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Comment Re:So far the phone mfg with a public problem.. (Score 1) 50

Is Samsung. They are talking *loud* about something they purport to be a super better thing. It would help their narrative if they make it sound like all the competitors are ready to fail at any moment.

So the competitors going along with it and making it look like Samsung is *leading* in battery safety would just play into Samsung's hands.

In terms of the actual relative merit, who knows, but from a perspective of marketable storytelling, it is very much not in the interest of Samsung's competitors to play up Samsung's process. If there is merit that their competitors are told about and recognize, expect them to silently improve their process, but in no way publicize that fact.

As someone who has been exposed to business litigation and insurance cases, to me it seems more that they are stacking wood against any current and future litigation. Not only did they correct the problem, but they are going above and beyond the minimum required.

Even well-built batteries do sometimes fail, usually due to abuse, but proving abuse is difficult if the battery is reduced to a small mound of melted plastic. Any Samsung battery failure like now or in the near future are going to have a pack of lawyers drooling sufficiently to short out a warehouse of batteries. Publicising their QA process now serves to help defend against current and future litigation.

Comment Re:If (Score 1) 74

Really? Jesus was very much anti taxes.

There was an article about times Jesus was a passive aggressive dick. One of the stories had tax collectors being forced to wait around all day as Jesus performed a miracle. As the fishermen would clean fish they would find a coin in each one. So at the end of the day the tax men were paid, but all of the money reeked of fish that was out in the sun all day.

When people ask "What would Jesus do?", they should not forget that flipping over tables and chasing people around with a whip is one of the options.

Comment Re:Conflict of interest (Score 1) 234

In Switzerland, the fines go into the municipality's budget.

Problem with that is that the municipalities have started budgeting the fines and are now treating them like normal income and thus the police receives quota.

Which leads to police putting mobile cameras where they can get most money not where there might be a security issue.

It also led to police wasting a lot of time on fines rather than actually doing important things.

I like the escrow idea.

In 2010, 12% of the municipal budget of Ferguson MO came from fines and fees.
By 2015, it was expected to be 23%. The city pushed hard at all parts of government to maximize court-derived revenue.

It has since been capped at 15%.

Comment Re:Wait a minute... (Score 1) 235

American companies swiftly followed, even after Google promised Tuesday to work harder to block ads on "hateful, offensive and derogatory" videos.

So let me get this straight -- racists, misogynists, and terrorists are going to benefit from an ad-free experience, and yet my 6 year old daughter has to put up with ads for mortgages and makeup and other adult stuff when she wants to watch kids videos? WTF did we ever do to you Google that dirtbags get an out from Youtube ads, but the rest of us have to suffer?


I'd strongly prefer my kids to watch ads for mortgages compared to all the ads for toys. That includes any video showing a toy being unboxed or played with. Youtube shows my kids nothing BUT ads.

Comment Re:100% of landline customers affected by strike (Score 1) 166

Yep. Boss Trump is rallying the fans in Kentucky, promising to bring back coal jobs. Or, at least, bring back coal by letting up on silly environmental rules like the Stream Protection Rule.

Trouble is, giving coal companies a break doesn't necessarily mean good things for coal miners. Like everyone else, coal companies are heavily investing in automation and mining techniques that require fewer pesky workers. At the same time, strip-mining and poisoning the water and the land makes it suck worse to live in coal country, either as a miner or even as a crazed live-off-the-land survivor type.

Further, Trump is a big friend of fracking, which lowers the price of natural gas, which, like, lowers the demand for coal. Uhhh, right.

My guess is there's gonna be a lot of disappointed folks in coal country in a coupla years when the jobs don't come and Trumpcare takes over. Maybe by then AT&T will be hiring scabs to replace all the folks on strike. Can you run some fiber before that black lung gits ya, or will the heavy metals in the frogs and the river trout git ya first?

In fact, the Stream Protection Rule originated with coal miners. Coal miners, after all, presumably have to live somewhere nearby to the coal mine.

Comment Re:In-seat entertainment price rise (Score 1) 248

Airlines have started ordering new planes without the seat-back entertainment systems. Given that few people use them anymore, they didn't want the extra expense, maintenance, and weight. Something tells me that Boeing saw this trend and did a study showing those personal devices to be dangerous, and reported those findings to the governments.

Comment No shit (Score 1) 319

And I dunno about schools these days, or everywhere for that matter, but way back when I was in high school the books usually used something that was quasi-cylindrical like a Robinson or some such. Tended to give you a good picture of whatever they centered it on (which would usually be whatever was being talked about) and squished things near the edges.

I don't recall ever seeing a Mercator projection. Maybe the local maps were, like when it was showing a single country, but of course it doesn't matter a lot at that point as the distortion in a small area isn't that large whatever kind of projection you use.

Comment That's how these things always go (Score 4, Insightful) 125

Whenever there's a "language popularity" thing online they always do their research by looking at what people are doing online. Either what they are talking about, what they are sharing, etc. Somehow none of them ever consider how horribly skewed this is.

The simplest counterexample to something like this is embedded software. It is unarguable that there's a lot of development of that going on. Everything today gets controlled with a micro-controller or small CPU. Actual custom designed ASICs/circuits are reserved for only a few applications, most things get a more general purpose device and do it in code. Your car, your cable modem, your microwave, your TV, etc all of them run code.

Well guess what? That embedded code isn't done in Javascript or Ruby or any of these other trendy languages. Often as not it is done in C/C++ (and sometimes partially or all assembly). It just isn't the sort of things that gets posted about online. First the code is almost always proprietary, so the project itself isn't going to get posted as it is property of the company that paid to have it written and second it is professionals working in teams doing it, not people who are getting started out or playing around. They are likely to get help internally, not talk about it on the Internet.

So if you want to look at Github to see what is popular on Github, that's cool, but when people try to generalize that to development overall, it is false. To get a feeling for what is really popular in software development you'd have to poll programmers working at a variety of big companies since that's where a lot of the code is being generated.

Comment If the goal is reducing federal spending (Score 1) 648

Then restoration is not the way to go. You can't on the one hand say "We have to cut spending!" and then on the other say "We have to give the military back what we cut!" If you want budget cuts to try and balance the budget ok, but then the military has to be part of it. It is bigger than any other agency, by a large margin. You could eliminate (not cut, completely eliminate) education, transportation, agriculture, HHS, and the DoE and not even come close to the whole military budget.

Another way of looking at the military cuts is restoring it to 1990s levels, percentage wise. In the mid 90s defense spending was about $270 billion which was about 16% of the budget. In 2015 defense spending was about $640 billion (estimates are harder here since congress doesn't include Iraq and Afghanistan costs directly in the budget) which is about 16% of the budget.

Comment That's fine but you can't cheer this budget on (Score 3, Informative) 648

Because it not only doesn't cut the military, ti increases it by $54 billion. That offsets any other cuts. Combined with them wanting big tax cuts for the wealthy (who have the most to tax) that means a higher deficit. If you thing is cutting the debt, these guys are not interested in it. This proposal does nothing in that regard.

Also cutting spending isn't the only way to balance the budget. Increasing income works too, either via raising taxes or increasing the overall economy. Well guess what? Many of the programs being cut are the kind of things that help economic growth. Science is that way. The US is rich and prosperous in no small part because of science and development. When you are on the forefront of new things, you make a lot of money. Cut that, and it cuts future growth.

Comment Well ok there Trumpet (Score 3, Informative) 648

You are either a complete Trump fanboy, or just hopelessly naive because this budget IN NO WAY reduces the debt. Never mind you silly argument of "living off a credit card" (if you don't know how public debt different from revolving debt, go spend some time reading or take ECON 200) let's just focus on the budget:

It includes a massive increase of $54 Billion to the military. This is the military that is already funded 3x the next highest military (in fact if you add #2-8 in spending together you don't equal it), that has spending more than transportation, education, housing, international affairs, science, labour, and agriculture COMBINED. We really need this? We need that much more money for the military?

On top of that they are also set to propose sweeping tax cuts, particularly for the rich.

This is NOT something that'll reduce the debt, not even reduce the rate of increase.

If you want to compare it to a family (which as I said, it doesn't really work like personal finances) this is a parent saying "No I'm sorry kids, we can't afford to get a new water heater even though ours isn't working well, and I can't get you new clothes, we have too much debt. In other news I'm buying myself another new car and cutting my hours to 35 per week!"

You show me a budget that cuts the military like everything else, that at the very least keeps taxes where they are if not increases them, I'll give the "we have to cut the debt" argument credit. However so long as it is "less taxes, more defense spending" you can GTFO with that crap.

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