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Comment: Re:I hope this surprises no one,.. (Score 4, Interesting) 68

By that reasoning if the restaurant supply reclamation company instead found equipment contaminated with bacteria, and sold the equipment, and people got sick and died from it, they likewise wouldn't have any responsibility. Equipment that poses a threat to people because it spreads private data is not really all that different from equipment that poses a threat because it spreads disease.

(Which is not to say that it's legally the same, of course.)

Comment: Re:Free Shipping (Score 1) 309

Microsoft takes advantage of network effects, Windows is more useful if lots of other people have Windows, because if lots of other people have Windows, most of the available software will be for Windows, so you'll need to buy Windows in order to be able to use it. Books don't work that way.

Comment: Re:Why can't (Score 1) 349

by Jiro (#47368549) Attached to: Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap

Hardware can use more electricity depending on how much you use it, but there are physicall limits as to how much more. Your TV isn't going to triple your electricity usage unless your usage pattern is such that you can expect that even before plugging in the TV. You certainly aren't going to find one TV tripling your electricity usage and a second TV not doing so solely because the first TV has a manufacturing defect.

Comment: Re:Good. (Score 1) 138

by Jiro (#47332647) Attached to: Google Starts Removing Search Results After EU Ruling

George Bush was elected long enough ago that the Internet was much less influential back then.

He also is a high level politician connected to a large money-making machine. There are two categories of people who aren't affected much by out of context information on the Internet (or in the media): people with nothing to lose, and people who are so rich and powerful that even the Internet can't damage them that much.

Comment: Re:Yeah sure (Score 1) 371

by Jiro (#47306119) Attached to: Court Releases DOJ Memo Justifying Drone Strike On US Citizen

He actually was born to parents who were temporarily resident in the US and left the US at the age of 7. Although he did come to the US for college, he clearly wasn't raised in America or as an American.

"We're killing American citizens" may be just as much a problem with how we grant American citizenship as it is with what we do to Americans.

Comment: Citizenship (Score 1) 1

by Jiro (#47300569) Attached to: US releases memo justifying drone strike on American citizen

The guy was the son of temporary residents and returned to Yemen when he was 7 (though he came to the US for college).

I've often thought that a lot of the problems with targeted killing of American citizens are really caused by the way we grant American citizenship. People raised in the US rarely become terrorists.

Comment: Re:Term Limits (Score 1) 308

by Jiro (#47299739) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Lawrence Lessig About His Mayday PAC

If you have term limits, there's another problem: since the candidate is not going to get elected again, then

1) In his last term, he won't care if he's acting against his constituents' wishes, since he'll never get elected again anyway.

2) In his last term, he'll pander to special interests. This is enabled by point 1) but is also a separate problem, since he'll want to put food on the table once he leaves office and doing so will get the special interest to hire him.

Of course, you can fix point 2 by making it illegal for him to be hired by anyone he affected during his term. For any significant position this ensures that only the rich ever take office, which is its own problem.

Comment: Re:It is hip to be square (Score 3, Insightful) 128

by Jiro (#47288635) Attached to: Google Forks OpenSSL, Announces BoringSSL

And if they called it snoozeSSL, the name doesn't matter. A name is a designation that should enable us to distinguish it from something of a similar kind...

The point is, though, that this name means jack

So *you're* the guy who named GIMP..

Names actually do matter. Think of a name as a type of user interface, and a bad name as an ugly user interface.

For that matter, think of a name as a way to deal with people, and a poorly named project as showing geekish lack of social skills. Saying "please" serves no function other than making people feel better. It doesn't mean anything more than the name. But that still means a lot, because we're human beings, and doing things with no technological effect is part of how we deal with other human beings.

"Indecision is the basis of flexibility" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.