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Comment Re:Minimum Wage (Score 1) 1094

Seems this entire story is full of people who think that this is capitalism. For the average american, working harder doesn't get you more money. For the "above average" american, working isn't necessary to make all - it just happens. That is only going exaggerate itself over time because we can't (and, by definition, wouldn't) legislate away GREED.

In an ideal world, companies who what 100% of a person's time and dedication should pay for it. That's complicated by rising efficiency, automation, shareholders who want "their cut", and god-knows-what-else piled-on to devalue the time of an individual who just wants to provide for a family. Every job needs to be done, be it pulling teeth or cleaning floors. Reducing that need to a dollar value based on the going rate for a job lacks empathy - and it's out of control - someday it will be a revolt. Just because there are 2 or 2 million others willing to take less money doesn't mean that it's right/ethical. Every head is deserving of a living wage.

To address problem A/B more succinctly: If a company can't afford to provide a living wage to everyone who works there, IT's DONE GROWING. Those who are unemployed can start another company and go after the part of the market that you cannot (or, for sake of maintaining profits, will not) serve. The focus on short-term profits is just like cancer: unrestrained growth, for growth's sake. (At that point, you can boost productivity w/automation, but that's a considerable investment, also.)

Comment Re:I thought we were trying to end sexism? (Score 1) 599

Was going to mod up, but I feel it's more important to point out that /. has turned into *quite* the boys club. I'm not a feminist, but if a someone wants to start a girls school...what's the problem? No one is making you send your child. And, honestly, if I could send my daughters (of which I have 3) in the hopes that they appreciate tech more than cheerleading, boys, and fashion, I would do it in a *heartbeat* - and so would you. Just overcoming the "helpless-fashion-model-princess-homemaker" mental conditioning is hard enough than to listen to this whiny bunch argue about how someone is "discriminating against white males" - no one cares.

Comment Re:What? Why discriminate? (Score 5, Interesting) 700

This. I tend to cringe at these megachurches that collect (metric) tons of money from poor people with the (false) promise of "health, wealth, and prosperity" - only to turn-around and spend hundreds of thousands, or even millions, to buy a fancy plane, property for a bigger parking-lot (I've personally seen that same church humiliate a poor, homeless person - by putting a suit jacket on them for service, then refuse to provide any kind of real material help.

The bible's position on it is pretty simple, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's..." - "USA" is printed on the dollar, churches ought to pay taxes. Even money that falls out of the sky counts as income.

Comment Re:Watt is this article about? (Score 2) 281

You should feel lucky. Most of my roof is southern facing, but the local utility here won't take excess power without charging a bunch of extra fees, plus a really low rate. Additionally, they won't allow you to maintain/bank credit. The only way towards an ROI in under a decade is to use/store everything I generate.

Comment Re:Going off the grid completeletly is stupid (Score 2) 281

DING! DING! DING! This is exactly the problem.

The icing on this is going to be, in the end, the power companies will *have* to come around to providing a smart grid AND fair buy-back rates (sans fees), as no one will use them for anything other than a backup supply. Otherwise, you'll start to see people putting up their own miniature grids to sell/share power on a local basis. (Think housing addition in the burbs, where ALL of the homes have panels, batteries, and electric cars.)

Even with maintenance costs, "free" renewable energy is quite possible with an efficient home and habits. If you don't travel much/far, or simply use a bicycle (or better, if you don't commute) then you could potentially increase that margin by quite a bit.

Comment Re:But....Profits! (Score 2, Informative) 281

You're only proving my point, Coward. Why should I pay out of my own pocket to generate solar, and then pay the utility some more the utility to take my excess energy?

If I can't make my own home efficient enough to stand on it's own, I'm not spending the money. If the local power company wants solar, they can do it on their dime, I'll stick to my utility fees, TYVM.

If a neighborhood/city decided to invest in it's own smart grid, and treat every electricity source on equal-footing, that'd be interesting. If I can generate more power than I'm using, and the electric co *doesn't* own the distribution's a free(er) market.

I'm sure anyone who tried that would probably be lobbied away, probably by someone like you.

Comment But....Profits! (Score 2, Insightful) 281

Doesn't matter. As long as monopolistic energy companies spend their time legislating new fees to prevent the average person from being able to afford rooftop solar panels and wind turbines under the banner of "not choosing winners" ...a net-zero utility bill simply isn't possible in today's (political) climate - not in the US.

This isn't likely to change, either. So, that leaves one option: Every man for himself. A house, and maybe even an entire neighborhood could be built around the idea of having some ability to cut utility costs by utilizing smart appliances, solar power, and electric cars with big honking batteries. But if you generate more power than you need, you better store it - where I live, you'll get an extra fee every month for generating your own power AND the power company only takes your excess in exchange for WHOLESALE rates.

Net-zero would be my only incentive, and it's looking less likely without being investigated by the IAEA

Comment Re:100mph? (Score 1) 74

Also, I'd like to point out that Amazon is conducting these tests on a secret site, outside of city limits. The FAA is adding these restrictions are merely "because they can". Hobby aero-modelers simply have to obey the 3mi/400' rule. Adding the word "drone" and "Commercial" is simply causing a panic/stink.

The FAA has taken too long to come up with legislation on the subject, and I don't think they can "ban" commercial drone use outright - or else congress will step in. But dragging their feet with pointless conditions (pilot's license, medical exams) and delays (6 months, now 6 weeks) just shows that they likely have no clue about what they are doing - it's just a bunch of knee-jerking.

Comment Re:Please.... (Score 1) 489

Who says that's why he ran? The officer? If the man was tazed, then shot to death, I get the feeling it wasn't about necessarily about alimony/child-support) It just as easily could have been offering to put him in jail for some other trumped-up charge. We'll never know. And we *certainly* shouldn't accept a word from the officer as truth, in this case - he already appears to have planted evidence.

Comment Re:Please.... (Score 1) 489

BS. Because making a tiny move that an officer doesn't like can get you shot, yet James Eagan Holmes can show up to a movie theater in full-assault gear, an AR15, a shotgun, and a glock ...yet was taken in alive and unharmed.

Yet, someone who looks a bit different can't sell cigarettes without being choked to death. Or run without being shot at, EIGHT TIMES. Or DWB in a nice car in Burbank

I don't think the problem is racism, I think part of the society has spent a LONG time being treated as less than human. My own few (positive) interactions with police tend to genuinely *surprise* me - due to the extreme fear that the (much more common) bad ones generate. It's.... who else worries about summary-execution over what would be a non-issue for anyone else?

Comment Re:In other words ... (Score 3, Informative) 312

There has been a lot of evidence that all of these tax cuts don't benefit anybody but corporations, and that trick[le] down economics is pretty much not working as advertised.

In that respect, trickle-down economics is working exactly as intended. That trickle is a leak, they're working on plugging it.

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