Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Comment Re: Don't worry we won't miss it (Score 1) 297

Funny how, when the CBO contained a clause you could spin as a bad thing - republicans loved it, now they pretend it's meaningless because it's dissing trumpkill.

The CBO is an adversarial source. You can only take seriously the things that they admit which harm their side - the congresscritters who requested the CBO study and placed the operating assumptions that the CBO is required to operate under..

And yet EVERY SINGLE ONE of those corruption cases I cited happened in a state with a private prison to pay the bribes. In fact you're just plain wrong - a public prison has every incentive to make their fixed budget stretch as far as possible, that means as few people inside as possible.

Ok, I looked through every post you made in this discussion. What was the number of corruption cases you cited? ZERO. It's very easy for EVERY SINGLE ONE of your ZERO cited cases to be whatever you want them to be. But even if you had cited a few cases, it's still trivial to cherry pick.

Corruption goes beyond your, ehem, limited selection. For example, we have this public jail example of corruption (and more, here) from New York City. And some of the supposed private corporation bribery was actually done by prison guard labor unions.

The growth of Californiaâ(TM)s incarceration system, and the decline of its quality, tracks the accession to power of the stateâ(TM)s prison guards union, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (âoeCCPOAâ). The CCPOA has played a significant role in advocating pro-incarceration policies and opposing pro-rehabilitative policies in California. In 1980, CCPOAâ(TM)s 5,600 members earned about $21,000 a year and paid dues of about $35 a month. After the rapid expansion of the prison population beginning in the 1980s, CCPOAâ(TM)s 33,000 members today earn approximately $73,000 and pay monthly dues of about $80. These dues raise approximately $23 million each year, of which the CCPOA allocates approximately $8 million to lobbying. As Ms. Petersilia explains, âoeThe formula is simple: more prisoners lead to more prisons; more prisons require more guards; more guards means more dues-paying members and fund-raising capability; and fund-raising, of course, translates into political influence.â

And you simply don't understand the conflicts of interest that face jails private or public. They only get funded, if there is a need for the jail and the funding tends to be proportional to the number of prisoners either way.

Comment No shit (Score 1) 318

And I dunno about schools these days, or everywhere for that matter, but way back when I was in high school the books usually used something that was quasi-cylindrical like a Robinson or some such. Tended to give you a good picture of whatever they centered it on (which would usually be whatever was being talked about) and squished things near the edges.

I don't recall ever seeing a Mercator projection. Maybe the local maps were, like when it was showing a single country, but of course it doesn't matter a lot at that point as the distortion in a small area isn't that large whatever kind of projection you use.

Comment Re:VAT (Score 1) 447

NZers paid GST (VAT) of 15% on top of the price that Apple charged.

Exactly. Did I not say that New Zealanders paid taxes?

Sounds like you're not prepared to understand what that means, so I'm probably wasting the max keystroke my keyboard can perform here...

Back at you on that. Apple's profits will be reduced due to this VAT (else they could just charge more in the first place). Thus, it is irrelevant that the tax is treated as being paid solely by customers for this tax is also paid for by Apple.

Comment Re: Don't worry we won't miss it (Score 1) 297

Firstly basic research is practically non-existent in the private sector and always has been

Not true. For example, about a quarter of US college students go to a private sector college. And any listing of top research universities will have a heavy private sector presence (such as here, here, and here).

Similarly, let's see who actually is funding R&D in the US:

In 2006 the total expenditure for R&D conducted in the U.S. was about $340B in current dollars. Of this total, basic research accounts for about 18% ($62B), applied research about 22% ($75B), and development about 60% ($204B).[8] Over the past decades the U.S. institutions contributing to the output of basic research have shifted dramatically.[9] Although industrial contributions to national R&D now far outpace Federal R&D support, only about 3.8% of industry-performed R&D can be classified as 'basic', with the remainder devoted to applied R&D. For industry-funded and performed R&D, the basic percentage is about the same for 2006, 3.7%. This percentage of basic research performed by industry has hovered slightly below 4% of all industry-performed R&D for most years since the late 1990s.[10] In 2006, industry funded 17% of U.S. basic research, and performed 15% of it.

The Federal Government is the second largest source of R&D funding (28%) following industry. Federal expenditures vary greatly from agency to agency in terms of amounts, directions, and objectives, depending upon the mission of the particular agency.[11] Federal funding is the primary source of basic research support in the U.S. (over 59% in 2006[12]), of which about 56% is carried out by academic institutions. U.S. basic research is also funded by foundations (about 10%), universities and colleges (about 10%), and state and local governments (about 3.5% through funding of academic basic research).[13] Federal obligations for academic research (both basic and applied) and especially in the current support for National Institutes of Health (NIH) (whose budget had previously doubled between the years 1998 to 2003) declined in real terms between 2004 and 2005 and are expected to decline further in 2006 and 2007. This is the first multiyear decline in Federal obligations for academic research since 1982.[14] The intent of Federal policy is to increase support for physical sciences research in future years.[15]

Right there, we see that 17% of basic science funding in 2006 was paid directly by private industry with additional amounts by foundations and private universities and colleges. So claiming that the private sector in basic science research is non-existent is outright wrong. Even when you narrowly consider only the funding from private businesses!

We then need to consider that public funding has crowded out private funding - after all, what's the point, for example, of a billionaire donating money to a new particle accelerator, or a body of researchers to solicit private funds when public funding can easily outspend the private funding by an order of magnitude or more? Before that happened, private funding was a huge source of basic research. For example, most US professional astronomical telescopes from before the Second World War were privately funded. So private funding has been artificially suppressed by the plentiful public funding.

Finally, there's the matter of efficiency. Private research efforts tend to be a lot more productive for the money spent than public ones (which are often more about where the money is spent and by who, that was is done with it).

Now, let's consider your other assertions.

Same goes for pretty much any public service. At BEST the outcome is that a lot fewer people have access to the service - after all private industry has no reason to make it available to people who cannot pay. This can, by itself, lead to disastrous outcomes - one house without water means a whole city is at risk of a cholera outbreak. One person without access to adequate healthcare puts EVERYBODY at risk of pandemic outbreaks. And that's the BEST case scenario. The more likely scenario is that companies use access to the service to extort and control people and force them to do other things they do NOT want to do.

So we have numerous claims made in this small patch. First, let us note that pandemics aren't relevant to health care spending. You aren't going to be a significantly lesser Ebola or influenza threat just because you're getting more plush end of life care (which to my understanding is where most such money goes).

And nobody gives out free water, sewer, electricity. Someone always pays for that.

Then of course, there's the problem of ignoring the effectiveness of the service. A huge factor in the development of cell phones, for example, was the break up of the AT&T monopoly in the US (which led to aggressive competition in the cell phone market) with similar regulatory break ups in Europe. If those hadn't happened, then what would be the incentive for state-sanctioned monopolies to roll out a cell phone network? How many decades would we be behind? In the US, most people didn't even own a phone till the mid 80s.

I see once again the emphasis on universal coverage at the expense of the quality of coverage.

The republcans made a big deal about a clause in the CBO report on Obamacare which said it would lead to a million lost jobs. "Proof" they said that "Obamacare kills jobs". Except they were lying to you about what the report actually said. That million lost jobs were all VOLUNTARY. What that report ACTUALLY predicted was that lots of people who are held hostage in a job they don't want ONLY for healthcare access would be free to QUIT that job to go get a job that pays more, to go study so they can get better qualifications, to go start a small business - because employers would no longer be able to use healthcare access to blackmail people into staying in shitty jobs. In other words - a pure good thing. Just a slight decrease in how privatised healthcare was made people, over-all, far more free than they were before.

The CBO has published a lot of terrible shit with respect to Obamacare. Its role is throw out propaganda studies at a time when no one else has studied the problem.

A job you cannot quit without dying is not a job at all - it's slavery with better disguised chains.

Not even remotely a problem.

Public prisons have every incentive to rehabilitate and reduce recidivism. But private prisons have every incentive to maximise the prison population - and so the very goal of having prisons is not part of their incentives. More-over, since the advent of private prisons there have been numerous scandals where private prison companies were found bribing judges to impose excessively harsh sentences for minor infractions - because it's to their advantage to get as many people in there as possible and the less deserving the inmates are the cheaper they are to manage.

I saved the best for last. You clearly don't understand the conflicts of interest here. Public jails have most of the same conflicts of interest as private jails. Politicians have incentive to look "tough on crime". The staff at jails have the profit motive, even those at public jails. A prison guards labor union has very similar conflicts of interest as owners of a prison.

That's why we don't see significant differences IMHO between states with private prisons and those without. It's not just the private businesses that profit from a high incarceration rate.

Comment Re:Is your company's business illegal? (Score 1) 151

I guess you did not read the message at the top of the Wikipedia page "This article or section might be slanted towards recent events. Please try to keep recent events in historical perspective. (February 2017)"

Try this from three years ago: http://billmoyers.com/2014/02/...

Yes, the current administration is completely delusional. But so is the opposition, which previously was happy to give power to the Leviathan without considering what would happen if that power were to fall into the hands of less congenial folk.

It is telling that you only heard about the Deep State once Trump came along.

Comment Re: Don't worry we won't miss it (Score 1) 297

Whether the federal budget is 5-trillion dollars or 5 dollars, what you DO with it will STILL matter more.

I disagree. Not redirecting $5 trillion in funds away from competent organizations like businesses allows for a lot of privately funded basic research. That tends to be better value for the money spent too.

Comment Re:Is your company's business illegal? (Score 0) 151

We don't know how many have been fucked over, because the Deep State is not telling and refuses oversight, using FISA gag orders, etc.

Anyone who tries to sue is out of luck because the courts conveniently say they lack legal standing. Even if you have knowledge of malfeasance, it does not count, because you are not allowed to have that knowledge. Good luck if you are in Gitmo, some black site, or been targeted for some light-hearted rendition.

Combined with enthusiastic "Three Felonies a Day" and parallel construction, we have absolutely no idea how many have been fucked over.

The fact that we are not allowed to know, means that it is >>0. My guess would start with Congress, the Judiciary and the military brass. But there are also plenty of luckless dope dealers and Arabs whose fate has been outsourced to an "ally".

Comment That's how these things always go (Score 4, Insightful) 125

Whenever there's a "language popularity" thing online they always do their research by looking at what people are doing online. Either what they are talking about, what they are sharing, etc. Somehow none of them ever consider how horribly skewed this is.

The simplest counterexample to something like this is embedded software. It is unarguable that there's a lot of development of that going on. Everything today gets controlled with a micro-controller or small CPU. Actual custom designed ASICs/circuits are reserved for only a few applications, most things get a more general purpose device and do it in code. Your car, your cable modem, your microwave, your TV, etc all of them run code.

Well guess what? That embedded code isn't done in Javascript or Ruby or any of these other trendy languages. Often as not it is done in C/C++ (and sometimes partially or all assembly). It just isn't the sort of things that gets posted about online. First the code is almost always proprietary, so the project itself isn't going to get posted as it is property of the company that paid to have it written and second it is professionals working in teams doing it, not people who are getting started out or playing around. They are likely to get help internally, not talk about it on the Internet.

So if you want to look at Github to see what is popular on Github, that's cool, but when people try to generalize that to development overall, it is false. To get a feeling for what is really popular in software development you'd have to poll programmers working at a variety of big companies since that's where a lot of the code is being generated.

Slashdot Top Deals

Computers are not intelligent. They only think they are.