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Comment Spot on. (Score 3, Informative) 861

Because some of those moderately healthy people will still suffer from disease or injury that will incur large healthcare costs. The whole point of insurance is that it spreads those costs around. While you may be lucky enough to not find that you have a congenital heart defect that costs $100,000 in surgery to correct, your premium helps pay for that one guy out of 100,000 that does. And it means that the public doesn't have to pay your healthcare costs if you do suffer from an illness that carries catastrophic healthcare costs.

Spot on. And I want to stress the congenital part there—a lot of congenital conditions go undetected until a person hits their late 20s or early 30s, just because they were otherwise healthy and asymptomatic. So just after they've been trained or educated and they're entering their prime work and childrearing years, a previously hidden health condition catches up with them and saddles them with unbearable financial burdens for the rest of their lives.

Anybody who thinks they are one of these proverbial "young healthy people who don't need insurance" doesn't really know it. And basically, they're choosing to opt out of the only sort of system that could protect them from that.

Comment Re:Should X be mandatory? (Score 1) 861

Anyone can own land, so there is absolutely no reason that trash collection should be a monopoly by any stretch of the imagination (beyond simple state-worship).

Well, collecting the trash is the easy part. Where the heck are the collectors going to dump it? That's the hard part. The libertarian answer, of course, is "poor people's backyards."

Comment Re:Should X be mandatory? (Score 1) 861

I visited the US earlier this year, and was surprised how few recycling bins there were.

How much recycling bins you see is very regional, so it's hard what to make of your report without knowing where you went. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and when I visit my dad in Atlanta, his girlfriend's relatives make fun of me when I ask where is the recycling bin. "Oh, yeah, California..." they'll say, take the item from me, and throw it in the regular trash.

Comment Energy efficiency vs. economic activity (Score 1) 1105

Wouldn't this lead to Americans consuming much less (goal), which would then lead to even worse worldwide economic turmoil? So are we drawing a line between economy vs. climate now?

You're confusing consuming less energy or other resources with consuming fewer goods and services. A CO2 tax can lead to an outcome where Americans consume the same amount of goods and services, but in a more energy- and resource-efficient manner. (Though yes, it can also lead to an outcome where technology and production doesn't catch up, and the economy suffers from it.)

Comment Re:The next new airplane to get axed... (Score 1) 509

It's really pathetic that we are more concerned with playing political games with our allies than fielding the best equipment for our armed forces.

Except that in many cases arming our allies to be able to fight off their immediate threats is much better for us than putting ourselves in a great position to be able to fight in their stead. I mean, which would you rather have: (a) a South Korean air force powerful enough to gain air control against North Korea, or (b) the US Air Force and Navy be forced to scramble a lot of their assets to Japan and fly long-range sorties from there while the North Koreans push the Southern army down to Busan?

Of course, this is not hypothetical; one of the reasons South Korea did so badly against the North in the first few days of the 1950 war was that the North had an air force and the South didn't. If the US Navy hadn't intervened promptly to provide carrier-based air patrol over Korea, the North Koreans would have won quickly.

Comment It's finer grained. (Score 1) 584

My understanding is that applications won't be able to see other users's files. Sounds like UNIX to me. And, gee, that's been around for only 40 years.

First of all, Unix did not invent file permissions. Not by a long shot.

Other than that, well, this is a permission scheme, but finer grained and smarter than Unix permissions. Unix permissions are user based; it's primarily "who owns this file, and which users' processes are allowed to do what with it," with a few extensions like suid that are about escalating an app's privileges. So for example, vanilla Unix permissions will allow any process to access any file owned by the process' user.

The OS X application sandboxes being discussed, in contrast, are about what files or resources an application is allowed to touch, even if the application's process is owned by the same user as the file. So the sandboxes can forbid an application from surreptitiously opening files even when they're owned by the same user running the application. I.e., if one of the applications you're running gets compromised by a buffer overflow that allows arbitrary code execution, the injected code is not allowed to read arbitrary files in your account.

This of course exists in OS X together with Unix-style user-based file permissions. So in short, OS X can forbid a process from opening a file on two kinds of grounds: either (a) the process' user doesn't have permission to access that file, or (b) the process' application doesn't have permission to access that file. And in the latter case, there's also a trick that the OS and libraries work together to identify which files the user has explicitly opened through the user interface, and dynamically grants permission for the process to open those files.

Comment RTFA (Score 1) 311

Nobody got raped. That is a piss-poor translation of what he is charged with.

Read the damn press on the case. Assange has been charged with rape. The claim that he was only charged with some absurd and untranslatable Sweden-only thing called something like "sex by surprise" is bullshit that his defense lawyers made up.

Oh, and a note: while you're reading the press on the case, be very careful to note which claims are coming from which party. A lot of the "facts" that people recite about this case (especially early on) come from Assange's legal team. Who, again, made a lot of shit up early on—at the same time when the Sweden prosecutors were being really quiet about it.

Comment Re:Women who don't call it "rape" (Score 1) 311

I don't find that link convincing. Keep in mind that this alleged rape victim has had access to the Swedish legal system for months and its knowledge while the examples given are of people who hadn't been so informed of their rights. If she's still saying it's not rape, then I'm inclined to believe her.

What matters is the concrete allegations as to who did what, the credibility of the allegations, and the law. If Assange used force to push a woman down into bed because she insisted that he use a condom and he wanted to go bareback against her consent, that's rape. If Assange started having sex with a woman while she was asleep because that way she couldn't stop him from going bareback, that's rape too. It doesn't matter what label these women apply to the incident; that's up for the law to decide.

If we applied your standard, we'd do terrible things, like let physically abusive husbands off the hook because their battered wives defend them and blame themselves for the violence. (Yes, battered wives do this. Stereotypically.)

Comment Re:The CIA and MI6 are wimping out (Score 1) 311

I would like to know how someone who has sex with consenting adults can be considered a 'casual rapist'.

Stop making ignorant requests and read the actual allegations against Assange. For example, one allegation is that he used physical force (pushed the woman down into the bed) when one of the women insisted that he use a condom. Another allegation is that he initiated sex without a condom on one of the accusers while she was sleeping—when she had successfully insisted the previous night that he use a condom.

Comment Re:Good. (Score 3, Insightful) 311

I've met rape victims, that's how. It's not something they brag about next day on Facebook. They also don't usually throw a party and invite their rapist over so they can present him to their friends.

Your experience is insufficiently broad, and suffers from a terrible selection bias. How much experience do you have, for example, with women who are raped by their own husbands and don't report it? How many women do you estimate will admit to you that they had unwanted sex with a man who used alcohol and a little bit of physical force to overcome her resistance?

Comment Women who don't call it "rape" (Score 1) 311

You're citing an article that starts off by citing Assange's original lawyers' bullshit about "sex by surprise." This is something that Assange's defense team made up. Assange was never accused of such a thing in Sweden. Basically, early on in this case Assange's lawyers said a lot of falsehoods about the case, and people have swallowed it.

Second, the sad fact is that a large proportion rape victims don't refer to it as "rape."

Comment Re:Justice is served (Score 1) 334

Maybe not in common law, but California State Law is pretty clear on the matter. If you find lost property, which the iPhone prototype was, you are duty bound to turn it in so it can be reunited with it's owner.

You're misinterpreting this a bit. You don't have an obligation to return an item that you find; you can always leave it where you found it. You are obligated to return the lost item only if you take it.

Informally put, the law codifies the idea that returning lost property to its owner is a favor that you can do them. But as such, the only things you can do with lost property are those that you can justify as helping the owner reclaim their property. So, for example, if you take a guy's lost phone to return it to them, you can inspect and operate the phone to identify the owner—and even call the owner using their own phone to tell them that you found it—but you can't use it to go on a 900 number phone sex orgy at the owner's expense.

Another example: you're generally forbidden to sell lost property, but there's an exception that if the property is perishable, you may sell it and later give the proceeds to the owner. Again, the reasoning is that selling the items before they spoil is in the interest of the owner, so you're doing them a favor by selling it on their behalf.

Comment California law is plenty specific about this (Score 1) 334

AFIK, there is no expectation in statutory or common law that requires an establishment to retain abandoned items.

As I recall it, in California law indeed nobody is obligated to retain lost property or do anything to restore it to the owner—but the law does spell out obligations that you assume if you take the lost property. In every case you can always turn the item over to the police to rid yourself of any obligation. Also, the only way you're allowed to claim somebody else's lost property is to go through a process that involves turning it in to the police for them to hold for a specified time period before surrendering it to the finder.

There's even more detail than this in California law, for things such as lost perishable goods (you can sell them and give the proceeds to the owner) and recovery of the finder's reasonable costs (e.g., if you lose your horse and I find it, choose to house it and feed it for a week until you're reunited).

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