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Comment Re:Also focus on (Score 2) 284

Bill got to be one of the richest men in the world by understanding that you do not "destroy" your enemies, you embrace them!

To quote DS9:

Gul Dukat: A true victory is to make your enemy see they were wrong to oppose you in the first place. To force them to acknowledge your greatness.

Weyoun: Then you kill them?

Gul Dukat: ...Only if it's necessary.

Comment Re:War of government against people? (Score 4, Insightful) 875

One argument against registration is that we cannot be sure how those records will be used by the government or who might obtain or misuse them in the future. We have already seen some media outlets publish names and addresses of gun owners and types of guns owned from information that probably shouldn't have been publicly available. A very handy tool for convicted felons looking to steal a gun, among other potential abuses. However, even that's just the tip of the iceberg. Who knows what future governments might do with this information or whom they might expose it to? Giving information to the government is dangerous because it gives governments or their allies the ability to control others through threats to publish the information, or selective publication of the information or blackmail or any number of other nefarious uses. We have already seen with our phone and email records that the government cannot abstain from mischief. Why should we trust them with a registry of every gun owner in America?

Comment Cartels (Score 4, Informative) 253

That's really only true in the United States and somewhat less so in Europe. In most of the rest of the world they don't really give a damn about copyright, at least in practice. Oh sure, foreign governments will sign the copyright conventions or promise to enforce local laws, but in practice they turn a blind eye.

First, film and music piracy is largely considered to be an American problem and it's hard to get people to care much about rich foreigners being less rich (and all Americans are rich by their standards). Second, in Mexico, Brazil and other South or Latin American countries, media piracy is looked upon with about the same seriousness as jaywalking if it's looked upon as a crime at all, which it's often not. The police down there largely couldn't care less and they look the other way in return for modest bribes. Third, in societies such as Mexico and Brazil, which are very unequal in terms of wealth and income, pirated or knock off goods are the only way that most people have any access to consumer items. Without pirated media and knock off goods, they largely wouldn't be able to afford any foreign things like DVDs, name brand fashions, music, video games and the like.

Lastly, the copyright business in Mexico especially is frequently under the control of the cartels (the drug cartels not the American media cartels). The two biggest are Los Zetas (who based their logo on the title card of The Godfather) and La Familia Michoacana. The pirated DVD business doesn't bring in as much scratch as drugs, but it does provide walking around money to pay cartel foot soldiers and helps the cartels maintain presence and better control territories in Mexico. Of course, it goes without saying that they're not very concerned about copyright laws being that they torture and kill as a matter of doing business. The Mexican government itself already doesn't have a large enough budget for their own internal needs, never mind enforcing foreign copyrights. So you see, copyright is essentially de-facto meaningless outside the United States and Europe.

Comment Re:They became tied to jobs in the US when (Score 1) 154

FDR imposed wage and price controls because the US wartime economy was already going at full tilt. Everybody was working maximum hours at maximum effort to produce all of the goods and services required by our military in a time of total global warfare. There was essentially zero unemployment and no spare capacity in the economy. Under these conditions it was necessary to impose wage and price controls because without spare capacity the economy was very sensitive to inflation pressures that would have occurred had employees been able to demand and receive higher wages which they wouldn't have been able to spend on consumer goods anyway or only at very inflated prices. I'm not saying that wage and price controls are always good, but at that particularly time in history there were necessary. There is much to criticize concerning FDR, especially from a conservative's point of view, but wartime wage and price controls aren't a good source for reasonable critiques.

Comment Re:All I'll say... (Score 1) 224

Europe seems to think that its citizenry is too stupid to make that kind of decision

This is the natural position of the Social Democratic Left which runs Europe. It's the same tendency that you see here in the United States in President Obama, the Democratic Party and liberals in general. They believe that the people are too stupid to decide their own lives and therefore it's not only right but necessary to remove from them the "burden" of making their own choices, healthcare being a prime example, for their own good; Even if that means that personal freedoms or individual liberty must be sacrificed to do so. It's a sad commentary on the US citizenry these days that many of them agree with this nanny state coddling and willingly surrender their freedoms for the syrupy sweet paternalism offered up by the liberals. It seems that they'd rather have 24/7 access to the lives of the Kardashians or fritter away their time on such mindless entertainments as "American Idol", "Dancing with the Stars" or the endless red carpet circle jerks put on by the Hollywood elites and their fellow travelers instead of getting off their collective asses and taking responsibility for their own lives and making their own decisions.

Comment Re:no (Score 1) 437

What's the point if you need to be able to drive?

It's not just your funeral we're talking about here, but everyone else you share the road with too. If it's my ass on the line out there then you damn well will be licensed just like the rest of us, automated car or not, or you won't be driving on the public right of way. BTW that's the position of the California DMV too. In fact, they're considering additional knowledge and training requirements, similar to those required for the motorcycle endorsement on the class C license, to include knowledge of override procedures and failure modes in the automated driving systems. I agree with that and I think that most other voters here in California would too.

Comment Re:Could elect not to sell any vehicles in Califor (Score 1) 462

They seem to be sticking their heads in the sand and hoping that EVs go away.

They have a legitimate gripe. The regulators are forcing them to sell the car at a loss by regulating the price in relation to other cars that they sell which forces Fiat to either eat $14,000 for every 500e sold or raise the prices on all of their non-electric vehicles to compensate. Who gets hurt by this? It isn't the rich man driving his luxury Tesla Model S. No, it's the middle and working class Californians who pay for this subsidy with higher prices on low and mid market vehicles. California has found yet another back door way to tax the middle class while leaving the rich untouched. What will they think of next?

Rather than seeing how Tesla is doing and worrying about the affordable model coming in a year or two

The affordable model is always two years away with Tesla. Frankly, I don't think that Musk cares very much about offering something that the average American can afford. Oh, he'll pay lip service to that idea because doing so is politically correct, but privately he almost certainly doesn't care. Actually it makes sense that the Model S costs $70,000+. It's not so much environmentally friendly as it is a way for rich people to enjoy some conspicuous luxury consumption. It's conspicuous because it's Tesla and luxury because it's both expensive and impractical. The rich driver of the Model S is signaling to the average peasant that he can afford to spend $70,000+ on an impractical car, driven on weekends for pleasure, while they are forced to drive a 10 year old beater or take public transportation and struggle to pay the bills.

they just churn out a lazy compliance car by shoving batteries in an ICE car, shove their fingers in their ears and hope no-one buys them.

Which is the most economically sensible thing for them to do. They know that electric cars are money losers for them, so they try to minimize their losses if they cannot avoid them entirely. If I were the CEO of Fiat I would order my production plants to incorporate non-removable weights into the frame of the 500e to further reduce the attractiveness of the car to potential buyers by radically reducing both the range and the cargo capacity.

Fiat Chrysler is a dinosaur, and is going to be killed off by evolution unless it makes a real effort.

I doubt that. Fiat Chrysler makes practical cars that ordinary working people can afford. In fact, the luxury car brands historically end up being bought and owned by the mass market companies. For example, Porsche, Lamborghini and Bugatti are owned by Volkswagen Group while Fiat owns Ferrari. I would be very surprised if the Tesla investors turned down an attractive buy out offer from one of the big auto groups, keen to run Tesla as a luxury brand, in the years ahead.

Comment Re:No surprises (Score 0) 688

The only way to fix this is to break the monopoly that public schools have on public education and the best ways to do that are vouchers and charter schools. Everyone except the teachers and their unions can see this but as Upton Sinclair said, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it."

Comment Re:The pain is good (Score 1) 294

When the game makes you do things just right with cheap tricks like an almost unavoidable trap right before boss / end of the level, when it requires pixel-perfect jumps, when it has insanely complex or tedious puzzles to solve, when it has time limits that require you to essentially memorize which buttons to mash and when, when it doesn't allow saves except at completely useless spots

Sounds like Ninja Gaiden . That had to be the most artificially hard game available for the NES. It was just brutal, especially in the later levels.

Comment Why Ad Blocking is Necessary (Score 4, Insightful) 174

This is yet one more example illustrating precisely why ad blocking is necessary. The bloggers and others who make their living in the content business howl with righteous indignation at those of us who use these tools, but I submit that their anger is misdirected. On the contrary, it's the advertising networks who rightly deserve their wrath for allowing their business to become a cesspool of infectious viruses, worms and frankly worthless crap. Indeed, it seems that their motto is, "our advertising services are the right thing for anyone with a credit card, no questions asked." So I ask you, why should visiting your site without ad and script blocking enabled be akin to walking into the darkest corner of the bathhouse, bending over and letting everyone have their way with nary a condom nor a reach around in sight?

Comment There might be some confusion. (Score 2) 194

Please let me know if I'm wrong, as it's certainly possible. What the proposal allows for is that say Netflix, or Youtube, or any other content provider that would utilize a lot of bandwidth, would be allowed to purchase direct physical lines to individual large ISPs for that ISP's customers instead of sending data over the Internet backbone. The end result would be a faster connection for that provider and those end users, for ultimately less cost.

So what we're dealing with here is a content provider that adds extra bandwidth to the Internet (albeit for a specific purpose), and pays for it, for the intended purpose of saving money for all parties involved while improving the end customer experience. Can someone please tell me why this is a problem? Or am I reading it incorrectly?

I do agree that from a technical point of view, the provider is purchasing a higher tier connection from the ISP for an improvement in throughput, but this in no way impacts any other service. I can envision the standard net neutrality argument that would allow an ISP to possibly extort a content provider, although I can't imagine why they would ever want to do so, considering peering agreements favor the consumer of data. Even so, tweaking the rules to disallow the restriction of data would make more sense than forbidding a willing provider to selectively choose to improve the experience for a specific group of customers above and beyond what is currently possible through the Internet for the same cost.

Comment Re:Buggy whips? (Score 1) 769

All evens out in the end.

Maybe so, but one cannot criticize the Koch brothers' political spending while at the same time turning a blind eye to that of Tom Steyer or George Soros or even Gates. If people are against "money in politics" or believe that "money is not speech", which seems to be the new rallying cry of the left, then it's hypocritical to criticize the Kochs while Steyer and other champions of the left get a pass; It's classic, "do as we say and not as we do" limousine liberalism. Do the Koch brothers begrudge Tom Steyer's right to spend his money in politics as he chooses? Of course not. Now some on the left have criticized the "money is not speech" slogan as a glib simplification of a complex problem that is likely to backfire, but that hasn't stopped others of them from repeating it ad nauseam anway. I want to see the Koch bashers stand up and give Tom Steyer the same treatment, which of course they won't because they're hypocrites.

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