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Comment: Re:Do you want a diversity hire? (Score 1) 179

Google has been spending a lot of money on lobbying democrats lately (republicans too, of course).

Google doesn't care about diversity, but those democrats do. So Google makes reports of diversity in exchange for favors from politicians. That's the reason you've been hearing so much about it lately.

Comment: Re:Diversity (Score 1) 179

I recall way back when at U-Mich talking to a fellow near-savant (for lack of a better term, full of ourselves). We were discussing intelligence and he was convinced it was almost entirely genetics.

For a while, this theory was being popularized by William Shockley. His push mostly ended when he got on the radio, and the host asked him if his own kids were smart. Apparently old Bill didn't think they were.

Comment: Re:What is your solution? (Score 2) 194

by Firethorn (#49832109) Attached to: Why Is It a Crime For Dennis Hastert To Evade Government Scrutiny?

Hastert is caught in a similar pickle. Meet the reporting requirements; they're designed to trap this, and other kinds of illicit behavior.

They don't just trap illicit behavior. Legitimate businesses have been hit, many times, for structuring. They charge the money in the bank account, not the individual or business, so you have to *prove* it's legitimate. Often they'll let you get half or so of it back in exchange for not involving the legal system. People have been out of tens of thousands of dollars for this.
A Mexican restaurant: "Critics say the I.R.S. rarely investigates such cases to see if the business owner has legitimate reasons for making small deposits, such as an insurance policy that covers only a limited amount of cash."
Multiple small businesses in Michigan

Simply speaking: Many businesses will frequently make deposits under $10k for two reasons:
1. That's simply what they make
2. Insurance policies that only cover 'up to' $10k or so of cash, so business policy is to make a deposit whenever they're close to that amount so they're always covered.

The IRS doesn't care, will look at it as 'structuring', and seize all your bank accounts.

Comment: Bullshit laws (Re:Stucturing) (Score 1) 194

by mi (#49832063) Attached to: Why Is It a Crime For Dennis Hastert To Evade Government Scrutiny?

However that doesn't make the laws bullshit. If you have a better way to catch criminals engaged in money laundering

The primary objection to these laws — and the reason they are considered "bullshit" — is that they allow confiscation of funds without having to prove anything. The government does not even need to file a suit!

None of the victims are "criminals" — because nobody is a criminal until found guilty in a court of law — and your above-quoted excuse for the law is thus automatically invalid.

Worse, the practice — and the bullshit laws "authorizing" it — are in direct violation of the Fifth Amendment, which purports to protect us against this exact practice (emphasis mine): "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated".

Comment: Re:Good talk about this at popehat (Score 1) 194

by phantomfive (#49831967) Attached to: Why Is It a Crime For Dennis Hastert To Evade Government Scrutiny?

Particularly with high-profile targets, federal prosecution is often an exercise in searching for a theory to prosecute someone that the feds would like to prosecute. There is an element of creativity: what federal statute can we find to prosecute this person?" Someone wanted to go after Hastert, they found a way.

That is the entire problem.

Comment: Re:Future proofing (Score 2) 179

Infrastructure wise, only what would differ from 'standard'. Also, assuming I'm not in a mansion, but still 'decent' sized house.

Proper telecommunications closet. Should be fairly centrally located, but 'out of the way'. Remember to put venting/ac in here.
It should have room for at least a small rack holding my patch panel(s), switch, router, and a server or two.
Conduit to all the rooms, with at least 2 boxes per wall, even if I end up drywalling over most of them.
Right now I'd pull cat6 cable and probably a bit of coax. I don't use cable other than internet, but who knows?
The conduit makes repair/replacement 'easy'.
Electrical plug-in spots at the top end of standard in number
New idea - have a second run of conduit placed fairly high up. Suggested uses: Wall mount speakers, TVs, and such.
Basement: Pour a secure vault as part of the foundation, get a good door. Good for storing guns, valuables, and as an emergency shelter.
Shooting range: Length ultimately depends on budget and location, but a hallway that doubles as a 10 yard plus* firing range. Maybe even have it extend out from under the house, doubles as a secondary exit. Put the bullet trap on the far side, lock the distant end down *tight*. Probably even hook up a light & siren to that door opening. Safety first!
Construction wise I'd want it to be mostly a 'passive house'. IE built such that it doesn't need extensive amounts of heating or cooling.
Also, solar panels on new build is cheaper enough that there not real reason at this point to NOT have them. Depending on where the house is being built, a few solar thermal panels for hot water would be a good idea as well. Depending on region, there's even tricks with underground air circulation for cooling and/or heating as well. Geothermal heat pumps. Don't forget heat exchanger air vents - they save energy by conditioning the air while still giving you much better ventilation than a 'tight' modern home without one.

I like swimming, so an indoor pool with automatic cover.

Crazy wise - use one of those 3d concrete printers to make the walls, as they can 'print' the conduit basically right into the walls. Also, the concrete they use is surprisingly insulating and still serves as thermal mass to keep temperatures even.

*IE don't bother if it'd be less than 10 yards/meters, but I'd prefer at least 20. It would start being silly at 100.

Comment: Re:What is your solution? (Score 2) 194

by tnk1 (#49831835) Attached to: Why Is It a Crime For Dennis Hastert To Evade Government Scrutiny?

One might ask why we believe that our internet communications should be private, but our monetary transactions should be carefully tracked. Especially in the sense that today, more than ever, money transfer is now mostly just the transfer of bits.

People frequently go on about how the government could harass or attack politicians or activists with the information they obtain, but here we have the government doing the same thing with financial reporting. Sure, Hastert's probably a scumbag sex offender, but no one has charged him with that. They're using other laws to push their agenda.

It was a clever little bit of legal trickery which got Al Capone in jail for tax evasion, and certainly you could argue that he needed to be stopped. The problem is, we really never reformed the system to make someone like Capone less likely to be able to corrupt the state and local governments, we're still relying on these sort of loopholes to get convictions that the government wouldn't otherwise try to get in a court of law on the merits of their actual case because they'd fail. It is skating very close to laws being passed to make you a felon in cases where you wouldn't be convicted, but the prosecutor (and not the judge or jury) really wants you convicted of something.

Comment: He is not "you and me"... (Score 2) 194

by mi (#49831765) Attached to: Why Is It a Crime For Dennis Hastert To Evade Government Scrutiny?

First of all, I do agree, that neither bank-withdrawals (in whatever "pattern"), nor lying to anyone (unless under oath) should be a crime. Absolutely not.

But, as long as it is a crime, people like Dennis Hastert — who had the power to do something about these laws, but did not, absolutely must be prosecuted under them. To the fullest extent and without mercy. (I argued the same thing about Spitzer — whose case was even worse, for he not only kept the laws he broke on the books, he strengthened them.)

He is not a regular citizen — employee, student, businessman. He had the power — and more of it, than even an "average" Congressman.

All that said about him, I find it disturbing, that the ruling party would prosecute the opposition's politicians. It does not look good. At all... They should be focusing on their own — like the aforementioned Mr. Spitzer, whose sole "punishment" for breaking federal laws, was resignation...

Comment: Re:Diversity (Score 1) 179

While a company like Google likely has all sorts go through their doors, I can tell you what my experience with hiring is.

Working in a small company, I frequently have quite a bit of exposure to the raw talent pool. Sometimes HR gets involved, but just as often, I am talking to the recruiters myself.

There is the occasional woman. There is the occasional black man. What there is not are both black and female. Google having only 35 black females mirrors my experience. The percentage of resumes of black females, even for junior positions, is likely so low to begin with that I never see one and Google probably only sees a few hundred.

And that is even before any question of their skills or experience come up.

I'm wary of a scenario where the first black female resume in my 5 years as a manager will someday come across my desk and she just happens to not have the skills I require for the job and don't hire her. Am I suddenly discriminating in my hiring practices because I have rejected 100% of my black female candidates? Do I hire her because "diversity"?

More to the point, if I had two identically skilled candidates, and one happened to be a black female, do I derive an advantage from hiring her over the other person?

When the bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves.