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Comment: Re:if you want your day in court (Score 1, Insightful) 215

by Raul654 (#46979675) Attached to: Plaintiff In Tech Hiring Suit Asks Judge To Reject Settlement

> Why does the legal system allow settling class action suits?

Because when all the basic facts are the same, it makes *a lot* more sense to have one trial covering 64,000 victims than it does to have 64,000 trials. The *only* people who benefit from having all those unnecessary trials are the lawyers. If anything, class actions are less profitable for lawyers than the alternative.

Furthermore, unlike this case (where each plantiff suffered substantial harm: tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars each), imagine a case where the harm suffered is small-but-nonzero. (For example, a few years back, the music CDs with the rootkits on them. For most people, the harm is the cost of the CD, around $15. Maybe twice to four times that if you want to include the cost of rootkit removal) In those cases, nobody in their right mind is going to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to file a lawsuit to recover $15. So the victim's choice is a class action suit or nothing at all.

Comment: Re: Motivated rejection of science (Score 0) 661

About as scientific as climate science. Meaning, each have theories at the micro level that have been tested using experimentation (ie. supply and demand, absorption of radiation by greenhouse gases, etc). But at the macro-level, each attempts to model extremely chaotic systems through (mostly) observation and pattern fitting.

So, don't be all smug about economics not being very scientific, because climatology isn't all that far ahead of it.

Comment: Re:Too Bad. (Score 1) 40

by Raul654 (#46414465) Attached to: US Drops Link Sharing Charges Against Barrett Brown

I'm not a lawyer either, but FYI even if the judge had agreed to dismiss the charges, that would not be binding on other courts either. It would not have become binding unless one side or the other appealed and the circuit court and got a decision there. That decision would then become binding on *only* that circuit.

Comment: Re:Pitivi is such a POS (Score 3, Interesting) 79

by Raul654 (#46313801) Attached to: Open Source Video Editor Pitivi Seeks Crowdfunding to Reach 1.0

Agreed - it's a POS.

I installed Pitivi .15.2 from from the repos. It literally took me less than 2 minutes to crash it. It died as soon as I imported an mp3 to use as audio. (NOTE: Their website says not to report .15.2 bugs. They are evidently not supporting it anymore)

Then, following the suggestions posted here, I grabbed the latest version from source (which through trial and error, I found required adding a source repo and installing build dependencies before attempting to install from source). I configured it, built it, and tried to run it. It immediately errored out, complaining that I need to install yet more missing dependencies (GES this time). I googled the problem, saw lots of people complaing about this, and found some vague instructions on the pitivi wiki (http://wiki.pitivi.org/wiki/Building_with_GES) explaining how to install it.

At this point, I threw in the towel.

Comment: Re:or stop hiding... (Score 1) 377

by Raul654 (#46237715) Attached to: Assange's Lawyers: Follow Swedish Law, Interrogate Him In the UK

"Face it, the evidence is that the USA has no real interest in Assange." - that's bullshit. Even while denying that he's under indictment, the official who said it was only half-hearted in his denial: "Nothing has occurred so far," ( -- http://www.washingtonpost.com/... )

"So far" being the operative word. And that sounds like a lot more interest than none at all.

Comment: Re:or stop hiding... (Score 2) 377

by Raul654 (#46237137) Attached to: Assange's Lawyers: Follow Swedish Law, Interrogate Him In the UK

"It would be easier for the US to get him extradited from the UK than from Sweden." -- except he isn't in the UK. He's in Ecuador. And when Whitehall floated the idea that they could violate the integrity of the Ecuadorian embassy to arrested him, it blew up in their faces. Doing so would effectively open up their embassies to similar retaliation by every other country in the world.

Comment: Re:Land of the Free! (Score 1) 370

by nharmon (#45845123) Attached to: Illinois Law Grounds PETA Drones Meant To Harass Hunters

You know how I can tell you've not done any real fishing or hunting in your life? Because you believe if PETA can't "monitor" sportsmen, that sportsmen will not be monitored. But in reality, wildlife and natural resources officers constantly monitor sportsmen.

But please, don't let facts get in the way of you bashing the gun lobby.

Comment: Re:Ungrateful krauts (Score 1) 606

by nharmon (#45716639) Attached to: Amazon Workers Strike In Germany As Christmas Orders Peak

I am thinking that most of those corporations measure productivity by hours spent in front of a computer, which means they see younger programmers working 80 hours a week spitting out the same code that would take an older programmer 40 hours to be "more productive".

But your point is well taken; perception of productivity is pretty messed up and I think that explains a big part of why these workers are striking.

Comment: Re:Ungrateful krauts (Score 1, Insightful) 606

by nharmon (#45713199) Attached to: Amazon Workers Strike In Germany As Christmas Orders Peak

OMG. If that is what Europe really wants, then they can keep it. Maybe they don't realize that workers don't magically become "productive" out of the womb. Nor do they when someone hands them a diploma. Productivity increases with experience.

By saying a nation should only employ productive workers and leave the unproductive unemployed, you are effectively saying that anyone young should just be a dependent of the state while older people get to reap the benefits of labor shortages.

So what happens when your older "productive" workers all retire? All of those "unproductive" young people you wanted to keep unemployed will still be unproductive. I suppose you could just import productive immigrants. But eventually nobody will want to come to your country because you're going to have to tax most of their pay in order to support the multitudes of unproductive people in your country.

No. I think I prefer America's way of doing things. We provide subsidies to our low-wage earners in the hopes that they increase their productivity through experience. It isn't perfect, but it is at least sustainable.

Comment: Re:The numbers don't add up (Score 3, Interesting) 567

By identifying the high risk teenaged drivers we can target them with additional training and restrictions that will reshape their driving behavior and make them lower risk. And we could mandate that the insurance companies pay for some of that additional training.

This would similar to health insurance companies being mandated to cover preventative health services.

Comment: My charity is more important than your charity... (Score 1) 247

by nharmon (#45304811) Attached to: Bill Gates: Internet Will Not Save the World

I'm not saying Gates is necessarily wrong, but it is awfully convenient that the most important issue for the world just happens to be the one his charity is involved in.

I question whether you can even know what will "save the world". Look at risks to human civilization. What is the impact of malaria on the population versus say, an asteroid crashing into our planet? The latter is more catastrophic to the survival of our species than the former, but the probability of occurrence is much lower.

What if the Internet becomes instrumental to the identification of an asteroid threat with sufficient time to mitigate its effects? Will the Internet have 'saved the world'?

Again, I'm not saying that curing disease isn't important, and I applaud Mr. Gates' efforts even if I may question his motives. But I don't think he can possibly know what will and will not "save the world".

When the weight of the paperwork equals the weight of the plane, the plane will fly. -- Donald Douglas

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