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Comment: Re:And no one will go to jail - just like bankers! (Score 1) 227

by Tom (#47578883) Attached to: CIA Director Brennan Admits He Was Lying: CIA Really Did Spy On Congress

in fact, given the increased US involvement and the general unrest in the Middle East it probably pushed back their goals somewhat

Really? You've heard about this caliphate they are creating in what used to be Iraq before the US tore it to pieces?

If anything, I'd say 9/11 was a win/win for those involved.

Comment: Re:No one calling for resignations (Score 1) 227

by Tom (#47578841) Attached to: CIA Director Brennan Admits He Was Lying: CIA Really Did Spy On Congress

Sad as it is, you're not far from the truth. Sharks hate and love each other in equal parts, and when they find out someone under them fooled them, they do understand he's too dangerous to be there. But firing him can be dangerous, too - if he can fool you, who knows what else he's capable of? Making him an ally (temporarily, of course, there's no such thing as friendship among predators) is the wisest course of action.

That, in a nutshell, is why the biggest assholes get promoted instead of fired - because the ones making those decisions are the exact same kind of human trash.

Comment: Re:When will we... (Score 2) 227

Unless you've found a way to make "police" an adjective, I think you have one too many iterations of it there. Police(n) [whom] police(n) police(v) [in turn] police(v) [other] police(n).

The buffalo sentence in turn has eight, not five (or your six), iterations. Buffalo(NY) buffalo(bison) [whom] Buffalo(NY) buffalo(bison) buffalo(bully) [in turn] buffalo(bully) [other] Buffalo(NY) buffalo(bison).

Comment: Re:economy bullshit argument (Score 2, Informative) 236

by Tom (#47572799) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?

Nice rant, but like all hyperboles, it left reality far behind in the second sentence.

I've used DOS originally, then some Windows and hated it pretty much from the start, so I switched to Linux as soon as I heard about it, I think it was 1997 or so. Do you know why I've been a Mac users for about 10 years now? Because it simply works. I don't have to spend half of my time on just maintaining the system and searching for obscure failure cases. I love my iMac and my iPhone because they allow me to focus almost all of my time on actually doing the work that I want to do.

To most people in this world, computers are a tool. Just like cars. Most people who own a car use it to get from A to B. Some people own cars so they can tinker with them on the weekend and replace parts just because they can - but they are a tiny minority.

I love that I could get a system running from scratch, compile my own kernel and base tools and so on. I've done it and it was a great experience. At the same time, I'm very happy that I don't actually have to do it. I'm tired of tinkering with the machine, I have actual work I want to get done. I have places A and B that I want to get to.

Comment: Re:economy bullshit argument (Score 1, Insightful) 236

by Tom (#47572779) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?

that Apple has banned some of the most profitable types of app, [...] For example alternative web browsers

Uh... because web browsers are certainly the most profitable software outside the app store. It's a real shame that all those multi-billion dollar browser makers cannot port their cash cows to iOS. Why does Apple not realize that thousands of jobs depend on the sales of web browsers?

The App Store only rewards Zynga for this behaviour.

The App Store doesn't give a fuck. Users reward Zynga by flocking to their copycat games while at the same time complaining that all games have become the same and there's no innovation anymore.

Comment: it depends... (Score 1) 338

There are two kinds of people who run servers without firewalls: Nitwits and professionals.

Nitwits do it because they think they don't need a firewall and it gives them a bit more performance or whatever.

Professionals do it when they know the conditions are right to justify it and they've made a risk assessment that confirms they are right. For example you run a high-traffic server that does exactly one thing on one port and the server software is robust - a firewall wouldn't do you any good, it's just additional security in case you open a port you didn't want to or such.

Comment: economy bullshit argument (Score 0, Troll) 236

by Tom (#47569739) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?

As the economics get tighter, it becomes much harder to support the lavish treatment that developers have given apps in the past, such as full-time staffs, offices, pixel-perfect custom designs of every screen, frequent free updates, and completely different iPhone and iPad interfaces.

This is why these app developers fail where Apple succeeds. They create apps for an environment they don't get. Apple is very much about this attention to detail in everything they do, and it's a huge part of why they are successful.

The "economics get tighter" argument is a strawman. Apple users are not the kind of people who drive to a different supermarket because the tomatoes are 5 cents cheaper there.

Comment: Re:Slippery Slope (Score 1) 183

You think that people are looking for a 100% technical perfect solution that satisfies every nerd desire ever.

But non-geeks don't think like that, and politicians especially not. They live in an analog world. Where adding "murder = crime" to the lawbook does not remove all murders the same way that adding "deny from 192.168.0.2" to a firewall ruleset kills all packets from that source. They understand that their solutions are approximations and are full of holes.

To someone who understands the world as non-digital, filtering by source IP is perfectly fine even if he knows that VPNs exist. Because he also knows that 99% of the users don't use VPNs.

And especially for Google: They already do a lot of ad-related stuff based on your geolocation, so there's no technical reason why they can't show you the filtered or the unfiltered list based on that.

Comment: Re:Institutional hypocrisy (Score 2) 183

Oh, I'm sure believing that WWI and WWII happened because of irrational hatred is a comforting thought to Germans, but it's not true.

You're such a git. If you really think that Germany alone caused WW1, you've been spoon-fed too much propaganda. Yes, Germany started WW1, totally true. But at that time, half of Europe was waiting for an opportunity to kick this or that neighbours ass, which is largely why everyone jumped at the chance to have a war. At any other time in Europe's history, the assassination of some successor of some second-rate country would've barely made front-page news, let alone cause any diplomatic trouble.

And you illustrate that many Germans still hold the same kinds of beliefs.

"git" is not a strong enough word for you, but I can't think of a better one right now. Maybe you could try history and actual arguments instead of ad hominem attacks. And if you insist on attacking people you don't even know, you could try to at least make it somewhat funny or interesting instead of just boring and stupid.

Germans were motivated by the strong conviction that their culture, economy, and system of government was superior, in particular to the Anglo Saxon model, and that they had a moral duty to spread it across Europe.

France and England barely avoided a war between themselves in 1904 and forged an alliance that Russia joined in 1907. You could have heard about it in history class if you hadn't been asleep, it was called the Entente and if you open your mouth to talk about WW1 and you forget to mention the Entente, you prove to everyone with some education that you're an idiot.

Together with everyones colonialism and increasing tensions due to colonial wars and growing military everywhere you got a complex diplomatic situation with several secret pacts (Italia and France, 1902, for example) that creates a situation that even serious historians call a powder keg and that they largely agree would have blown up sooner or later.

You attempt to simplify complex history to one source and one reason and one actor is typical of american movies where you always need a hero and a villain to tell the story, but it very, very rarely is appropriate to real life.

Comment: Re:So much unnecessary trouble (Score 1) 571

by Tom (#47564477) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

separates private and business life more strongly?

Yes. Most people don't care very much what their friends do as a job, and rarely know more about it than their profession. In reverse, they don't care about private life of people they work with.

Just two examples: When I talk to Russians, they are astonished that people would bring their wife or husbands to business events at all, while here in Germany it is normal that some business events explicitly tell that you can bring your significant other, if you want. Russians say "wtf?" if I tell them about things like "bring your kid to work" days.

About Putin: There was a portrait about him in a german magazine recently, listing his divorce, his fondness of hunting and ice hockey and a couple other things. For me there's nothing special about such a portrait of a politician. Russian reaction: "wtf it's his private life, why do they care?"

Just yesterday the Hague ruled against Russia to the tune of $50bn because Putin and his cronies did exactly this to Khodorkovsky with no regard to the shareholders that invested honestly ending up also as victims of their personal vendetta:

You don't even begin to understand what the difference between private life and business is.

Comment: AdBlock Edge (Score 1) 365

by Tom (#47563985) Attached to: Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus?

Due to the questionable new owners of ABP, I've since changed to Edge.

Basically, the moment people tell you that there's such a thing as "acceptable advertisement" and that anyone except you, yourself can decide which it is, you know they've sold out. It's shorthand for "we will allow advertisement that pays us to let it through".

Comment: Interest is what breaks the free market (Score 1) 559

by Pfhorrest (#47563537) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Interest, and the broader phenomenon of rent (interest is just rent on money), is the thing that breaks a free market and turns it into capitalism.

There would be no cause for forcible redistribution of wealth if only this mechanism by which wealth becomes concentrated was removed.

Without rent and interest, wealth would naturally redistribute from those with more to those with less, as those with more traded their excess capital for the labor of those with less; for what use is that excess if you're just sitting on it, not getting anything for it?

But when you can lend it out, and not only get it all back but more on top of that, and keep repeating that process, then you can spend that extra you get back to buy the labor of those with less than you, without ever losing any capital in the process. Capital becomes a free money machine, if you can charge usury on it (that is, charge for the mere use of it, without actually selling it).

And conversely, those who have to borrow from you, the same working poor whose labor you're buying, get to keep less of the product of their labor because they have to pay you that same little extra that you turn turn around and pay them with. The "free money" you get out of your free money machine is actually money out of their pockets; money that they would otherwise use to buy, rather than merely borrow, the things that they need.

In short, with rent and interest in existence, those with more wealth can perpetually extract labor from those with less wealth without ever losing anything in the process, perpetuating and even exacerbating the wealth gap between them.

While without rent and interest, that wealth gap would naturally close without any forceful intervention just by natural market forces.

Comment: Medical services need total billing clarity (Score 5, Insightful) 559

by Pfhorrest (#47563381) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Even worse, there are sometimes even deceptive statements made about how much you will have to pay, and business arrangements you enter into without even knowing that the other party exists, much less that you're getting their services.

I didn't see a doctor for ten years because I couldn't afford insurance, and when I finally got covered through a decent job and went to get my first general checkup in my adult life, there was a big sign up front saying "ALL CO-PAYS DUE AT TIME OF VISIT". I figured that meant what it said: anything I owed, that was not getting billed to my insurance, was going to be billed to me before I left. When they let me walk out without paying anything, I figured that meant I must not have had a co-pay, which made sense to me as it was just a general physical exam, and a blood draw for some basic general-health lab tests (cholesterol, blood sugar, STDs, etc).

Then I got a bill in the mail a month later. Called and complained, why am I getting billed, didn't my insurance cover this, and THEN they tell me that that bill is for the remainder that's left after what my insurance paid (IOW my copay). I argued about the sign saying all co-pays were due at time of visit and they said... I don't even remember what now, exactly, but something to the extent that that's no excuse and I have to pay the bill. Not knowing what else to do, I did.

A month later I got a different bill for the blood tests, from a different company. I called and complained that I already got a bill for that visit and paid it and even that was unexpected and what the hell is with two different companies trying to collect for the same fucking service. They explained that they are the lab that my doctor sent the blood off to for the tests, and they they bill separately, and that paying my doctor for their service doesn't get me off the hook for the lab service. I had no knowledge that I was even buying services from this lab company: the only entity I interfaced with was my doctor, they hired the fucking lab, let them pay the lab and roll the cost into their bill, I figured. But no, and lab insisted I owed them money, and not knowing what to do, I paid up.

A year later, my second doctor's visit in my adult life, different doctor in a different town as I had since moved. They at least had the decency to say up front how their billing works (without me even asking), and that they will send me a bill for the copay after they process it through my insurance. And they don't do in-house blood draws and send out to a lab, they send you to the lab of your choice with orders for what tests to run. So that's better, much more clear. But the lab itself also has a "ALL CO-PAYS DUE AT TIME OF SERVICES" sign... and this time, they actually billed me at time of services! Awesome. So far, I was liking the medical establishments in this new town a lot better.

Until a month or two later I got a bill from the lab. When I called to complain that I already paid them at the time of services as their sign said, they told me then that that was only an estimated copay, and that after they put the bill through insurance, there was still a balance remaining on my copay, which is what that bill was for. Again, no idea on what grounds to dispute it, so I paid up... but ugh, what the hell

For emergency services where the patient may not have the time or awareness to evaluate the costs and benefits, I can understand you just do the service and bill later. But for a motherfucking general checkup and routine bloodwork? Jesus fucking christ, how can you not just say what it will cost up front and bill before I accept your services?

It's only one step removed from the homeless guy who washes your windows without your consent and then demands you owe him money. "Hey man you need some medical services?" "Yeah uh I guess how much?" "Can't tell you yet now turn your head and cough." "Uh... [cough]" "Aight you cool man, that'll be $100." "WTF no you didn't say it would be that much" "Too late you got the work now you pay the bill man... don't make me go get my collections posse to shake down yo ass, pay up sucka."

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