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Comment Re:Victory for common sense! (Score 1) 91

I understand the lower threshold for Civil vs. Criminal, but your logic is flawed. If I'm on a bus, and someone in the back yells something slanderous about me, you seem to think the bus driver is culpable because he's in charge of the bus. Just because a situation is complicated doesn't mean the legal system can arbitrarily assign guilt for procedural convenience.

Your "most likely because you pay the bill" claim might have been valid back in the 90s when there was a single hard-wired computer/modem in a household, but not by today's standards.

That said, Malibu Media is very likely to come after me because my name is on the bill. But that's the nature of the shakedown the judge identified, and one of the primary reasons he denied their request.

Comment Re:Victory for common sense! (Score 1) 91

The requested subpoena does not provide the information requested by the plaintiff Were I John Doe, accused of torrenting Malibu Media's sketchy porn, their IP address would simply identify the Netgear router behind my cable modem. There are three networks behind that - one wired, two wireless. As a matter of policy, I don't keep access logs, so you won't be able to discriminate between me, my wife, my brother, my brother-in-law, my friends, or any of a dozen or so individuals who I allow to access one of the networks.

The judge declined to be part of the shake-down fishing expedition.

Comment Zero respect for SCOTUS (Score 3, Interesting) 1083

Recently, SCOTUS handed down an opinion on the ACA that basically said "the actual words in the legislation don't matter ... it's all about the intent." The Court's official opinion was authored by Chief Justice Roberts. (Read Scalia's dissent starting at p.21... it's spot-on.)

In their opinion on gay marriage, Roberts issues a dissenting opinion with the following quote:

Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be.

The internal inconsistencies of the SCOTUS are appalling.

Comment Re:What's the score now? (Score 1) 77

Coding on the metal seems to be a dying art these days. If resources are plentiful, it's likely faster to implement a solution in a higher-level abstracted method. (And if resoruces aren't plentiful, it's easier to tell your boss "the hardware can't handle it" and get the objective changed to something less agressive.)

Comment Stop sorting, use Thermal Depolymerization (Score 1) 371

The traditional mindset of "sort, then recycle" imposes a huge up-front cost - sorting is expensive regardless of where you insert it into the recycling process. If they just pulled the metals out then shredded the rest, Thermal Depolymerization would eat just about anything plastic or organic. Maryland's Easter Shore has a huge problem with chicken-shlt running into the Chesapeake. There's way more poop than the local farmers can spread onto their fields as fertilizer. Maryland needs to seed a TDP plant as part of it's initiatives to protect the Bay. Just simply trucking it out costs too much, but converting it into light-crude would change the economics.

Comment Re:Essential? really? (Score 1) 413

County libraries near me are open until 6pm MWF and 8pm TR, along with all day Saturday. Plenty of opportunities to head over after work ... assuming you have a job (and if not, you can head over at 10am when they open to look for one.)

But this is just incrementalism at play. To go with the subsidised net service, these poor folks will need a computer ... so they get the $145 discounted unit provided by Comcast and their ilk. Then the end user will cruft it up by clicking on every "get rich quick" spam he received, so there's going to be a need for subsidised IT support services to de-cruft theise machines (because they're clasified as "essential services," they can't be denied.) And in the interim, the machines will end up participating in botnets, motivating Comcast (etc.) to petition for funds from Uncle Sugar to build out additional capability to support the increased network load. After all, it's only fair that the government pay for the additional traffic burden imposed by these Lifeline program machines.

Never seen a government program that didn't have a voracious appetite for cash. This one is no different.

Comment Essential? really? (Score 0) 413

Potable water is an essential service. Transportation is pretty damned essential, but I don't see DOT handing out Obamacars. Broadband is far from *essential*, especially considering there are accessible computers in libraries and schools.

Awesome. Can't wait for the additional taxes to cover the increased program expenditures ...

Comment Re:Impractical (Score 1) 597

Agreed - US residential power is center-tapped single-phase 240V. From the center neutral to each line, you get 120V. The two "phases" are 180-degrees apart. Commercial power often comes in 208V three-phase. Each line is 120V, but phased from the others at 120 degrees. The next power increment is 480V 3-phase, composed of three 277V legs. Most commercial "240V" fluorescent lighting fixtures will be rated for 208-277V to account for the common commercial power options.

Comment Re:I wonder... (Score 2) 71

This only works if the userbase is 100% cooperative. My observation is that if something is inconvenient, there is incentive to route around it. Good security procedures are necessarily inconvenient. Further, when you add the imperfectness of the meatbag into the system, it's all too easy to accidentally bring a cell phone into a secure area, or to miss the CD-R in the stack of benign papers that gets taken out of the secure area.

Comment Crash then Drag (Score 1) 14

I'm not seeing the significance of this. The rectractable wings are of dubious value, as is the "drag" method of locomotion. Would have more value if it could fly, then walk, then fly again. As mentioned in an earler post, a quad copter delivering a crawler would be a better solution, rather than a multi-modal machine that performs neither task particularly well.

Comment Collective Storytelling (Score 1) 162

This issue is common to collective storytelling, which I shall summarize thusly: "Everything is fine until someone gets butthurt, then Godzilla shows up and destroys everything." It seems to be a fundamental issue at the intersection of pure democracy and the human condition. The only functional solution appears to be active moderation.

Understanding is always the understanding of a smaller problem in relation to a bigger problem. -- P.D. Ouspensky