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Comment Re: Oh boy (Score 1) 351

But that's how it's =supposed= to work. As someone once pointed out, the Founders *designed* the system to promote legislative gridlock, under the theory that the less legislation gets passed, the less *stupid* legislation gets passed.

My feeling is that even if Trump sucks, it's better to have someone who will argue with Congress, rather than a rubberstamp for every lunacy that comes down the pike, as I expect would happen with Clinton in the office.

Comment Re:Not just at the border... (Score 2) 196

I love those armed checkpoints many miles from the border in Arizona.

Ironically, the last time I had to go through one I was the passenger in a car with Arizona plates. I'm 50, the driver was 65, both of us are Caucasian men. We had to answer a bunch of questions and were there for 2-3 minutes. The driver lives in Bisbee and has to pass through either the checkpoint in Tombstone or Sierra Vista to go anywhere north (Benson, Tuscon, etc), and so is through the checkpoints all the time.

The car in front of us had *Mexican* plates and 2 passengers. I don't think they were stopped for more than 10 seconds.

That's just fucking great. Two American Citizens NOT crossing a border in a vehicle with in-state plates spend more time answering Border Patrol questions than three likely foreign nationals in a vehicle with foreign license plates. Tell me what this system is about again?

Comment Re:Technology is slowing down. (Score 1) 438

I think you're sort of on the right track, but I think it has even LESS to do with potential technological or engineering innovation.

My sense is that the finance people have basically taken over, and that technology/engineering is being completely driven by financial modeling. Basic technology and innovation is being dictated by what the elaborate revenue models tell them, and the models are built in a way to min/max production cost and consumer spending.

I see this in all kinds of technology situations, where what appear to be the dumbest engineering decisions are made because it requires you to spend more.

I expect the same with the elimination of the heapdhone jack. They will eliminate the 3.5mm jack and replace it with a lightning based audio connector. The specs won't be released until after the phone is available to purchase and they will be the exclusive provider of native Lightning headphones *and* Lightning-3.5mm stereo adapters at huge premiums, raking in nearly exclusive revenue on them for months. They will eventually acquiesce and approve third party 3.5mm adapters, but their licensing process will also also guarantee they get a percentage of ALL of them.

Now, if you look at it from a technology perspective, maybe the 3.5mm jack does need to go. But you don't need much of an imagination to think that maybe there could have been some other jack design implemented that would have still have accomplished the other putative design reasons (thinner, more internal space) and not tied up in a bunch of exclusive-to-Apple IP.

Comment Re:Commingling Inventory (Score 1) 336

What I think is especially maddening is that Amazon allows sellers to brand what look like identical goods with their own names, yet use the EXACT same picture of the items in the listings.

I bought a digital volt/current meter from a company on Amazon and there is another seller selling the EXACT same product using the EXACT same image as the one I bought. Both companies appear fairly engaged in their product (answering questions) and the second seller has suggested usage wiring diagrams as secondary photos.

My guess is that both sellers are selling some kind of Chinese product whose "brand" is whatever factory turns them out, but why does Amazon allow them to use the same photo? Why would they WANT to use the same photo?

Comment Re:This is Why... (Score 1) 120

I prefer driving as well, and even though we have a lot of direct flights from MSP, I find that security, delays, car rental, and so on worth nearly 3 hours or nearly 200 miles of road time on the Interstate. My limit, though, is about 500 miles because distances beyond that are just too time consuming for driving. I did have a trip to Springfield, IL, though which ended up being longer flying than driving would have been due to a cancelled flight and getting re-routed via Chicago.

The upside even if driving is long is you can take stuff with you -- food, full-size monitor, a decent electric kettle, cooler, etc. All that makes a week at a budget hotel much more bearable, especially when you're working 12 hour days. I've worked a couple of projects where I literally didn't need to leave the hotel for 2 days (on one of those trips the manager called me on day 2 asking if everything was OK -- she explained they get edgy when guests at this location don't leave the room for a couple of days as it makes them think of crime/drugs).

From a rights perspective, though, I think it's a mixed bag. The whole TSA experience is like visiting a prison, but I've kind of gotten to the point where I think they don't give a shit about anything but potentially violent people and no longer have the cop's what-can-I-bust-you-for-today mindset.

And in your car, with out of state license plates? You're basically an engraved invitation for a moving violation and an intensive search, and god forbid the cop that pulls you over is anything other than a major city squad or a state trooper. The former don't generally bother with anything but egregious traffic violations and the latter the same, provided your car is late model and in decent shape.

But small-town cops and county sheriff deputies can be real assholes to out of state cars. They are hot shit in their jurisdiction, shitkicker ex-football bullies making $20k/year and just convinced that someone from out of state is carrying mary-wanna and they just love to offer you a deal -- let me search your trunk, or you can have a stay in the county lockup, eat a moving violation, impound fees and lose 48 hours of your life.

Comment Re:This confirms my previous speculation (Score 1) 443

Personally, I agree. But I know too many people who are willing to take the risk of Trump just to stick a finger to Clinton and DNC. I think it's foolish, but nevertheless, if there are enough of them, it may just add up.

Of course, the other side has a similar problem. Which is why I think that it's basically a contest of who can motivate more to show up to vote against the other guy. And given the potential consequences, I'd rather not take chances, even when small quantities of votes are at stake. Brexit should be a lesson to us all.

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