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Comments

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California Wants Genetically Modified Foods To Be Labelled

RobNich Re:What's to fear (559 comments)

Corn, soy, cotton, canola, alfalfa, sugar beet, summer squash, papaya. Avoid them...

"Avoid" corn, soy, and canola?! How the fuck do you suggest we do that? Those are used as ingredients in every single food product, and corn is used in the manufacture of everything from citric acid to xanthan gum. And these are not labeled as to their feedstock. The food manufacturers don't keep track, and don't care.

about 2 years ago
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Why Apple Is Suing Every Android Manufacturer In Sight

RobNich Re:History (738 comments)

I've never tried to add media directly (I still prefer to manage through iTunes). But you can use any app as a media player, and there are various "downloader" apps and other media management apps that let you play the files. And since iOS 4+ lets you have background apps playing audio, you can get the same result as if you were using Apple's Music app. For instance, I use the Pandora app on my iPhone all the time.

about 2 years ago
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Why Apple Is Suing Every Android Manufacturer In Sight

RobNich Re:History (738 comments)

iTunes is no longer involved in the care and feeding of iPhones. As of iOS 5, I believe. The phone communicates directly for software updates, downloads apps and music directly, and backs up directly to iCloud. iTunes is optional.

about 2 years ago
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Nanoparticle Completely Eradicates Hepatitis C Virus

RobNich Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (104 comments)

I got three stitches in a hospital 2 years ago. $2,000 with insurance discount (without reaching my deductible). And afaik there's no way to shop around for a cheap hospital, they don't post prices.

about 2 years ago
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jQuery 2.0 Will Drop Support For IE 6, 7, 8

RobNich Re:Dojo Toolkit (250 comments)

It's a one-time download of the library, and jQuery is not an interpreted language, it's an object containing methods that are used by the developer in writing code.

In any development project, there's a trade-off made between fast development, fast execution, and code maintenance. jQuery handles the first two, and a good Javascript developer can keep the third from slipping.

about 2 years ago
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How Android Phone Makers Are Missing the Marketing Boat

RobNich Re:Marketing and user experience (373 comments)

Way to miss (or distract from?) the point. The average user doesn't need or give two shits about the storage space in a phone. As long as it's not too small to handle average usage, they will be comfortable with it. If they need additional storage space, they will carry cheap-ass flash memory in their pocket or backpack. Whether the average person NEEDS to do this is not relevant to demonlapin's point.

more than 2 years ago
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Fee Increase Attempt Inspires 'Dump Your Bank Day'

RobNich Re:Missing Information (667 comments)

OMFG AC, here I go again.

2. Banks with $10b in assets have millions of transactions per day and computers make this a massive profit center for banks at the expense of consumers.

Every bank has transactions in proportion to the amount of money it has under its control. What the hell do computers have to do with it?

3. The rate is cranked down to provide relief to merchants and consumers

If it were to provide relief to merchants and consumers, it would apply to all banks. Instead, Dick Durban is telling people to switch to smaller banks who will continue to charge merchants the same amount that were previously charging.

which reduces the massive profits of banks who then proceed to be outraged that they'll only make $4.2 billion in profits this quarter instead of $4.6 billion.

Made-up-number billion in profits on what revenue? Let's look at Bank of America:
$75 billion in revenue in 2010, net loss of $2.2 billion in 2010, or 2.9% loss.

Want more? Citigroup:
$79.5 billion in revenue in 2010, net income of $10.9 billion in 2010, or 13.7% profit.

13.7% return on investment is slightly above average for corporate investment--a US Treasury bond will yield 13%. Bank profits are not extremely high. The repeating of "BILLIONS IN PROFIT" as a mantra is a way to snag useful idiots who think that's meaningful. It's fucking propaganda. The more is invested in a company, the more it needs to make to keep investors interested. If they've got TRILLIONS INVESTED, they damn well better be making billions back on that investment.

4. Banks which used to give customers toasters to open accounts now decides depositors are really just profit centers and attempts to increase their profit margins on those who fund the deposits they use to provide loans and other services.

Because it doesn't currently pay enough to lend money, so they need to make money moving the money around instead. The real estate market is headed for another correction, and everyone knows it. What else do people borrow for? Oh, credit cards? Those are easier than ever to get!

The banks who are borrowing at nearly 0% from the fed and then buying treasuries rather than loaning the money to businesses to spur the economy as intended?

And whose fault is it that the banks can borrow money from the Fed so cheaply? Why would anyone be surprised that they seem uninterested in borrowing from customers and paying them for the privilege of holding their money?

And how in the world can you expect anyone, corporation or person, to put their money at risk by investing in businesses when they can loan it instead to the US government with no risk at all? Since the US government can just order more printed, they'll "never" default!

Certainly something needs to change, but it's NOT THE DEBIT CARD TRANSACTION FEES.

more than 2 years ago
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Fee Increase Attempt Inspires 'Dump Your Bank Day'

RobNich Re:Missing Information (667 comments)

(Yet again I'm going to violate my rule and reply to the AC.)

The fees we're talking about are not charged to other banks, they're charged to the merchant, who then passes them to the customer in the form of higher prices.

You continue to repeat BILLIONS OF DOLLARS like it's a bad thing. According to my brief research, Bank of America has 10.13 BILLION SHARES. If they make $2B in profit, that's only 20 cents per share. And they lost money in 2010. The larger the bank, the more the profits have to be spread around.

Hell, my employer rolls in BILLIONS OF DOLLARS and then spends it all on tens of thousands of employees spread throughout the world. And if we start turning a profit again, I might see a penny dividend per share on my stock, because I happen to be one of the investors. And if I didn't expect to see a profit at some point, I wouldn't continue buying the stock—I'd invest it in another company that does have a plan to make a profit.

And finally, the "really big banks" are going to be able to charge less than half of what the other banks charge. You're characterization of this mess makes me think that you 1) don't understand it, 2) didn't bother to research it, and 3) don't give a shit, because you've been lied to about how the economy works in the first place. For instance, nobody makes money by charging EACH OTHER fees. That would be a zero-sum game.

more than 2 years ago
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Fee Increase Attempt Inspires 'Dump Your Bank Day'

RobNich Re:Missing Information (667 comments)

(So I'm going to violate my rule and reply to the AC.)

1. No small(er) businesses will see any difference because of this. Fees are charged to merchants at an average rate, not per-transaction, so they will not see any appreciable difference.
3. What the hell is a "local" community? Every bank is located somewhere, and employs people in that area. It's "local" to them. If a bank has a branch near you, they employ people in your area. Whether the headquarters is near you or in another city, the net result is the same. I have a large CitiBank building a couple of miles away, and their headquarters is nowhere near here. Fifth Third is headquartered near me, but they employ people all over the damn place. And every bank has investors who don't necessarily live anywhere near the headquarters of the bank.
4. They have the same selection, because they moved from one bank to another that already existed. If the other bank hadn't been competitive, they wouldn't have moved their business to it. And since the "too big to fail" are still "too big to fail", their tax dollars will STILL be used to bail out those damned banks when they fail because a bunch of customers left them for other banks.
5. The same institutions continue to exist. No changes have occurred or will occur as a result of the reduced debit card transaction fee.

Shipping around for another bank, people can't gauge integrity, so they'll just go to whichever offers them the best incentive.

more than 2 years ago
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Fee Increase Attempt Inspires 'Dump Your Bank Day'

RobNich Re:Missing Information (667 comments)

I'll just reply to you, since you're the only non-coward to reply. I agree that having a bunch of "too big to fail" banks is a bad idea, but I disagree the terminology: nothing is too big to fail. If the banks had failed, other banks would have bought up their assets, the FDIC would have made up the difference to account holders, and the people who made the bad decisions at those banks would be looking for new jobs.

Instead, the Feds bailed them out, incentivizing their behavior. Worse, they made it profitable. In the future, those banks and probably others will do the same thing, because they expect the Feds to bail them out again.

On the other hand, the bank "bailout" was forced on the banks as a way for the Executive Branch to make the banks look bad, because people will continue to talk about those greedy banks even though they had already paid back the loans.

However, this debit card transaction fee fiasco is not going to affect large banks at all. They will continue to make the same amount, because they are forced by their shareholders to do so. So every time the government artificially intervenes like this, the bank's customers will feel the pinch in the form of higher fees. And they won't move to "smaller" banks because they need national coverage, or the various other reasons that large banks are advantageous for their customers.

Don't think that I'm on the side of larger banks. I'm not. The entire consolidation of US banks was started by various assholes including J. P. Morgan, the Rockefellers, and the Rothschilds, who started rumors that Knickerbocker Trust would fail, and then sold it short. When it finally occurred, they stepped in and bought the failed trusts and other banks for pennies, even getting government loans to do it. They controlled the press (by owning most newspapers), so to this day are talked about as the savior of the financial system rather than the cause of the crisis they profited from.

The long and short is that the government needs to stop fucking with the financial system. If they hadn't assisted in the creation of a central bank, and assisted in the bailout of the "too big to fail" banks and every other smaller thing that they've done in between, we might not be in the mess we're in. While Dick Durban's intentions might be to help smaller banks (and it's more likely that his intentions are to *look* like he wants to help smaller banks), it will end up backfiring in some way. Because that's how these things happen. Every government intervention ends up backfiring in some way, and it always leads to increased costs in the long run. Recent examples off the top of my head are Sarbanes-Oxley and the "Affordable Care Act".

more than 2 years ago
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Fee Increase Attempt Inspires 'Dump Your Bank Day'

RobNich Missing Information (667 comments)

1. Federal government passes law that banks with over $10b in assets may not charge merchants as much as all banks have been charging for debit transactions.
2. Larger banks (the only ones affected by said law) impose a monthly, instead of per-transaction, fee to make up the difference, while smaller banks continue to charge merchants the same amount they were before.
3. Outrage is expressed by the uninformed and pundits who have an axe to grind, such as Consumers Union.
4. Larger banks lose customers to smaller banks, who will continue to charge merchants the same amount for debit transactions.
5. Larger banks reverse position on monthly fee but increase other fees in order to indirectly make up the difference.

Who exactly won? Thanks Dick Durban!

more than 2 years ago
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China Completes First Space Docking Test

RobNich Re:Headline (106 comments)

I too didn't believe the above AC. Two thoughts, in no particular order:

  • That's fucking disgusting. And why?!
  • So the "internet savvy" should know every perverted thing that has a name? And avoid ever using a similar phrase?

more than 2 years ago
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Ron Paul Wants To End the Federal Student Loan Program

RobNich Re:Subsidies inflate pricing. (1797 comments)

...8% at a time when the market rate for car loans was about half that...

I'm not sure how a loan interest rate is calculated, but I'm sure that an unsecured loan (like a student loan) is going to be quite a bit more expensive than a loan with collateral (such as a car loan). So your story doesn't exactly make sense: it was more expensive than you felt it should be, but you have no idea how expensive it really was, because they didn't tell you how much interest the feds were paying.

more than 2 years ago
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Ron Paul Wants To End the Federal Student Loan Program

RobNich Re:You are a thief and parasite (1797 comments)

Education in the US has been under the control of the Federal government since 1980, and has steadily gotten worse since.

Except that democracy cannot function if people do not understand the issues they are expected to vote on.

Absolutely true.

Our public education system is supposed to ensure that all citizens have at least enough education to responsible citizens.

Your (and my) idea of a public education system would be tasked with that. The current public education system does not perform that function.

Except that teachers need to be paid...

He's not talking about shutting down or de-funding education, he wants to remove the Federal government's role in it. This leaves the states to fund whatever the local government can't afford. This may mean that the states and local governments will raise property or sales taxes. But it leaves us as individuals the freedom to leave an area with crappy or expensive schools and move to an area that does a better job.

Also consider this: the US was founded by individuals who made up a majority of the population and who had an education that was *not* funded by a government. We all have incentive to educate the children in our communities; the Federal government is not the only entity that can accomplish that.

more than 2 years ago
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Ron Paul Wants To End the Federal Student Loan Program

RobNich Re:You are a thief and parasite (1797 comments)

I can easily imagine a life without Federal income tax. I already school my own children AND pay property taxes to fund the schools I don't use. My city fixes the potholes, and I pay them property and vehicle license fees for that. Ditto for the police and garbage collection, which I pay for with my property taxes.

Congress only has the ability to levy income taxes because of the Civil War through the Sixteenth Amendment, and it should have been repealed once the war was over. It's a direct violation of the intent and wording of the rest of the Constitution.

more than 2 years ago
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Ron Paul Wants To End the Federal Student Loan Program

RobNich Re:"Free" money (1797 comments)

My mother went to college in 74-78 and she worked for her tuition during the school year. She worked at a restaurant, a light-bulb manufacturer, and a pesticide manufacturer, among others. She didn't take out loans.

more than 2 years ago
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Ron Paul Wants To End the Federal Student Loan Program

RobNich Re:Subsidies inflate pricing. (1797 comments)

Without student loans, only children of the wealthy will be able to go to college.

By that logic, the day that student loans end, all of the colleges will go bankrupt. No, obviously they will lower their prices until low enough that enough people can afford it that the college is solvent.

But the Federally subsidized student loan is a subsidy: the interest rate is artificially low, it can go unpaid for decades, the lender charges the government fees based on the amount of the loan, and the government guarantees at least part of the principal. Since the university and lender have incentive to increase the tuition cost, and the students have little incentive to find a lower price, the inflation occurs. It seemed to start in the 80s, but it would be difficult to determine the exact date it began based on this graph.

Also note that ending federally subsidized loans does not mean that there will be no student loans available. They may be more difficult to get, and they will have higher interest rates. But these will keep the tuition cost nailed roughly to the rest of the market.

more than 2 years ago
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Ron Paul Suggests Axing 5 U.S. Federal Departments (and Budgets)

RobNich Re:Not far enough. (2247 comments)

Police and Fire departments are locally funded. Penitentiaries are state-funded for the most part, while there are federal prisons for those who commit federal crimes. The federal government is not the only government, and the states, counties, and city governments can provide things too. Having one large government run everything leads to enormous inefficiencies, because nobody can keep track of what the government is doing with their money and only a very few people can rise to positions of power enough to do something about it. At a local and state level, things can be inspected and people held responsible for their negligence.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Adware-infected download site for VLC

RobNich RobNich writes  |  more than 4 years ago

RobNich (85522) writes "A couple of weeks ago I found that a site was advertising on Google that provides VLC for download, but infected with Hotbar. Anyone searching for "vlc download" will get their AdWord ad. Two weeks ago I reported it to Google as a violation of their AdWords terms of service, and as a malware site. The site and ad are still there as of today."
Link to Original Source

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