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Comment Re:Comedy of errors (Score 1) 722

Right because somone who does not possess electronics knowledge can tell the difference between a PCB for a cheap electronic clock and one that is some kind of detonator.

The school officials, and the police, all asserted that they had exactly that ability, as none of them actually invoked a single procedure that they had in place for dealing with a suspected bomb.

Schools get evacuated on the basis of a single anonymous phone call which says there's a bomb in a locker. It happens on a regular basis. Yet when they had the device IN HAND, they very obviously made the determination that it was in no way, shape or form dangerous. They did not evacuate the school. They did not call in bomb disposal. The teacher kept it in a desk drawer for a fair length of time. The police transported the 'device' in the same vehicle that they used to perpshame Ahmed.

They didn't just believe it wasn't a bomb, they made a specific determination, at every level and at every point in the debacle, that it wasn't a bomb, and SPECIFICALLY CHOSE to not invoke the procedures that all start with 'If there is ANY possibility that there is a bomb, do this....'

Comment Re:No! (Score 1) 722

Being arrested requires that charges be filed.

Incorrect. You're 'detained' of the officer stops you for any reason. You're 'under arrest' if you don't feel free to leave, if the police transport you anywhere, or uses force to prevent you from leaving. The officer requires 'reasonable suspicion' to detain you, and requires 'probable cause' to arrest you, but it DOES NOT need to lead to charges. The officer can reasonably believe you were commiting a crime, then turn out to be wrong, or have new evidence come to light without it having been false arrest.

Your twenty minutes is plucked out of the air and meaningless.

Actually, it's a rule of thumb applied by the SCOTUS. Google it a bit and you'll find all sorts of case law, opinions, and the like.

Otherwise, google 'detention versus arrest' and you'll find all sorts of legal jurisprudence about it. Like this. Or this. Or even this.

TLDR: You can be 'detained' on suspicion. If you're not free to go, if the officer moves you, or if the officer starts calling in backup, drug sniffing dogs, and the like, you're under arrest. If he develops 'probable cause' to believe you've committed a crime, he can arrest you.

Comment Re:This is only true (Score 2) 322

When what's legal and what's sustainable for the society are not aligned, there are likely one of two results: 1) Law is changed to be more sustainable or 2) the society suffers.

But hey, more power to those who can screw over everyone else for their tax free money!

If what the company is doing is not sustainable, the company will fail, as it should. If what society is doing is unsustainable, it will fail, as it should. It's called capitalism and if you leave it alone, you'd be surprised at how good it works.

What would you propose? We block companies from doing these kinds of inversions? They'd just transfer their entire operation overseas and then the US would see zero percent of that income. There are any number of other countries that would LOVE to have them, as is evidenced by their lower tax rates and success in luring said companies.

The stupidity is the assumption you can somehow control these companies, or punish them for their actions. Controlling them is impossible so long as there are other places to do business. Punishing them does nothing but punish those who consume their products or services. Putting them out of business adds to unemployment. Banning their products or services from the US market would damage consumers *and* employees. You know...employees...those people who work hard every day to take home a paycheck to their families. Not everyone at a corporation is Scrooge McDuck burning hundred dollar bills to warm their gold-plated mansion.

No, the answer is to lower our corporate tax burdens and win this business back to US shores and the US tax system. It doesn't take a genius to realize that 15% of something is better than 26% of nothing.

Comment Re:That won't last long... (Score 1, Insightful) 722

Ahmed was not detained. He was arrested. At no point would he have felt that he was free to go. Also, 'twenty minutes' seems to be the rule of thumb for how long somebody can be 'detained' before it turns into a de-facto arrest.

Ahmed was hauled off in cuffs, for zero reason. The American legal system specifically puts a dollar value on damages, as well as having the idea of putative awards. Ahmed deserves both.

Comment Re:Open to abuse, by design (Score 1) 399

I'm not talking about the University's rights to accept or deny students based on more-or-less arbitrary criteria.

I'm saying that if the University considers a person to be suspect of committing a crime, they probably have a legal duty to report that to law enforcement, not simply send the student somewhere else where they can continue. Especially in cases such as sexual assault, which have a major impact on victims.

If my daughter were raped on campus, and I found out that the accused had been expelled from another University for having multiple accusations piled up, but was never reported to the police, I'd be after them like something that goes after something else really fast and hard.

Comment Re: Strange first sentence (Score 1) 206

This assumes a) you happen to have a train radio and work for the train company, or b) you have a cell phone, you have cell service, you have the number of some sort of central switching office, they'll take your call, they'll believe who you are, you can describe where the train is and what signal needs to be changed in a way that they'll understand, that they'll believe you, that they'll do what you ask, that they have time to switch the signal, that there aren't further problems down the line that switching the train might just make worse (perhaps the carseat child is on a siding that currently holds a bunch of loaded cars waiting for a locomotive, say, 500 meters away and around a blind corner,) that the train can stop in time (Sir Issac Newton is still the deadliest son-of-a-bitch in space) and so on. Tech has done nothing here.

Comment Re:Is a JPEG at 0% compression a RAW image? (Score 2) 206

You can think of it, very basically, as Reuters insisting on a 4x6 physical print, rather than wanting the negative.

In this analogy, it's easier to work with the print than the negative, but if you want to scan it back to digital, blow it up, whatever, you're losing quality. With the negative, you have more work to do, but you have a higher-quality starting point, and you can do all sorts of work with it and get far better results than by working from the 4x6 print.

Comment Re:Open to abuse, by design (Score 1) 399

Ok, so either a) the university is simply going on accusations, which means anybody can have anybody expelled, or b) they need to let the legal system do it's job, and not act like a kangaroo court.

If a student has six accusations against him, the university should pass that along to law enforcement, let them do a proper investigation, and either charge or not charge the student, and let the legal system find him guilty or not guilty. They can't have it both ways, though; if he's suspect enough to expel, he's suspect enough to be properly investigated. If he's not suspect enough to be properly investigated, he's not suspect enough to be expelled.

Comment Re:Open to abuse, by design (Score 1) 399

I'd go one step further; if the university has what it considers to be a good-faith basis to believe that somebody has committed criminal sexual assault, and they don't pass that information on to law enforcement, doesn't that make them something like accessories after the fact? Culpable if the subject strikes again? Open to civil suit by a future victim?

Comment Re:Heinlein quote. (Score 1) 378

I hate to sound obtuse or unimaginative, but I'm wondering WHY anyone would want to colonize the Kuiper Belt? Other than scientific curiosity -- which is best served by robot probes -- what's to be gained by living there that you can't accomplish elsewhere in our solar system for much less cost and risk?

I can think of only two immediate reasons: those desiring the ultimate in autonomy and those fleeing population pressure. The former would be pretty extreme and would somewhat depend upon the latter happening first. The latter would have to be extreme indeed to the point where all the reasonably-habitable areas inside Pluto's orbit are already filled up, probably requiring hundreds of billions if not trillions of human beings assuming high population densities in, on, and orbiting every available planetary body and moon in the solar system.

Of course there's always the "because it's there" option for adrenaline junkies, but again you'd have to deplete all the other slightly-less-extreme objectives within the solar system before you'd need to hit the Kuiper Belt. And the expense involve would be beyond the reach of even the most intrepid adrenaline junkie.

Comment Re:License valid only with spaghetti strainer (Score 3, Insightful) 518

Freedom of religion is fine. Nobody is preventing you from practicing/worshiping. But if you want an optional license, one of the requirements being a clear, unobstructed photograph, you now have a choice to make between your religious requirements and your desire to get that license.

In practice, failures in system development, like unemployment in Russia, happens a lot despite official propaganda to the contrary. -- Paul Licker