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Comment: Re:Is banishment legal? (Score 1) 227

by hey! (#49498541) Attached to: Gyrocopter Pilot Appears In Court; Judge Bans Him From D.C.

Well, keeping you out of the public eye is an appropriate punishment when you're convicted of a political crime. But we shouldn't recognize political crimes.

If people want to pay attention to what this guy has to say because he gyrocoptered in restricted airspace, that's their business. Even though it's a pretty stupid reason, it shouldn't be a judge's role to sit in judgment of that.

THere's an important flip side to freedom of speech that is often overlooked: freedom of listening. As a citizen you should be able to hear what the government doesn't want you to hear, unless the government has a compelling reason, and even then the restrictions should be narrowly tailored. "That guy just pulled a stupid stunt," is not a compelling reason to intervene in what people choose to listen to.

Comment: There is the small issue of academic freedom. (Score 1) 192

by hey! (#49498337) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

You can't fire a faculty member because outside the scope of his duties he expresses an opinion you don't like -- even if it's a clearly crackpot opinion. If you could, Stanford would have kicked Linus Pauling out when he became a Vitamin C crackpot.

The difference, though, is that Pauling was a sincere crackpot -- brilliant people are often susceptible to crackpottery because they're so used to being more right than their neighbors. Dr. Oz is a snake-oil salesman; when he's faced with people who are educated -- not necessarily scientists but critical thinkers -- in a forum he doesn't control, he speaks in a much more equivocal fashion. That shows he knows the language he uses on his show and in his magazine is irresponsible.

So selling snake-oil isn't crackpottery, it's misconduct. But somebody's got to find, chapter and verse, the specific institutional rules of conduct Dr. Oz's misconduct violates. There will have to be due process, particularly if he's a tenured professor, which will probably require lesser disciplinary measures than dismissal be tried first.

Comment: Re:Is banishment legal? (Score 1) 227

by YrWrstNtmr (#49497041) Attached to: Gyrocopter Pilot Appears In Court; Judge Bans Him From D.C.
"(Anyone with two braincells to rub together would know what landing your contraception on the white house lawn would get you nabbed by guys in black vans in full view of press cameras)"

Interesting autocorrect there. I'd suspect that would gather an indecent exposure charge, maybe.

Comment: Re:Well that's rather the point (Score 1) 320

by sumdumass (#49491701) Attached to: Gyro-Copter Lands On West Lawn of US Capitol, Pilot Arrested

In these situations, I'm not entirely sure collateral damage is of a primary concern. The image of either building being damaged or destroyed or the threat to elected representatives likely presents a worse impact than collateral damage might. Its like all the special protections they already have. For instance, punch your neighbor and face a misdemeanor, punch a senator or the president and it is not only a felony but a serious one at that. Kill someone in an auto accident and it can be a charge with less than 10 years but run over a police dog and you face life for killing an officer of the law.

Our system has said they are special and more protected than most people for quite a while now.

Comment: Re:Shocked he survived (Score 1) 320

by sumdumass (#49490325) Attached to: Gyro-Copter Lands On West Lawn of US Capitol, Pilot Arrested

Anything is possible but they have helicopter rides at the county fair around my neck of the woods. They take off and land right next to the fair way with an area about 30 yards roped off. Of course they approach and leave from the far side and away from the rides but its usually still over a parking lot.

I'm not sure I would be overly excited about his landing. Still some concerns but likely not dangerous.

Comment: Re:Wow. Just wow. (Score 1) 319

by hey! (#49490245) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

So... They didn't test the iPad / content combo to establish usability / feasibility / usefulness prior to dropping all this cash?

That's speculation. Feasibility is no guarantee of performance.

I read the attached article, and there were two specific complaints cited. The first was security, which is a non-functional requirement; that could well be a failure of the customer to do his homework on requirements but presumably a competent and honest vendor could have done a better job on security. It's often the vendor's job to anticipate customer needs, particularly in projects of the type customers don't necessarily have experience with.

The other complaint is that the curriculum wasn't completely implemented. If the vendor failed to deliver something it agreed to, that's purely the vendor's fault.

Sometimes bad vendors happen to good customers. Bad vendors happen more often to bad customers, but every project involves taking a calculated risk.

Comment: Re:Well that's rather the point (Score 1) 320

by sumdumass (#49490227) Attached to: Gyro-Copter Lands On West Lawn of US Capitol, Pilot Arrested

There is a surface to air missile battery on the capital building and white house. Likely in other areas around there to.

Because of his slow speed and open cockpit they had the opportunity to watch him instead of just reacting. If he got closer or appearedt to be threatening to the white house he likely would have been shot down.

Comment: Re:Sign off. (Score 3, Insightful) 319

by hey! (#49490193) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

Well, until the details of how the contract was awarded and how the vendor failed have been thoroughly investigated, it's premature to fire anyone.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for accountability and decisiveness, but picking someone plausible and throwing them under the bus isn't accountability. In fact that may actually shield whoever was responsible.

Comment: Re:Why the hell ... (Score 1) 118

They probably saw that FreeBSD has been doing it for 15 years [freebsd.org] and thought it might be a good idea.

Though I thought of this too, it's a majorly different level of parsing, and therefore much smaller attack surface.

MS has a full HTTP stack in the kernel. FreeBSD accept filters (including the http_filter) do a minimal check, then pass the full request to userspace - no heavy parsing in the kernel. I think the http_filter just looks for GET/HEAD/WHATEVER_SCHEME and a few other minimal things, and then tells httpd "here ya go"

Comment: Re:HTTP.SYS? (Score 1) 118

1) Literally?

2) This is actually pretty common, witness the TUX Linux kernel web server a few years ago.

Why? the same reason anything is dumped into kernel mode. Speed. Got a few thousand hits per second? Drop your userspace code into kernel space, and now you're eliminating a few thousand user-kernel space swap outs per second. Problems? Yeah, lets have a fairly complicated protocol that is designed to be poked at (and therefore hacked at) remotely dropped into the kernel. That and complicated data structures and kernel memory management don't mix well sometimes.

I agree with you. I thought TUX was a bad idea when it came out. Now imagine a new protocol without all the design bugs sorted out, without all the implementation bugs sorted out (i'm looking at you HTTP/2.0 SPDY) dropped into the kernel.. Oy Vey! the pain!

Always try to do things in chronological order; it's less confusing that way.