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Comment As A Recipient (Score 1) 145

The author of an email that cc's their boss should be more worried about the boss's perception than whether the coworker feels less trusted. Copying the boss on an email is often an attempt to create a CYA moment with, "Well, I told you about it," or a passive-aggressive way to tell on a co-worker without taking responsibility or a way of telling a co-worker, "You better do what I'm asking or mommy/daddy are going to come after you."

I used to get copied on stuff all the time and finally told those reporting to me, "Don't copy me on an email unless you expect me to take an action. If I need to be informed about something then send me a direct email with an explanation of why I need to know about it." For some, the directive didn't take until I started taking action based solely on the content of their email.

Comment Re:Translator (Score 3, Informative) 300

I started programming in COBOL in 1978. I spent a decade or so on IBM mainframes with COBOL and 370 assembler.

I never referred to anything as a COBOL file. There were many types of file and database structures on IBM mainframes. While many simple systems used fixed record formats it wasn't nearly always the case.

The FILE section of a COBOL program allowed for varying record sizes:

FD file-name
RECORD IS VARYING IN SIZE FROM small-size TO large-size DEPENDING ON size-variable.

WORKING-STORAGE SECTION.
77 size-variable PIC 9(5).

The language also allows for the redefinition of record layouts so the type of data and what is to be done with it can be determined at run-time.

Comment Re:hold it - which humble people? (Score 1) 339

Rex Tillerson, former CEO of Exxon/Mobil, the 7th largest corporation in the world. Now Secretary of State of the United States.

He started as a production engineer and worked his way up.

Don't confuse the leaders of companies with founders. I think you'll find more narcissists among the founders of companies than of the non-founding leaders.

Comment Formula For Disaster (Score 5, Insightful) 364

Let's tell everyone they need college in order to be successful, but let's not be specific about what kind of college will get you success; after all a basket weaving degree is just as valuable as an engineering degree.

Let's tell them that college is so important that we'll make government-guaranteed loans available to be sure they can afford that critical degree.

We'll add to the mix the natural market reaction of increasing prices as more money is made available to pay for the product.

Then we can all act surprised as loan loads increase, the feel good degrees don't allow one to make payments causing the ability to pay those loans to decrease resulting in a requisite government-bailout for everyone who got a student loan to pay for a degree that has no value.

If you think a degree is going to have a positive economic value for you then you make the investment to get the degree. If that means working two jobs and taking 6 years to get a degree then so be it, you can make the economic decision to do that. If the economic numbers don't make sense for you then don't go to college to get a degree.

The whole story line about college being better for you economically is based on a mis-understood or mis-applied correlation: people who went to college earned more than people who didn't. That headline is based on the overall group. A more interesting question would be what is the net cost of college by degree-type. A student who spends $50,000 for a worthless degree will be overshadowed by someone who spends $50,000 for a degree ultimately worth millions. The average of the degrees is higher than those who have no college but the value is still close to zero for the person with the worthless degree and $50,000 in student loans.

That $50,000 degree worth millions isn't because of the degree. It's because of the application of the knowledge attained with the degree by a person driven enough to use that knowledge in a way that creates market value.

Comment This will fix the privacy issue (Score 4, Interesting) 136

The reason the privacy regulations were put in place by Obama was because the net neutrality rules put in place eliminated the FTC's purview over selling user data.

Once the FCC declared the ISPs as common carriers, the FTC's ability to regulate the ISPs went out the window. Because Google and Facebook aren't common carriers the FTC's regulations regarding selling data still apply to them.

If Trump is successful in rolling back the common carrier definition, which gave us "net neutrality", then the FTC's previous regulations preventing the sale of private information will be back in place.

You can see more detail about AT&T v. FTC which outlines the problem.

Comment Re:Where's the news? (Score 4, Interesting) 266

I'm a decent golfer, about a 9 handicap, and I can tell you that for an amateur like me the newer golf balls make a significant difference. I probably can't tell the difference between a Titleist Pro V1 and a Kirkland Signature but I can most definitely tell a difference between a 2017 ball and one from 1997.

Comment Re:Where's the news? (Score 4, Informative) 266

It looks like Titleist has 44 patents on their Pro V1 golf balls. These patents range from design to materials to manufacturing.

For example, the first patent in the list, 6013330, relates to UV curable inks and their application onto spherical surfaces such as golf balls. Reading the first page of the patent may give you a sense of the complexity of high-speed, production printing on a curved surface in a durable manner.

If you look at the patents you will notice that many of them are related to manufacturing processes. 9174088, for example, is a process for cleaning the seam created when the golf ball is molded in a way that allows the dimple pattern to be consistent across the seam.

There are a ton of BS patents out there and some of Titleist's may fall into that category. But it's not hard to imagine a lot of complexity goes into designing and manufacturing a golf ball. The company started in 1932 because of a golfer's frustration with the then state-of-the-art golf balls.

Comment BS summary (Score 3, Informative) 397

The linked article can't be read if an adblocker is active.

The current state of the law:

Employees who refuse to participate in an employer wellness program can be charged up to 50% more for employer-provided health insurance.

If genetic testing is part of the wellness program then employees have to voluntarily authorize the genetic test. If an employee participates in the wellness program but declines included genetic testing then they can't be penalized with the higher insurance premiums.

The new state of the law, if this bill passes:

Employees who refuse genetic testing that is part of a wellness program can be considered non-participants in the wellness program and be charged the higher insurance premiums.

The comment in the summary that the new bill would "...let employers see that genetic and other health information." is the current state of the law as it relates to wellness programs (Work wellness programs put employee privacy at risk). There is nothing in the new bill that suddenly decreases patient/employee privacy.

"Mandatory" wellness programs, themselves, were controversial and lacked privacy protections when the Democrats insisted everyone participate. They're no less controversial today as the Republicans expand those wellness programs with additional components.

Comment Re:Want to Fix This? (Score 2) 114

The Fair Tax isn't fair to everyone. It's really only helpful to those with income. In my case, for example, while I'm "retired" I don't actually get a pension. My retirement consists of a bank account full of the savings I accumulated over years of working. All that cash is what's left over after I paid income taxes on my earnings. That money I have was taxed on the way into my savings accounts.

If a Fair Tax comes along then all savers like me will be taxed again when our money reverses direction and leaves our savings accounts. Then again, what else should I expect. Savers have been indirectly taxed to hell and back through monetary policies.

Comment Re:My public school system is great (Score 1) 386

I paid plenty of property tax under the prop 13 scheme and my taxes definitely went up significantly. They went up enough for us to decide to leave California.

While the base assessment stays constant to the purchase price of the house, the voters increase property taxes by adding parcel fees. Parcel fees are taxes and require a 2/3 super-majority in order to pass. Including the parcel fees, which are collected with the base property tax, I saw my property tax increase well over 80% in the 10 years I owned a home in San Mateo county - just south of San Francisco.

The final straw for us was a parcel fee to "improve the schools." Those over the age of 65 were exempt from the parcel fee but were able to vote for it; the ultimate example of voting to tax someone else. Of course, California being what it is, two years later the expansion of the tax to those previously exempt was lifted. That parcel fee for "improving the schools," by the way, including significant landscaping contracts as part of a beautification project for the city.

This oft-repeated claim that Prop 13 limits government revenue holds no water. It would be difficult to argue that it even slows down, significantly, the rate of increase of government revenue. It simply forces the government to divide the population into groups who will vote to tax the other groups.

Comment Re:"Fact" Checkers (Score 3, Interesting) 415

Forbes has a pretty good article covering Politifact's issues related to their truthiness judging.

In 2008, Politifact rated as True Obama's claim that if you like your plan you can keep it. The Forbes article notes that the author of that truth-o-meter article didn't check with any health-care skeptics.

In 2009, Politifact changed their rating for the claim to 1/2 true.

In 2013, Politifact labeled it the "lie of the year."

Politifact's 2008 rating was "widely repeated by pro-Obama reporters and pundits, and had a meaningful impact on the outcome of the election."

So, was Politifact's wrong analysis of Obama's 2008 claims "fake news?"

Were they lying or just being too lazy.

When they judge Trump's claim that Obama was the founder of ISIS in the literal sense but don't rate Hillary's comment that Trump is a recruiting sergeant for ISIS at all, either literally or metaphorically, then yes, I'll claim that Politifact is lying or at least intentionally distorting the truth.

Facebook absolutely has the right to determine what gets posted on their site and people have the right to use their product or not. The government on the other hand has no business promoting censorship of anything, including fake news. Fake news isn't new and people have a personal responsibility to explore the "truthiness" of what they read, hear and see.

Comment Re:vote trump or lose your guns with just 911 (Score 1) 277

Already happened

Secretary Clinton thinks the Heller case was decided incorrectly and implied she would appoint justices to correct that mistake. The only question decided in Heller was whether the 2nd amendment protected the right to keep an operational handgun in the home for purposes of self-defense.

Comment Re:To be fair... (Score 1) 277

First, you can't ignore the preamble to the Bill of Rights which states that the bill of rights is a list restrictions on the government. The list of rights is not a grant of rights to individuals or an empowerment of any level of government. That's why you have language such as "shall not be infringed," or "shall pass no law."

There's a very good article that discuses the history of the 2nd amendment and why it's worded the way it is at constitution.org. English history is quite informative on the 2nd amendment and the definition of a militia because English history was the history of the founders of the country and the authors of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This document also goes over the 10 of 13 colonies that suggested wording related to the 2nd amendment regarding it as an individual right. None of the remaining three colonies provided any suggestion on the wording.

It's interesting that you choose 1876 as the start of your period to discuss the Supreme Court's opinion regarding the 2nd amendment. That promotes ignoring the 1875 United States v. Cruikshank ruling that specifically stated that the right to keep and bear arms would exist even without the 2nd amendment. They ruled in 1875 that the 2nd amendment was a prohibition on the government from infringing on that right. More specifically, that case also addressed individuals having that right infringed.

One of the reasons you may not see many cases regarding the 2nd amendment related to individuals is that gun control is a fairly modern mechanism designed to completely disarm the population. The law over turned in Heller wasn't passed until 1976. Can you point to another, earlier law that completely banned the ownership of handguns in the home that was challenged in court?

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