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Comment Re:does not compute. (Score 3, Informative) 77

I don't understand how this is technically possible. don't you need a different type of phone to go from Verizon to ATT? like taking your TV to Japan.

It depends on the device. Some devices will work across all of the Big 4 carriers in the USA. The iPhone 5s/5c is one example. It contains all the radio equipment necessary to connect to any carrier's LTE signal frequency (3G fallback might be an issue between CDMA and GSM). I would expect these radios to become more prevalent as time progresses.

Comment Re:700 pounds -- goodbye safety standards! (Score 1) 319

Cars are a necessity in the US. We have more room and things are much father spread out. Try getting around a typical western US city without a car.

That's not because you have more room. That's because public transportation sucks and has a social stigma.

You don't need a car in London, for example.

While I do not disagree with the social stigma associated with the use of public transit, the real problem in these Western US cities is poor urban planning. Much of the growth in the West has been over the last 20-40 years and coincides with the heyday of the automobile, unlike their Eastern counterparts, which formed before the advent of the automobile. Many of the Western cities chose to grow outward instead of upward, that is, they grew in terms of area but not density. This is due to the choice to build large tracts of single-family homes and strip malls instead of multiple-unit and mixed-use dwellings, which effectively decrease density of the region. And no public transportation infrastructure was built to accommodate the influx of new housing, instead efforts were focused on expanding and building out the existing roadway and freeway networks.

The problem then becomes that as the area a city covers expands outward and new residents populate these areas, many of them still commute back to the city center for work, clogging the highway network beyond its design capacity but with little room and money for expansion. Many people braving these commutes would not mind using public transit but it is not feasible in their area and the cost to build such a system is more than most governments can afford, especially in these economic times.

This is not intended to bash all Western cities. In some cases (see San Francisco and Portland OR), cities have implemented stricter zoning requirements and urban growth limits, forcing developers to invest in multiunit dwellings and mixed-use space. These cities have also invested greatly in a public transit system, including taking steps to reduce or eliminate much of the "social stigma" associated therewith.

Comment Re:Poor France, following the lead of other nation (Score 1) 488

Do not be so quick to fault the French. Seems to me recent stories about the US Congress show new tricks to avoid obtaining a majority of 60 votes to pass legislation increasing taxes or doing budgets because it allowed the minority party a voice. Hell even if they have to abide by their own rules they found gimmicks to get around them to include having the administrative branch issue POs

Summary, in all "Democratic" countries, democracy only works until the ruling parties figured out they were immune to the wishes of the voters and rule of law.

60 votes are not required to pass the legislation; only to end debate, and then only in the Senate. The House of Representatives has no such rule. Budget Reconciliation bills, which serve to smooth out the kinks in the House and Senate versions of the annual budget, need only 51% of the membership to vote to invoke cloture (to force a floor vote). Which at the current Senate membership is 50 votes, since one Senate seat from Minnesota is still under dispute, leaving the total membership at 99.

Comment Re:There's no way they'll abuse this (Score 1) 570

Yup, just like they did in Massachusetts

State hits crime lab on DNA cache, Some files improperly kept, IG says
The State Police crime laboratory is storing the DNA profiles of hundreds of people whose crimes do not warrant it, according to an investigation of the historically troubled lab, raising the specter of what one civil libertarian called a "shadow DNA database."

- SR

Or in California in 2004. Stupid voters passed Prop 69!

(Winston Churchill once said that the greatest argument against democracy was "a five-minute conversation with the average voter." I could not agree more.)

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