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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.

Comment Re:Most of the world FAR less free than the US (Score 1) 64

Right yeah, the US is a world leader. This would be the US that still _murders children_ and calls that justice. The US that runs an illegal torture camp and says it shouldn't need to try people in court to find them guilty, because it has "proof" they're guilty, it just can't show that to anyone because it's secret proof.

The US where cops can take anything they want, and that's "lawful seizure", kill anyone they want and that's "self-defence", but it's OK because there's "due resistance" in the form of crazy people with guns causing even more murder but they're "citizens" so that's all right then.

Both you and the grandparent can be correct at the same time. The US government does have a rather poor human rights record. It's not much better than a large majority of the world's governments in that regard. Some state governments within the US have taken liberties that do appear to run counter to the Bill of Rights — and the courts are still examining that.

You should also consider, however, that the US government still does not have legal powers that other "free" countries' governments take for granted. (The most glaring example that comes to mind are the omnipresent surveillance cameras in "free" Britain, but you're free to look around and see other problems in other countries.) The Bill of Rights still holds some power and curtails the right of the government to curtail citizens' rights.

So you are correct and the GP is correct, and at the same time.

Get over yourselves. You're a backwater that thinks because it diverts most of its resources into military might that makes it morally superior.

Well, except for that. That's your opinion, which in the US you're free to have, but lets keep the discussion focused on facts. The only fact is that the US does spend a lot on the military. You don't even know if the GP is from the US.

Comment Re:Truly Epically Dumb to Destroy It (Score 1) 287

It could be highly useful in future medical research, and the damage it could cause if it gets back into the wild would be minimal.

Turn it around: what if a lab created a new virus with the virulence and mortality of smallpox? Would we take the same view that the research opportunity is invaluable, with minimal potential for damage, or would we insist that all of it be destroyed?

Comment Re:Please ... (Score 1) 339

This wasn't done in view of the public. The man is a self-rightous prostitute-hunter - and he had to resort to a drone in this case in order to get close enough without being noticed.

Someone else kindly provided a link to the video. (Skip to 4:30 or so to see the couple in question). From the looks of it, while the couple may have been on private property it wasn't their property. For all intents and purposes, they were indeed in full view of the public.

While a pile of old tires can provide some level of rudimentary seclusion, as well as that certain je ne sais quoi, they should have conducted their commercial transactions elsewhere.

Comment Re: lol (Score 3, Insightful) 255

how long until they crack the phone and find "evidence' that he had used the phone to talk to the Brussels terrorists?

From what I've read recently, many of the European terrorists don't bother with encryption and just use burner phones. It makes you much harder to trace when your phone is essentially one-use -- its like using a one-time pad for perfect encryption.

I hardly think that someone would spend the money for an iPhone only to use it handful of times, and it seems like a poor idea to talk about illegal acts on a phone that you have a long-term relationship with. It's not just you taking chances with your own phone, either -- it's the chance that the people you're talking to get picked up, which leads the authorities back to you because they have your regular number. Better to use burners all around.

I'm pretty sure that all the FBI will find on the phone are call logs of him calling home, and cat pictures. (though the conspiracy theorist inside me says that they may announce that they found much more, I really think that's all they will actually find.)

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