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Comment Due diligence? (Score 1) 146

Surely it is the responsibility of a court would make sure that the parties involved in a lawsuit actually exist?

One court in TFA did so - apparently none of the others bothered. If one cannot hold the court responsible, then surely a criminal complaint against the person who filed the suit (against a non-existent defendant) is justified?

Comment Selective breeding (Score 3, Interesting) 290

Nature doesn't want people (or any animal) to live past the point where it is producing offspring and launching them into the world. Most animals have been bred to die, because this is advantageous to the species as a whole.

However, the limitations are largely artificial - we can see that some few animals are essentially immortal. Selective breeding in insects achieves dramatic improvements in just a few generations. IIRC, they tried this with fruit flies - by the simple measure of only allowing older and older females to breed - and they tripled the lifespan in just a few generations. Higher mammals have the same cellular machinery.

Of course, as soon as anyone talks about selective breeding in humans, well... Even if we could experiment with selective breeding for longevity (perhaps something along the lines of Heinlein's book, it is a sure route to massive resentment and probably mass murder Apparently, if we cannot give a benefit to everyone, then we are not allowed to give it to anyone.

Comment Clinton Foundation numbers (Score 1, Informative) 843

Of course it shields assets. Why do you think it exists? Hillary's speech fees are paid to the foundation - this is public knowedlge. The foundation is nonprofit, this is on record. The reason for doing this is obvious: non-profits have tax advantages: she gets to keep more of her money, it's just kept in the nonprofit.

I'm not saying this is illegal - unfortunately, it is legal. It is a common way for rich people to avoid taxes.

As for whether or not the Clinton Foundation is "really" nonprofit, consider: A really good nonprofit that is genuinely supporting a cause puts somewhere between 75% and 90% of its income into whatever cause it supports. The Clinton Foundation has a rather different record. For example, in 2015 the New York Post published numbers from 2013 showing that they foundation spend $9 million (out of a budget of $140 million) on charity, Many times that amount when to payroll, employee benefits, travel and other expenses. You can find similar information from other sources, covering other years.

The Clinton Foundation is a legal organization, doing legal things. It's primary purpose is to provide a way for the Clintons to shield their money from taxes, and to provide salaries to their cronies. This kind of loophole exists, because taxes are for the little people.

Comment Hatchet job (Score 1, Insightful) 843

Typical hatchet job - the MSM is devoted to Hillary, so they do things like this, while doing their best to ignore her games with the Clinton Foundation. Notes on the items in TFS:

- Of course Trump planned his remarks. What, you think he made them up randomly? Read the columns that Scott Adams has been writing - at this level of the game, there are very few accidents. According to Adams, Trump is using a technique called "pacing", where you make an extreme statement and follow it up by a moderate position. As with anyone running for a higher political office: what he says during his campaign has essentially nothing to do with his personal beliefs. It's all tactics to get elected. This is, sadly, how politics works.

- Trump appeared in Playboy? He wanted his wife to pose, but she refused. Um...so what?

- Trump lost money on some of his ventures. This is not news. Look at the number of ventures he owns, then tell you really expect all of them to be successful? He wrote off his losses on one of his ventures, wow, what a surprise. Hillary takes a different approach, by shielding most of her assets inside the Clinton Foundation. Frankly, that's a lot worse, because the Clinton Foundation is pretending to be a non-profit organization.

tl;dr: The MSM is in the tank for Hillary. Hatchet jobs on Trump are no surprise.

Comment New top 40 hit: "The Ruskies did it!" (Score 4, Insightful) 109

Yahoo: It's not our fault that our security sucked, and that we didn't tell anyone about it for two years. The Ruskies did it!

DNC: It's not our fault that we got caught rigging primaries - the Ruskies did it! It's not our fault that Hillary's poll results suck - the Ruskies did it!

Everybody together now: "It's not our fault - the Ruskies did it!"

Can we put that to music? Seriously, this is ridiculous. Even if it were true (which I doubt), it's still ridiculous.

Comment Work culture and education (Score 1) 469

What the parent said. In my experience, there are two stereotypical problems with people from Asian cultures (as opposed to Americans or Europeans of Asian ethnicity - important distinction). Individuals vary, of course, but Asian workers tend to have two problems, from an American/European perspective:

- Too much respect for authority. They do exactly what they are told, nothing less but also nothing more. You must instruct them on every step of their task, or they stop and wait, providing no initiative or imagination of their own. I consulted briefly with an Asian programming shop, where the boss spent his entire day walking from desk to desk, issuing detailed instructions, all the way down to the level of "put that CD back in its case". Workers used to this are a lousy fit in an European or American work culture.

- Crappy education. While there are good institutions, there are a lot of bad ones. Example: I taught a beginning Java course last year to international students. One of these students has a bachelor's degree in computer science from an Asian university. Another has certificates of graduation from 9 months of Java programming courses. Both of these students failed my "intro to programming" course. TFA claims that the Asian applicants had the same qualifications - that's something you have to take with a *very* large grain of salt.

Comment Hypocrisy, much? (Score 3, Insightful) 199

The US, of course, has never tried to interfere with, or influence, a foreign election.

Anyway, I actually doubt that Russia in interfering at all, in 2016. The political elite in the US have produced the current situation all by itself: people are fed up with being presented with a non-choice (it was supposed to be Jeb vs. Hillary), so they did their damnedest to make it Bernie vs. Trump. Half succeeded, too, and Trump's chances are looking pretty good.

Pisses of the political elite no end, and since nothing could possibly be their fault, it must be the Ruskies. Or maybe aliens.

Comment Hydrogen is a stupid fuel to use (Score 2) 199

Ok, my chemistry is a long time in the past, but AFAIK hydrogen is a really stupid fuel to choose. It is the smallest atom possible; even H2, the usual form of hydrogen gas, is tiny. That makes it incredibly hard to contain. Also, none of our existing infrastructure can handle it.

If you are going to manufacture fuel, you are better off producing methane (natural gas, CH4). It does require a second reaction: After electrolizing water to produce H2, you then catalyze the H2 with CO2 to produce methane and water. So the overall process is more complex, but the result is not only much easier to store, we already have the infrastructure for transporting and storing methane.

This line from TFA is also a laugh: "operating costs will be similar to the operating costs of diesel units." Sure, except for the cost of building a completely new infrastructure to produce, transport and store hydrogen. Which doesn't count as "operating costs".

Comment Business hates uncertainty, plus a rant (Score 0) 165

It's just a totally unknowable situation. The uncertainty of what the final arrangement may look like - businesses don't like uncertainty. The British government needs to start the countdown as soon as they can, to get past this phase.

OTOH, the EU is going to be nasty. They must punish the UK, because otherwise the next 2-3 countries that might leave are already lined up.

Switzerland is in a similar boat. The voters here have said "enough" to immigration, even from EU countries, and required the government to put a hard limit in place. This was two years ago - the government has failed to do anything yet, because the EU basically refuses to negotiate. If we put border controls back in place, we lose all other agreements with the EU. They don't dare open the door to border control, otherwise all of the EU countries will also do it. Some, like Austria, pretty much already have done so.

The EU is playing a losing game, in the long term. The open-borders, pro-immigration politicians (like Merkel) refuse to admit that they were wrong. They refuse to acknowledge that national borders have a purpose. That unlimited immigration is the same as cultural suicide.

Their stubbornness means that the rebound will put extremist parties from the other side of the spectrum in control. In five years, we won't have just border controls (those are inevitable, at this point). By the time the reigns of power can be ripped from Progressive hands, the resentment and fear will have grown to such proportions that even peaceful, integrated immigrants will face persecution. Good intentions are, as usual, paving the road to Hell.

Comment Some good, some bad (Score 3, Interesting) 427

Lambda expressions: A total brainfart. Lambda notation has no place in an imperative language; mixing paradigms is confusing for the vast majority of Java programmers. Most people just use lambdas as "magic syntax" to simplify things like declaring event handlers. The ugly syntax is a problem, but lambdas are the wrong solution.

Date/time APIs: Yes, finally!

JavaFX: Oddly, the best feature of Java 8 isn't even mentioned in TFA. JavaFX is immensely better than Swing, in every possible way: it looks better, it works more reliably, and it's easier to program.

And the worst feature of Java 8 is the unnecessary complexity throughout the new features. Two examples:

- The Optional class. Instead of checking directly for a null result, you have to unpack every result out of this idiotic wrapper.

- Factory methods instead of constructors. Java is supposed to be an object-oriented language. In OO, you create an instance of a class with a constructor, which has the name of the class. But not in Java 8, no, instead you use a whole stable of factory methods with all sorts of weird names. Look at the new date/time classes for an example.

Comment Easy pledge to make... (Score 1) 294

This is an easy pledge to make, if you pay people based on their education and actual years of experience. Why? Because - if you look at it that way - there is no gender pay gap.

All the studies that show a substantial gender pay gap either (a) equate different professions, or (b) compare people based on their ages.

The first of those is obviously flawed, because different professions are, in fact, different. This includes studies that compare average pay in an entire region, because women and men do tend to congregate in different professions. Exactly why women go into lower paying professions is a complex issue, but really, it doesn't matter. All that's important is that women and men both have the choice to do what they like. If a woman wants to become a civil engineer, or a man wants to work in a kindergarden, those doors should be open. If they are, then there is no problem: people can choose a career that suits them.

It's the second type of study that's more insidious: comparing earnings based on age. More women than men take time off, or work part-time, to raise children. Hence, the average (to pick an age) 40 year old woman will have less experience than the average 40 year old man. Some opportunities may be entirely lost: for example, not being available for a high-intensity or high-travel position may make one ineligible for a later promotion. An alternate approach is to compare women with and without children. What a surprise: women without children earn much more than women with children (article is in German).

So it's easy for companies to pledge to pay women the same as men - because they already do.

Comment Only for short-term stuff (Score 1) 385

Self-burned optical disks are crap for data archival. It's pure lottery whether or not you can read them in a few years, even the "good" brands. For movies and music, it doesn't matter so much if you have a few glitches on the disc. For data backups, it matters a lot.

I only use optical media for short-term data transfer, like handing big files to our local print shop. For me, data archival means spinning rust.

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