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Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 14

A similar situation happened with Microsoft temp/contract employees a number of years ago. They sued MS because they were essentially "permanent temps". As a result, they're now (if I recall correctly) required to take at least six months off after a maximum of 18 months of employment. So, unfortunately, their situation didn't really improve, as I presume they were hoping to get benefits, etc, as full time employees. Microsoft was obviously using long-term contract employees to avoid paying benefits or taking responsibility of employment, but now as a result of the lawsuit, all the temp / contract employees seem to be worse off than before.

I'll be curious to see what happens with Uber employees in the UK. My guess is something similar.

Comment Re:Easy win so load show up with friends (Score 1) 171

Honestly, I sort of tend to view that as a limitation of the time in which the original show was created, rather than actual canon. In fact, one could justify this by the existence of Majel's character in the pilot, who was only removed due to executive meddling. I'm willing to concede Kirk's rough-and-tumble attitude, as that's a bit more charming than Starfleet's implied glass ceiling for women and minorities at the time.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 134

It looks like this may indeed be illegal according to current law.

Persons placing advertisements.
  A failure by persons placing advertisements to use the criteria contained in this part, when found in connection with the investigation of a complaint alleging the making or use of discriminatory advertisements, will be considered by the General Counsel in making a determination of reasonable cause, and by the Assistant Secretary in making determinations that there is no reasonable cause, to believe that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur.

It goes on to talk about how advertising only in the English language only may be considered discriminatory, or (a) Selective geographical advertisement, (b) Selective use of equal opportunity logo (i.e. using the logo in some advertisements but not in others), or (c) Selective advertisement using specific human models (i.e. only using white models).

Given all that, I can't see how this could *possibly* be legal, as the intent of the law seems quite clear. With one exception, of course.

Affirmative advertising efforts.
  Nothing in this part shall be construed to restrict advertising efforts designed to attract persons to dwellings who would not ordinarily be expected to apply, when such efforts are pursuant to an affirmative marketing program or undertaken to remedy the effects of prior discrimination in connection with the advertising or marketing of dwellings.

Comment Re: Copies still exist. (Score 1) 504

There were a ton of other indictments in Whitewater, too, including lots of conspiracy charges as I remember things. Just not the Clintons. I believe it was Vince Foster who committed suicide over it, as well.

I can't say that I see her getting indicted, though. If nothing else, Obama could pardon her on his way out.

Comment Re:More user friendly (Score 2) 100

The people who only do web, e-mail, etc... many are ditching PCs altogether and using their smartphones or tablets. That's why desktop PCs are a declining market (although that's very different from 'dying', which escapes many pundits). Essentially, a significant percentage of number of people don't actually *need* a fully powered computers unless:

a) They require specialty software. A lot of line of business / internal software runs on Windows stacks, and it makes sense for people to have compatible systems at home. Or maybe you have a digital audio workstation with Cakewalk Sonar installed. Linux isn't an option for specialized software like that where you can't afford compatibility glitches.

b) They want a high-end gaming machine, in which case Windows is still king. Yes, Linux is making strides, but it's still nowhere close to Windows. Even Mac seems to have a better selection of games, as far as I can tell.

I attribute Windows success these days due to simple inertia more than anything, as well as being well-entrenched in business and enterprise. It's extremely difficult and costly to make a wholesale switch to a new OS on a mass scale, with completely new infrastructure, software, and support.

Comment Re:NYTimes, Washingon Post etc (Score 1) 504

Threatening to appoint a special prosecutor to actually look into all the crimes that have been uncovered in the Podesta emails is a far cry from simply throwing someone in jail. It probably won't matter, though--Obama can simply pardon her before leaving. If he's not willing to, that will tell you something right there. There's actually no love lost between the two, if you read the emails. They're already mad at Obama for not owning up to knowing about her private server usage. So he's hopefully too smart for that.

And it's interesting she'd flee to Dubai of all places. I'd have figured she'd run off somewhere with Huma.

Comment Copies still exist. (Score 3, Interesting) 504

Afraid not, we have copies of a lot of damning stuff thanks to Podesta. And just for comedy, it's coming out that this new FBI investigation came about because they were investigating Democratic Rep. Anthony Wiener (the infamous sexter) who recently divorced Huma Abedin, one of Hillary's closest aids.

But if the objective is to connect emails-Benghazi and conflate the two in votersâ(TM) minds (which consultants feel is an imperative here), Iâ(TM)m not sure we know whether we can credibly do that


Subject: Fwd: POTUS on HRC emails
we need to clean this up - he has emails from her - they do not say state.gov


[Redacted] indicated he had been contacted by [Kennedy], Undersecretary of State, who had asked his assistance in altering the e-mail's classification in exchange for a 'quid pro quo,'

Source (n.b. this is from FBI, not Wikileaks).

The DKIM signatures also say the emails are unmodified and signed by hillaryclinton.com. Feel free to validate them yourselves.

Just for bonus points, here's Hillary talking about how they should've rigged the Palestinian elections.

Listen to Hillary talking about rigging those elections here.

This is a tiny sample from a huge list of damaging emails, too.

There's never been a better time to vote 3rd party.

Comment Re:Easy win so load show up with friends (Score 2) 171

I wasn't angry. I'd say I was just a bit disappointed.

Star Trek was always attractive for me because of it's positive outlook on the potential future of humanity, where we manage to overcome many of our baser instincts and natural prejudices. I was hoping that Star Trek, of all series, had become post-gender and post-racial in at least its casting as well as in the fictional universe. It had been moving that way for several decades, it seemed to me, overcoming casting barriers with each new series. Well, maybe that was a bit naive of me.

I did read about how it's based on Majel's "number one" character, which seems like a pretty interesting idea.

Comment Re:I'll be voting for Castle & Bradley (Score 1) 329

The other 3rd party nobody votes for is the Natural Law Party which seems to have something to do with the Socialist Party.

The Natural Law Party believes that everyone should live in harmony and will achieve that goal through Transcendental Meditation. Apparently, they will hire flying yogis to surround any country they gain control of and the Yogis will use their karmic powers to cleanse everyone in the country of evil thoughts. The resulting paradise will end hunger and crime, and create the first perfect nation on Earth.

I'm surprised that I actually remember that from the 1992 election debates.

Please note: I do not endorse the Natural Law party or any of their claims, I'm merely repeating them here for the education and amusement of the reader.

Comment Re: Not just Southern Spain (Score 4, Insightful) 252

Look at what happened to the Aral Sea under the Soviets. The sea doesn't really exist anymore! (except as two small pocket remnants)

Sure, we can also look at the horrible pollution in China, or environmental disasters right here at home (thankfully rarer these days). I'm not saying that there aren't real issues. But I think some caution must be employed with proclaiming potential worst-case doomsday scenarios as an expected result. The more often scientists or experts predict the end of the world and it doesn't come to pass, the more people will stop trusting science in the first place, and that seems like a very bad thing to me.

In fact, I think we're already starting to witness this phenomenon, as many, many people believe global warming is a complete hoax. It's a little hard to dissuade them when they can see for themselves that dire predictions made just a decade or two ago have been laughably overstated. Why believe the current predictions then? If earlier predictions had been even slightly more accurate, they'd have no justification in doubting the current science. Trust is earned, and climatologists have done a terrible job at earning that trust with effective predictions so far.

Comment Re:Not just Southern Spain (Score 4, Insightful) 252

It's a non-issue inasmuch as we're easily able to feed all the people on this planet, which was the expected result of a global population explosion. Hunger is primarily caused by politics and corruption these days, not a lack of food - it's essentially a distribution issue. Poverty is a different issue that needs addressing, but isn't intrinsically related to or caused by dense populations.

In other words, it doesn't make you a humanitarian to wring your hands and berate others about issues that have no real consequence. It just makes you an ignorant, self-righteous fool.

Comment Re:Easy win so load show up with friends (Score 2) 171

I just read the linked Wikipedia article. Apparently, they've already decided that the protagonist is a "female minority". So... that was one of the writer/producers' overriding concern about the new series, I guess? Making a social statement instead of just finding a great actor to carry the series? Well, Star Trek has always been an ensemble affair, and has been reasonably progressive in matters of casting without being too distracting about it (mostly), so hopefully it won't matter too much.

I never really liked the decision split the Trek universes' timeline - which always seemed a bit ham-handed to me to begin with. But now, having made the decision, now they're just sticking to the old timeline? WTF? Guys, pick a timeline and go with it. I'm getting tired of "universe reboots".

I'm trying to keep my expectations reasonable-to-low, but part of me can't help but look forward to a new Trek series anyhow.

Comment Re:Not just Southern Spain (Score 1) 252

So, you agree it's a "worst case" projection, at least in the context of the study, right? Not sure where the disagreement is then. Is my contention that "worst-case" projections are typically not the most likely?

RCP8.5 is, I believe, a somewhat improbable model used to generate these scenarios. For instance, it assumes population growth at the very high end of current projections, rather than the more current and reasonable productions of 8.7 billion peak at the middle of this century. It assumes massive growth in coal-fired power generation, when we're now seeing trends away from that. It assumes a few other negative trends skirting the edge of reasonable probability in order to arrive at that scenario. You need to look a bit deeper than a simple trend line to determine the probability of that trend continuing on its current arc - just as what happened with population curves (which look very alarming several decades ago). The labeling of RCP8.5 of "business as usual" seems a bit off to me, as "business as usual" would have to mean literally reversing trends of pursuing cleaner energy and our clearly slowing population growth.

That's why I call it a "worst-case", because while it's well within what is possible, I don't believe it to be probable. Thus, my contention with the headlines promoting what I feel to be an unlikely future, given current trends and policies. It think it's very valuable to have these sort of reasonably realistic outer edge probability markers, but I think it's a mistake to misrepresent them as often happens in headlines.

Comment Re:Not just Southern Spain (Score 1) 252

In The Guardian link:

The study, published in the journal Science, modelled what would happen to vegetation in the Mediterranean basin under four different paths of future carbon emissions, from a business-as-usual scenario at the worst end to keeping temperature rises below the Paris climate deal target of 1.5C at the other.

Temperatures would rise nearly 5C globally under the worst case scenario by 2100, causing deserts to expand northwards across southern Spain and Sicily, and Mediterranean vegetation to replace deciduous forests.

They ran four different projections, with the worst-case of these projections representing the 5C temperature increase and southern Spain ending up a desert. Unfortunately, the paper is paywalled, so we just have to rely on the summaries.

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