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Comment Re:Ok, we've added. Now let's subtract. (Score 1) 156

My first thought about this was, by helping people move about and live longer PG is actually contributing to environmental disaster.

  • By moving around more, but not replacing other transportation needs like walking to work, people are expending more calories -- which consumes additional global resources pointlessly
  • By living longer, people consume even more resources with the extra years lived; by helping first-world people live longer, you increase the consumed resources by some greater-than-one multiplier compared to a thriftier third-world person.

Overall, this isn't good news.

Comment Re: Damn Fine Marketing (Score 1) 88

Not really. The NRA is just a gun manufacturing lobby; that's why they won't stand up for 3D printed guns.

But that counts. There's an entire industry, with money and motivation behind it, fighting for the second amendment.

Who fights for the other amendments? Nobody, which is why the definitions for things like "freedom of speech" (first), "fair and speedy trial" (sixth), and "excessive bail ... fines ... cruel and unsual punishment" (eighth) are so loose and squishy.

Comment Re: Damn Fine Marketing (Score 2) 88

People need to stop thinking in terms of groups and group rights and concentrate on what is right for individuals. That's the real problem. TPTB have spent the last 60 years dividing people into subgroups and ethnicities and pitting them against each other to create the emotional tension to create partisan followers fueled by hate and resentment for their fellow Americans.

60 years? Is that all? In America?

What about legal Jim Crow racism, which officially ended almost 50 years ago but persisted for over a century before that? Discrimination against the Japanese in the 1920s, '30s and '40s, or against Chinese, Irish, and Italians (none of whom were considered "white" at the time) during the last half of the 19th century and early 20th century? Native Americans since the 1600s?

I'm not saying your message is wrong, but you need to check your history. This has been going on a lot longer than you think, and the sources "stirring up" discrimination are probably different than you believe. A lot of it is inborn and doesn't require stirring because, face it, humans are naturally assholes to each other.

Comment Re:Sapphire crystal lens cover (Score 1) 111

Is this a non-story or did I miss something?

I think you missed something: looking for sapphire on the underside is a way to tell if it's sapphire throughout, or just a veneer on the top. By having less (or no) sapphire on the underside, it would appear it's more like a coating applied over glass, not pure sapphire.

I can't say for certain whether its a non-story; that's up to the millions of customers that purchased phones with the coating, and whether they feel cheated or not.

Comment Re:Sounds like a check cashing place (Score 1) 108

Check cashing places and payday loan companies are other examples of companies making money off other peoples' bad situations. If your credit sucks so badly that you can't open a bank account, helpful businesses like this will happily cash that check for you...for a price.

Your credit score doesn't affect your ability to open a bank account. I think you misunderstand why these establishments exist or how they work. People who frequent them either:

  • distrust banks (or are staying off the radar so their accounts cannot be seized due to debts) and refuse to open an account
  • need the money now and cannot wait for their paycheck to arrive

In the former case, they bad credit possibly because the have very little credit history, and in the latter case they need money faster than the typical banking system can work.

One way to view payday lenders is that they're preying on the poor and naive; another is that they're providing a service that no-one else will to people that know full well what they're doing (but don't have other options).

Comment Re:Both. (Score 2) 391

meaning 10 spaces would be indented using 1 tab and 2 spaces.

That is truly the worst of both worlds. If you're going to use tabs, then tabs should be used for indenting (i.e. the block-level of the code) and spaces for formatting after the appropriate indent has been achieved, and the two should not mix.

Doing it your way will improperly display in any other editor or viewer, including Emacs, that has a different-width tab -- which is pretty much all of them, since the 4-space tab-width is so popular.

Comment Re:Is Fiscal 2016 over with already? (Score 2) 100

Have they already closed the books on 2016 earnings? Heck yeah they need to get bought. The hardware running their accounting software is literally more than a month faster than anything I've seen in the industry.

They may have a tax year that starts as early as June 1, so yeah they might be in 2017, fiscally speaking.

Comment Re:Unfettered capitalism (Score 3, Interesting) 639

My point is not that competing with John Deere would be easy - it is hard, but not mainly because of anything the government is doing.

I think you missed the point of the article. Competing with John Deere is ILLEGAL due to the way they've taken refuge under the DMCA.

People could reverse-engineer the parts and mechanisms and figure out how to fix the tractors themselves, no manuals needed. My Saab 9-3 never had any jouneyman's manuals printed because the manufacturer didn't allow it, but GM didn't wield the DMCA like a club to prevent any kind of repairs — so there is still a thriving market. The same cannot be said for John Deere or their tractors.

Comment Re:Unfettered capitalism (Score 3, Insightful) 639

How? Give me an example of how the government is preventing someone new from competing in the tractor business.

The laws aren't preventing someone from starting a tractor manufacturing business, though we could veer off and talk about regulatory capture and speculate that any new business that John Deere can't prevent legally will simply be purchased by them before it becomes too big.

But I challenge you to start a tractor repair business that specializes in late-model John Deer tractors. You may technically start one and hang out your shingle, but you won't be able to execute any meaningful repairs without running afoul of the DMCA. As you might read from the article, John Deere has taken advantage of the law to squelch competition in the very lucrative repair business for their equipment.

But hey, if there's nothing stopping you as you say, you should give it a try. Quit your day job, start your John Deer tractor repair business, and get back to me in six months and tell me how you're doing. If you're correct you'll be filthy rich with farmers throughout the nation clamoring for your services.

Comment Re:Unfettered capitalism (Score 4, Informative) 639

If we had unfettered capitalism, farmers wouldn't have to fix their own tractors or pay to have them towed to a Deere dealership. A mobile service industry would spring up of mechanics who would come out to your farm, plug in to the diagnostic port, and fix most problems right there in the literal field. But why put up with the uncertainties of capitalism when you can buy socialist protection from the government?

I'm sorry, but what? How on Earth would your so called "unfettered Capitalism" work any differently than it is right at this moment for these farmers? Because it's capitalism that's keeping these farmers from fixing their own machines. It's capitalism that's devised a way to sell something to the farmers without them actually having to give up ownership of the product. It's capitalism that has paid off the politicians to pass the laws that allow the manufacturers to continue milking money from these farmers. Socialism has nothing to do with this. It's capitalism 100% that has created this situation.

No, Applehu Akbar had it right.

This isn't unfettered capitalism, this is corporate capitalism: a "free or mixed-market economy characterized by the dominance of hierarchical, bureaucratic corporations." (see see Wikipedia's article). The laws are written in a way that mostly benefits the corporations and largest businesses - they're being given protection from the upstarts that would swing in and provide cheaper/better/faster solutions by the government.

Comment Re:Insurance cover for hostile takeovers (Score 1) 299

A lot of people are looking at scenarios in which ordinary people won't own a car. Instead, they expect that people will subscribe to a car service. In that case, the car service will mostly self-insure.

It seems likely that you'll be expected to carry a policy that insures the car against damage caused by you or your guest-occupants. Occupants may damage the car's interior or exterior, direct it to drive into bad situations (driving into the bad part of town, where it gets vandalized, or tricking it into catching air off a hump in the road), or do other harmful things. The car service will probably require you to carry appropriate insurance just to be able to request a car.

The service itself will probably have to carry insurance and bonds to guarantee to the manufacturer that they will keep the cars up to date on maintenance and software updates. They themselves might not even own the cars, but lease them from the manufacturers. It's possible that dealerships will assume this role.

Finally, like renter's insurance, there will likely be optional insurance that you can carry to protect yourself and your belongings in the case that the car catastrophically fails.

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