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Comment what are we trying to do here? (Score 3, Insightful) 271

I live in San Francisco. What I want to ask the Board of Supervisors, and the government entities responsible for this problem is this:

Regardless of how charitable it is as a human duty to take care of displaced and unfortunate people, what is San Francisco's goal and strategy about homeless people? We seem to actively attract homeless people to our city -- because of our policies that seem to say, come one come all, we will take care of you. Or at least we look the other way as they're left to their own devices on the streets, and don't discourage the homeless population. So much so that other states have sent us their homeless in the past.

Is this our strategy? Be the city that actively attracts homeless people to us? Is that our brand, and our role? Are we being deliberate about this problem or just status quo because policymakers in our city are neutered far-left knee-jerk reactionary against anything effective, but which could be perceived as insensitive?

As a result we're flooded with homeless people that you have to step around on your way to work, home, BART, MUNI, etc. And each of us pays a price in the vehicle breakins, stores that have to wash/clean their steps of filth each day, areas of the city that are no-go zones, and higher housing prices in support of people who contribute little to our city. That's a hidden tax that somehow the most liberal sectors of our voting population seems happy to impose on the rest of us, because they don't live close to Civic Center / Tenderloin, SOMA where all this shit happens.

Sometimes, I long for a Rudy Giuliani in the 1990s to clean up our city and take a hard line and be a little insensitive for a change. Not everything should be done through collaboration and feel-good democracy. [/end rant]

Comment deep effects (Score 4, Insightful) 251

Wow, can you imagine the amount of upset this will cause to the supply chain and also to the thousands of people involved in designing, building, and who were supposed to sell this phone?

The assembly and manufacture of these phones employs thousands of people, spins up parts supply chains for years (and already did for months in preparation), and was planned to use a significant chunk of the global capacity of glass, machine tools, electronic components, transportation, labor, etc. Now which all will have to find new places to go, which will take more than a few months.

Regardless of how you feel about Samsung in general, the "hidden", not as public, effects of this very big mistake will affect many, many peoples' lives in a real way (aside from a handful of people at the top).

Comment complicated (Score 4, Interesting) 84

This is a much more complicated and interesting story than the headline or first glance would suggest. (because as is common, the headline makes it sound like a bunch of bungling pilots from a LCC airline were flailing about stupidly, which is not the case)

The omission of a trailing zero digit in the manual entry of longitude during system initialization caused serious autopilot/navigation problems that were not resolved by automated cross-checks that should've caught it. (Error #1)

Then, as a result of trying to fix/diagnose the problem on the fly, the flight display/instruments were put into a failure/safe mode where only visual flight conditions could be handled (Error #2).

It turned out ok in this case (just a diversion), but if the weather had been poor or other combinations of conditions existed, it could've easily gone wrong. Very interesting...

Comment Re:rotten at the top (Score 4, Interesting) 341

Well, when you're the VP or head of the company and you're told by employees that there's no way to make these targets unless you do unethical or illegal things, then if you incentivize your employees to do those things, you won't have a strong defense that you didn't know or just turned a blind eye and told them to do whatever was necessary to get the company profitable, and they were acting on their own.

Comment rotten at the top (Score 5, Insightful) 341

Yeah, well, when you see this many people engaging in such widespread consumer fraud and malfeasance, it comes from the top.

It has been documented and interviews with these employees recorded that they were under such pressure from bank managers (and they from VPs, etc) under threat of losing their jobs, that they felt they had to make their numbers in any way they had at their disposal. Including taking people's information that they'd been given for other legitimate purposes, and misusing it to create fake accounts.

1. Volkswagen engineers being pressured to have their vehicles pass emissions
2. Bank employees being pressured to sign up customers regardless of how infeasible
3. Cable/credit card company call center agents being pressured not to let a customer go under any circumstances
4. etc. etc. etc.

The list goes on and on -- these all come from the assholes at the top demanding something that's not possible and effectively incentivizing / requiring front-line employees to lie, cheat and steal from consumers.

Those are the people who should be even more aggressively prosecuted.

Comment on the conservative side (Score 2) 67

Qantas I have personally seen has often been on the cautious side of operations, sometimes to my frustration.

I have personally been on flights where, when de-boarding on the tarmac, they have yelled at us not to use cell phones because of the possibility of fueling + sparks. Yet no other airline I've encountered seems to be concerned about this remote possibility.

Comment symptoms, symptoms (Score 5, Interesting) 198

This kind of behavior is just a symptom of the deeper problem that no one (or very few people) at these traditional telecom companies are fundamentally interested in advocating for the customer's comprehensive experience and satisfaction.

They view every interaction as a way to milk out profit in the short term, regardless of how much of the burden and dissatisfaction it shifts onto the consumer.

Any wonder, then, that whenever the customer has a chance to dump them and shift to a provider/medium/hardware solution that works better and is considerate of the customer's desires, they do?

Comment grudging thanks to Apple (Score 3, Insightful) 120

Apple certainly has no shortage of issues to criticize them on. But on the issue of privacy and making the iPhone backdoor-able, at least they were smart enough to know what they could not know and could not control, and to want no part of it.

And what they were smart enough to know is that no government authority, no matter how secure and authoritative it claims to be, can control all of its own people and the hundreds of places that a backdoor capability might leak or be used improperly. The FBI cannot even control leaks and incompetence within their own ranks -- what's the likelihood that a capability so valuable would remain unleaked and well-protected in their hands, even with many checks?

So I applaud Apple for at least knowing that it should not develop such a capability and instead leave it in the hands of users to choose when to make things private, out of even Apple's reach.

There have always been secrets, and people trying to foil the methods of hiding them. Time for the government to do a bit more legwork for the next move.

Comment not happening. (Score 1) 279

They can designate all they like. The problem, just like how the DHS handles airport security, border security, and every other kind of security that comes under their purview is that they will not have the capability / talent to figure out the problems, create a solution, and propagate it against political stupidity that a real fix requires.

The model of government today in the US is to outsource every bit of work that needs to be done to contractors who have to get their margins and aren't interested in sharing their technology/code, making it smart, scalable, and maintainable, and who want to maintain profits into the future. And this is why we have voting machines designed by Diebold, airport scanners (and TSA staffing) that's designed and run by the lowest common denominator, and an electric grid that isn't robust against anything (though this also falls in the lap/blame of NERC/FERC/and 50 different state regulators).

Take the choice of election technology, ballot design, and security out of the hands of 5,000 different jurisdictions, and replace it with well-designed, thought-out, and implemented hardware+software that a dedicated, concerned group of experts is responsible for -- that's what this would take. And is impossible.

Comment that ship sailed... (Score 3, Insightful) 40

Is this an absolute fucking joke??

The ship for "transparency" sailed about 6 months ago, before the mass media fully exposed her and Theranos as being outright frauds as individuals and as a technology company. The moment is gone, pack it up Elizabeth....

Anyone interested in what the "new Theranos" is should approach it as if it were a brand new company, with little/no track record and in the very early R&D phase. Perhaps with even more caution than that, if only to protect themselves from their historical baggage, and if not then at least to penalize socially irresponsible corporate practices.

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