There have been several arguments recently that power in the U.S. has traditionally been divided three ways, with government regulating business power over citizens, and citizens enforcing some form of control over government. Theoretically, this provides the checks and balances necessary in any power struggle, with three major players each exerting control over the others. Since government and corporations have effectively teamed up, citizens have been on the losing end. If the NSA manages to piss off enough corporations, will it be possible to shift the power balance away from a corporate run government and provide a little more balance in the mix? A man can dream..
This is a great point. The economic benefit of killing humans should definitely outweigh the right to life. Oh, except that it costs quite a bit more for us to kill people than to simply incarcerate them with no chance of parole. http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penalty " Using conservative rough projections, the Commission estimates the annual costs of the present (death penalty) system to be $137 million per year. The cost of the present system with reforms recommended by the Commission to ensure a fair process would be $232.7 million per year. The cost of a system in which the number of death-eligible crimes was significantly narrowed would be $130 million per year. The cost of a system which imposes a maximum penalty of lifetime incarceration instead of the death penalty would be $11.5 million per year."
Laws can be repealed or ignored. Theoretically, if rules were in place to limit the use of the data, I would agree with you. In practice, as long as the data exists, the risk that it will be used in such a way to subvert dissident behaviour exists. Security is all fine and dandy, but when security means the government fighting to continue its existence at the expense of its citizens, that's a problem. Tools and techniques that allow this to occur or continue should not be allowed.
I've seen a few comments now about being better than 88% by predicting no constantly, but I think that misses the point. You would accurate predict actually being homosexual 0% of the time with that method. Predicting hetrosexuality is easy, predicting homosexuality is arguably more complicated. If they accurately predict homosexuality with an 88% success rate, and attribute all the rest as hetrosexual, that is a real achievement.
From the summary, "It's a free country; people are free to believe stupid things. On the third hand, he is actively advocating his views outside his fiction, and what better way is there for readers to fight back than organizing a boycott and voting with their wallets?" These two ideas are not exclusive, or even different sides of the same coin. These are the same side of the same coin. A writer is free to believe "stupid" things, and we are free not to buy things he is associated with because we believe his views are wrong. Companies are free to disassociate with him because his views are affecting their business, and he is free to change his views. We are all also free to not do those things.
I'm not trying to say that health insurance providers aren't greedy, parasitic bastards, but the comment about how they "[how when someone is] sick they don't want to insure them because they might have to actually pay out some money" seems a bit naive to me. This a problem with an incomplete insurance market (a subtype of asymmetric information failure) where the sick have all the incentive to want insurance, and providers have all incentive to want healthy customers. Basically, if you are allowed to buy insurance after you need it and not before, there is no incentive for any company to provide that insurance. They will obviously lose money. Insurance companies make money by floating risk across a diverse pool of people: The ones that don't have a problem right now are effectively paying for the ones that do. If every customer has a problem, no one is left paying a fair rate as the remaining healthy people have incentive to drop their insurance until they need it.
"Microsoft's has a great relationship with Nokia, which is considered in the industry first among equals when it comes to Microsoft partners, has some vendors reassessing their own support for the operating system." Is this supposed to read that Microsoft and Nokia are considered equals, and Microsoft is giving preferential treatment to that vendor? Or is it supposed to read that Nokia has been withdrawing support, and so other vendors are shying away too? Can someone please review these summaries before they get posted to ensure they make sense?
I wonder what the long term effects of this condition might be. Is it possible to die of old age when you don't age?
If I am reading this correctly, being dead is better than being in jail? I can understand some extreme mutilations being worse than death, but death is definitely one of the more severe consequences of an action.
I've spent the better part of the last five years as a supervisor for a telecommunications company dealing with attendance and administrative records. One of the topics that comes up frequently is FMLA. By federal minimums, an employee has to have been working for a full year, full time, and have a doctor's claim to a long term illness in order to qualify for FMLA. In addition, the doctor sets the guidelines for what the employee can do with the FMLA including how many days can be taken consecutively, per week or month, or other conditions as determined by the condition. For most people, even having a serious illness that might require two or three weeks of downtime would likely not be able to complete the FMLA paperwork in time to have it effective by the time they were terminated for non-attendance. FMLA is great when you have a sick relative, or when you find out you have a long-term illness like AIDs or cancer, but often doesn't work for run-of-the-mill illnesses, even when it seems like it should.
Why would I think of "British Petroleum" as an "American company?" They are traded on the London Exchange, not the NYSE.
IANAL, but I'm pretty sure that "conspiracy to commit a crime" is in fact a crime. If you could "prove" intention to commit murder through google searches about how to accomplish the task, I think this could be viewed as a crime in and of itself.
I currently work for a third party handling AT&T mobility calls. A lot of what you say is true, or near enough to true, but in particular: "However management failed representatives quality score if they proactively disabled the ewallet." I'm sure you are talking about mobile purchases, and while I'm not sure how old your information is, we currently advise our agents to remove up to 90 days of charges if and only if the customer agrees to a mobile purchase blocker. The real problem is that most of the time, users are on smartphones. More than half the time, these are now Android devices. Of those calls, about half of them are set up to bill to mobile for app purchases. Even free apps (apps costing $0) are blocked by the mobile purchase blocker, because the system is still trying to authenticate the ability to purchase, even for no money. Once the check fails, customers cannot download their apps, and there is another call from the customer demanding that we "fix the Google app store." Usually in these cases, as a shortcut, reps will still offer the credit, cancel the subscription, but no protection is added to avoid this coming up again the next time Junior falls for the same scam.
I think the larger problem with capitalism in general is that it is very easy to leverage your wallet when the only concern is money, and corporations generally have much larger wallets than it's consumers. Unions were considered a Good Thing (TM) back when laws did not exist to protect workers, as the only way to influence the collective wallet of a large employer was to stop making products for that employer to sell on a collective basis. At this point, it seems like the best way to stop getting screwed by corporations on the consumer side would be to create a "consumer union," wherein members agree to stop buying services or products from businesses with a particularly bad model as long as the majority in the union agree that the model is bad. Of course, some consumers won't care, but part of a union is agreeing to make some short term sacrifice in order to achieve a greater good.