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Comment: Re:What the hell is wrong with Millennials?! (Score 1) 465

by spasm (#48592085) Attached to: Peru Indignant After Greenpeace Damages Ancient Nazca Site

"I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words... When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise [disrespectful] and impatient of restraint".
(Hesiod, 8th century BC)

Comment: Re: Go California! (Score 1) 139

by spasm (#48584043) Attached to: California Sues Uber Over Practices

Oh, I'm not a libertarian :) In a 'libertarian paradise' pesky 'regulations' which establish things like renter's rights (probably the single largest use of small claims court is by renters trying to recover their deposit when leaving a rental and the landlord claims the money is now theirs because [insert minor wear and tear here]) don't exist. Because 'the market' will somehow stop all that from happening..

I think the precise details of how easy small claims is to use varies from state to state. I've only had experience with it in California (and only once at that), and in CA the court doesn't give multiple opportunities to appear unless the defendant files paperwork each time giving a documented (and reasonable) reason they can't appear. And neither party is allowed to bring a lawyer with them. But yes, working out how to collect is up to you, and how easy that is varies wildly depending on the situation. Landlords tend to be easy to collect from because, by definition, they have fixed assets. Uber drivers, maybe not so much.

Comment: Megan's law for the unvaccinated (Score 1) 1048

by spasm (#48583921) Attached to: Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

We need a Megan's Law equivalent for people who refuse to be vaccinated. Sure, you can refuse to vaccinate yourself or your child because your skyfairy says so, or for any other reason you like, but you have to be registered like a sex offender and banned from living or going within a thousand feet of any school.

Comment: Re: Go California! (Score 1) 139

by spasm (#48573777) Attached to: California Sues Uber Over Practices

Yes, but it happens less often when 'government regulations' prevent people with known histories of raping and assaulting people from driving taxis.

Whereas you seem to be arguing that the inconvenience of running a background check on someone before letting them drive a taxi is so onerous that it's worth letting known rapists drive taxis just to avoid the burden on the taxi industry of 'all that government red tape'.

Comment: Re: Go California! (Score 2) 139

by spasm (#48573711) Attached to: California Sues Uber Over Practices

"if I take it to small claims court ... you probably won't show up"

In which case you automatically win.

"and even if I got the judgment you'd just stiff me anyway"

In which case the court will help you garnish their wages, order their bank to pay you from any funds they have in the bank, suspend their professional license and/or drivers license until they pay you, and a range of other things that will make their life a complete misery (http://www.courts.ca.gov/1179.htm).

But yeah, it does take time. But laying all this out to them in a demand-for-payment letter so they see that you know how the system works and are willing to grind through those steps is usually sufficient to get people to stop bluffing and pay you if you're clearly in the right.

Comment: Avoiding the police (Score 1) 481

by spasm (#48449903) Attached to: Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk

"It's unlikely that a high school student would come away with any other conclusion than the police are a fearful group to be avoided at all costs," says Eugene O'Donnell, a former police officer and professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice

That's probably because the police *are* a fearful group to be avoided at all costs..

Comment: Re:Flawed, 'cos... (Score 1) 454

by spasm (#48446855) Attached to: In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

"3. Personalization and customization."

Scan a barcode on the dash with your phone as soon as you get in; your phone syncs with the car & the car changes all the radio station presets change according to the preference file your phone sent it. Ditto climate control preferences, seat position, throttle responsiveness, basically anything that can be controlled electronically.

The other three points I more or less agree with you on though.

Comment: Re:who cares? (Score 1) 942

by spasm (#48040145) Attached to: David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

Dealing with non-metric units isn't that daunting for people raised on metric either - I grew up in Australia and moved to the US in my 30s. I'm a scientist, so in my day-to-day worklife nothing changed at all. The conversions needed for daily shopping are rudimentary (a pound of fish is half a kilo of fish) and you quickly stop needing to even make the conversion. Inches for woodworking are sometimes actually an improvement (12 inches is divisible by 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12, which makes for a lot of easy mental arithmetic when dividing a length of wood into halves, third, quarters etc; 10 cm is only divisible by 1, 2, 5, and 10). Miles per hour is just a number on a sign which needs to be related to the same number on your speedometer - there's no need to convert at all. Temperature took longer to adjust to - it's really a matter of recalibrating your sense of which number matches to which relative feeling, and that took 4 or 5 years. The only thing I still struggle with is wrench sizes - quick, which is bigger, a 5/8 wrench or a 3/4 wrench? Quick, which is bigger, a 10mm wrench or a 12mm wrench? I just tried a 5/8 wrench on a bolt and it was slightly too small - quick, what's the next size up to try? etc.

Comment: Short range transmission =! privacy concern (Score 1) 261

by spasm (#47768781) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

"The submitter notes that this V2V communication would include transmission of a vehicle's location, which comes with privacy concerns. "

For the purposes of reducing accidents and facilitating things like lane changes, there's no reason for the location to be transmitted more broadly than a few hundred metres around the transmitting vehicle, nor for either the transmitting vehicle or receiving vehicles to store that location for more than 10 minutes or so. I'm not too worried about the impact on privacy if that were the case. And I'm expecting car manufacturers to go with the cheapest possible solution which meets regulation, so they certainly have no interest in installing the kind of equipment needed to broadcast location beyond 100m or so, and lost of interest in resisting regulation which goes beyond that.

Comment: Re:Stay within reason (Score 1) 327

by spasm (#47675487) Attached to: California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

Well, I just wasted about an hour rummaging through California's law relating to waste water from industrial processes, as well as law relating to drinking water, and in that time could not find anything which either supports or refutes the parent poster's assertion that waste water from semiconductor plants must be cleaner than tap water (links to the law and regulations below). Nor could I find any support for the parent poster's claim just randomly googling around (I figured if it were true there'd be multiple references to it).

I agree with you that if wastewater from industrial processes is held to higher standards than tap water, then that's ridiculous. However given it's such an extrodinary claim, I'd also suggest that the burden of proof lies with those making it - here's the law; knock yourselves out.

CA law and regulation relating to drinking water: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic...

CA law and regulation relating to waste water: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/...

All code relating to water in CA: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/...

Comment: Re:So, such rules are bad for keeping people worki (Score 3, Insightful) 327

by spasm (#47668727) Attached to: California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

"Why would the rest of the world care? If Californians eliminate themselves as a competitor through insane regulation, other countries benefit."

Well, another way to look at it is Californians have calculated the real cost. Sure, you get a couple of hundred FAB plant jobs, and a dribble of corporate and payroll tax out of it, but FABs are notoriously hard on worker health and on the surrounding environment. So the state ends up paying big dollars down the track to clean up the toxic mess left behind (and remember the only thing prop 65 bans is businesses dumping known carcinogens *into the drinking water supply* - under this law you can still dump carcinogenic waste wherever else you want), and pays again for healthcare costs for workers and their families (or we all pay it through increased insurance premiums if the state doesn't end up paying for it with our taxes).

About the only reason you'd want a FAB plant in your state that wasn't willing or able to comply with California's environmental laws is if you want to be able to boast about how you 'created more jobs' in the leadup to the next election, and didn't give a shit what the real cost to the state would be over the next 30 years.

Comment: Re:So, such rules are bad for keeping people worki (Score 1) 327

by spasm (#47668563) Attached to: California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

The law just says "Businesses are prohibited from knowingly releasing listed chemicals into drinking water sources."

The law *doesn't* say industry is held to higher standards than water treatment facilites - just that industry can't deliberately dump known carcinogens into the water supply. Per this particular law, industry could still dump known carcinogens into any other random body of water they like.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie