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Comment Re:Holy misleading summary, Batman! (Score 1) 587

My main complaint is not necessarily about the Sad Puppies slate, but Vox Day's Rabid Puppies slate, where 4 of the 5 nominees for best Novella were published by his publishing house, 3 of them by one person. I don't think this is about excellence in writing, this is about self-promotion and blatant manipulation of the nomination process. I have never seen anyone from Tor publishing a slate of candidates for the Hugos, let alone one that is basically only by Tor published writing.

Comment Poorly designed green roofs = nasty mold problems (Score 1) 247

My employer used to have a green roof with grass or plants, I can't remember which. The roof ended up leaking and the building had a terrible mold problem. Some of my coworkers couldn't work on certain floors because of their mold allergies. They eventually got rid of the plants, redid the entire roof sans plants and spent a large amount of money remediating the mold problem.

Comment Re:Credit rating databases aren't new (Score 1) 294

The other posters are referring to 11 year old Sarah Murnaghan, who needed a lung transplant and, by the transplant registry rules was at the bottom of the list because she was under 12 and was on the pediatric list instead. After winning the court case, she had two double lung transplants because the first set of lungs failed within 24 hours. She's still alive, nearly a year after the transplants.

Comment Re:And each part takes a proportional share of deb (Score 2) 489

I think you'll find this sentiment in the agricultural areas of most states that have a lot of agricultural area and a few large (1 million +) metropolitan areas, as the metro areas are usually much more liberal than the agricultural areas. Their primary issues are often quite different also. Look at North Carolina, which lumps most of the liberals into a district that is Charlotte, Raleigh, and the interstate highway between them.

Comment Re:Furloughed workers (Score 1) 346

If I want subsidized insurance I have to enroll in medicaid. I bet you didn't realize that if your income is too low your only option for subsidized insurance is medicaid. I wouldn't touch that crap with a 10 foot pole.

What do you think Medicaid is? Under Obamacare, it's that exchange insurance policy with a subsidy. You'll be paying your portion of the premium to the insurance company and the government pays the rest. You don't have to take the bronze plan in order to get the subsidy, either.

Comment Do you REALLY want these people in charge of your (Score 1) 346

And this is this typical anti-Obamacare response based on misrepresentation of how Obamacare works. Obamacare is basically two things: a private insurance exchange that has specific rules about what is covered and a medicaid program that subsidizes the premiums. The only people who are deciding whether or not your mother can have surgery are employees of the insurance company your mother chooses. That's right, the so-called death panels are run by a bunch of private for-profit (or sometimes not-for-profit) insurance actuaries. And even those not-for-profit insurance companies don't do losses unless they want to go out of business.

Sure, some people signing up in the exchange might end up being told that they qualified for subsidies when they should have, and will have to refund some or all of their subsidies. But your definition of "routinely" is bogus. I'm quite sure that it doesn't mean, at least 50% of benefits are calculated incorrectly, probably something like .1%-.3% are calculated incorrectly. If you have a hundred thousand SSA beneficiaries with incorrect benefits, it sounds like a huge problem, but when it's put in the perspective of .2% of 55 million recipients, it doesn't have the same impact.

Even though is a government program, most of the development work was not done by government employees, it was done by a bunch of government contractors following the requirements of a bunch of political appointees who were in over their heads. People like your wife's coworkers aren't the ones setting up these systems, they're not the cause of the initial fiasco, they're not the ones on the death march to fix the problems. They're just shuffling the paperwork once the process is set up. And the paperwork they're shuffling has nothing to do with medical decisions whatsoever, it's just deciding whether somebody is going to have to pay full price for their insurance or if the government is subsidizing it.

I probably should have posted this anonymously like you did so I could mod you down, because your post isn't insightful at all. If Obamacare was a national healthcare system like the UK NIH you might have had a valid point, but it's not, and the Department of Health and Human Services is not in charge of your healthcare beyond requiring that any health insurance sold in the exchanges has to provide coverage for specific procedures and have specific out of pocket maximums. They're not even responsible for the insurance companies cancelling the existing policies that don't meet their requirements for the exchanges.

Comment Oh noes! Congress gets fed employee subsidies! (Score 1) 634

You mean Congress, the President and VP and their aides get the same employer subsidies the rest of the federal workers get, it's just that instead of using the couple of plans negotiated by the federal government specifically for its employees, this subset of the federal employees will be buying their insurance from the state/federal exchanges. Will they be paying less than people who don't have an employer subsidizing their insurance and don't qualify for Medicaid assistance? Sure. But it's not the special sweetheart deal that the GOP and the right-wing media makes it out to be.

Comment Virtual credit cards: BoA, Citi, Discover (Score 1) 123

Bank of America, Citigroup and Discover all have virtual credit card programs. I think BoA and Citi are better than Discover. While all three limit the virtual credit card to a single merchant, BoA and Citi allow you to set lower credit limits and shorter expiration dates, Discover's credit limit and expiration date is the same as your real card. You can also bump up the credit limit and expiration date at BoA and Citi for repeat purchases from the virtual card's merchant. I think that if you tie a virtual credit card to a PayPal account, it can pay out to multiple PayPal accounts, so you're probably better off not using Discover with PayPal if you don't trust PayPal or the merchant. Amex shut down their virtual credit card program in 2004, I don't think it's been restarted. There may be other banks with virtual credit cards, but they're rare.

Comment Re:Payout a separate thing... (Score 1) 130

I've bought a lot of ebooks (well over a thousand), and most of them I bought on sale before agency pricing model took effect or after the settlements. I never bought any ebooks from Amazon before agency pricing model, and I calculated that I would have had to pay triple, at least $3,000 more, after agency pricing model took effect over what I paid. With that sort of price increase, I don't think they're being unfairly punished.

While Amazon's monopsony might make it harder for publishers to raise prices, they weren't alone in discounting best seller ebooks or hardcovers, sometimes even below cost. Who knows, maybe it would have forced the publishers to revise their business practices so they aren't so dependent on the blockbuster authors with the several million dollar advances. As for being disrupted by new technologies, it would be trivial for the publishers to compete with the used book stores by adding a new pricing tier at about half the new paperback book price when the paperback print run is over (instead of raising it to trade paperback prices like some publishers are doing). But they're not going to do that because they're afraid it will cannibalize the sales of their newly released books.

Comment Re:Payout a separate thing... (Score 2) 130

IANAL either, but they're not being penalized for doing a bunch of legal activities, they're being penalized for the collusion. The penalty is a limitation in their ability to make contracts using the legal activities they used during the collusion so that it will be harder for them to collude again in the near future. This includes forcing Apple to stagger their contracts with the publishers.

There's nothing illegal in the way Amazon got it's monopsony by sometimes selling ebooks cheaper by accepting lower profit margins, providing an easy way to buy ebooks and install them on the ereader, and creating ereaders that could only decrypt DRMd ebooks sold by Amazon. In general, once a Kindle owner, always a Kindle owner thanks to publisher DRM. If the publishers wanted to make it harder for Amazon to keep their monopsony, they should have dropped DRM or changed their contracts to stipulate the ebook format so Amazon couldn't lock Kindle owners into Amazon's proprietary format. Just because the publishers were afraid that Amazon was going to use it's monopsony to keep prices lower (a la Wal-Mart) doesn't give them the right to engage in collusion to fix prices.

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