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Comment: Re:Mr. shattered hope (Score 2) 300

by mrchaotica (#49784163) Attached to: Obama Asks Congress To Renew 'Patriot Act' Snooping

don't have a magical fix. My latest pet theory is that, at a Federal level, there should be a specified number of politicians. Rather than state-by-state, gerrymandered-district-by-gerrymandered-district, shit should be direct. Is there 3% of the US population who are pot-smoking tree-humping eco-dweebs? Then 3% of the politicians should be from the Nature Molestin' Party. Sure, we wouldn't have the 'hope and change' of meaningless party swaps over individual seats. We might get locked into some terrible shit if the majority of the country are, in fact, clueless assholes. But it'd be better representation.

A much "simpler" change (in terms of concept, not ease of execution) would be to go re-learn the concept of Federalism and take a bunch of power away from the Federal government and give it to state and local ones. The less the Federal government has responsibility over, the less harm unaccountable Congresscritters can do.

Comment: Re:They're bums, why keep them around (Score 1) 733

by Tom (#49783639) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

However, this observation didn't actually form part of my argument; I just noted disapprovingly how your arguments and views illustrate how common fascist beliefs still are among Germans.

Yes, we still believe that doing sports is good for health, soccer is a good game, the Autobahn is pretty awesome, and we haven't abolished mothers day.

Of course, you meant nothing of the kind, hiding behind an unspecific, unsubstantiated phrase instead of risking to make a statement that could be falsified.

EOT

Comment: Re:reasons (Score 1) 309

by squiggleslash (#49781275) Attached to: Why PowerPoint Should Be Banned

It's not the same thing three times though, and the context of this very discussion should tell you that.

Each of the three components is radically different, but there shouldn't be much redundancy - each of the three serves an entirely different purpose and only one actually contains the core information you need to remember.

The introduction ("you tell them what you are going to tell them") is warning you what's coming. That means giving you context and a road map for the information that follows. Think of it as, say, the marketing blurb for the book you're about to read.

The second ("You tell them") is the information. This is long, and your brain under normal circumstances isn't going to be prepared for that information. Hence the warning and roadmap.

The last ("then tell them what you told them") is the reminder, the overview that makes it easier to remember the information. It's the roadmap for returning here, rather than the simplified roadmap for finding your way there for the first time.

If someone is repeating the same thing three times, they're doing it wrong. As you saw, it's easy to set context without being overly redundant, and a reminder of what you just heard is always helpful.

Out of interest, while this was a little TL;DR (doesn't matter if you're stuck in a meeting ;-), did you feel it was overly redundant? The "Each of" paragraph was "you tell them what you are going to tell them", the "If someone is repeating the same thing three times" was the "then tell them what you told them". The bit in the middle was the core information. I'm not a great communicator, but I doubt you spent the entire thing saying "Why does he keep saying the same thing over and over again? What a jerk!" But if I'd launched into just that middle part, and not provided context, it wouldn't have immediately clicked as to what relevance it has to your concerns.

Comment: Re:New fangled technology (Score 1) 84

by mrchaotica (#49779549) Attached to: Hyundai Now Offers an Android Car, Even For Current Owners

Nah, I'm not nearly rad enough to drive an AMC Pacer. My car is just a nice, low-miles Miata.

Also, these days, Vanilla Ice is a general contractor / house-flipper. Not a bad gig, to be honest -- once I'm making enough money I'm maxing my tax-deferred investments, I indeed might try acting like him.

Comment: Re:They're bums, why keep them around (Score 1) 733

by Tom (#49778637) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank, which you yourself point out is also effectively run by the German federal government.

I point out it's the other way around.

The other claim is backed up by every news article on the subject that you care to google.

I.e., they are lending money for purposes where any rational investor would say "Hell, no, too risky!" You know, like solar panels and the Greek government.

Crazy pills?

No, it's a "bank" in the sense that you would like all banks to be

You have an agenda here, and it is not to have an interesting discussion or provide useful information, therefore I'm wasting my time. Good bye.

Comment: Re:They're bums, why keep them around (Score 1) 733

by Tom (#49778611) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

The point is that private investors would not have "gambled" with their money like this;

Which is why Lehman Brothers is still a successful private bank, yes?

is pretty much the economic program of 20th century German fascists.

Let's not build roads, because the Nazis did it, too. What a solid argument.

Comment: Re:They're bums, why keep them around (Score 1) 733

by Tom (#49778595) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

It doesn't make a difference with regards to their motivations: they invested in Greece not because they are run by private, profit-hungry investors, they invested in Greece because politicians wanted them to.

Sources?

My (german) magazines tell that they invested exactly because they were looking for profits. The mix of unexperienced bureaucrats looking for profits and too-good-to-be-true investment opportunities made the mess.

and if you give politicians more control over banking, they are going to do more of this, not less.

Nobody wants to give politicians control over banking. Some of us want regulations, which means courts can force banks to not play russian roulette with the economy.

Comment: Re:30 years ago.... (Score 1) 277

by Jeremi (#49778387) Attached to: Amtrak Installing Cameras To Watch Train Engineers

So yeah, it's not as easy as just throwing a GPS on your locomotive and calling it good.

Still, even a partial solution (e.g. one that matches the train's GPS location, if known, against a table of specified maximum-safe-under-any-circumstances speed limits for that location) would prevent a train wreck in certain cases (such as the recent one that prompted this article). I'm all for full PTC, but I don't think the perfect needs to be made the enemy of the good here.

Comment: Re:Time to find better engineers (Score 2) 277

by Jeremi (#49778353) Attached to: Amtrak Installing Cameras To Watch Train Engineers

If the engineers' concentration is so fragile that they are going to be distracted by a camera, they are obviously not the right people to be operating complex machinery.

They suffer from a condition called "being human". It causes occasional failures in an otherwise operational controller-human, some very small percentage of the time. Even the highest-quality controller-humans have a non-zero failure rate.

Maybe we should just replace them with automation and run the trains remotely. They could keep one engineer per train to engage the manual override in the event that someone hacks the control infrastructure and tries to do Bad Things(tm) to the trains.

That is actually a pretty good idea, and it's more or less what PTC is intended to do, at least as far as the "avoid accidents" part of the job is concerned. Automating things further than that is also possible, although probably not really necessary.

Comment: Re:They're bums, why keep them around (Score 1) 733

by Tom (#49776401) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

How misleading.

The "credit" from KfW was the german part of the bailout money. They didn't speculate in Greece, they were simple the vehicle through which the german government sent its share. Also, KfW is not a bank in the normal sense of the word. For example, you can't go there and open an account. It's a specialized government investment institute that is primarily used as a low-interest credit bank for government subsidized investment. For example, because the government wants to support renewable energy, you can get very cheap credits from KfW if you want to build solar panels on your roof.

Comment: Re:They're bums, why keep them around (Score 1) 733

by Tom (#49776343) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

That's exactly the kind of program you like:

I usually exit these discussions when people begin to argue ad hominem. You have no idea what I like, because we haven't talked about it. Also, you're wrong.

As far as loans from Germany were concerned, the primary "bankster" was the German government.

As far as the partially government-owned banks are concerned, they're not owned by the German government, but by regional governments. The national government is too much in bed with the major banks (Deutsche Bank, etc.) to run their own.

Comment: Re:They're bums, why keep them around (Score 1) 733

by Tom (#49776323) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

Because the "big banks" you're talking about are primarily state-owned. So the tax payer is going to pay for them no matter what.

Actually not. Some of them are partially government-owned. That's a difference. It is now that all the debt is transferred to state-owned banks.

The only way a private bank or investor is going to give money to the Greek government is if he is reasonably assured by EU and/or German politicians ahead of time that he will be bailed out if Greece defaults.

Which is basically what happened.

Comment: Re:New fangled technology (Score 2) 84

by mrchaotica (#49776037) Attached to: Hyundai Now Offers an Android Car, Even For Current Owners

My 25-year-old Mazda* has a tape deck, and I'm perfectly happy with that. (Okay, I do have a minor quibble that there's no line-in port, but that's no big deal. At least it doesn't have a CD player instead; if that were the case then I'd actually have to get an aftermarket stereo.)

(*Don't knock it; it's very much on the "classic sports car" end of the spectrum, not the "old junky econobox" end.)

Like punning, programming is a play on words.

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