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Comment Missing tthe central point? (Score 1) 320

Lots of discussions about why people think their job can't be replaced but not much about why the discrepancy between peoples option of robots replacing other jobs as being different from their self perception.

I think almost every job has an element that could be automated and therefore could be taken over by robots and also has an element that take human adaptability and could not be done by a robot. It is that later part I think people under estimate in other jobs and over estimate in there own jobs. For example I tend to think of my job as embedded systems engineer more secure that that of a business systems program. I tend think the business programmers do simple stuff of taking a spread sheet and spiting out a report, which could easily be automated, whereas I do analysis of how my product interacts with the real world and low level hardware coding that does not use off the shelf libraries so therefore my job can not easily be automated. So I fit the description of thinking my job safer than others. However a business programmer may think I have under estimated their job as they have to interact with customers to understand what the contents of the spreadsheet really mean and what the report actually needs to show and it only the coding in between that could be automated so their job is secure. They then look at my job and think the only reason it needs skill is a lack of libraries for real world access and low level access and once that was done it could be automated so their job is more secure.

The reality is jobs will change so the parts that a can be automated will disappear and the part that are hard to automate will remain. As the automation improves the human roles will become more specialised. I do worry the labour market and teaching institutes that support feeding them may be too slow to adapt and some people are going to fall below the intelligence thresholds need for the remaining jobs and this will become a bigger problem over time,

Comment Re:Not so hot for international shipping (Score 1) 183

Thanks for the link, your post needs voted up as informative. It does explain why you are at a shipping cost disadvantage. If that was fixed you still need to fix the attitude of most USA based sellers who only ship inside the USA. I assume the logic is the local USA market is big enough and international customer are too much hassle or risk.

Comment Not so hot for international shipping (Score 4, Interesting) 183

Sounds like good news if you live in the USA but Amazon are still at a disadvantage for international shipping. I can get stuff shipped from China to New Zealand for free, even stuff costing a couple of dollars but anything I get shipped from Amazon is really expensive, if they will even ship outside the USA, most don't. As a result I usually try to buy from China first and only try Amazon if what I want can't be source from China.

From what I have heard the Chinese government is effectively subsidising the shipping costs in many cases and that is probably the core reason US suppliers can not compete. From a consumer point of view the only downside is that it is very slow to arrive, but then again Amazon's cheapest shipping options are just as slow.

Comment How many humans is a robot worth? (Score 1) 387

While I have some sympathy for the idea I don't think it is practical. The first problem is how many humans does a given robot replace? For example one place I worked used a robot to apply glue to a plastic window on a product. This was not done for cost reasons, the task required a precise control over the amount of glue which was too difficult for a human to do. In this case the robot freed up about about 2 hours a day of a line worker's work load i.e. the robot had a human equivalent work output of about 1/4 of a human. On the other hand a large robot moving heavy items could be replacing 4 humans? Would it be fair to tax them at the same rate? The existence of such a tax would shape the design of the robots to minimise the tax per unit output. I see nothing but a complicated mess coming out of such an idea.

Comment Youtube has a potty mouth (Score 3, Informative) 52

For some reason Youtube thinks that people speaking with a New Zealand accent swear a lot. I was testing the Youtube product tutorial on an Android product which, unlike PC browsers, has the closed captioning on by default. A lot of the technical terms, spoken with a Kiwi accent, were being captioned with obscene words. When I recovered from laughing at just how rude it was being I warned our marketing team that made the video. They were mortified and suddenly had a large task of checking and removing the computer generated captions. It turns out all of our SFW videos had NSFW captions.

Comment So many floppies (Score 1) 145

Slackware was the first Linux distro I used but creating all those floppies disks was a such a pain so I switched to Red Hat which could installed directly from CD. Now days I don't own a single working computer with a CD drive but I can still read floppies via a floppy to USB adapter. That was back in the 90s, I wonder how Slackware stacks up compare with Mint and Cent OS I use these days?

Comment Re:Finally an iPhone that is better a Google phone (Score 1) 143

Because it is a wireless device. Wireless voice communications. Wireless data communications. Plugging in a cable to charge is a PIA. Before USB Type-C there was a 50% change the cable was the wrong way up and in low light you can't see which was is correct. You have to make conscious effort to charge it. With wireless charging you never have to actually think about the need to charge, you put the phone down and when you pick it up it is ready to go. Since my first QI device, a Nexus 4, I have never had a flat battery on my phone.

As for the efficiency who cares? It probably costs me an extra $10 a year in power, money well spend in book. Radio is inefficient too, transmitting watts of power to get microwatts at the other end but who cares, it works.

Comment Re:Finally an iPhone that is better a Google phone (Score 1) 143

QI is usable but certainly could be improved a lot as with the cheaper chargers and a thick phone case you do need to put the phone down in the right spot +/- ~5mm. They really need an improved standard that is backwards compatible with the existing standard but is less critical to alignment and spacing. If Apple do go their own way it would be nice if they support such backwards compatibility with existing QI devices ,

Comment Re:Finally an iPhone that is better a Google phone (Score 1) 143

You are right about the placement. I have couple of nicer chargers that have multi coil designs and are angled so the phone naturally falls to good position. This works well, even thru a thick leather cover. Charging is slow but as I have charging pads scattered everywhere I never have a flat battery.

That said the Type-C USB is a huge improvement. I have it on my laptop and think it is great step up from all other USB connectors.

Comment Finally an iPhone that is better a Google phone. (Score 2) 143

The Nexus 4 had QI wireless charging a few years ago but the Nexus 6 was the last Google phone to have it. I have refused to buy a Nexus 6P or Pixel due to the lack of wireless charging. If Apple introduces wireless charging they will, for the first time, be making a phone that I consider technically better than Google's offering. It would not be enough to get me to change to closed Apple eco system but may sway others.

I note the linked articles make no indication of what wireless standard they will use. Given that QI is used by almost everyone I would hope that is the standard they will follow, but Apple, being Apple, will probably see the need to introduce a new incompatible standard. I hope I am wrong about that,

Comment For those of you not living in the USA (Score 1, Funny) 126

I was in the USA once when one of these Superbowl things was on so can tell you a wee bit about it. I think it is meant to be the top level of the sport but appears to be only USA based teams. They call the sport football but it is not in any way related to actual football. It appears to be safety focused version of rugby where they are wearing full body armor making the players look more like some mini-mecha from an anime. Not as entertaining as my description might lead you to believe, but this is compensated for by a live concert in the middle of the game and some quite watchable commercials.

Comment Re: Compliance failure (Score 1) 173

Self certification does not mean you can do what you like it just means you have taken reasonable steps to verify compliance in house. We have test cambers of the same quality as a formal test houses so why should we waste time and money testing with an external test house? The key here is we are accountable for doing the tests and meeting the standard. If we certify as meeting CE and we don't then we need to be held accountable and put it right. In the case of LG they need to fix their product at their expense, not tell customer to move devices around. Self certification does not give LG a way out of their legal and moral obligations.

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