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Comment: Re:When the cat's absent, the mice rejoice (Score 1) 146

Well, I'd be with you if the government was poking around on the users' computers, but they weren't. The users were hosting the files on a public peer-to-peer network where you essentially advertise to the world you've downloaded the file and are making it available to the world. Since both those acts are illegal, you don't really have an expectation of privacy once you've told *everyone* you've done it. While the broadcasting of the file's availability doesn't prove you have criminal intent, it's certainly probable cause for further investigation.

These guys got off on a narrow technicality. Of course technicalities do matter; a government that isn't restrained by laws is inherently despotic. The agents simply misunderstood the law; they weren't violating anyone's privacy.

Comment: Re:Crude? (Score 2) 73

by hey! (#47904781) Attached to: Original 11' <em>Star Trek Enterprise</em> Model Being Restored Again

Compare that to some of the ST:TNG props that I've seen that look fine on screen, but when examined closely look like someone gave a 5-year old a couple of shots of vodka and turned them loose with a paintbrush.

There's a certain wonder to that too.

I had the same reaction when I saw the ST:TNG props in person. You wouldn't buy a toy that looked that cheesy. The wonder of it is that the prop makers knew this piece of crap would look great onscreen. That's professional skill at work. Amateurs lavish loving care on stuff and overbuild them. Pros make them good enough, and put the extra effort into stuff that matters more.

Comment: Re: Great one more fail (Score 1) 399

by hey! (#47904749) Attached to: High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

These kinds of responses are conditioned on certain assumptions that may not hold for all users.

For example, let's assume that you have no need whatsoever to prevent other users from using your gun. Then any complication you add to the firearm will necessarily make it less suitable, no matter how reliable that addition is. An example of someone on this end of the spectrum might be a big game hunter who carries a backup handgun.

On the other hand suppose you have need of a firearm, but there is so much concern that someone else might use it without authorization that you reasonably decide to do without. In that opposite situation you might well tolerate quite a high failure rate in such a device because it makes it possible to carry a gun. An example of someone on this end of the spectrum might be a prison guard -- prison guards do not carry handguns because of precisely this concern.

This isn't rocket science. It's all subject to a straightforward probabilistic analysis *of a particular scenario*. People who say that guns *always* must have a such a device are only considering one set of scenarios. People who say that guns must *never* have such a device are only considering a different set of scenarios. It's entirely possible that for such a device there are some where it is useful and others where it is not.

Comment: Re:Does it drive? (Score 1) 71

by PopeRatzo (#47904517) Attached to: 3D-Printed Car Takes It's First Test Drive

"Is it street legal" is probably one of the last questions I would ask.

No, scratch that. I don't care if it's street legal. I just want to know if it's got two cup holders and decent sound system. And as a long-time Burnout Paradise player, I want to know how much boost it has and how well it drifts around turns.

Comment: Re:Another liberal activist judge (Score 1) 146

So the end justifies the means?

I guess then we may assume you'd be in favor of weekly raids of your house (and everyone else's)? That should pretty much ensure we can eliminate any and all drug cooking and growing happening nationwide.

The end justifies the means, after all.

Comment: Re:Problem? (Score 1) 146

So I guess the whole security theater that sprung up after 9/11 is ok? If it only saved the life and virtue of even one....

Child porn, terrorism, or in earlier days communism. I can only hope that one day we'll have some Welch again asking "At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

Comment: Re:When the cat's absent, the mice rejoice (Score 4, Insightful) 146

Disagreeing with one crime is no excuse for agreeing with another.

Yes, I do expect law enforcement to act within the law. For the very simple reason that if there's some way to rubber stamp a way around it with "serves to protect against child porn/terrorism/organized crime/money laundering/choose the horrible crime of the month", whenever it is convenient, any kind of check that serves to protect you from your law enforcement invading your privacy can as well be abolished. A law that only exists as long as the one limited by its existence allows it to be, if it can be ignored at will by the entity subject to it, is void by definition.

Comment: Re:to answer your last comment first (Score 1) 399

by PopeRatzo (#47904089) Attached to: High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Be afraid of the guy that holds his breath, takes a moment to aim and drops a round in your forehead with a bolt action single round rifle.

Does that happen a lot in your neck of the woods? I don't know who you are, but if you're concerned about someone coolly dropping a round in your forehead with a bolt action single round rifle, you might want to think about the life choices you have made.

Comment: Re: to answer your last comment first (Score 1) 399

by PopeRatzo (#47904077) Attached to: High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

My backup gun

Wrap your head around that. This guy needs a "backup gun".

I think my safety mechanisms work better than any smart gun ever can.

I'm sure the "gun safety" instructor thought the same thing before the nine year old girl, shooting an Uzi at his urging, blew him all to hell.

A gun is more capable of making good decisions than your average Second Amendment activist.

Comment: Re:Great one more fail (Score 1) 399

by PopeRatzo (#47904049) Attached to: High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Oh, I've read the book, and I'm not the only one:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Remember, John Lott is one of the guys pushing the "2.5 million" crimes prevented annually by guns. If that was true, it would make the US the most lawless country in the world. If that's your assertion, then we've got a place to start a conversation.

"Oh dear, I think you'll find reality's on the blink again." -- Marvin The Paranoid Android

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