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Comment Re: Not if you work for the Commonwealth of Kentuc (Score 1) 426

On average you'll find that the same work pays as good or better in a more expensive area (maybe better because for a lot of careers the "big" companies that can afford more competitive salaries are often in the city). So in most cases, your major costs (housing, food) should be the same percentage of your salary because your pay is adjusted for the area. However, national things like books, clothes, music, furniture, cars, airfare, etc. all cost the same wherever you live, so they'll be "cheaper" for you if you live in a more expensive town.

Put another way, 70k in Alabama is probably more like 110k in Chicago. You could pretty easily pull a 350k house on that salary, which gets you a nice 3-bedroom in a quiet neighborhood (according to a quick search). And now a new car is now 27% of your yearly salary, rather than 43% so you can upgrade almost twice as often (or buy more books, go on more vacations, or just save more).

That's not to mention all the cultural opportunities you give up living in Alabama instead of Chicago. I'm sure Alabama has some nice countryside, and I know it's not all Deliverance-style back-country. But it can't compete with Chicago in terms of world-class theater, museums, symphony, cinema, or restaurants either.

Comment Re:Wait so now (Score 0) 692

Not all cities are Detroit. Many of them are actually quite nice.

Regarding the overall claim that "smart people don't live in the city", that's flat-out ridiculous. Cities provide a much greater wealth of quality and diversity in food, entertainment, and culture than the suburbs or rural areas. You could get that by living out in the burbs and driving to the city, but some people are smart enough to value their time for more than sitting in traffic. I guess you could go the other way and do nothing but stay home and watch TV, but I think that kind of disqualifies you from the "intelligent" part we mentioned earlier.

Comment Re:Are you really that stupid? Jesus Christ. (Score 1) 388

Got squatters in your basement? Just buy a new house and move on!

Why should I vacate my email address just because somebody occasionally mistakes it as their own? It doesn't do them any good, because they don't have the password to it (it's my account, after all). And presumably any other address I choose is also going to have the same problem, so I haven't made anything better by switching.

Your suggestion is dumb. You are a dumb person.

Comment Re:LIAR (Score 1) 572

I'm not sure that this isn't true.

It's absolutely not true, and here's why:

1. All of this highly secretive, decades-to-rebuild information was exposed by ONE guy with a conscience. From everything we've heard, Snowden wasn't some hacker genius, this stuff was just extremely poorly protected once you got to a certain access level. It's possible, in fact I would say probable, that the exact same set of secrets and more have been removed without authorization in similar ways in the past, but by people with less conscience. From there they could sell them to Russia, China, Al Qaeda, or GIVE them to any number of causes to which they happen to be sympathetic. They may do this either out of greed, loyalty to something other than the US intelligence apparatus, or because they were planted by an external power in the first place.

Why do I think it's highly probably this information has leaked before? Simple: the information was clearly too easy for Snowden to reach, which indicates a fundamental flaw in the NSA security structure... inside any organization, you have to assume that some people aren't what they say. No matter how good your psych screening process, no human system can keep out people with ulterior motives with 100% accuracy -- you have to limit access to only those who truly "need to know" and that doesn't mean broad cross-cutting security clearance levels. It's obvious that foreign governments would be highly interested in information like this, yet Snowden was able to access a huge array of information that he had no legitimate need to access (from the NSA's point of view). Clearly they trust people "inside the circle" far more than they should, which combined with the high probability of at least a couple of successful infiltrations by foreign agents makes it all but a certainty that Snowden's isn't the first leak, only the first PUBLIC leak.

2. All of the public surprise and outrage is coming from people who never bothered to stop and think about the subject before the leak. If they had, it would be fairly obvious that a pretty wide set of things described in the Snowden leak were probably happening. Of course you could never tell for sure, but if you were a little paranoid there were a large number of safe bets you could make, most of which have now turned out to be true. Now, the general public had no specific reason to be paranoid, so they're surprised and upset by these revelations... but they don't matter. This official is claiming that the leak puts them in a worse position compared to the people they want to use these tools against, and (unless the NSA is actually in the business of spying on innocent civilians) anyone they need to legitimately use these tools against is by definition doing something fairly obviously illegal, and would have every reason to be paranoid.

In short, nobody evil enough for the NSA to legitimately want to target AND smart enough to warrant tools this sophisticated is surprised by any but a very small handful of these revelations. And even the ones that are surprising are likely made moot by precautions those people would take against the more obvious NSA tricks.

In short, either the NSA rep is lying, or they really think the people they're hunting are so dumb that they never questioned whether plaintext email over SSL to the GMail servers was enough security to hide them from the NSA, or whether phones registered in their name could be tracked. And frankly, neither answer is good. If they're lying, it's more of the same; and if they really believe the people they were hunting hadn't guessed the majority of this already, then they're criminally underestimating the very people they're supposed to be watching (or door 3, they wanted to watch people who hadn't done anything wrong, and so had no reason to think about this stuff... but they sure do now!)

As an aside, I like how he casually tosses it out like, "yeah, it'll take decades to get back to this level again" as if it were a foregone conclusion that they WILL do that. Of course it's not looking great right now from the public reaction standpoint, but the casual assumption that the nation is just going to sit around while they go install a new network of secret backdoors in all our technology is pretty fucking arrogant.

Comment Re:What about 'public transit stop' do you not und (Score 1) 653

I am strongly against these private corporations illegal use of public space for their own benefit.

Frankly, it's highly unlikely that they're getting the better end of the deal here. These companies operate private buses at their own expense, which both improves their employee's commute and reduces vehicle volume on public roadways. I'd be willing to bet that they also provide employees with passes for the local transit system, as that's pretty standard in the industry.

So the net effect is this:

  • Fewer cars on the road
  • Transit company gets paid for a pass, but doesn't have to carry an additional rider
  • Bus stop is temporarily used to load passengers who would otherwise be on the road or a public bus

I don't see any realistic scenario where the public is WORSE off for this arrangement. Sure, it might be nice if Google bought space for their own stops... but then you'd have 70 feet of street space taken up JUST for them, with no benefit to parking, street use, or public transit. Surely that would be a worse arrangement.

Comment Re:Little knowledge is dangerous. (Score 1) 287

I've learned from experience that a bad boss will second-guess programmers whether they think they know coding or not. If anything, learning some coding should help reduce the problem, because the ones who DON'T know any coding don't even have the training to picture any of the mechanics of what their employees are doing.

Either way, the "it's only doing x, why does it take 3 weeks?" syndrome is endemic to managers with poor delegation skills and problems with trust, regardless of coding skill.

Comment Re:Is it even possible anymore? (Score 1) 287

Yes. And there are several sites out there that will present you with several options for each layer, with pros and cons and instructions on how to configure them, and host them for free.

Check out Heroku. There's a learning curve, but it's amazing how easy it is for even a new user to get a full-stack web app up and running in a matter of hours compared to 5 years ago.

Comment Re:How is this worse? (Score 1) 176

Mentioned in some other stories is the fact that a lot of this program was tried first at the Waterstone's chain in the UK. In those stores, they sell Kindle devices, and customers can also bring in any Kindle (bought there or not) and read just about any book on Amazon for free for an hour while connected to the store's wi-fi.

The "selling Kindle devices" part made it to the US, so it seems reasonable that the other bit isn't far behind.

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman