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Tech Firm Fined For Paying Imported Workers $1.21 Per Hour

tnk1 Re:$3500 fine? (280 comments)

Both, probably. I don't think any one solution will work. Executives are a popular target, but the whole system needs an overhaul. People were still poor even when executives made a lot less money relative to everyone else too.

People are being replaced by robots, computers, or cheaper foreign labor. The people who used to work in those jobs need to either get retrained for entirely new ones or we need a different system. Even if you pay out a higher minimum, you only need so many people to work at McD's or on a farm, and frankly, we really should just replace the people with automation, and make it as cheap as possible to generate food and products. Then simply find a way to move towards an economy where you don't have to work for essentials. Our first step towards post-scarcity.

yesterday
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Tech Firm Fined For Paying Imported Workers $1.21 Per Hour

tnk1 Re:$3500 fine? (280 comments)

Minimum wage, to be effective, certainly needs to rise with cost of living at the very least. If it is ever static, then those workers are losing money every year just by standing still. I do think Minimum wage needs to track cost of living in a society where we assume an inflationary currency as normal policy.

Another problem with minimum wage is that it has to scale to the rates in places with different costs of living, so you can end up being unable to support yourself in one place while being semi-comfortable in others on the same wage.

I think we should probably end the minimum wage and start handing out actual items like food and housing in lieu of that. If our goal is really for people to have food and a roof over their head, then we should be providing that, and not throwing a wage around that doesn't guarantee any of that, or which can be misspent.

That or we need to start doing the math and figuring out if we really can, under any circumstances, actually provide for everyone. If not, we need to stop deluding ourselves and set realistic goals. I personally believe the US produces enough to feed every citizen at a basic nutrition level. However, I am not certain we can house all of us, except at a basic level and I am certain we can't buy all of us cars, even crappy ones. We need to ask what the minimum wage is really supposed to ensure, and if it is reasonable, let's just provide it.

Once businesses don't have to be responsible for paying for employees' necessities, then they can pay whatever the market will support and the workers will decide if they want to bother with working at McD's for $1.20 an hour in spending money and they won't have to accept a job there just to feed and house themselves.

yesterday
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Tech Firm Fined For Paying Imported Workers $1.21 Per Hour

tnk1 Re:$3500 fine? (280 comments)

I have to agree. If we have these laws, we need to enforce them.

If that means that the costs of products go up because we aren't using illegal aliens as slave labor, then we need to see that cost and understand why that is the case.

We think this is benefiting businesses primarily, but bear in mind, those who favor government programs and regulations to curry favor with progressives may be able to understate the economic effect of those items on the full economy by conveniently pointing to American productivity, but leaving out how much of that productivity is due to workers and businesses that evade those regulations.

Remember, it is a win-win for regulation and business if you can pretend that you have laws you enforce for higher standard of living, but you collude with businesses to make sure that the economy is not harmed by actually applying OSHA rules, minimum wage and social security to *every worker*.

I point this out, not to take the heat off of businesses. They are the ones who actually employ the illegal labor, and they are the primary people at fault. I'm trying to get to the heart of why the government is not enforcing these rules when it would be relatively simple for them to do so effectively. I think it is because no one wants to be up-front about why illegal workers are required to maintain our standard of living. No one wants to admit that we employ an underclass to maintain our citizens in comfort.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Smarter Disk Space Monitoring In the Age of Cheap Storage?

tnk1 Re:Sigh... (169 comments)

And for my part, I think that a sustained growth velocity metric is very useful out of the box. You know or you can calculate easily how big your filesystem is, so you can calculate a "time to full" which becomes your "window of opportunity" to fix the issue within. Any time the rate means that the remaining free space will be consumed in under a certain "safety" interval, you know you need to act. You then set a alarm threshold which makes sense with your reaction time.

If you have automation to deal with the issue, you set the alert and auto-fix interval to some amount of time that is sufficient for it to react. If you are simply alerting a human, then you use a reaction time interval that is more in line with a human reaction time.

You do have to pick a good sampling interval to reduce false alarms, but it is useful to have an alarm that states: "You now have less than one hour at the current rate of growth to prevent /dev/sda1 from filling up" Even if the rate slows down after a few seconds, you know that your system is doing something that is capable of a rate of growth that could fill your disk up in less than an hour, should it come to pass that the root cause manifests again.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Smarter Disk Space Monitoring In the Age of Cheap Storage?

tnk1 Re:Sigh... (169 comments)

You need both. Sysadmins are adaptive, but (relatively) slow to respond. Automation is (should be?) much faster, but not usually all that adaptive.

Automation is used, first and foremost, to trigger anything that you need to do to save your whole application or system which must run faster than a human reaction time. In that case, we consider a disk space alarm to be a signal to automation to step in before it is too late. But how do we know when it is too late?

My answer to the poster's original question is that you do want to tailor your disk alarms to your specific usage patterns, but you want use those percentages, or some well-considered standard initially. That's because setting alarms properly isn't a one size fits all solution, it is a process driven by knowledge of your system or your application.

Someone pointed out that it may take someone a year to go from 90% to 91%, especially in a personal environment, so they questioned the 90% number as useful. I think that entirely misses the point. For one thing, if you select a number, you are triggering yourself to take some action where you had none before. If, at 90%, you evaluate the situation and determine you need to raise the threshold, then nothing stops you from doing that.

Many times, people who suggest default percentages are trying to do something important: they want to make sure there is a simple, easy to implement solution by default. Having a default 85-90% alarm apply to all hosts by default allows you to be covered by default while you work out the specific needs of your application. What is the worst thing that can happen? You get annoyed by the alarm a little bit more? Once you hit 90% for the first time, I'm betting you now have good data on your disk usage patterns. You can then make a data-driven decision about your thresholds.

So, don't over think the percentages. Use a reasonable standard (like percentages), and then refine. At that point, you will know what method works best and you will have some protection in the meantime.

And this is where you want a sysadmin. They clean up the mess and analyze the data. They tell the automation to trigger at 95% or 10GB remaining, or a growth velocity of greater than 1GB/hour. Or all three. And then he resets the alarms and/or mass deletes the files on the server and brings it back into service on his own terms and not in panic mode. And then hopefully writes a script to improve his log rotation (or whatever).

2 days ago
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In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

tnk1 Re:There are limits to freedom of speach (488 comments)

I'm sorry to quote hardcore authoritarians like Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson at you. Perhaps you would prefer the more soft-core fascist, Thomas Jefferson,

"[a] strict observance of the written law is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means."

Or just read about some of the other Nazis who have said the same things in this right-wing agitprop piece:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Good Hosting Service For a Parody Site?

tnk1 Re: What I recommend (113 comments)

I'm hearing that this person wants to criticize someone in Poland who likes Putin. I'm guessing Russia is not actually a good choice here.

Russia is only better when you aren't doing something that directly opposes Russian interests. If you are opposing Russian interests, you'd probably have better luck in China.

Russia doesn't protect free speech, they just allow things to be hosted that piss off countries they don't like. That looks like free speech only to those who the Russian government likes or doesn't give a shit about.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Good Hosting Service For a Parody Site?

tnk1 Re: Polish (113 comments)

Historically, they do hate them just as much. It's just that the Germans are only the second to last occupiers. The Soviets are the most recent.

The Poles also kicked out millions of Germans from the lands they they were granted out of Germany when the USSR compensated Poland for lands that the USSR itself took from Poland. The Poles also hung the shit out of a number of Nazi war criminals.

No one has let the Poles hang any Russians. So, I'd say that the Poles have the bigger score to settle with the Russians.

Which is not to say I think that the Poles actually want to settle any scores, I just think they want to avoid being a puppet state of Russia again. Germany isn't currently attempting to do anything like that.

5 days ago
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In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

tnk1 Re:There are limits to freedom of speach (488 comments)

Maybe you should blame the people who decide to do the mobilizing.

No. You should not force someone to ignore a threat that they cannot themselves prove is untrue.

If by that you mean "free speech" isn't free because it isn't totally free from all possible restraint or responsibility, then perhaps it isn't, but considering the alternatives around the world, I think it is also completely missing the point.

In any event, it has already been pointed out that the Constitution is not a suicide pact. If speech has a good chance of getting people killed by creating a credible, but fraudulent threat, that's in no way legal, and I don't think any less of the government for considering that to be a perfectly reasoned exception to absolute free speech.

5 days ago
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In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

tnk1 Re:Cheap way to score political points (488 comments)

Yes, a longer maximum sentence, or more charges that can be applied are usually the difference between getting off as "innocent" and having to take a plea deal to avoid the possibility of complete disaster. It creates convicts where no convicts would usually be found.

And while I have some sympathy for those prosecutors who must deal with the organized criminals who can use the system against them, the reality is that these sorts of escalations just end up causing more poor people to become incarcerated.

5 days ago
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In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

tnk1 Re:There are limits to freedom of speach (488 comments)

Threatening to hit someone, when the person making the threat is willing, able, and appears ready to do so is actually the legal definition of "assault". Actually hitting them is "battery".

Yes "assault" seems to be a synonym with "battery", but under the law, they are different things.

5 days ago
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In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

tnk1 Re:There are limits to freedom of speach (488 comments)

Calling in a bomb threat usually mobilizes police and emergency responders. If we let people who were "just joking" off, then we need to become a lot more thick skinned about when we dispatch those responders. And then when someone dies because there was a real issue and the sensitivity level had to be reduced because the rest of them were "just joking", the first responders end up looking incompetent even though they were forced to their wits end with this bullshit and stepped back their response.

I think it is reasonable to charge someone for being that kind of asshole which falsely mobilizes that sort of response. Perhaps the people calling the cops might be asked to ask, "are you joking?", but I don't agree with that unless it is a kid or something. Adults need to know better.

If we don't actually make that sort of speech illegal, I think we should also make it not illegal for the people affected by this "joker" to beat the ever-living shit out of that person for scaring them, and potentially causing someone to die because responders can't take reports seriously anymore. After all, free speech should not make you immune from the consequences of that speech.

5 days ago
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No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

tnk1 Re:May I suggest RTFA? (331 comments)

I think the problem is the Canadian government does not want to cobble together multiple suppliers for one weapon like this. If they can go with Mosin-Nagants, they have a durable weapon that's an even older design than the Enfield, and probably still has a bunch of suppliers. Just make sure to get a model with some decent sights.

They could also go with an M98 system, like a K98k.

That or you can pick a weapon that was designed sometime in the 20th Century, as opposed to the 19th. There's a lot of bolt action goodness out there.

I do agree that if they go with a composite, and not wood, they would benefit from the weight savings, but they will need to be very careful about the characteristics of the material they use, and all that technology is going to cost $$$. The big benefit of those old bolt-action rifles is that they were designed and built in the days of the conscript armies before WWI. Other than something like an AK-47, you don't find weapons as numerous, durable, and well tested these days without some R&D money that needs to be paid off.

5 days ago
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Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres

tnk1 Re:Overly broad? (422 comments)

Glucose should just be outlawed along with its insanely toxic by-product, glucose-6-phosphate.

Aside from its other effects, that stuff even dehydrogenates into NADPH. Is there really any reason we even allow these chemicals into our body?

about a week ago
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Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

tnk1 Re: Scarier still.... (366 comments)

Eugenics *can* work, for some value of "working". The problem with eugenics is that you have to have a goal and then work towards it, but that goal has to be rather objective, well defined, and the end goal actually has to be *an improvement*.

What is a "smart" person? An idiot savant who is a human calculator? Someone who takes tests well? Someone who is imaginative?

All of those probably have different genetic and environmental components and we may need all of those types of people. It may be useful to have a few more of each, but do we need 100 million people who can ace the SAT?

And the same goes for so-called "sheeple". It doesn't take very much for people to become an uncontrollable mob that almost accidentally throws you out of power. What is the "activist" gene? What is the gene for "courage"? Are both of those behaviors expressed as a result of a combination of more than just a few traits? Does the new tractability of a population actually hurt you more than it helps you?

You can totally turn your population into a group that you define as say "Aryans". But does being "Aryan" actually make you more successful or help humanity? One might say that the only thing a eugenics program to create Germanic types is good for is... creating more people who are Germanic.

about two weeks ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

tnk1 Re:Let me get this right (838 comments)

Yes, you need to tax where the money is. On the poor and middle class.

Wait... what? Why? Because there are so many more of them by far.

It is a lot easier to get one dollar out of 300 million people, than it is to get 300 million dollars out of one person. That one rich person has the ability to fight back more effectively, and they are a lot more likely to notice the fleecing and try to do something about it.

More to the point, there are not a lot of people you can get 300 million out of. Even if they don't all flee to the Bahamas, you start to run out of rich people.

The Communists in Russia and China killed all the rich people and took their assets and money. It probably helped a little at the beginning, but it clearly didn't fix their problems. If you add up the amount of money that the richest people in the US have, and then take *all* that money away, including their assets and capital, you get about a trillion dollars. Sounds like a lot, but the US goes through that in about three months, every year. After you spend all the rich people's money, you then have the same expenses, but you've done little more than add a handful of people to the welfare rolls.

A small number of phenomenally rich people doesn't compare to the amount of money that millions of workers make put together. And those rich people aren't holding on to that money in the Scrooge McDuck vault. Unless they reinvest their money, it gets taxed by inflation. Not to mention that most of the "wealth" of people like your Bill Gates' and Buffets are in corporate stocks and other investment instruments, not in actual cash.

The problem with the economy isn't that there are a lot of rich people hoarding all the money, it is that our spending is out of control and that the poor and middle class are facing increasing prices without increasing wages.

If there is a problem with rich people, it is not so much that they are extremely rich as much as that it causes them to lose touch with the basic need to survive, which causes them to become involved in decisions that benefit only them, while ignoring the human element. They are not a giant money pinata which if we keep hitting it, will make everyone and the government suddenly comfortable, the biggest problem with the rich is that they *make the decisions for everyone* because they have the ability to sit around and run for Congress, or contribute to campaigns, whereas the rest of us need to get a real job.

In short, you have people running the country that don't understand the actual problems that most of the country has.

about two weeks ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

tnk1 Re:Let me get this right (838 comments)

And the rich tend to buy with credit backed by their assets, which is debt that they can frequently write off to their advantage.

about two weeks ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

tnk1 Re:Let me get this right (838 comments)

I'd have to agree. Want to help a campaign contributor? Create an obscure rule that allows the contributor to profit based on their specific circumstances, but that no one else understands enough to object on, unless they are a knowledgeable "special interest". Then shut up the opposed special interests by giving them their own rule to satisfy their own constituency.

Want to pretend to help the middle class? Create rules that look like they're getting something, only for those rules to be one-time, or quietly dispensed with in the next rule reshuffle.

The value of an understandable tax code is less about saving the middle class though tax breaks, and more about making it possible for the people to actually understand how much the government is taking and how the programs that our legislators vote on will affect that number.

about two weeks ago
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Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq

tnk1 Re: Designed in US, Built in EU, Filled in Iraq (376 comments)

I don't think the war was to cover up a program that everyone else already knew about. In fact, the war made the chemical weapons transfers into a matter of more general knowledge. You probably wouldn't know squat about it today to write about this if the war hadn't happened.

Why would they launch their whole war using as an excuse the very thing that they wanted to cover up? Even a moron would know that it would cause every journalist and conspiracy theorist on the planet to find and publicize the West's involvement in the Iraqi CW program in the 80s.

Sometimes I get confused about people who think that our politicians are masterful Machiavellian schemers, while at the same time, those same theorists count on the fact that our evil genius leaders fail at something like basic misdirection.

If I was trying to cover up a chemical program with a war in 2003, I wouldn't draw attention to the chemical weapons I'd... let's see.... pretend that al-Qaeda was moving to Iraq and fabricate tons of evidence of that. It would make a little more sense, no? And you wouldn't have pesky UN inspection teams. Hell, fake terrorists are much easier to fabricate than chemical weapons programs, wouldn't you say?

about two weeks ago
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Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq

tnk1 Re:This is the "Oh Noes, the ISIS has WDM" moment. (376 comments)

Cheney's crowd is no longer in power, and say what you want for Obama's near-sighted policy on pulling out all the troops... you'll have a hell of a time getting them back on the ground unless you have a significantly less flimsy pretext. Heck, you'll have trouble enough getting them back on the ground for a *good* reason.

about two weeks ago

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