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Comment: Re:Well... (Score 1) 305

by David Chappell (#42797249) Attached to: 'Bankrupt' Australian Surgeon Sues Google For Auto-Complete

That's mind boggling to say "legally, it never happened". But that's what it does.

You are offended by the idea that a court can alter history. It can't. But it can decide that certain historical events have no legal consequences. For example, let's suppose that the law prohibits a person from receiving bankrupcy protection more than once every seven years. If someone declares bankrupcy today, a bankrupcy declaration made five years ago shouldn't count unless his creditors actually suffered losses. I imagine that annuling a bankrupcy means to cancel it because the debtor has found a way to pay off his debts after all.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 1) 305

by David Chappell (#42797153) Attached to: 'Bankrupt' Australian Surgeon Sues Google For Auto-Complete

So you're saying that you *like* them taking away rights? How is not being able to publish e.g. that someone was arrested for a crime a good thing?

So you asking for an example of an argument for keeping this information confidential. Here is one:

Because there is a stigma attached to arrest even if the charges are dropt soon after. Imagine that you were arrested for bank robery due to mistaken identity but were cleared when the real robber was found the next day. How would you feel if web searches years later producing the article written on the day of your arrest which makes you look like a bank robber? One possible solution to this problem is to prohibit the release of the name and likeness of the accused until after conviction.

Of course, there are also valid arguments for making this information public. In the end society must strike a balance between competing rights and needs.

Comment: Re:Racism is a cause, (Score 1) 474

by David Chappell (#42796911) Attached to: Racism In Online Ad Targeting

So how many people did they rape? You know, attack a woman, hold her down, beat the shit out of her, then forcefully have sex with her, kick her in the head and leave her for dead alone in an alleyway?

Why are you obsessed with the monetary amount of damage? It's just money. The biggest criminals and the people who destroy human life and dignity.

Because if you take money away from people, you take food, clothing, and shelter away from them. The experience is surely not as tramatic as the rape you describe and the effects will likely not be as long lasting, but that does not mean it is not a serious offense. It is not easy to compare a crime in which the criminal personally heaps humiliation and bodily injury on a single victim with a crime in which he heaps lesser humiliation and poverty on tens of thousands of victims, but society must if it is to mete out a fair punishment.

Comment: Re:And this is why I'll never live in a walled gar (Score 1) 409

by David Chappell (#41983667) Attached to: Apple Orders Memory Game Developers To Stop Using 'Memory' In Names

You appeal to the courts if you think their claim is spurious and if you win you resubmit your app. The procedure for fighting the claim is no different than if you weren't selling through someone's store and you were threatened with a lawsuit over a trademark claim against your product.

Or you can just sit tight and let them appeal to the courts if they want to. You don't have that option here.

Comment: Re:Actually (Score 4, Funny) 637

by David Chappell (#41972217) Attached to: Study Claims Human Intelligence Peaked Two To Six Millennia Ago

Well, no, he'd sound like somebody who spoke Ancient Greek, which I have not even the slightest passing familiarity with.

I'd almost be tempted to call him a barbarian.

Oddly enough, the original meaning of barbarian was "someone who does not speak Greek". So, he would be very puzzled.

Comment: Re:State gone Mad (Score 1) 383

by David Chappell (#41923143) Attached to: Buckyballs Throws In the Towel

As for child neglect, if you were visiting someone with your small child and a teenager was playing with a bunch of magnets, would you immediately think "those are very dangerous, I must keep my child on my lap so that he doesn't pick one of those up"? Of course not. Since you have not seen the package, you have no way of knowing that these particular magnets are much more dangerous than those which you played with as a child.

No, I'd expect the person who owns the (adult) toys to recognize the risk and say, "One second, I have to put these away." Just the same as with a chainsaw or blowtorch.

And if he doesn't, a child is exposed to a risk which a reasonable parent would not recognize and guard against. That is presumably the argument for a ban. In law such an object is described as "unreasonably dangerous". This means that it is significatly more dangerous than other goods of similiar form and function. These magnets are significantly more dangerous than other magnets and other desk toys. They are significantly more dangerous than other objects which a young child might swallow.

Under the "unreasably dangerous" principle, guns are ok becuase they are _supposed_ to kill. Frying pans with handles that fall off and rocking horses covered with lead paint are not. The only difference here is that there is no way to make this toy anywhere near as safe as it looks. But the fact that it can't be fixed does not make it non-defective.

 

Comment: Re:State gone Mad (Score 1) 383

by David Chappell (#41922791) Attached to: Buckyballs Throws In the Towel

Guns, knives, fireworks, blowtorches, and chainsaws are dangerous by the very nature of what they are intended to do. Even small children immediately understand their capacity to destroy things.

Apparently not, considering this 6 year old brought a LOADED GUN to kindergarten.

He thought he could handle it. I am sure he knew it was a gun and what it was for.

I think the CPSC is over the line, here -- the product is properly labeled & marketed to adults, and it is the adult's responsibility to keep it away from children. Same as kitchen knives, loaded guns, batteries, etc.

I know every time I'm with a young children (not even my own, which I don't have yet), I'm constantly watching to make sure what goes in their mouth isn't [too] dangerous. If other adults aren't doing the same, that's negligence.

I have mixed feelings about this. I understand the argument that they are not for children. I see no reason to prevent parts suppliers from selling powerful magnets. But I believe if they are sold as toys (even as toys for adults) many parents will through carelessness or ignorance give them to their children anyway. I am concerned that my child could find them on the floor at someone else's house and swallow them before I even saw them. Even the most vigilent parents are not able to entirely prevent their children from picking things up and putting them in their mouths.

Comment: Re:State gone Mad (Score 1) 383

by David Chappell (#41922487) Attached to: Buckyballs Throws In the Towel

Children do not immediately understand the capacity of these things to destroy. There are plenty of unfortunate accidents involving children and firearms.

The accidents occur not because children do not know that guns kill, but because they incorrectly believe that they are capable of handling them safely.

The problem with rare earth magnets is some people fail to take heed to the hazard these can potentially cause despite multiple warnings on the packaging. If you can understand why a child shouldn't play with a firearm you should also be capable of understanding the warning label on that desk toy you just bought yourself.

You are right, the problem is that the warnings are not heeded. I do not agree with your assertion that the dangerousness of a firearm and small powerful magnets is equaly apparent. In one case if you recognize the object at all, you know that it is an engine of destruction. In another you know that it sticks to things.

The point that there are warnings on the package is interesting. In theory this ought to be enough. But the value of such warnings has been greatly reduced because so many products come with long lists of warnings on the package which speak of the obvious or at least well known dangers. This means that in cases like this where there is a need to warn of a non-obvious danger, the message does not get through.

Comment: Re:Protecting the children. (Score 1) 383

by David Chappell (#41920979) Attached to: Buckyballs Throws In the Towel

magnets.. bad.

Guns, assault rifles, knives, mace spray, tazers, baseball bats, and realistic 3rd person shooters... good.

Glad you guys have got your retail priorities straight and are protecting your kids so well.

The difference is that most of the things you name are obviously dangerous. A coffee-table toy is not. They are also easy to lock up. A toy consisting of tens of tiny pieces (with any two sufficient to cause severe injury) is not.

Comment: Re:State gone Mad (Score 2, Insightful) 383

by David Chappell (#41920901) Attached to: Buckyballs Throws In the Towel

Actually, they do write this, and nobody cares. Unfortunately, rather than treating these injuries as the evidence of child neglect that they are, the feds have taken the approach of banning something that, when used appropriately, is perfectly safe.

The problem is that they are a harmless-looking toy, but the only safe way to use them is to make sure no small children are present, take them out and play with them, then count them to make sure none have been lost, and lock them up. If someone loses two of them, then children are in grave danger.

As for child neglect, if you were visiting someone with your small child and a teenager was playing with a bunch of magnets, would you immediately think "those are very dangerous, I must keep my child on my lap so that he doesn't pick one of those up"? Of course not. Since you have not seen the package, you have no way of knowing that these particular magnets are much more dangerous than those which you played with as a child.

This does not mean that everything sold has to be safe for children. Guns, knives, fireworks, blowtorches, and chainsaws are dangerous by the very nature of what they are intended to do. Even small children immediately understand their capacity to destroy things. The CPSC does not ban chainsaws because they cut or blowtorches because they burn. But it does ban toys when they tend to cause harm in totaly unexpected ways.

Comment: Re:Keep 'em but make them better! (Score 1) 267

by David Chappell (#41885859) Attached to: Is It Time To Commit To Ongoing Payphone Availability?

And that payment processing would probably not work if you're without power and data and only have the POTS line. What then? One of the main points of the discussion is for emergency situations.

Magnetic card reading payphones which require only a phone line are commercially available. For example:

http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/387529358/Magnetic_Card_Payphone.html

So this isn't just a pipe dream. It is proven, widely deployed technology. I have just never seen it in the USA.

Comment: Re:Keep 'em but make them better! (Score 2) 267

by David Chappell (#41883623) Attached to: Is It Time To Commit To Ongoing Payphone Availability?

What about keeping them but enhancing their usability? For instance, combine them with other forms of information services - city info, etc. Or perhaps some corporate partnerships like movie rentals. The phone part would be separate to keep that available if someone else was searching for the latest Star Wars flick...

I would use pay phones but for two things: 1) They require coins which I often don't have, and 2) they generally either refuse to take my coins or take them and then don't let me call. So the top usability improvement that I would like to see is for them to accept payment using a prepaid card like in many European countries.

Comment: Re:Pissing off judges (Score 1) 241

by David Chappell (#41842727) Attached to: UK Court of Appeal Reprimands Apple Over Mandated Samsung Statement

I'm surprised the judges didn't throw the book at them when they tried this bit:

Apple tried to argue that it would take at least 14 days to put a corrective statement on the site

How on earth did the person who argued that get away with not being charged with perjury? To be perfectly frank, I'm absolutely amazed that they got away with a simple reprimand. I would imagine that if Apple pulls another stunt that they will face much more than a reprimand.

If you are talking about the technical aspects of altering the website, then you are right, 14 days is absurd. But put yourself in the position of Apple's lawyers. They have to take this order, study it, and write a new statement for the website. Their client will be very unhappy with this statement and ask for revisions. The lawyers will then have to explain to them why these revisions will get them in more trouble. They will go back and forth several times. Only when everyone has finally given in to the inevitable can the new text be given to the people who run the website. Then they will need time to reformat it, find something else to take off the homepage, put it in, push it out to the servers, and make sure that they do it soon enough that the old page will have expired in the judges' browser caches.

It is not pergury to ask for two weeks to do all this. It isn't even particularly unreasonable. On the other hand, I understand that the judges do not want to given them enough time to come out with another weaselly statement. By given them barely enough time to do it if they run, they may get the simple direct statement they demanded in the first case.

Comment: Re:Ok, how about this (Score 1) 614

by David Chappell (#41709881) Attached to: FTC Offers $50,000 For Best Way To Stop Robocalls

When a car is caught by a speed trap and the owner of the car claims he wasn't driving it then he has to say who it was or receive the fine himself. Have that pass through the chain of connections and you'll track someone down. If they don't pay then disconnect them from all connections to the country. Allow each instance to tack a handling fee on if so desired.

What are you going to do when a really big telephone company says "go ahead, disconnect us, we dare you"? Sure, customers hate robo calls, but that is nothing to how they will hate you when you break the phone system.

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