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Comment Re:unpossible (Score 1) 1343

Parent may be modded funny, but this is probably what we really need: more grammar and spelling nazis trolling the net. It's telling how much Internet culture has spilled over into the real world when kids are using emoticons in reports and tests. Schools clearly are not being effective in reinforcing proper spelling and grammar and I would bet this is because school isn't the place kids are socializing the most anymore. These days it's all about the Facebook, texting, and forums.

I think if more people really started pushing proper spelling/grammar online we would see a correlating shift back to better spelling and grammar in schools. One person calling out your mistakes makes that guy a dick. Everyone calling out your mistakes makes you the dick.

Comment Re:Uh, no. They didn't. (Score 1) 531

On the contrary, I enjoy board games immensely. You seem to be forgetting the setting under which board games are usually played. Board games tend to come out at parties/family gatherings with kids present.

People at all-adult parties (I won't mention teen parties. Let's face it, whatever they're doing, it's not board games.) tend to socialize more than play games, especially small parties because those are usually friends wanting to catch up. And since most board games are for 2-8 players, larger parties are limited to games that scale up well like Pictionary or Scattergories.

Games tend to come out more when there are kids because kids need to be entertained or they get annoying, and they also tend to hate being left out of the group. And even excusing the tantrum throwers and mischief makers, kids are still kids. Greasy hands, spilled drinks/food, general clumsiness... Not good for an expensive electronic device.

So, unless you happen to go to a lot of parties without kids where board games always take center stage, I don't see how it's worth it.

Comment Re:More than likely. (Score 3, Insightful) 162

What corporate responsibility? Because it seems to me there's a lot of talk about corporate responsibility, but when it comes to it, the powers that be don't really care what a corporation does so long as they don't screw the shareholders/government. Otherwise, when a corporation comes into violation with the law (and assuming the defendants can afford to holdout for the duration of the trial), the most they'll get is some nominal fine that sounds big to the average person, but is really no more than a slap on the wrist.

All this justification crap is just fluff. Here's the real reason Microsoft is in China: Microsoft wants to make money. China has money to spend. Therefore, Microsoft will cooperate with China so it can get some of it's money.

That's it. Surprising, I know. Honestly, Microsoft could go on about how it'd give every Chinese person a fucking ice-cream shitting unicorn and it'd come to the same effect. So long as the shareholders are happy, it doesn't really matter what they say to the public.

Comment Re:Sad news (Score 1) 920

Let's face it, without some amazing and so-far-unforeseen advances in technology, any off-Earth colonies would die out within a few years of losing support with Earth. Given that, the presence or absence of those colonies isn't really relevant to the survival of mankind, which is 100% tied to the viability of Earth.

I wish there was a +6 insightful for this.

Comment Re:nasa is not gonna get much done (Score 1) 175

Are you sure of that? Payload capacity is one thing, but the biggest hurdle in the Ares rockets is reducing the vibrations enough to make them safe for human transport. Keep in mind that at the time the Ares was chosen, the design was already deemed to be nearly twice as safe as either the Delta IV or the Atlas V. Considering that the Delta IV or Atlas V were never designed to carry humans to space, it could very well be that both rockets would require a major retrofit to account for this same problem.

Comment Re:Incorrect premise (Score 1) 945

Yes, who'd have thought pretentious people would buy into the hip, new face of Apple, giving them the opportunity to look both cool and superior with their new sexy laptops as well as being the ever-fashionable rebel by not buying into that whole M$ thing.

Not sure what the point of this article is as the "Apple Paradox" as the title calls it doesn't exist. People who are genuinely free thinking don't go around proclaiming it and showing it off like it's a medal. Most of the time people who think differently are considered social outcasts. All this free-thinking BS with Apple is really just the result of an effective marketing campaign on Apple's part.

Comment Re:In FreeMarket America ... (Score 1) 494

What? Wiki to the rescue again: "The Act mandates that all banking institutions that receive FDIC insurance be evaluated by Federal banking agencies to determine if the bank offers credit ... in all communities in which they are chartered to do business in."

Wait, hold on a sec... From the same page:

"Some legal and financial experts note that CRA regulated loans tend to be safe and profitable, and that subprime excesses came mainly from institutions not regulated by the CRA. In the February 2008 House hearing, law professor Michael S. Barr, a Treasury Department official under President Clinton,[65][110] stated that a Federal Reserve survey showed that affected institutions considered CRA loans profitable and not overly risky. He noted that approximately 50% of the subprime loans were made by independent mortgage companies that were not regulated by the CRA, and another 25% to 30% came from only partially CRA regulated bank subsidiaries and affiliates."

Okay, so I did get that partially wrong. The majority of loans WERE made without CRA regulation, it just wasn't the banks making those loans. But it continues...

"Barr noted that institutions fully regulated by CRA made "perhaps one in four" sub-prime loans, and that "the worst and most widespread abuses occurred in the institutions with the least federal oversight".[111] According to Janet L. Yellen, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, independent mortgage companies made risky "high-priced loans" at more than twice the rate of the banks and thrifts; most CRA loans were responsibly made, and were not the higher-priced loans that have contributed to the current crisis.[112] A 2008 study by Traiger & Hinckley LLP, a law firm that counsels financial institutions on CRA compliance, found that CRA regulated institutions were less likely to make subprime loans, and when they did the interest rates were lower. CRA banks were also half as likely to resell the loans.[113] Emre Ergungor of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland found that there was no statistical difference in foreclosure rates between regulated and less-regulated banks, although a local bank presence resulted in fewer foreclosures.[114]"

If that's to be believed, then both our arguments need work. The CRA regulations weren't, after all, forcing banks to make bad loans to the point of breaking them, and neither were the banks out for quick profit. It seems the blame should really fall on the independent mortgage companies, being both outside of CRA regs and with much less to lose by going for the quick buck over long term sustainability.

In light of the strong likelihood that neither of us are going to accede to the other's argument, want to take this and call it a draw?

Comment Re:In FreeMarket America ... (Score 1) 494

You're talking as if the CRA forced banks to open the flood gates and hand out loans to anyone who asked for it. This may be what the banks did, but it was not what the law was designed or intended for.

The CRA was designed to keep banks from arbitrarily rejecting loans just because the applicant happened to be from an area deemed low-income/high-risk. The only forcing the CRA does is make banks specifically assess an individual applicant's borrowing ability. The approval/denial process is still left to the banks. There is no provision requiring banks to make high-risk loans it knows will end in a loss. There isn't even a set standard for judging a bank's compliance; it's based entirely on a bank's specific location and capacity.

And I notice in your reply you completely glossed over the part where I mention the majority of the subprime loans made weren't regulated by the CRA.

The banks could have enforced income verification.

The banks could have approved loans for amounts congruent with the applicant's income, rather than whatever the applicant asked for.

The banks could have continued to require down payments.

I'm not saying people didn't play a part, but they weren't the ones holding the purse strings. And no, there wasn't a law forcing the banks to hand out money they knew it would never get back. That is simply not true.

I'm sure the banks knew they were making crap loans too. But you're assuming the greed in people wanting the "American Dream" is greater than the greed of an industry whose sole purpose is making money. What is ridiculous is thinking that an industry filled entirely with people who want to make as much money as possible wouldn't go for the chance to make huge, fast profits.

Comment Re:In FreeMarket America ... (Score 1) 494

Seriously? A law designed to keep banks from categorically denying loans based on region caused the housing bust?

It wasn't, say, the mortgage-backed securities that allowed banks to roll their crap loans in with good ones and sell the lot for quick profit (not to mention negating their risk for those crap loans) on the assumption that the good loans will outweigh the bad?

And it wasn't the regulations allowing ARM loans in the first place, loans that were designed so people could get bigger loans than they otherwise could afford?

And I guess the deregulation of background checks and income verification, so a person could just claim whatever income they wanted without the loan officer being required to verify that amount also had nothing to do with it?

I also suppose the fact that the majority of subprime loans made weren't even regulated by that mean old CRA you claim was the root of the problem means nothing as well?

But hey, you're right about those people. There is a lot of blame on the people who ignored all sense and went for loans they knew they couldn't afford. But here's the thing: was it applicants who approved those loans?

Silly me, I see now, of course it's the poor people's fault. They were the ones who were too greedy, not the banks/mortgage companies. And the continual loosening of lending standards made under the assumption that the market will self-adjust had nothing to do with it. Yes, that must be it. It's the poor people's fault that banks and mortgage companies created for themselves a system that allowed them to make all kinds of loans - good, bad, whatever - then bundle them up and sell and resell them for quick profit, just like a game of hot potato. Damn those poor people, damn them!

Oh wait.

No, I'm pretty sure I'll stand by my original statement that regulation should be made to limit corporate greed, and the market should not have total control of itself. Someone's gotta be the referee.

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