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Comment Re: This legislation brought to you by.. (Score 2) 446 446

People DID live quite long even in previous centuries (as long as you didn't work in a coal mine or such), and low life expectancy in previous centuries must be adjusted for the insane child mortality in it. If you do so, your improvements over time vanish: (http://www.livescience.com/10569-human-lifespans-constant-2-000-years.html)

Comment Re: Not forced... (Score 1) 302 302

Whoah, I pay like 650€/year for my 2007 BMW, liability and comprehensive cover included. We have a discount system depending on the number of years without an accident (the insurance had to pay for). Since I've been driving for 20 years without (any major) accident, I'm down to 30% of the reference rate. Our rates are per car, not per driver, and react to type of car, engine hp, km driven/year and some minor details (garage/roadside parker, region, age of driver, other drivers' lowest age etc.)

Comment Re:Not forced... (Score 3, Informative) 302 302

Are those numbers real? Sounds like a joke given the propensity to sue for absurd damages.
I'm German, I have a coverage of €100.000.000 (!) combined for death, injury and property damage on my private car (though max. €15.000.000 per person harmed). It's really not more expensive than minimum coverage, because the odds are so low, but maybe US lawyers would immediately take their chunk out of it and make it too expensive for everyone.

Minimum coverage here is €1.000.000 for property damage and €7.500.000 for bodily injury. Difference in annual premium is maybe 10-20€ between the two.

Comment Re:May I suggest an Etch-A-Sketch? (Score 1) 334 334

For people like these, even letters are a dangerous form of communication. A tenant of mine died recently - his apartment is overflowing with letters, pictures, cheap amulets from dubious astrologists, his mail box is still overflowing every time I check. And I was wondering why he was in debt despite his quite comfortable retirement pay.

Comment Re:And low-emission transport trucks, too (Score 2) 491 491

That is not really true. Read e.g. http://www.cumminseuro6.com/wh...

As of January 1, 2014, Euro-6 is standard on all newly sold trucks in the EU. But even the older buses in my city (all diesel except for two diesel hybrid buses) are not really polluting that much. You can get even truck diesel engines clean, if you want to.

I wonder what the potential for fuel savings in *hybrid* buses is. I checked up on this and found an article on the buses my city used: 750,000€ instead of 400,000€ for the bus, with savings of only 8000 L/year of diesel fuel.

Comment Re:maybe (Score 1) 512 512

Please explain to me just HOW Israel can be called an "apartheid state" without Gaza *at least* being called a "fascist regime filled from head to toes with exterminatory anti-semitism".

Just explain to me why muslim Arabs can live mostly peacefully under Israel's reign, while not a single Jew can live peacefully in most Arab countries, especially (!) Gaza. And that is not something that started with Israel's founding or the current conflicts.

The German word for most Arab countries nowadays is "judenrein" (you should know - a goal we Germans tried to achieve quite fervently before being bombed to the grounds and the following denazification). And that's nothing, ever, to accept or be proud of - unless you are Hamas, of course. Then the whole world will excuse your anti-semitism with whatever anti-semitic ideas still linger in the rest of the world.

Today, Jews cannot even live peacefully in Berlin or Paris. Tell me why, just WHY these French or German citizens are being held responsible if the protests target "Israel" and not Jews. And did you read the signs held up in recent (mob) protests all over Europe? Or hear the translations of their chants? "Juden ins Gas" ("Jews into the gas chamber") was recently chanted in Berlin. And not by a single "native" German: Nazis don't openly fraternize with muslims - yet.

All of this happens while Syria is going belly-up in terror, with hundreds of thousands dying, and ISIS building a terror regime wherever they go.

Comment Re:Which is why corporations are born criminals (Score 1) 247 247

You must be pretty naive to think that the "possible abuse hasn't materialized in Finland". First of all, this idea is also present in the German tax code ( 42 AO). It is a constant reason of judicial trouble, and it puts the state above the law - because it only works against the taxpayer and not in other circumstances. It is a clear indication of a cleptocratic government. Second, there are hidden costs: In your example, a couple marrying and then divorcing again is clearly f*cked. Their marriage is lost, and so is their money. And, of course, their belief in justice. Which is the greatest cost of all.

But I know, people with collectivist tendencies see the "state" or "society" as standing above individual justice.

Comment Re:So what happens (Score 1) 253 253

I *suspect* that even Comcast will route this through a secondary public IP and will also log activity there. At least that's what Deutsche Telekom does. Hotspot users get an IP address different from your own public IP address. I think doing otherwise would also endanger your NATed private network, if ever so slightly.

Comment FON & Deutsche Telekom (Score 3, Informative) 253 253

Same principle here in Germany.

But Deutsche Telekom is not doing this as an opt-out thing, but as opt-in - plus you need a certain router model. I bought the (inexpensive) router and opted in, because now I can use all of these home router hotspots, plus all FON hotspots worldwide, all Telekom hotspots (in public places, at McDonald's, in high speed trains). The public hotspot users get very low QoS, so they don't harm my VDSL connection.

And the best thing: All I have to do to keep using it is connect the home router at least once every 30 days. So since the router is not my primary choice, 99% of time I'm freeloading and using my custom router, all the while keeping my hotspot privileges.

Comment Re:Privacy? (Score 2) 124 124

If she sees me and she (or the thief) shares it online, it *is* an invasion of my privacy. And that's why I am opposed to Google Glass. If I sit in a restaurant, that is a private venue, not a public place. So turn off your f*cking Google Glass, or I will. There is a fundamental difference between seeing me somewhere, and saving imagery of seeing me somewhere.

You might find that if you used GG here in Germany, you might find yourself confronted with a lawsuit.

Comment Re:"post-food consumers" (Score 1, Troll) 543 543

Then I don't have to replace ANY meal with it. If "soylent" is just a combination of nutrients and Joules (or calories, for the backward food crowd), then why would I waste my time with it? My average diet of varied, tasty meals is more than enough to keep me happy and healthy. I enjoy eating and cooking!

Maybe Wal-Mart will happily sell it (In their non-food section?). Whole Foods probably won't.

It is still inconceivable to me how anyone would forgo the pleasures of good food, given the fact that we don't have much time on earth to enjoy it anyway.

Comment Re:And (Score 1) 437 437

This way, automakers can cut themselves down to only making a small handful of identical engines, and cut their design costs dramatically.

We already mostly have that. At least Volkswagen and BMW do it for engines I know, like the VW TDI series, where just software and piston rods made the difference. And, of course: brakes! The brakes vary depending on the engine. So there's a limit to that, because other costly stuff depends on the engine power.

On a side note: In my 2003 VW Golf, it was cheaper to buy it WITHOUT cruise control and get an upgrade from a dealership, than ordering it directly with cruise control (at least in Germany, guess they never tried to sell cars without CC in the U.S.

Comment Re: lol @ Romanian "btc billionaire" (Score 1, Redundant) 209 209

Romanian--like French, Spanish, and Italian--is a romance language descended directly from Latin. Some even argue that it's the Romance language that today most closely resembles Latin!

I'd say it's the language that most closely resembles Italian. You can really confuse them, at least with your eyes closed. Of course, if you open your eyes again, you will easily spot the Italian: It's the one constantly using his/her hands to make gestures. Italian is probably the only language that doesn't leave out deaf people. You can essentially *see* everything that's being said. And of course, even if your hearing is somewhat impaired, you can also still hear it. At the other end of town.

Comment It's a contract, guys... (Score 2) 378 378

I wonder what the fuss is about. When you're agreeing on a cell phone + contract, the contract has a subsidy in it. So, Obama is actually forcing a seperation of both parts. I still think companies should be able to lock the phone for the initial 2-year duration of the contract. If you don't want that, buy your phone somewhere else and get a bare contract, like I've been doing for years, or PAYG.

I usually buy my phones whenever I want a new one, where it's cheapest. Then I go and find a contract where the guy selling it hands me part of his commission, or I use PAYG. I'm usually better off than with a contract+phone.

Comment Re:USENET? (Score 1) 534 534

You might be closer than you think to the ways cults are started.

Some borderline Luddite over bearing parent imposes a rule that if something was good enough for their parents its good enough for their children, and another oddball sect is born.

So if everyone around you started chewing khat*, you'd say: "My children can do it, too, so they will function in the world around them. We're not some cult who abstains from what everyone else is doing!"

I doubt your children will miss anything if they're not constantly exposed to TV series, smartphone apps or the internet in general. The educational value of ruining your attention span is also quite dubious to me.

*: Or smoking cigarettes, if that sounds less far-fetched to you. I assume neither of us lives in Yemen.

[Crash programs] fail because they are based on the theory that, with nine women pregnant, you can get a baby a month. -- Wernher von Braun