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Comment: Re:I wonder why... (Score 1) 193

But I find it rather amazing how every municipality around the world is rushing to the defense of existing taxicab services.

That is because every municipality went through the time when there was no taxi regulations.

Bingo. Obviously in the larger cities there is going to be somewhat of a profit incentive because they have the benefit of scale. The county I live in is relatively rural but it neighbors a big metropolitian county. There are taxi regulations for all the reasons you listed. From a financial perspective the cost of the licenses barely covers the cost of administering the program. Time was they thought about doing away with the program because it was costing more than it was taking in. The county commissioners had residents packed to the rafters demanding that the program stay in place because many had memories of the unregulated world just 15 years prior. In years that the program doesn't self fund the county makes up the difference.

Comment: Re:Insane (Score 1) 191

by DutchSter (#48091105) Attached to: DoJ: Law Enforcement Can Impersonate People On Facebook

The good news is that once the Ohio politicians rightly realized that the prosecutor in that case was using a law they passed in ways it wasn't intended (no kidding!) they quickly closed that loophole. And upgraded the charges to being a felony. Unfortunately for the victim in the case you cite you can't criminalize past conduct so no charges were brought but that investigation quickly came to a halt.

The trouble here is that federal employees are exempt from all state laws while carrying out their duties. So even when the states see a problem and quickly close it federal agents remain free to do whatever they want. Then it falls on the federal agent's employer to decide if any crime occurred. Funny how often no crime is found when federal employees are involved no matter how outrageous the situation but that same agency will be quick to bring charges when local law enforcement do something that's close to the line.

Comment: Re:Avoiding credit card breaches? (Score 1) 146

by DutchSter (#45849907) Attached to: How to Avoid a Target-Style Credit Card Security Breach (Video)

I can and do pay cash for a lot of things. But I use my credit card whenever it's convenient to me. It's a question of utility. My credit card was among those swept up in the Target breach. My hassle consisted of two days without said credit card and having to sign a form and mail it back.

No liability, no problems. If I lose cash that's on me baby.

Other than for some altruistic "for the greater good because merchants just pass down the cost of fraud to their customers" why should I care? I mean, seriously, why should I care? Debit card interchange fees were statutorily capped a few years ago and all of the merchants stoically supported the idea because it would be great for consumer's bottom lines. A study conducted by the Wall Street Journal six months later found that despite merchants generating substantial savings from the interchange fees being cut virtually none of it made its way back to the consumers. In fact some merchants even boasted in their earnings statements about how the savings went straight to the corporate bottom line. If credit card fraud went "poof" tomorrow, where do you think those savings would go?

So I ask again, if I bust my ass and Initech saves a few units, I don't see another dime, so what's in it for me?

Comment: The courts are already aware of this (Score 1) 161

by DutchSter (#44927515) Attached to: Link Rot and the US Supreme Court

I have always found that whenever an opinion cites a URL the courts are careful to indicate the date that it was accessed. A hard copy (or at least a PDF) of the page as it existed at that time is then retained by the clerk in the case file. There's usually a footnote concerning this arrangement.

It's not that hard. No need for fancy technology or mass archiving of the Internet. The only thing they need is a basic PDF writer. Problem solved.

Comment: Re:Old trick (Score 1) 295

by DutchSter (#41412183) Attached to: Your Moral Compass Is Reversible

And it became a classic George Carlin skit about airline safety and euphemisms:

Here's a phrase that apparently the airlines simply made up: near miss. They say that if two planes almost collide, it's a near miss. Bullshit, my friend. It's a near hit! A collision is a near miss.
"Look, they nearly missed!"
"Yes, but not quite.”

Comment: Get your account ownership in order (Score 1) 257

As implied by other posters, take the time to get your bank account ownerships/titles in order. At my bank online banking is tied to me, the individual. As soon as the bank gets wind of a customer's demise the first thing they do is revoke online banking access and restrict the safe deposit box. Unless it's a joint account or one with right of survivorship they are SOL until an executor can be appointed and the account retitled. Only then will the executor will have access to the online account using their own credentials.

Comment: Re:This is why I will never trust cloud services (Score 2) 388

by DutchSter (#38274988) Attached to: IT Pros Can't Resist Peeking At Privileged Info

Even working in HR is not carte blanche to access to everything. A payroll clerk has no need to access my annual performance reviews, job application or disciplinary history. Furthermore once my pay information has been entered into the system the payroll clerk has no need to look it up absent a change request, processing error or a complaint.

At my employer audit, HR, and security are held to much higher standards than everyone else. HR clerks have been fired for transgressions that might only result in a written caution for a dude in the mailroom.

Comment: Re:This is why I will never trust cloud services (Score 1) 388

by DutchSter (#38274928) Attached to: IT Pros Can't Resist Peeking At Privileged Info

At my company the salary range is up there for anyone to see. You log in to the HR system and pull down your compensation information. It will show you how much you make plotted right on the salary band and which quadrant you fall in. There's four quadrants - entry, competitive, advanced competitive, and experienced. IMHO its good to be in the competitive categories. There's something to be said for not being the guy busting his salary range when the Bobs come around.

They also show the breakdown of my total compensation which includes things like their contribution to my 401(k), pension, and health benefits. It does put things into perspective because if I were to consider going to another employer I'd have to really understand the total value of my compensation and not just my salary.

So for instance I could get an offer at another employer for $10k over what I make now but if they don't offer a pension plan and match the 401(k) at half the rate of my current employer then it's not a better deal (assuming my motivation for leaving is strictly financial).

Comment: Why the rush to blame and fix? (Score 1) 179

by DutchSter (#37429688) Attached to: IT Could Have Caught $2 Billion Rogue Trader

Seriously ... the fraud was discovered Wednesday with arrests following overnight and the suspect made his first court appearance yesterday. Even the prosecutor has said that he doesn't even know if the suspect profited from his actions.

Almost no confirmed details have been released and yet every Tom Dick and Harry in cyberspace knows exactly what happened and has a simple fix whether it be regulatory, managerial, coding changes or a combination of all three.

To trot out the usual car analogies ... this is kind of like the news reporting that there was a serious car crash on the freeway an hour ago, three cars caught fire and five people are dead. Then in the next segment they have a panel of experts who talk about how better brakes, traction control and a closer fire station could have prevented the tragedy.

Anybody who claims to know what could have prevented the incident at such an early stage is overgeneralizing, talking out their ass ... or both.

This fraud has been going on for the better part of three years. We barely know what controls have been circumvented at this point and we sure don't know how they were bypassed. Why can't we wait for the investigators to figure out what happened first before we start trying to prevent the next one?

Comment: Re:The moral of the story (Score 1) 538

by DutchSter (#35257558) Attached to: Musician Jailed Over Prank YouTube Video

A lady walked up and complimented me on the dog and talked about the chicken and said it was nice to see a father out with his kids. I said they weren't my children and they had just come up to pat the chicken

Petting your chicken you say ... you don't suppose the lady was confused about the gender of the bird and told the police that there was a man letting 12 and 13 year old kids pat his cock do you? :)

In all seriousness when they asked about the books I would asked if they'd like an autographed copy. That'd make for some really interesting analysis on their part.

Comment: Re:but it was false anyway? (Score 1) 145

by DutchSter (#34707430) Attached to: Court Rules Website Doesn't Have To Remove Defamatory Comments

If that's the site's policy and they consistently adhere to it, then why is it the site's problem? Sure it sucks for whomever was defamed but that goes back on the person who posted the defamatory statements in the first place. It's worth pointing out that this particular aspect of the case only concerns the forum in which the statement was made. The person who makes the defamatory post is 100% responsible for what they said. The fact that the defendant knowingly posted a false statement to a website that makes it perfectly clear that they will not remove the comment should be a factor in determining the level of damages owed to the defamed party.

In your friend's case, she should pursue Bridezilla for the damage caused to her business. Saying things on a public forum has consequences. I've never actually posted anything on RipOff Report but I did go through the process once just to see how it works. They make it abundantly clear to the poster that they are completely responsible for anything they say.

Comment: Re:It doesn't cost much to defend yourself. (Score 3, Insightful) 287

by DutchSter (#33194402) Attached to: Discovery Threatens Fan Site It Also Promotes

I'm glad you've been successful at representing yourself in court. As I alluded to in an earlier post though we can't begrudge someone for not doing what we would rather they do when it comes to their situation. It's a personal decision. Here we are talking about a fan site that a guy runs as a hobby. Presumably he runs it because he likes Discovery and he likes their show. He's probably not so endeared to them anymore. We don't know but after this treatment he may not even be interested in providing them with free publicity

Is it wrong that Discovery is going after him like they are? Yep, no doubt. But that doesn't mean we can decide for him how he should proceed. We know nothing about this gentleman's personal situation. What kind of a job does he have? Can he get all the time off he needs to defend himself in court, and what would his employer think about him being in a large civil suit? Is he married? Does he have kids that he's saving money for to send them to college? We don't know the facts and quite frankly we have no right to tell this guy how he should manage his affairs, particularly when the risk is all his and the reward is all ours. If he wins in court, what does he really get? The right to continue providing free publicity for a company he now despises? Talk about a hollow victory.

Comment: Re:Look, ma! No legs! (Score 5, Insightful) 287

by DutchSter (#33194052) Attached to: Discovery Threatens Fan Site It Also Promotes

Too bad it will never see a judge because the owner of the site in question decided to acquiesce Discovery's C&D rather than go to court. I'm sure there will be posters who will bemoan the fact that he's "taking it in the ass" or "abandoning the principle of the matter" or other such nonsense. I never begrudge anybody for making a legal decision based on their own situation. Lawyers aren't cheap, and at the end of the day I can't think of any hobbies I have where I'd be willing to front thousands of dollars I don't have and years of stress just to make a point when the end result will be either:
1. I win, and now have the right to continue to maintain a fan site for a show that's either now out of existence (by the time the case is concluded) or that I absolutely despise after what the company put me through.
2. I lose, and go bankrupt.

I think the owner is doing the best thing he can here - he's giving in without spending a cent but he's generating a lot of negative publicity in the process.

As an aside someone should report all of Discovery's Youtube videos because they are not adhering to Youtube's terms of use.

Wherever you go...There you are. - Buckaroo Banzai