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Comment: Re:I do not understand (Score 1) 538

I think it's fine for the government to mandate seat belts be installed in vehicles that have to meet government standards in order to sold. I don't think that it's so fine for the government to mandate that you "do what's good for you" and wear the seat belt or else.

Comment: Re:I do not understand (Score 1) 538

And why isn't being obligated to serve on a jury silly? It's actually very much like voting - you are required to offer your opinion for the benefit of society, whether you feel like it or not.

Because someone else has the Right to a Trial by a Jury of their Peers. Think about that a little. Every time that someone has a "right to" something, there is an obligation on someone else somewhere to provide or at least facilitate it. Notice that in the Constitution this is, I believe, the only thing that you have the right "to", while every thing else is the right "to do". That is, the government cannot stop you from doing it (speech, religion, firearms, association). The right to not be stopped puts no obligation on anyone else, while the right to get something (jury trial) does.

Any time that you're coerced/forced/compelled to do something by any level of government there had better be an overriding interest that cannot met in any other way. Too much of the time this is done for convenience. In terms of voting, it looks like a case of "it's just too damn hard to convince these people to care and get off their asses to vote, so we'll force them to by passing a law."

No politician has the RIGHT to your vote, so there is no legitimate reason to compel you to give it or even to go somewhere or take any action whatsoever to affirmatively withhold it.

Comment: Re:Mamangement (Score 4, Informative) 290

by wallsg (#49407161) Attached to: Is This the Death of the Easter Egg?

Ha ha. If you can get your work done and still have time to "goof off" like this then obviously you could do more work.

That's the mindset of most managers. It doesn't matter if that's good or bad; it's just a fact. And if you don't like it you can always go elsewhere because we're looking for H-1Bs, outsourcing, or "locating production in dynamic new markets" anyway.

I work in an industry that is competitively-bid large-scale systems sold to a handful of manufacturers to run their very-expensive low-volume product that requires government certification (which when said product fails or is intentionally caused to fail makes international news), not consumer-oriented programs. The only time the consumer sees anything about our products would be as background displays in a movie.

If someone managed to sneak an Easter Egg into this product then that means that the requirements-based and path-coverage testing was faulty, and there would be customer and government audits coming at us. The people who wrote and who reviewed the code would have a lot to answer for.

Comment: Re:I do not understand (Score 1) 538

Cue people who say that an important part of freedom is not having to do their duty as citizens in 3 .. 2 .. 1.

A duty is an obligation. You have the right to vote. You have the obligation/duty to serve jury duty.

Being obligated to vote is as silly as being obligated to speak, obligated to associate, obligated to practice a religion, or obligated to owning a firearm.

Comment: Re: What Would be a Trivial Amount? (Score 1) 198

10 watts is bad. It's also typical. Last time I checked, some 6 years ago, AT&T's U-verse DVR box used about 10 watts while on standby. While 10 watts at a cost of a dollar per month doesn't sound like much, it adds up. If you have 3 game consoles, 3 DVRs, and a bunch of wall warts for recharging cell phones and whatever other battery powered devices you have, you could be spending $10 per month. And why burn it if a better design can work just as well and not use so much energy?

If it bothers you, then turn them off. You're not FORCED to leave them on. And accept that for those that it doesn't bother who don't turn them off have every bit as much of a right to leave theirs on as you do to turn yours off.

Comment: Enforcement = Serious Revenue = Civil Forfeiture (Score 1) 760

Just think how many officers will be directed solely to traffic enforcement. Here in Arizona on the freeways the traffic flow is routinely (outside of rush hours) 10-15 over the posted speed limit. Think how many cops will be on the Loop 101 in Scottsdale. Think how many beater-mobiles will zoom past before the Jaguar or Mercedes is ticketed for 5 over. The small fish aren't worth catching. The big fish will become big game trophies.

If the big money goes to the local law enforcement this would become as corrupt as the civil forfeiture laws where old ladies get handcuffed and the homes pretty much destroyed because of an anonymous tip on the wrong address and payoff is too great to pass up.

Real constitutional issue with equal protection under the law, too. "You did the exact same 'crime', but since you're an Evil Rich Dude you pay a $50,000 fine instead of $100." What business is it of Law Enforcement how much someone makes?

Comment: Re:Clinton followed a Presidential trend... (Score 1) 609

by wallsg (#49242567) Attached to: Clinton Regrets, But Defends, Use of Family Email Server

So the defense now is "Bush did bad things, too?"

Statement: Anything a Democrat does that a Republican has done is OK.

Given: The "OKness" or "wrongness" of an event is fixed regardless of who does it.

Assertion: Anything a Republican does is OK.

Assume that a Republican has done something and a Democrat then does it. The Democrat did nothing wrong because a Republican did it. The Republican did nothing wrong because if it were wrong when the Republican did it it would also be wrong when the Democrat did it.

Assume that a Republican has done something and no Democrat has yet done it. The Republican still did nothing wrong because it is possible for a Democrat to do it in the future and if it were wrong before the Democrat did it then it would continue to be wrong after the Democrat did it. Even if no Democrat were to later take the same action the action cannot be wrong because if it were then we would know that no Democrat will ever take that action (because then the Democrat would be wrong) and that would give us information about the future which is not possible.

Therefore, anything that a Republican does is OK.


A corollary of this is that everything a Democrat does is OK because a Republican could later do it and we have already proven that everything a Republican does is OK.

Additional corollary: since Democrats and Republicans can do no wrong, only Independents and Third Party people will go to hell.

Comment: The Real Problem is Fixed Costs (Score 1) 374

by wallsg (#49138461) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt

The real problem with net metering is how Fixed Costs are billed. To be "fair" to the poor, some of the costs that should be the same on every residential bill (the cost of the delivery infrastructure) or at least in very broad low-use/high-use category are instead billed as part of the electricity used. When someone sells electricity back to the grid they're getting paid back part of the fixed costs that the should still owe so it's a double negative.

Everyone connected to the power grid should pay a fixed part of the fixed costs regardless of electricity used. Then there would be no real argument not to allow net metering.

Comment: Re:Another silly decision (Score 1) 480

by wallsg (#49050785) Attached to: The Mathematical Case For Buying a Powerball Ticket

So who do you blame? Everyone to some extent. The CRA is responsible for getting this journey started, but the banks did knowingly enable truly absurd purchasing activity. The home buyers knew (or should have known) that they couldn't afford half million dollar homes on $30k salaries, regardless of what anyone might have told them. Common sense, for Christ sake. The investment firms connected eager sellers with willing buyers, but they knew they were helping push good money into bad assets. Investors, regulators, and ratings agencies ought to have taken the time and effort to get the whole picture into focus considering the amount of capital flying through this great machine. In retrospect, each was willfully ignorant so long as the machine kept running.

When I was in high school (graduated in 1981) the rule of thumb taught in both my Small Business and Home Economics for Bachelors classes was that a person should buy a home that was no more than 2-1/2 times their annual income. Interest rates were a wee bit higher back then. So were down payment requirements.

While the lower interest rates now allow far more leverage then the high rates back then, the risk of ruin if you lose your income stream is no less. People seem to forget that.

Comment: Re:grandmother reference (Score 1) 468

by wallsg (#48925895) Attached to: Ubisoft Revokes Digital Keys For Games Purchased Via Unauthorised Retailers

Publishers should be required to sell their digital download licences at the same wholesale cost as the physical copy and then digital stores retail can compete on their margins.

(The real problem is the BS that you "license" the game instead of "buying" it so if the "license" terms are violated then the "license" is revoke. THAT's the bullshit that requires government action.)

Who would "require" this? Only one entity can: the government (at some level). Why in the world does the difference in the price of a computer game between different distribution channels require government price controls?

If you don't like the price then don't buy the damn game. If the price really is too high then they won't sell many and they won't profit. If they sell the games and profit then you're just WRONG that the price is too high. It's just too high for you. You're just farther down the demand curve.

People on the demand curve above where it intersects with the supply curve think it's a bargain and buy. Those at the intersection think it's fairly priced and probably buy. Those below it think it's too expensive and don't buy. That's how markets work, especially with non-essentials.

There are people who think it's worth paying full MSRP of $60 for a game on release day. There are others who won't buy it until it's on sale somewhere someday at $14.99 or even $4.99. Which ones are "right" about the price? Actually, all of them.

If you think that games never go on sale, check here.

Ubisoft is flat out wrong to cancel these keys and they should hit with a Class Action lawsuit, IMO. But there is absolutely NO reason for them to be forced to sell the game at ANY price, let alone at the same price for all distribution channels. They could spend a few million to develop a game and then bury it in a landfill if they want. They have NO OBLIGATION to offer it for sale* ** and you have NO RIGHT to buy it.

* - unless specified in the contract signed with the developers of the game, likely due to a deal based on profits or revenues and not a fixed price.

** - and the fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders to prudently manage and invest the company's (and therefore the shareholders') money.

A rolling disk gathers no MOS.