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Comment: What is the point... (Score 2) 39

by aardvarkjoe (#49458529) Attached to: LG's Leather-Clad G4 Revealed In Leaked Images

I don't understand the fascination that tech news sites have with pictures of upcoming smartphones. Pretty much every standard smartphone looks exactly like every other damn smartphone on the planet -- a touchscreen with a bezel around it. The "interesting" part of this announcements is the color of the back of the phone -- which is the part that you're never looking at anyway.

Comment: Re: And it's not even an election year (Score 1) 407

Then take a statistic course so that you will understand what a "representative sample" means. There's a point after which it doesn't matter whether you poll 60,000 households, 600,000 households, or 6,000,000 households, the number will be within a margin of error that you deem acceptable.

If that bothers you, then don't ever leave your house again, because it's the same methodology by which, for example, car manufacturers determine whether or not your car will spontaneously explode while you're driving down a highway. It probably won't, but if that amount of statistical certainty isn't good enough for you to trust the BLS to have a pretty good grasp on what they're doing, then what else do you just take for granted?

Comment: Re: And it's not even an election year (Score 0) 407

Actually, they do, and it is the one you hear most often in the media. I'm not sure where this fiction came from that people off of unemployment aren't counted among the unemployed, but the only three criteria for being counted as unemployed are:

  • That you do not have a job,
  • That you have actively looked for work in the past four weeks, and
  • That you are currently available for work.

I've noticed a disturbing trend lately, mostly from right-wing nutcases, to try to redefine "unemployment" to be something that it's not, in some way that is different from how it's been calculated for decades, to include people like retired people not seeking a job, students, new mothers who have voluntarily left the workforce, people who haven't sought a job in more than a month, etc.

Unfortunately for them (and you), unemployment has a specific economic definition and doesn't change based on what you think "feels right". The current unemployment rate is 5.5%. Arguing that it's something different is like arguing that the mass of an object is higher because your arms are tired and it feels heavier when you try to lift it.

Comment: Re:Systemic and widespread? (Score 1) 489

by aardvarkjoe (#49442105) Attached to: The Courage of Bystanders Who Press "Record"

Nope, I'm still not buying it. You haven't presented any compelling reason why those in authority should lose their human rights. If you want to introduce ways to make it easier to obtain that proof, I'm all for it, but those in authority should have all the rights that anyone else has. Dehumanizing a group of people is not the answer.

Who watches the watchmen? It has to be us. That means that making sure that the guilt of those who abuse their power -- as well as the innocence of those who don't -- is partly our responsibility.

Comment: Re:Systemic and widespread? (Score 1) 489

by aardvarkjoe (#49440773) Attached to: The Courage of Bystanders Who Press "Record"

Cops and politicians no. We have to hold them to a much higher standard if we are going to authorize the power we give them. The Sword of Damocles must hang over all their heads. We don't put a high enough price on power.

I vehemently disagree. Human rights, including the right to being presumed innocent until proven guilty, should not be waived because of someone's occupation.

The problem of guilt being difficult to prove is one that extends far beyond just police or politicians; it applies to anyone accused of committing a crime, and it means that we know that we allow some of those guilty of crimes, even heinous ones, to walk free. We have made a lot of progress in that area, and will continue to do so. It is appropriate to introduce new technology, procedures, or policies that can help make it more difficult for people to hide their guilt, but at the end of the day, a policeman is a man and deserves the same protections that you or I do.

Comment: Re:Systemic and widespread? (Score 1) 489

by aardvarkjoe (#49438187) Attached to: The Courage of Bystanders Who Press "Record"

Yes, and the rate at which other things occur, like cops being good, or flowers sprouting roadside is irrelevant.
All that is relevant is how often cops go bad. Not how often cops do good things or eat donuts or change underwear.

Assuming a finite number of cop-citizen interactions, the ratio of good-to-bad interactions is relevant to the rate at which bad interactions happen.

Comment: Re:Systemic and widespread? (Score 1) 489

by aardvarkjoe (#49437703) Attached to: The Courage of Bystanders Who Press "Record"

No, it isn't relevant. That's like countering a claim that poison ivy is systemic and widespread with "But look at all the pretty flowers! There must be hundreds of pretty flowers for each poison ivy plant!"

No, it's nothing like that. In a discussion of whether something is "systemic and widespread," the rate at which it occurs is relevant.

You said:

No matter what good things cops do, it can never justify police brutality and murder - at any ratio.

While true, that says absolutely nothing about whether or not something is "systemic and widespread." That is the definition of "irrelevant."

Comment: Re:Systemic and widespread? (Score 4, Insightful) 489

by aardvarkjoe (#49437283) Attached to: The Courage of Bystanders Who Press "Record"

500:1? If it were 5000:1 or even 50000:1 ratio of showing cops doing good deeds vs police butchers, it would still be irrelevant.

It is completely relevant to the question of whether it is "systemic and widespread," which was the thread of conversation that you're replying to.

Nobody has said that cops are justified in brutality and murder. They are, however, entitled to be innocent until proven guilty.

Comment: Re:Double the Outrage (Score 1) 92

by aardvarkjoe (#49435371) Attached to: AT&T Call Centers Sold Mobile Customer Information To Criminals

As usual, corporations are people right up until it's inconvenient, then they're an organization and can't be treated the same way as people are.

This has nothing to do with corporations. if you, as a private citizen, hire somebody to do a job, and they then commit a crime using your property, you will not be held responsible for that crime unless it turns out that you were complicit or negligent. AT&T should be held to exactly the same standard.

Comment: Re:Double the Outrage (Score 1) 92

by aardvarkjoe (#49435363) Attached to: AT&T Call Centers Sold Mobile Customer Information To Criminals

By hiring this outsourcer and giving them access my account, AT&T is giving their stamp of approval for this company to act on their behalf and be, for all intents and purposes, AT&T as far as the end customer is concerned. They are backing up the reputation of this company and quality of their work with their own brand identity.

It is a terrible idea to make an employer responsible for everything an employee does. It is the responsibility of the employer to have a level of diligence to protect their customers, through policies and actions, but that doesn't mean that they can predict and control everything that a human being will do.

The fact that a $25 million fine was imposed says that the government believed that the appropriate level of diligence was not taken, but I see nothing to suggest that the negligence was great enough to justify destroying the company like some people apparently want.

It's like if a buy a car and the automaker has issues from a part failing. It's ultimately the maker's (GM's) fault. Not the producer (some company in China) of the individual component.

Car analogies suck, but if the producer of said component got those components into the car by deceiving the automaker, then you bet it's that producer's fault, not GM's.

GM might be responsible for restitution (fixing the problem parts -- which they'd ultimately get the money for through legal action against the supplier), but it would be utterly inappropriate to levy huge punitive fines against them just because their supplier provided faulty parts.

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