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Comment: Re:Sounds Like A Scumbag Company (Score 1) 187 187

A cybersquatter is generally somebody who knowingly buys a domain reflecting somebody else's business. In this case - unless he also owns a time machine - he couldn't have done so (the Trademark did not exist for this business when the domain was registered).

A company I used to work at had a *lot* of high-value TLD's that they did use in their primary LOB. However, these domains were often bought from people who picked them up long ago because it was a useful name, and they were generic names (for example, a name like "razors.com" or "shaving.com" rather than corporate "gillette.com", etc).

I don't really see the big deal with this. He picked up a piece of online presence which happens to be a valuable piece of virtual real-estate, and has been paying the fees for re-registration for FIFTEEN YEARS.

Now it's valuable to somebody... and the first thing they try to do is illegally transfer the property to their name (but oh, oops it was a "mistake"). If it were physical property then Office Space Solutions would have had somebody going to jail for this...

Comment: Leadership (Score 1) 369 369

I think the females-in-leadership thing is often a regional/occupational issue. In many jobs I've had, middle to upper management has been at worst a 50/50 split, and many of my direct reports were female.

In fact, my better bosses have often been female, but again there seems to be some tie-in between the role and female participation. Often, is the role interesting to a predominantly male or female crowd. Trying to make all roles/positions equally gender-interesting is kinda like trying to get rock musicians interested in becoming climatologists.

This doesn't apply to all cases of course, in some cases the "ol' boys club" is in full effect (and more than just women are getting shut out there).

Comment: Re:Not me, not in California (Score 1) 937 937

Just like that damn car rental company I used the other week. I totally paid for that rental car for the week I rented, so I should get to keep it or at least get my money back after I wasn't using it anymore, right!? Or those video rental places. Why shouldn't I get my $5 back. I returned the video after all.

Wow, somebody is a little butt-hurt.

The problem is not with rentals, but with the ever-increasing high price of rentals - or purchases, as the article indicates the two are related - which contribute to a debt on the lower-income portion of society. Lower-income rental housing often tends to suffer issues like poor maintenance etc.

What's your alternative? Should the owner just "rent" out the place for free? That doesn't sound like a particularly good idea for him, and many owners aren't exactly rich fat-cats themselves.

This issue can be partially addressed by subsidized "affordable housing", and also some controls on absentee landlords (and taxation).

For real landlords, rentals can be a lot of work. Many tenants aren't exactly "gentle" to the premises, so it involves regular maintenance (both an expense and a time-consumer). When renters move on, the landlord has to fix things up, clean, and interview new perspective renters. Sometimes it's just a little carpet cleaning and some windex. Other times it's patching holes in drywall, replacing flooring that's stained, and other more major stuff.

Generally, the landlord is also the one that has to ensure the functional maintenance of the dwelling and major appliances. If a pipe leaks, a stove dies, or the AC konks out etc, that's the landlord's responsibility.

Note that I am saying landlord. There are also people who are essentially slum-lords. They do a shitty job of maintenance and often ignore tenants pleas. Nobody likes slum-lords, just like nobody likes crappy tenants who wreck the place and often don't pay the rent properly (and are often very hard to get rid of, like the one gal who quit her job to stay home and play online games for a month).

So here's the thing. You're not paying "for my kid to go to college", that's just what I may choose to do with the portion of rent that's left after maintenance and taxes. You're paying for a maintained dwelling and no mortgage, a place where you're not responsible for a $20k bill if the roof needs repair (like the owner), major appliance repairs. You're not paying the property tax, strata fees, special assessments. You're not paying a 5-yr+ mortgage with huge penalties if you have to move and cancel early. That's all on the landlord. If you're poor, well maybe that's not your fault, but as a responsible landlord it's sure as f*** not my fault either.

Comment: Stagnant properties (Score 1) 937 937

Absolutely true! This isn't just for personal residences either. I've seen business spaces that have been empty for years (usually with an out-of-town number to contact for "leasing/buying opportunities). Hell, there's a restaurant in my old neighbourhood that has been empty for a decade. The old appliances are still in there.

With all those places, the rents are still high, because they'd rather fix the market at a high rate than rent out the empty space. This is stupid because un-used buildings inevitably suffer from age-related maintenance issues, and become a lot harder to sell/lease/rent the longer they're unused without a price-cut.

Comment: Re:Not me, not in California (Score 1) 937 937

No, pay for his kids' college was what the OP said, and it's accurate. Income is income, and rent is rent.

Note that *he is charging roughly 74% of rent of the neighbours. So if he's not renting, what then? Well likely those tenants have to find a place somewhere else and pay more. They're not paying for nothing, they're paying for a place to live in and whatever the required maintenance is.

I (well, the bank does) own my place. I have renters myself, but we share the common areas of the house so it's a little different than a whole-house rent (and includes pretty much everything including groceries). Laws here actually make it easier to get rid of bad renters in my situation (shared living space rather than a whole house), but generally I've gotten along very well with my renters to the point where most who've moved still stop by for coffee or stay over and visit if they're in town. In my previous experience (as a renter), some of the better places I've been were most the "homestay" rental variety where you get to interact more with the owner/host on a personal level.

However, a number of my friends/family-members still rent, so I see a lot of terrible landlords and situations such as:
a) Poor maintenance: Appliances that break down (fridge,stove,heating/cooling) and take a long time to get fixed. Loose fixtures. Water/mould issues
b) Intrusion: Landlord "pops in" to the suite or rental to check on things (this is actually illegal except in emergencies - i.e. broken water pipe - but many don't follow the law)
c) Illegal evictions: When somebody has complained to the landlord about (a) or (b), or the landlord just wants to jack the rent
d) Harassment: Quite often following along with (b)
e) Illegal suites: Poorly cobbled together, and lacking proper separation of utilities (separate power and hot water, etc)
f) Poor behaviour: Nothing like having a landlord that likes to light up a bit fat joint on the patio and let the smoke drift down into your unit, or watch loud TV until 1:00 after having a screaming match with the wife.

When I was looking for a place to buy, the *worst* were in the areas common to rentals, especially those near the university etc. Poor maintenance, rowdy neighbours, and high prices. Some places I just wanted to laugh in the face of the sellers. It was obvious they'd rented to students and done as little as possible on upkeep... the only selling feature was that the location near amenities (and/or attractive to renters because of such).

The worst rentals tend to be:
* University/College areas, because there's usually a plentiful supply of students willing to put up with crappy conditions in order to be close to school and/or save $50 in rent.
* Distant landlords
* Old single landlords (generally in the market to make ends meet, so little money for professional repairs and not physically capable of doing them)
* masculine used for the sake of simplicity

Comment: Worse than tracking (Score 1) 35 35

This is worse than even just tracking cookie injection. A tracking cookie may be used to trace traffic back to a particular user, but there's generally nothing overly special about the cookie data.

In this case, the Telco is not only providing the ability to track you to the third party, but giving away your phone #. As if people don't get enough calls from phone scams and malvertisors already.

Comment: Page tracking (Score 1) 172 172

Amazon has for a long time tracked what pages you've read up to on eBooks. This means that when I read a book on a Kindle, and then later forget it at home and use a tablet etc then it's automatically on the same page as the Kindle (provided the Kindle was connected to update the reading progress).

I'm not sure that Amazon knowing "you've read up to page 51 on book X" is more more of a privacy concern than "You purchased book X".

Comment: Private Schools (Score 1) 272 272

Yes, because it's a lot easier to drop trouble-students from a private school than a public school. They also don't get as many students from lower-income brackets (which come with various issues: malnutrition, skipping due to having a job, parents who can't get kids to school) because, guess what, THEY CAN'T AFFORD PRIVATE SCHOOL.

So yeah, no shit your private Catholic school is going to do better in that regard, they get students from better-off families, and can drop/reject the ones they don't want.

Comment: Re:Eugh (Score 1) 1066 1066

Indeed. Now there might not be a problem with a "default setting" in his particular function or application, but applying to a language in general in pretty dumb.
"Hey, I've never needed to sanity check this so let's change it and potentially f*** things up for a bunch of people" sounds like a greeeeeat idea. While we're at it let's skip bounds-checking entirely, and null-pointer checks.

Real computer scientists don't program in assembler. They don't write in anything less portable than a number two pencil.