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Comment Re:Must be nice to be at a wealthy company (Score 1) 164

While there are certainly some countries that have guaranteed maternity leave, and are struggling, there does not seem to be any correlation between the two:

- Germany has 14 weeks at 100%, and 156 weeks at 67% to be shared between the parents, a 4.5% unemployment rate, and is considered to be doing far better economically that the USA.

- Norway has more than 35 weeks at at least 80%, a 4.1% unemployment rate, and is doing ok.

- Even dipping into less-well-off countries it is hard to find what you are talking about: Brazil has an unemployment rate of 7.9% and 17 weeks at 100%.

Germany was a ringer, but I chose the other two at random, looking for countries that could be having problems here. But given that the U.S. is nearly alone in the developed world for countries that do not have guaranteed maternity benefits, it is hard to find meaningful evidence for your point.

I hate it when people try to use their ideology as a substitute for facts.

Comment Re:vs TIFF files? (Score 3, Interesting) 311

That question is nearly un-answerable. TIFF isn't a concrete format like PNG or JPEG, rather it is a more meta-format that can contain tiled chunks of other formats. Even that isn't quite a good description as is over-generalizes. But it does capture the basic essence. TIFF is frighteningly complex, with lots of corner cases, and in most cases is only appropriate for very large images (for the tiling), or special cases such as scientific/biological data where the raw data is embedded in the "image".

Comment Re:Gun-free zone? (Score 1) 1165

Since the majority (by a good lead) of homicides in the U.S. are by gun it is a good figure. Additionally it is a much fairer comparison because the argument immediately after that is that if a gun is not available then they will use something else.

So rather than leave us to "work out the flaws in that argument", I invite you to find any.

Comment Re:Gun-free zone? (Score 1) 1165

The U.S. military tends to be very deliberate about their policies, and often data-driven. This is why there are strict rules about how many hours a pilot is allowed to fly before needing "bunk time", rules that are generally more strictly enforced in wartime. They found that having sleepy pilots meant they lost them, and it was a net negative, so they changed that. They also have similar rules for doctors: again it was found that having a sleepy doctor was a bigger net negative than having a doctor for more hours.

The rules about only MP's generally having a weapon on-base are probably because they found that fewer solders died that way. Given the drinking culture that I have occasionally seen in enlisted groups, that makes a lot of sense to me.

Comment Re:Uber is as safe as taxis (Score 1) 471

You are going to have to provide some evidence that "the left" has moved farther to the left. Most of the policies currently being advocated by the mainstream Democratic candidates are similar to ones advocated by President Regan:
- first act on being Governor of California was to raise taxes to cover a budget shortfall, mostly on businesses and the wealthiest
- raised the federal top-level taxes eleven times while in office... to about where current Democrats want them
- increased the absolute size of government (Clinton then shrank this to about what we have now), size relative to population has been falling for a long time.

So there is good evidence that "the right" has moved much further right, and some evidence that so has the left. There is little evidence that either has moved to the left. Even the Affordable Care Act was a much more right-leaning approach to healthcare reform than what the Clintons were trying to achieve current the Bill Clinton presidency.

Comment Re:What's the difference? (Score 2, Informative) 367

While you are correct that not all employees get healthcare benefits (what is usually referred to as "benefits"), all employees get some benefits, which contractors do not. For example: social security contributions (which raise your rate in retirement), workers-comp insurance, and unemployment insurance. All of these things cost employers money, but the law assumes contractors will pay for themselves.

This is what Uber has been fighting so hard to avoid paying.

Comment Re:Commission (Score 3, Informative) 634

Google recruiting is just that disorganized. I too got to the in-person interview stage, but did not make it though for that position. Then about a week later, ironically while I was sitting in a conference session next to several of the Google employees who interviewed me, I got an email from a Google recruiter who was trying to recruit me for that exact same position.

Note that this was an internal Google recruiter, not a "bounty hunter". They really are that disorganized.

And if her interviews went anything like mine, the in-person has MUCH higher standards than the phone screen, and does not necessarily have much bearing on the job I was being interviewed for (three interviewers asked me repeated questions about how hard links are implemented in on-disk filesystem structures for a Mac Sysadmin position).

Comment Re:Taxi licenses are crazy expensive (Score 1) 334

If you are right, then why can't/won't Uber compete legally with medalioned taxi companies? Why do they have to pretend that the rules don't apply to them to undercut existing taxies? I completely agree that the taxi market was slow to adapt to apps, and that created a market open for a system like Uber, but the way they have "disrupted" the market by ignoring the existing laws rather than trying to work inside them is simply disgraceful.

Comment Re:islam (Score 4, Insightful) 1350

An Islamic country where others are free to practice their religions, that is easy: Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco immediately come to mind, as well as Malaysia. Really most Islamic nations have large, well-established, minority religions who have been practicing freely within their boarders.

And you will have to prove that Islam has "destroyed civilizations it has infiltrated", since all of those places have had functioning societies for the last 1600 years. If you mean that invaders have taken political control and influenced the culture, well then I think you are a little confused about what "invading" means. If that is the case then you will have to look at what the U.S. has done to places like Japan (we decided they would be a democracy... then put the people we wanted in power).

And Islam is no more or less violent or peaceful than Christianity. After all, the Christian Bible has the example of God commanding the Israelites to exterminate the Canaanites, then punished them when they failed to kill all of the women, children, and babies. You really can't get more violent than that.

Comment Re: undocumented immigrant (Score 1) 440

It is not actually necessary to have/believe in a creator in order to have a concept of right and wrong. There are many places without a concept of a judgement at death that have well developed (and followed) moral systems.

And oddly for your point you seem to be the one that is making the "might makes right" argument in the idea that there needs to be an enforcer for most people to do right.

Comment Re:Not the only strategy (Score 1) 324

The problem is that it is really easy to move "profit" from one place to another. A common ploy is to have one part of a company that is in a low-tax area to charge other parts of the company "licensing fees". In some cases this "licensing fee" means that the other parts of the company now make no profits.

If you try to tax revenues rather than profits, then you wind up really hurting (true) low-margin companies, and wind up under-charging (relatively) high-margin ones.

The best proposal I have seen yet is to tax companies on a percentage of the global profits based on the percentage of revenue earned in that tax district. However this would be really difficult to enforce in a reasonable way because 1) How do you audit all of the books in all of the countries to make sure they are not just hiding things? 2) It is still difficult to define profits, especially when you have multiple countries laws to deal with. 3) There is a major possible loophole in just moving all of the profits from one company to another using the same "licensing fee" trick, and having the licensing company have a presence only in a tax haven country.

Comment Re:Easy solution (Score 1) 348

I would say that the defense spending one is a bit misleading, since a lot of basic science winds up under the Defense Department part of it. Friends of mine were researchers working on a particular parasite that primarily lived in snails. Because some of the neurological pathways involved in what the parasite did to the snails were congruent to those in humans they managed to get funding under the Defense Department banner. I am not sure that any weapon would ever be able come out if this (unless there was a snail invasion), but it was in that category anyways.

Comment Re:Legacy Support (Score 1) 730

If you really need that legay support for software [1], then there are some solutions out there already, like Chubby Bunny:

And you are really wrong about almost everything in this post. You would not like trying to run iOS apps and trying to mimic their gestures on MacOS with a mouse. And there are very few people who are holding onto old hardware because of older data. You are very much in the minority, and Apple's quarterly statements prove you wrong.

[1] Linking up with legacy hardware is far more common and difficult in my experience. I have seen old hardware from vendors that have gone out of business that is no longer supportable on modern hardware (Windows and MacOS). For researchers trying to re-do older experiments this can be very annoying.

Comment Re:just because the dept of ed.... (Score 3, Interesting) 528

Do you have a source for that? The only things I can find in this area:

1) In 1995 they "re-centered" the test because scores were starting to slip.
2) In 2005 the Math section was made marginally harder to reduce the number of perfect scores. They also changed the verbal section to remove analogies.
3) In 2016 they will remove the more obscure vocabulary words to focus on more commonly used words.
4) MENSA will no longer take scores from the SAT after January of 1994 as criteria for admission.

None of this speaks to a steadily rising difficulty. And with one exception seems to indicate a little bit of the opposite.

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome. -- Dr. Johnson