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Comment Re:Austin? (Score 3, Informative) 464

Austin has gotten pretty expensive, yes. We bought into a central Austin neighborhood at the bottom of the recession (thanks luck we both had jobs) and rode it up. We couldn't afford to buy in our own neighborhood now. Sister-in-law wanted to buy a year and a half later and the only houses in the price range in the city were on the periphery of the core city area. Now you mostly have to go to the suburbs or the funny offshoot bits of the city, and getting from those into downtown (or even in the core periphery area where most of the tech companies are) takes a long time.

On the other hand, if you live central and work at a tech company on the periphery, you commute against traffic. My ~10 mile commute takes 11-15 minutes.

Comment Re:Countdown to Lawsuit in 3...2...1... (Score 1) 412

I think "you can't deny housing because someone has kids" is pretty Equal Protection-y regardless of the age of those kids. And it was totally prone to abuse (no quotes required) prior to regulation, exactly as in my facetious example.

If anything seems illegal, it's probably the senior living facilities, not kids in this dorm thing.

Comment Re:Countdown to Lawsuit in 3...2...1... (Score 2) 412

Well if you have kids living with you then you're already not in their intended market, this sort of thing is a "singles only" sort of place.

...which is likely illegal depending upon the local housing ordinances. "Oh, Jennifer in 7B had her baby last week? Time to write up the eviction notice."

Comment Re:Predestiny? (Score 1) 144

That's all just VW screwing up. The researchers who found this did so because they were running a BMW and VW side-by-side and saw weird fluctuations in emissions in the VW. The BMW was consistently good.

So an SCR system has been "proven not to work" - VW's in their 2.0L TDI. Other SCR systems work fine.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 173

Asset seizure without due process has been in the spotlight recently, and many organizations including sheriff offices cannot simply take your stuff any more when they stop you. This is mostly due to local policy changes due to pressure from the media and activists IIRC, not any court action, so it's not ideal, but at least one blatantly unconstitutional process* is winding down.

* what SCOTUS said about it is irrelevant because they were wrong

Comment Re:Just what we need.. (Score 1) 211

This is important, because this is how we can reign in corporate "free speech". The Constitution, so sayeth SCOTUS, might give corporations the rights of people, but nothing in the Constitution gives certain types of people a favorable tax status over others.

Now, we have a long tradition of granting favorable tax status to certain groups, but that tax status often comes with restrictions attached. For example, to be a non-profit corporation, a corporation person is often required to publish quite a lot more financial data than a for-profit corporation would of similar size and ownership. Those non-profit corporations might also be restricted from using their funds for political speech. If they violate these rules, they haven't necessarily broken a criminal law, but their favorable tax status can be revoked.

So why don't we just do the same with regular for-profit corporations? If you want any of the speech rights of a person, above and beyond trade speech required to market, sell, and service your products, you have to pay income tax on your gross, not net. If you and your shareholders prefer your favorable tax status, so you can go about your business of being a business, then stop pretending you are a person, limit your speech to trade speech, and go back to being what you are supposed to be.

Comment Re:Maybe (Score 1) 420

IIRC the VW problem was found while the researchers were testing a BMW X5 side-by-side, and noticed that the VW's emissions varied widely over the test parameters while the BMW's didn't.

In other words, while the tests might not represent typical driving conditions, at least one company figured out how to build engines and emission systems that meet standards in more varied and realistic driving conditions. Diesel can be clean (enough to meet the spirit and letter of the law), but at least one vendor (and possibly many others) bend or break the rules rather than invest in the necessary technology to achieve those goals.

(Disclaimer: We have a BMW X5 diesel. The car is about four years old, and we had to have its horse piss tank refilled this summer because the car had started a countdown towards "vehicle will not start in X miles" unless we kept that emission system functional.)

Comment Re:How about some REAL information? (Score 1) 330

You are still overgeneralizing.

-GMOs are *NOT* bad.

This is a broad generalization. It's akin to saying "Chemical sweeteners are *NOT* bad" because you tested sucrose and aspartame and saccharine, while not testing ethylene glycol. Were a company truly evil, for example, they could probably create a plant that would be deliberately dangerous. Or, there could be a side effect that's not well caught in testing, such as a change to potatoes that make them taste like magic but also occasionally contain high levels of solanine.

Are any of the GMOs on the market bad? Well no, probably not. But saying "GMOs are *NOT* bad" full stop is giving up on a valid argument for oversight and regulation, and against using untested products in our food supply. That argument complements your point about the harmful indirect side effects of using certain GMOs; it doesn't compete with it.

(To the pro-GMO audience, of course traditional cross-pollination techniques could also yield things dangerous to eat. But saying "we've been doing it for thousands of years" is a worthless point, because that means we've had thousands of years of other people to test on to learn what seems okay versus what sickens and kills them.)

"What people have been reduced to are mere 3-D representations of their own data." -- Arthur Miller