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Comment: Re:We're billions or a trillion short still. (Score 1) 85

by russotto (#47960785) Attached to: Is Google's Non-Tax Based Public School Funding Cause For Celebration?

What Google's PR / charity funding is, it's a reminder that our society and our government (reflecting the public's apathy and lack of intense desire to provide our kids better education and to FUND it with our taxes so it will happen) are running a system that's not only very underfunded, it's not built to evenly distribute what funding we do get.

You're half-right. It's not underfunded; education funding per pupil has doubled in real terms over the past few decades. But it isn't built to evenly distribute the funding; in general poor areas are favored over more wealthy areas.

Comment: Re:Thugs on the DC Metro? (Score 1) 161

by russotto (#47959091) Attached to: Washington DC To Return To Automatic Metro Trains

A thug is a gang member, usually an enforcer or other low-level muscle, or someone who acts like one. . Just because Dick Sherman wants it purged as a code-word doesn't make it so.

Although the idea of avoiding the D.C. metro because it's full of thugs is pretty funny. Unless you include people who do legal violence as well as physical in "thug".

Comment: Re:London underground has automatic trains (Score 1) 161

by russotto (#47959039) Attached to: Washington DC To Return To Automatic Metro Trains

The other, important purpose it to make sarcastic announcements when the train gets stuck at a signal, which is something they do excel at.

The NYC system has this semi-automatic. They have about 5 different announcements claiming conditions like "held for train traffic ahead", "held by the dispatcher", etc, all recorded by the "50s announcer guy" ("You may know me from such announcements as 'The White Zone is for Loading and Unloading Only, No Parking'"). When the train is stopped for any reason, the driver pushes the buttons, pretty much at random.

Comment: Re:Aren't all the airlines complaining about usage (Score 1) 819

by russotto (#47846247) Attached to: 3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

I was of the impression that most of the airlines were all bemoaning the low traffic, driving up the costs of flying because "nobody is flying anymore". If that is the case, why are they not making flight a more appealing option to draw more passengers?

It's easier to just reduce costs by run fewer flights with more people crammed into each flight.

Book your flight based on things like creature comforts. If the airline doesn't offer what you consider a bare minimum, DON'T Use them! Vote with your Money! If enough people did that, the airlines would Have to accommodate, or go broke in a hurry! Be willing to pay for what you want, or Not pay for a bad experience!

Unless you have days to drive or cruise to where you can fly in hours, the airlines are the only game in town.

Comment: Re:Wow those fees... (Score 1) 161

by russotto (#47843629) Attached to: Getting Into College the Old Fashioned Way: With Money

perhaps not as prestigious as MIT, but more than sufficient for most people.

Sufficient for people who want to become a cog in the machine. Those people who are paying for the application service for top ranked schools want to go to those schools because they don't want to become cogs in the machine, they want to own the machine. It is a completely different mindset from "most people".

Second time I read this sentiment in this thread. It fails on two counts -- one that students at lesser schools want to become cogs in the machine; I knew quite a few from my state school who had founded their own company before graduation, and others who wanted to. Two, that MIT and other elite students don't become cogs -- there sure are a lot of MIT-educated "cogs" where I work; they're not any less a "cog" than me for having gone to MIT.

Comment: Re:Responsible Agency Enforcing Law (Score 4, Interesting) 222

by russotto (#47843479) Attached to: FAA Scans the Internet For Drone Users; Sends Cease and Desist Letters

What, exactly, is controversial about this? The FAA is responsible for the safety of aviation, and a lot of corporations are deliberately, flagrantly breaking the law. Sounds like a good idea that the FAA enforce the law.

The FAA tried to fine one commercial aerial photographer for "deliberately, flagrantly" breaking this law. They lost in court. Not, mind you, a judicial determination: they lost in their own administrative court, where one of their own administrative judges ruled they did not have the authority to regulate these aircraft.

Legally, nothing has changed since then, though appeals are still in progress. The FAA, thus, is attempting to assert an authority that at the present time, they have been told by their own courts that they do not have.

That's what's controversial.

Comment: Re:419 (Score 1) 62

by russotto (#47804029) Attached to: New Nigerian ID Card Includes Prepay MasterCard Wallet

In poor countries, pervasive tax evasion means not enough money for infrastructure, or to pay sufficient salaries to government employees so that they work for their salary rather the opportunity to extort bribes.

Right, because government officials are all pure and good and if they got all the taxes that selfish individuals are evading they would definitely use them for infrastructure rather than, say, off-shore "exit funds" or 400 pairs of shoes for their wife or palatial estates in their otherwise squalor-filled country.

The prevalance of the informal (untaxed) economy is a symptom, not a cause. Cracking down on it misses the point and makes things worse.

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