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Comment Re:America! (Score 3, Interesting) 629

I'll take a third choice: instead of a social safety net (or even raising the minimum wage), spend that money on low-skill government jobs that no one is doing, with no cap on hires. Pay the $15 minimum. Cleaning litter, landscaping highway medians, cleaning train stations and trains. Oh wait, never going to happen, for two reasons:
The right: that's expansion of government! They're taking more of our tax money!
The left: If they don't want to do those jobs they shouldn't have to just to live!

Never mind the benefit of overall wage / working condition improvements to all jobs across the board. The power of "My crappy office job is so terrible that pulling weeds along the highway for $15/hour and benefits is appealing, and I can get that job tomorrow" would set standards naturally without needing legislation.

Comment Re:Deliberately missing the forest for the trees (Score 1) 379

City life is perfectly fine for raising kids, as long as the city itself is safe. That requires a significantly increased police presence with tougher enforcement, and reversing the "homeless friendly" attitude which has made SF their mecca. These are both actions which the current residents would never support. Since the current residents do not support the actions needed to make the city safe for kids, it can be assumed that they do not want kids.

This is too bad because growing up in a safe city is far better than suburban life. Kids gain travel freedom equivalent to their parents the moment they get a transit pass (no getting rides logistics to worry about). Hell one Saturday while I was in middle school I planned and took a solo day trip to Philadelphia from NYC, successfully finding all the tourist spots. In high school, my friend and I visited all the northeast colleges we were thinking of going to by ourselves.

And meanwhile in Japan, kids as young as 8 are riding the Tokyo subways and commuter trains by themselves, and (more importantly) not pissing off the other passengers while doing so.

Comment Re:This has always blown my mind (Score 1) 137

Except taken to the extreme the internet connection becomes useless. The data cap at the Best Western Atlantis Melbourne was IIRC $15 for 3GB for 3 days. As in, total visit, wired or wireless, all your devices. I hit that in a few hours, and there wasn't even streaming media involved, just the standard backup syncing of the pictures and video I'd taken for the day. The second day I complained to the front desk, and they said they'd "reset it" for me... which meant they allowed me to pay an additional $15 for 3 more GB. I don't care that it lets me hit that limit at 50 megabit (my estimate, I damn sure wasn't wasting precious data cap on a speed test!), I would have been happy at unlimited 2 megabit.

Also, the greedy fucks at the hotel blocked the view on half their rooms with the other half of their hotel - they satisfied the "ever room has a window" requirement by providing a 5' courtyard in the center. It's one thing to have a brick wall view when another building goes up next door, quite another when it's your own damn building getting in the way!

Never, ever, ever stay at the Best Western Atlantis Melbourne - total shit. Also I'll never stay at a Best Western again, those issues speak to the culture of the management of the chain as well.

Comment Re:What an idiot (Score 1) 276

If fired your only responsibility is to forget every last thing about that job, immediately. If there is no human redundancy already (there should always be multiple people capable of doing the same tasks) they deserve exactly what they got, which so far seems to be a half million dollars in losses. The employee "got hit by a bus" or "won the lottery" protections also work for firings. They clearly were unprepared for any of those scenarios.

Comment Re:Buttons would be nice !!! (Score 1) 187

Handles suspended from above? You must have found the deluxe room. Even the one at the airport requires careful balance.

Urban Japanese must be just as put off by the squat toilets as we are, as evidenced by my finding bathrooms with only western style toilets in many office buildings and train stations (even outside the touristy areas).

Comment Re:Eight function toilet? (Score 1) 187

The Japanese take daily baths/showers as well (and also a ritual where you wash before entering a public bath or hot spring), so I think there's more to it than shower culture.

As for "without agitation" the force these things use is insane - obligatory car analogy: Compare to washing your car. If you use a garden hose you need a sponge and soap. But, after a major rainstorm, every car on the block glistens after experiencing nothing but the sheer force of water. This is a rainstorm directed squarely onto your bunghole. And there is TP available, so you have both methods of cleaning at your "disposal" for maximum effectiveness (truthfully you should use the TP anyway just to dry off faster).

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 4, Informative) 797

In Snowden's case he wasn't even in a state when he released the documents. In trying to research whether a crime committed in a federal building could be prosecuted at the state level (for the taking of the documents in the first place), I essentially came to the conclusion of "it depends on the property". Meaning if the government simply owns the land in the same manner as a regular private entity would, or it is of "concurrent legislative jurisdiction", the state and city still have law enforcement responsibility. But if it owns the land via "exclusive legislative jurisdiction" you're effectively not in a state while on the property. If you break the equivalent of a state law while in such a location, the feds can "assimilate" the appropriate state law and prosecute it as a federal crime.

Comment Re:IT is amazing (Score 1) 99

Japanese can coffee is quite enjoyable and super convenient - push a button and scan a contactless EDY or transit card, and you have your beverage for about $1 and in less than 5 seconds. That said, I can see why it didn't take off here. People are like "hot beverage in a metal can, won't that hurt your hand?" herp-derp and then proceed to burn their hand on the paper cup they just waited 5 minutes for, because putting said paper cup into the cardboard sleeve is not in the $15/hr Starbucks employee's job description.

Comment Re:How about power hookups (Score 2) 71

Already a solved problem on JetBlue, they have at-seat 110V outlets and USB ports at a ratio of 1:1 for their higher class seating, and 2:3 for "core" (coach).
Also device battery life has drastically improved. I have a Chromebook that's 3 years old, and even streaming high-def video (the most energy intensive thing you can really do with one) the battery lasts 8 hours. Simple web browsing and the battery seems to last forever - I've gone up to 3 days without charging it while on vacation (extremely useful if you only have 1 functioning international outlet in your hotel room).
As for phones, those plug-in USB power packs are $10 and will bring you back to at least 75% charge.
Running out of power on any public transit is a solved problem even if the transit provider refuses to give you outlets (I'm looking at you, MBTA!).

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