nexus 5 does the same thing except the buttons are part of the main display (has been since Android Honeycomb).

The media is just dominated by Apple fans who refuse to tell the truth and say that Apple is copying Android with these "new" ideas, or who have never taken a serious look outside the iOS ecosystem so they have no idea what else has been available for close to a decade.

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