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Comment Re:Cultural? (Score 1) 378

This is when corporate lawyers start echoing the standard refrains of "Don't destroy any records", "where is your search warrant" and "don't talk to investigators or the press without a lawyer present" lines to everybody.

Somebody is likely going to jail, or at least facing criminal charges in both the EU and the USA.... Expect there to be a lot of finger pointing from here on out.

I agree withe everything up to "don't talk to investigators or the press without a lawyer present." Never forget that a corporate lawyer doesn't represent you, he or she is their to protect the corporation and will throw you under the bus at the first opportunity. Anytime a lawyer is sent to "help" the first thing to ask is "Who you represent?" followed by "are you my lawyer?" and "is everything we say confidential and privileged?" if the answer to the last two isn't yes and yes they are not on your side.

Comment Re:Cultural? (Score 1) 378

I need to agree. Germans take a lot of pride in Engineering as a culture. To say the German Engineers took short cuts just to pass US tests seems more unlikely than a strict Wink-Wink-Nudge-Nundge from the Bosses to the engineers with the side effect of or-else.

Befehl ist befehl. While they may not have direct orders to do something the pressure to "fix the problem" and not bother with telling me the details sounds like what may have happened. At any rate, I would find the executives' argument weak; especially for a screw up as big as this. Someone senior will have to take the fall, if only to prevent a slow drip, drip , drip of revelation that brings down the entire executive team and potentially VW.

Comment Re:fair competition (Score 1) 239

But again; even if uber is terrible and dangerous, why should we be treated like infants and not allowed to make up our own minds? Also continuing with the uber is a death trap; then other companies could come along in a free market and offer safer drives. People would probably choose them instead. Free market. Just like all the other vendors in London who don't have quotas. Restaurants, lawyers, dentists, clothing stores. All of those businesses would probably love a quota eliminating new competition. But it wouldn't serve the public at all. But if this monopoly had never been set up and competition had always been allowed we would not be having this discussion and Uber would be having trouble making any headway in London, it would simply be one more competitor in a competitive market.

As someone who works in a place with minimal cab regulation and thus maximum competition I welcome Uber's entry. I've gotten cabs with drivers who don't even know the local area, cabs with dash warning lights beyond just check engine, and fares weren't cheap. All it takes is a car and a sign asking taxi to be a cab; plus a sticker indicating you've paid the airport tax (gov't wants their cut) so Uber is a step up.

Comment Re:Not just a technical management problem. (Score 1) 152

I see this as a wider problem, not just with managers. It is no different than the problem I have seen with many developers/programmers who are unwilling to learn (to the point of fighting it) the business that they are developing software for. Most developers develop software for some business other than for other developers and refusing to educate yourself about the business that you are developing for limits the usefulness of those resources. Similarly, Managers managing technical people should learn what they are managing - though they don't necessarily have to worry about the details of it. Of course the smaller the company the more knowledge technically that manager should have since there is less room for specialization.

Exactly. It's not about having mangers who are great programmers/admins/etc., rather it is the ability to understand the concepts and thus be able to talk intelligently with their staff and explain what they are doing to more senior leadership. Your point about programmers understanding the business needs of their customers is spot on, although many programmers will decry the need to so do. I recently got involved in yet another iT project, despite my great desire to avoid them at any cost, and after explaining in great detail exactly what we are looking for, including detailed data descriptions including data types and input rules, process flows, screen mockups etc, the programmer came back with a very detailed overview of the calendaring function he was building for us. Trouble is, I neither need nor want a calendar function, I want what I described. Yes, the software has really neat calendaring abilities but I really don't give a damn how cool they are because ether don't do what I need. Far too often both sides of the table seem unable to talk in a language the other understands and get a common understanding of what is needed.

As for the CFO not having a financial background, of course they have one but they also understand and probably have been involved in operations and other line/staff functions and understand what they do. Similarly, a CIO should have the same breadth of experience.

Comment Re:LoJack (Score 2) 100

It amazes me just how many people (criminals especially) just don't get this.

In Hollywood movies, the criminals are usually brilliant masterminds, because that makes for an interesting story. But, in real life, most criminals are pretty stupid.

Yup. As my cop friends say, "We only catch the stupid ones." One detective I know told me whenever they had a breaking that match a certain profile they'd go find "John" and ask him if he did it. If he did, he'd fess up and ask how did they know? The say because the last 10 times we had a burglary like this you did, so we decided to save some time and see if you did this one as well. Another favorite was the guy who, good citizen he was, called in a crime in progress form a payphone. Trouble was the crime he was reporting was occurring 10 blocks away. He was surprised when the cops caught him in progress of committing a crime and told them they were supposed to be at a crime 10 blocks away.

Comment Looking for suckers... (Score 1) 286

As some have pointed out, what is the value of extortion when the info is already public? It's value lies in looking for people who are willing to pay up, even a small amount. Once you find them, you can keep threatening and demanding more since you know they have given in and no have even more to hide; i.e. they paid to keep their spouse from finding out.

Comment Re:Could be an interesting decision (Score 1) 698

Chemical/Biological weapons are not arms. And they are prohibited to nations as well. Thus, the U.S. army is not supposed to have chemical or biological weapons. This would in fact be a case, where the logic of US vs MILLER actually applies.

Your argument is that the 2cd is not an absolute right but the extent of it is open to legislation and court decisions. The banking of use of some weapons by nations is different, however since that is a treaty obligation; the similarity to private gun ownership is that a private entity can chose to ban weapons from their property without infringing on anyone's 2cd amendment rights.

Comment Re:in the US, we have a right to all weapons (Score 1) 698

Or we should, considering how broadly we interpret the 2nd Amendment. If you go by the NRA's assessment, all US citizens have the right to have guns.

However, the 2nd Amendment says "arms"; which can also be interpreted as *any* type of weapon, including explosives.

However; explosives are prohibited because our corporate masters are more concerned about property damage than about the lives of people.

Consider what the TSA is really protecting; not the lives of people on the plane, but the plane itself, which is worth hundreds of millions.

And tehy NRA is protecting their corporate masters, the firearms producers, by ensuring citizens are afraid the "big gun grab" is just around the corner and so be sur to buy all you can before they are gone.

Comment Re:It is also a poor replacement for Thunderbolt I (Score 1) 732

The F-35 may have impressive tech, stealth, electronics and advanced missiles, but the Thunderbolt II is literally a flying tank that is able to take a lot of abuse and still keep flying. It also delivers an incredible amount of damage and its operating history is stellar. It's a great morale booster for ground troops, but the US air force wants to get rid of it.

The backstory is the USAF said they were going to kill it, and army Aviation stepped up and said "we'll take the..." and started to ID Apache pilots to transition to the Warthog. The USAF decided they'd keep them after all rather than let the Army add to its air wing.

"Lead us in a few words of silent prayer." -- Bill Peterson, former Houston Oiler football coach