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Comment $5million for 1.5million accounts??! (Score 1) 341

That's about $3/account. I'm pretty sure that they made more than $3 per improperly opened account. My guess is that they're going to wait for people to complain, and hope that most people don't take the time to go through the bureaucratic process needed to claim the refunds (a process that will probably be much more involved than the one needed to open the fake accounts in the first place.

Cynical?? yep!

Comment Re:rotten at the top (Score 1) 341

You find me a bank that's not making money! They were making money. They just weren't making enough money for the executives' liking -- so they were pressured into increasing their profits 'or else'.

Executives and senior managers got their bonuses, and the line staff ultimately got the shaft.

Comment Re:A vote worse than wasted--but only in America (Score 1) 993

The US has gone through a whole list of third parties that grew into a primary party. Yes, it's disturbing to vote for a third party that you really want in power -- at the cost of possibly allowing the party you least want get into power. On the other hand, you sometimes have to take the road less traveled in order to get to where you really want to go.

That having been said, for this election, Trump is probably the worst 'worst case' I've seen in the US in a long, long time. as much as I'd like to see someone like the Greens gain stature, The risk of trump getting in is (IMHO), too disturbing to advocate a third party vote in this election (at least, not for president. For congress is an entirely different matter).

Comment Different answer if that weren't the intent (Score 4, Interesting) 186

Is a gun responsible for a shooting? If I build a Rube-Goldberg machine to drop a rock on your head, is the machine responsible?

In this case, doing harm was the intent of the machine and/or it's programming. As such, the maker is clearly responsible. If the harm was unintended/unexpected and there were no clear negligence, then I'd have a completely different conversation on this.

Things get more difficult as you get further away from the original source, but -- generally speaking -- if the result is generally what you intended from an action (or series of actions), then it's pretty clear that you're responsible. This is even true where there is a human intermediary. If I pay a hitman to kill my ex wife, I can still be arrested for first degree murder -- even if he kills the wrong person by mistake.

Comment Re:But they do, so do you (Score 4, Insightful) 113

While I have no problem with Google nailing pedos on the net, the problem I have with them searching through private images to do so is that it opens up a slippery slope for searching for other content that certain people might find 'subversive'... like being a Bernie supporter, or wanting to turn in certain kinds of corruption.

The privacy of private information that Google has access to needs to remain sacrosanct or there will be a huge pile of people walking away from Google.

Comment Re:Could Extend to Bernie Sanders, too. (Score 1) 416

That's interesting because you haven't provided any details about the subjects for which he is supposedly spreading ignorance. It looks to me like a symptom of you, yourself, being a victim of ignorance spreading about Sanders.

Have you been to his site to examine what his actual principles and platforms are?

That's because Sanders is spreading ignorance.

Submission + - Gene Spafford Spanks Prospective Obama Refuge.

darkonc writes: A (presumed) Republican posted a question on Quora.com asking:

Which Western democracy should an American conservative move to if they are afraid of Obama's policies and want to move somewhere more in line with Republican ideals?

The most popular answer to his question was from Gene Spafford (apparently a frequent contributor), who pretty much ripped the presumptions of the question apart. His final suggestions: Yemen and Afghanistan. Of course, you'd probably have to convert to Islam to take full advantage of the religious orientation of the governments there, bug beggars can't be choosers.

Comment Re:Yes but not at any cost (Score 1) 485

It looks to me like the main reason why the DOE turned sour on Thorium was that it was essentially useless for weapons production. As we've backed away from Uranium plants as seeds for the weapons industry, thorium should have looked better. Unfortunately we now have all of the sunk investment in Uranium technology. The MBAs like to chase their sunk investments.

From a financial prospective, it's also harder to lock in LFTR plants to your fuel source. The fuel for Uranium plants is very specific, so you can say "buy your fuel from us, or your plants go BOOM." Thorium plants, on the other hand, can (and should) reprocess their fuel on site, and just need to replenish the spent thorium to keep going... Not a good source of continuous high-margin sales for a plant manufacturer like Uranium plants are.

Comment Re:Pumped Storage, not Hydro (Score 1) 485

..... There is no point in backing wind/solar with ordinary hydro because you might as well just use the ordinary hydro and forget the wind/solar.

No. You use the wind/solar instead of hydro when they're available. This preserves the Hydro as on-demand for peak times and/or when wind/solar are unavailable. If wind/solar are ever more than enough to handle the region's power, then you can look at pumping storage, but we're nowhere near that point right now.

Comment Calls to Brussels are cheap, anyways. (Score 1) 58

Calls to Belgian ground lines are $0.02/min for VOIP retail users.. but calls to cell phones are about $0.20/min. .. unless the cell providers in Belgium are also giving users a discount. Given the number of Americans likely in Belgium right now, this is probably not going to cost these cell providers more than a couple of thousand dollars a day, for a log of good publicity.

Not that I think it's a bad idea, or anything -- It's just not as big a deal as it might seem, unless you compare this to their normal prices to call Belgium.

Comment Re:Replaced by a foreign is not a valid reason (Score 1) 605

It really does have to do with being foreign. If those workers had landed immigrant status, were expecting to raise a family in the US, and had the freedom to quit and go work for another employer at fair market value, they wouldn't accept the pay (or working conditions) that they get with an H1B visa that locks them into a single employer while they're in the US.

H1Bs for third-world workers are sometimes just a step above indentured servitude.

Comment One argument: "How bad is the threat - REALLY?" (Score 1) 129

Terrorism is spectacular and newsworthy -- but it's spectacular and newsworthy because it's so rare.

Since 9/11, American deaths by terror have averaged about 12 per year worldwide. That puts terrorism right up there with lightning strikes.

Even if there were a 9/11 class attack in the US every year, it wouldn't hold a candle to drunk driving deaths. -- but drunk driving deaths don't make the news because they're so common. It's the fallacy of the news cycle -- to be national news it has to be rare. More common threats of tragic death don't make the news because they've become so blase.

If we're going to have our civil rights watered down, it should, at the very least, be because of a real threat. The courts should be asked to set aside the news reports and demand that the FBI quantify the reality of the threat compared to normal everyday issues. If apple is forced to create this app, the app and it's ilk are going to creep into everyday use by law enforcement and other entities -- here, Russia, China, Iran, Syria and pretty much every dictatorship you can think of.

Would you consider it justified to force Apple to create this app and set this precedent to investigate a drunk driver?? Even though a drunk driver is far more of a threat to you and your family? It's time to put this whole terrorism hysteria into proper perspective. We shouldn't continue to allow it to be used to nibble away at our freedoms until there is nothing left -- especially for a 'threat' that is more of a PR issue than a statistical reality.

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