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Comment Who's watching then? (Score 1) 180

Doesn't every polling place have observers? In Canada (and other British Commonwealth countries), every political party is entitled to have an volunteer observer called "scrutineer" present at the registration table, and that person also assists in the ballot count.

Does this happen in the US?
If not, it seems reasonable to have somebody watching what goes on.

Without neutral observers asserting that the process is fair, it seems pretty certain that it isn't.

Comment Re:I really just don't get it. (Score 1) 189

Has free-thinkers and weirdos ever caused an actual revolution? Changed the course of government that they were able to rid it of corruption and incompetence?

I think it happened in the 1770s in some English colonies, but I'm not a history buff, so I may have it wrong.

Comment "I wanted to work this weekend" (Score 5, Insightful) 211

I really did

"I've never worked a single weekend when I didn't want to"

Employee: "I wanted to work this weekend. I really did"
Interviewer: "Oh, that's good. Why did you want to work this weekend?"
Employee: "Cuz they'd fire my ass otherwise, doofus!"

'nuff said. Sure, some management type work weekends to "set an example" but otherwise I don't buy it.

I was a mid-level IT dept manager for a major newspaper. I was never specifically asked to work overtime, but I often did so because it was my responsibility to ensure production readiness. So yeah, I chose to work, but to say I "wanted to" would be stretching it.

Comment Sometimes it just works (Score 1) 620

Until January of this year we had the following running in an industrial environment:
AIX 4.1
Dos 6.x (highly customized to run a custom machine)
Novell 3.12
Arcnet network for machine control. (2 of them)
Windows 95 (last version of Windows that had arcnet drivers) Hardware was mostly Pentium 90 level or similar.
All of the above came delivered as part of a system from the manufacturer, and my predecessor claimed to have had no say in the matter

Several times over the years I was asked "Why not upgrade?"
Answer: New software/hardware did *exactly* what the old did -- no better, no faster and certainly not cheaper.

All of these old systems controlled machinery, and the machinery itself was the rate-determining step.
In the 15 years I ran the department, we lost less than an hour of production time due to computer failure -- and that was when our up-to-date SAN crashed.

So what happened in January?
They closed the plant permanently.

Comment Re:Seems like there's a simple middle ground solut (Score 2) 139

Do a timed release. Once the FOIA request is completed, the requester gets X months of exclusivity to publish, and then it gets released publicly.

Exactly this

This gives the journalist time to get his "scoop" and gives the rest of us the ability to check his work. Under the current system journalists can (and do) leave out information that refutes their bias, while reporting only that information that supports their own opinion. The rest of us need to go to the source in order to form our own opinions.

Comment Re:Talk to a lawyer (Score 1) 99

(I don't live in or do business in the USA. And I like it that way.)

Not to argue, but if you ever clicked an "I agree to the terms and conditions" box, you'll find that your non-negotiable agreement has a clause that specifies a jurisdiction whose laws govern the non-negotiable "contract"

The state of Delaware is very common in these acceptance agreements. Presumably because their laws recognize a checkbox click as acceptance of a binding contract.

Perhaps this is not exactly doing business in the USA, but the overarching greed of American corporations affects us all.

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