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Comment: Re:Much as I despise trolls (Score 1) 212

by Mr. Slippery (#48184089) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

Where does the freedom to "say what I don't like" end and harassment begin?

In terms of content, you can say whatever the fuck you like about me. In terms of place and time and manner, you can't say whatever the fuck you like on my front lawn, because that's trespassing. You can't say whatever the fuck you like about me in my living room, because if you break into my house I will engage in legitimate self-defense and you will be quickly be unconscious or dead.

You can say whatever the fuck you like about me when we're in public, but if you continually follow me around at some point you are expressing a threat and committing assault. That has nothing to do with what you're saying, though, it applies even if you're silent -- it's the physical presence that's a threat.

You can say whatever the fuck you like about me on the internet or on TV or in a letter or on the phone or whatever. Unless you make a specific threat, and can be reasonably believed to have the means to carry it out, it's not assault. "I'm going to drop a nuclear bomb on Tom's house!" is not a threat, unless you command a nuclear arsenal. "Somebody ought to shoot Tom!" is offensive, but I don't have a right to not be offended, and unless someone is pointing a gun at me at that moment it's not assault or encouraging assault.

A nation with an interest in freedom could handle these cases without any new laws against trolling, using the same legal principles that have existed since the first idiot was prosecuted for mailing a threatening letter. But a moral panic about the 'net is fertile ground for authoritarians.

Comment: Reality distortion field (Score 2) 293

by Mr. Slippery (#48180417) Attached to: Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

In spite of the grumblings of many, Karjaluoto doesn't recall many such changes that we didn't later look upon as the right choice.

Or rather, the famous reality distortion field later convinced Apple customer's that Apple must have been right all along. Because otherwise they'd have to admit that they'd been had, and no one wants to do that.

People who have paid a high price to enter a group tend to value that group, and people who are part of a group tend to conform to that group's judgments. It's terrible tech and terrible design, but it's great marketing.

Comment: Re:Awesome quote (Score 1) 232

What we should be against is any subsidization, special treatment, or monopolistic practices, always rooted in government.

Subsidies such as allowing Comcast access to public rights-of-way to string their wires? Monopolistic practices such as allowing Comcast to buy up rights-of-way and exclude others from using them?

Comcast is not making widgets out of parts distilled from thin air. It is stringing wires over land, and then using them to send data over which it claims to have a "copyright".

Land is turned into property only via government action. All "intellectual property" is created entirely by state fiat. "Get government out of managing property!" is a cry that can only arise from fundamental confusion about the nature of property.

In the US, capital is not a barrier to entry...

Perhaps some day you will join us in the reality based community.

Comment: Re:A government picking the winners and losers? (Score 1) 232

If we made every "terrible company" stop doing business . . .

...then we would be returning to the original idea behind a corporate charter, where a corporation was permitted the privilege to exist only so long as it served the public interest.

Sounds like an excellent idea. Indeed, take it further: put a time limit -- say, ten years -- on every corporate charter by default. Only renew (for another limited time) those corporations who demonstrate that their continued existence will be of benefit.

Comcast, of course, would be among the first against the wall.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 244

by Mr. Slippery (#48151821) Attached to: Facebook and Apple Now Pay For Female Employees To Freeze Their Eggs

That's a question you would need to ask each individual woman. And respect each answer either way.

SydShamino wins the internet this week. That's it exactly.

If a woman (or man) decides she (or he) wants to have a kid or two and be "productive" in the sense of being a full-time mom (or dad)? Great.

If a woman (or man) decides she (or he) wants to not have kids and be "productive" in the sense of having a full-time career? Great.

If a woman (or man) decides she (or he) wants to have kids and be "productive" in the sense of being a mom (or dad) and productive in the sense of having a career? Great. (And good luck figuring out that balance.)

The original summary that suggested that only the full-time career option is "productive" is such massive BS that the editor should be ashamed.

Comment: no good password manager (Score 1) 545

by Mr. Slippery (#48140933) Attached to: Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

The problem with this article is in this sentence:

Users don't need password memorization schemes, they need to be incentivized to use a good password manager.

There is no such thing. A password manager either runs on my PC, which means when I'm away from my PC (laptop at the coffee house) I can't get my passwords; or on a device I have to always have with me, meaning all the inconveniences of a login token -- I can't login when my phone has a dead battery or is lost in the couch cushions or forgotten at home on my desk; or it runs in the "cloud", which would be a security joke.

There is no such thing as a good, or even adequate, password manager for general day-to-day use.

Comment: Re:Anonymity == being a schmuck for a good number. (Score 1) 715

by Mr. Slippery (#48111915) Attached to: Why the Trolls Will Always Win

It is far more widespread and vicious towards women.

The stories that have gotten media attention have been towards women, yes. However given the way media works (reporting bias plus confirmation bias plus dramatic stories grab more eyeballs) it is reasonable to not take that at face value without looking deeper. Are there any peer-reviewed sociological or criminological studies that look at on-line harassment and gender of victims? (Genuine question, not a rhetorical device.)

Comment: Re:Prove him right some more (Score 5, Insightful) 263

by Mr. Slippery (#48106265) Attached to: Carl Sagan, as "Mr. X," Extolled Benefits of Marijuana

This is not a new kind of perception, it's a chemical illusion

And what sort of perception is not "a chemical illusion"? Is the feeling you get when you comprehend Cantor's diagonalization proof an illusion? The feeling you get from listening to the music of Bach? The feeling you get when you look up and see a meteor streak by? Everything you experience supervenes on neurochemistry, and a cannabis experience is no less valid on that basis than any other.

Comment: Re:So, it has come to this. (Score 1) 740

by Mr. Slippery (#48086987) Attached to: Complain About Comcast, Get Fired From Your Job

Fine with me - I can quit for any reason I feel like too. Seems like an equitable arrangement.

It can be equitable if you're a skilled employee working for a sole proprietorship run by a middle-class person. You have leverage.

If you're a laborer working for a multi-national corporation, you're lucky if the stockholders don't grind your bones to make their bread. There's nothing "equitable" about a human being facing an gigantic immortal psychopath created by state fiat.

Comment: Re:So, it has come to this. (Score 1) 740

by Mr. Slippery (#48086647) Attached to: Complain About Comcast, Get Fired From Your Job

Of course there's the alternative, where you can't fire anyone, and you keep incompetent employees forever.

And there, is, of course, no possible in between state. The only alternatives are being unable to terminate incompetent employees, and allowing absolutely arbitrary employment decisions by those in power.

Comment: Re:No (Score 1) 264

If the police "wanted to hurt you with some crap" I'm pretty sure they wouldn't need electronic information to do so.

Maybe not, but oh, it sure helps. And if cops don't need electronic information to hurt me, then they don't need electronic information to hurt bad guys, so they don't need it at all.

The protection against that is the rule of law, i.e. police being policed themselves.

And they're not. From the beat cop on up to the President of the United States, the executive branch is a bunch of violent criminals and their accomplices, with no effective check. So where does that leave us?

Comment: Re:Leader quotation bingo (Score 2) 264

Criminalizing firearm possession works reasonably well in most countries where they don't allow firearms.

No, it doesn't. It has the state use force to put people in cages for acts that do not credibly threaten the rights of others, i.e. the mere possession of the tools of self-defense. Under any reasonable definition of "works", ipso facto that's not working.

Beyond that is the problem that such laws have fsck-all effect on violent crime, because the problem with violent crime is the people who commit it and not the tools they use to do so, but that's secondary to the problem that a prohibition law *is*, by its nature, violent crime.

Comment: Re:Incompetent Administration (Thanks GWB) (Score 1) 424

by Mr. Slippery (#48079563) Attached to: Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

Oh yeah, shooting at American aircraft is like totally not a big deal.

When those American aircraft are over your country without your consent or justification under international law? It's to be expected, the same as if Russian aircraft were over our country.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.

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