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Comment There's another piece (Score 1) 122

In addition to the already described points of "Black Friday" turning into "Black Week", and Amazon apps dinging us when there's a new deal we can swipe-left or swipe-right, the stores painted themselves into a bit of a corner - "up to 80% off!"...that thing that no one wants, ever. The things that are actually wanted are only 5% off. The $200 laptops...each store only gets three of them, so if you're dediated enough to be one of the first three in line, you might be lucky enough to get one, but stores stopped shipping reasonable quantities of doorbuster deals, so anyone who got up early and didn't get what they came for started saying "screw this" after the first few rounds of disappointment, finally coming to the realization that spending $20 more and having it shipped to them from Amazon was an infinitely better gamble than spending four hours freezing outside.

Black Friday used to be the day where it was possible to get actually good deals, but it got distilled until there was nothing left.

Comment Re:What if it was a bomb? (Score 1) 742

he took an off-the-shelf alarm clock, and made it look like a bomb. He did this very deliberately.

Reasonable doubt regarding motivations aside, there were a number of issues with the device being a bomb. Yes, it looked like a bomb if the only bomb you've ever seen has been from a Tom Cruise / Bruce Willis / Liam Neeson movie...but that that point, you're not qualified to determine what is and isn't a bomb. There was nothing even resembling an explosive charge in the case, and even Achmed the Dead Terrorist knows that you don't build a bomb that is required to be plugged into an electrical outlet in order to work, as you'd be rather defeated by way of unplugging the bomb.

Should the school have ignored, what could have been a bomb, because the kid was a Muslim?

No. You follow actual procedure, like "evacuating the building" and "calling a bomb diffusion team", and you treat it like it's actually got an explosive charge, none of which was done. Sure, hold the kid in the principles office (or some approximation thereof as a result of the evacuation procedure), and when the bomb squad tells you that it's absolutely not a bomb, you hand the device back to the student and say, "even though it's not a bomb, I don't want to see this in school again". THAT is how you deal with this situation - treat the device like a bomb, and then when you find out that it isn't a bomb, you treat the student like he's not in possession of a bomb. Not that hard.

What sort of litigation would there have been if it was a bomb, and the school did nothing?

Oh plenty...but the reason why they'd be lawsuited to hell and back in that case would be because they didn't follow the procedures they were supposed to follow when dealing with a bomb scare.

Now, all of that being said, even RIAA/MPAA math would have trouble coming up with $15 million in damages from the situation. A mess was made by all parties involved, these things happen, apologies were made, and I wouldn't be patently against filing a four figure lawsuit + court fees, just on principle. Lawsuits like this though are why we can't have nice things.

Comment Weight? Really? (Score 2) 188

Weight is pretty much the most clueless measurement to use.
You could build something really big, put helium balloons inside it and have it sit on a scale and still weigh less than 9 oz.
Any of Physical size, maximum range, maximum speed, maximum altitude, any of those would have been much less clueless.

Comment Re:Comedy of errors (Score 1) 742

>> Right because somone who does not possess electronics knowledge can tell the difference between a PCB for a cheap electronic clock and one that is some kind of detonator.

Even assuming your point is completely true, you're still making the same dumb mistake that the school did.
Do you REALLY believe that a timer alone can explode? It requires just basic common sense to spot the complete lack of explosive material, such as a blob of grey putty or a jar of liquid with a detonator cap or a couple of wires sticking out of it.

Apprently even basic common sense is an unrealistic expectation let alone requirement for your average US public school staff and principal these days.

Comment Comedy of errors (Score 1) 742

The school district were clearly beyond clueless, I mean anyone with less half a clue can see it couldn't have been a bomb. I mean the lack of any explosive would be the first clue. But it seems to me that the larger fault here was the president's.
He clearly tried to politically capitalize on an unfortunate local event by blowing it out of all proportion and turning it into a country-wide sensationalist media circus. So now of course the money-grubbing parents are going to try for all they can get in the best of capitalist traditions, That doesn't make any of this right though.

Comment Re: Is Windows10 a thing? (Score 1) 185

Counterargument: Macbooks aren't always $1,500. They sell units now with 128gb of storage, which fits very little - a handful of phone backups or iPhoto storage will eat that alive. 256 and 512 are obviously preferable, but one must know how much storage they will need at time of purchase, since it's not possible to upgrade later..and units with that amount of internal storage are a lot more expensive - the 1TB upgrade for a MacBook Pro is an $800 add-on. With the USB port count as low as it can go, external storage isn't much fun. You can buy a Synology or similar NAS, but that is necessitated by the storage situation on the machine. "Put it all in iCloud" is the go-to battle cry, but that cost would need to get factored in, and using iCloud at the exclusion of any other storage method means that you're at Apple's mercy to keep your data safe.
Yes, a $1,500 Macbook that holds up for five years is a better deal than a $500 Dell unit every two years...but over ten years, two $1,500 Macbooks + storage solution + de facto mandatory USB adapters + Applecare over ten years is, depending on exactly which combination of things you get, still notably more expensive than five new $500 Dell units over the same period.

Comment Re:and a wart (Score 1) 484

An example of actual government logic (admittedly from a few hundred years ago): Witches cause warts so Snowden must be a witch. You don't hang witches you burn them. They burn because they must be made of wood, so lets tie Snowden up and throw him in a lake to see if he floats or drowns. If he floats he is made of wood so therefore a witch. If he drowns he was innocent.

I've got a bad feeling about this.