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Comment Re:Why not use Linux (Score 1) 255

I'm a programmer, so yes, I'm comfortable with various shells, but I think some people seem to overly fetishize it, like it's a badge of their geekdom or a symbol of their arcane power over a computer. The command line is just power and flexibility at the expense of user friendliness. Once learned, it's a very handy tool in your arsenal, and can be more efficient for some type of operations. Don't pretend it's anything but that, or you're just fooling yourself.

Personally, I'm with Doug Englebart on this one. Why do people ride bicycles instead of tricycles? Tricycles are easier to learn and harder to fall off right?

People ride bicycles because there's a perceived benefit to doing so, and so are willing to put in the effort to learn. People tend learn a few of the more advanced tricks in Excel for the same reason, or touchtyping. Sure discoverability and smooth learning curve helps things, but ultimately people need to see how learning a particular skill will be useful to them, and I think we programmers do a fairly bad job at showing this to people

Comment Re:A UBI can actually foster more jobs (Score 1) 880

This is the future we need to create, if you look at enablers like Uber or AirBnB and realise that through technology we can make individuals more productive and able to organise on an individual basis rather than these monolithic entities we call 'firms'. So what does an economy filled with self-employed people look like? how can we get there?

Strangely enough we need to look at developing countries, like Kenya, which is turning into quite the entrepreneurial economy. In Kenya they have co-op garages, where people with different skills loiter around the same area simply because those skills feed into one another, but they are still very much individuals working for themselves.

There are groups trying this idea like Colony, but obviously you need to be wealthy enough to stand on your own two feet before even considering joining such a project.

Comment Re:Everyone is a moron to someone.... (Score 2) 294

I really would like to know too. I write device driver for internal use, but I'll be torched down if I try to get them accepted in the kernel because there are so many things in them that I don't know how to do the 'correct' way.

No you probably won't be 'torched down', Linus' rants are typically aimed at people who aren't new to the Kernel and really should know better. If you're a newcomer to the Kernel they would afford you some leeway, just be prepared to take some constructive criticism on your code.

Comment Re:Look at the economics (Score 3, Insightful) 186

Solve out the server-side economics, and you have a shot at building an open-source Siri. Until then, you're better off putting your open-source efforts into client-side applications.

There is a new wave of decentralised open source applications occuring at the moment which changes the server-side economics considerably. Perhaps not so much in terms of something compute heavy like Siri, but certainly other bandwidth heavy things like youtube. Things like Ethereum, IPFS, ZeroNet.

Comment Re:Distributed websites (Score 1) 207

This sounds like a good use for some torrent-type technology to supply "distributed websites" Rather than having a server or "servers", articles go out from a seed source and are quickly seeded throughout the world. Maybe add some sort of checksumming/encryption to help validate that an article did in-fact come from the real source and not an impostor... it would stop sh*t like this from happening.

You've almost literally described IPFS, which is like the lovechild of Bittorrent and Git

Comment Re:Analog Hole (Score 1) 495

Digital all the way to the neural interface!

Yes. Converting a digital signal into an analog signal, which vibrates a drum, which creates pressure waves in the air, which induces a vibration into another drum, which creates pressure waves in some fluid, which moves some hairs which gets converted back into an electrical signal... is a seriously a rube goldbergian solution that has no place in the 21st century.

Comment Re:GMOs (Score 1) 527

On the flip side, don't you think that companies should pay for the studies needed to make sure their products are safe? Why should the public have to subsidise the development of a for profit company's products?

This is what gets me with the whole 'follow the money' idea here, the companies have a duty of care to make sure their products aren't hazardous, and if they were acting as socially responsible entities then they would genuinely be interested in conducting the tests.

Comment Re:Won't work in America (Score 2) 630

If they don't buy food, they will be hungry. Next month their primary need will be food, not shopping. So they will go eat. If they keep getting the money, eventually they will learn to balance their spending on their needs.

If people spending the money on the wrong thing is a concern, why pay them monthly?

Retail workers in Australia get paid every week, and office professionals every two. If you are spending irresponsibly its not that difficult to wait until pay day if that's only next week, where as if someone has a gambling problem and loses too much of their monthly UBI they don't have to somehow survive for a whole month until getting another cash injection.

Comment Re:Hooray! (Score 1) 163

It's an especially pointless argument considering that the effect of CO2 is cumulative, and the only statistic that actually matters is total global greenhouse gas emissions per annum, not per capita or GDP or any other division.

Anything that lowers global emissions, even if only temporary, will help. This is a global issue and will affect us all, so all countries big and small need to do what they can.

Short of starting a war, China will do whatever China wants, and there's nothing to be done about that. Their air quality issues alone should be enough to get the attention of the political class over there, and they are expanding their use of nuclear power to try and combat that issue.

Comment Re:The entire premise is pure BS (Score 2) 294

Lets do a little common sense here, I am a hiring manager and just interviewed two people with very similar qualifications, backgrounds, and work ethic, but one of them I can save ~20% on pay/benefits.... Wow, I wonder who I am hiring...

It's not pure crap, but you can explain it using market theory because the assumption here is that all other things are equal when they are not.

At any point in a womans career she can fall pregnant, whether this was planned or not. This means that at any point the employer is on the hook for maternity leave which is typically much greater than paternity leave. So given that disparity, if you had two otherwise equal candidates and decided to use economics as a tie breaker you would either choose the male candidate and not take the risk of maternity leave, or choose the female and hedge against the risk by paying her less.

I would expect that focussing purely on equal pay without accounting for this will lead to other effects, like less women getting hired, or promoted which isn't exactly what you'd call equality.

Comment Re:What if we don't care? (Score 1) 219

Most countries have anti-discrimination laws which could be used to guard against firing someone on the basis of political afilliation, at least in Australia we have a culture of respecting each others choice when it comes to politics and I've never heard of a company taking a stance on which party their employees should be voting for.

I don't see a need for one size fits all election process, some types of election might benefit more from being electronic than others. In particular it would be great if my home country national elections were electronic simply because it takes quite a long time to count all the votes, and do a nondeterministic number of recounts thanks to the wonders of ranked choice voting and crazy senate ballots in some states (I got to number candidates from 1-52 in my recent senate election).

For national elections I would be happy with pseudonymous elections, have the results on a public blockchain which everyone can verify the overall outcome and be given a code to check that their vote was unaltered and as they wished. People can destroy the code if they want it kept secret, even immedately if they trust the system.

However, if you're happy with your electoral process, and theres no issues with it then why ruin a good thing?

Comment Re:What if we don't care? (Score 1) 219

What about people who live or work in areas in which voting for the wrong person could have consequences? Someone working at a coal mine who wants to vote Democrat? A person with an abusive spouse who doesn't want to vote they way they were told to? Just because you are comfortable telling people who you vote for not everyone else has such luxury.

Voter coercion is a really bad way to rig an election though. Sure it sucks for the individual involved but it would have to be done on a mass scale to have any effect on the outcome for any major election. Lets take the Brexit vote in the UK as an example, the Leave side had a margin of around 1M votes, so if you wanted to rig this so that the result changed, you'd at minimum need to coerce 1M people or more likely 2M people to ensure the result you want. Keeping a lid on 2M people and making sure nobody talks is a rather significant consipiracy

Whilst keeping the process free and secure for the individual is important, I can't help but think in the grand scheme of things simply making voter coercion and vote buying illegal is enough to squash the most egregious examples from happening.

Comment Human Readable Summary (Score 2) 78

Blockchain-based entertainment industry startup SingularDTV plans to use distributed computation network Ethereum to sell access to a new Sci-Fi television show about the Singularity. The Ethereum Blockchain is known for it's 'Smart Contracts' or distributed programs that can handle transactions of arbitrary tokens between different cryptographically signed accounts. Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum Tokens can be created in any quantity at will for any purpose without the need for computationally expensive mining operations.

SingularDTV will create their own Ethereum Token backed by a Smart Contract to handle access to their show, this is made possible by the cryptographically signed accounts and public blockchain so you can mathematically prove you control the account which has the access token in it.

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