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Comment: Are things back to normal now? (Score 1) 245

by squiggleslash (#49496347) Attached to: Gyrocopter Pilot Appears In Court; Judge Bans Him From D.C.

This sounds like the kind of reaction our glorious overlords were having to people landing on the Capitol lawn on September 10th, 2001.

A little miffed, patronizing, an official "We have our eye on you", but not guns drawn, no disappearances into Cuban prison camps, no insane over-reactions.

Comment: Re:What is or is not a religion? (Score 1) 698

by nine-times (#49488861) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

So, for capital crimes, relying on people's judgement is ok, but not for money matters? I think your priorities may be a bit screwed up.

I think you somehow managed to miss the point of my post. Yes, judgment enters into criminal courts in that the prosecutor has to decide whether to charge a suspect, the judge has to make some decisions, and the jury has to decide guilt or innocence. HOWEVER , those decisions aren't made arbitrarily based on a random person's arbitrary "common sense" judgment. We don't go, "Oh, I think I know who's guilty and who's not, so we'll just put the guilty people in jail."

There are laws and court precedents. When judgement is involved, it usually involves some process where a person is supposed to be applying some criteria that were set by law or precedents. If you don't do that-- if you leave the decision up to some person's "common sense" judgment, you're creating a situation where abuse is inevitable.

So what I'm saying is, if the government is going to have a "tax exempt status" for religious organizations, it should be a decision that is made according to set laws and precedents. I would guess there already is some kind of law here, but I'm not a lawyer.

To racap, you're right to compare the decision to our decisions on whether someone should be convicted of murder. We don't put people away for murder because the general public has a good opinion of that person and would like to see him locked up. We need evidence that they actually committed murder, in accordance with existing law. We shouldn't decide tax-exempt status for an organization based on whether the general public has a good opinion of it.

Comment: Re:What is or is not a religion? (Score 1) 698

by nine-times (#49481565) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

Sorry, no. I recognize that there are circumstances where matters of governance have to come down to someone's judgement call, but I don't think first amendment matters or tax law should come down simply to, "You know, common sense. This guy sucks, so I'm deciding gets treated differently." That would just be asking for abuse.

There needs to be some kind of criteria. We do use judgment to distinguish between Murder and Manslaughter, but it's not just "common sense". There are actually laws about what the difference is, as well as a bunch of court precedence, that are used to provide guidelines for that judgement. We don't just have some guy who decides, "I think this act was particularly bad, so apropos of nothing I'm deciding to call this murder."

Comment: What is or is not a religion? (Score 4, Interesting) 698

by nine-times (#49477945) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

My question here would be, how are we deciding what is or is not a religion? You have a bunch of people with a belief system organized together... I don't know how you distinguish between a social club, a cult, and a religion other than going by what they claim for themselves. However, whatever the legal method of determining the answer to that, it should be applied consistently.

The process here should not be, "We think that Scientology is crazy and therefore not a valid religion, so we will revoke their legal protection on that basis." If there's no legal criteria to refer to, then you're setting a precedent for revoking the legal protections for any religion that you don't like. Go by the law. If the law is inadequate, then revise the law, but make sure you're comfortable with the revised law being applied consistently to all groups, including the group you belong to.

Comment: Re:Shows just how far the U.S. will go to get him (Score 2) 160

The plane of the President of Bolivia was not forcibly grounded.


Assange owes an apology for the President of Bolivia for Assange SWATTing him.

Either the President of Bolivia was forcibly grounded, possibly thanks to Assange spreading a rumor about Snowden, or he wasn't.

Comment: Re:Misplace anger (Score 1) 160

Why exactly are you posting stuff to Slashdot demanding awareness of Russia and China when you could be out helping feed the starving? Have you given all your money to Oxfam? No? Why not? You think wasting your time on Slashdot moaning about how someone's political concerns are slightly less important in your perception than some other political concerns, is more important than people getting food on their plates?

I expect an apology and an immediate commitment to help feeding the hungry.

Comment: Re:Google updates (Score 1) 179

by squiggleslash (#49452867) Attached to: Google Lollipop Bricking Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 Devices

They can force manufacturers to use unlocked bootloaders if they want the official Google version. Microsoft (ironically they're changing this for Windows 10) requires manufacturers use unlocked firmware implementations for machines running the Intel version of Windows on UEFI machines.

There's no reason whatsoever why Google can't make the same thing a requirement beyond being scared manufacturers wouldn't go for it and would prefer shipping a version of Android with no Google services over shipping a device with a bootloader that's open.

Comment: Re:Great, Let's Build IFR's (Score 1) 417

Apparently environmentalism and an understanding of basic math aren't particularly compatible.

Apparent to you, who apparently aren't exposed to many mainstream environmentalists. The same argument could be made that people who oppose environmentalism apparently don't understand basic science-- such as "destroying our own food supply might be a bad idea."

Comment: Re:I'm for nuclear power if it is economical (Score 2) 417

Well we can argue about a lot of different specifics on this issue. Nuclear power may not ultimately be the best solution, but it's also true that there are many environmentalists that have changed their mind on the issue, and argued that we should switch to nuclear even if it's not "economical".

Part of the argument there is that fossil fuels are also not economical, but that their costs are hidden. First, they are also subsidized in various ways, including taking up a disproportionate amount of our foreign policy in order to secure foreign sources. But second, a lot of the costs are to individual health and the environment, which don't necessarily get applied to nominal cost of providing the power.

Now, I'm not particularly interested in taking a position in the argument, at least not here and now. All I'm saying is, it's outdated to blame the "damned hippies" for the lack of adoption of nuclear power. Yes, there are still some people with irrational fears, but many environmentalists have reconsidered the traditional anti-nuclear position, and are more strongly anti-coal and anti-oil than anti-nuclear. Not all environmentalists are pro-nuclear, but it's not unusual these days.

More often, the lack of development in nuclear power is due to other groups, whether it's the coal/oil industry themselves, people who are pro-oil because they're trying to be anti-hippie, or people who have other objections to nuclear power, it's not so much the "damned hippies" that are the problem.

Comment: Re:Unintended Consequences ? (Score 3, Insightful) 116

by nine-times (#49446783) Attached to: 'Let's Encrypt' Project Strives To Make Encryption Simple

That's already happening. DRM, for example, has always been partially for commercial reasons (preventing privacy), and largely for anti-competitive reasons (preventing interoperability and forcing people to repurchase the same content repeatedly).

Encryption is being used for almost every purpose except the good ones. We could use encryption to protect privacy and prevent identity theft, but I guess we can't do that because it might prevent the NSA from snooping on your dick pics.

Comment: Re:Great, Let's Build IFR's (Score 4, Insightful) 417

So, where are all the environmentalists demanding we build integral fast reactors as fast as we can?

There are actually quite a number of environmentalists who have suggested that we should use nuclear power in order to get off of fossil fuels. I suspect a lot of the problem is political. There are still a lot of people with an irrational fear of nuclear power on one side of the issue, and on the other side there are people who support fossil fuels just to say "fuck you" to "the hippies". And that's before you even get into the lobbying and propaganda from fossil fuel producers.

It's an uphill battle to do anything, even if it completely makes sense and has broad support, because there are always ignorant people and entrenched interests.

Comment: Re:Double tassel ... (Score 1) 216

Because you need to to know how a TV or bluray player or iPad or iWatch or Google Glasses works in order to use them?

No, because there's a very good chance that you're going to have to use computers for their jobs, and because using a computer effectively for your work requires a greater degree of understanding than watching TV.

I've done IT support for quite a long time, and I don't expect most people to be able to do what I do. However, most of the businesses I work with would be much more effective, and could lower their IT costs substantially, if people had even the most basic understanding the logic of how computers work, even if they couldn't write a single line of code.

Comment: I'm a little baffled (Score 5, Interesting) 121

by squiggleslash (#49443817) Attached to: Has Google Indexed Your Backup Drive?

So there are lots of people out there who are:

1. Enabling FTP on their NAS boxes.
2. Enabling anonymous access on this FTP service
3. Allowing their Firewall/Router to let incoming FTP connections directly to the NAS box.

I mean, the authors suggest those enabling FTP do not realize the implications, but how can you do ALL THREE and not realize the implications? Any one of those, particularly disabling anonymous access, would foil random search engines (and lazy hackers) trying to get at your files. But to do all three at once?

Nothing happens.