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Comment: Why do it in the US? (Score 2) 225 225

In (continental) Europe, life in prison usually means 15 years max - but only if you've killed someone very violently and it's not your first offense.

His biggest problem would have been not having paid taxes. If he'd actually managed to pay correct taxes, he'd probably get five or seven years and walk after two or three (probation).
Extra points for marrying a local and producing a kid or two - extradition would then be very unlikely, IMO.

People who do this in the US are just stupid and ultimately deserve to get incarcerated.

Comment: Re:They're bums, why keep them around (Score 1) 743 743

They do produce something: olive oil (some of it very good, actually), goat cheese (very nice in a Greek salad), some fruit and vegetables and maybe some ouzo (nice after a fat Greek meal).

But that's probably barely enough to sustain a standard of living similar to a typical 3rd-world country - and that is exactly the problem

Comment: Re:it's not "slow and calculated torture" (Score 2) 743 743

^ all true...

How many nations could? Germany *might*, given their huge hard currency reserves, plus their gold and other physical assets. (Many people don't know this, but after the United States, Germany holds the world's largest gold reserves)

China probably could, given the massive foreign currency they hold.

The US of course could, given that the US Dollar is the world's reserve currency, we could print enough to pay it all off tomorrow, abit at the cost of inflation, but we could.

Who else? Honestly, I think that might be it.

Most of Germany's gold is on US-soil. It's assumed to exist, but nobody knows for sure... ;-)

Comment: Re:They're bums, why keep them around (Score 2) 743 743

The transfer-payments are the inconvenient truth that most European politicians shy away from actually telling their voters.
Admittedly, it's a concept that few of the paying countries' residents will find appealing.
But in a monetary union, this is what has to happen to level economic imbalances.

The problem is that the politicians failed to prepare their voters for it (for 20 years). Now would be the time to do, but it's a "bad time".
I'm not sure if we've hit the end of the road here, yet, because chances are there's a foul compromise that let's them kick the can down the road a couple of weeks or months more.
We have transfer-payments in Germany, too. But there are a few paying states and a lot of receiving states and the paying states are mostly fed-up with it, because in the past, the receiving states didn't put the money to much use, instead using it to finance short-term projects to appeal to voters...and we all speak the same language, have the same flag, the same national soccer team...
In the end, though, politicians are voted into power by people. So, you can aways say that people got what they voted for.

Comment: Laws can be changed - again (Score 1) 118 118

Or declared illegal. Even retroactively.
After all, our German Nazi-regime was ruling (and killing) (mostly) perfectly within its own laws.
Later on, after we lost the war, some people actually got the rope for their crimes (admittedly, only those who didn't run fast enough, weren't killed already, couldn't blame someone else or didn't have anything to bargain with (like a prospect of owning nuke-bearing ICBMs or a list of Soviet spies)).
So, if a future government, supported by enough people, wanted to override this exemption, I don't see that not happening. In theory.
Granted, it will be difficult to override, but as we know: the easy things are the most difficult ;-)

Comment: Re:nature will breed it out (Score 1) 950 950

Also, apparently a wedding ring functions as a kind of seal of quality: "He's enough above the complete douchebag level for someone else to find him nice enough to marry. I could choose worse".

I've read from women who confess they get drawn to married men (or those they know are obviously engaged) while at the same time being super-embarrased about it. Yet, they catch themselves doing it over and over again.

Comment: Dying is all about letting go (Score 3, Insightful) 182 182

If you're famous enough, you'll have a wikipedia entry.
If not, well, that's it.
If you have relatives, they will remember you. If you have kids early enough and they also have kids early enough, your grandkids will remember you, too.
If not, maybe you should stop worrying about a f*cking website, for god's sake!

Comment: Re:Berlin (Score 1) 203 203

Indeed. Please up-vote.
The Airport could also have been built in a corrupt African developing country (or in Greece) and you wouldn't notice any difference.
People outside Berlin couldn't care less if it was shuttered and never opened at all.
But people in Berlin and Brandenburg (co-financers of the Airport) keep re-electing the very same politicians responsible for this fuckup, so the rest of Germany has to continue to pour money into it.

Comment: Reviewer and "normal" people who had a hands-on (Score 1) 290 290

say it's better than anything else. And better than they expected.

Personally, I don't really need one - it doesn't have enough sports-functions and all the rest (notifications, messages) isn't important to me as I don't sync my work-email, work-calendar with my iPhone.
And my iPhone is too old to be paired with one. But it's an intersting device, nevertheless.

I don't understand the hate towards people who buy one.
"I don't have any music, so I don't need an iPod (or the music-playing capabilites of the iPhone) - so I can't see how anybody else would need such functionality."

Comment: Re:French republic vs monarchy ? (Score 1) 105 105

I had to chuckle about your last sentence.

That kind of optimism is rare.

Also, unfortunately, totally unfounded.
I live in Switzerland (but I'm not Swiss, so I can't vote (well, it turned out I can vote on things that my church puts up for vote) and the way things (esp. the tax-system) are set up here is very interesting. I'm not sure if a larger (population and land-area wise) state like the US or Germany (or even Russia) could be governed like Switzerland. But as nobody has tried, nobody can be sure it wouldn't work ;-)

Comment: If it turns out this is correct (Score 1) 385 385

He knew (or feared) he would lose his license - and came to the conclusion he'd rather die doing what he liked most - because from what I've read, he really liked flying.

So far, I've not read an official statement that said he wouldn't have been grounded.

As such, in his own very twisted logic, he was right.

I was wondering, though, if pilots don't get to use the loo on the ground?
I usually try everything I can not to use to loo on the plane - especially if the flight is only two hours like this Germanwings flight.

I'm not sure if it's a good reaction to go crazy with new regulations for the pilots. They've already got to go through the same security checks as passengers (which is insane, as this sad case proves) and now they're supposed to distrust each other?
Next thing you know is that each keypress has to be acknowledged by the 2nd guy or it will be automatically voided.

At some point you've got to trust these guys up there in the pilot seat to do the right thing.
And, as voiced in previous posts already, instead of trying to find more reasons to ground pilots, we should find ways these people who are dedicated to their job can continue to do what they love to do, after they've dealt with their problems.

Comment: Re:TV was not Steve Jobs' big miss (Score 1) 205 205

Probably.
But he could also have died during that "routine" operation. Or left in a coma, because the doctor or someone on his team screwed up.
Nobody can say that for sure.
What we can be quite sure of is that Steve Jobs, when he realized that a fruit-juice diet wasn't really helpful and pursued the "conventional medicine"-path, woke-up from the operation soon knowing that he was basically living on borrowed time.
In the remaining time, he created (and drove his employees very hard) a lot of new or updated products that laid the foundation for Apple being more than a very big company. Apple is now really an empire.
Whatever you think of him - he made more of his life than most of us can dare to achieve in three or four lives.

As for TVs - I'm glad Apple skipped that. Just look at the mind-bogglingly brutal deprecation these things have come under recently.
TVs selling for thousands a couple of years ago can now be had for hundreds.

Comment: Re:I don't get it (Score 1) 184 184

Why all this hype around a technology that involves applying electric fields strong enough to induce electrical currents high enough to recharge an electronic device, which is DANGEROUS to do with electronic equipment (you can fry the device)? Not to mention the serious problem of electromagnetic interference in what is around? It is not much safer simply connect a cable to the device?

In my opinion, yes.
And I don't freak out about the "radiation" of normal phones and WLAN like some people do.
I've also heard that it's inefficient. OR rather, even less efficient than charging via cable.

Comment: It's a cool laptop (Score 1) 450 450

I don't know why people are so angry about the lack of ports.
If you need lots of ports, something between the 11" MBA and the 15" MBP will surely fit the requirements.

Dell's XPS seems to be an OK-alternative, but you've got to run either Windows or Linux.
If this is supposed to be your bring-your-own-device laptop that you actually do work on and need to connect to a LAN directly, then it might not be the best thing.
But that's not the fault of the laptop or Apple.

How many people in Starbucks do you see who use a mouse with their laptops?

Adapt. Enjoy. Survive.

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