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Comment: Why the 35%? (Score 3, Informative) 553

by gorzek (#47567643) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

I skimmed a lot of comments and didn't see one directly addressing the question posed in the summary.

Basically, 35% of Americans have debts in collection status because it's easy to have an account go to collections and then linger there forever. You can imagine people's "debt responsiveness" as being exponentially bound to the time since the last payment. A debt that recently had a payment made is almost certain to have its next payment made. A debt that's a few months late has a decent chance of getting a payment made soon. A debt that is 6 months (or more) late has a very low chance of ever being paid again. This is why debt collectors buy/pursue old debts. The original creditor will likely accept pennies on the dollar just to get something out of it, while the collector wants to obtain the whole amount. If they can even get half, they come out way ahead. It's a profitable business.

I used to work in this industry (wrote software) so I could tell you some things about it.

Comment: Re:Chain effect (Score 2) 300

by gorzek (#47457035) Attached to: Massive Job Cuts Are Reportedly Coming For Microsoft Employees

I have seen precisely that happen, too. A company cuts the dead weight--and maybe some not-so-dead weight--and the people with marketable skills head for the hills because they don't want to be next. So the company may have meant to cut 10% but instead loses 15%, with much of that last 5% being their top performers. Pretty bad deal for the company, to be sure.

Comment: Re:Dropping the Xbox? (Score 1) 300

by gorzek (#47457001) Attached to: Massive Job Cuts Are Reportedly Coming For Microsoft Employees

We're not talking about a product that needs time to find its feet, we're talking about what should be a mature product line that nevertheless struggles to turn a profit. We're not in year two of MS' Xbox experiment, but going on year 13 of a popular consumer brand. There is certainly something to be said for selling a product that loses money in order to stimulate ancillary revenues, but that's not what is happening here. The whole division is, at best, a wash for MS. How long should they keep this up before writing it off?

Comment: Re:Dropping the Xbox? (Score 2) 300

by gorzek (#47456913) Attached to: Massive Job Cuts Are Reportedly Coming For Microsoft Employees

Unless MS can turn marketshare into money, it's worthless. So, MS has put Xboxes into millions of homes, and they have... oh, wait, no profit to show for it.

The Xbox division isn't some new thing. MS has been at this for over a decade, and what they have to show for it are incredibly tepid returns. This, after sinking gobs of money into it.

Might be a different story if MS hadn't completely bungled the Xbox One push, but they did, and it's unlikely to recover. Sony's got this gen locked up, so why should MS keep throwing money at a market loser?

Comment: Re:Not creepy (Score 2) 106

by gorzek (#47456457) Attached to: Seat Detects When You're Drowsy, Can Control Your Car

It's not your "every move," just your actions on public roads. You know, the kind you have to be licensed to drive on, in a vehicle registered with the government.

We are talking about high-speed rolling death machines here. Tens of thousands of people a year are killed in car accidents--most of which are preventable as they result from human error and negligence.

I would not at all object to a prohibition on transmitting any of the data of this fatigue-monitoring system to authorities or insurers. It may follow the same trend as other safety technologies: you get an insurance discount for having it, but the insurer is in no way monitoring how you use it. I'm also not aware of police using remote knowledge of vehicles except in emergencies, e.g. kidnappings, high-speed chases, etc.

Frankly, if someone is about to fall asleep at the wheel and they're ignoring the car's warnings to pull over, I very much would want nearby police notified to get that person off the road. A sleepy driver is a menace to everyone around him.

Comment: Re:They'd be stumped more often (Score 1) 115

by MickLinux (#47382693) Attached to: Use of Encryption Foiled the Cops a Record 9 Times In 2013

Or, aleernatively... letting a few crimes go unsolved is part and parcel of an authoritarian police state.

Right now, we have on our 'unsolved docket' Lois Lerner, war crimes by US troops in Iraq, high treason by various top operatives violating their constitutional oaths and undermining the rule of law, thus aiding the enemies of the US, embezzlement by bankers who control the Fed, breach of fiduciary duty by BoA under the blackmail of Paulson that he would break the law... and now most recently high crimes by that French bank in criminal money laundering, in one is the biggest ever (9 billion) fine, but unfortunately, we can't find the criminal.

And that's just the US. I haven't hit one percent of the unsolved crimes yet.

Leaving a 'rule of law' nation sucks.

Comment: Re:ItsATrap (Score 1) 115

by MickLinux (#47382669) Attached to: Use of Encryption Foiled the Cops a Record 9 Times In 2013

It's doubly a trap when those same companies, which have multiple backup systems on the emails, suddenly cannot recover anything following a series of six separate 'hard drive crashes' on RAID-7 systems, so that the IRS' evidence can no longer prove criminal intent by leaders of the government.

Leaving a 'rule of law' nation sucks.

Comment: Re:"Informants" (read: bribery) (Score 1) 115

by MickLinux (#47382601) Attached to: Use of Encryption Foiled the Cops a Record 9 Times In 2013

Which, if this chain of thought is correct, leads to the conclusion that in those 9 cases, either police were NOT corrupt (and so could be foiled) or were corrupt, and wanted to be foiled.

I'm not sure that the chain of thought is correct. In some areas --Illinois for example, I would expect it to be.

Comment: Re:Fantastic! Open sourcing will make pwning easie (Score 1) 136

by jkrise (#47374167) Attached to: Microsoft Backs Open Source For the Internet of Things

and the manufacturer says "not our problem--it's old!" Then people might realize what a Pandora's Box this is...

This is exactly what Microsoft is saying about Windows XP. For IOT devices lasting dozens of years, it is better to stay as far away from Microsoft as possible.

Comment: Re:Better way for Microsoft to earn trust (Score 0) 178

My first and subsequent posts, and the article - are all about Microsoft's attempts to earn trust. Many millions of customers have already reposed trust and money with Microsoft for their software. Migrating to open source is not an easy option for most of them; and indeed that is not the point under debate.

If Microsoft wants their loyal trustworthy userbase to continue to trust them, they should adopt different measures than being pseudo-transparent with biggest customers such as the government. I have not written, nor intend to debate upon Microsoft's customers migrating to open source.

Comment: Re:Better way for Microsoft to earn trust (Score 1, Interesting) 178

If you want to buy 20 machines today with a Windows OS, the only choice is Windows 8. Even though almost a billion PCs run XP, it is not possible to get a new machine with a legal licensed copy of XP without jumping through numerous hoops and shelling out loads of cash.

Microsoft wants us to trust their word that it is not feasible to offer or support XP on new machines. This is not believable. Opening up the source code is the only way to prove or disprove Microsoft's version of the facts.

Whether you agree or not is not important. Hundreds of legacy code developed for Windows platform using Windows development tools run only on XP and are not supported by 7 or 8. Customers are left with no choice but to rewrite code at great expense, often impossible since the vendors are no longer in business. In my view this represents a lock-in, whereby customers are forced to shell out large sums of money to obtain support for XP legally on new systems by investing in Enterprise Volume License Agreements and associated costs.

egrep patterns are full regular expressions; it uses a fast deterministic algorithm that sometimes needs exponential space. -- unix manuals