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Comment: Re:Stupid (Score 3, Interesting) 189

The problem with using anesthesia is that organizations (the largest of which is the EU) forbids selling anything used in executions. So states that use anesthetics to execute the condemned will find they may be then unable to purchase the same anesthetics for use in hospitals.

Which leads to an obvious question: Isn't the U.S. capable of producing its own anesthetics? At least the ones used for executions which should no longer be covered by patents?

Comment: Re:Fixes wrong problem (Score 1) 113

by BitterOak (#49495673) Attached to: UK Company Wants To Deliver Parcels Through Underground Tunnels

Even if someone does deliver it to your door, you're still going to have to go to the depot anyway: they're going to claim to have attempted to deliver while you're not at home, as always.

Fixed that for you.

Since they generally leave a note on the door, I assume they actually did make a delivery attempt.

Comment: How far would this law go? (Score 2) 134

by BitterOak (#49455007) Attached to: U.S. Gov't Grapples With Clash Between Privacy, Security
Does this only apply to cellphones which are regulated telecommunications devices? Or would it also apply to tablets, which are really personal computing devices? And if it applies to tablets, would it apply to other personal computing devices such as laptops and desktop PCs? And if so, does it only apply to encryption software sold with the device, or also to third-party supplied encryption software? And if it does apply to 3rd party software, does it only apply to commercial software, or free open source software as well? Are there 1st Amendment issues involved in regulating the distribution of free software, and if so do they apply only to compiled machine code, or to source code as well? The devil is in the details and I'm not really sure where dividing lines would be drawn.

Comment: Re:masdf (Score 5, Insightful) 297

So once again, the FBI entraps someone by convincing them to carry out an attack so that they can stop it and pretend to be heroes. How about actually stopping attacks that you haven't yourself created? Oh, right. That count is still at zero. And I guess you need to justify all your bullshit somehow.

Actually, stings like this may prevent actual attacks from occurring by providing a deterrent. Would you join such a conspiracy if your co-conspirators might be FBI agents? Operations like these send a message out to would-be terrorists: you're not safe planning attacks in this country.

Comment: How does this work? (Score 3, Interesting) 73

by BitterOak (#49433377) Attached to: Phone App That Watches Your Driving Habits Leads To Privacy Concerns
What if you just have your phone turned off when you drive, or don't take it with you in the first place? Maybe the insurance savings are even substantial enough that you can get a second phone and only take the phone with this app on short trips and drive on those trips very carefully. When you want to do your street racing, you bring the other phone.

Comment: Re:Jail? (Score 2) 39

>Bell's so-called relevant ads program violates Canadian privacy law. >Bell is refusing to comply with the ruling.

So who's going to jail?

No one yet. As the summary states, this finding was by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, not a court. The next step would be for the Canadian version of the Justice Department (probably a Crown Attorney's office) to decide if criminal laws were violated and if so whether they want to press charges. If they do, there would then be a trial. So we're a long way away from anyone going to jail. I'm not sure if the Privacy Commissioner has the power to levy fines, but if so, they could certainly be challenged in court.

Comment: They do have a point... (Score 0, Flamebait) 292

by BitterOak (#49400423) Attached to: EFF Fighting Automakers Over Whether You Own Your Car
I know this comment won't be popular on Slashdot, but the auto makers do have a valid point. Cars today must meet rigid safety, fuel efficiency, and emissions standards. The car's computer is an essential part of the system. A small modification to the software can be the difference between a car being in compliance with these regulations and falling well outside them. The danger is people might start "hot-rodding" their cars through changes to the software, allowing the car to go faster but at the expense of polluting more and burning more fuel. What makes this particularly dangerous is that it would be trivial to set the car back to its factory state when it's time to bring the car in for emissions checks and then back to its "hot-rod" state as soon as you get it home. So these concerns are not unwarranted.

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) 181

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?

"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340