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Comment Re:The Law of Unintended Consequences (Score 1) 1364

Ballots, while anonymous, are generally public records that can be examined by anybody. For example, here's a link to a letter from the Florida attorney general answering a question about ballots in that state being public record. Here's another one in Ohio. Including ballots as part of public records means that outside individuals or groups are free to verify that ballots were counted correctly. In fact, I think several newspapers did just that in Florida for the 2000 Presidential election. Ruling that petitions are confidential would make them less open than actual votes.

Comment Re:Wait a minute here (Score 1) 1364

Who would decide whose marriages are "in the best interest of society" and what criteria would be used?

It would be hard to nail down fair, clear criteria unless it was something very simple like couples can only be married if they are currently raising minor children. Study after study (http://www.apa.org/pi/parent.html) has shown that kids raised by 2 gay parents fare about as well as those raised by 2 straight parents. The more significant component seems to be having two actively involved parents raising a child, rather than their specific gender or sexual orientation. Even then, there are plenty of single parents who do a much better job of raising their children than many couples, even married couples who are the biological parents of the child.

Most importantly though, it's undeniable that people (straight, gay, single, coupled) are going to continue having children regardless of their ability to marry. Don't those children deserve the protections conferred by the parents raising them being able to marry?

Even taking children out of the equation, there is a clear case to be made for supporting marriage. I mean, nobody's ever worked hard to ban or dissolve the marriages of people who either could not have or chose not to have children, right? Married people tend to fare better than those who are single with regard to happiness, longevity and health.

Comment Re:still 85% are offered full-time jobs (Score 1) 293

Actually, an intern position cannot even be hired unless there's sufficient full-time headcount available when the student is supposed to graduate. After completing an internship, the question becomes "do we want to keep this person?" because the position had to be available in case the intern was a keeper. Hiring interns is really nothing more than a "try before you buy" way of hiring.

Comment Re:How do you buy an apartment? (Score 3, Informative) 242

From Wikipedia:

A condominium, or condo, is the form of housing tenure and other real property where a specified part of a piece of real estate (usually of an apartment house) is individually owned while use of and access to common facilities in the piece such as hallways, heating system, elevators, exterior areas is executed under legal rights associated with the individual ownership and controlled by the association of owners that jointly represent ownership of the whole piece. Colloquially, the term is often used to refer to the unit itself in place of the word "apartment". A condominium may be simply defined as an "apartment" that the tenant "owns" as opposed to rents.

The difference between a condominium and an apartment is purely legal: there is no way to know a condo from an apartment simply by looking at or visiting the building. What defines a condominium is the form of ownership. The same building developed as a condominium (and sold as individual units to different owners) could actually be built someplace else as an apartment building (the developers would retain onwnership and rent individual units to different tenants).

"Condo" really refers to the legal arrangement, although it has taken on a meaning of "apartment that you own" in recent years. Condominium laws didn't even come into effect in the US until the 60s really. In cities with older dense urban housing stock, older apartment buildings are still often owned through a cooperative instead.

Comment Re:Sounds about right (Score 2, Funny) 364

As somebody who grew up and learned to drive in southern California but who now lives in Seattle, this is the best depiction I've ever seen of how people drive in Seattle. Still, one of the best things about Seattle compared to LA is that you at least can live a life without being completely dependent on your car.

Comment Re:They give you a false impression in school.. (Score 1) 1316

There just aren't a lot of jobs out there doing core operating system or compiler design work. I'd say most software jobs fall into the vague category of business applications--programs for performing HR/sales/inventory tasks, either completely custom or extending some sort of existing product. There's a lot of web oriented stuff out there today too--ASP.NET, PHP, J2EE, AJAX, etc. Not that most slashdotters are interested in hearing it, but Microsoft is one of the few places that still hires people to develop complex platforms. Windows (kernel, APIs like DirectX), compilers (VB, C#, C++, IronPython, Powershell), SQL Server come to mind.

Comment Re:How do they enforce this? (Score 4, Insightful) 327

I don't think the physical presence aspect is affected by this legislation at all. Previously, digital downloads were just not applicable to sales tax in Wisconsin, much like food or medical supplies are not taxable in certain states. If Apple or Amazon don't have a business presence in the state, their stores will probably remain sales tax free.

I'm not sure why these articles are such news. We've been paying sales tax on digital downloads in Washington for as long as I can remember. We have both an Apple (via Apple Stores) and Amazon (headquarters and all) presence too.

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