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Comment: TNSTAAFL (Score 4, Insightful) 272 272

There's no such thing as a free lunch. - Various Economists and Heinlein

Same types of things happened after the regulations around credit and debit card fees. The money comes from somewhere and ultimately you aren't punishing the big players in the industry with the regulations, but their customers and their smaller competitors.

Another case of people who don't understand regulatory history being doomed to repeat it.


SF86 Data Captured In OPM Hack 173 173

Etherwalk writes: The security clearance process in the United States includes filling out the 127-page SF86 form, which includes things like the citizenships of all your relatives and housemates, foreign contacts and financial interests, foreign travel, psychological and emotional health, illegal drug use, and many other matters. The recent breach by the Chinese Government apparently included that information for all executive employees up to cabinet level. It's pretty much a gold mine for intelligence work and social engineering of any kind.

Comment: Re:Hmmm .... (Score 1) 100 100

There likely are specific laws, likely related to holocaust and Armenian genocide denial and such, that would allow a group like the Sikhs to sue a US firm that aids and abets such calumnies.

Considering the 1980s attack on the Sikh ethnic group by Hindis was a well organized and deliberate attempt at genocide, I would suggest that they have a good case.

More personally - Zuckerberg you goddamn moral coward, if Facebook doesn't support groups like this, it serves no useful purpose other than data mining and privacy undermining.

Comment: Re:A group of Google investors (Score 4, Funny) 81 81

Yeah, everyone knows Google is a bastion of right-wing lobbying and giving. Why, you can just look at all their strictly traditional holiday search page images and their complete lack of focus on left-wing causes in their news releases, promotional materials and spending.

Good thing we have groups like these "investors" who are concerned not that they're making money, but that Google isn't contributing anything to any group which may in some way not agree with progressives to keep Google "correct" politically.

Comment: Re:What is poverty (Score 1) 422 422

The original comparison (lost in the threading somewhere above) was about poverty rate comparisons between countries, not the US census definition (which is more based on an absolute), nor the World Bank international absolute definition (which is more like $1.25/day, which no on in the US really fits without really trying hard) so I was using the definition used in the original comparison. See Poverty in France: "were below the poverty line (which, according to INSEE's criteria, is half of the median income)." INSEE is the French equivalent of the US Census for economic statistics. INSEE has recently moved to a 60% of median income measurement.

The original stats I was responding to also don't take into account in-kind benefits (not income), which makes them even worse.

My post in response to the stats previously cited was that "It's really a dumb way to compare poverty across countries.", so don't expect me to be defending the measurements used. They certainly aren't the ones I'd pick to do an actual comparison.

Comment: Re:So, the other side? (Score 1) 422 422

a poor person in the U.S. won't have access to healthcare

I realize you may be not in the U.S. and so are speaking out of ignorance based on the false impressions given by some news media, but anyone in the U.S. within 133% of the poverty line we've been discussing is eligible for medicaid, which covers their health care costs, even retroactively.

or third level education

Also, generally speaking, anyone who can't afford college in the U.S. is eligible for grants which will cover virtually 100% of costs at most public universities. It won't cover more expensive universities (some people take out low interest loans to help cover that), but higher education costs in the U.S. are very much needs based. Basically, they take whatever money you have, then cover the rest.

Comment: Re:So, the other side? (Score 3, Informative) 422 422

They're typically defining "poverty" as less than 1/2 the median income. It's really a dumb way to compare poverty across countries.

The U.S median income for a household is much higher than in France, thus someone below the "poverty rate" in the Unites States can be much wealthier than someone above the "poverty rate" in France.

In France, even with purchasing power parity, the median household income is (depending on if you use Gallup or OECD numbers) 70-77% of what it is in the United States. Using Gallup numbers, the "poverty line" in the US would be $22K/year vs $16K/year in France. Remember, these number take into account purchasing power parity (PPP), so you can literally buy about the same things in each country.

To put that into perspective for variations within the United States, the median income in Maine or Hawaii is 65% of that of Virginia or Utah (adjusted for cost of living).

According to the OECD, the "poverty rate" in Mexico is about $2250, based on a PPP median income of $4500. By their measurement, a barely "poor" person in the U.S. ($22K) would be considered upper middle class in Mexico. I won't bring up the really poor countries in Africa and elsewhere, but the "poverty rate" they're talking about is virtually valueless across countries for comparison purposes.

Put another way, the median income and thus "poverty rate" of Mississippi is higher than that of France, so I know which country I'd rather live in...

Comment: Too damn complicated (Score 4, Insightful) 113 113

It's too damn complicated for level 1 techs, let alone end users and the general public, to attempt to opt of surveillance, or even intelligently express their dissatisfaction with government and corporate policies.

Politicians don't care and corporations do. These policies will persist until people's lives are strongly negatively affected. Will it require significant damage as a result of foreign powers hacking into the industrial grid? Probably. God knows we aren't in the streets protesting TSA security theater, and its difficult to get more privacy invasive than seeing folks naked.

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig