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Comment testimonial privilege is not immunity though (Score 2) 178

Good to understand though, that not having to be compelled to produce something that could be used against you, doesn't mean that you are protected from that thing being produced... by others. So if somehow their phones were brute force unlocked or decrypted, that evidence could definitely be used against them.

Comment system failure (Score 1) 67

What is with the epidemic of half-assed, unqualified, reaching-beyond-their-capabilities public servants we have lately?

Whether corrupt police, incompetent city government, school principals, etc, when did these kinds of people start getting elected to important public service roles?

Or is it just that now we have more access to tools to expose their idiocy and it seems there are more of them?

Comment finally, some responsibility (Score 4, Insightful) 545

I am all for free speech and entitlement to personal opinion. But the very role of government and public policy is to have a rational and objective view on what is reasonable for citizens to do and not do as part of civil society. It is not to merely sway with the wind and throw up one's hands and say, well, we can't offend anyone's beliefs so we shouldn't do our jobs for fear of being voted out of office.

It is high time that both we as citizens and we as government not put up with or enable a small ridiculous minority of extremist views to hold the rest of society hostage, with the threat of lawsuits.

There is such a thing as being overly reasonable. And there are many more issues that don't rise to this level of publicity, that policy makers give in to, for fear of negative repercussions, rather than doing the right thing.

Comment but on the ground... (Score 1) 203

How will it be at all reasonable to shut down LGA and move traffic to EWR and JFK? Traffic is already a nightmare getting out of Manhattan and on the GCP/Van Wyck. The problem is getting people to the airports.

It is a joke to try and take subways/buses to LGA. La Guardia and NYC need to make some hard and bold public policy choices to cut through a couple of neighborhoods, and make public transport more efficient to/from the airport.

The level of infrastructure quality in our supposedly world-leading financial center is a total embarrassment. You come back from Singapore or HK or even Munich, and you wonder, how are we still #1 with this shit? Fuck the investment required and cost/benefit ratios -- it's a indicator of your country's standing and priorities.

Comment you cannot fight the tide (Score 4, Interesting) 407

Aside from the normal arguments about a shortage of workers *at what offered wage level* etc, etc., the more interesting question here is a question of demographics.

When the world offers you endless numbers of reasonably well-trained workers who can fill your job openings at 1/2 the cost of US workers, what is a country to do? How long can a country resist that pressure? We may politically shout for better wages and training for US citizens to fill these jobs, but the deeper issue is that borders/barriers are less and less effective lately against a flood of competition from people who are cheaper and better (or hungrier).

Americans I believe will have to come to grips with the possibility of a stagnant or even decreasing standard of living as the rest of the world takes what was once our position. No amount of restriction of H-1B visas will prevent that.

Comment No one is forcing anyone to do anything (Score 3, Insightful) 536

Let's be clear on whose responsibility is whose. No one is forcing this guy to do *anything* and it's kind of a stretch to say that Comcast is forcing him to move out of his house. He bought and wants to live in a certain house, that has not yet been clearly shown to have internet service. Comcast is incompetent, and it's his choice on what to do about it.

The issue is not that he has to move out, it's that he doesn't have many cost effective options to get fast internet at his house. But he hasn't even exhausted all his options. Has he looked into contracting to extend a line tap? Has he tried satellite? Phone? Any other options? Many people and businesses operate in far more remote places where they manage to get connectivity.

Much as I hate Comcast, have a sense of objectivity here...

Comment who owns it is irrelevant (Score 1) 667

We can debate all we like about whether there is or is not an absolute standard or "owner" of the language.

But I will still use the ability to write and speak according to the refined rules of whatever standard is adopted, as a filter to figure out if the person I'm talking to has a certain level of qualifications and skill... and is able to understand and think clearly within rules and structures, whatever they may be.

Just because the owners of those may change doesn't mean that poor logic, thinking, and inability to write are suddenly excused.

Comment Re:Why is this a surprise? (Score 1) 156

This is why I have a hard time buying luxury goods where the brand is more important than some tangible functionality.

If I cannot tell the difference between a $100 watch and a $10,000 watch by its accuracy or functionality, I open myself up to being deceived by people who exploit that people cannot tell the difference.

I don't need to be told a luxury story about how a watch is an expression of my adventurousness or legacy, to part me with $10,000 more than the next equally functional good is worth.

Comment confused (Score 1) 106

I have always struggled to understand how some technology makes the transition from being a luxury or niche appeal, to something that government starts to feel is an entitlement or is deserving of regulation. In that sense I watch and see some technologies become victims of their own success -- too many people "rely" on something, and you become a public good and it's out of your control.

How did telephone service become a guaranteed-access human right and lifeline? When will the internet become so essential that to not have it is unacceptable and must be subsidized?

When Sirius and XM radio merged, there was such scrutiny to determine whether that was an unfair narrowing of competition -- for satellite radio entertainment for fucks sake. Yet 5 years before that, the field hardly even existed -- and that was not viewed as a lack of competition!

I would like to know the theory of when something crosses that border...

Comment good thinking, India (Score 1) 91

I guess we must hold these newcomers to a higher bar because of public safety. No need for any of these rules to apply to the legions of dangerous, shitty, and unhelpful taxis / drivers already on the road! Please, keep Uber out for our own protection -- I am more comfortable with untrackable, combative, unhelpful, no-feedback-receiving, swindling taxi drivers and taxi companies that I'm used to!

Comment bandaids (Score 1) 262

"... Comcast has apologized and is looking at ways to prevent it from happening in the future..."?

How about instead of fixing the technical problem that allowed an employee to change the customer's name, they address the fundamental deeper issue that their business treats customers like the enemy, incentivizes employees to harass customers, and looks for ways to screw them at every turn?

That would be "a way to prevent it in the future", but what are the odds of that being fixed instead? Hmm..

Logic doesn't apply to the real world. -- Marvin Minsky