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Comment Not really (Score 2) 105

Encryption is either secure, or it's not. And no-one wants to use insecure encryption.

Not really. Encryption becomes more secure or more reliably secure as you do more correct things to it--extend key length, salt hashes where used, audit code, improve algorithms, etc... and less secure as other changes are made: faster machines, better algorithms, backdoors, quantum computing, etc...

Nobody wants and few educated people trust the government to read their mail or *preserve the security* of a backdoor, so it gets more resistance in tech circles.

Painting it as black and white is a useful communications tool, but also largely wrong--kind of like the government's position of "you can trust us to do this right!"

Comment Moon... (Score 1) 36

This may have affected the timing of the invasion somewhat, but IIRC the days were determined primarily by the moon and the weather. You had a window each month where you had minimal light because the moon wasn't lit or was barely lit. Then there was bad weather, so they called off one planned date.

Comment Re:Cultural? (Score 5, Insightful) 473

That's why You always ask for such orders in writing. And always make copies. Bureaucracy is the process of constant preparation for an eventual litigation.
If You don't get the orders, get out while You still can, because You WILL be held responsible for it. Be happy if You only get sacked, and not sued into oblivion.

Depending on the corporate structure, you doom your career with the company if you ask for such orders in writing.

Comment Group Responsibility (Score 1) 326

And there's the problem.

We've all had to deal with asshole bosses and it is very tempting to say "Get rid of the bosses and just let people do their jobs without interference". But, you can't have a hundred people just doing whatever they want. Somebody has to be in charge. Somebody has to be the final authority when tough decisions need to be made. Otherwise, you've just got chaos. It may work for s short time, but in the long run, it simply isn't workable.

Anyone who has any real world experience knows that management by committee just doesn't work.

But you can make a group responsible for a task, and let them figure out how to do it. If they fail to deliver, let them go.

Comment Re:Rules v. consequences (Score 1) 228

You are begging the question, by defining vehicular manslaughter as a crime. It doesn't have to be. We are creating a crime for "drunk driving and being unlucky enough that someone dies."

What is fair to the rulebreaker is punishing a drunk driver for the crime of manslaughter discounted by his chance of causing it. People are notoriously bad at estimating their chances of having a problem.

I think it's actually incredibly shortsighted to say the lucky ones cause no harm--they were lucky, and the harm they caused was the risk of death. They were just lucky enough not to personally cause death.

Nobody is arguing for maximum possible consequences, though--that would be insane. Nobody wants that because of marginal deterrence problems.

Comment Re:Rules v. consequences (Score 2) 228

Speeding causes deaths, too. Should speeding, even a little, be punished as severely as drunk driving? People die from falling objects too; should you be sent to jail for accidentally knocking a flowerpot off your balcony? A lack of serious consequences is no defense for violating the rule, but it is a mitigating circumstance when it comes to setting the punishment. And conversely, rule-breaking may well earn you a stiffer punishment in case you do cause an accident. If you hit someone with your car and you were found to be speeding or drunk, you'll be more likely to be held fully responsible than if you were operating your car within the rules of the road.

Punishing a person more because they were unlucky and someone died is the cruel part.

Comment Rules v. consequences (Score 1) 228

Air safety is achieved by rigorous enforcement of rules. One can not show the lack of adverse consequences for a violated rule as defense for violating the rule. At the time the rule violation happened, the violator did not know it would have no adverse consequences.

As an engineer, I like this kind of thinking because it is fair and predictable--a person who breaks a rule gets the same punishment regardless of whether it causes harm, because the rule is deigned to prevent the *possibility* of harm.

As a human being, I know our society is too emotional to do that in the real world. We punish drunk driving differently if it causes a death, for example, and let the *luck* of whether someone dies greatly determine the outcome.

Comment Re:ITT (Score 1) 278

moron, congress can simply pass a law which contradicts the 2010 decision

this is not shariah law where the supreme court's rulings carry biblical weight. it's checks and balances. the supremes clearly fucked up, and their decision should be rendered moot

Constitutional decisions are decisions that cannot be overruled by an act of Congress. You can sometimes legislate around them (which is legal), and in theory you can make a contradictory law not subject to judicial review by SCOTUS (which may or may not provoke a constitutional crisis), but the real answer if you can't legislate around the ruling is you change the Constitution.

Comment Stupid People (Score 1) 247

Do the right thing... for whom? Without a specifier it does not tell us anything. It is definitely not the same as "don't be evil", although we've figured out that Google has not followed that mantra for a while now (not at Apple levels yet!).

Do the right thing is more appealing as a marketing slogan because it caters to people who are stupider and more plentiful. It's useful for reaching them. It doesn't even admit to the possibility of evil, It's much more cliche, it probably tests better with focus groups, it's not quite as easy from a communications standpoint to be mocked with it, and it's even easier to make it mean whatever you want and trot it out to use as part of product launches--better, it's designed to do that *without* making someone think about whether something is evil. So suppose you have a business model built around collecting all the knowledge on the planet, monitoring communications, monitoring web sites, fundamentally monitoring behavior... and you want a nice, innocuous little logo.

They're a good company, but their business model is inherently at high risk for evil and abuse of power. So shifting away from the idea of evil is a good marketing decision.

Comment Change mechanics, not minds. (Score 4, Interesting) 278

A propaganda effort to change how safe drivers are can help a little bit, but what makes cities safer is physical world changes that make it easier to drive safely and harder to hit someone. In Seattle, for example, they redesigned 75th street after an accident and saw a major reduction in the number of collisions. (Things like removing parking, adding bike lanes, etc...)

Bike lanes are actually useful in that even if not used by bikes, they ensure you can nudge out into a road slightly for better visibility when turning into it if you need to. You also are less likely to intuitively drive as close to the center line as if you are avoiding parked cars.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.