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Comment: Re: Can we please cann these companies what they a (Score 1) 288

by Dave Emami (#47896685) Attached to: California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

Almost all of law is based on the 'why'. If you kill someone, it starts to really matter 'why'. On purpose? By accident? For profit? All very different scenarios, and treated differently under the law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M...

Right - guilty mind. "Why" matters.

I did not say that "why" does not matter at all. I said that if you have the right to do X, you can do so for whatever reason you want. Killing someone is something you normally do not have the right to do, but the law makes exceptions under certain extraordinary circumstances. That is, motive can make something permissible that otherwise would be forbidden, but it cannot (per natural rights, not necessarily per the legal system) make something forbidden which is permissible. I have the right to drive people around in my car, or let them sleep in my house, or eat my food, etc. I can exercise those rights, or refrain from exercising them, for any reason I want, or for no reason at all. I do not have the right to shoot someone, or break into their house, or physically restrain them, but the law may decide that I am justified in doing so in rare situations.

Comment: Re: Can we please cann these companies what they a (Score 2) 288

by Dave Emami (#47895589) Attached to: California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

Money changed hands. Tax man needs his cut or something bad might happen to you.

Much as I detest taxation, that's a separate issue -- "you can do X but not in exchange for money" vs. "you can do X, but if you get money for it, we'll be taking some of that money." Though in the case of the IRS, they'll be looking to tax you even if money didn't change hands. If you drive your co-worker to work and he buys you coffee in thanks, the price of that coffee is income as far as the tax man is concerned.

Comment: Re: Can we please cann these companies what they a (Score 1) 288

by Dave Emami (#47895459) Attached to: California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

When you do something for profit, your in business. Your legal liability changed. Your insurance needs changed.

And that's the wrong-headed doctrine that needs to be gotten rid of. If you have the right to do X, then you have the right to do X regardless of why you want to do X. When the law says otherwise, "then the law is an ass."

Comment: Meh (Score 2) 209

I prefer the Unix-based method from Vernor Vinge's A Deepness In the Sky. Everything is seconds based on the Unix epoch, with SI prefixes for longer periods -- ksecs (00:16:40), msecs (about 11.6 days), gsec (about 31.7 years), etc. With processing power as ubiquitous as it is, converting back and forth when planetary/celestial timing really matters is trivial. Most of our non-analog timing devices already work this way already, and those that don't (LED alarm clocks) are being phased out by devices that do work that way (smartphones). Granted this isn't any more likely to be used than the TCC, but at least it's cleaner.

Comment: Re:Not even much money (Score 1) 423

by Dave Emami (#46764021) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

This is complete and utter bullshit. I'm sick of people conflating basic human needs and monetary systems.

Who said anything about money? I said trade. If Ook the caveman gives Thagg the caveman some fish in exchange for a bearskin -- as opposed to clubbing Thagg over the head and taking the bearskin -- that's trade, just as making a lean-to out of branches is engineering, adding 2+2 is mathematics, and Ook and Thagg grunting at each other is communication. Everything else is just an increase in sophistication and scale. And when Chief Krunk starts deciding whether or not Ook and Thagg can exchange fish and bearskins, that's regulation, and (assuming they can't simply kill him) Krunk's goodwill is now valuable to Ook and Thagg. Krunk's probably going to be getting some "donations" of trout and furs.

Comment: Re:Not even much money (Score 1) 423

by Dave Emami (#46761231) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

True capitalism at work, everything is for sale, even the laws.

"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators." -- P. J. O'Rourke.

When people consider something valuable, that thing will be traded. Potatoes, oil, heroin, sex, shiny rocks, senators, whatever. That's not merely capitalism, it's basic human nature, on which capitalism rests. And it is by far those who dislike capitalism who push the hardest to make politicians valuable.

Comment: Re:The Odd Distort (Score 1) 26

by Dave Emami (#46613761) Attached to: China Prosecuted Internet Policeman In Paid Deletion Cases

Only three posts in and we're already doing the moral equivalence song and dance.

Yeah, the "tu quoque" fallacy is big around here.

It's really funny the way the Microsoft shills on here continually mod down their opponents

What alternate universe do you live in? Criticism of Microsoft on Slashdot is consistently and routinely modded +5.

However the hypocrisy and stupidity is still obvious and if we want to be able to suggest improvements to China perhaps we need to keep our own house in order.

Umm... no. If the US government does something bad, we should criticize it. If the Chinese government does something bad, we should criticize it. If the governments of Liechtenstein or Brunei or Tonga are doing bad things, we should criticize them. The important distinction here is "people being screwed over by their governments" vs. "governments doing the screwing-over", not "US" vs. "China" vs. etc. etc. If anything, the fact that the NSA is acting badly towards Americans should make Americans more sympathetic towards Chinese citizens getting similar, harsher treatment from their government.

Comment: Re:Incomprehensible Headline (Score 1) 26

by Dave Emami (#46613719) Attached to: China Prosecuted Internet Policeman In Paid Deletion Cases

In fact, no mainstream party in an industrial or post-industrial state can be considered Maoist. The term only refers to peasant socialism/communism in pre-industrial societies.

Maoism is basically "there are more peasants than workers, so it should be 'peasants of the world, unite.' Oh and by the way, since I'm a Third World guy and most peasants are in the Third World, I should be the leading Marxist now that Stalin is gone. Screw you, Comrade Khrushchev."

Comment: Re:Tarzan need antecedent (Score 1) 824

by Dave Emami (#46600947) Attached to: Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

Would you have been fine with it if he had donated money to a campaign to promote that belief?

I didn't say I was fine with his belief, I said that I wouldn't have wanted him to be fired because of it. Nor would I want him to be fired for donating to promote it.

What about if that donation had had your company name attached? Maybe not so much, because that's linking you and your employer to that belief. What about if his job was to be the public face of the company (i.e. the CEO)? Maybe even less, because now the company (and, indirectly, you) are endorsing those beliefs.

If he donated it in the company's name, that would be different, but to my understanding Eich made his donations in his own name, not in Mozilla's name. The contribution database merely notes that Mozilla was his employer at the time. So, for the equivalent question, if I were still at the same company as the coworker I mentioned, and he were promoted to CEO, I would not protest it. Nor would I protest if, as CEO, he continued to make such donations in his name. The important distinction is whether or not the views are being espoused by the person on his own, or by the company -- and I mean literally, officially in the company's name, not some vague "associated with the company because he works there in an important position" sort of thing.

Incidentally, I've been in the "leadership might do things I dislike" position, too. Back when I was part of the team of a startup whose CEO was a Scientologist, a coworker and I insisted that our contracts include clauses that the company not use "Hubbard Management Technology" (look it up, it's hilarious, sad, and offensive at the same time), and that if the company gave money to or bought anything from WISE (a Scientology business group) that it would have to make matching contributions to the EFF.

Comment: Re:Tarzan need antecedent (Score 1) 824

by Dave Emami (#46600607) Attached to: Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

Would you say the same if he had given money to a group that supports the return of Jim Crow? What about if he gave to one of the groups that promote holocaust denial?

Well, I've worked with someone who denies the Holodomor (the Ukraine famine) and Stalin's other mass-murders, which are on par with the Holocaust. I would never have dreamed of suggesting he be fired for his views, and would have vocally defended him if someone else did -- and I'm about as anti-Communist as you can get.

Comment: Re:Until the NSA stops spying on America... (Score 4, Informative) 309

by Dave Emami (#46480543) Attached to: Russia Blocks Internet Sites of Putin Critics

Until we stop living in a mass surviellence state, this all rings hollow.

The US (and the West in general) differs from Russia not in our inclination towards surveillance -- pretty much all governments do that -- but in the fact that it's controversial here.

You do know that it's possible to criticize bad things done by the US government, and criticize bad things done by other governments, right? Because your statement seems to indicate that you're unaware of this option.

Unlike Russia, we don't need to ban critics. We can just stalk and harrass them, until then ruin their lifes.

Tell that to Alexander Litvinenko, Viktor Yuschenko, Anna Politkovskaya, Yuri Shchekochikhin, Yuri Shchekochikhin, and many others.

Comment: Re:Go find another thread to whine in (Score 5, Insightful) 309

by Dave Emami (#46480503) Attached to: Russia Blocks Internet Sites of Putin Critics

There a topic that isn't about America? Well can't have that! Spin it to be about America! Redirect all topics to be on America, particularly whining about America!

What's ironic is that the folks who tend to do this, are just as likely to sneer that Americans don't care about anything happening outside the US.

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