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Comment Irony of ironies (Score 1) 169

Of course, I'm skipping over some technical details, but that's basically the gist of it. Also, I should mention that it's much easier to crack one card in a couple of weeks and clone it 1,000 times than having to crack 1,000 separate cards to clone them once. And also, some chipped cards are allowed to be used without the pin, because not everything on a chipped card is encrypted, and that's ok for some businesses because they'll limit the amount of the transaction when the pin is not used, and also they can take other security measures, like video recording the person, or video recording the car of the person who used it, or something else entirely. .

Not your fault as your points are sound, but I find your statements to be a bit ironic. You see, you started your post because somebody bitched about how the chip does nothing in the USA except delay the whole process. I guess you don't know because you're not like this, but the people who say stuff like "The chip does NOTHING in the USA except make the whole process take longer." are also the super paranoid people who find everything to be an invasion of their rights, so they'd also never agree to your suggestions of videotaping their cars, the transaction itself, and so on.

Comment Have you seen Westworld recently? (Score 1) 1222


Like other great Sci-Fi (Fritz Lang's Metropolis, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Westworld (the original), etc).

I saw Westworld as a kid and loved it then and I decided it might be fun to watch it again before the HBO series started. It's really not very good. Yul Brenner is fine, as he always is, but overall it's just not very good and doesn't hold up well at all. Another film I'd make the same comment about from the time is Soylent Green, which is really just not very good or interesting at all outside of its famous plot twist.

Comment True story of "7 hour" work days in the EU (Score 1) 177

My previous job was working in a major US office for a European company. I still have some grudges against my former employer so I don't like to name them or the country they operated out of because I don't want to take the chance of them getting any publicity. They have major sales problems in North America because nobody has ever heard of them and frankly, they deserve it. However, I will say that the country our HQ operated in was rather infamous for having 7 hour work days so you can probably make a good guess as to which major EU country this was.

So anyway, one time I got sent overseas to HQ and got to meet a bunch of my colleagues who I had only talked to on the phone before. Although their country officially had 7 hour work days. they were usually at work 9 to 10 hours a day. I asked them why. They all said that their management got really upset if they left after those 7 hours so they stayed at work a few extra hours a day and basically did nothing in those extra hours because that shut up management. So I can tell you that even if the law says you can only work 6-7 hours, there are probably going to be places where people are going to be forced to work more anyway off the books.

Comment All we can conclude (Score 1) 150

Is that for now, it seems that trying IP cases in China's courts results in fair verdicts. But note that this in no way impacts other areas that might be of concern such as human rights and the little guy being screwed over by the rich big guy in their legal system. And I sure wouldn't conclude that any awesome political freedoms are coming to the average Chinese citizen because China now defends global markets and free trade. Look at Hong Kong.

Comment One party government (Score 5, Insightful) 341

This is what happens when you let one party have a complete stranglehold on state government. The number of Republicans in the state senate are almost 6 to 1 in favor of Republicans. It's almost 3-1 in favor of Republicans in the state house. The governor in Republican and there's no accountability. Voters have shown consistently that the vast majority of them only care about whether a D or R is next to a candidate's name and everything else is negotiable. I'm sure we'll get a few "Throw the bums out" posts, but that's not going to happen. Most of the state governments in the southeastern USA have sizable Republican majorities. I've seen corrupt practices out of the Democrats too when they had strangleholds on states with huge majorities in the state legislature. It's what happens when one party gets entrenched and there's no hope of getting them out.

Comment My lawyer friends disagree with you (Score 1) 233

Bullshit. It was not a lawful order. You do not have to follow an unlawful order.

Two different lawyer friends both said that they felt that the order to leave the plane was lawful and the customer was in the wrong for refusing to do so. However, that doesn't mean that the customer can't go to court and get a big payout anyway. I asked one for some more details and asked specifically if he felt that the customer was assaulted in being forcibly dragged off the plane. He said that in his opinion he felt that a jury probably wouldn't rule that way. You do need to realize that anything can happen once a jury gets the case, so the fact that he said he didn't think a jury would find that to be assault doesn't mean with absolute certainty that's the verdict they would return. But both lawyers still thought the situation was horribly handled by United and the customer can probably make big money in a settlement as they doubt it will go to trial.

Comment They overbook for 2 reasons (Score 1) 575

1) Class wars. The "rich", which may include your company, who agree to pay full fares and get little or no discounts are allowed to cancel up until just about the very last minute at no penalty or almost no penalty. I have a friend who owns his own business and he runs just about every charge he has through an airline credit card. This gives him some kind of super elite status with the airline in question and they allow him to book flights months in advance and cancel them with no penalty at all. He's a big fan of the NFL, so during the playoffs he booked flights for cities his favorite team might have to go to for a playoff game and he canceled the ones he didn't need. He didn't pay anything for the cancellations. Letting people do this leads to ...
2) Empty seats. Airlines want to avoid this. So they overbook to increase their chances of selling out flights.

The airlines are kind of stuck because letting people cancel for free or almost free is big part of why overbooking is needed, but if they punished people for doing that, people would likely take a harder line on price. Right now a minority of customers are willing to pay really high charges in exchange for free (or almost free) cancellations. The airlines depend on this money and it helps the rest of us pay less for our seats, although in exchange for a lower price we often get severe restrictions on changes.

Comment Re:More US warmongering (Score 1) 755

I don't pretend to know who did it, but I think a very relevant question is who gains from the release of chemical weapons? Right now I can see ways in which the rebels gain, Trump gains, the US military-industrial-complex gains, and even perhaps Russia gains some perverse way. Assad, on the other hand, what does he gain? .

I know that a lot of people assume Assad did this by choice because - evil - but one of the things that people should consider is that in dictatorial regimes (this includes communist regimes) many people under the top guy but in positions of power like to anticipate the wishes of the top guy. So you'll see highly placed underlings who take this on themselves do the dirty work, thinking the top guy will be pleased. The poisoning of former Ukrainian president VIktor Yushchenko, which eventually led to the Orange Revolution, is believed to have been orchestrated by an underling of the Ukrainian president at the time who thought the president would be pleased. In fact, this became a nightmare for the president's political party and played a big role in why they eventually lost the presidential election. So I can certainly believe that some guy under Assad ordered this and thought Assad would be happy about it and didn't consider the consequences.

Comment Re:I think someone without a degree wrote that sum (Score 2) 329

I don't understand why companies would even give a shit about cultural or demographic homogeneity issues. They exist to make money, period. Nothing else matters, except as it relates to that.

In the USA it's federal law. Federal law prohibits discrimination on a pretty wide variety of reasons. How do you not know this?

Comment Re:Goodbye Tourism Money (Score 1) 505

Part of the challenge is foreign tourism tends to concentrate in certain areas, such as Disney, NYC, Hawaii, etc and is not spread more evenly across the country. Thus, despite the significant impact it may have on some areas others will think it's Ok because well, Trump; proving you can't fix stupid.

As an American, this is quite right. I actually have traveled to a lot of foreign countries because I just like traveling and sightseeing. I've been to over 14 different countries, but a few places I've been to aren't really countries so much as territories or something like that, so my actual count could be higher depending on how loose you view the definition of "countries". This makes me some kind of wild, crazy international traveler by American standards. Among my friends, it's really difficult to find anybody who's ever been outside of North America. I've got friends who have never left the USA at all. One guy I can think of went to a Mexican resort - once. Another friend has been to Canada twice in his life and for a while there he acted like he was some kind of hardcore seasoned international traveler because of that. Another friend went to somewhere in the Caribbean once because work sent him there for a conference. Another guy I knew went to the UK once and he'd love to go back, but that would require him to actually leave his house, something he rarely does (he has major issues). Honestly, I'm finding it hard in my circle of friends to find people who care at all if foreign travelers can't come to the USA or choose to avoid it. Lots of people really don't care. I'm not in favor of the US losing tourism business, but I really seem to have a minority viewpoint here. I grew up in a small town about 2 hours from our state capitol and my first post-college job was in that town. I worked with a few people who had never been to our state capitol and had never left the state and had no plans to do either. This has been going on for a long time and it's not just a Trump thing, although maybe he's bringing more of these kind of people out into the open.

Comment Re:Messy? Who Cares, this is a privacy win! (Score 1) 112

If the FCC cared, they'd have had this ironed out years ago.

Perhaps you don't know how the FCC works. They suffer from exactly the same political party biases as any part of Washington D.C. does. They have a board of 5 commissioners and by law no more than 3 can belong to the same political party. The current makeup is 2 Republicans and 1 Democrat and 2 unfilled seats. I don't know why the 2 seats are unfilled. Could be that Obama appointed people and the Senate refused to consider them. As far i know there's nothing to stop Trump from appointing a Republican to one vacant seat and leaving the other vacant, giving the Republicans a 3-1 edge. The FCC has been in Republican control for a really long time now. Michael Powell, Gen. Colin Powell's son, ran them for a while but he was controversial as he always sided with big business on everything they wanted. I don't know if it's fair to say they don't care so much as it is more accurate to say the Republicans have the majority there and they definitely don't care.

Comment Re:They should have seen this coming... (Score 1) 155

They should have seen this coming years ago.

There's no reason that ESPN couldn't be the go-to source of high quality online streams of sporting events, along with very lucrative ways of monetizing them, if they'd actually thought about this a few years ago.

They did actually see this coming years ago, but that depends on who I define as "they". If that definition applies to their parent company, the Walt Disney Company, yes Disney certainly did see this coming years ago. I own Disney stock so I follow them as a business fairly well. Disney has made a ton of deals involving ESPN and other properties that show that they, Disney, have seen this coming for a long time. Now if we define "they" as people who work at ESPN itself, yes, they seem to be quite a bit in denial about a lot of things.

ESPN does stream things and their streams are high quality, but as I almost never make use of that as I am not a 20 year old hipster doofus who has to watch everything on his phone and I have a real job and a real TV with a real cable subscription at my house, I can't really say much about that.

Comment Re:Hell, it's about time. (Score 1) 253

Trump is Schrodinger's president. He can be both an isolationist hate filled xenophobe and a globalist sellout at the same time, whichever his detractors think is worse in the moment!

Queue the mental gymnastics trying to show the president is a white supremacist yet is selling out his nation.

While being an isolationist and a globalist is a contradiction, there's nothing at all about being a white supremacist that would prevent such a person from selling out their nation. No mental gymnastics required.

Your post made me think of last year how someone pointed out that some people accused Hillary Clinton of being a cold blooded killer who ordered the death of anybody who might expose her crimes, yet somehow she was at the same time too weak to deal with Putin.

Comment Hope it goes better than the plan did for Kelo (Score 2) 325

In the wake of the Kelo vs. City of New London case, where the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that municipalities can forcibly buy out your land under eminent domain just to do a redevelopment of some kind, some guy went public that he wanted to buy out Justice David Souter's house and raze it and build a bed and breakfast on it. I was greatly pleased with this idea as I'm still pretty angry about the verdict, but this just ended up being 100% talk and nothing even came close to being done. No development was ever actually done on the land acquired. It's currently a vacant lot. So you can thank the Supreme Court for the idea that if anybody in your local government has a grievance against you, they can get a bogus developer to come up with a phony plan to redevelop your land, force you to sell it to them, tear down your house and then do absolutely nothing with the property and it's all 100% legal.

To be honest with you, I would expect the Congresscritters involved to complain a lot about this plan and wouldn't be surprised if they pass legislation to make it illegal to harvest their data and only theirs. But most voters don't care about anything but whether there is an R or a D by a candidate's name and I wouldn't expect any browsing revelations to matter in the next election, nor would Congress even protecting themselves from such matter. If the past election taught us anything, it's that for 80% or more of the voters, no matter what they say, they really don't care about anything except party affiliation of the candidates.

Comment Re:Thanks, I'll pass on all of them (Score 2) 253

For the life of me, I can't fathom why anyone would want to live in a big city. Every perk I hear touted, I can beat. It's quiet, I have a yard, and I have more spending money that the saps choking on smog.

I'd like to take a crack at this.

We have major league sports teams. Of course, if you don't like sports, that's not a selling point for you. We have symphony orchestra and museums if you like the artsy side of things. We have restaurants that are fancier that Wendy's. We have pizza places that aren't just Papa John's. We also have Asian restaurants that only serve Japanese food or only serve Thai food and so on. Check out the Oatmeal cartoon on Asian food in a small town here :
That's where you live.

But actually the best argument against the small town lifestyle is that in many small towns there's only maybe one major employer and you're lucky enough to work for them in IT. What happens when they go out of business? What happens if they lay you off because they need to save money by either replacing you with offshore IT or just eliminating your position? You end up like so many others - you won't leave your town, but you can't find any other IT work to do. Ever read about those IT workers who got laid 2+ years ago and still can't find a job? That's what happens in small towns.

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