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Submission + - Idaho Law Against Recording Abuses on Factory Farms Ruled Unconstitutional

onproton writes: An Idaho law that made it illegal to record and document animal abuse or dangerous hygienic practices in agricultural facilities, often referred to as an ‘ag-gag’ law, was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge on Monday. The judge concluded that the law restricted constitutionally protected free speech, and contradicted “long-established defamation and whistleblowing statutes by punishing employees for publishing true and accurate recordings on matters of public concern.” Idaho is just one of several states to pass this type of law, which allow food production facilities to censor some unfavorable forms of speech at their convenience. Under the Idaho statute, an employee that witnessed and recorded an incident, even if it depicted true and life-threatening health or safety violations, could be faced with a year in jail and fines of up to “twice the economic loss the owner suffers.” In his ruling, the judge stated that this was “precisely the type of speech the First Amendment was designed to protect.” This decision has raised questions about the constitutionality of these types of laws in other states as well, and it’s likely that there will be more legal battles ahead.

Submission + - US approves anti-epilepsy pill manufactured with 3D printer->

Okian Warrior writes: Aprecia Pharmaceuticals announced that the FDA had approved its Spritam medication for the treatment of epilepsy.

The company said that with its ZipDose 3D printing technology, it is possible to create a detailed, porous structure which allows the pill to dissolve faster while delivering up to 1,000 mg of medication in a single dose.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:When guns are outlawed... (Score 3, Interesting) 54

Eh, it's kind of like your Android phone not making root readily available. It's there to protect the unwashed masses from themselves. Serious hobbyists (or bad actors) don't have much difficulty getting around the restrictions. I don't think anyone seriously thinks that "geofencing" software will keep a terrorist from flying a drone into restricted airspace. What it will do is keep the "hold my beer and watch this!" crowd from flying their drone into the glide path of a 747.

Comment Re:Remember when the Internet was uncontrolled? (Score 2) 109

remember, Facebook != Internet

It is to many people, particularly those that came of age after the internet went mainstream, as well as those that are older and less technically adept.

Like it or hate it, Facebook is the Internet to a lot of people. Try having a brick and mortar business these days without a presence on Facebook. There are countless people that will go looking for something on Facebook long before they think of a simple Google search. Why do you think Google has invested so much effort into social media despite their many failures? They're terrified of people like this.

At the rate things are going the "dark web" isn't going to be warez, criminals, and black hats; it's going to be anything that's not on Facebook and Twitter.

Comment Re:Remember when the Internet was uncontrolled? (Score 2) 109

The EU isn't a defensive alliance; that's what NATO is for and Turkey is already a NATO member. One that's keeping us from forming a coherent policy against ISIS, incidentally, since our natural allies in the region and only proven effective anti-ISIS force happen to be Turkey's sworn enemy.

Comment Re:Let the market decide. (Score 1) 504

Having them working is efficient. Having them sitting in front of a burning house isn't.

Having them sit in front of their cute "fire house" all day is even more inefficient.

And that's what happens, when they are government employees — because each town has its own. The same would be happening, if each town ran its own restaurants — fortunately, the statism has not reached quite that far in this country.

They would do their best to save the burning house, but they would fail every time.

Now you are changing your argument — glad to see, we have the earlier one discarded.

Let's dispense with this new one. Service-providers, that oversell their capacity do not survive for very long either. Customers and insurers track them... Unless, of course, they are government-owned — the "trick" you described can be (and is) used by government-run fire-teams all the time. A mean annual wage of a New York City firefighter, for example, is over $73K, but they will refuse to even try to save your property, under the noble-sounding rule "We only save lives".

So you are saying that insurance is more expensive to cover for the fees in order for them to evaluate and approve private fire departments?

Somebody has to evaluate and approve all fire departments — whether they are monitored by the towns or insurance companies, it needs to be done on occasion. But insurance companies compete with each other and have "skin in the game" — their policies will be too expensive, if they aren't efficient about inspections. If, on the other hand, they are too loose in their standards, they'll lose money paying for houses destroyed by fires.

Town representatives do not have "skin in the game" and are swayed by personal sympathies if not outright bribery, which makes the system less efficient.

My point was just that the city shouldn't be providing a private corporation with free land and free water.

Maybe not. Something can be worked-out — after all, we do have private companies running cables (and even pipes) above and under the streets. Any resource available to government-owned firefighters ought to be — and is — available to privately-operated ones.

Comment Remember when the Internet was uncontrolled? (Score 5, Insightful) 109

When USENET, IRC, and other mediums that were hard to censor were the rule rather than the exception? Now the "go to" places are all for profit enterprises, Facebook, Twitter, Google, et. al. They may profess to follow Western ideals, they may even actually believe in them, but when push comes to shove they'll always do what's necessary to enrich the bottom line.

As an aside, I wonder why the EU is hesitant to consider admitting Turkey? Or why the United States insists on advocating in favor of such a course of action.

Comment Re:Let the market decide. (Score 1) 504

It's inefficient because they are not available in case there is a fire somewhere else

This statement makes no sense. Had they been actively involved in extinguishing the (uninsured) house, they would've been even less available for other engagements.

I'd open one in every town. Of course I wouldn't have any firemen or trucks. I would just collect the money and not answer any calls.

That's called fraud — a criminal act. Do you think, various criminals haven't tried this before? They have and still do, are you going to nationalize all insurance business because of this?

Those who get their house burnt would get a monthly refund

You'd be liable to much more than that — in addition to the above-mentioned criminal prosecution, you'd forfeit all the bonds you have posted and, of course, such a thing can only be tried once.

Most ordinary people might not have the attention span enough to track such fraudsters, but insurance companies do — and they will insist, you pick a fire-company from their "approved" list.

Of course, every private fire departement would need it's own aqueduc and private fire hydrant network, right?

Not necessarily. That's entirely up to them. You have mentioned in your previous post, that you find cooperation between neighboring towns' fireteams possible (and desirable). What makes you think, private players would be unable to cooperate with each other?

Comment Re:Let the market decide. (Score 1) 504

It is not efficient at all to move the whole fire department over to a house just to watch it burn and make sure it doesn't spread to neighbors.

Why is it not efficient? As long as they don't have to wear much equipment, nor spend much of the chemicals, nor risk lives and limb, the costs of such a move are negligible.

It's also a natural monopoly.

There is no such thing. "Natural monopoly" is a myth created by statists already in government to justify their control of our lives.

It wouldn't be efficient to have two competing fire departments in a small town.

Who said, they must limit themselves to one town? They don't — not any more than KFC does. On the contrary, the current situation, where each little town has its own department is inefficient. Multiple such companies could open shop in multiple places — competing with each other across town- and state-borders.

It's much better to have a larger one with better equipment.

Sure. But it does not have to be government-owned.

Comment Don't ask me to choose (Score 1) 275

I use both G+ and FB, and they are different for me.

Facebook is a morass of annoying acquaintances sprinkled among family and friends. I rarely post there.

G+ is a much more interesting community for me.

Yes, my choices make each site different. FB is where most of my family is, so it also has a loft of noise, and i filter it.

So I use both.

To iterate is human, to recurse, divine. -- Robert Heller