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Comment: Uhhh, geee... (Score 1) 284

by Gription (#48171171) Attached to: FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption
Did you read what you cited?

The statute, outlawing the provision of “material support” to designated terrorist organizations, does not violate free-speech and free-association protections of the First Amendment, and it is not unconstitutionally vague, the majority justices declared...

That doesn't come close to addressing encryption, warrants, or search and seizure. What The Hell?

Comment: Re:Update to Godwin's law? (Score 4, Informative) 575

by Gription (#48040953) Attached to: Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics
Excellent point. I did a search on the definition of terrorism and found this FBI page:

The first bullet point of the domestic section reads: - "Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law"

News flash! Base jumping is accurately described as domestic terrorism. Good to know!

Comment: Re:Update to Godwin's law? (Score 5, Insightful) 575

by Gription (#48040745) Attached to: Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics
I'm wondering if there is an official guideline that the administration has to spin anything into a child safety issue. "Just follow this simple flow chart before releasing to the press."

The whole "safety, safety, safety" bit has gotten so ridiculous and I am endlessly surprised by the fact that a majority of people haven't cried "bullshit" on it. We are in the safest time in history. The thing that has changed is that a single instance of some wack job doing something crazy is blasted out of every media channel and people believe that it is a credible threat. (That explains lottery ticket sales.)

Reality check: When you have 300,000,000+ people in a country every single day there are going to be a multi digit number of them that do something so horrendous as to drop your jaw. That doesn't make it a credible threat. Hell, if you were actually on a US domestic flight on Sept 11th 2001 you would have only have a 1 in 10,000 chance of being on a doomed flight. We aren't at a credible level of risk beyond your chance of slipping in the shower or down the stairs.

The government IS NOT a responsible agency to be given the master keys to your life (or even a valet key!). If you had a teenage child with the same level of fiscal responsibility and the same way of dancing around the truth, you would ground them for life.
Yeah, I will take a .00000001% increase in risk in exchange for .1% increase in safety from being screwed with by a government agency.

Comment: 2 Solutions... (Score 1) 334

by Gription (#47933127) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives
- First solution would be to use a Windows thin client. Set it up, write the configuration to flash and then lock it. If it goes BOOM just turn it off and turn it back on and it will be exactly the same as it was. Mail will have to be on the web because nothing will be saved locally.

- Second idea would be to use a terminal server / remote desktop. Give them just enough to log into a system that you maintain at your location. Make sure there are no visible links to a web browser (or anything else) on their local computer.

One thing people should tell their parents/grandparents/non-techie friends, "Anything fun, cool, and/or free on the web is inherently dangerous. If you can't tell how they are making money then you should suspect everything you see."

Comment: That is it... (Score 1) 75

by Gription (#47822295) Attached to: SpaceX Challenges Blue Origin Patents Over Sea-Landing Rocket Tech
Yup. That is it. He holds U.S. and international patents which they have blatantly ignored and his legal challenge was met with lawyers that basically made it into $ vs $$$$ and $$$$ wins.

(Told him he should find a high end patent attorney to take the case on contingency. He is so fed up with attorneys that he would rather shoot the next one he sees rather then talk to one more. He says he will never patent another thing.)

Comment: Re:Would it really be worse without patents? (Score 1) 75

by Gription (#47811211) Attached to: SpaceX Challenges Blue Origin Patents Over Sea-Landing Rocket Tech
I know a guy that has patents for a wheel centercap that always shows the car's emblem upright. Basically it has a weight and bearings to insure that it doesn't turn with the wheel. Kind of cool item for anal car nuts. He also holds international patents for the same.

Some time after he started producing center caps for the aftermarket Rolls Royce starts putting the same type of non rotating center caps on their cars. His attorney approached them and tried to pursue getting some type of licensing, damages, or cease and desist, and ended up out his considerable attorney fees.

So to the question of "Are many companies stupid enough to willingly infringe patents? ...
Uhhh, yeah. Pretty much all of them.

Comment: Not really the issue (Score 1) 473

by Gription (#46218097) Attached to: Ugly Trends Threaten Aviation Industry

Amazingly, pretty much nothing about people's income has kept pace with the cost of living during the last 30 years. And they are wondering why less people are flying airplanes?

It isn't that income has kept pace. The problem is that the cost of product liability insurance has risen to the point where what was a $15,000 plane in the 50s would be a $350,000+ plane now days.

Too bad that it hasn't reached the point where the attorneys have been crushed under the weight of the $$$ that they have skimmed off the general economy.

Comment: It followed a few of the plot lines, but ... (Score 5, Insightful) 726

by Gription (#45363597) Attached to: Critics Reassess <em>Starship Troopers</em> As a Misunderstood Masterpiece
Heinlein's Starship Troopers is a masterful morality play. The movie can only be seen as such by someone desperately searching for meaning that isn't really there. The fun technical wizardry of the jump suits was written out of it so the obvious CG element was lost..

So why did they bother to call it Starship Troopers? A fun movie but no trace of what was special in the original remains.

Comment: Re:This is why I'm keeping my truck for forever (Score 4, Interesting) 658

by Gription (#45207437) Attached to: Oregon Extends Push To Track, Tax Drivers Per Mile
Why is it that people get this Pollyanna idea that a meaningful percentage of government spending goes to actually accomplishing meaningful expenditures such as, "building and maintaining roads and bridges"?

The vast, vast, VAST majority of spending goes to administration. Most of that "administration" is used to administrate other administrators. The quantity of money that is used to accomplish ANYTHING by a government entity is nothing short of astounding.
A simple roadwork example: A public works engineer explained to me the cost of converting a simple 90 degree intersection of two 2-lane roads, from Stop signs to a traffic light. The bill for the studies, planning, engineering, purchasing, and installation? ...
[... wait for it ...]
Total cost was $250,000 ...
[... wait for it ...]
in 1990 dollars.

People complain that schools don't have enough money. Bull! School districts get plenty of money but the quantity of administration has grown to the point where the majority of money goes to support the disproportionately large percentage of "administrators" who of course, because they are in positions of power, command higher salaries. And at the same time they don't actually educate a single child.
Think I'm exaggerating? Download the 2011-2012 report:
Column "F" is the dollars that are spent annually per student. The statewide calculation works out to $8382 (cell F962). Figure a small average class size of 20 children and that works out to $167640. For that kind of money don't you think you could hire a well paid teacher, get a great building, fill the classroom with new books each year, buy cheap desks every few years, have a part time assistant, pay the electric bill, and in the end make one hell of a profit? Then to add to it, instead of just doing one room of 20 kids, do 20 rooms of 20 kids. If you couldn't siphon off an astounding quantity of money while vastly improving the service you aren't trying.
Well an astounding quantity of money IS being siphoned off by extraneous administration (which describes most of government). And it isn't providing anything to justify the burden to the taxpayer.

In reality class sizes are more like 30+ children ($251460) so we are really being bilked. BTW - This isn't hard to see if you are looking. I haven't been studying this or working in the industry. I found and calculated ALL of these numbers while I was writing this post so it isn't hard to figure out and see that we are being used.

Comment: Re:This is why I'm keeping my truck for forever (Score 2) 658

by Gription (#45206805) Attached to: Oregon Extends Push To Track, Tax Drivers Per Mile

. . .

Don't bet on it. The only thing the government is less likely let go of once they have it in their hands, than power, is money.

. . .

Let's be very clear on this: Money IS Power.

This is not a figure of speech. Exactly what is money? You can define it by what it looks like and what we use it for but that dances around the simple truth:
Money is numerical denomination of power. If I have two simoleons I can convince someone to give me twice as much of something then if I have just offer just one. That "something" may be physical goods, time, or labor.
Money is a physical representation of power.

I'd rather just believe that it's done by little elves running around.