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Comment: Re:Looks like the second stage ruptured (Score 1) 292 292

by Cytotoxic (#50013275) Attached to: A Failure For SpaceX: Falcon 9 Explodes During Ascension

True. But you do have to not watch such videos to downplay the significance of such atrocities and leave it all as background noise. The same goes for famine in Africa, police abuses here, water contamination in India, AIDS in Africa, etc, etc...

If the ISIL videos were shown on the US and European TV news in heavy rotation, would the pressure on western governments be different?

If the death of Kelly Thomas had been covered by the national news in the same manner as more recent and famous police abuse cases, might the issues at hand be getting a different hearing at the national level? (or Lloyd Smalley and Lillian Weiss, killed in their sleep in a wrong-house drug raid - or any number of others)

The information you take in shapes your opinions and the priorities you set. Living in Greece, only a few hundred miles away from these atrocities and presumably being a Christian - one of the groups targeted by these atrocities - one could see how keeping tabs on the actions of these people would have some personal interest to our Greek Nationalist compatriot.

Comment: Re:Good. However.... (Score 1) 122 122

I have a Samsung S6. It will charge from 10% to fully charged in a little over an hour on a car fast charger while navigating and playing podcasts. I learned this while driving cross-country last week, sharing a charger with 2 other s6 users. 30 hours each way - might not have survived without the podcasts!

That being said, there's no reason that I can see for keeping the batteries so small. Doubling or even tripling the size of the battery wouldn't seriously impact it's ergonomics, and it would allow you to candy crush your way from NY to LA.

Comment: Re:Bank admits error? (Score 5, Insightful) 96 96

by Shakrai (#49929139) Attached to: Bank's IT Failure Loses 600,000 Payments

Maybe you should switch banks. I can't speak for the UK, but it never ceases to astound me how many people whine about banking in the United States when there are thousands of small community banks you could be doing business with. It's a tough industry and the little guys are facing setbacks on a daily basis, but they're still there if people are willing to look for and do business with them.

In the day and age of remote deposit there's no reason to do business with a large national bank. I get waived ATM fees worldwide, no account fees of any sort, and competitive loan and deposit rates, all from a little regional bank that you've probably never heard of unless you're from my small hometown.

For the life of me I don't understand why Chase, Capital One, or Bank of America have any retail customers at all. They bend people over on fees, structure your transactions to obtain yet more fees, and generally do all sorts of nefarious things while offering no real advantage over their smaller competitors.

Comment: Re:Welcome to Fascist America! (Score 1) 413 413

by Shakrai (#49921543) Attached to: Trade Bill Fails In the House

You're implying that people of the same ethnicity find it easier to agree politically. Reality suggests that's far from the truth. The Finns fought a pretty nasty Civil War, even by Civil War standards, within living memory.

The reason the Finnish system works on consensus has to do with the structure of their political system and the rules in their Parliament. I suggest reading Finland: Myth and Reality; it's a bit dated, most of the foreign policy stuff lost relevance after the Cold War ended, but the domestic discussions are still applicable.

Comment: Re:Not relevant? (Score 4, Insightful) 89 89

by Cytotoxic (#49909545) Attached to: How Facebook Is Eating the $140 Billion Hardware Market

The guy in charge of selling data center computing as a service thinks that most companies should buy their data center computing from a company like his instead of rolling their own.

And this is surprising or controversial why?

In other news, the guy from Cisco thinks that companies will be looking to Cisco for fast, stable networking. And the guy from Intel thinks that companies will be looking to Intel for power efficient data center solutions.

This doesn't make them luddites.... it makes them salesmen.

Comment: Re:Welcome to Fascist America! (Score 1) 413 413

by Shakrai (#49903003) Attached to: Trade Bill Fails In the House

Finland has never had a "homogeneous" culture; it only appears that they do from the outside. Read the history of the Swedish speaking minority or of their civil war sometime when you're bored. The concept of Finland as a nation-state didn't even exist until the late 1800s and probably would never have evolved if the Russians had been a little bit more tactful. That's without even getting into the outside pressures and obstacles that they had to overcome.

What they have is trust in their institutions, a willingness to admit mistakes and try something new, and a political system that operates on consensus rather than a 50%+1 majority trying to ram its agenda down the throats of the opposition.

Comment: Re:Welcome to Fascist America! (Score 3, Insightful) 413 413

by Shakrai (#49902981) Attached to: Trade Bill Fails In the House

That may be a valid point, but it's worth mentioning that the welfare state doesn't have to be run at the national level. Much of Kela is run and funded by municipalities, not the national Government. Finland leads the world in education yet has no standardized tests or national curriculum mandates. Intuitive at the local level is encouraged, not stifled.

Of course it still won't happen here, even if we got over our love affair with top-down control. Our mistrust of institutions doesn't begin or end with the Federal Government. I do find these conversations interesting though; people on the American left talk a big game about how awesome the Nordic countries are but very few of them actually know anything about them. Finland has no concept of tuition -- even foreigners can go study there for free (with only one barrier to entry, it's called "Finnish") -- but they also have universal conscription.

Think there are many people on the American left that would support universal conscription? Not bloody likely. Which is too bad, because it would actually make interventionism less likely, not more. Anyhow, I digress.....

Comment: Re:Welcome to Fascist America! (Score 5, Interesting) 413 413

by Shakrai (#49901033) Attached to: Trade Bill Fails In the House

he nordic countries and canada have more government than us and far less corruption. the people are happier, more socially mobile, and pay far less for healthcare and education

The important difference there is that the people of the Nordic countries (at least Sweden and Finland, where I visited and lived) still have faith in their institutions. Americans haven't had faith in our institutions since Watergate. It's not just the Government either; in increasing numbers Americans don't trust business, academia, religion, or any other reasonably sized institution.

The reasons for this are varied -- you could write an entire thesis on the subject -- but at the end of the day it's the reality of the situation, and a Nordic style welfare state is a non-starter in the United States.

Comment: Re:Real banner week for the TSA... (Score 5, Insightful) 166 166

by Shakrai (#49872011) Attached to: TSA Fails To Find Links To Terrorism of Airport Workers

It's not like the private companies that they replaced were any better. A buddy of mine is the Operations Manager for our little regional airport; in the pre 9/11 days he watched the private outfit miss firearms as they scrolled past on the x-ray machine. In the post 9/11 days it's still a joke; he can get me into the secured area with a simple, "He's with me." statement to the TSA flunkies. Not even a metal detector. That's the gaping hole in airport security, incidentally, insiders. Just buy one off or blackmail them and you're set to do whatever nefarious deed you have in mind. Once you're through the secured area at one airport you're into all of them.

The bigger problem is that our body politic is incapable of having an adult conversation about risk. We live in a society that won't let kids use playgrounds where they might scrape a knee. Good luck having a conversation about the proper balance between security and liberty in that environment.

Comment: Re:End mandatory insurance (Score 1) 389 389

by Shakrai (#49869399) Attached to: Self-Driving Cars To Transform Insurance and Other Industries

You can claim that there is cartel parasitism in the lack of choices for insurance

You can claim that but it would be bogus. The Insurance Agency that I work for writes auto policies with 11 different carriers. I can name another five or six direct carriers (i.e., those that don't use independent agents) off the top of my head that are available where I live. Auto insurance is one of the most competitive marketplaces out there, with genuine differences in price between providers, and the provider that's best for Person A may be the most expensive for Person B, depending on their individual circumstances.

Comment: Re:Stucturing (Score 4, Insightful) 510 510

by Shakrai (#49832681) Attached to: Why Is It a Crime For Dennis Hastert To Evade Government Scrutiny?

Then he should have told the FBI the truth when they asked what the money was for. Or simply said, "I choose not to give a statement." Lying to the Feds is beyond fucking stupid. That's their "gotcha" card and it baffles me that so many seemingly intelligent people fall into such an easily avoidable trap.

There's a right to remain silent. I suggest using it....

Comment: Re: Why? (Score 4, Insightful) 510 510

by Cytotoxic (#49831417) Attached to: Why Is It a Crime For Dennis Hastert To Evade Government Scrutiny?

This is certainly one of the motivations. ,This article provides a lot of good links on the topic.

By combining anti-structuring laws with asset forfeiture the feds can steal most anything they'd like. There have been a lot of stories in recent years about small businesses that make frequent deposits under 10k getting their accounts and even their business siezed.

All without even an allegation of any criminal activity other than making deposits that are below the threshold for reporting. The drug warriors thought they were playing a game of gotcha with the drug kingpins. Nice work, geniuses....

The perversity of nature is nowhere better demonstrated by the fact that, when exposed to the same atmosphere, bread becomes hard while crackers become soft.