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Comment Re:Unions (Score 1) 372

In many places, you don't need approval from unions, but if you don't get it you have to have City Council or a Mayor with the stones to call the unions' bluff when instituting policies. Spokane, WA, could have had an independent police ombudsman's office in the wake of Officer Karl Thompson killing Otto Zehm, a mildly mentally impaired (and completely innocent of wrongdoing) man whose dying words were "I only wanted a Snickers." Unfortunately, it was put into place without any independent investigative or disciplinary powers because our political leaders didn't have the guts to tell the unions to put up or shut up.

Basically, the Ombudsman asks, "I'd like to get an account of what happened."
Cops reply, "Nah, we'd rather not."
Ombudsman: "Oh, okay. See you tomorrow!"

The unions said they wouldn't budge on investigative powers, and under Washington law the contract framework under which officers can be disciplined cannot be changed without the consent of the union. So the city waited until their contract was up. The union said, "No, we'd rather not." And the City Council & Mayor blinked, and deleted the provision from the new contract. Now we have to wait for the new contract to expire before getting another chance at independent oversight. Unions were great when they were fighting for humane working conditions. Now they're mostly around to protect things that should be open to competition. The places that need unions don't have them, and the places that have them don't need them. The only States where they work how they should (where unions have to balance the concessions they wring from employers with competition from local, non-union workers. Right-to-work States are where it's at, because unions can't force membership as a condition of employment. They have to provide a compelling reason for employees to join.

(And to head this stupid argument off, right-to-work does not mean "Your employer can fire you at any time without cause." Stop parroting that tired lie, because that's what's called "at-will employment," not right-to-work.)

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 372

Then the cops who are afraid of cameras will stop applying to police academies, and cops who have nothing to fear from cameras will make up an increasingly large percentage of police forces until the bad apples become such a small minority that there aren't enough of them to pressure their betters into covering for them.

Comment Re:Don't buy the cheapest cable (Score 1) 391

The cheapest cable is frequently not even close to good enough. I've seen numerous $0.99 Chinese cables that actually have a loop of the conductor that obviously was laying flat against the side of the mold when the injection process happened. As a result, it sticks through one of the molded connector walls. Just a bit of rubbing and you've got bare conductor exposed.

Comment Re:And when the "default" is the preferred option? (Score 1) 127

If they were able to distinguish those who made a conscious decision to use IE from those who did not, I'm sure there would probably be a similar correlation to the former as there is amongst those who consciously choose an alternative. Unfortunately, it's much harder to separate that class of IE user from the more numerous default users, and so they are not included in the analysis.

Comment Re:Aren't these already compromised cards? (Score 1) 269

The same reason why chip & pin cards that do exist are only "suggestions:" It requires merchants to buy new transaction equipment. Since not all banks have moved to chip & pin (Chase is just now getting around to it), requiring new hardware just means someone will use another card when a retailer hasn't upgraded. Banks won't start requiring the new chips be utilized at the point of sale until enough retailers have upgraded. Until the threat of your merchant gateway provider cutting your ability to process credit card sales has some teeth, nobody is going to be the first to make the equipment upgrade mandatory.

16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Serling