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Comment: Re:Guy saves you from becoming Illinois (Score 1) 11

by mcgrew (#48204139) Attached to: The Kevlar Kandidate Gets Some Help

And all the unions can do is stab him

Of course they are. What else can you do when someone is trying to murder you?

As far as Illinois' fiscal problems, they started under Thompson (R), who wanted to both cut taxes and increase spending (sound familiar?). Edgar (R) followed his footsteps, as did Ryan (R). The screaming didn't start until Blago (D) and it's still a terrible problem, but is slowly improving.

Ryan and Blago both went to prison for bribery. Thompson (R) unsuccessfully defended Blago in his bribery trial (note that even Johnny Cochran and F. Lee Baily together wouldn't have been able to keep him out of the slammer).

The current Republican candidate, who "earns" a thousand times the median income, wants to tax my pensions, my social security, haircuts, food, medicine, while slashing both his own taxes and school funding.

No way in hell could I vote for that guy.

The Internet

Hungary To Tax Internet Traffic 299

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-to-kill-your-youtube-habit dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The Hungarian government has announced a new tax on internet traffic: 150 HUF ($0.62 USD) per gigabyte. In Hungary, a monthly internet subscription costs around 4,000-10,000 HUF ($17-$41), so it could really put a constraint on different service providers, especially for streaming media. This kind of tax could set back the country's technological development by some 20 years — to the pre-internet age. As a side note, the Hungarian government's budget is running at a serious deficit. The internet tax is officially expected to bring in about 20 billion HUF in income, though a quick look at the BIX (Budapest Internet Exchange) and a bit of math suggests a better estimate of the income would probably be an order of magnitude higher.
User Journal

Journal: Random Scribblings 1

Journal by mcgrew

While I'm waiting for the corrected copy of Mars, Ho! to show up I've been working on another, Random Scribblings. It's a compilation of garbage I've littered the internet with for almost twenty years.

Comment: Re:moof (Score 1) 11

by mcgrew (#48175599) Attached to: America's two-tiered justice as seen from north of the border

I get my view of how the lower class is treated by the cops, from watching the TV show "Cops".

Understandable, then why you hold your views of the poor.

Generally the poor are poor because they make bad choices.

Some people, true, but not generally. If you're raised by poor parents, you're up against a very big wall. It's hard for them to buy school supplies, and if you're raised by a single parent it's harder for them to help you because they're probably working two jobs. Having a single parent is the result of a poor choice, but it wasn't your poor choice.

And a poor kid can forget ever attending college.

People who have bills to pay and have to go to work in the morning don't have time to be out causing trouble.

Most of the US's poor work, and are not criminals. But the cops still treat them as criminals; hell, society itself does.

Those folks working at McDonald's, WalMart, the corner convenience store are all on food stamps. That friendly face you see at the checkout counter is the face of poverty, not the idiots you see while watching "Cops" (that show is government propaganda, BTW).

So we are a classless society, in that you're not stuck in one socioeconomic class no matter how hard you work.

Rags to riches is extremely rare and takes a hell of a lot more than hard work. My late uncle was one of the exceptions. Creativity and hand-eye coordination runs in the family, and a stroke of bad luck was the best thing that happened to Dan.

He was injured in WWII in the navy, and became friends with a fellow patient in the hospital who had lost a leg in the war. The army gave him a prosthetic, and Dan saw it and said "I can make a better leg than that" when his friend showed him the new leg, and he did. They went into the prosthetics business, and all it took to sell one was for Dan's partner to talk to a recent amputee, who would invariably say "What could YOU possibly know about it?" All he had to do was pull up his pants leg and it was an instant sale, because you would never know that he was missing a limb.

But there were so many lucky breaks, including genetics, that his rags to riches story (both sets of my grandparents were poor all their lives) would not have happened had a single thing, especially meeting his future partner, who was a born salesman; that's something that doesn't run in the family. We couldn't sell a ten cent hamburger to a starving man.

The fact is, if you're born poor you're almost certain to die poor, and if you're born rich you're almost certain to die rich. If you're born middle class there's no telling; you could die rich, middle class, or poor.

If this society is as classless as you say, then why did no one spend a single day in jail over the banking crimes that brought down the economy? Why did no one from Sony go to prison over XCP? Why was OJ Simpson "not guilty"? Do you think a poor black man would have been treated the same? Hell, a poor white man would have gone to prison under those circumstances.

Comment: Re:Fission is Dead (Score 5, Insightful) 217

by Smidge204 (#48171765) Attached to: Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly

Safer than hydroelectric.

Including Chernobyl, there have been something like 56 direct fatalities, 4000+ deaths from cancer attributed to the radiation, and 350,000+ displaced peoples due to fission reactor failures. I'm not aware of any deaths *directly* attributed to Fukushima but let's round that off to an even 60.

Banqiao hydroelectric dam collapse: 26,000 drowned, 145,000 dead from disease and famine, 11+ million displaced.

Adjusted for GW capacity, hydroelectric power (970GW) is an order of magnitude more dangerous than nuclear (372GW).

Ban hydro power! ;)

Comment: Re:As someone who never smoked anything ... (Score 1) 18

by mcgrew (#48157707) Attached to: Scientist says white is black

if someone is insistent on harassing others, interrupting traffic, etc, they should be dealt with accordingly.

Well, of course, even if they're stone cold sober. But that simply doesn't happen with pot. Like I said, unlike alcohol and a lot of other drugs, pot doesn't make people obnoxious.

I have known people who feel that life doesn't start until they are stoned, and they are not content to stay home or out of the way. They also believe that society owes it to them to welcome them when they are under the influence and that they are the life of the party at that point.

I've known one or two like that. They're idiots. The ones I've known like that all started smoking in adolescence.

I have unfortunately encountered unreasonable people from both sides.

Unreasonable people come in all shapes, sizes, colors, religious beliefs, politics, and nationalities. In politics the name is "wingnuts".

Comment: Re:Try from your phone. (Score 1) 6

by mcgrew (#48157683) Attached to: I'm sure this makes sense to someone

I'm holding on to my cheap Kyocera until it breaks or styles change. All of the new phones are WAY too big for a straight American man; unlike women, gays, and Europeans I don't carry a purse. It has to fit in my front pants pocket with my wallet or it's useless to me.

My all-time favorite phone was the old Motorola Razr. It was a "feature phone" but you could get on the internet with it, text, play games on it, it had a camera, etc. It had features Android (at least Jellybean) lacks. One thing I loved about it was you could set it to automatically answer in speakerphone mode. Great for traveling, with my Android it sits in my pocket ringing and buzzing and I have to call back after I stop. And it was really small, its best feature IMO.

Two things I like about the Kyocera is that it's shock resistant and waterproof. I've lost phones dropping them in water, and lost one when I was caught in a thunderstorm. My daughter used to use iPhones, I don't think any of them lasted a year before the screen broke.

User Journal

Journal: Number Two 5

Journal by mcgrew

The first printed copy of Mars, Ho! came a couple of weeks ago, and I've gone through it marking it up five times. This morning I made the changes in the version on my computer and ordered a corrected copy. I'll have it in about ten days.

I'm hopeful I'll be satisfied with it. There were actually few changes and most were minor, like a missing opening quote and end smart single quotes where apostrophes should have been.

Comment: Designed in US, Built in EU, Filled in Iraq (Score 5, Informative) 376

by eldavojohn (#48153407) Attached to: Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq
The summary seems to have left out the most interesting tidbit:

According to the Times, the reports were embarrassing for the Pentagon because, in five of the six incidents in which troops were wounded by chemical agents, the munitions appeared to have been "designed in the US, manufactured in Europe and filled in chemical agent production lines built in Iraq by Western companies".

Where were they found? Next to the plants set up by Western companies that filled them in Iraq, of course. Who has control of those plants now? Why, ISIS of course. Don't worry, though, the people who thought it was better we didn't know about these things are assuring us that all those weapons were hurriedly destroyed.

Comment: Re:Database upgrades (Score 1) 240

by mcgrew (#48150349) Attached to: Fighting the Culture of 'Worse Is Better'

How many languages have "functional programming features" without including the most important feature of functional programming: true determinism with immutable variables, hence easier testing and less debugging?

Certainly not Access, I hated that damned program. dBase, FoxPro, NOMAD were all easy to maintain, Access was a pain in the ass. It's one of the reasons I love being retired.

Comment: Re:Database upgrades (Score 1) 240

by mcgrew (#48149795) Attached to: Fighting the Culture of 'Worse Is Better'

They are great for things like whipping up a quick program because you need some numbers and a quick report for this afternoon, but they fail when you have to use the resulting application on a day-to-day basis.

That wasn't my experience at all, except for Access. I wrote very large applications in dBase and FoxPro that I used for years.

One application I wrote for a Chicago hospital in Clipper (Clipper produced executables from xBase code) had been in use for six months when they had a problem; large amounts of data had gone missing.

I looked at both code and data and couldn't figure it out, but saw from a hidden entry date field that there was no data for a two month period. They gasped when I told them than and they immediately saw the cause of the problem -- that was when an intern was supposed to be entering data but obviously didn't and thought he or she could get away with it.

They used that application for a couple of years after that with nothing but praise for the app.

The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it. -- E. Hubbard