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Comment Trailer under run bars would have saved life (Score 4, Informative) 564

Look at the way the trailer took the top of the car off while barely slowing it down. This shows how trailer under-run bars would have prevented this death. In Europe they are required, and we basically don't have this sort of side collision decapitation horror accident.

Comment Property values for property developers (Score 1) 175

Higher property values, that is also higher property cost, benefits only a few: those who own a lot of property to sell. It does not benefit most people, who only buy the property they have for its utility - their house, their company office, etc. They just have to spend more of their money on something they need anyway.

You should not seek to "increase property values" and "increased property values" as a reason to do something is "to make a few people richer".

Comment Reality has a liberal bias (Score 0) 206

Their problem is that reality has a liberal bias:

The planet really is getting warmer. Trickle-down economics really doesn't work. Socailised, single-payer, single-risk-pool healthcare really is cheaper and more effective for the whole population, vaccination does prevent spread of infectious diseases, homosexuality is normal and harmless, and so on.

It is a fundamentally different way of thinking: Conservative, reactionary people think that you can decide how things are and will be. Progressive, liberal people think that you discover how things are by experience, by the scientific method, and by other means. So when things turn out not to be as the Conservative, reactionary people think they are, it must be a conspiracy and a bias against them - they can't be wrong, because in their world they can't be wrong, they decide how things are.

Comment What could possibly go wrong? (Score 4, Insightful) 215

What could possibly go wrong when amateur sleuths with spare time decided to look for incriminating evidence in everyday speech and activities?

I'm sure they'll find lots of things to report to the police which the police will take seriously and investigate - completely screwing up children's lives by criminalising them.

I just hope the children don't slip up on Facebook privacy settings so the school can't see what they're posting.

This is, of course, teaching the children to be fearful and to hide from arbitrary, vengeful authority. Bad for their mental health - but realistic training for life in the USA today.

Comment Ubiquitous in China, FB aims at next billion users (Score 2) 116

This sort of authentication is very common in China, where your phone number is your identity for many purposes. With WeChat payments, your payment identity is even your phone number.

People who arrive at online connectivity via smartphones and messaging software don't have an email address and don't want one; their identity is their phone number. With all the problems that has, but those aren't problems they see at first (email also is not lacking in problems).

So this is Facebook aiming at being the auth service, and entry point to the Internet, for people who are newly connected to the Internet via smartphones. The next billion to be networked.

This is not aimed at anyone who uses slashdot - if you read this, you're just not one of the people described above.

Comment Of course the "quote" is polished (Score 1) 42

I've been the person "quoted" as saying something like that. Anyone with integrity will not have anything attributed to them that they wouldn't want to have said. But what you say for the record is not usually the first thing that comes out of your mouth. Anyone making a speech or an announcement will run through some phrasing, practice it on others, etc.

"Yeah, it's gonna let you have the local regulation laws, more people can run their stuff with lower latency, some of them care a lot about that, uh, even though we know it barely matters, and we'll be cheaper than the other guys, mostly." - becomes the quote you read.

I've given my colleagues good phrases to use and they use them, or they've asked me how something sounds and that's co-created.

Comment Billing by the hour is the problem (Score 1) 287

Lawyers are scared of anything that reduced billable hours because they have built an entire business model of paying for time spent, for effort, not for results.

Lawyering should be an intellectual task with a defined outcome, not a repetitive task. Lawyers should be paid for the benefit they bring, not how hard it was. Remember the old consultancy joke:

A client has a very complex machine that does not work. A consultant is called in, and he looks at the machine for a few minutes, and draws a cross on it in chalk, saying "Hit it here with a sledgehammer". A worker hits the machine with a sledgehammer and it functions perfectly thereafter.
The consultant sends his bill to the client: "Consultancy on machine repair: $50000".
The client angrily rejects this, demanding a breakdown of the work done to justify the preposterous consultancy fee.
The consultant responds with "Placing chalk cross on machine: $5 Knowing where to place the cross: $49995".

Lawyers are trying to provide a justification for their fees that is not "Because I am smart and know the law" when that is why you are hiring them. You should not be paying extra for people to do mechanical tasks.

Good lawyers should come out well. Legal assistance, paralegals, secretaries, etc will come out badly. Re-think taking that "paralegal training degree" at degree mills like the University of Phoenix - it will be even more useless in future than it is now.

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