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Comment: Re:call me skeptical (Score 2) 190

Think what you will, but wasn't there physical evidence that the boxes in question had been tampered with?

Yeah, because something stuck under the tiny no-legroom airline seats can realistically be "tampered with" during a flight without anyone noticing. That's much more likely than several years' of feet and bags bumping into and damaging it. I'm also sure they gave comparison photos of the "tampering damage" with other jacks on the same airplane, and didn't compare them to photos of a brand new jack.

Comment: Re:What does it say about you? (Score 1) 461

by The Rizz (#49687357) Attached to: Does Using an AOL Email Address Suggest You're a Tech Dinosaur?

I've got an AOL address, so I can answer your questions:

The major concerns would be.... (1) They are free, but ad-supported, so will you get spammed?

I get less spam on my AOL account than my gmail account, my Yahoo account, or my personal domains. Of course, I only use the AOL account for the occasional sign-up, and a few legacy mailing lists I'm on.

(2) Will the service still be available and free under substantially similar terms using the same internet domain, a few years from now?

My AOL address has been active since 1993, and haven't paid for it since I got real internet in '96 or so. So, it probably will ... as long as Verizon doesn't fuck that up.

Oh, shit. Verizon. Nevermind, it's screwed.

Comment: Re:Irrelevant... she signed the contact... end (Score 5, Insightful) 776

This is all irrelevant. She consented to have the app running as a condition of her employment, and she removed it, and got fired. This is a simple cut and dried case.

There is an area of law that states that contracts are only enforceable if they are legal and at least somewhat fair - there are things that simply cannot be signed away, as well as those that are considered unconscionable additions that have higher scrutiny by the law in order for you to do so. For example, while it is totally legal to give up your children to another (adoption, etc.), it would never be considered legally binding if a work contract had a clause in it requiring you to. Likewise a clause requiring you to perform fellatio might be upheld in a contract for a porn star - it's part of the main focus of the job - but would never be considered a valid clause for pretty much any other job out there.

Comment: Re:It was an app on a WORK-Issued Phone! (Score 5, Funny) 776

There are certain off-work things that an employer should know about - witness the guy who intentionally flew the airliner into the mountain and killed all on board

Oh, absolutely. If one of my employees intentionally flies a plane into a mountain, killing himself and everyone on board, I'll be firing him the very next day.

Comment: Re:I'm shocked. Shocked I say.. (Score 2) 136

by The Rizz (#49624455) Attached to: Opportunity Rover Reaches Martian Day 4,000 of Its 90-Day Mission

But then I think, no, these are the guys who launched an elderly senator who oversaw their funding into space for totally legitimate scientific inquiry ("providing information on the effects of spaceflight and weightlessness on the elderly")...

(I know, unpopular to criticize NASA here, but just sayin'...)

Why do you think this wasn't legitimate research? Space travel may become common in the near(ish) future for citizens, and this is the sort of thing we need to know before we get there. With all the focus on civilian space tourists coming from other space programs, it's probably a good idea for this research to be done by a group who's in it for the science, not the money. Besides, it's not like it was really just "some elderly Senator" like you're implying - it was John Glenn, one of the very first astronauts. This is someone they sent up in his prime, and spent years testing. This is exactly the sort of subject who does make it legitimate research - someone they have large amounts of medical data on both Earthside and in space from before they were considered "elderly". This gives valuable data points at different points in his life. This is exactly the type of research science NASA is supposed to be doing.

Comment: Re:Inflation, slow Internet, skill, slow PC (Score 4, Insightful) 239

by The Rizz (#49567025) Attached to: Valve Pulls the Plug On Paid Mods For Skyrim

It isn't copyright infringement. There is no copy of the fixed work being made.

Unfortunately, it isn't so cut and dried. Everything inside the game - models, characters, music, dialogue, art, etc. is © and often the game company. While most people believe that doing a "let's play" or streaming the game is fair use, it falls into a legal gray area - typically only reviews, parodies, and maybe satire allow you free reign to re-use someone's IP without permission, and it's not clear that these uses would be considered such by a court.

Is it right? As I said, it's a rather gray area. Personally, I think this sort of thing falls into that same general category and should be protected, even if it doesn't fit any of them exactly. Most game companies agree; I've rarely heard of legal threats against players for this sort of thing in the past, and the companies often even encouraged it - after all, it was basically an ad for their game that consumers actually sought out on their own, that got made for them for free, and they had plausible deniability about any sketchy content.

This sort of thing reminds me of the early days of modding: Mods were totally unauthorized, and companies were known to try pull the plug on mods, and even put out patches to purposely break mods. Legal threats were rare, but not unheard of. Once it was noticed that the games with mods started outselling the games without - and often garnered new sales of years old games - the industry as a whole suddenly embraced modding, and even started making things easier to mod, and put out official instructions and editors to facilitate it. Technically, modding still falls into the same kind of gray area on any product that doesn't officially support it, but the idea of threatening legal action over it is unthinkable nowadays - the same is likely to happen with streaming/let's plays/whatever as time goes on.

Comment: Re:I do not understand (Score 1) 538

if you're a Democrat, you probably don't see the use of school shooting incidents as justification for laws that violate the Second Amendment to be examples of "for the children", while I do.

That depends on what you mean. If you're talking about the sudden push for banning guns that happens after every school shooting, then yes I do find it to be one. If you're talking about using the relative statistics of school shootings in the US vs. other countries, then I find that to be a valid, and not a "for the children" argument, as it's typically brought up with other statistics to cover the entirety of gun-related crime/etc.

As an aside, you're stretching the Second Amendment's meaning if you think that all gun control violates it; not even the NRA thinks that. I live in a state where it's easier to get a gun than a car, and I find that to be ridiculous. I would be for tighter licensing controls, at least to the level of cars - why do I have to prove I can safely drive a car before I'm allowed a license to drive, but I can wander around in public with a gun without any kind of license, or that I can buy one without any evidence that I'm even remotely competent at gun safety?

Likewise, the "have the government make this decision because it will decide more intelligently than the parents can" argument is almost-entirely a Democrat thing. It's not a "for your children" argument, it's a "for those other parents' children

Once again, that's a false argument. Nearly everything the government does - in fact, pretty much the entire point of having a government involved in any kind of regulation - is to do this. The point is minimum standards, and the general safety of the citizens. And the fallacy you're bringing up here is that what parents do with their children only affect their children. The current anti-vaxxer bullshit is a perfect example of this - the government didn't step in when it should have (by requiring kids going to school to be properly vaccinated), and now we've got measles and whooping cough and other nearly-eradicated diseases having major outbreaks. These outbreaks put more than just those unvaccinated individuals at risk - they also affect those with weak immune systems, babies too young for vaccines, people who got the vaccine but it just didn't take, etc. by interfering with the herd immunity.

All sorts of health, safety, and education mandates fall into that category, such as the Democrat hostility to alternatives to public schools.

Hate to tell you this, but that hostility you're talking about isn't just Democrats, and among Democrats it isn't even close to a universal belief. I am assuming you're talking about diverting public funds to private schools here, in which case the typical reaction against it - which I've heard from Democrats and Republicans alike - is "if the school's not doing good enough because it's underfunded, why are we taking money away from them instead of using it to fix them". Unless you're talking about the whole "public schools are actually liberal brainwashing programs made to teach kids that Jesus isn't real" thing I hear occasionally - at which point you're a crazy fucking idiot and have no idea what you're talking about.

Comment: Re:I do not understand (Score 1) 538

protecting citizens' rights in the face of "for the children"

Democrats are just as willing to use that canard, they just use it to support violation of different rights than Republicans do.

I never claimed they don't - both the "for the children" and "war on terror" crap is used by opportunists in both parties to use emotionally charged rhetoric to distract from the actual effectiveness of their pet laws. Democrats are just more likely to run on a platform of opposition to that thinking than Republican candidates are.

Comment: Re:Why are you guys relying on Republicans? (Score 1) 538

To my limited knowledge of the American politics, _any_ citizen of the United States of America who are not charged with crime can run for political office

Actually, as Marion Barry shows, that's not a requirement. You can definitely both serve and run for election while charged, or even convicted and sitting in prison.

Comment: Re:I do not understand (Score 2, Insightful) 538

For democrats, it mainly comes down to the belief that their guy will give them free stuff (money for nothing, chicks for free.)

No, for Democrats it comes down to hoping that they'll make the hard/unpopular choices of keeping the environment clean, protecting citizens' rights in the face of "for the children" and "or the terrorists win" crap, etc.. Unfortunately, they (like the Republicans) are typically more interested in getting corporate sponsorships to get re-elected, and will generally sell out everything they pretend to believe in to get it.

For republicans, it mainly comes down to "is he conservative enough" without any clear definition of what "conservative" actually is.

That sounds pretty accurate.

Comment: Re:Little-known fact (Score 2) 140

by The Rizz (#49398745) Attached to: Building an NES Emulator

Maybe they were just smart and saw the writing on the wall for coin operated games.

I think Nintendo were the ones who wrote it on the wall - the NES was the first real competition for coin-op arcades. Sure, other home systems already existed, but they were far, far behind arcade hardware's level of quality. The NES wasn't there yet, either, but it brought quality levels a lot closer than anything in the past ever had, and expanded into areas the arcade machines couldn't, with the concept of epic games with save/load features (Zelda, Metroid, etc.).

Comment: So, everything? (Score 1) 331

by The Rizz (#49357079) Attached to: Amazon Requires Non-Compete Agreements.. For Warehouse Workers

The absolute worst part of this is that it effectively covers any job involved in any way with "any product or service sold, offered, or otherwise provided by Amazon" ...which, since Amazon does a little of everything means that it effectively says "you agree not to work anywhere for 18 months after you quit or are fired."

In case of atomic attack, all work rules will be temporarily suspended.