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Comment: Well, it is a property offence (Score 1) 281

by Camael (#47279099) Attached to: Mt. Gox CEO Returns To Twitter, Enrages Burned Investors

Strictly speaking, it is embezzlement

Embezzlement is the act of dishonestly withholding assets for the purpose of conversion (theft) of such assets by one or more individuals to whom such assets have been entrusted, to be held and/or used for other purposes.

In other jurisdictions, this may be known as misappropriation.

Usually the burden of proof lies on the person you entrusted the property to (especially if it is a paid service) to explain what happened to it. If he can't/won't, you can invite the court to draw an adverse inference against him. Proving where it went is his problem.

Comment: Re:This just in. (Score 1) 281

by Camael (#47278961) Attached to: Mt. Gox CEO Returns To Twitter, Enrages Burned Investors

Okay, here's some evidence for you. I will freely admit that if I could not have downloaded Season 3 of Game of Thrones, I would have shelled out $40 to get it on BluRay. HBO and/or the makers of the show and/or whatever retailer I would have bought the set from lost $40. I liked the shows enough to watch them but I really don't feel like paying $40 after having watched them all just to ease my commercial equivalent of a conscience. True fact and actual value lost. So what now? Can we be done with the "nobody lost anything because of downloading" argument once and for all and move on to something more substantial as a reason for both copyright reform and ethical Internet usage?

Your mistake is in assuming you speak for everyone else. Not everyone who downloads would have bought the set if the downloads were not available for various reasons (eg set not available locally, lack of interest, lack of funds). Hence, no direct link of cause and effect evidencing actual loss insofar as other cases of infringement are concerned.

In your case however, given your own admission which can be used against you, there is a direct link hence actual evidence of loss. Be happy you're not sued in court.

Comment: True value (Score 1) 281

by Camael (#47278923) Attached to: Mt. Gox CEO Returns To Twitter, Enrages Burned Investors

The bitcoins in question had a monetary value of $400 million. That is, they could be exchanged for that much at the time. $400 million buys you a lot of physical stuff.

Not true. I seriously doubt you can find anyone who is/was willing to buy all those bitcoins for $400 million. I also doubt anyone is/was willing to accept all those bitcoins in exchange for $400 million worth of physical goods.

Lets say for example I take a slug of tin and stamp it into many coins of my own making. Nobody is willing to give me anything for the coins except for my best friend, who is willing to pay me $1 for 1 coin. The true value of my coins would still be zero. You can't argue that based on that one exception, the coins I made is each worth $1.

Comment: Interesting? Dangerous? compared to? (Score 0) 281

by Camael (#47278883) Attached to: Mt. Gox CEO Returns To Twitter, Enrages Burned Investors

An interesting and dangerous reminder of the nature of bitcoins. I am sure there were many bitcoin users who expressly intended to cheat on taxes and hide other criminal financial transactions.

I'm sure that users of cash and other forms of currency do not get scammed, do not get tricked, do not suffer fraud and do not lose the value of their currency of choice. Nope, perfectly safe.

And I'm sure that there are no users of cash and other forms of currency who expressly intended to cheat on taxes and hide other criminal financial transactions. Nope, all perfectly law abiding.

Oh, wait...

Lets not go overboard with the hyperbole here. All forms of convertible currency is exposed to risk.

Comment: But...why? (Score 2) 39

by Camael (#47270319) Attached to: Adobe To Let Third Party Devs Incorporate Photoshop Features

Third party developers will be able to build mobile applications that tap into the features of Adobe's Creative Cloud, including effects such as Photoshop's "content-aware fill" and PSD file manipulation

But if you are a mobile developer coding an app which you presumably intend to profit from in some way, why would you want to put your creation at the mercy of Adobe? Not to mention the hassle of having to ensure that your app is compliant with whatever flavour of Adobe's Creative Cloud exists at the time, and having to update every time Adobe changes something.

Seems more trouble than its worth, really.

Comment: People are more altruistic than you think (Score 4, Interesting) 284

by Camael (#47251857) Attached to: Bill Gates To Stanford Grads: Don't (Only) Focus On Profit

bullshit, most the dramatic increase in human life and health of the last 500 years has been driven by and is the result of profit-seeking. The only solutions to mankinds problems will be produced and distributed that way

Untrue. And unlike you, I have citations and links to prove it.

You might have heard of Edward Jenner , father of immunology and the man whose work in vaccination reduced smallpox from a feared fatal disease to a mere footnote today. Did he become rich from it? No. He sacrificed his own practice and in the end had to be bailed out with public funds.

Jenner's continuing work on vaccination prevented him continuing his ordinary medical practice. He was supported by his colleagues and the King in petitioning Parliament, and was granted £10,000 for his work on vaccination. In 1806, he was granted another £20,000 for his continuing work in microbiology.

Or we can look at Louis Pasteur, father of microbiology. He

...was a French chemist and microbiologist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization. He is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and preventions of diseases, and his discoveries have saved countless lives ever since.

What was was the motivation for his work?

After serving briefly as professor of physics at the Dijon Lycée in 1848, he became professor of chemistry at the University of Strasbourg, where he met and courted Marie Laurent, daughter of the university's rector in 1849. They were married on May 29, 1849, and together had five children, only two of whom survived to adulthood; the other three died of typhoid. These personal tragedies were his motivations for curing infectious diseases.

You may be cynical and personally driven by profit-seeking, but don't assume everyone else is.

Comment: But do the benefits outweigh the costs? (Score 1) 314

by Camael (#47227173) Attached to: California Regulators Tell Ride-Shares No Airport Runs

While researching your point, I came across this pro-driving is a right not privilege article which seems to set out the history of drivers licences. One part struck me though :-

Although there appear to have been no legal challenges to the constitutionality of requiring drivers licenses, there were a number of test cases in several states which challenged the legitimacy of the registration laws. Invariably these laws were upheld on the basis that they were a proper exercise of the police power of the state to provide for the health, safety, and comfort of the citizenry. The earliest registration laws were justified by state authorities, as well as vehicle owners, by referring to "the need of identifying a vehicle with its owner as a protection against theft."

Doesn't licensing make sense in this context?
- to ensure that the majority of drivers on the road have at least demonstrated minimal competency in driving by passing a mandatory test
- to ensure that drivers are covered by insurance (which i think is a pre-req to getting a licence in most places)
- to link vehicles with their drivers for the purposes of identification, for liability settlement in case there is an accident, theft etc

It doesn't seem that unreasonable in light of the amount of damage already caused by licensed drivers every year. Completely doing away with licensing and thereby allowing even those who have failed their driving tests to drive would seem counter productive.

Comment: Not sure what you are getting at (Score 1) 519

by Camael (#47219429) Attached to: Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

I don't get your point, to be honest. Your links show that there are some teachers who are scum who take advantage of their students, which sadly is neither surprising nor new.

If your argument is that Mark Berndt should have been sacked, they had already started the procedure to sack him but he quit before he could be sacked.

L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy — then the No. 2 in command — said he acted to remove Berndt from class the same day he saw the photos and felt there was justification for immediate dismissal. Records indicate that Berndt was pulled from the school on Jan. 6, 2011. And, then-L.A. schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines, who has since retired, said he ordered Berndt to be fired when he heard about the photos.

The district’s legal staff warned Cortines that there might be complications for acting so quickly. Standard practice in L.A. Unified and elsewhere has been to “house” teachers in a district office, away from students, until a legal issue is resolved. But Cortines said he told senior staff that he didn’t want to wait, an account that was confirmed by a former Cortines aide.

By Feb. 15, the paperwork was ready for the elected Board of Education to dismiss Berndt formally and the school board ratified Cortines’ decision. As of Feb. 16, the district stopped paying Berndt, said Vivian Ekchian, chief human resources officer for L.A. Unified.

But the matter didn't end there. Berndt had 30 days to challenge his dismissal, which he did with the help of Trygstad, Schwab & Trygstad, a firm known for representing the teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles. In this case, Berndt hired the firm privately; its specialties include defending teachers facing dismissal.

Berndt’s case was then set to go before an administrative hearing panel, a process that would take months. While awaiting a hearing, Berndt resigned from the school system in June 2011, six months after Deasy and Cortines determined to fire him.

If you're arguing they should have the power to sack him immediately, I disagree- everyone should be entitled to due process and be given an opportunity to defend himself. Giving him 30 days would not matter as long as he is kept away from students, which he was.

If you're arguing he should not be entitled to any benefits, I agree - that is a loophole that should be closed.

Because Berndt never was officially fired, he retains lifetime health benefits that he earned through decades of service in L.A. Unified. Ekchian said the district is researching its options for trying to rescind those benefits should Berndt be convicted.

If you're arguing that LAUSD screwed up, then perhaps- I'll leave it to the pending lawsuit to decide the matter and punish LAUSD (or not) appropriately.

Whats all this got to do with strict government control over education anyway? This looks like a criminal matter to me.

Comment: Re:Strict government control is not good (Score 1) 519

by Camael (#47219273) Attached to: Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

When you say "loose government control", some people hear, "anarchy". Just like when you say, "lower taxes", they hear, "elimination of all taxation". No intermediate states are contemplated, or even considered possible.

I agree, which is why that disclaimer is the very first line of my comment =)

Moderation is an oft forgotten virtue in our turbulent times.

We all like praise, but a hike in our pay is the best kind of ways.