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Comment: Re:The important bits (Score 1) 81

by BitterOak (#49363297) Attached to: Citizen Scientists Develop Eye Drops That Provide Night Vision

Secondly, it's an important biomedical advancement made by citizen scientists. (The important part of that sentence is "by citizen scientists".)

Why is that important? Are most scientists non-citizens? Or does that just mean they're citizens of the country where the work is done as opposed to citizens of some other country?

Comment: Re:Bad name (Score 1) 180

by BitterOak (#49361887) Attached to: Commercial Flamethrower Successfully Crowdfunded

Reminder that 'flame *throwers*' throw *napalm*, which, I'm pretty sure, is illegal even for governments to use since the Geneva convention.

I think you can make your own napalm-like substitute out of gasoline, styrofoam, and benzene. Apparently it works almost as well as the real thing, but I've never tried it myself.

Comment: Re:"Drama of mental illness" (Score 1) 353

It's a UK article and the author seems to have found a source: "Official figures confirm the picture she paints, with emergency admissions to child psychiatric wards doubling in four years, and those young adults hospitalised for self-harm up by 70 per cent in a decade."

But your quote says nothing about suicide. It only mentions an increase in admission to child psych wards, and it then talks about "self-harm" which isn't the same thing as suicide.

Comment: Re:How About (Score 3, Interesting) 224

by BitterOak (#49306549) Attached to: Chevy Malibu 'Teen Driver' Tech Will Snitch If You Speed

Because then you'll have shithead 20somethings on the road instead, with no parental supervision whatsoever.

The only way to learn to drive is to drive.

The difference is teens are much more shithead-like than 20-somethings (not that I haven't noticed the increasing prevalence of 20-something shitheads), and teens are often not held responsible (legally or financially) for their actions (further enabling shithead behavior).

Actually, numerous studies have shown that teen drivers are no worse than inexperienced drivers of any age. That's what prompted the gov't here in Ontario to change the licensing rules some time ago so that after your probationary period (the first 2-5 years that you have your license) you have to take a second road test, where they basically test how experienced you are (based on how you handle the car, etc.) to get your full license. The problem was in the past that many teens simply didn't drive during their probation period (many didn't have access to a car, for instance) and then they got their full unrestricted license with basically no driving experience whatsoever. They've now plugged that loophole and it is pretty much impossible to pass the second test without lots of driving experience.

Comment: According to the article... (Score 1) 200

by BitterOak (#49298975) Attached to: NZ Customs Wants Power To Require Passwords
According to the article linked to in the story:

[New Zealand] Customs said its counterparts in Australia, Canada, the United States and Britain had equivalent powers, though the department has so far been unable to substantiate that.

Is that true? Does anyone know the current law in those countries? I think it is true in the U.K. where you can be jailed for not handing over passwords and/or encryption keys, but I don't know about Australia, Canada, or the U.S. Can anyone shed some light on this?

Comment: Re:Why use income? Why not total wealth? (Score 1) 760

After all, rich, old, retired people speed, too.

Stop laughing.

And how do the authorities establish your total wealth? Income can be obtained by looking at your income tax return. But there's no government record of people's wealth (not yet, anyway). And penalizing people based on their wealth would only encourage people to store their wealth offshore.

Comment: Re:...and it was after the test (Score 1) 95

by BitterOak (#49263153) Attached to: Education Company Monitors Social Media For Test References

It's not academic cheating if someone who has completed the exam discusses the questions in public and since they are minors they can't even sign a contract to enforce legal penalties.

There may not be legal penalties, but there could be academic penalties. Minors get caught and punished for cheating on school tests all the time.

Comment: Re:NYPD (Score 2) 135

by BitterOak (#49254753) Attached to: Wikipedia Entries On NYPD Violence Get Some Edits From Headquarters

I wouldn't dismiss the criminal aspect of this so quickly. There are plenty of laws on the books designed to prevent government agencies from using taxpayer resources on misinforming the public. If any of the edits were deliberately false, it's entirely possible it was a crime for the NYPD, even if it's not a crime for the jerk down the street.

Can you cite these laws please? If there are laws as you describe, every President of the United States should be in prison. Also, we don't know for a fact that taxpayer resources were used.

Comment: Re:NYPD (Score 3, Interesting) 135

by BitterOak (#49254741) Attached to: Wikipedia Entries On NYPD Violence Get Some Edits From Headquarters

If we can get Aaron Swartz to kill himself over "Hacking" by downloading a bunch of easily available peer-reviewed journals, why can't we treat "tampering of community works" with the same, broad, over-reaching laws?

What happened to Aaron Schwartz was a tragedy, as it is any time someone takes their own life. But he broke into a Harvard networking closet (that's physical trespass), and rewired a router (that's computer trespass) in order to download the journal articles that he otherwise did not have access to (or at least not at the speed with which he downloaded them). That's hardly "easily available". Was the justice department wrong to lay charges in that case? If they were wrong to do so, was it because what he did wasn't a crime or because he was a suicide risk due to mental health issues? If the latter, do we allow anyone with mental health problems to get away with any crimes because they would be a suicide risk if arrested and charged?

Comment: Re:NYPD (Score 4, Insightful) 135

Cyber warfare. Destroying or altering public records is likely a criminal offense.

First of all Wikipedia isn't "public records". Secondly, Wikipedia is set up that way. People can make edits. Other people can edit the edits. It's bad form to try to bias an article with opinions or to state facts without citations, but it's not illegal. These changes were caught by editors and presumably corrected if they were in error or introduced bias. That's the way Wikipedia is supposed to work. This revelation might be embarrassing for the NYPD, but it is hardly criminal.

Comment: Re:I hope the Device Protection is optional. (Score 3, Insightful) 172

by BitterOak (#49220341) Attached to: Google Announces Android 5.1

I hope the Device Protection feature is optional.

Of course it is. You can't use it unless you put a Google account on the device.

Right, but I have put a Google account on the device. I hope the device protection is still optional. Since I'm already using encryption, I'm not sure the device protection will add much security. Will a thief return my device when they discover they can't use it?

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson