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Comment Re:Social media (Score 2) 307

I am an introvert without a Facebook account (or Twitter, or Instawhatever). And I love social media.

I kind of want to be left alone, or rather, I want to choose when and how I interact with people. With most people seemingly socializing through Facebook, it is a snap to opt out of unwanted social pressures and small talk if you aren't also a user.

Facebook casts a long shadow. It is easy to disappear in it.

Comment Re:"Infringing"? (Score 1) 215

> No, not from the US.

Now your post makes more sense... It sounded like a European wonderland, and it was.

Yeah, we have nothing like the cheap standardized bank-to-bank systems you have. If you want to send money, you use a check, and put your magic banking numbers out there on a piece of paper... Or you use a 3rd party system like PayPal.

Technically, that isn't 100% true. We're not totally stone age... Maybe bronze age. Banks often have a bill payment system you can use, and the bank handles making a transfer to the utility company. It is not something you can invoke manually and arbitrarily, because it's a big pain to set up. Also, many targets are not set up to receive electronic payments, and so the bank will print and mail a check. It's also not an option for private party transfers.

WRT checks--elsewhere in the thread people had posted that not only do they never need to use checks, their ATMs had stopped accepting checks for deposit. That also was probably not happening in the US.

Comment Re:"Infringing"? (Score 1) 215

Do you live in the US? I have never seen anything like "e-invoicing" used for private parties. If I want to send money to someone else's account from your bank (not via 3rd party) the options are a check, or a "wire transfer" which has high fees and takes days to process. My banks and CUs simply don't have another option. I wish they did.

People on the thread are saying their ATMs actually reject checks... Never heard of anything like that in the US.

Comment Re:"Infringing"? (Score 1) 215

> Money going to relatives is often in the form of a check for me, since a lot of my family is tech-averse.

Even if they are not tech-averse, how do you easily get money to someone, as a private party, without a check? At least in the US, at any bank or CU I have used, there is no practical way to send money electronically person to person. A "wire transfer" costs $40 in fees and takes days to clear.

You can use PayPal but then there are fees.

You can use Bitcoin I guess but that is still more than a bit of a pain in the ass if you aren't already a regular user.

Comment Re:Inevitable escalation of a broken philosophy (Score 1) 609

I may have misunderstood you. I thought your original post was saying "Americans are more likely to be shot by their police because the police fear everyone they meet is armed." Are you instead saying that the police shouldn't be armed?

Anyway, we have a weird cultural issue here, where we let these things happen, and then even as half the people take to the streets, the other half cheer on the authorities. How we treat ourselves has become politicized.

Comment Re:Inevitable escalation of a broken philosophy (Score 1) 609

Thank you for your thoughtful post.

I believe you are conflating two different issues, police use of excessive force and private ownership of weapons.

I am sure that if one were to carefully analyze the situation, some of the deaths caused by the police are due to the fact that Americans are more likely to be armed. But I do not believe that is the exclusive or even majority cause of so much violence by our police.

We see a lot of news stories about people dying in chokeholds and the like. The police also seem to shoot our dogs. They use a SWAT team when it isn't necessarily called for.

Those things aren't happening because someone might be carrying a gun.

There is a separate issue--how we allow ourselves to be policed. And we're not doing a good job of setting boundaries.

Comment Re:One small problem (Score 1) 509

I have done several ride-alongs and it WAS really eye-opening.

I had a cop tell me about the time they were in a gunfight with someone, firing into a building. Another cop rolled up, the cop jumped out of his car, and he started firing in the general direction of his colleagues. "Guys, what are we shooting at?" he said. The story was recounted as being hilarious, not horrifying.

I had a cop tell me about the way that when he found an asshole, he offered him a beating instead of an arrest. "You'd be surprised how many people take the beatin'," he told me.

I had a cop tell me about the time he visited a house for some kind of domestic complaint, and ended up banging the mom, and shortly after, banged the daughter. "You get more ass than a toilet seat in this job," he told me. "It can destroy some men."

Based on my experience doing ride-alongs I decided not to pursue a career as a cop.

Comment Re:Honestly ... (Score 5, Informative) 342

I worked for years in a slot machine company, and the scenario you propose would be difficult to execute. That sort of thing was easier in the old days when machines used socketed ROMs ... but today it's increasingly server managed and cryptographically signed and there is simply no way for the owner of a machine to flip a switch and rig the game.

A game will have several payout selections, like 95.6%, 98%, etc. and you can choose among them, but that is about it.

Slot manufacturers are under the microscope and will not jeopardize their licenses by making it easy for owners to rig games--at least in the US. The industry is HIGHLY regulated and multiple third party labs are involved in certifying the products.

To communicate is the beginning of understanding. -- AT&T