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Comment Re:Or just go back to the way things were before (Score 1) 5

This is personal to me. A friend I knew in high school, went into the service with, and kept in touch with couldn't afford insurance and caught appendicitis. It ruined his credit and nearly his family. In 1992 when he had a heart attack, he just laid down and died rather than calling 911.

That's what happens in the US when you work full time and can't afford insurance.

Comment Re:Security. (Score 1) 259

For the ICMP thing, I can't imagine how going along with that order from a high-up manager would be "criminally negligent". In fact (I am not a networking engineer BTW), according to my quick research on stackoverflow, networks absolutely *can* work with ICMP blocked, just not well, and it makes it hard to debug some things. A lot of corporate networks seem to be partly broken anyway, and corporate computers running McAfee software are broken but sorta-working too, so running a network this way wouldn't be the end of the world.

Now I should hope that it didn't seem that I was advocating being actually *criminally negligent* in going along with managers' orders. That's an entirely different level. Going along with the company shooting itself in the foot (after documenting it well so you can CYA when the SHTF, and after raising an initial objection but caving after management insists) is entirely different from going along with orders to do something outright criminal. I only advocate not going to heroic lengths to help the company avoid shooting itself in the foot when its own high-up management is insisting on it, because most likely it's just going to result in your termination. If they're ordering you to do criminal things, you need to go to the police or other government authorities, and simultaneously start looking for a new job.

Comment Re: Tipping point (Score 0) 525

Trade deficits are only 'not necessarily a bad thing' for those cases where trade deficits really mean *borrowing to invest*.

USA *borrows to consume*, thus in case of USA trade deficits are deadly, both figuratively *and* literally deadly. Figuratively because an economy dying is not really the same thing as a human dying, it's more like an inanimate process that is stopping. Literally because a dying economy leads to actual human poverty, suffering and death for a large number of reasons.

You are actually half way correct that so far trade deficits worked well for the USA because the foreigners did all that work that subsidised the USA consumer, who did not have to work to pay for all that consumption. This is possible (or was possible) because so far US dollar is still a so called 'reserve currency', though it is not backed by anything other than 'faith' and probably some military presence.

People expect things to continue the same way as what they have been accustomed to and they do not expect any serious changes to their lives over their life spans. However people are very often wrong about that, big changes happen, they happen often, they happen suddenly (especially for the uninitiated into the reality of what is happening around them).

What you call a 'sound economic policy' I call 'suicidal economic policy'. I know from your words here that you actually think that government intervention is 'sound economic policy', however it was government intervention that created the situation that required more government intervention. More government intervention further leads to a situation that requires even more government intervention.

If you paid attention to what history shows you would know that government intervention has an accumulative effect and it is self destructing. Pumping fake liquidity into an economy that needs to restructure the debts is the wrong thing, not the right thing. What happened 8 years ago did not prevent a depression, it assured it. 1929 recession was created by government policy, specifically by money printing by the Fed and by buying bad UK debt from France. It was a gigantic bailout that inflated the stock market bubble that eventually burst. Hoover and FDR turned a normal process of deleveraging and debt restructuring into a depression by pumping more liquidity into the system.

They even bought good farming products and ploughed the products into the ground to avoid prices from falling, that's government in action: the market restructures bad ideas and debts but also brings prices down, making it easier to survive the restructuring by the most vulnerable in the system. Government steps in and says: you cannot have that benefit, the prices will stay up and the bad decisions will not be allowed to clear, instead they will be kept around and made bigger by more inflation (money printing) and actual welfare redistribution to those business that failed.

This does not guarantee good outcomes, this ensures accumulating and multiplying of bad outcomes. This is the same thing that happened a number of times in the last (and this) century and it is coming to the point where the impact of the next crisis will no longer be manageable by these usual tools that the government has (and it's always just one tool, often disguised under different names), it is theft, it is money printing and theft of existing purchasing and saving power of those, who have savings.

If you understood any of this, you wouldn't have written the statements that you did. Not understanding all of this so far very likely means further misunderstanding on your part and this also may mean that the coming crisis will hit you in a way that you cannot comprehend.

Comment Re:Govt wants free money (Score 1) 159

So in order to get real pricing information you need to submit to being data mined.

No. See my links - you do not need to run a browser extension unless you like the convenience.

It's too difficult to ask companies to be honest about their prices?

Yes, that's a huge and naive ask.

How long until those services start adjusting their prices based on kickbacks from the companies?

It would stand out like a sore thumb since there is a lot of overlap between competing sites.

Then we'll need new companies to track those companies.

We already have that, in a way. Consumer Reports, for instance, evaluates and recommends some of these sites. They also have their own tool.

a few decades ago people would swear companies would never lie about their prices

I'm 41, so maybe you are going back further than that? Marketing and sales have always been sleazy.

Comment Re:Govt wants free money (Score 1) 159

A product is worth whatever it fetches on the market. Unless your product is pretty niche, those websites are a pretty good indication of what a product is worth.

If you find a hunk of gold in the woods, it's not worth zero just because it didn't cost you anything. Similarly, if you spend 40 hours building some craft to post on Etsy and no one wants to pay more than $10 for it, that doesn't make it worth more than $10.

Comment Re:A slap in the wrist (Score 0) 159

Not because of the amount, no, but as a general principle of the matter I think Bezos will pay attention and do something useful with that money. I know I would not hesitate to spend a few billion bucks in his place to destroy the current Canadian government and would ensure that my selection of people get elected. The problem with the governments is that they exist but since they do they need to be used for good, not for evil. Companies need to ensure that individual freedoms are upheld by the governments and this to me means that the governments (the collective) must not be able with the private property rights and this 1000000 dollar theft is just that.

Comment Re:Main application? (Score 1) 76

I'm not quite sure why the iRiver IHP-120/140s didn't do FLAC out of the box. They supported some other specialty goodies(line level and optical in and out) that required more hardware and are probably even more esoteric; and they had ogg vorbis support, so it's not like they were MP3 only or wedded to whatever Microsoft was pushing at the time(the 300 series, though, leaned dangerously in that direction).

Luckily rockbox support is quite good on those models, which takes most of the pain away. LCD isn't good enough to do Doom justice, however.

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