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Comment Re:Dumping grease in the rivers and oceans ... (Score 1) 189

It does seem strange that it would be the ATF doing the surveillance, though.

I get that they probably have expertise in surveillance that (say) the EPA may be lacking, but it wasn't the EPA (or any other federal agency) that asked for the ATF's help, it seems to have been law enforcement of some kind. Which makes me think this was an effort by local law enforcement to avoid the disclosure requirements that local law imposes on them.

Comment Re:Couldn't Agree More (Score 1) 544

There were so many great things about the Pre. But unfortunately, build quality wasn't one of them. If it had been a solidly built phone I'd probably still be using it. But when my last one finally died (again) and I was told there was no way to do an insurance replacement and get the same phone... I moved on.

Comment Re:Don't worry, according to Citizens United (Score 1) 52

Citizen's United has nothing to do with fourth amendment rights, and a corporation doesn't need to have fourth amendment rights to prevent the free reading of information on seized servers.

Citizens United, and now Hobby Lobby, stand for the worryingly advancing proposition that corporations are identical to people and must be afforded all the same rights... in spite of the fact that they're fictitious legal entities. They're bad decisions which have made worse law, and your strange argument in favor of them is frankly completely incorrect.

Submission + - Questionable Patents From MakerBot ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: OpenBeam USA is a Kickstarted company that builds open source aluminum construction systems (think erector sets). One of the main uses for the system is building 3D printers, and creator Terence Tam is heavily involved in the 3D-printing community. He's now put up a blog post about some disturbing patents filed by MakerBot. In particular, he notes a patent for auto-levelling on a 3D printer. Not only is this an important upcoming technology for 3D printers, the restriction of which would be a huge blow to progress, it seems the patent was filed just a few short weeks after Steve Graber posted a video demonstrating such auto-levelling. There had also been a Kickstarter campaign for similar tech a few months earlier. Tam gives this warning: 'Considering the Stratasys — Afinia lawsuit, and the fact that Makerbot is now a subsidiary of Stratasys, it's not a stretch to imagine Makerbot coming after other open source 3D manufacturers that threaten their sales. After all, nobody acquires a patent warchest just to invite their competitors to sit around the campfire to sing Kumbaya. It is therefore vitally important that community developed improvements do not fall under Makerbot's (or any other company's) patent portfolio to be used at a later date to clobber the little guys.'

Comment Re:Good decision (Score 1) 566

Do you know how immigration in this country works?

If you're here on an H-1B and lose your job, you have to leave. Your status lapses when the visa does.

If you want to get a green card through work, you have to get labor certifications and go through a very extensive search process to show that there is absolutely no US citizen able and available to do the job that you're trying to use to get a green card.

Your pithy suggestion doesn't "fix" anything or make treatment more "fair or humane". It dicks over immigrants, or potential immigrants, even harder than our already screwed up system does.

Comment Don't let reality get in the way (Score 1) 566

Maybe, just maybe, the fact that there are 50 million unemployed Americans has nothing at all to do with foreign workers. There are a maximum of 65,000 H-1B visas issued per year, even if those all went away and every one of those jobs was filled by one of the 50 million unemployed you'd have a 0.13% reduction in the number of unemployed.

MAYBE the issue is more complicated than "the dirty foreigners are taking all the work!". MAYBE the issue is the geographic location of the unemployed being very different from the geographic location of any available jobs. MAYBE the 50 million unemployed don't have the education, skills, or experience needed to perform any of the jobs those H-1B visa holders are performing... or any of the other available jobs.

But reality never gets in the way of a good freakout, does it? It's so much easier to just blame the foreigner, and that's such a popular option in this country. You've got to love deeply ingrained xenophobia.

Comment Easy solution... (Score 1) 284

Every foreign search engine, blogging platform, or other covered entity just blocks all Russian originated IPs. Homegrown solutions may spring up to replace them, but the hassle ought to at least take this from "quietly" to "amid widespread condemnation and protest from Russians". Plus, who wants to be complicit in this kind of stupid BS?

Comment Nicely skewed (Score 2) 440

The article summary does a good job of making it sound like Costco is the unreasonable bad guy in this, but every story has two sides. Why is Costco insisting on destroying the peanut butter?

Is it to avoid claims for payment on the shipment from the bankruptcy estate? Is it fears for later liability? Is it, as the summary tries very hard to imply, sheer obstinate evil?

If you're not going to even attempt to hide your bias, why even bother?

Comment Re:Ask Comcast? That's rich (Score 2) 349

The same is true of basically any cable company.

Once upon a time I had to work out the local cable company's internal network topology to nail down the choke point which was causing my connection to not-infrequently experience >50% loss because the techs they sent out were utterly worthless. I took this information to their office, asked to speak to their general manager, and after explaining what I had done and what I had learned about their severely oversold network in the process he offered me a job... which I promptly turned down, because I refused to work for a company so inept that they intentionally massively oversold their capacity knowing full well it would be 6+ months before they could add any more capacity to their system.

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