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Comment Re:Regular Taxi Service fears.. (Score 1) 493

I know it's a terrible way to negotiate a car *price*, but I often find myself thinking about some of these bigger ticket items in terms of cash flow and "how little can I pay per month?"

There are some risks with this thinking, especially with depreciable assets with a limited lifetime, but there are times where I wish I could refinance my mortgage for a 50 year term just to cut the monthly payment down as low as possible to increase my cash flow here and now.

I'm biased, because my mortgage is half paid and I figure even if only added another 5% in equity over the next 10 years the present value of the extra cash would be more valuable than the savings on interest payments, plus by the time I sell the overall appreciation in value will still result in getting my purchase price back in cash.

Comment Re:Overpriced (Score 2) 72

Super overpriced. I got 30 days of unlimited talk/text and 10 gb of data for less than 20 GBP from ASDA mobile when I was in the UK.

The only drawback I saw was that I didn't get LTE speeds, "only" 4G. I wasn't sure if that was a radio limitation of my US-bought iPhone 6 plus or a limitation of the plan. It also didn't allow for tethering.

The practical drawbacks of that were nil for me, speeds were just fine for maps, email, web and every other smartphone thing I wanted to do and the hotel had free and quite good wifi.

And using a local SIM is hardly novel, either, you about trip over people trying to sell SIM cards in the arrival area of the airport.

Comment Re:So where are the criminal convictions? (Score 1) 109

Maybe explain it to me like I'm 5 how RICO doesn't cover an organized conspiracy to facilitate money laundering.

If these guys were named Juarez or Gambino they'd have so many bugs and wiretaps on them the fucking ISS could detect a warp in the Earth's magnetic field.

But because they're corporate executives they get to pay a fine and nobody goes to jail.

Comment Re:Which executive knew about which fraudulent tra (Score 1) 109

Isn't that the fucking FBI's job? To investigate all that shit, with their high-powered forensics and iPhone cracking, etc?

I mean, I can accept that nobody gets charged (in the same manner that a battered woman takes the next beating, because she's used to it), but at the same time the FTC announces a half-billion dollar fine for money laundering and we don't even HEAR about the ongoing FBI investigation into criminal culpability?

And spare me the "who committed what specific act" -- isn't the point of being an officer of a corporation accepting general liability for misbehavior?

Comment Re:So where are the criminal convictions? (Score 4, Interesting) 109

It's a large fine, but my question is why weren't the senior executives charged under the RICO laws and given the 20 year jail sentences and $100k per incident personal fines?

Why is it that if you're running under a corporate charter that you're excluded from being defined as running an ongoing criminal enterprise?

Comment Re:BASIC (Score 3, Interesting) 69

That's a bit harsh, isn't it?

For 1987 HyperCard seemed like a pretty easy way for someone with casual knowledge to produce what amounted to something close to a GUI application without climbing the super steep learning curve involved in writing a native Mac application. I think Inside Macintosh was up to about 5 volumes by then and event-based programming was a bit of mind fuck for people who had come out of general programming creating menu-driven designs, not to mention the headaches of generating GUI interfaces.

I seem to remember running an NNTP reader on the Mac ~1999 that used Hypercard.

Comment Re:Gouge the middle class to make them poor (Score 1) 269

I think you undersell how people lived in the 1950s.

I live in a house built in 1954 and it was originally about 1800 finished square feet with 3 bedrooms. Switching counter tops to Formica was probably an upgrade over previous choices which probably had been wood or linoleum. I don't think automatic dishwashers were that widespread until the 1960s or later.

But I think they would have had a washing machine, possibly a dryer, almost certainly a TV and a couple of radios.

I think in many ways the lifestyle of a 1955 family probably felt extremely futuristic to them -- for a lot of them, I bet they had first hand experience with houses without central heating, wood cooking stoves, using an outhouse, no automatic hot water heater.

The other high tech stuff nobody had, either, so they weren't exactly missing it.

Comment Re:Wow. (Score 1) 93

I wonder if they should work with pharma and come up with some new and improved hypnotics for a Mars journey. It might makes sense to have long-haul astronauts "zoned out" for several hours per day. They could keep a patch or some kind of autoinjector connected with a drug to counter-act it in case of emergency.

Comment Re:Good Idea! (Score 1) 36

Their minidisc stuff wasn't bad in the late 1990s. It had some DRM limits if you recorded digitally, but I don't remember it being a pain and it was way better than cassette for general reliability and analog recording.

I think they managed to screw this up when MP3 came along, bringing in more DRM and limitations while trying to stay relevant.

Comment Re:Remote work is validated once again. (Score 1) 147

Clearly humans, possessing more developed language and sophisticated intellectual capabilities, have been able to develop more sophisticated social organizations than other primates.

But it doesn't stop them from displaying regressive behavior that shows pretty clearly while we've branched off into a new species we still carry a lot of primal instincts from our ancestors.

Comment Re:Self-fulfilling Prophecy (Score 2) 311

I always thought the elite schools attracted people not for their education but for the benefits of their social connections to a lot of rich and well-connected people.

What would Facebook be if Zuckerberg had instead gone to Purdue or Texas A&M instead of Harvard? How much of his success is due to the fact that he had access to a lot of rich and influential people?

Comment Re:Remote work is validated once again. (Score 3, Interesting) 147

It's not really meant as a joke. For a lot of managers, at its core, managing is about being in charge, and being in charge is about dominance.

And it ultimately looks like innate primate behavior. They're achieved status in the troop and they need to dominate the other members or they fear they will lose their dominance.

Comment Re:Advertising and greed (Score 1) 147

I think the cable companies started ramping prices to consumers first, then the networks caught on and began demanding more carriage fees, figuring that they weren't going to let the cable company profit while they didn't.

Then the production companies and sports leagues caught on, and figured they weren't going to let the networks get fat and profitable, and THEY demanded more money, part of which the networks tried to make up with more advertising.

And now we're in this spiral where they've gotten used to just regular increases, and as soon as any one of them demands an increase they all demand an increase.

The net result is that the pricing to consumers is out of whack and it's so filled with commercials the value proposition is wiped out.

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