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Comment: ITT: Textualists of the world, unite! (Score 4, Insightful) 591 591

Most of the comments here seem to be saying that the case was decided incorrectly because the text of the law was clear and the intent doesn't matter. However, there are lots of other cases where the text of the law is equally clear and yet SCOTUS has ruled that intent matters. Let's start with the First Amendment. It's obvious that slander laws run afoul of the plain text of the First Amendment. Which part of "Congress shall make no law..." is unclear? None at all. Yet SCOTUS has ruled slander laws are allowed, as well as laws preventing inciting a riot (e.g., yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater).

For another example near and dear to conservatives' hearts, consider the Second Amendment. The Roberts court has ruled (District of Columbia vs. Heller, 2008) that the Second Amendment establishes an individual right to carry arms, despite the fact the amendment only mentions carrying arms in the context of a militia.

With the current case, the intent of the law was clear (and most of the drafters are still around to ask), so that's what SCOTUS used. Judges aren't just implementations of parsing algorithms that spit out yes or no results based on the text of the laws.

Comment: Re:Gonna buy a ticket to Star Wars this December? (Score 1) 614 614

Isn't this incredibly risky for Disney? the government could cut down on the numbers of h1b's any year and then they would be boned.

No, it's not risky. First, any reduction in H1-Bs would only affect future years. It's very unlikely that Congress would throw out existing visa holders. Second, Disney wouldn't care even if they do throw out existing visa holders. This is because the newly-trained Infosys employees are probably already back in India, where their wages are much, much lower than comparable wages in America. If these workers stayed in America, they would be entitled to pay comparable to those of the recently laid off workers, so there would be no savings to Disney.

Comment: He can tell us, he just chooses not to (Score 4, Insightful) 107 107

The first paragraph of Article 1, Section 6 is (emphasis added):

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

See the Wikipedia article on the Speech and Debate Clause or read it for yourself in the Constitution. So he can talk all about the program during a speech on the floor of the Senate, and nothing can be done to him.

Comment: Re:The fine wasn't all of the punishment (Score 3, Informative) 192 192

If Knight had put the $460 million in a pile and burned it, there would be no fine. The problem was that their algorithm was wildly buying and selling shares in the open market, and thus distorting that market. See the graph at for an example of a stock that was affected. What if you were an investor in that stock who had set a stop-loss at $10? Knight's wild selling would have triggered the stop-loss, and you'd lose money because of Knight's actions. This gross market distortion is what the fine was meant to punish.

Comment: Re:Not SOX, just GAAP (Score 1) 619 619

No. What you may be thinking of is the rule that if a sale in one period is contingent on an event in another period, then you can't book all of the revenue from the sale in the first period. However, that doesn't apply here, since sales of the iPod Touch were not contingent on anything (nitpick: Apple has to make the usual set-asides for returns, repairs covered by the limited warranty, etc.). There is absolutely no accounting reason why Apple can't give away the software update.

Comment: Re:Sick and tired of people ragging on mark-to-mar (Score 1) 368 368

Oops, wrong button. The second quote should be:

FASB's "mark-to-market" accounting rules forced AIG and Bear Stearns to admit that their liabilities had exceeded their assets, instead of allowing the companies to invent a price for the assets until the assets were finally sold.

For too darn long, companies could just make up prices for assets they wanted to value. Forcing the assets to be valued at what they're actually worth (i.e., what somebody will pay for them) is just common sense.

Comment: Sick and tired of people ragging on mark-to-market (Score 1, Interesting) 368 368


FASB's "mark-to-market" accounting rules helped drive AIG and Bear Stearns into bankruptcy, even though they were cash-positive.

should be:

FASB's "mark-to-market" accounting rules forced AIG and Bear Stearns to admit that their liabilities had exceeded their assets, instead of allowing the companies to invent a price for the assets until were finally sold.

FASB's acc

Comment: Re:Oh please, he was Hoover's #2 (Score 1) 126 126

You have some of your facts wrong. According to the NY Times and Felt's Wikipedia entry, Felt wasn't Hoover's #2 - Clyde Tolson was. Felt was Hoover's #3, and only for a few years.

I'm not saying Felt was clean (his conviction on the Weather Underground case proves that), but he wasn't version 2 of Hoover.


+ - Texas County to Iris-scan Al Children

An anonymous reader writes: I actually like Texas, generally, but sometimes they seem like a great big bunch of freaks. This article on a "Safety Project" talks about how some county wants to use nifty technology from their prisons (a boom industry down there, I'm told) to track ALL children. They promise to delete the database records once the kids turn 18, so they claim there's no privacy issue.
PlayStation (Games)

+ - KFC is hosting the "Ultimate Gamer Sweepstakes

Phil Montgomery writes: "Please consider sharing the following information with the readers of your Web site. KFC is giving gamers the chance to win the "Ultimate Gaming Sweepstakes" including a 50" Flat Screen TV, surround sound speakers, a Next-Gen video game console and two games. For more information you can visit Please let me know if you have any interest in this information or may want to share this with your readers."

Work smarter, not harder, and be careful of your speling.