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Comment Re:Hmmm... (Score 1) 601

You know what is a far more dangerous job than being a police officer? Being a pizza delivery guy.
I'm not being tricky and counting accidental deaths either. That is for homicide. For some reason you never hear about people in the food services industry beating the shit out of innocent civilians.

I think you're making claims that aren't supported by the data you linked to. Your data indicates:

There were 144 law enforcement worker occupational fatalities in 2008. This represents 3% of all fatalities as measured by occupation.
There were 65 food prep and serving occupational fatalities in 2008. This represents 1% of all fatalities as measured by occupation.

But these numbers alone don't really tell the story. We have no idea how many were employed in each category. When measuring whether one job is more dangerous than another, we only really care about deaths per capita, which isn't presented in this data.

The only data that appears to support your claim is that in the 4th column labeled "homicides." But the real label is "homicides (percent of total for occupation)." It indicates:

33% of law enforcement fatalities are homicides. This is approximately 48 law enforcement homicides in a single year.
54% of food prep and serving fatalities are homicides. This is approximately 35 food prep and serving homicides in a single year.

It's true that the percentage is higher for those in food service, but that only means that for those that actually DO die, chances are about 1 in 2 it will be a homicide if you're making pizza, or 1 in 3 if you're driving a squad car. Again, that data doesn't give any indication how many total people there are employed in each occupation. There's just no way to use this data to back up the claim that it's more dangerous to be a pizza delivery driver than it is a cop.

Comment Re:Do flying /.ers have an airline they prefer? (Score 2, Informative) 365

If you really want an opinion about airlines, don't ask a bunch of tech enthusiasts who fly to Orlando once a year on vacation. Talk to the road warriors who spend their lives on the road and in airplanes. Flyertalk is the /. of travel forums where you can read opinions and experiences from every sort of traveller on all airlines domestic and foreign, including many you probably didn't even know existed.

Comment Re:E-mail is Preferable, it can be Filtered (Score 2, Informative) 251

if they provide a pre-paid return envelope i have the satisfaction of putting everything they sent me in that envelope, along w/ a few rusty washers (to add weight), and maybe a sunday paper glossy ad or two (more weight, and thickness) and sending it back to them on their dime.

Don't bother. Business reply envelopes that are clearly not used for their intended purposes are discarded by the Post Office as waste. So now all you've done is annoy your local letter carrier and increase the burden on the postal service. And guess what happens to postage rates when you incur extra work for the postal service without any extra payment?

Comment Re:Here's hoping ... (Score 1) 123

By the way, does your post mean that we are agreed on my point about IE?

In my experience, IE crashes are almost always the fault of non-IE code, and an overwhelming majority of that is due to Flash. Try running in no-addon mode sometime and you may be surprised just how stable the browser itself is.

You might also be interested in this post from the IE team, which highlights where the most common crashes initiate (for IE8 on Win7 beta, anyway). Their analysis indicates well over half of IE crashes are actually due to 3rd-party components.

Comment Re:Great Depression? (Score 1) 873

All we need is for the government to get its head out of its ass and give money to people who truly need it (i.e. those who are close to defaulting on their homes).

Your definition of the word need is very curious. I'm puzzled why you somehow feel that "maintain current lifestyle" should equate to "need." A need in this case that should be met with money forcibly taken from the taxpaying base of the nation?

I've been working in my tech-sector job for just shy of 5 years now. After paying my own way through college, I was hired as a contractor for 6 months, and subsequently interviewed successfully for a full-time position. When I moved to the state, I found the smallest, cheapest apartment within a 35 mile radius of work. The place was not glamorous and I had annoying neighbors who chain-smoked, banged the walls, and argued constantly. For 3 years I scrimped and saved everything I had to buy a house. I had no bed (slept on an air mattress) or other bedroom furniture, no TV, and obtained a couch only by bartering babysitting hours. When I did start looking for my own home, I was shocked to realize that there was no way I would be able to afford my own (single-family) house anywhere close to work, and restricted my search to the only type of dwelling that did fit in my budget: condos built before 1990. After a year of searching, I found an early-eighties townhome and bought it under 80/10/10 financing: 80% first mortgage, 10% second mortgage, 10% down payment. I negotiated the best fixed-rate mortgage I could (I had a good, but relatively short, credit history), counting on the fact that even if economic times turned bad, as long as I kept my job I'd be able to afford the house. Today I ride the bus to/from work to save money on gas, buy most of my groceries at Costco, and rarely eat out. I've made every mortgage payment on time and have a reserve built up that should last me at least 3 months in case of catastrophe.

Compare that to an acquaintance of mine. During the years I drove a used commuter car, he leased an expensive new sedan. While I struggled to save for a down payment, he rented a large house in a private community. While I shopped for a fixed rate mortgage, he searched for the absolute lowest rate he could find, which turned out to be an interest-only loan. And when I bought a townhome that was almost as old I was, he found an almost-new house in an upscale neighborhood for over twice as much. I admit the place was fantastic - granite countertops, walk-in closets, and an expansive back yard, but it was far more than he could afford. Soon after buying the place with no down payment, he started to fall behind on his mortgage payments. Now, with 5-digits worth of credit card debt, an expensive car lease with 18 months remaining, and an impending foreclosure on a house in which he has virtually no equity that's worth less than he owes, he was ecstatic to hear of government plans to restrict foreclosures and rewrite loan terms.

"This is exactly what I need to get out of this situation," he claims. And while I am not jealous or bitter, I can't help feeling sadness and disappointment that he and so many others feel the right thing to do is spread the burden of his "need" across the nation's taxpayers.

Comment Re:Skydrive (Score 1) 669

I know M$ isn't that popular here, but gives you 25 GB storage for free. And I really doubt MS is going anywhere in the next couple decades. Plus, I'm sure that the 25 GB limit will be increased in the not so distant future.

This may be perhaps the worst idea in the whole thread. Skydrive is designed for lightweight storage and sharing of documents and pictures, not long-term archival and backup of user data. Some of the reasons why:

  • It's free. By not paying Microsoft, you've established no business relationship with them. This means they have little to no business incentive to reliably keep your data for long periods of time.
  • No API. The only way to upload files is via the browser. There is no file system integration or other API available, which means there are no tools which can assist you to backup or restore your data in an automated fashion.
  • Max file size. Skydrive only accepts files up to 50 MB, which means you'll have to do your own splitting + joining for large files.
  • Content limits. Microsoft lists 18 types of data you may not store on the service, which includes "anything that mischaracterizes content you post or upload" (could be interpreted as no encryption) and anything that "contains the same or similar content to other content you have already posted" (no document revisions).
  • Undisclosed limits. The Skydrive help says "Microsoft may limit the number of files that each user can upload to SkyDrive each month."

25 GB seems alluring, and the price is right, but don't let that blind you to the other limitations of the service that make it unsuitable for backup purposes.

Comment Re:Dead Herring (Score 3, Funny) 534

That is why I am so thankful that I still have ten XP licenses from a MSDN subscription I bought back in 2003. The first thing I do when I get a new computer or laptop for personal use is reload it with XP.

Wow, way to violate the license agreement. MSDN isn't a free-for-all way to get bulk licenses for personal use. The software is licensed solely for software development and test purposes. More info at the MSDN Subscription FAQ.

Rethinking IM Privacy For Kids 507

mackles writes, "Now that the world has read the despicable instant messages from Rep. Foley, should parents take a second look at monitoring their kids' IMs? After all, it was IM logging that exposed the scandal; would we have found out otherwise? Cost is not an issue, there are free monitoring tools. Should parents tell their kids before they monitor? Parents and their tech-savvy kids are at odds on the topic. From the article: 'As many as 94 percent of parents polled this summer by the research firm Harris Interactive said they've turned to Web content filters, monitoring software, or advice from an adult friend to keep electronic tabs on their children.' The article quotes one 18-year-old as saying, 'A lot of kids are smarter than adults think.'"

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