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Comment: Re:Good choice (Score 1) 313

by Burning1 (#46723165) Attached to: Double Take: Condoleezza Rice As Dropbox's Newest Board Member

Uh... If anything, Bush showed all the terrorists of the world that one successfully attack is sufficient to cripple the US economy and bleed us through involvement in several foreign wars. Those wars demonstrated that invading and occupying a couple of small middle-eastern nation was sufficient to over-extend and tax our huge military, while simultaneously draining our budget. They also sapped US will to get involved in other theaters.

"You go the war with the army you have, not the army you want." Anyone remember that? What about sending the reserves into battle? Multiple tours of duty with PTSD soldiers? Inability to provide proper veterans care? Lowered recruitment standards?

Comment: Re:Obligatory Fight Club (Score 1) 357

by Burning1 (#46618729) Attached to: An Engineer's Eureka Moment With a GM Flaw

Devil's advocate: an individual sets a fire in a sub. A company designs a defective product that kills consumers. If it's company policy that causes the harm, the company is at fault, and the C_O is not held responsible.

Is that the way it should be?

Maybe. I think a bigger problem is tort reform. Punative damages were never designed to be a get-rich-quick scheme; they were a tool designed to punish companies that knowingly cause harm in such a way that they will be reluctant to do so in the first place. When a company can gain more from the harm then they will ever pay as punishment, there's no incentive to be honest.

Imagine if we punished bank robbers by fining him $100, and only punished robbers if they were successful in their crimes?

Comment: Re:The problem is MUCH, much wider ... (Score 1) 473

by Burning1 (#46215407) Attached to: Ugly Trends Threaten Aviation Industry

As the Baby Boomers slowly are forced to give up their passion / hobbies due to age, sickness, etc the rate of exit is significantly >>> the rate of entering. :-/ Liability (getting sued) and Risks (crashing) are seen as "not worth it" by the younger crowd. Like any community, you need enough "new blood" to sustain it and that isn't happening. Is that a bad thing? I don't know, but we can see trends and it looks like our world is changing. I guess that is the million dollar question: Is it changing for the better ?

I'm guessing you're in you're 30s.

I'm actually a member of the motorcycling community, and both my wife and myself have looked into the cost of obtaining pilot training and buying a share of an airplane. Risk and liability has very little to do with it. Major changes have been significantly increased costs, combined with lowering discressionary income, and reduced willingness to purchase on credit.

The motorcycling community is trending older; mostly mid 20s to late 40 year olds who have successful careers and disposable incomes. This is a group of people who have been responsible in their lives, and have enough money to pay the cost of entry. As a result, a lot of the industry growth has been at the high end. In the motorcycling community, top-of the line Japanese, German, and Italian imports are selling well. Mid-range is suffering somewhat. Low end has been trending towards more premium offerings.

10 years ago, the community was mostly early 20-somethings that would buy new bikes on fairly insane loans. That market is drying up; more and more folks are either buying used, paying cash, or leveraging their good credit for favorable rates.

Comment: Re:Still faster / easier to apply than it used to (Score 2) 382

by Burning1 (#45118103) Attached to: Obamacare Website Fixes Could Take Two Weeks Or Two Months

That's a terrible comparison. Changing the oil according to the manufacturers recommended specifications *is* preventative care. Reactionary care would be ignoring the oil until the engine starts making clanking noises. At that point, you're performing a full rebuild, replacing all the components that were damaged by the oil system failure.

The preventative option costs $50 a few times a year. The reactionary option costs thousands of dollars.

Obama care isn't going to mandate that you go to the doctor every time you stub your toe.

Comment: Re:you really want to know what obamacare is? (Score 1) 382

by Burning1 (#45117615) Attached to: Obamacare Website Fixes Could Take Two Weeks Or Two Months

The libertarian ideal assumes that the nautral state of business is competition, when in reality the natural state of business is collusion and consolidation. In a libertarian paradise, one of two things happens:

1. The major insurance companies collude, offering customers no choice in plans. All plans offered have loopholes where the company can easily dump the sick. Customers are given no choice, and insurance companies more or less write a death clause* into their policy,

2. The major insurance companies consolidate to the point where you only have one or two options, neither offering any real choice or competitive reason to chose one over the other. You accept whatever plan is offered.

In either case, start-ups are quickly squelched.

You more or less see this in the drug trade. In mexico, the drug market is more or less deregulated, since the government has no power to control the cartels. While the major cartels do squabble, they prefer not to compete against each other directly, as doing so tends to weaken both, allowing a 3rd cartel to grab for power. Regardless, upstart operations are quickly squashed.

You may argue that this situation is the result of government regulation. I'd agree, but point out that the only thing government regulation has done is artificially raised the value of the commodity. A commodity that is 'necessary' and sufficiently rare or expensive will tend towards the same result if left unregulated (see various oil and communication companies. See also diamonds, where the DeBeers conglomerate created the same artificial scarcity as seen in the drug trade.)

* Prior to the ACA, insurance companies did not have 'death panels' but they did have a 'death clause' in the form of a $3.5 million dollar lifetime cap on coverage. If you hit this cap, your 'pre-existing' condition would disqualify you from purchasing insurance from a competitive provider, and unless you were extremely rich, you clearly would not be able to insure yourself. At this point, you would be stabilized and sent home by the hospital as soon as your medical costs had left your family destitute.

Comment: Re:Still faster / easier to apply than it used to (Score 1) 382

by Burning1 (#45117527) Attached to: Obamacare Website Fixes Could Take Two Weeks Or Two Months

As a side note, the lack of insurance has a tendency of making medical problems worse. Patients won't tend to pay out of pocket for preventative medicine, instead waiting until a medical issue requires emergency care. The ACA can certainly help correct this issue.

Apt platitude: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Comment: Re:The old days (Score 1) 259

by Burning1 (#44952773) Attached to: The Chip That Changed the World: AMD's 64-bit FX-51, Ten Years Later

A courteous, polite response on Slashdot. Was not expecting that. :)

$800 is definitely doable. With components, there's often a sweat spot on the price/performance curve where you can build a powerful system without spending more than $1200 or so. A high-end gaming computer tends to be expensive. With that said, the main benefit of building a machine from components is that some of those components will be re-usable down the road.

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.

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