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Comment: Re:Anybody know the plate# for each scotus? (Score 1) 451

by RabidReindeer (#46827561) Attached to: Supreme Court OKs Stop and Search Based On Anonymous 911 Tips

I was about to say it's more anonymous because you can get a phone without a name attached, but then I remembered how many places have free wifi.

You may not have a name attached, but the EIN is hardwired into it. Which is, I believe, the way that the carrier matches the phone number to the phone.

Comment: Re:That wasn't the question (Score 1) 451

by RabidReindeer (#46827543) Attached to: Supreme Court OKs Stop and Search Based On Anonymous 911 Tips

Reagan had his pluses and minuses. While he's the one I consider most responsible for the destruction of the Presumption of Innocence as well as for the horrible failure that is Trickle-Down Economics, he did revive the country's faith in itself, even though a lot of that came from riding rough-shod over the rest of the world.

I'd grade him above average, depending on what you want to count score by. No Abraham Lincoln, but he did bring optimism to a nation demoralized by the corruption of Johnson, the scandal of Nixon and the general ineffectiveness of Carter.

Unfortunately, he was then used as an excuse by his fellow partisans to promote every questionable fiscal, economic and political misfeasance that they could hallucinate.

It took the train wreck of the GWB administration to strip the luster off those policies and by association to tarnish Reagan's image.

So far, Obama's main claim to fame is in demonstrating that the other side isn't exactly brimming with solutions, though.

Comment: Re:DUI checkpoints (Score 1) 451

by RabidReindeer (#46824011) Attached to: Supreme Court OKs Stop and Search Based On Anonymous 911 Tips

>Just to play devil's advocate, how is this more invasive than DUI checkpoints?

It's less invasive. DUI checkpoints are dragnets. In the case listed above, a guy called in to 9-11 to report that another driver had driven him off the road, and was driving recklessly around the freeway. This was considered adequate justification to conduct a traffic stop, at which point they found drugs in the car.

I actually don't see what the big deal is (Scali, I'm looking at you). People report things to the police all the time - if they can't follow up on them, then it sort of makes a mockery of citizens participating in keeping our streets safe.

It's not really an "anonymous" tip. As it was a 9-11 call, they presumably have the cell phone number for the person who called in, and could reasonably call them back and ask them to testify in court against the defendant if they needed to.

As it was a 9-1-1 call, they can determine to within 1000 meters where the telephone was when the call was made.

But that doesn't mean that the person you get when you call back will always be the same person who used the phone to call.

Comment: Re:That wasn't the question (Score 2) 451

by RabidReindeer (#46823177) Attached to: Supreme Court OKs Stop and Search Based On Anonymous 911 Tips

While it may have worked out ok in this situation it is a very bad president.

It might be better than last few presidents we've had.

Well, the last couple of presidents have been guiding us on a downward course where surveillance is everything and you are guilty until proven innocent. All the way back to "get-the-government-off-the-backs-of-the-people-Reagan", who thoughtfully provided us with the "you're a drug-addled illegal alien and you can't be hired until you demonstrate otherwise" model for business.

At the rate we're going, a rock would make a better president.

Comment: Re:False dilemma (Score 1) 460

by RabidReindeer (#46814351) Attached to: Oklahoma Moves To Discourage Solar and Wind Power

I don't know how or where this "grow or die" idea began, but it's just plain wrong.

It's not grow or die. It's grow or lose investors. If I own a company (I'm a shareholder) and want a return on my investment the only way for that to occur is for the company to grow.

That's not true. The original idea was that investments would return dividends. It isn't necessary to grow to do that, just operate profitably. In the days when only the wealthy owned stocks, dividends and interest were primary income sources and only a few were speculators looking for share price growth.

Within the last century, we've lost track of that, becoming obsessed with get-rich-quick share price increases which are often completely unrelated to the profitability of an operation, and in fact, often owe more to a continuing dance of mergers acquisitions and divestitures than to actual product.

The human population of the Earth is expected to stabilize around 2050. The natural resources of the planet are finite. The Universe is not only a non-profit operation, it's running at a (entropy) loss. Only things like ideas are unlimited, and no matter how many ideas produce new products, there's only so many products any one person can purchase. So it might be worth considering how to succeed in a non-growth environment.

Comment: Re:That's called progress (Score 1) 301

by RabidReindeer (#46813575) Attached to: Our Education System Is Failing IT

Yep, that's my typical work day. If Google were a billable service, I'd be in debt for a thousand years. I have to be an expert on a hundred subjects every week thanks the both the complexity and the rate of change of modern IT.

There are a very few open-source projects that are actually responsive to bug-fix and change requests. And not just open-source ones Commodore's Amiga team was pretty responsive as well. Most groups, as you have observed, will either ignore you or outright flame you.

Comment: Re:It is just so horrible (Score 1) 301

by RabidReindeer (#46813553) Attached to: Our Education System Is Failing IT

It's not about the Americans being not "qualified" but that a E/CE/CS degree is irrelevant to IT. IT is, in the most general sense, best served by a logic and philosophy/psychology degree. Every problem is solved by a binary decision tree.

No it isn't, and that fallacy is behind a lof of modern-day disfunctionality - the idea that There Can Be Only One True Answer.

If you actually study formal logic, you'll discover that binary/boolean/Aristotelian logic is only one form of logic. There's another whole branch of symbolic logic dedicated to dealing with All/Some/None situtations.

As the Perl people like to say, "there's more than one way to do it". The real test of critical thinking isn't merely to come up with "the" answer, it's to consider multiple answers and determine which one is mostly likely to produce good results.

Comment: Re:CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE? (Score 1) 242

by RabidReindeer (#46800623) Attached to: Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

Money is speech?

You are seriously fucked.

Well, actually, it's the price of a louder megaphone.

But such subtleties are lost on the modern-day Supreme Court, which is less interested in preserving the balances of Government and more in their own peculiar interpretation of the Law of the Land.

Comment: Re:Who watches the watchers (Score 1) 242

by RabidReindeer (#46800615) Attached to: Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

Republics also support fragmented self-interests. Probably even more so than democracies.

The Founders made the US Government a Republic because they feared the tyranny of the majority would trample out the rights and interests of minorities. They made it a Democratic Republic because they also feared the tyranny of entrenched minorities. Checks and Balances were arguably the single most important consideration given to every facet of their governmental design.

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun