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Comment: Re:Get rid of it (Score 1) 387

by fatwilbur (#49788467) Attached to: Obama Asks Congress To Renew 'Patriot Act' Snooping

enacting laws to protect businesses that donate to Elected Politician

Isn't that a sign the US political system is worked as designed and intended?

Pardon me as I wasn't raised there and maybe we were taught incorrectly about the founding principles of the US, but I thought it was along the lines of "individual freedom first, the almighty dollar rules all"...

Comment: Re:What a guy (Score 1) 387

by fatwilbur (#49788437) Attached to: Obama Asks Congress To Renew 'Patriot Act' Snooping

corporate-crafted trade agreements

Slightly offtopic, but I got caught thinking about the above statement. I agree with the rest of your post/examples, but on further thought this just sounds like a catchy slogan.

Aren't (American) corporations just citizens trying to maximize their business and profits? Why wouldn't you want your top business leaders handling trade negotiations? Similarly wouldn't you want health care legislation crafted by health care professionals? Not really sure what your point is.

Comment: Re:Another reason my first new car will be a Tesla (Score 1) 389

And your solution is to buy a Telsa? Have you even been to their website?

They have just as many configuration and "extra" options as any other manufacturer, perhaps even more, and the interface is very similar (Tesla bundles multiple extras into packages). Really, how are they any different in that regard?

Comment: Re:Snowden confirmed what we already suspected (Score 1) 113

by fatwilbur (#49772057) Attached to: Privacy Behaviors Changed Little After Snowden

is now an institution to protect property and economic interests

Are you sure about that? Like, have you done a poll?

Because most people seem like scared chicken shits these days, who would gladly hand over these freedoms they don't think they need any more for protection from turrists.

Comment: Re:it's not "slow and calculated torture" (Score 1) 742

by fatwilbur (#49772015) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment
Hahahaha. Your words are the cry of lenders who are about to be stiffed. Don't be fooled - debt is the new gold of the 21st century, and the moment there's a (potential) nickel to be made (with someone else's money) the lenders will be piling back into Greece. All they need, if anything, is a semi-credible plan forward once they've defaulted on their debt, and new lenders will move in.

Heck, I bet you could find some people across your office willing to put some dough down on those flashy, high yield junk bonds from the "new" Greece next year. For every example of a country that stiffed foreign investors and handled it poorly I can name one that came out better (Iceland).

Comment: Re:All the time (Score 1) 742

by fatwilbur (#49771999) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment
Another important point is that demand for holding one's assets in treasuries as a relatively safe investment is in high demand, and thus the government has no problem "rolling over" treasury notes into new ones when due. Thus the only real money cost for all that debt is the interest payment every year, which are pretty cheap right now.

Comment: Re: Does not understand the market, obviously. (Score 1) 335

by fatwilbur (#49723815) Attached to: Stock Market Valuation Exceeds Its Components' Actual Value

Stocks like that are little more than trading cards

It only seems this way because you're a tiny player in the market. Believe me, those common shares come with significant legal rights, and if you collect enough of them (usually 10% will do) you can elect the board of governors to be you and your friends and run the company.

Comment: Re:this exactly. (Score 2) 200

Perhaps I'm just becoming more cynical in my older age, but I just don't think the majority of people care anymore about how the police act. I think there's two human aspects working against us, in the police and general public:

1. A large majority of the population (at least <50%) when placed in a position of power, will feel superior and disrespectful towards those they have power over. Thus they become corrupt. Pretty much most of human social history is an attempt to prevent and eventually overthrow the inevitable corruption that comes with power, and we are nowhere near a foolproof system yet.

2. I would bet that, most people if asked, would secretly think the police should do these things "yeah against other people..but not me". People will always support this crap because they are selfish and see this as being control they can place on other people. All the establishment has to do is make sure they target a subset of the population, then it's always "someone else's problem" to voters.

Comment: Re:nonsense (Score 1) 532

by fatwilbur (#49635259) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery
Another Canadian here. Both of my parents were diagnosed with different forms of cancer in the last decade. Both received state of the art care, and the timeframe is what I would describe as "immediate". One had two separate stem cell transplants and lengthy hospital stays.

I dunno, from what I've seen here - you get sick, go to a doctor and everyone involved just focuses on your health and making you better. Hospitals and health care people simply tend to try and efficiently help people when you take money out of the conversation. Anyone who thinks both doctor and patient should be concerned about paying bills at that point is ludicrous, and frankly to me, simply a sign of someone who's never personally witnessed it done the better way.

Comment: Re:LOL LOL OMG.. HAHAHAHA (Score 1) 553

by fatwilbur (#49618549) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Announces Bid For White House

And yet investors all over the world are falling over themselves to loan money to Uncle Sam

There was a time in very recent history when this wasn't true, and all that happened is the Fed stepped in and bought "assets" on the open market instead. This is one of the primary reasons for such low interest rates since 2008 - the Fed is paying top dollar for those debt notes. Remember yield and price move in opposite directions, and as the Fed started buying up trillions of dollars worth of debt, prices went up and yields went down.

Comment: Re:Cancer vs common cold (Score 1) 52

by fatwilbur (#49524393) Attached to: Protein Converts Pancreatic Cancer Cells Back Into Healthy Cells
There's a really good documentary on the evolution of cancer treatments on PBS right now, and one stark fact (that I've noticed elsewhere prior as well) made obvious is just how generic the term cancer is. It's really just any of a million specific types of genetic errors that lead to uncontrolled growth.

Even within the same type of tissue, you can have multiple types of mutations that result in the same effect (uncontrolled growth), hence the different "types" of pancreatic cancer for example. The concept of a "cure" has been reduced down to finding compounds, antibodies, organisms, whatever that can identify and trigger some change only in those cells with that specific genetic mutation. Some of them have external markers and make it a bit easier..

This was the one thing that gives me hope about eventually curing cancers en masse, is that they are essential dumb.. they do not evolve like the common cold, it is a specific mutation that one we find a way to reverse, will have cured it forever.

It was quite amazing watching in the last episode, a woman who had left hospital with a death sentence in stage 4 breast cancer, to be called into a stage 1 herceptin trial and be 100% cured and alive twenty years later. This drug was simply based on antibodies which could recognize the specific markers left by her specific mutation, and 100% cured with no side effects.. We, as humanity, can and will find a way.

Comment: Re:Lifestyle (Score 1) 332

by fatwilbur (#49467053) Attached to: California Looks To the Sea For a Drink of Water

Do you know what the end result is of making sure you flush off all the oils and body waxes that our bodies have evolved to emit to protect our skin and organs from invasive organisms?

Sigh.... only on Slashdot.

Really? Have any studies to back that up? Is it kind of like how the "protective" oils that trap bacteria on your face causing infections, and for some, lifelong scarring? Your premise that bathing exposes the organs to invasive organisms doesn't pass a basic logic sniff test, pun fully intended.

Comment: Re:I think we just need to get burned. (Score 1) 332

by fatwilbur (#49467013) Attached to: California Looks To the Sea For a Drink of Water
I agree, and the long term effects of this on the economy will be interesting. I don't have the specifics (maybe someone can chime in), but California is the majority supplier of agricultural goods to many far flung places. Hell, I live in Canada and most of the produce you find in the grocery store here came from California or Mexico.

Why? It's cheaper - California has a climate that allows for growing fruits/vegetables/nuts year-round at costs we could never do without energy-intensive warming systems. California gets all that for free from the sun. But yes, I think they've been writing a check their ass can't cash when it comes to the water they've been diverting to do so.

Comment: Re:So they are being true to themselves (Score 1) 249

by fatwilbur (#49399179) Attached to: Sony Buys, Shuts Down OnLive

Also it is not their best interest to provide a continuity of services, and change things every so often, to create artificial needs for new products. They also do not work for the best interests of the industry or for their customers, but only for their goals. They often also do shadow or questionable moves via proxy firms in order to not tarnish more their reputation.

Sounds like you're talking about Apple there. In fact, you could probably say the same about any large corporation. Could it be the behaviour of the company is simply reflecting the personalities and behaviour of the real people actually running the company? (Remember, only in the legal world are corporations "real" people.)

The group of executives and C-level people running corps across the world is very much a homogenous group of people, constantly shifting and mixing, so I find it a bit of dissonance to only attribute those qualities to certain companies. I don't even think there's necessarily anything objectively wrong with this intensely competitive (if sometimes cut-throat) aspect of human behaviour. And by competition I mean people competing for resources and position. I also think you'd try the same crap if you were in their position, because I'm assuming you're a human being too.

Comment: Re:Nintendo "Corporate Social Responsibility": (Score 1) 100

by fatwilbur (#49382731) Attached to: Mario 64 Remake Receives a DMCA Complaint From Nintendo
I agree, Nintendo has to protect their copyright & trademarks for them to remain valid.

However, in a lot of cases I think the lawsuit/legal threat method shows these companies don't have a lot of ingenuity or common sense. Unless it's obviously taking sales away, why not meet with the guy and draw up a license for him to use the content for those purposes? It would be cheaper than any legal action (save perhaps just a threat) and moreover it's likely to generate some goodwill for your company if you support the fans of your products.

Why no one looks for a solution outside of (a) cease and desist permanently and immediately or (b) lawsuit is beyond me.

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