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Comment Re:Another step toward tyeanny (Score 1) 258

Except we know that tracking someone by their purchases is trivial. After all, do you plan on having a cell phone? Then, any card used to pay that phone bill will indicate who all of your connections are.

If you just purchase everyday items, you better be randomly wandering the entire city to make those purchases. Otherwise, they will have clusters of locations to have an idea of where you live. Of course, you will have to walk everywhere since taking transit will also use the card.

Now, you are safe IF you can pull of anonymity - but that is a far, far harder task than it seems.

Comment Re:The electoral college is not needed (Score 1) 587

1. What you think is "equitable" in fact is not: the Electoral College as it currently exists places disproportionate weight on voters from states with small populations. Why should their votes have more influence on the outcome than someone who lives in a large city? Each person's vote should count for an equal share in the determination of any voting outcome. That is by definition equal representation and this is not how the Electoral College works.

I agree with you - it isn't equitable on a per person basis. However, what you are asking for is urban areas to be the only ones who "matter" because enough of the population lives in 4 or 5 metro areas that they would decide the election.

So, we talk about Hillary winning the popular vote by 2 million. Absolutely true. Now consider the implications that 1.5 million of those votes came from LA county, and another 1.5 million came from NYC. So, in less than 0.02% of the land area of the United States we got +3 million for Hillary, and in the other 99.98% we have +1 million for Trump.

Do you know what happens when large areas feel their government doesn't represent them? They fight back. In this case, they might stop selling their grain, meat, veggies and fruits to the cities. Of course, the only option for the government at that point is to send in the National Guard - because they aren't going to let 100 million people starve. How well do you think that will turn out?

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 1321

I voted for Trump. I have a Masters degree in Computer Engineering.

Out of my coworkers, I know 3 others who also voted for Trump. They also have graduate degrees. I also know 2 Hillary supporters, and 2 Gary Johnson supporters.

So, at least in my circle, 50% of people with advanced degrees voted for Trump. Not really an educated vs. blue collar split.

Comment Re:Dear Apple fans: (Score 1) 471

That's crap. We can do a quick calculation to prove that statement.

So, let's send all of our components on commercial air. Right now, for an advanced ticket, Beijing to LA is $310 on Expedia. So, let's bundle our components into the rough shape of a person - and let's say we make it about 200 pounds. An iPhone 7 Plus is just under 7 ounces. We'll throw in some additional packaging around the components, and say it is 8 ounces, or 2 phones/pounds (for easy math).

With our "theoretical" 200 pound person shaped shipping container sitting inside the plane, that is 400 phones worth of components. Shipping for $310. Or, less than $1 per phone

So, adding 50% to the cost? No. Not even close.

Aside: When did tech folks/engineers stop doing "back of the napkin" calculations before taking a position on something?

Comment Re:Do you now realize why Trump won? (Score 4, Insightful) 600

This is the kind of argument I would expect a child to make. If you want something, you need to go out and do your part to make it happen - otherwise, you are just being a petulant child when you are upset $X didn't happen. "Why didn't $SOMEONE_ELSE make what I wanted to happen, happen? It's not fair!"

Welcome to the real world - it isn't all puppies and rainbows.

Comment Re:Neat that it's possible, but insignificant (Score 2) 181

Actually, it did happen.

We have had to move offshore, with its inherent risks, and switch to tar sands and oil shale, which are lower grade and harder to process. Plus, we have moved a lot of power generation from burning oil to natural gas that we are getting from fracking.

So, oil "as we knew it" ended. We have just found ways of compensating. However, we have always known about those sources and known that, at a certain price, they became viable. Now, we are already into those reserves and haven't found anything new for when those run out.

Comment Re:The terrorists have won (Score 1) 247

Except, at one point in time, saying "Black people and white people should have the right to marry each other." could incite violence. People could, and did, get hurt for saying those things; so should we have shut those speeches, rallies, protests, and marches down because someone could get hurt?

The hard part about freedom is fighting for the other person's right to say things that you think are sick and twisted. No one fights because they think $DEITY is with the other side - everyone thinks they are "in the right". The Constitution has freedom of speech FIRST for a reason.

Of course, if anything goes beyond "speech" - violence, oppression, etc. then it is time to drop the hammer. However, if it remains speech, then it should be protected.

P.S. - It is legal to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater. It is the desire to incite violence or mayhem that makes it illegal. (Ex: There could be a real fire.)

Comment Re: Anything important will be preserved (Score 1) 348

If you lose a few bits of encrypted data you're left with garbage.

Not true. There are methods where you will lose a few blocks of data, but then it will get back on track. For an example of this, look up cipher block chaining.

Of course, having software that won't panic and crash when it hits an error is an entirely different problem.

Comment Re:Dumb (Score 1) 145

One problem with a global business is WHEN do you test the failover?

Early Sunday morning in Atlanta? Well, it's the middle of the day on Monday in Japan, Australia, and a lot of other countries. Of course, because of business travelers, Monday is probably one of the worst days of the week for an airline to run a test - despite it being Sunday somewhere else.

Sometimes, there is no good solution, and you end up continuing with what you have because anything else is an even worse idea.

Comment Re:Very Basic Income (Score 1) 618

My tax rate is less than 10% (for federal income tax), under 20% for all taxes (federal, including SS/medicare, state and local). Taxes are very regressive.

You are wrong.

See the table here

Summary:

90-95 percentile: 9.3%

95-99 percentile: 14%

Top 1-percenters: 24.6%

Top 0.1-percenters: 26.4%

Oh, and for reference, the bottom 40% had a NEGATIVE effective tax rate.

Comment Re:Criminalization of expressions of masculinity (Score 1) 643

Are you talking about rough play, sports or actually fighting.

Football (American) has been under heavy criticism due to the risk of brain injuries. However, there are schools that have banned tag for a variety of reasons.

We don't have much of a hunting culture here unless you're a toff and even then it's with dogs, not guns.

The US used to. In fact, in many areas, it's actually necessary to keep animal populations in check. Without hunting, the animals would overpopulate and starve. It is well managed by the various DNR agencies within those states. Students used to be able to bring their shotguns and hunting rifles to school since they would go hunting after school and before dinner. Now it just means they are expelled - assuming they aren't charged with a crime as well. Also, most states require you to pass a firearms safety class before you can get a hunting permit, so the students have to know what they are doing.

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