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Comment Re:What an idiot (Score 1) 270

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) 186

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) 186

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) 789

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) 98

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!).

Comment Re:criminal trade show union employees (Score 1) 165

Depends on the union and "union culture".
Bad union: Cashiers at grocery stores in Canada and Japan - successfully prevented their duties from being expanded to bagging groceries. Result: self checkout is actually easier and faster than using a human (you can take the item out of the cart, run it across the scanner, and put it in the bag in one motion. Versus unloading the cart onto a belt and then loading things from a different belt into bags). And soon Amazon's system which simply electronically charges you for whatever's in your cart as you exit the store will put pretty much all these places out of business.

Bad union: in NYC the "token booth" clerks were being made irrelevant due to vending machines and security cameras. Transit tried to expand their duties, and lost against the union. The incident where a woman was raped in full view of staff who did nothing to intervene did not help (until that point one of the union's selling points to keep stations staffed was "safety"). So they simply started closing booths and replacing them with push button kiosks that connect people to a call center to ask their questions, and an emergency button to call for help. If all the booth person can be counted on to do if a crime is happening is call the police, any nearby warm body can push a red button to do the same.

Good union: white collar ones. They generally stay out of the way. They still of course try to keep the number of employees up, but are far more open to re purposing existing employees and titles.

Comment Re:This is a surprise? (Score 1) 483

In many states government employees are not allowed to receive "gifts" (including meals) from outside vendors unless it's of negligible value, or something offered to any customer. To that end as far as lavish meals are concerned the most the vendors can provide is maybe two mozzarella sticks off a shared appetizer plate, unless literally every customer of the company had been invited to that specific meal.

Comment Re:A game that would be hard to make today (Score 1) 66

Evangelical Christians, they so silly...

Meanwhile at all of the Catholic schools I attended growing up, Halloween costumes were encouraged on Halloween (in the sense that, if you didn't wear one you still had to wear the normal uniform). I was tempted to dress as "public school student".

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