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Comment Re:the riskiest thing i do everyday (Score 1) 163

I'm currently riding a 2013 Honda CBR1000RR. Always been on the Japanese sports bikes. was a Kawasaki man for a long time until I bought the abortion that was the '07 ZX-10R. Hated it from day one and should have just got rid of it but I kept thinking I'm sure I can get it to handle.... In the end I had an encounter with diesel which led to an encounter with the road and I now have a steel collar bone and one slightly second hand right wrist.

I also have daughters but I haven't had to convince them why I ride bikes. The eldest has a little 50cc with training wheels on it and she likes chasing the chickens with it. The youngest is even more keen. It helps that my wife rides as well of course.

My old man still rides on the road (ST1300) and competes in vintage motorcross. He races an old Maiko 500 from the late 60s and came runner up in the Australian Masters competition last year. Not bad for someone knocking on 70.

I also live at the bottom of a set of mountains with some amazing roads in them. I like to get up early on a Sunday and go for a moderate blast up there for an hour. Makes me feel alive.

Comment Re:the riskiest thing i do everyday (Score 2) 163

Except as a human race we massively suck at conceptualising what risks truly are. Especially when the risks are distributed and applied at a population rather than an individual level.

It is easy for people to visualise the devastation a nuclear meltdown will cause. However we cannot visualise the damage done by using coal for power be it the radiation releases, the carbon releases or the toxins produced.

Even with the car concept I would argue that almost all people get in a car not understanding what the true risks are.

Comment Re:I'm not a panicky guy but... (Score 1) 413

Even better then. Games and photoshop are my only things keeping windows around.

Knoppix is a decent distro but will come with a higher culture shock than mint. Also while this will probably start a flame war I prefer the look of Cinnamon (Gnome) to the LXDE interface which is Knoppix's default. I tend to only use LXDE when I am running on something with really no grunt, ala an atom.

Comment Re:Share Market =/ Economy (Score 1) 107

No startup is going to get handed $50m on an idea and nothing else. And no startup is ever going to be a bank, not unless your definition of a startup is any new business. If you want to found a bank you need to pull together long term investors to come together to build a new venture.

And 500k for a restaurant?!?!?! You need 3 months of rent for the bond (10k-50k), 20k for fitout, 10k for inital consumables costs, then give yourself another 20-30k money to run with. And that is going to get you a hell flashy restaurant.

I built my business to 26 staff before divesting starting from a $60k overdraft secured against my house.

Comment Share Market =/ Economy (Score 1) 107

Just because the share market value dropped does not mean that the overall economic conditions changed one bit. If anything the share market was over valued with price / earnings ratio being above the long term average and it has now corrected to just under that long term average.

Unlike what happened with Lehman brothers there is no capital crunch happening. Companies balance sheets are ridiculously strong at the moment with crazy amounts of cash sitting there doing SFA. Christ Cisco decided to take out a $5 Billion dollar loan just because it could even though it had $54 billion of cash sitting there. Currently US companies have over $1.5 Trillion dollars on their balance sheets! Nearly a quarter of that is held by Cisco, Microsoft, Apple & Google alone.

If you look at those numbers and then compare them to what investment an IT startup needs and you can see there are several orders of magnitude difference in them. If your startup can't gain enough traction with a couple of 100k it was never going to happen for you you anyway.

Comment Re:I'm not a panicky guy but... (Score 1) 413

You will ask yourself why you didn't do it earlier Maxo. I would recommend you start with Linux Mint, I think it is the best distro by far if you want a machine that just works and feels natural.

For myself I have been running Linux on my main machine for the last 5 years and keep a windows box for games. Having small kids and a more than full time job means it doesn't even get turned on that much anymore. Add on to that that more and more of the games I play are appearing in Linux and windows gets used less and less.

Comment Re:There are good reasons for gvt bureaucracy, rem (Score 1) 273

I think you have missed my point. By indirect costs I mean things like the costs of crime and the prevention of crime. When people have nothing they are more likely to turn to crime to meet their needs. The main stream society then has to spend money on preventing crime and protecting their own assets. They also have to have some kind of system that handles criminals. Are you saying that these cost are imposed out of the greatness of people's hearts?

Having a wellfare state won't prevent crime by any stretch of the imagination. But if you have less desperate people you will have less people who are motivated by that desperation to turn to crime.

Then there are the people who would have been net contributors to the economy over their lifetime but are removed from being productive because they suffered an illness or injury at a point in their life when they were unable to afford the healthcare. If you suffer something in your 20s you will have had less time to build an asset and skill base than if you suffered the same thing in your 50s. Without affordable access to healthcare you will lose productive people as a result. People whose economic value would have far exceeded the medical cost.

And while the hobos in New York may be better off than North Korea's middle class the average middle class American is significantly worse off than the average middle class Australian on pretty much every measure (disposable income, health, life expectancy, house size, education). The American upper upper class however has more than the Australian equivalent however but the Australian poor are also a lot better off.

Comment Re:There are good reasons for gvt bureaucracy, rem (Score 1) 273

I think there is one part that you are not considering in your socialist vs non socialist calculations. And that is what are the non-direct costs on society of those people that fail in both the socialist and non countries. On one hand you will have wellfare and benefits payments, on the other side you have prison populations, crime and loss of potential.

Oh and the US govt spending is around the 35% mark of GDP.

Comment Re:Nothing open to the sky (Score 1) 114

Understood. The issue in the end is that there is no money in prisons. It is a net cost and that's it. So they make do with the shoe string budget that they have and inevitably it fails.

When you consider that they feed prisoners on under $2.50 a day and they complain about those costs it demonstrates how little money there is available for security and rehabilitation programs.

You would know being in security that there is a price to securing a system. If I said to you I want you to secure my 10,000 seat multi-site windows xp system and you are not allowed to spend any money, can't buy any new equipment and everyone knows your system exists and what amazing things it holds there is very little that you would be able to do to protect it.

Comment Re:Nothing open to the sky (Score 1) 114

Visitation screens like you describe are only used at max security prisons. Most prisons have a visitation room with normal chairs and a couple of guards standing round the outside. Even in max security prisons most prisoners meet with visitors in an open room. Also there isn't the staffing available for high levels of individual surveillance. In a perfect world visitation would be secure-able but there isn't the budget

Thomson correctional centre visitation room which is Max Security- http://photos.mycapture.com/ST...

It's also not a single prisoner killing a guard that you worry about in a prison. It's a riot that scares you. Guns allow otherwise weak prisoners to kill stronger ones. You are thinking about things in a too methodical / rational way. Instead think about the weak stupid guy whose life is a living hell, gets his hands on a gun and shoots one of the gang leaders with no thought to the consequence. All of a sudden you have a huge power shift that will see more violence in the future if it doesn't blow up into a full blown riot there and then.

There was a riot in San Quentin earlier this month where 70 inmates were involved, 1 died and 11 were hospitalised. If you throw better weapons into the mix it gets much much worse. If it gets worse you see more property damage, and way more costs. Completely ignoring the rising death count.

Comment Re:Laugh (Score 1) 189

But where do you draw the line? Taking the one where Toyota had the unexplained acceleration. From what I understand it caused no accidents or injuries but it would affect all of the cars in the end as it was a wear problem. So it was something that had a very high prevalence and could have a high cost of failure hence made sense to recall.

But if it was something that would have only affected 0.0001% of the cars in their life time would you recall 1.7 million cars to find the 1-2 cars that would have the problem?

Comment Re:Nothing open to the sky (Score 1) 114

There will always be vectors that you cannot prevent and any system can be circumvented. It's not so much a case of worst case scenarios that you need to be concerned about though, because the more out there they get the more difficult they are to achieve. You might be able to drop marble size pieces of C4 through, but you add a significantly higher barrier to entry around someone being able to obtain those types of things, make sure the customer gets all of them without being caught, and do it in a way that doesn't leave an easy trail (eg. if a jail cell exploded there would be professionals watching every second of footage for the last year). There would be nothing stopping someone dropping polonium pellets in for sake of argument but the changes of that are incredibly low.

What you really need to stop are the bulk "any idiot can do it" vectors. If I can go and buy a $5000 drone, load it up with a couple of pistols, ammo and a bunch of knives, drop it into a max security prison and start my own version of the hunger games there is a problem. And the barrier to entry to that is currently quite low.

The reason prisons are porous is a mixture of corruption and the fact that the money available to make them super secure isn't there. Prisons are designed to keep people in, not so much to keep stuff out. If you have a prison population of 300, you have 3 meals a day, personal supplies, letters, visitors, cleaning products, donations, and god knows what else that has to move through the prison gates. If you consider the sheer bulk of those items and the limited budget to police it, it is easy to see why stuff can get through.

When you consider the prison price of drugs you have a huge economic incentive to find a way to breach the security and all you need to do is compromise one person in the supply chain somewhere. If you get into the food supply and catering loop you can have drugs sealed inside bulk food items, coffee, sugar etc. 1 vac packed bag of coke inside a sealed bag of slop would be very very very very easy to miss.

My uncle was a max security prison guard for 15 years and I visited him at work a few times (not in the US thankfully). The guards are strung out, stressed and over worked. They are in a hostile environment working 12 hours shifts and what they want to do is get to the end of a shift without a major incident. He was telling me about one vector they struggled to find that was coming through visitation and that was a drug filled condom tied to a piece of dental floss. The dental floss had a loop in it that the visitor put round a tooth and then swallowed the condom. During the visit it was pulled back up and passed to the prisoner who then just swallowed it. Collect your drugs 24hrs later. It was only detected after there was a fight and a prisoner had the condom rupture inside.

Comment Re:Laugh (Score 1) 189

I was linking eating loads of chocolate to being fat / obese long term, not to the high sugar content as such.

My point is that everything in life is a risk vs reward proposition. Nothing that we do or deliver is ever perfect or safe. When we build a structure we build in a margin of safety that we believe will cover a certain % of situations. But there will always be situations where the structure will fail.

When a manufacturer builds a car they know that there will be a certain % of failures, this is inevitable. Whether that % of failures is acceptable will always be determined by what the outcome of those failures are. If we use the OP's example of a diff locking up, they will know that on a certain % of vehicles the diff will fail. They will also know that in the majority of those instances they will happen immediately and likely to be at low speed meaning the outcome will be minor. The chances of a high speed incident causing a firey death will be very low and hence an acceptable risk. Anyone who gets into a vehicle and doesn't think this is the case is either naive or fooling themselves.

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.