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Comment Re:Marriage is its own worst enemy (Score 2) 366

Marriage guarantees nothing. Avoiding marriage guarantees a (very) few things, but some of which have real value, such as never being the victim of a divorce lawyer. Some of the things marriage brings are not consequences of the marriage, but of despicable, coercive force: if you aren't married, you may not be allowed to see someone you care about who is in extremis. You may not be allowed to take care of their obligations for them if they are sick.

1) depending on the relationship, you might still wind up needing to see a lawyer. I can imagine an unmarried man in this environment having zero presumed(?) rights to his own children in the eyes of a judge. How do you split a house or other large, shared assets? A smart couple will set these things in writing before things go bad, but not everyone has the foresight.

2) Not having visitation/decision-making authority is a real problem for non-married couples and can't be overstated enough. Before gay marriage was legal, a friend of ours had emergency surgery and his boyfriend was not allowed to visit him in the hospital. So my girlfriend and I got the paperwork taken care of. It was expensive, but worth it. For anyone interested, visitation and decision-making do not have to go hand-in hand. One feature about being unmarried is that you have to specify exactly what rights your significant other should have and under what conditions. Marriage basically grants root access by default :-)

I strongly encourage anyone in a positive, long-term relationship who isn't planning on marriage to see a family lawyer and get the right paperwork in place (advanced health care directive, wills, trusts, etc). If you have any meaningful assets (house, retirement account, rainy-day fund, etc), maybe talk to an accountant about minimizing tax burden on your significant other after your death. But a little bit of paperwork and morbid thinking now will save you or your partner a lot of pain later.

Submission + - San Bernardino's district attorney claims "cyber pathogen" on shooter's iPhone. ( 1

Mr.Intel writes: Michael Ramos claims a ‘lying dormant cyber pathogen’ on mass killer Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone still poses a threat.

The questionable claim comes from Ramos’s amicus brief in the case, filed with the US District Court on Thursday afternoon. In it, Ramos supports the FBI’s argument that Apple should be compelled to build a one-use version of its operating system to load on to the seized phone – used by the mass-murderer, but still technically property of his employer, San Bernardino county – in order to weaken the security and allow the Government to brute-force the shooter’s passcode.

Ramos gives a lot of evidence to back up his argument, but one claim in particular has been raising eyebrows. Ramos said: “The iPhone is a county owned telephone that may have connected to the San Bernardino County computer network. The seized iPhone may contain evidence that can only be found on the seized phone that it was used as a weapon to introduce a lying dormant cyber pathogen that endangers San Bernardino County’s infrastructure and poses a continuing threat to the citizens of San Bernardino County”.

Submission + - Bernie Sanders Internet Speed Test: Trump-level credibility? (

David Rothman writes: U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is right to say U.S. Net speeds are too low. But just how accurate is the Bernie Sanders Internet Speed Test? The gag site from some clever Romanians is a hoot. But when I tried it from my location outside Washington, D.C., the site just didn't give my Comcast account its due.

As a comparison, I didn't just rely a near-by server that might have had Comcast ties. I also used the DSL Reports speed test site relying on multiple ISPs. DSL Reports clocked me at around 180Mbps compared to around 18Mbps reported around the same time by the Sanders site, based on Europe and apparently relying on a server in Frankfurt. Am I missing something?

Please note that the Sanders Internet Speed Test is not part of the Sanders campaign. I can still Feel The Bern.

So what gives? Please note that I'm not out to help or hurt Comcast here, just get at the truth.

Comment Re:Guns and algorithms (Score 1) 152

I find that my own positions on encryption mirror a lot of NRA positions on guns...I am not sure what to make of it.

Did you hear about the toddler that found his parent's encryption in the closet and encrypted himself? Did you hear about Dick Cheney "accidentally" encrypting his friend in the face?

Neither did I. That's the difference.

Comment Re:Of course you can get more intelligent. (Score 1) 82

I took a real, proctored IQ test when I was applying to a highly selective middle/high school. I remember two of the questions specifically, one where I was read a set of directions and asked how far I wound up from the starting point, and another where I was asked to rattle off as many nouns as I could in 60 seconds. How these measure IQ, I couldn't say (but I suppose they are better than SAT-style arithmetic & vocabulary questions, which only measure how much time you've spent studying).

I also remember my mother wouldn't tell me how I did because she knew that I was not likely to be a sportsmanlike about it (good result or bad). But the score isn't relevant to this discussion of whether or not IQ tests are real. They're real and I've taken one.

Comment Re:Today's business class is the 70s' economy clas (Score 4, Interesting) 819

If you are in the US, please let your company know that they're risking a worker's comp suit by refusing to purchase you the legroom that you need. Protecting the health of employees on the job is not optional. They may not have the same obligation if you're overweight (unless squeezing into the seat is also injuring you), but if you are incurring injuries during the execution of your job responsibilities then the company needs to do what it takes to prevent that from happening, up to and including eliminating travel from your job responsibilities.

People also need to be aware of their body type when booking on their own dime. Cattle class is fine for a couple hours if you're less than 5'10" and less than 160 lbs. I'm small enough to fly across the US in standard economy. But if you're too big to fit in a standard seat, you need to do the right thing for *your* health and comfort.

Comment WhatsApp is not evidence of a bubble (Score 3, Interesting) 154

I was listening to NPR a few weeks ago and the guest speaker brought up an interesting point:

The last bubble was characterized by *everyone* thinking that everything tech-related was awesome ( is a perfect example). We were all heavily invested in these stupid companies that lacked profits, revenues, or even business models. When they turned out to be worthless, we all suffered.

WhatsApp/Nest/Occulus, on the other hand, are being purchased by other companies, regardless of public opinion. The impact if those purchases turn out to be worthless is negligible, comparing to the entire public investing in those worthless companies through our 401k's & mutual funds tracking various indices.

We expect that the companies who spend their money unwisely will get punished by sell-offs and dropping stock prices while companies who invest wisely will be rewarded with bullish behavior, as it should be.

CEO's make stupid decisions all the time. Their flights of fancy, though newsworthy, do not reflect the attitude of the world.

Comment Re:Colour me confused (Score 2) 165

First, copper is a better conductor than gold (~16 nOhms/m vs. ~24nOhms/m, lower is better). Gold is primarily used as plating because it doesn't corrode. But that doesn't really impact the value of your question.

When a core material like gold changes price, the impact to the consumer depends on the rate and absolute value of the price changes.

If the total impact to the product's price is small or sudden, then it is either passed on to the customer or absorbed by the manufacturer. There isn't a lot of gold in a typical consumer product, for example, but there is enough to make a wild swing in gold prices noticeable to the supply/operations groups.

If the price increase is really large or forecast to take place over an entire product development cycle, then the designers will take a long look at the tradeoffs and decide if they want to make a cheaper product or a more expensive product.

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