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Comment Re:This is, how the system should work (Score 1) 153

Standard Oil was accused of "predatory pricing" moving into an area, underpricing until the competition left, and then raising its prices using it's new-found monopoly power.

It was only a couple of decades ago that anyone looked at the data.

Turns out that they did indeed move in with lower prices, and that their competitors fled, but they kept the lower prices. (and why not? unlike their competitors, they were quite profitable at those prices).

hawk

Comment Re:Update: Testing EnergyStar by GAO resulted in: (Score 1) 260

GAO submitted a few non-existant products to test the EnergyStar program. Some notable results:

Gas-Powered Alarm Clock: Product description indicated the clock is the size of a small generator and is powered by gasoline.

Product was approved by Energy Star without a review of the company Web site or questions of the claimed efficiencies.

I'd buy one of these. :D

Comment Re:They are also often newer (Score 1) 164

Don't look at me for sympathy :)

I bought this house in a middle class neighborhood about 30 years ago. It has degraded to lower middle class. (Hey, it makes for cheap security: noone in the neighborhood has anything worth stealing, so burglars don't bother us . . .)

I can get highspeed from Cox, may many poxes befall their house.

Centurylink, which used to be the phone company, can't deliver more than 3 mbit service here (but, gee, if I dig the trench to the street, they'll supply 8 conductor rather than 4 conductor phoneline . . .).

Bizarrely, they send an add every week or two for their Prism and high speed, even though it can't be purchased . . .

I'd take it in a heartbeat. Heck, I'd probably buy from russian hackers or the devil to get away from cox . . .

hawk

Comment Re:I hope he wins his suit (Score 1) 690

"Doctor" had a long established meaning before the modern MD in the US was concocted: a doctor was a person who had acquired significant knowledge in an area, *AND* had contributed to that body of knowledge. (It comes from the Latin verb "to teach").

The modern MD was created specifically to borrow the prestige and legitimacy of the doctors of the university at at a time when contemporary medicine was at least as likely to cause harm as to help. It created a system of training, but dropped the second prong (contribution to knowledge).

As a real doctor, I find the borrowing of my title an adequate tradeoff for the vastly improved healthcare, but I get a good laugh when a mere MD tries to distinguish that he is a "real doctor." (If he as actually published in a peer reviewed journal, or developed a new technique, he is indeed a real doctor. But they are a small minority).

MDs also like introducing themselves as "Dr. Smith"; real doctors rarely do--I've never done it outside of a classroom.

The DDS is kind of an MD knockoff with the same missing second prong.

Chiropracticy, well . . . they should only be allowed to operate under the direct supervision of real physicians, but that's another issue. "Menace" would be a better title than "Dr." for them, but I digress . . .

And as for attorneys . . . the (american) JD is actually the old LLB (Bachelor of Law). In about the 1960s, law schools started switching over, even offering replacement diplomas to their alumni. It was about some kind of parity with MD.

The LLM is a legal master's degree, almost always in tax in the US.

And then there is the LLD, the PhD equivalent, an actual doctor. These are rare, you see an occasional law school dean and so forth. And, notably, Neil Gorsuch, the newest Supreme Court Justice, holds one. (for all I know, he's the only JSD or LLD to ever sit on the court, but I haven't bothered to look, as it's really not that important).

Substantially all medical school and law school faculty have published and contributed to their bodies of knowledge.

hawk, doctor of economics & statistics

Comment Re:example (Score 1) 114

I didn't say it was right, I said it was on to something.

When prosecution doesn't work as a deterence - and it obviously doesn't in high-stakes white collar crimes - then prevention needs the be stronger.

This could very well take the form of pre-crime investigations. I'm against imprisoning someone for something they didn't (yet) do. But why is it that police has to wait until a crime has been committed before they can even begin looking?

I was in this position once. Someone tried to run a common scam on me and I went to the police so that they could catch them in flagranti. The answer pretty much was "well, no crime has been committed so far, so we can do nothing".

A bigger stress on the part where in many crimes the attempt is a crime would help out a lot, especially with corporate crime.

Comment example (Score 3, Interesting) 114

Uber is actually a good example of what's going wrong with the world: They are openly criminal and it works. It's Al Capone all over again. Everyone knows what they are doing, but they're too slippery to be nailed.

Same with the tax evasion of multinational cooperation, wars based on invented bullshit, election frauds done almost openly (like in Turkey), and so on.

Minority Report may have been on to something: The legal system working after the fact, and with a delay often measured in years, does not deter criminals. If you can take over a country, or become a billionaire, the threat that ten years from now they might file charges which your $1000/h lawyers will then simply drag through the courts for twenty years - well, that is not a very threatening thing especially for people trained to think primarily about next quarter.

Comment Re:Damage from BASIC (Score 1) 629

This.

I used BASIC as it was what was available on the machine I was paid to write.

My BASIC, though, looked more like good FORTRAN than most basic, with thought out calls, etc.

If the language you need to use doesn't have the control structure you need, just write it.

Although I don't miss worrying about what line number to put routines at for efficiency (MBASIC until 5 or so would search through memory on a GOTO or GOSUB, making low-numbered calls faster than high-numbered).

And it's amazing that noone has pointed out the adage that a sufficiently skilled programmer can write bad FORTRAN in any language . . .

hawk

Comment Re: My experience... (Score 1) 448

I had a programming job before college (hey, it was silicon valley in the early 80s) and got called back a few months later.

They had hired an Indian with an MS, and weren't getting anywhere.

I sat down with him to work with code he didn't understand, and he was baffled by the whole "sort" concept.

I tried again at lower and lower levels, finally having to pull out some cards to physically demonstrate a bubble sort . . .

(yes, I know there are many more efficient sorts when more than a few objects are involved; that's not the point here).

hawk

Comment Re:criminals (Score 1) 755

The Pentagon wants money, Hollywood wants to make movies.

If you think this is primarily about money, you need to stop smoking that shit man, it's bad for your brain. Every, literally (not figuratively) *every* article that described the relationship between Hollywood and the Pentagon points out the PR, recruitment and image benefits for the Pentagon long before the monetary aspect, which seems to about cover the costs and thats it.

Yes, there are kooks who will develop conspiracy theories about anything,

Really.

So why are your evening news full of news about Syria, and when is the last time they mentioned Jemen?

t's a statement of reality that much of the world recognises that Russia is the biggest threat to world peace right now as demonstrated through real actual seizure of sovereign foreign territory - I was against the 2003 Iraq war, but at least there was never a plan to seize it permanently and claim it as actual American soil.

As the Iraqi if the difference matters much for them. Oh wait, a lot of them are dead.

You need to stop restricting yourself to pro-Russian propaganda like RT, when that propaganda is such a tiny minority of the global media landscape.

I actually watched RT maybe 3 times in my life. I am grateful to the plurality of media in the western world because most of my information about how the echo chamber works (long before that word was popular) I got from there. And if you really think the mainstream media, you know, the one that 95% of the people watch and draw their opinions from, is completely unbiased, independent and presents all points of view and all newsworthy news, then I'll end this discussion here because it's pointless to discuss with deluded people.

Comment Re:criminals (Score 1) 755

Given that this is the premise of your whole argument and is demonstrably untrue then I don't know what the point in responding to the rest is.

It is not the premise of everything, and cutting the argument short with another cheap trick is dishonest.

Are you really suggesting the US, UK, Europe et. al. have a secret great firewall like China, and have the same lack of plurality of media?

I suggested nothing of the kind. Western propaganda is fundamentally different and much less obvious than Chinese or Russian propaganda. For example, almost every Hollywood action movie portraits the US military in generally good terms (even if there are individual villains), and quite often they are the ones who save the world. The Pentagon, meanwhile, supports such movies generously with vehicles, equipment and other support. Coincidence?

There are literally books about how the western propaganda system works, who is connected to whom how, who owns the media and why, for examples, there are wars and genocides that you don't find on the evening news even though the body count far exceeds other wars that do get reported.

Now stop the russiophobic bullshit talk to a person who's not telling you that Russia is right, but that you should worry about being lied to by your own media before you worry about other countries telling lies to their people.

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