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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

jonnyj Re:This is not the problem (659 comments)

...very recent history is starting to show companies can make plenty of money just catering to the upper middle class...

It always was ever thus. Companies like Rolls Royce, Gucci and most of the retailers in the West End of London make money only from the affluent. The same could be said for owners of cruise liners, managers of hunting estates and wealth fund managers. In fact, most of the economy works by supplying goods and services to the rich.

On the other hand, many people make a living from the poor. Developers of social housing, discount retailers and energy companies are just a few examples of very large businesses that make a tidy living from selling stuff to people who are lower down the income scale.

5 days ago
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How Birds Lost Their Teeth

jonnyj Re:So which came first (138 comments)

They have the loss of teeth and the development of the beak, but where did the gizzard develop? They would not have been able to loose their teeth and develop a beak without one, and birds are the only animal (That I know of) that has one.

Plus gizzards are great when fried. ;)

According to Wikipedia, many reptiles including dinosaurs have/had gizzards.

about a week ago
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UK MP Says ISPs Must Take Responsibility For Movie Leaks, Sony Eyes North Korea

jonnyj Re:I wonder who bought him (216 comments)

The problem with your thinking is that if they start to monitor traffic, they'd have to disallow HTTPS. They'd have to disallow anonymising proxy use. They'd have to watch every packet to see if it might be used for any kind of illegal activity for any country worldwide.

Once you make an ISP responsible for policing for one law, they become responsible for any law breakage, which would essentially shutdown the internet entirely.

I send an e-mail with a joke that includes a rough drawing of Mohammed - boom - Islamic Radicals attack the ISP for allowing it to go through.

Your falacy would also have to be applied to all of the backbone operators globally, which would halt internet traffic in it's tracks.

There would be no need to watch every packet; there would simply be a need to put in place risk-based, technically achievable procedures that would have a reasonable chance of detecting activity that is against UK or international law. It's not against UK law to send a joke about Mohammed, so ISPs would have no responsibility for that. HTTPS is not easily inspectable at a packet level, so there would be no responsibility for that, either - although it might be reasonable to other matters associated with HTTPS traffic such as the end IP addresses and the volume of data transmitted. If you took the financial services model, backbone providers would be able to rely on measures taken by the consumer's ISP, so the internet would not be shut down.

You have identified no falacy[sic] in what I'm saying here.

about two weeks ago
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UK MP Says ISPs Must Take Responsibility For Movie Leaks, Sony Eyes North Korea

jonnyj Re:I wonder who bought him (216 comments)

Banks are common carriers of money. Most money transmission is legitimate, but all banks are required to have systems in place to detect whether any particular transaction is associated with criminal activity. If banks do not have these systems in place, their directors are subject to personal fines and possible prison sentences. The rules are rigorously enforced by the FCA.

How is an ISP's common carrier service conceptually different from what banks do?

about two weeks ago
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UK MP Says ISPs Must Take Responsibility For Movie Leaks, Sony Eyes North Korea

jonnyj Re:I wonder who bought him (216 comments)

>10% enforcement is better than 0% enforcement.

That depends entirely on the cost of enforcement...

Of course. So this becomes a question of pragmatism. If it can be demonstrated that the cost of enforcement is lower than the cost to society of the criminal activity, presumably you agree then that ISPs should be required to support law enforcement?

about two weeks ago
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UK MP Says ISPs Must Take Responsibility For Movie Leaks, Sony Eyes North Korea

jonnyj Re:I wonder who bought him (216 comments)

(Which obviously means that the stated reporting limit is NOT the real reporting limit.) Can you explain, at a more basic level, why it's acceptable for banks to be reporting legal transactions to the government, when it's so much easier for a real crook to deal in cash?

Two questions, so two answers. First, reporting limits are rarely stated; if they are, they are certainly not the real reporting limits. It would be an offence under the UK's money laundering regulations for a financial institution to publish the criteria that they use to detect potential criminal activity.

Second, it's true that cash can be used to circumvent the regulations, but cash can't be used to buy most of the things that big-scale criminals want to buy. If you attempt to buy a house with cash, your lawyer will report you to the national crime agency for investigation. If you buy a luxury car with cash, the same thing will happen. If you attempt to purchase a luxury holiday with cash, your bank will likely report you.

about two weeks ago
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UK MP Says ISPs Must Take Responsibility For Movie Leaks, Sony Eyes North Korea

jonnyj Re:I wonder who bought him (216 comments)

If you sat in the back of a taxi and casually wiped blood off a dripping knife, the taxi driver would probably be prosecuted as an accessory to your murder. A great deal of criminal activity on the internet is just as flagrant.

about two weeks ago
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UK MP Says ISPs Must Take Responsibility For Movie Leaks, Sony Eyes North Korea

jonnyj Re:I wonder who bought him (216 comments)

Banks are required to have systems in place to prevent their payment services from being used for money laundering purposes. Haulage companies are required to have systems in place to prevent their lorries from being used by illegal immigrants. Fertiliser distributors are required to have systems in place to prevent their products from being used for bomb making. Munitions retailers are required to have systems in place to prevent their guns from being used by crazed psychopaths

If you go by your examples, it is Sony that should have systems in place to prevent their movies from being stolen, not the ISP. As the parent message said, the ISP is just like the roads the criminal may travel over to and from the bank. The city may be able to put up a few stop signs or traffic stops as needed, but ultimately, someone always finds another route around.

You don't get what I'm saying. If you make a shed-load of cash by selling dope on the streets of Britain, your bank would stand to profit if you used that cash to buy stuff with your credit card. The bank provides a money transmission service, but it has a legal obligation, enforced by prison sentences for non compliance, to seek to identify and report cash movements that appear to be related to criminal activity. As a result, your dope-selling business is likely to be busted.

ISPs provide an information transmission service. Can you explain why money transmission should be subject to laws that require criminal use of the service to be identified, while information transmission should be exempted from any such requirement?

about two weeks ago
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UK MP Says ISPs Must Take Responsibility For Movie Leaks, Sony Eyes North Korea

jonnyj Re:I wonder who bought him (216 comments)

...what you and other morons like you think they should be doing is several orders of magnitude more difficult than you like to pretend it is...

Who said it was easy? I certainly didn't. It's not easy for banks to identify financial transactions that relate to criminal activity either. But they try, and, over time, get better at it. 10% enforcement is better than 0% enforcement. 20% enforcement is better than 10% enforcement. When did a cry of, 'It's too hard!' ever become a reason to give up on something? Should we stop looking for murderers who leave a scant trail of evidence, for example? Are you scared of progress?

You can make a reasonable argument for saying that intellectual property should not be protected by the criminal law. But, for as long as that legal protection exists, it's hard to escape the irresistible conclusion that it should be supported by a legal environment that's similar to other criminal activity.

about two weeks ago
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UK MP Says ISPs Must Take Responsibility For Movie Leaks, Sony Eyes North Korea

jonnyj Re:I wonder who bought him (216 comments)

Because ISPs are like the roads. Are the companies that have paved the UK roads responsible for the bank job?

Did you read what I said. There was a 'knowingly' in there somewhere.

Banks are required to have systems in place to prevent their payment services from being used for money laundering purposes. Haulage companies are required to have systems in place to prevent their lorries from being used by illegal immigrants. Fertiliser distributors are required to have systems in place to prevent their products from being used for bomb making. Munitions retailers are required to have systems in place to prevent their guns from being used by crazed psychopaths.

ISPs provide a product that is widely used for criminal activity. Can you explain why they are any different from banks, haulage companies, fertiliser distributors or munitions retailers. As a hint, though, your desire to engage in the criminal activity supported by ISPs is not a good response.

about two weeks ago
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UK MP Says ISPs Must Take Responsibility For Movie Leaks, Sony Eyes North Korea

jonnyj Re:I wonder who bought him (216 comments)

How typical of a politician, and ESPECIALLY one in an English-speaking nation, to insist that everyone, everywhere has to shoulder the responsibility for everything that ever goes wrong.

So the driver of a getaway vehicle has no responsibility for the bank heist committed by his mates? And the trader in stolen goods down the pub has no responsibility for the burglary carried out by his mates?

There's a widely accepted principle across the UK legal system that people who knowingly facilitate criminal activity must share responsibility for that criminal action. It's not immediately obvious why a different principle should apply to ISPs.

about three weeks ago
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Renewables Are Now Scotland's Biggest Energy Source

jonnyj Re:Math (235 comments)

More maths: Scotland has a population density of 67 per sq km; England has 407.

It's easy to rely on renewables when you have loads of land.

about three weeks ago
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As Amazon Grows In Seattle, Pay Equity For Women Declines

jonnyj Re:I bet Amazon would love to hire more women. (496 comments)

I bet Amazon has a lot of computer-programmer hires, and would love to hire more women and to pay them computer-programmer salaries to program computers...

I like to think that Amazon couldn't care whether its programmers are female, male, black, white, straight, gay, Democrat or Republican: in any sensible world, a company simply hires the best it can find. If few women are applying, or if women are discouraged by interviews with no opportunity for a bathroom break, that's only a problem for Amazon if it's struggling to fill positions.

The original article fails to pick up on the real risk to Seattle, though, which is economic. History suggests that individual businesses rarely flourish for decades. Some time in the future, Amazon will hit on hard times; when that happens, Seattle will have a crisis. The risk is that by 2030 Seattle becomes like Detroit, the former coal mining communities in South Wales or the old mill towns in northern England.

It's not good to put all your eggs in one basket.

about a month ago
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In this year's US mid-term elections ...

jonnyj Re: Lies, damned lies, statistics (551 comments)

I think the terms might have different resonances on the two sides of the Atlantic. When I mentioned a libertarian bias, I'd assumed the term would broadly also include the Democrats. I guess I misunderstood something!

My point about reading and engaging widely outside your own group still stands, though.

about a month and a half ago
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In this year's US mid-term elections ...

jonnyj Re:Lies, damned lies, statistics (551 comments)

You didn't really think this poll would have an outcome anywhere near the result of the real elections?

And therein lies a major problem with internet discussion sites like this one. Birds of an ideological feather often flock together in one happy internet roost, and very easily lose complete sight of any world view other than their own. Much as I enjoy reading the debate here and on sites that appear to reflect a similar demographic like arstechnica, I definitely feel the need to temper the libertarian bias I see here by also going to places that are more likely to articulate the importance of business, finance, politicians, the establishment and religion to national life.

It's not healthy to only read things that you agree with. If you're from the USA and you're not one of the tiny minority who hit the Republican button, I hope that you broaden your mind by also looking elsewhere for comment and debate from a right wing perspective.

about a month and a half ago
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Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

jonnyj Re:Diseconomies (610 comments)

Externalities are for your enemies.

If liberals really cared about externalities, they'd count the external cost of sexual liberation and promiscuity - sexually transmitted diseases, fractured relationships, unwanted pregnancy and the like - and they'd promote government policies that sought to return to traditional morality. But they don't.

If environmentalists cared about externalities, they'd include the increased cost of housing for poor people next time they evaluated the need to preserve a nature reserve full of rare newts. But they don't.

If conservatives cared about externalities, they count the cost of pollution associated with fossil fuels. But they don't

We all have our blind spots.

about 2 months ago
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Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

jonnyj Re:Article ignores variability (610 comments)

The article discusses wind power vs. coal and other types of power purely on the basis of cost, with absolutely no discussion of reliability.

IOW the "baseload power" chestnut. Nevermind that energy demand is the highest on hot sunny days and cold, windy ones.

Let me guess... you don't live in Europe, right?

This is a European report. We're a temperate continent with cool summers and chilly winters. Energy demand in Europe is at its highest when a winter anticyclone sits over the populous northern part of the continent. The sun comes out; the temperature plummets; everyone turns up the central heating... and there's absolutely no wind!

Air conditioning in most of Europe is uncommon in the home: we simply don't need it. Summer power usage is far lower than winter usage.

about 2 months ago
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Outsourced Tech Jobs Are Increasingly Being Automated

jonnyj Re:That was (and is) a politically-driven departur (236 comments)

...The finishing blow came when the opposition encouraged non-assimilating immigrants to flood in...What Thatcher (and the financial interests she enabled) couldn't kill, the opposition managed to finish off through importation of non-assimilating individuals from the Third World.

Am I confused or are you? How did a "flood" of "non-assimilating individuals" kill heavy industry in 1980s Britain? I don't believe that many of the UK's mines, steel works, car factories and or ship yards employed many immigrants, but non-unionised manufacturing (which did actually employ significant numbers of immigrants) saw dramatic growth throughout Thatcher's tenure. I'm afraid that it was the indigenous, working class, lifetime union jobsworths that killed their own future.

If you fancy indulging in a little xenophobia, please do it intelligently. You might also find it helpful to ground your statements in facts rather than random conjecture and mindless prejudice, too.

about 2 months ago
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Outsourced Tech Jobs Are Increasingly Being Automated

jonnyj Re: Monitoring software (236 comments)

So you're proud of eliminating 1/3 of the jobs at your company?

That's the real problem. Humans doing this stuff to each other. We already know how this is going to turn out as long as we continue to alow MBAs to be in charge of things.

That's the mind-set that drove the heavily unionised nationalised industries in the UK in the 1970s. As a result, we have no indigenous car industry, steel industry, mining industry or shipbuilding industry. All the jobs disappeared overseas, and only industries protected from international competition survived: rail, post, telecommunications.

Is it better to eliminate 1/3 of the jobs now, or to see all of the jobs disappear shortly after? My only issue is this: rather than trying to do more with less, companies would be better to learn to do much more with a little more.

about 2 months ago
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GNOME 3 Winning Back Users

jonnyj Re:I'll take another look at it. (267 comments)

Gnome's reduction of customizability began in the early millennium when it partnered with some large companies who had carried out formal UI studies and found that for the vast majority of users, options only confuse them. Yes, power users like being able to tweak everything, but there are already a number of *nix graphical interfaces for nerds, and why shouldn't ordinary people get a desktop for them too?

Quite. I really don't get why folk need to hate on someone else's user interface. If it's not for you, move on: the diversity of Linux is a strength, not something to get angry about.

It might be an unpopular view, but I really, really like Unity, for example. It fits in with my workflow and I forget it's there - just what should happen with a desktop environment. It also works well for my mother-in-law, my father and my wife: none of them are computer literate and they enjoy its simplicity.

I've been looking again at Gnome 3 and I also can see its appeal. The way it handles multiple desktops is great, for example, and some of the default apps superficially appear to be excellent. It might not be for everyone, but it has its niche. I might yet be persuaded.

Similarly, I can see the appeal of XFCE, KDE and LWM. They're not for me, but I can understand why people like them. Sometimes you need customisability (KDE) or something that doesn't need loads of RAM or hardware-enabled graphics acceleration (XFCE/LWM). If they work for you, then great.

Why the negativity? I know what I don't like, and I have very little interest in hearing what you don't like; what interests me is the chance of discovering the good stuff out there that I don't yet know about.

about 2 months ago

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