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Comment: Re:The good news (Score 1) 482

by Obfuscant (#48209051) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.
Except Dish didn't brick just pirate hardware. They bricked my personally owned Dish network box about fifteen minutes after I called up to cancel service. My personal property, which I should have been able to sell to someone else so they could get Dish service if they wanted it, useless. It would be exactly like Comcast bricking your personally owned cable modem scant minutes after you cancel their service, preventing you from selling it to someone else to use with their cable provider.

Comment: Re:Government Dictionary (Score 1) 227

by Obfuscant (#48208965) Attached to: Facebook To DEA: Stop Using Phony Profiles To Nab Criminals

Words like "entrapment" do not change definitions,

Words change meaning all the time, and you cannot predict which ones will or will not in advance, dude. See what I did there? I used a word which has changed meaning.

But it doesn't matter if "entrapment" WILL change meanings, you've already shown that it has multiple meanings, only one of which should be covered by a law against entrapment. I thought that would have been clear when I used your own list of definitions to show you that.

The court ruling dictated that a certain segment of society (The "State") does not have to abide by the same rules as everyone else in society.

This is a completely different issue than what I replied to, which was your claim that the law should not define the words it uses, it should use common usage definitions. But in any case, no, that's not what the court said. It is not illegal for the police to entrap you, but it is an affirmative defense against the charge they have entrapped you into.

If you can not comprehend why two forms of justice are not possible in a "Free" society shame on you.

Since I wasn't talking about this mythical "two forms of justice", just the part where you claimed that legal definitions should be based on the standard dictionary, you're just resorting to ad hominem when you got caught with your pants down. Yep, I called you a nutter, but that wasn't part of my argument why you were wrong. I went ahead and said explicitly why you are wrong. I'm sorry you didn't comprehend that.

and yes we have had brief conversations previously where you demonstrate an adolescent level of dialogue.

You're projecting, now.

Comment: Re:The good news (Score 1) 482

by Obfuscant (#48208779) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

You can buy FTDI-branded serial converters from mainstream vendors, there's no need to buy Chinese copycat crap.

And you can buy Chinese copycat crap from mainstream vendors, too. So what does the customer do? He walks into Fry's, sees a USB to serial adapter on the rack, and asks a Fry's droid "is this Chinese copycat crap?" The Fry's droid is going to know? I've asked such people what the chip in such devices is (so I can avoid Prolific) and most of them have zero clue. They wouldn't know how to spell FTDI if it was written on the box. So what do they say? "Why no, sir, we don't sell Chinese copycat crap here." And you get a bricked adapter when you plug it in.

I've done this same thing with other devices, notably firewire cards where I want only Agere and never VIA or whatever. I've asked, and then had to open the box and sometimes pull the firmware version sticker off the chip to see ... because the sales people have no clue what's inside the magic boxes, they just know the magic boxes are great and good and you should buy many of them.

Comment: Re:Government Dictionary (Score 1) 227

by Obfuscant (#48199887) Attached to: Facebook To DEA: Stop Using Phony Profiles To Nab Criminals

Are you saying a hidden patrol car is a better deterrent than a visible patrol car?

A combination of the two is a better deterrent than either alone.

The latter gets you used to seeing that there is enforcement of the laws. The former gets you used to never knowing where that enforcement may take place. If all that was allowed was visible patrols, then you'd simply obey the law when you saw, or you got notice by any of the existing phone apps that report sightings, a police car. If all that took place were hidden patrols, you'd not realize the extent that the laws were being enforced. With both, you know they will ticket you but you don't know when they'll catch you. Thus you may, or a reasonable person may, obey the law more often.

Now, when I'm driving down the road, exceeding the speed limit (as I regularly do), a visible patrol car will cause me to decrease my speed to remain within the posted speed limit.

Thus you obey the law only when a car is in sight. A very small amount of the time.

The only way hidden patrol cars would cause me to moderate my speed is if they were truly ubiquitous.

You may have such a daredevil attitude towards points on your license and insurance rates, but I think most people wouldn't need the hidden patrols to be ubiquitous for them to be wary that they might get caught and thus should obey the law. The fact that they know they are a good possibility would deter them, at a level well below ubiquitous, but the level needs to be above zero.

Comment: Re:Government Dictionary (Score 1) 227

by Obfuscant (#48199635) Attached to: Facebook To DEA: Stop Using Phony Profiles To Nab Criminals

That they do have a different definition does not encompass whether or not they "should" have different definitions.

Oh my God. What a nutter. Of COURSE a word that has multiple common usage definitions should have one clear definition when it comes to the law, simply because common usage changes over time and the law shouldn't, and the law should not cover the unintended common use cases for the word just because they are in the same entry in the dictionary.

The perfect example is the last definition listed which talks about being "entrapped by expectations". Why should it be illegal for someone to be entrapped by their own expectations just because you want the real action of entrapment by police to be illegal? The only definition that should even be considered in law is definition 3 which deals with action by the police.

Using the definition of Justice and it's purpose in a Republic as defined by Socrates there is supposed to be no separation.

Uhhh, ok. Whatever. Laws should always use every possible definition of a word instead of being as precise as possible because Socrates said so. The next time you put out a mouse trap, expect a visit from the police because you were engaging in entrapment of the mouse.

Comment: Re:Government Dictionary (Score 1) 227

by Obfuscant (#48196195) Attached to: Facebook To DEA: Stop Using Phony Profiles To Nab Criminals

As an example, if you're at a red light, and a traffic cop waves you forward through the intersection, and you proceed, only to be ticketed for running a red light, that's entrapment by estoppel (i.e. you were instructed by a law enforcement officer, who you knew to be one, to break the law, and then prosecuted anyway).

Bad example. The traffic laws I am familiar with all put the instructions of a uniformed police officer above an automated traffic signal. It is assumed the officer is acting in an official capacity to correct a malfunctioning signal, or to manage traffic that the signal is not dealing with.

That means it is actually against the law to ignore the police officer in this situation, and not a violation of law to ignore the signal. A better example would be if the meter maid tells you that it is ok to park in that handicapped space (without a handicapped permit) for just a few minutes so you can run in to buy a six-pack. Another meter maid comes along and tickets you ... because the first one didn't have the authority to override the parking laws.

Comment: Re:Would have loved this in 2005 in London (Score 1) 130

I left Kings Cross station in 1987 six minutes before the stairwell I had just ascended went up in flames. I was glad of the phone box on the corner, my mother could barely hear me over the sirens though.

In 1987 you were probably back home in the basement before the Beeb had covered the event, so you could shout up the stairs to your mother that "I was there, look, I'm ok, can you bring down some meatloaf" when the news came over the telly.

Comment: Re:yeah, going with not creepy. (Score 1) 130

Neither RFC 1149 - IP over Avian Carriers nor RFC 2549 - IP over Avian Carriers with QoS protocol are implemented by my local carrier pigeon, you ignorant clod!

ISPs throttling traffic takes on a whole new dimension with these protocols. They can roast the pigeons after throttling them and feed people who are homeless because of the disaster! Throttling network traffic is a Good Thing! And imagine the visual imagery as they demonstrate what "bottleneck" means as they run the roast pigeon through the meat grinder to make pigeon sausage. Youse can only puts so many pigeons through the grinder at the same time ...

Comment: Re:Would have loved this in 2005 in London (Score 3, Interesting) 130

That day with the mobile network switched off, it was hard to let people know I was ok, ... but something like this would have been far better.

So you'd use the mobile network to contact Facebook to let everyone else know ... umm, wait. What mobile network? And you'd use the shut-off mobile network to check FB to see if your girlfriend had used the same shut-off mobile network to let FB know she was ok.

Here's an idea. Prior to any disaster, plan. Pick someone in a different area that y'all who live in the same area can text with your info, and then y'all can use SMS to let everyone know you're ok. SMS is most likely to survive a disaster, much more than voice or data.

Comment: Re:yeah, going with not creepy. (Score 4, Insightful) 130

and the ability to mark Grandma as okay even if her internet is down is pretty appealing.

The Internet will be one of the first things to go down in a disaster. The fact that Grandma hasn't told Facebook she's ok because she can't get to Facebook will only scare Grandma's relatives. Same for Grandpa, Pa, Ma, Jr., Missie, etc. This will drive an overload of existing resources as panicky people outside the area try even harder to reach in to find out loved ones status', because my goodness if they haven't said they're ok using this app, they are probably not.

In other words, the existence of this "feature" will become like email -- assumed to be 100% reliable and fast, and if someone hasn't clicked the "I'm OK" button the assumption won't be "the internet is down and they can't, be patient", it will be "they're dead and cannot click a simple button. Panic!"

Comment: Re:This is getting ugly (Score 1) 292

by Obfuscant (#48164089) Attached to: Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales

No, but the person who sells the Tesla car is a person who happens to work for Tesla.

The person who arranges the transaction doesn't own the car, the person known as "Tesla Corporation" does. It is a transaction between a corporation and a person, not a personal transaction between the salesman and you. When you say a person should be able to sell anything to another person in this context, you are saying that you consider the Tesla Corporation to be a person. (And we are, of course, ignoring the issue that a fleet or other corporate purchase creates, that of the buyer being a corporate "person". Ok, we aren't ignoring it, we just pointed it out.)

I happen to agree, but I just wanted to make it clear that you're basing that statement on a not entirely universal belief about the "personhood" of corporations.

Comment: Re:So funny it's sad. (Score 1) 292

by Obfuscant (#48163375) Attached to: Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales

I would rather order the thing online direct from the factory (or Amazon) and just have it delivered. There is so much crap an nonsense you have to deal with at a car dealership, it's not even funny.

Having to ship it back to get warranty repairs would kind of make warranties useless. I much prefer being able to drive it to the dealer and telling him "it isn't working, fix it." Also to deal with recalls. (This is a lesson I learned after many years of buying commodity PCs. I've had to drive 60 miles to take one back that wasn't working, and I much prefer walking into the local shop and dropping the problem in their lap.)

As for "nonsense", you just need to find a good dealer. They exist. I went to a local Chevy dealer looking for my last car and was offered a good deal on a used one. I told the guy I would think about it and he said ok. I called him two days later and said 'no thanks'. The next day the manager called me to twist my arm -- and I told him in no uncertain terms that when I said 'no' I meant no and I was not going to accept his strong-arm tactics and he'd just cost Chevy and his dealership a long-time Chevy owner. So I went somewhere else.

That somewhere else has been an excellent dealer with no nonsense or drama, no attempts to sell me a new model when take my current one in for service, and they gave me a good price on the one I've bought from them so far. I'll certainly go back for the next one.

Comment: Re:Awesome quote (Score 1) 232

It's not just the cost. Nobody wants their streets dug up 30 times in order to let those 30 potential competitors lay their wiring.

In my town, streets are dug up on a regular basis for all kinds of things except for cable lines. Those are on the poles, which have space.

Somehow, big cable has convinced the regulators to lay off, citing satellite as competition. But satellite broadband sucks,

The days of cable regulation dealt with the cable television product, not the cable internet. Satellite broadband is irrelevant, it's the satellite television that matters. Yes, Dish and Direct are both competitors for cable, especially since installing a system is so simple nowadays. And, IIRC, Charlie Ergen wanted to buy DirectTV a long time ago and was stopped precisely because it would decrease competition too much.

Opening up the market to 30 competitors is impractical, but governments should grant at least one cable competitor equal access...

Now you're back at the problem that you cannot force a company to compete in a market they don't want to, and there just isn't enough profit to be made to make competition viable. Governments can grant a second franchise, but first they need someone to ask for it.

FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies.