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Comment Re:Time for unionization in the tech sector yet? (Score 2) 462

I'm pretty sure employers tend to oppose unions.

Certainly many employers do oppose unions, especially real ones. But unions are fairly easy to co-opt and can then be used as a means of control and limitation. Just like their government counterparts, bribery of union officials elected by their membership is a time honored tradition. I've personally spoken to a former union rep about how they got extra jobs and extra pay from their employer because of their union position. Anecdotally this seems to have been a common practice that undermines the whole concept of an "independent" union negotiating in good faith purely for the benefit of workers. Sure even corrupt union officials are going to have to be concerned about appearances, but why wouldn't a business want a union especially if it was in their pocket? "Organized" unionization can be used to preempt real grass roots unionization.

Comment Re:So, cue up.. (Score 1) 462

I think the common and accepted definition of anarchy is something along the line of "absence of enforced rules" which invariably will lead to despotism or barbarism because the use of force to achieve aims is all too much a part of our nature. Someone will eventually use force, the most virtuous use of force is to preserve liberty.

Comment Re:Time for unionization in the tech sector yet? (Score 0) 462

That is a different problem... Forced unionization has often just become a tool by which employers actually force collective bargaining on workers. It seems all too common that employers are actually the ones creating the unions in order for impose standardization on the workforce and preempt competition. Mostly in government circles, the difference between the employers and the unions have become murky at best.

Comment Re:So, cue up.. (Score 1) 462

anarchy does not equal "Free". Liberty is about rules by which civil society respects the liberties of individuals and protects them. Anarchy is about whichever individuals or groups have the bigger bombs, biceps, knives or guns. A bunch of billionaires conspiring to control costs by reducing the competition for talent is not about freedom rather it is about control.

Comment Re:lumping it in (Score 1) 734

Compare this to solar/wind/tidal. None of these leave waste as part of their electricity production.

In order to create all those solar panels mines have to be dug, natural resources processed to make the steel to support them and the silicon wafers that are used in the photovoltaic. Combine that with the land area required for stand-alone solar, then we are talking about a very very non-trivial impact on the environment.

Comment Re:Uh? (Score 1) 734

Maintaining huge arrays of solar panels is done more efficiently at a utility level than on our rooftops

From a land use perspective I think putting solar on roofs is potentially more efficient and costs effective versus taking up undeveloped land with solar "farms" which eat up arable land that could be used for food production or natural habitat preservation.

If someone can come up with a cost effective way to incorporate solar panels into roofing material so that you can gain solar production at an incremental cost over the cost of replacing the roof covering then that is a win-win. So, say if it costs $10k to put solar shingles on your roof and it would cost $8k to put new shingles on then the math makes sense and concerns over optimal position and too much shade are irrelevant if the price is so low that almost any production pays for itself in a few years. But prices just aren't there yet and may never be.

Comment Re:Free market means exactly that ! (Score 1) 405

I am libertarian and I think the conduct described in the original article is clearly criminal. Businesses don't get to unilaterally decide to charge your credit card without an agreement to purchase some goods or services. An agreement isn't one sided with failure to respond to an email considered consent.

Comment Re:Free market means exactly that ! (Score 1) 405

Free market means exactly that - if the vendors do something despicable the customers stop doing business with them and choose other vendors who won't do similarly despicable things to them.

In this case the conduct should be considered criminal if anyone's credit card is actually charged.

Free markets require rules, police and governance

Comment Re:Free market means exactly that ! (Score 1) 405

Fraud would be charging without notice, and without offering an opt-out.

This isn't fraud, it's just a bad marketing strategy. It's also unlikely to work, since a lot of people will likely call their credit card companies and say "I didn't agree to that - reverse the charges."

Fraud involves deceit, notice is irrelevant. If you don't have an agreement with someone for specific services at a specific price then you can't just start charging them. Nothing in my notion of a free market or Liberty allows me the liberty to reach into your pocket to pull out a wad of cash just because I say I am providing you with a service that you didn't agree to. There are any number of words to describe that and they are all associated with a criminal activity.

Comment Re:Snowden: 1 Obama:0 (Score 1) 359

How about no parties? At least not as they exist now as legally ingrained parts of the electoral process. As factions the two parties have been more concerned with control of turf and spending to perpetuate the interests of their whatever constituencies keep them in power.

Comment Re:The corporatism of America (Score 1) 359

Number 1 isn't even clear yet... it is To Be Determined. One of the options being suggested is merely outsourcing the NSAs data warehouse to a third party company. Basically creating or designating a company to aggregate all this data. Think Google times Google times Google = Keeping all your eggs in one privatized NSA basket. That would be bad... very bad. But yes, it has also been suggested to let the data stay in place with the companies that are generating the records in the first place and merely introduce specific data retention requirements so the NSA and other government agencies can transfer specific targeted subsets of the data pertaining to a named individuals communications when they have a specific court order. That would be a very good thing and restore the rule of constitutional law. So we will see.

Comment Re:The corporatism of America (Score 1) 359

Like most things a politician or spook says... what is actually going to happen isn't clear.

1) The NSA merely outsources the same thing it is doing now. That would be the worst of all scenarios. Where they set up a psuedo private entity to store all the business records that the NSA is forcing businesses to hand over without a constitutionally valid warrant. That option would merely continue today's unconstitutional practices and outsource the data storage provider. Literally just outsourcing the management of the building NSA built to some third party company. Complete BS and potentially even more dangerous to privacy.


2) The government passes a law specifying certain types of business records that must be kept on hand for a certain amount of time. For instance phone records need to be kept for 5 years, email logs or website logs need to be kept for 3 years and sms messages need to be kept for 1 year or something like that. However, exempt individuals from these data retention requirements because that could be abused to penalize people arbitrarily. And then work with the largest companies to standardize how the data needs to be transmitted in the case of a valid warrant (or I'll grant the need to just turn on the flow of real time data about everything to the NSA during briefly defined times of national emergency as ordered by the president and approved by congress, such as on the day of 9/11 when there were active attacks going on). In this scenario, data stays with the businesses that generated the records in the first place and goes no further without a constitutionally valid warrant or in times of imminent and great peril in which case privacy as a primary concern goes out the window, as it should when bombs are exploding and bullets flying.

But this is the issue. Will the government and industry honestly approach the option of data retention in place or as the initial reactions suggest will the NSA merely fight like hell to keep their power to collect everything as they see fit while Industry fights to keep their cushy contracts which have resulted from providing this data.

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