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Comment Re:GDP (Score 1) 717

First you are overlooking something in your argument, studies have pretty conclusively shown that taking vacations also improves productivity. So, while your assumption 3) may be correct, the market will deal with that since those companies which exploit workers for short-term financial benefit will pay a long-term financial penalty.

Hopefully you are correct. I'm guessing it will still be years until the low paying jobs start getting vacations by default. The government has the opportunity to stimulate the market towards that goal in a much shorter time span though.

If there's a guy willing to work 60 hours per week for $200 per week flipping burgers and an employer willing to hire that person, should it be in discretion of the employer and employee only to decide if that is acceptable?


I disagree, at least partially. While it should be largely between the employer and employee, the government really should intervene when the deal is obviously unfair to the employee. Preventing creating sweat shops and all that. If the employee really knows what he's doing - and is not doing so merely out of desperation - then by all means, they are free to burn themselves out.

Comment Re:GDP (Score 1) 717

There's some research to support that taking vacations is beneficial - see (paywalled, sorry) and (pdf alert) - but I get the feeling that the debate is not about whether vacations are good or not but rather about if it' should be the government that gets to dictate that vacation time should be granted.

In the following, I will make some assumptions:

1) Taking vacations reduces stress and provides health benefits (sort of based on the research cited above).
2) If the reduced stress and the health gains are significant enough, the government will either have to spend less on health care or social benefits, or the government will earn more in the form of taxes.
3) The employers are willing to exploit lower paid workers for short-term financial benefit.
4) The government is willing to act in the interest of the citizens.

Granted, the second assumption is the weakest one but at least it sounds logical to me. The time that a person spends being sick or recovering from a sickness is time the person will not (or cannot) spend working / earning money. Less money earned should directly correlate to less taxes paid which of course means less money for the government. Furthermore, less time being sick probably means less money spent on medical assistance (be it financed by the person, an insurance company or by the government).

The fact that employers are willing to exploit workers is in my opinion quite clear. There are quite a few regulations put in place by the government to minimize that - for example regulations requiring protective clothing when handling hazardous materials. A better example is probably the minimum salary, which (at least in theory) should provide all workers well enough remuneration to survive on it. If there's a guy willing to work 60 hours per week for $200 per week flipping burgers and an employer willing to hire that person, should it be in discretion of the employer and employee only to decide if that is acceptable?

Based on the previous points it is my opinion that the government should get to mandate a number of paid vacation days because it provides substantial enough benefits for the citizens. Since the employers would not otherwise provide the paid vacation, a law stating such a requirement should considerably increase the number of employers offering paid vacations, assuming that penalties of not doing so were sufficiently high.

Comment Re:GDP (Score 1) 717

Why SHOULD there be legally mandated vacation time? I do not understand why the government should interfere in my negotiations with my employer over things such as vacation time.

The government should leave freedom to negotiate a contract between an employer and potential employee - however I strongly support that the negotiations should have minimum limits that the employer cannot lower. Things like minimum number of paid vacation days and minimum wage. The former to allow the employees to have some time to rest, the latter to allow the employees to actually survive.

The way I see it, the mandated vacation is there so that the employer could not force the employees to accept having no vacation time just because they can. If there's a mandated non-zero minimum amount of paid vacation days, then the negotiation for paid vacation days cannot start from zero. A lot of people are not in a position to (or they choose not to, due to fierce competition) negotiate for a better deal than is offered to them.

Consider a low-paid Walmart employee, say the guy loading products on shelves. Finding someone suitable for that job isn't (probably) too difficult, and the people applying will most likely not argue too much about the compensation package. It's far easier to just reject people with higher demands and shop around until someone with no vacation demands applies for the position. Someone that would take pretty much any job to survive until the next paycheck. Is that a fair enough justification for an employer to not provide any time at all for the employee for a vacation?

Comment Re:I see plenty of people reading (Score 1) 264

You are correct, partially. Only three specific models of PS3 support older PS2/PS1 titles. See for reference. PS2 supports PS1 titles, although PS2 itself is not that easy to find these days.

Comment Re:I see plenty of people reading (Score 2, Insightful) 264

Can I expect to be able to access my collection of e-books in 40 years? I highly doubt that; it's more likely that I'd have to pay multiple times to shift the books from one format to another in order to access them with the e-readers available at that time. The popupar format is epub/mobi today, it's likely to be something else as technology progresses.

Will we witness a planned obsolescence as has happened multiple times with console games? PS1 games can nowadays only be played using an emulator (if you can't find a real PS1 console, that is). The PS1 games people had are naught but frisbees.

Comment Re:Sensationalist? I strongly disagree (Score 1) 899

No, this is Microsoft taking the required steps to protect against boot rootkits doing damage in the wild right now. It's nothing else, but it has been spinned as such. It's like conspiracy theorists who find some conspiracy in almost anything they hate. The difference just being that this isn't the big bad government and their secret UFO stuff, it's Microsoft.

Look, Microsoft is doing a far more good by killing of the boot-time rootkits. I'm sure the few people who want to dual boot can just buy devices that support it.

Look, Sony was doing a great deal of good by killing the PS3 piracy. I'm sure the few people who want to dual boot their PS3 can just buy devices that support it.

Comment Re:Not fear - disgust (Score 1) 1017

So the reports about TSA agents repeatedly touching people's sexual organs are completely OK because people consent to such behaviour? Granted, IANAL, but I do think that consenting to a pat down and consenting to having a stranger enter his finger into your girlfriend's vagina are completely different things.

I do agree that that pat downs are nowhere near "groping" or "sexual molestation" if done right. The problem is that the pat downs are *not* done right. A court throwing out a case because a pat down can be done right, regardless of whether it was done right in that case, sounds kind of strange. It's like saying that intentionally botching a surgery is OK because properly done surgery has great positive effects.

Comment Re:Government should randomly hide information? (Score 1) 518

Most Americans would have volunteered to squeeze the trigger that fired those rounds.

Most Americans support hate crimes? Shooting someone based only on the opinion that that someone did something bad is a hate crime and is no different than shooting your neighbour because of a rumour that he had killed some people.

Comment Re:Don't wait for Google policy. (Score 2, Informative) 157

Why do you think the password needs to be cracked at all?

1. Make a copy of the hash
2. Replace the hash with a hash of a known password
3. Log in with the known password and do whatever you wanted to do with the account
4. Replace the hash with the copy created in step 1
5. Delete the traces of the login so that the original user would not see the login information.

Comment Re:Improper Takedown? (Score 1) 189

Universal has way more lawyers than any single person that uploads stuff to Youtube. So even if someone were to point out that the DMCA request was illegal, Universal could just sue that someone and keep them tied up in courts for a decade. The way I see it, that makes them think they can do whatever they please with zero repercussions if they happen to be wrong.

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