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Comment Re:why not ... (Score 1) 124

You can make the argument that what two consenting adults do in private is THEIR business, and I'd be willing to entertain such a view if this was actually done in private. But it generally isn't. Oh sure, the actual act usually is, but the solicitation is decidedly public, at least on the few occasions when I've actually noticed such activity. So, come up with a way to keep it out of sight, and I'm prepared to leave each to their own.

It seems likely to me that the main reason for that sort of solicitation is that there's no way for a legitimate business to advertise. You can't set up an office or a store. You can't put an ad in the paper and stay at a fixed location. You need to move around and proposition people who seem like they're not likely to be cops. I don't think any legitimate business would advertise that way, given the choice. It's not like dentists or hairdressers solicit in the streets.

However, the problem with this "activity" is that it encourages things like human trafficking, which is far from a victimless crime.

This seems again to be primarily a problem with it being a criminal activity to begin with. People don't get trafficked and sold into slavery as office workers. So what is it specifically about prostitution that makes it special? I'd say it's primarily because it's an illegal profession and people who go into it have two choices: 1) Do it alone and hope you don't get murdered by a client or by the organized criminal who stakes a claim to your territory. 2) Join up with a pimp who is an organized criminal and very likely a dangerous sociopath. Blaming prostitution for human trafficking of prostitutes is a little bit like blaming drugs for drug smuggling drive by shootings. Those things are a natural consequence of a profitable business being completely run by criminals without any oversight.

Remember, we've had quasi legal prostitution (still do in some places) in the past where the police colluded with brothel operators and it didn't work out all that great for the average worker, but made boatloads of cash for the owners. Consider Chicago in the 1920's, I don't think we want to do that again.

Can you flesh this out a bit? Are the problems of Chicago in the 20s still something we observe today in, say, Nevada? Without knowing more details, this still sounds like a problem with having entrenched organized criminals running an industry.

Comment Re:Why Master Lock? (Score 1) 131

Being able to open a cheap ass lock that is used in 3 places per city is nowhere near as useful as being able to open a cheap ass lock that's used in 90% of all low security padlock installations. It's like finding an exploit in Windows 10 vs finding an exploit in OS2 Warp. Both are interesting, but one is much more practically useful.

Comment Re:Here's my theory (Score 1) 298

When Firefox was new it was considered a controversial skunkworks project. The idea that Mozilla might not be an integrated suite anymore upset a lot of the existing users, believe it or not, especially as Firefox bore a rather strong resemblance to the primary competitor at the time..... Internet Explorer.

Firefox is caught between the rock and the hard place that many products get stuck in: a competitor comes along that leapfrogs them with a design that appeals to the majority of the market. But it also is disliked by a minority of the market. They pretty quickly lose the majority to the competitor and are left with the ever-shrinking minority that vocally disagree with any change.

Comment Even doctors can't tell! (Score 3, Funny) 112

In the mid-19th century, researchers claimed they could tell the sex of an individual just by looking at their disembodied brain.

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Now that brain that you gave me. Was it Hans Delbruck's?

Igor: No.

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Ah! Very good. Would you mind telling me whose brain I DID put in?

Igor: Then you won't be angry?

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: I will NOT be angry.

Igor: Abby someone.

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Abby someone. Abby who?

Igor: Abby... Normal.

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Abby Normal?

Igor: I'm almost sure that was the name.

Comment Re: Don't hold your breath (Score 1) 214

I owned a '99 Accord V6 from 1999 to 2007 which was really bulletproof. I think EGR valve and the alternator went out, but both were replaced under some special extended warranty.

I expected the tranny to go out on that car, but I sold it to a guy who drove it for a year and then sold it to someone he knew who was still driving it as of a year or two ago, no tranny issues.

I also owned a 2003 CR-V for about two years -- no problems with that vehicle, but it got sold when we upgraded to a 2005 Pilot. The Pilot was equally reliable, but I think some part of the front end drive system got worked on -- it was my wife's car, so I don't remember the details. We sold it for decent money last summer when she bought an Acura MDX.

Honda actually settled a class action lawsuit regarding oil consumption --

I know a guy who owned two VWs with quart-a-month oil consumption, told by the dealer that was normal. How that's normal for anything that's not two cycle I'll never know.

Comment Re:Foolish... (Score 1) 155

Plus it's not a bad idea to go 64-bit clean on Linux installations if possible as if one doesn't force 64-bit clean, over time and installing additional software often the box becomes a polluted mess of 32 bit and 64 bit programs and libraries. Better to drop 32 bit altogether if it's practical.

Comment Re: Don't hold your breath (Score 1) 214

I think US car quality went into decline with emissions standards and ever-escalating UAW labor costs that forced them to cut engineering quality to maintain margins. There was also probably something of a monopoly mindset where foreign brands by and large were a lot less available and not desirable by American standards (small, slow, etc).

It's funny, but I've heard horror stories about Mercedes reliability and few positive things about Audi. BMW I hear mixed bag stories -- expensive to maintain, but not completely unreliable, either. My wife and I owned a VW Jetta 20 years ago that was junk.

We've had excellent luck with Honda, but my understanding is they've had their own problems -- "a quart of oil a month is normal" and Toyota has had its sludge problems.

Submission + - Phishing Blast Uses Dropbox To Target Hong Kong Journalists (

itwbennett writes: Researchers at FireEye have disclosed an ongoing Phishing campaign targeting pro-democracy media organizations in Hong Kong that's using Dropbox storage services as a command and control (C2) hub, writes CSO's Steve Ragan. 'The attacks are using basic emails trapped with documents that deliver a malware payload called LowBall,' says Ragan. 'LowBall is a basic backdoor that uses a legitimate Dropbox storage account to act as a C2.'

Submission + - Adobe Kills The 'Flash' Name After Twenty Years (

An anonymous reader writes: From January 2016 Adobe Flash will be renamed to 'Adobe Animate CC', killing one of the most unfortunate names in web security as the company pushes the product further and further to HTML5 output. Adobe's release about the update, which will form part of the annual Creative Cloud upgrade, states that a third of all material output from the program is now HTML5. The transitional HTML5 Adobe animation program Edge Animate will be replaced by the renamed Flash product.

Comment Re:Don't hold your breath (Score 2) 214

But hasn't BMW a long track record of relatively more advanced engineering in their cars which has more or less always accounted for some of their price premium? Do you think the relative-to-other-cars increases in sophisticated engineering has increased or stayed constant?

I also wonder if BMW pricing (especially for higher-end models like the 6 series) hasn't increased merely to defend its position as a status item? If their market demographic has seen an increase in income, BMW raises their price to both extract more of that income from its customers as well as maintain its status position and exclusivity.

Comment Re:Not on the list: time for getting new client (Score 2) 142

In my experience, flat-rate projects succeed or fail by the contract terms. The deliverables have to be fixed and the project completion has to be extremely well-defined so you can declare it complete when the deliverables are complete. Scheduling should also be part of the contract so that client delays can't sap momentum and drag the project out. All change orders should be time and materials at a rate significantly higher than the flat rate average to discourage scope creep.

I usually see the problem with flat rates as being lack of client acceptance (using troubleshooting or whatever as an excuse) and delays as the main problem and vague deliverables contributing to both.

Overall, you have to be hard negotiator AND willing to tell the client "the deliverables are completed as specified, I'm not working anymore". Few businesses are willing to do this and even fewer individuals, which is why T&M is always the safer play.

Comment Re:How much of "college" is really necessary? (Score 1) 223

The student housing is pretty astonishing anymore.

When I was in college (in the 80s), even the new dorms were spartan -- small, box rooms with a desk, a closet and a bed. I thought I scored huge when I snagged a room in a somewhat renovated dorm that had carpet and hotel-style HVAC units (which only let you control the airflow; the heat and A/C were steam-derived, so the system did heat until they switched the loop over to cooling, which always seemed to happen about two weeks too late).

At the University I attended, I'm pretty private dorms now outstrip the University dorms by at least 3:1 -- I don't even recognize the near-campus neighborhood anymore because of the vast student housing blocks. My guess is that Universities are taking an MBA-style view of their housing and figuring that they need $X/sq ft revenue from their dorm buildings to justify the land use and are trying to compete with the private dorms just off campus, which means they need the kinds of amenities the off campus units have.

I'm actually surprised the older dorms haven't been razed and replaced, since structurally they can't accommodate the en-suite bathrooms or private bedrooms of double rooms.

My sense is that as tuition has increased, student loan borrowing has increased, leading students to a sense of false affluence, causing them to increase their living standards. My guess is that the tuition increases are the main driver and if tuition had risen only at the rate of inflation there would be less student loan borrowing overall and less borrowing available for luxury accommodations.

Comment Re:Sputnik? (Score 2) 214

The shuttle's misuse as a payload delivery platform was not a technical failure of the vehicle. You are right, it was a terrible cargo vehicle, but would have been an excellent vehicle on which to operate longer-duration special missions that required the equipment to be launched and returned in one configuration.

It was our own damn political fault that we decided that the shuttle should contain the parts for a station, parts that individually had to be smaller than the shuttle's cargo bay. Had the entire payload of the launching rocket been station parts plus enough cowl to protect it for launch we could have sent up much bigger station parts, and if we used the shuttle for anything, could have housed the astronauts that were to complete assembly of the station in-orbit, or could have been configured not as a cargo vehicle but as a crew transport vehicle to the station carrying significantly more than the eight that it was equipped for.

Comment Re:Summary is so broken (Score 3, Interesting) 135

The PS4 and Xbox One both have "8 core" AMD CPU's.
Previously only 6 cores for both systems were available to game developers.

I have one question about this...


WHY in the HELL would these companies, that are fighting each other over which system is better, hobble their systems by disabling processor cores? Aren't the games multithreaded? Wouldn't two more cores, or approximately 25% of the processor power of the system, be useful to gamers that want better gameplay?

1000 pains = 1 Megahertz