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Comment: Most of our problems are government policy (Score 2) 140

by MikeRT (#48913773) Attached to: Young Cubans Set Up Mini-Internet

If the states would each accredit a new medical school, expand seating by 25-50% in core medical programs and such, we could easily start matching Cuba on the professional supply side. The AMA and others won't go for that because it would mean forcing highly paid medical professionals to get competitive on their salaries and such. How about the states start applying price gouging laws? How about they start requiring posting of all fee schedules at medical establishments so consumers can price shop? How about they start throwing doctors in prison for quietly bringing in partners who are out of network so the practice can bill at much higher rates?

Just as radical, how about we start demanding that health insurance act like real insurance. Meaning...
1. It only covers things which are reasonably outside of the person's control.
2. It covers them absolutely past the deductible which should be reasonable.
3. If the buyer becomes indigent once the emergency happens, the insurance company cannot stop paying just because premiums are no longer being paid and the insurance company cannot lawfully back bill for premiums lost when the insured incident happened and the buyer was unable to pay.

Comment: If by "some fucked up stuff" (Score 4, Insightful) 140

by MikeRT (#48912579) Attached to: Young Cubans Set Up Mini-Internet

You mean like torture and murder of political dissidents, people being routinely thrown into prison for speech that is not only legal but won't have US law enforcement even raise an eyebrow and various other tyrannical sundries then yeah. They can't own a cell phone or computer without the state's permission, but hey... free healthcare people!

This just goes to show how pathetic a lot of leftists are. But but Cuba has some great, free healthcare. Yeah? Cuba's also politically and economically FUBAR to the nth degree compared to even most of Latin America. There's a reason Cubans are more likely to expatriate than people in, say, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic or Honduras to try to sneak into Cuba.

Comment: Parent's responsibility (Score 2) 660

by MikeRT (#48883543) Attached to: Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

If you aren't going to vaccinate your children, then you have no business taking them to a highly international, very crowded space on the East Coast. It's about as stupid as living in DC which has a huge, very cosmopolitan population and not vaccinating. What might be ok in small towns where the population isn't very mobile is utterly insane in such an area.

Comment: Gov't contractors are not paid by the hour (Score 1) 253

by MikeRT (#48875903) Attached to: IRS Warns of Downtime Risk As Congress Makes Cuts

If you knew anything about gov't contracting, you'd know that they're salaried to the company and billed hourly to the government. This is why unpaid overtime is such a sensitive topic with government contractors. It is literally the company stealing the employee's job security. Let's say you have been budgeted 640 hours. That's 4 months of 40 hours a week. Doing 20 hours of unpaid overtime a week for a gov't contractor means you are going to be at risk of being laid off in about 11 weeks as opposed to 16 weeks.

Comment: Well actually, he has a point (Score 1) 307

by MikeRT (#48875847) Attached to: Blackberry CEO: Net Neutrality Means Mandating Cross-Platform Apps

There is no limiting principle in the arguments for net neutrality generally that prevent this argument. If the argument is that I as a consumer have a right to not have my ISP discriminate against my choice of content providers, then where in that argument is the limiting principle that prevents me from forcing the content providers to provide the content on a device of my choosing rather than theirs? No appeals to "common sense." Where in the standard network neutrality "principles" do you find a concrete and rational basis for limiting the whole battle to the transport level?

Why should Verizon have to take all comers but Apple gets to build a walled garden that prevents Android users from making use of iMessage? Their property? Isn't that precisely what Verizon and Comcast argue about being able to prioritize traffic?

Comment: Cry me a river (Score 3, Informative) 253

by MikeRT (#48874313) Attached to: IRS Warns of Downtime Risk As Congress Makes Cuts

The IRS is an unbelievably bloated agency. The FBI, whose jurisdiction is significantly more expansive and demanding, has barely 35,000 employees and a budget that's over $3B less and somehow it gets its work done. A colleague of mine knew some guys who had to work at the IRS as contractors. He said that toward contractors, the IRS is by far the most abusive agency he's ever seen. They routinely expected 60 hour work weeks from the contractors.

Comment: If that's what you want (Score 3, Insightful) 644

by MikeRT (#48856335) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

Then switch from Java or Python to Groovy. It's got a REPL tool like Python and Ruby, compiles to Java bytecode with tight Java interop and usually looks more like Ruby or Python than most people's Java code. That and it's a substantially more marketable language than any dialect of BASIC.

Comment: It's not about equality (Score 2) 335

by MikeRT (#48841697) Attached to: Lies, Damn Lies, and Tech Diversity Statistics

If it were, feminists would be beside themselves that by every metric, boys and men are losing out and the system favors girls and women. It doesn't matter what someone says they believe, just watch their actions. By the fruit they bear you will know their true character and priorities. Once you realize it's never been about equality, the only thing that matters is the question of whether some women have been truly unjustly denied opportunities. As a class issue, it's dead on arrival once you realize that equality was never the goal.

Comment: Let's be blunt (Score 4, Insightful) 360

by MikeRT (#48838971) Attached to: Linus On Diversity and Niceness In Open Source

In the US, there are two main problems with diversity:

1) Women don't really enjoy the work or the culture.
2) Non-Asian minorities tend to be at a severe disadvantage when it comes to the home life that gives whites and Asians early access and encouragement to get started.

Number two is reasonably remedied without radically changing the work or the culture. Number one isn't. Most women are simply never going to feel comfortable even in a polite but very competitive environment where they have to do the same sort of work as the respected men to get comparable respect. To many women, just showing up should entitle them to respect and encouragement, but Linus is correct here. Most people just don't give a damn that you're a woman in this field.

Comment: The issue will never be "solved" (Score 1) 479

by MikeRT (#48831431) Attached to: Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

This Wikipedia project is an excellent example of why this issue will never be "solved" to the satisfaction of those hell bent on seeing the number of women expanded. Briefly, for those who want a TL;DR take, the project's goal is to create a "safe space" for women where among other things, they don't have to deal with men "attacking them," "trashing them" or even really criticizing them.

There is something that all of the groups that demand a "safe space" all have in common and that's that they cannot function in a competitive workplace. If it's not completely "consensus-driven" without overt competition, they can't function. Most men and many women who do stick it out have no respect for this sort of person be it some male geek mentally stuck in high school even at the age of 30 or a woman who cannot bear normal male group dynamics.

And before someone tries to throw out a red herring about Linus Torvalds or some extreme case of sexual quid pro quo, I'd like to point out that most of the stories you see about why women leave come down to a few factors:

1. Uncomfortable with competitiveness.
2. Total lack of empathy with how men and certain types of women often see the world.
3. Not warmly, enthusiastically embraced as a "woman in STEM."

Just look at the Matt Taylor issue. If that is the sort of thing that makes you change your life direction, you don't deserve dreams. You're just too weak and pathetic of a human being to deserve even a day dream about where your life could go. That's so banal compared to real sexism like telling a woman that she has to advance on her back if she wants to advance at all that even uttering such a complaint takes you outside the realm of having anything authentic grievances.

Comment: And what about those that don't graduate? (Score 0) 703

by MikeRT (#48771071) Attached to: Obama Proposes 2 Years of Free Community College

Setting aside the ridiculously low barrier that he established with a 2.5 GPA, what should happen to the majority of CC students that never graduate or go on to a 4 year college and graduate? If you can't complete a community college education, you're probably not someone worth investing in. Sure, there are people who get too caught up in responsibilities like work and children, but I doubt that honestly reprioritizing other responsibilities is the main reason I've seen graduation rates in the high 30s and low 40s at various times for community college.

Comment: End all immunity for government employees (Score 5, Insightful) 189

by MikeRT (#48763351) Attached to: White House Responds To Petition To Fire Aaron Swartz's Prosecutor

Especially prosecutors. Prosecutors, in fact, absolute civil immunity from the consequences of their courtroom hijinks. They can literally, with malice aforethought suborn perjury, withhold evidence that proves innocence (not just cast doubt) and other things and you cannot sue them. Why? The Supreme Court a long time ago ruled that if prosecutors could be sued into the ground for their courtroom conduct it would "unduly influence" their decisions to bring cases.

So you can sue a cop who beats you up because that's not within his training and there's no good faith defense. A prosecutor, legally trained with a JD, can intentionally commit a felony against you in a court of law and your only resources are as follows:

1. Plead with another prosecutor to prosecute him.
2. Get a friend/relative/street thug to meet him in the court parking lot with a baseball bat.

Because the civilized option 3) of taking matters into your own hands in a civil court is completely impossible and has been for a few decades.

Comment: They're allowed to have a dud (Score 1) 155

by MikeRT (#48751137) Attached to: The Fire Phone Debacle and What It Means For Amazon's Future

Apple's released duds and no one gives them any crap. Amazon is using this time to try new avenues and good for them. I think their stock is way over priced, but as a company they're doing extremely well. They also threw a lot of money into Amazon Studios to start creating content for Amazon Prime streaming. An excellent idea that, if Bezos lets them do the things the existing providers are too risk averse to do, will result in huge dividends for the company down the road. You're not going to get that from a Target or a Walmart.

Comment: How about they not act like they're a threat? (Score 1) 573

by MikeRT (#48745753) Attached to: Gun Rights Hacktivists To Fab 3D-Printed Guns At State Capitol

Well in the case of Michael Brown, he tried to violently disarm a police officer which is about one of the most threatening things you can possibly do to a police officer.

So what if the man was unarmed? You think unarmed men cannot be existential threats to people with guns? Tell that to anyone little woman with a small handgun who is facing a violent felon who outweighs her 50-100lb.

Comment: Nothing wrong with Blackberries (Score 5, Insightful) 252

by MikeRT (#48729447) Attached to: US CTO Tries To Wean the White House Off Floppy Disks

I have a Z10 running 10.2.X. It's a very nice phone and a good replacement for the piece of garbage my iPhone 4S turned into when I made the mistake of switching to iOS 7. Cost me $200 for a well-designed handset that has user-replaceable batteries, a mini-SD card slot that cheerfully takes a $25 64GB card and runs plenty of Android apps. Personally, I even find the OS to behave much like how I WISE iOS would behave (hint: UI is very similar, but has some nice Androidish features like a file manager that is very well designed).

What's the argument? Not a lot of apps? That's an argument in its favor with the federal government. Enterprise management is very easy and straight forward for the federal government too. BYOP has absolutely no place in the federal government.

All theoretical chemistry is really physics; and all theoretical chemists know it. -- Richard P. Feynman