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Comment Re:Hiding evidence (Score 2) 192

The rebuttal described by Microsoft doesn't involve the German government sending any orders to any entity outside of Germany either. This is the relevant quote from the article:

Germany’s Foreign Minister responds: “We did not conduct an extraterritorial search – in fact we didn’t search anything at all. No German officer ever set foot in the United States. The Stadtpolizei merely ordered a German company to produce its own business records, which were in its own possession, custody, and control. The American reporter’s privacy interests were fully protected, because the Stadtpolizei secured a warrant from a neutral magistrate.”

"[N]o way would that response satisfy the U.S. Government” because the documents held by the foreign company for safekeeping are private letters, not business records. And any attempt to take possession of those letters through a warrant – even one served on the company entrusted with those letters – would constitute a seizure by a foreign government of private information located in another country.

Comment Re:yet if we did it (Score 5, Informative) 463

Sorry. Not being native and neither a lawyer my grasp of these things is limited. What's the difference? (honestly, I want to know in order to prevent misusing them in the future)

Being sued is in a civil lawsuit, usually for some monetary amount (for example by the family of the cyclist), whereas being prosecuted is for a criminal case, with potential prison time (by the district attorney).

Comment Re:Strange (Score 2) 163

Neither are required for life in even the slightest way. Plenty of fully functional people have jobs, homes and families and they never fly and don't have Internet access.

Just as a reminder, since it seems to be forgotten so often.

Airplanes are barely a 100 years old.

The Internet, or more specifically, the web, is only about 20.

These are not 'requirements' for life. You will survive without either.

Technically no freedoms are 'requirements' for life, you can survive without them. 150 years ago people of a certain skin colour didn't have any freedoms in the US yet they were alive. Even now, in many countries, plenty of people have jobs, homes and families without ever having the chance to freely express their political views.

The standard for freedoms isn't what's a 'requirement' for life, and it'd be a very unfortunate world if it was.

Comment Re:Fundamentally... (Score 2) 470

(i'm not a murkin) isn't the Federal Reserve's first duty to the private banks that own it and generating profit for them?

The Fed isn't "owned" by any private banks. It was created by the government with the objective of creating: "Maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rate"

Comment Re:Good (Score 2) 642

A regulation allowing anyone to legally work around its intent is more than ridiculous -- it has no substance and is the same as if it didn't exist at all.

I don't think that statement is actually correct. There was an experiment done where people where told to eat until they were full out of a bowl of soup. And the amount people ate was strongly correlated to the size of the container, despite everyone believing they only ate the amount they needed.

I believe intent of the law may be served nearly as well even if one or two additional drinks were free. i.e. $2 for the first 16-oz drink, and then second drink was free.

There has been a lot of research in this area, that shows that the slightest nudge in the right direction can actually change people's behaviour quite a bit.

Comment Re:Good (Score 4, Insightful) 642

No one's banning anything. The only thing being limited it the size of a single container. You can buy a hundred 16-oz containers of any sugary drink if you wanted to.

It's very unlikely that a black market rise because I don't see anyone willing to pay any significant amount for a single 32-oz container instead of two 16-oz containers.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 747

The fact that he has spoken at length in multiple speeches against this film, without one word in support of the concept that even hateful speech is Free Speech and protected in America.

Are you sure about that? The below is a direct quote directly from Obama's speech at the UN:

"The amateur anti-Muslim film made in the U.S. that sparked anger was crude and disgusting, an insult to Muslims and America. It must be rejected. But the U.S. won’t ban it because the Constitution protects free speech. Taking that right away threatens the rights of all to express their own views and practice their own faith."


Submission + - Congress Asks Patent Office To Consider Secret Patents ( 2

Fluffeh writes: "The USPTO is considering a rather interesting request straight from lobbyists via congress. That certain "Economically Significant" patents should be kept secret during the process (PDF Warning) of being evaluated and granted. While this does occur at the moment on a very select few patents "due to national security" for things like nuclear energy and the like — this would allow it to go much, much further. "By statute, patent applications are published no earlier than 18 months after the filing date, but it takes an average of about three years for a patent application to be processed. This period of time between publication and patent award provides worldwide access to the information included in those applications. In some circumstances, this information allows competitors to design around U.S. technologies and seize markets before the U.S. inventor is able to raise financing and secure a market.""

Comment Re:Telus (Score 1) 146

This whole unlocking thing should be mandated as soon as the contract paying for the phone is done.

Why wait? I mean in my country the phones only come locked in a very limited set of circumstances and can often be unlocked for a small fee.

I'm in contract with my mobile phone company. If I use my phone with them I pay the phone + my monthly plan. If I don't use my phone I pay the phone + my monthly plan. While I was overseas for 2 months using my phone with another service provider on a pre-paid sim card, I still paid the phone + my monthly plan. Whatever I do with my phone these guys extract $43 out of me every month.

Where's the incentive to lock?

The incentive is that when you're overseas for 2 months, if you're not unlocked, you'd have to pay roaming charges to your current mobile company to use your phone. Otherwise you'd have to get another phone. Once they unlock it they no longer have that revenue stream. I'm not saying it's right, but I'm just saying that's their incentive.

The Courts

Submission + - Supreme Court rules Congress can re-copyright publ (

Fuzion writes: In a 6-2 ruling, the court ruled that just because material enters the public domain, it is not “territory that works may never exit.” For a variety of reasons, the works at issue, which are foreign and produced decades ago, became part of the public domain in the United States but were still copyrighted overseas. In dissent, Justices Stephen Breyer and Samuel Alito said the legislation goes against the theory of copyright and “does not encourage anyone to produce a single new work.” Copyright, they noted, was part of the Constitution to promote the arts and sciences.

Comment Shad Valley (Score 4, Informative) 177

If you're open to considering locations in Canada, then Shad Valley is a great program that a lot of my friends have gone to. It's hosted by a university in Canada and is well suited for someone interested in tech. I'd recommend the University of Waterloo location as it probably provides the best exposure to the tech companies in Canada.

Uncertain fortune is thoroughly mastered by the equity of the calculation. - Blaise Pascal