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Comment: problem may not be Sarbanes-Oxley (Score 1) 251

by Lord Dreamshaper (#48324451) Attached to: Undersized Grouper Case Lands In Supreme Court
"tangible goods" may be necessarily broad to limit actual criminals' ability to do an end-run around whatever limits S-O sets. Likewise for RICO, PATRIOT Act, etc. The problem isn't in how you use them to *catch* criminals, the problem is how you can destroy someone's life for committing a petty crime, or worse, punish an innocent because the law is so powerful that the accused can't properly mount a defense or cops a plea to avoid even larger sentence.

Should the captain and/or crew go to jail? Probably; destruction of evidence needs to carry a serious punishment. Is 20 years an appropriate punishment? Certainly not compared to the crimes the 20-yr option was intended to prosecute.

tl;dr

If these laws are necessarily broad, then they need limitations as to when the full weight of punishment is appropriate.

Comment: Re:Administrators (Score 1) 538

by Lord Dreamshaper (#47291365) Attached to: Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job
They will respond to a downswing in demand as well

Sure, all that money rolling in from tuition? They'll happily kiss it goodbye if demand drops for whatever reason. Whether university employees can privately justify their positions and salaries or not, their income and lifestyles are on the line. They will promote any logic that encourages more students & higher tuition, same as any other business. Like any other market, they will insist on inflating the bubble until it bursts, even if moderation could have prevented it from bursting in the first place (not that a bubble burst can necessarily be avoided in this case).
China

Activists Angry After Apple Axes Anti-Firewall App 196

Posted by Soulskill
from the welcome-to-the-world-walled-web dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "BBC reports that Chinese web users are criticizing Apple after the company pulled a free iPhone app called OpenDoor, which enables users to bypass firewalls and access restricted internet sites. The developers of OpenDoor — who wish to remain anonymous — told Radio Netherlands that Apple removed the app because it 'includes content that is illegal in China.' 'It is unclear to us how a simple browser app could include illegal contents, since it's the user's own choosing of what websites to view,' say the developers. 'Using the same definition, wouldn't all browser apps, including Apple's own Safari and Google's Chrome, include illegal contents?' Chinese internet users were disappointed by the move by Apple. Zhou Shuguang, a prominent Chinese blogger and citizen journalist, told U.S.-based Radio Free Asia that Apple had taken away one of the tools which internet users in China relied on to circumvent the country's great firewall. 'Apple is determined to have a share of the huge cake which is the Chinese internet market. Without strict self-censorship, it cannot enter the Chinese market,' says one Chinese user disappointed by the move by Apple."
Medicine

First Cases of Flesh-Eating Drug Emerge In the United States 618

Posted by Soulskill
from the enjoy-your-weekend dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Having spent the last decade wreaking havoc in Russia, a flesh-eating drug called Krokodil has arrived in Arizona, reports Eliza Gray at Time Magazine. The Banner Poison Control Center has reported the first two users of the drug which makes user's skin scaly and green before it rots away [Warning: Graphic Images]. Made of codeine, a painkiller often used in cough syrup, and a mix of other materials including gasoline, paint thinner, and alcohol, Krokodil become popular in Russia because it costs 20 times less than heroin and can be made easily at home. Also known as Desomorphine, Krokodil has sedative and analgesic effects, and is around 8-10 times more potent than morphine. When the drug is injected, it rots the skin by rupturing blood vessels, causing the tissue to die. As a result, the skin hardens and rots, sometimes even falling off to expose the bone. 'These people are the ultimate in self-destructive drug addiction,' says Dr. Ellen Marmur. 'Once you are an addict at this level, any rational thinking doesn't apply.' The average life span of a Krokodil user is two to three years, according to a 2011 TIME investigation of the drug's prevalence in Russia."

Comment: Re:Exactly. 78k is luxury territory (Score 1) 303

by Lord Dreamshaper (#41861999) Attached to: Tesla Model S Named 'Car of the Year'
My job requires a car. My priority is to buy as small a car as I can (still need to fit wife and kids and groceries after work) with an emphasis on fuel-efficiency. Then I drive the snot out of it for as many years as I can until it's not worth maintaining or reselling. Lather, rinse, repeat.

For what I spend on gas, over the typical lifetime of my vehicles, the huge purchase price is almost negated by the lack of gas bills. Only the annual trip to and from the inlaws would be cumbersome as I would apparently need 2 one-hour stops to recharge, one of which would be a meal break anyway.

tl; dr: If forced to, I could live with the pricing now for luxury I don't want; if they could afford to create a comparable middle-class version, it would be a no-brainer for me and I'd buy one *right now*.

Comment: Re:4th Amendment less than Lessened Expectations (Score 2) 62

by Lord Dreamshaper (#41791027) Attached to: Secret Stingray Warrantless Cellphone Tracking
Can't find a link, but 15-20 years ago, Ontario courts ruled that banging your girlfriend in the backseat of a car wasn't public indecency (or whatever else they would charge with for doing it in public, say in the middle of a downtown park), if you were parked somewhere secluded. The ruling went that you had reasonable expectation of privacy by parking somewhere secluded, therefore you weren't accountable if you happened to get busted anyway.

Mentioning this to contrast with SCOTUS ruling people in cars have less expectation of privacy. Likewise, whether I'm whispering in low tones into my cellphone in a crowded room or whether I'm talking normally on my phone with no one visible around me, I expect my conversations to be private and not intercepted in anyway without a warrant.
Businesses

MS Office 2013 Pushing Home Users Toward Subscriptions 349

Posted by Soulskill
from the deposit-a-nickel-for-every-word-you-type dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Ars reports that Microsoft has announced pricing plans for Office 2013 that include a subscription-based model for home users. There will be a $100/year Home version that can be shared by up to 5 users and a $150/year Small Business version. 'Subscription software of one form or another has proven popular in the enterprise (whether it be cloud services, like Office 365, or subscriptions to desktop software, such as Microsoft's Software Assurance scheme). But so far it's a rarity in the consumer space. Anti-virus software has tried to bully and cajole users into getting aboard the subscription train, but the large number of users with out-of-date anti-viral protection suggests users are resisting. ... As another incentive to subscribe, and one that might leave a bad taste in the mouth, the company says that subscribers will be given unspecified "updates" to add new features and capabilities over the life of their subscription. Perpetual licensees will only get bug fixes and security updates.'"

Comment: I think I've commented before, but it applies here (Score 1) 354

by Lord Dreamshaper (#40026641) Attached to: Wil Wheaton: BitTorrent Isn't Only For Piracy
I don't watch much TV. The few shows I do watch, I'm more likely to watch online at my convenience, as I'm usually busy having a life during Prime Time viewing hours. When I was into watching '24' they would show a 30-second online ad at the regular commercial breaks. Guaranteed I watched every one of them, because where am I going to go in 30 seconds? If I actually had to go to the bathroom or the kitchen, I'd pause the show meaning I'd still end up watching the ads.

The point is that the advertisers *easily* got more bang for their buck by making me watch 30s of ads at every break online, than giving me 2-3 mins to leave the room for regular broadcast commercial breaks. i should still be able to download the shows for my convenience *especially* if the ads are now essentially unavoidable (not skippable), and the advertisers (hence the media companies) would get far more value than clinging to old business models.

Comment: undefended copyright... (Score 0) 168

assume for a second that they have a valid copyright claim; I mean they created it, and, utltimately, it is only of significance to us if we are using their services. i mean who adds a postal code to an envelope they plan to deliver by hand?

how often have you seen postal codes being distributed? every advertisement (print, televeision, radio, etc), contact info page of every website, every form you fill out with personal information...how many instances is that? thousands? more likely millions? Now how many have been sued for publication of copyrighted information?

None.

Now that someone is directly monetizing that information, Canada Post wants to play the copyright right card, but the horse has left the barn. For better or worse, they have to show that they've always vigourously defended their copyrights in the past, otherwise it's fair game like Aspirin or Kleenex. I'm not a fan of that aspect of law, but it is what it is and Canada Post is too late to the copyright game.

Hell, try mailing something by courier and you still need a postal code. That's as direct a competition as you can get; the most immediate example of copyright violation, but I don't think they've ever sued FedEx (Purolator is partially or wholly owned by Canada Post, so I've heard, so maybe they can use postal codes), so going after Geolytica seems a stretch.

Comment: Re:Reality check (Score 1) 533

by Lord Dreamshaper (#39575325) Attached to: Canadians Protest Wind Turbines
I understand NIMBY, but that's a small-scale (one neighbourhood, maybe even just one household) concern, compared to the large-scale concern of cumulative effects and damage caused by fossil fuel extracting & consuming. Personally, I'd much rather have a windfarm in my backyard, than an oil drill, a mine or even a garbage dump, but that's small consolation if you have the chance to have none of the above.

When windfarms are everywhere and every size (small ones on your roof for personal wind harvesting?) will we even notice them? If we went back a cenutry or so we'd start screaming about not having any of those damn phone poles & street lights lining the streets blocking our views, ruining our property values and causing measles, mumps, tuberculosis & whatever else scared us back then.

We wouldn't necessarily miss them now if they disappeared, but we'd probably find the view as bizarre *without* them, as we do the view *with* giant windmills. Our kids won't understand what the big deal was.

Mr. Cole's Axiom: The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing.

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