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Submission + - Kowtowing to #PresidentTweety? Not so much (mercurynews.com)

shanen writes: Reality is SO inconvenient? The public facade (what they call the tatemae in Japanese) is that (many companies and) IBM wants to "work with" Trump to make GREAT profits again. In that IBM used to have great profits, you can see why.

The reality is that IBM is involved in a different kind of business transition. To compete they need to get rid of all those pesky career employees. More jobs? Maybe, but poorly paid and MUCH more transient. This story is about one of the inevitably awkward results...

Comment This is why America can't have nice things (Score 1) 104

Mostly reminds me of my experiences as a volunteer trying to support the public-use computers in the Austin Public Library. That was almost 30 years ago, way before we had anything like network access problems. Basically I wound up just wiping the systems every time I visited and restoring them as well as I could to their "legal" condition. The big problem in those days was just pirated software, especially an expensive CAD package, but the big threats these days are keyloggers intercepting passwords used for email and data stored in the network...

That reminds me of a much more recent fiasco involving Amazon and a public library in Indiana. Someone created a fake Amazon account in my name and validated the email address using some kind of bug in the Android app. Amazon never volunteered any meaningful details, but I'm believing the name and email address were just a dictionary attack. However, this thing went on for a year and a half before Amazon finally stopped it. One aspect of the scam obviously involved borrowing electronic books from a public library. If that was the only thing going on, then I'm only offended by the association of my name with some rather execrable books, but I think there must have been a money trail, too, or it wouldn't have gone on for so long... (Did you know you can escalate to jeff@ when you get desperate enough? At least it seemed to work in my LONG case, though the two-step solution was obvious in my FIRST contact with Amazon's customer so-called service.)

Historical trivia. Always want to close with a constructive suggestion, but it's hard to come up with one... Follow the money and break the criminals' economic models is kind of obvious, isn't it? Easy to say, but hard to do, even if the criminals are just ingenious fools.

Comment Re:#PresidentTweety RULZ Fake News Nation! (Score 1) 1544

Wouldn't be the first time I was fooled, and it's always hard to make predictions, especially about the future (as the joke goes). I deliberately tried for more specific predictions than I made about Dubya early in 2001, but the more specific, the less likely they will be fulfilled. As regards those three predictions, you may notice that the premises are actually quite conservative and safe, but the conclusions could easily get derailed in a number of ways.

Just to focus on the first prediction, as regards the premise we know that Trump has promised to put pressure on foreign countries and has already said a number of provocative things to and about China. Though he lies a lot, I think he is mostly sort of sincere on hating his business adversaries. Now will China decide this represents an opportunity to get Taiwan back? Hard to say, and if so, will they decide that a military approach is feasible? Again hard to say, but if they are leaning that way, then creating the diversion in North Korea is obvious... It should also be obvious that the Chinese dictators would love to scapegoat Trump for their own economic mistakes and real world limitations, but the devil is in the details, as they say.

I actually sort of agree with you about "improve [the] lives of Americans", but NOT the way you probably meant it. I think he is going to make certain rich people much richer and they will think that is improving their lives, even though they already have far more money than they will ever use. Your other quasi-prediction of "unnecessary conflict" seems basically meaningless, since he is already creating plenty of conflict, but it must be "necessary", eh?

Hey, does the stock market need to have any relationship to reality or is the entire value just a matter of #PresidentTweety's opinions?

Comment Ekronomics says "Hell, yes" (Score 1) 276

Per https://ello.co/shanen0/post/n... the software that increases productivity is investment and extremely poor societies can't afford those investments because essential production is already absorbing all the available resources. Or in other words, there's no sense in trying to squeeze blood from a turnip when he doesn't even have a turnip.

Entertainment category software is different and there is no rationale I can see for discounting it. Right now I'm having trouble thinking of any software that would qualify as essential, at least in the context of an extremely poor society.

Comment Memories of happiness? (Score 1) 127

The time I can recall being happiest with my Internet access situation was when I had a one-device (smartphone) solution. I had unlimited data, though at moderate speed. I tethered all of my computers through the phone and had enough data for watching videos. Ran through 50 GB in most months, but I was only paying about $50/month, if I remember correctly. Before that I had almost the same deal with that company, but I had to use two devices, a dumb phone and a USB dongle.

Unfortunately, the company got bought by another company and they destroyed the old plans. What I have now is basically inferior, involves three devices, and costs more. Actually, it costs much more if I add in my wife's separate expenses, though at least she was able to get rid of her second device recently. I think the funny part is that one of my devices is mostly used as a PDA, and back in the old PDA days was another relatively high point of satisfaction. The more things change the more they stay the same?

Comment Re:Let them eat Tweets! (Score 1) 1544

Just extending my earlier response on the basis of having had the opportunity to discuss this with some actual Chinese people yesterday. Unfortunately, none of them were from Taiwan and I'm not sure how to weigh in the "political reliability" of mainland Chinese who have been given permission to study abroad. Having said that...

They "sort of seemed" to think that a two-front approach might be feasible, especially if #PresidentTweety had actually sanctioned the invasion of North Korea. I didn't mention that part here, but I may have thought it was too obvious that the not-quite-a-feint in North Korea would keep America focused on that threat simply because of the American troops that would already be in harm's way when the balloon went up. I don't know enough about the current capabilities of the Red Army to fight two wars at once, even if they can keep them small.

Comment Re:Why isn't this on the front page? (Score 1) 5

Aha! I recognize that handle, but I can't recall whether or not you're a troll, a sock puppet, or just an annoying person of some sort. From the writing style, I'd guess a transpostite.

On the assumption that your question was sincere and not rhetorical or sardonic or whatever, then the answer is that I just put some stuff here for convenient reference. It was part of a dying and typically transient discussion. I rarely submit actual articles to Slashdot's so-called attention these years. It's possible that I'll refer to it later, or I might extend it and use it somewhere else. Perhaps YouTube is too much on my mind due to its prominence in a book on the google that I just finished? As of the time of publication of that book, YouTube was something of a sour grape for the google's rosy profits.

In terms of constructive suggestions for possible improvements, (1) my fuzzy negative memories of the handle suggest you aren't worth the effort, and (2) there are no signs that Slashdot is moving in any positive direction. However, I regard (2) as merely symptomatic of a more general social malaise in America.

Comment Re:Dude plays race case, threatens upper managemen (Score 1) 276

People are afraid of our legal system, and things are usually about making sure you can defend yourself against a lawsuit.
I had a friend who got a million dollar umbrella insurance policy when he put in a pool - just in case of a tragedy where a neighborhood kid drowned, he didn't want to be sued. The fact that you and a lot of others probably think "that's not a bad idea" means that lawyers have weaseled their way so deeply into our society that it's now the default behavior.

Just think about that. And watch things in your daily life. Our legal system is built to sustain the profession of lawyers. And do they actually make things better for everyone else, or just themselves?

Comment Re:Thanks to (Score -1) 127

Well, I am saying that YOUR [561790's] post "is a complete waste of everyone's time". Not even a nod to substance or relevance. Can't even say there is a discussion to regard as pointless and closed.

If you had nothing to say, why didn't you just say nothing?

Comment Re:Let them eat Tweets! (Score 1) 1544

I think I largely agree with you, but I can't tell if HornWumpus is making his point badly or just trolling. I would say that the communists certainly could invade and conquer Taiwan if they wanted to, but there would be a real cost and they would have to evaluate the benefits, including the effects on "domestic politics" in their peculiarly anti-partisan one-party system.

They could even imagine making a profit out of the invasion, but that obviously depends on not destroying too much infrastructure and a belief that the majority of the people on Taiwan would accept the new situation. An expensive insurgency could absorb all of the potential profits for as long as it lasts. On that aspect, they are obviously much more capable than we are of assessing the popular sentiment of their fellow Chinese.

Having said that, they might be able to invade relatively inexpensively by merely filling the next batch of cargo ships with soldiers rather than cargo. If they land and successfully seize the ports in a surprise attack, then they could quickly ferry a few million soldiers over and have quite substantial beachheads. I'm not even sure if the relative air forces would matter if the communists pulled a surprise with clouds of cheap drones...

There is a really important time-related factor, too. There was a known date for Hong Kong and they just had to wait. Taiwan has no schedule and they do NOT want to wait forever. They may well see #PresidentTweety's apprenticeship as the golden opportunity they've been waiting for.

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