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Uh, telling you that the way you make a living is unethical is not the same as wishing harm upon your children. You may not agree with his ethical system (lord knows I don't, it's bonkers) but everyone's economic activities are subject to ethical judgments, even if they're feeding children with their profits. Lots of people raise children in less financially comfortable circumstances than computer programmers, and most of them turn out fine.

Re: RMS's bonkers ethical system: I really don't think he ever moved past the mindset he had in academia, where he was essentially a researcher of how computers do and could work. To him, code should be shared freely just like research in biology and physics is. This has nothing to do with the real world as it exists today, but I do honestly belief that's the germ of his worldview.

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FYI, code is not shared freely in biology and physics, it's a big problem.

academia is not a hegemony. there are a few people in academia that share beliefs with stallman, there are many others that have no problem with making money off of their work.

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I guess what I meant is not the code people write to conduct the research, but the actual results of that research. As in, you can't copyright a fact. You can't copyright a beaker or a flask. I know there's a lot of debate within the scientific community about commercialization, but I think there was a lot less of this in the '70s when Stallman was forming his ideas.

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A good time to remind Americans how insanely difficult it is to get into the U.S. legally:

http://reason.com/assets/db/07cf533ddb1d06350cf1ddb5942ef5ad...

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This is crazy. IMHO, The main draw back is that you can only go thru one lane. Either family, skills or money. Canada has a system that allows you accumulate points in several categories. It is in the best interest of the US to have a system that works.

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There's a lot of complexity and nuance around why the US immigration laws are the way they are. There are a lot of people that want to get into the US. A lot. I cannot emphasize that enough. The process has a lot of issues, but you have to understand why it got that way. The US's goal is to ensure that anybody who garners entry to live and work in the US is a contributing member of society. The three ways it does that is that (a) you have family here that are presumably productive members of society, (b) you have a set of skills that makes you a valuable asset to the US, or (c) you have a ton of money and can create jobs in the US. If you have only some money and average skills, you're not nearly as valuable as if you have either (b) or (c). Since the US has an incredible number of applicants, it only selects the best they can.

You wouldn't find it insane if colleges or employers made the same decisions. The decision of his visa isn't made in a vacuum--it's made with regard to everybody else who applied for visas, too. And that's a lot of people.

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The three ways it does that is that ... (b) you have a set of skills that makes you a valuable asset to the US ... You wouldn't find it insane if colleges or employers made the same decisions.

The problem is that there's a major disconnect with what the comfortable middle and upper-class people who make decisions about the immigration system think of as a "valuable asset to society" and the actual economic incentives for most people who want to immigrate to the United States. To use your corporate analogy, it's as if the hiring committee of a major corporation decided that there were so many applicants for jobs that everyone the company would hire should have the same skills and credentials that the people on the hiring committee have -- master's degrees and continuing education credits -- even though what the company needs to hire is janitors and security guards.

You don't think that people who come here illegally (or, best case scenario, who come here under agricultural visas that give them temporary residence and no stake in the country) to work in the fields or construction are contributing anything? Well, enjoy it when your food doubles in price, then. Or, more likely, enjoy your food staying the same price but the people who grew it don't have any labor protection laws or real roots in this country.

My point is not that we should just open the borders willy-nilly. But we need to have some kind of process for people who want to live here that doesn't result in decades of limbo, and doesn't cost tens of thousands of dollars to someone who's going to take up a minimum-wage agricultural job. And the process should help them become Americans. You know, like the process did for most of this country's history up until the 1930s or. That process did all right, as near as I can tell.

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To clarify, I was stating the reasons the immigration policy in the US is the way it is. It's not insane. That doesn't mean it's devoid of unintended consequences, inefficiencies, and issues, though. Immigration is a very hard problem to solve for, especially given the heated emotional discourse about it on a political stage.

The process up until the 1930s didn't do all right--you're being naive in your nostalgia. It created an entire underclass, gave rise to ghettos, and forced people to give up their names in order to take more anglicized names. Moreover, there was a huge strain on infrastructure with the influx of poor Southeastern Europeans immigrating (mixed in with an incredible dose of racism and xenophobia). Wikipedia has a good summary of the laws and why they were passed [1].

There are a lot of problems with the immigration policy, and there are a lot of reasons that it's the way it is. My point is that this particular case of a guy being denied a visa could hardly be thought of as insane. Unfortunate for him, yes. Insane, no.

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_laws_concerning_immi...

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You do realise just how visceral the feelings are over "dirty foreigners taking our jobs"? This applies from very unskilled work right through high skilled engineers. Explaining to an unemployed American that it is okay to let another person into the country really isn't popular politically.

Going back decades, centuries or millennia, every American is an immigrant. It would just appear that it was good for you (in general), but not the newcomers.

Also not shown in the chart is just how second class green card holders are. You get a lot less due process for things. Also it expires after 10 years and you have to renew. Your renewal can be denied, they don't have to tell you why and you have no right of appeal.

Disclaimer: I am one of those dirty foreigners taking your jobs.

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Doug Stanhope offers a great perspective on this issue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYva71V3YRw

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There are some engineers bitching about immigrants despite his closing claim. Here is fact checked example:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/presid...

I think there are two factors causing friction for the US. The first one is complete dysfunction with housing. Expensive houses are a really bad thing. Having huge amounts of money in housing is a bad thing. This does not lead to prosperity, other than some random people winning a lottery ocassionally. It also makes it considerably harder for people to move which then makes it harder for labour to adjust to supply and demand of jobs. We'd all be far better off if houses were a dollar each. (Also fix the school system - tying it to your house is bizarre.)

On the business side there is a heck of a lot of uncertainty. How often will you be sued (intellectual "property", environmental, who knows what else)? How will your competitors screw you over other than good old fashioned competition? (Think regulatory capture and lobbying.) And what about employee overhead, especially medical costs, social security/retirement, hiring and firing etc?

I'd never heard of Stanhope before - been watching his youtube videos which are very entertaining - thanks!

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"Ideally, what I would like (and I think most people would like) is something of the form factor of a MacBook Air (thin and light), that has a detachable touch-screen that can run apps written for iOS or Android, and when the screen is connected to the main body, acts like a fully-functioning laptop."

What's the difference in practice between "a laptop with a detachable screen" and "a tablet that fits into a case that holds up the screen and provides a keyboard"? In terms of form factor, those two strike me as identical. Of course, if iOS doesn't do it for you in the laptop form factor, then it doesn't do it for you, but that's more a software than a hardware problem (and I'm willing to bet is a software problem not everybody has).

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The difference is that an iPad docked to a keyboard isn't a fully functioning laptop. It seems like the author is looking for (for instance) a device that runs OS X, with all the power of a MBA when in laptop mode, but once you detach the screen runs iOS and has limited functionality. So maybe the author really just has a problem with the limited capabilities of iOS and the performance difference between an iPad and a MBP.

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Sounds like the "keyboard" would then have to have special hardware (pricey/not efficient) or the pad would have to have multicore/scalable hardware that draws more power when connected to the "keyboard" and the keyboard could have extra hardware like more storage and IO ports and a PSU/high capacity battery. It would be cool to merge this concept with something like padphone - sort of a Russian doll concept :) And the ARM manufacturers seem to be going that route for performance anyway - adding cores/disabling them for power saving. I assume the same concept could be applied to memory and GPU.

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Ok, that might be what the author wants and needs, but why does he claim to be able to tell everyone else what they want? That seems kinda self-important to me. Your own experience is not necessarily that of everyone else.

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That's the point. A laptop with a detachable screen implies a full OS with the ability to run in mobile mode. A dockable tablet implies only a mobile OS. The former can be your only pc while the latter is purely supplemental.

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There is absolutely no reason why a dockable mobile device would not deliver a full desktop experience.

Have you seen the Android/Ubuntu demo? They ran Ubuntu on a cellphone in a dock. Very impressive.

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Windows 8 has a similar experience built in whith the advantage that you have a full OS with you at all times if you need it.

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Sounds like a Touchpad or an Android tablet in a case with a chroot to boot Ubuntu. This is what I do with my Touchpad, and it works just like an ultraportable laptop with 10 hours of battery life.

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As someone who used to live in SF and now lives in Baltimore, this question strikes me as pretty funny.

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Psychologists actually have to recalibrate the scoring of IQ tests every few decades in order to keep the average at 100 -- and they need to do this because the scores are going up. I tried to get a psych friend of mine to explain this, because if you follow the implications it means that someone who scored an average IQ in the '20s would now be classified as mentally retarded, which strikes me as insane. But for whatever weight you want to give to this particular measure of intelligence, we're actually getting smarter.

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This is a great piece, and it gets to the contradiction at the heart of the new trend/buzz around creative people using the Internet in various ways to make an end-run around traditional publishing infrastructure in all industries. It's the same with big-name authors ditching their publishers to self-publish on Amazon: Sure, they make a mint, more than they would have at a traditional publisher, but they wouldn't have been able to do it were it not for the fan base they built up with their traditionally published works.

Everyone loves to bash publisher/distributors in all areas of creative endevour, and often with good reason. But at their heart these companies are accumulations of capital and expertise that allow risky investment in creative works that might fail. Everyone who succeeds in the traditional world to the extent that they don't need the publishers anymore got there because that capital took a risk on them; now they don't want to let part of their profits go back into that capital pool. The question is, if the old system blows up, who takes that risk for unknowns?

I'm certainly not saying its impossible. Probably people will be ramping up creatively, writing/making music/what have you for nothing until they build up enough of a fan base to ask for something more. But crowdsourcing is definitely not just a free handout without huge accumulated goodwill.

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Don't know about Denmark, but I believe in some countries with a similar situation by law they have to round to the nearest multiple of the smallest denomination coin, so it evens out.

Of course, if you pay via credit card or bank card other electronic means, as more and more people do even for small amounts, you pay the exact price.

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It works in Finland, the lowest coin value is 5 cents. If you pay by cash the price is rounded up or down. They've also got rid of cheques.

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http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lxjlw4AnIX1rn1xxfo1_250.gi...

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Please don't resort to these kinds of comments. Its hard enough to keep the signal-to-noise ratio high in "gossip stories" posts such as this one.

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garbage in, garbage out

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This isnt reddit...

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Well, good luck stealing his identity now.

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I learned in high school on electric typewriters in '90 or '91. It was an elective then, but I certainly hope it would be a requirement today Still the only skill from high school that use every single day.

I was someone who had already done a lot of fiddling on the computer at that point so even as a high-school student I had a lot of self-trained semi-fast typing skills that I had to unlearn. I found the first month of the class really frustrating as a result, but eventually the new skills kicked in and I found myself typing much faster than I did before.

Touch-typing is a skill that involves muscle memory, and as such there's no real short cut to it and you'll find the process annoying and not engaging to your higher intellect. But stick with it. It's incredibly useful, I promise.

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