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Comment: Re:Ummm ... duh? (Score 1) 317

I normally try not to respond to /. posts this many days late unless its an ongoing conversation but, its taken me a few days to really come to why I am not so sure about this, even though, I mostly think you are correct.

I seriously worry about the creeping effects of these things. In some ways, yes, its great, it removes justification for use of excessive force, it exposes the process to more scrutiny, more opportunity for outrage when it goes wrong and is fully documented without a primary witness who is legitimately afraid to say the wrong thing, even if he was in the right. In terms of the simple individual engagement, it is all wins all around...and in the long run....probably cheaper too.

However it ignores two huge problems.

1. The obvious, liability. When it does go wrong, and it will.... something always goes wrong given enough chances, who is liable? Not just in terms of renumeration but, in terms of taking steps to be reduce the likelyhood of it happening again? Who is responsible if lessons are not learned?
Admittedly, the answer today seems to be nobody at all, but I to be frank, that is one of the things I already find unsettling.

2. If costs of enforcement go down, we will have more of it. I am not sure we know what that means. Laws can be flawed, we have never actually lived in a time in history when it was possible to monitor as much as we can monitor, or to enforce laws on such scale as this could allow for, I am left very uneasy by the proposition of just how uncharted this territory actually is.

Can we hope that as enforcement becomes universal, laws begin to see themselves reviewed and fixed more quickly? Are we sure we can determine the difference between problems that need more law and more enforcement to fix and problems caused by them?

Overtreatment can cause diseases just as deadly as it is meant to cure. At least the medical community is aware of this and even has a word for it: iatrogenic. Disease caused by exposure to medical treatment. Its very real.

Look at Nelson Rockefellar. I genuinely believe he wanted to help people. He saw addicts and he tried instituting programs and forcing them into treatment under some belief that they needed it and he was helping. Eventually, in seeing this not work, he got more and more radical in his "treatment". Soon "zero tolerance" programs were springing up all over the nation....modeled after his sincere frustration at such an intractable disease.

What was the result? Well that was right around 1970, by 1980, HIV was an epidemic in full swing and nobody even knew it yet. How did it happen? Simple, needle sharing. Needle sharing spurned on by zero tolerance policies that put people in prison for being caught with paraphenelia like needles.

I am not convinced that making law enforcement cheaper and allowing it to be transparent is a panacea or even going to make things much better, since so many diseases look the same on camera.

Comment: Re:From Experience (Score 1) 542

by TheCarp (#48430927) Attached to: "Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

Oh I got another gig as a sysadmin and eventually transitioned to Dev-ops.

His plan actually did eventually pay off, not so much on that client per se but over time he stuck with trying to build a company and now does have what sounds like a decently successful web design company....basically doing the same, except with an actual bit of a team under him (mostly inexperienced kids)

He says words like "SEO" a lot and really, is still pretty full of shit and, while I get along with the guy on a personal level, I know he is still nobody I want to work with professionally. He tempts me occasionally but,

He certainly makes a bit more than I do, but, he puts in a ton of hours slinging that bullshit; and still makes me feel like hes trying to sell me a car half the time.

Comment: Re:From Experience (Score 2) 542

by TheCarp (#48429903) Attached to: "Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

ROTFL When I was between jobs I almost got involved with a guy like this. He was putting together a "team" to expand his business, he had a client, he had some basic specs, and another guy more senior than me, as in actually a developer rather than a sysadmin who could write some code (me).

Anyway, the guy who has setup a site like this before goes over the whole thing, soup to nuts, describes what we will need, that this is several weeks of work, and he should really be looking to charge around 10k for the work they were asking for.

A few days later, our "leader" comes back, says he pitched the job for 3k so we could get it under our belt, and "come on, you guys can bang it out in a couple of weekends". Oh and he thought, as the guy who is really doing all the work finding the clients and schmoozing them, he thinks his cut on these ventures should be 50%

Our little fledgling web development group never did have another meeting after that.

Comment: Re:Ummm ... duh? (Score 1) 317

This right here. We can;t even agree, and the actual problem is so nuanced that its almost laughable that a robot as we understand them today could even begin to evaluate the situation.

for example.... If someone is coming at you branshing a gun, and pointing it at you, is it correct to shoot and possibly kill him?

On its face, this is simple, of course you can defend yourself. Can a robot? Is a robots continued operation worth a human life? (I may argue it could be with the imaginary hollywood style AI, but not robots as we understand them today)

What about considering why the person is threatening you? If you invaded his home, would it still be correct to shoot him? Would having a warrant make it ok?

I would say no and no, but most states only agree with me on the first one.

So I am very much against killer robots but, I am very much against the killer cops and soldiers we have now, so I don't expect my view to win out there.

Comment: Re:But the case hasn't even started! (Score 1) 119

by TheCarp (#48417065) Attached to: US Marshals Auctioning $20M Worth of Silk Road's Bitcoins

That is exactly it. A check is a receipt, its unambiguous, there is record of it at both banks or in both ledgers of the same bank....its perfect for this. I mean hell, as a landlord I would rather not have to issue my own receipts because its much easier for me to remember that I never issued you an explicit receipt for anything than which ones and when.

and of course, just in the past year I know people who have had issues with the fact that they and others paid rent in cash a lot and money went missing. Digits on a check don't go missing.

Comment: Re:But the case hasn't even started! (Score 1) 119

by TheCarp (#48412779) Attached to: US Marshals Auctioning $20M Worth of Silk Road's Bitcoins

Actually this is an interesting question and you might need to talk to a lawyer for a real answer, as IANAL but, as I understand it US dollars must be accepted FOR DEBT. Rent, paid on time, is not debt as its for the upcoming month, then again, I would think it becomes debt after the first since most places have a built in grace period and it takes time to actually kick people out (and any landlord who kicks people out for being a day or two late will be spending a lot of months with empty apartments and have ridiculous turnover rates)

Now OTOH whether its legal or not, I never paid rent in cash unless I was renting from my own mother. Even then, I usually gave her a check just because it was easier....and as a landlord, I always advised people that even when paying me they should prefer checks or money orders to maintain records.

I would much rather find out I was wrong and forgot to write down that you paid me than to have a dispute we can't resolve and always have to wonder about.

Comment: Re:But the case hasn't even started! (Score 0) 119

by TheCarp (#48412687) Attached to: US Marshals Auctioning $20M Worth of Silk Road's Bitcoins

Sounds right to me. That really is what that little phrase on every bill about being useful for all debts "public and private" really means. If I want to trade you X for Y, I can do that, but, if you owe me anything, even if its a good, I HAVE to be willing, by law, to accept payment in dollars instead....or else my claim that you owe me anything is forfeit.

The most common example is something like a restaurant. You come in and eat. Now that you have eaten, a debt has been created, and you owe. The restaurant MUST by law accept US currency as payment for that debt. They can accept something else instead at their option but, they have to be willing to put a dollar amount on the debt and accept that.

If you ask me though, unless he agreed to this (not sure he did) it is quite a shitty way to go about it, especially since storing the bitcoin keys can't really be seen as presenting any sort of hardship to them. Its not like its a boat the size of the QE2 that they have to dock somewhere and keep afloat.

Comment: Re:There's not a lot to say, this is scummy (Score 1) 297

by TheCarp (#48412433) Attached to: Uber Threatens To Do 'Opposition Research' On Journalists

I assumed because the article didn't actually bother to address either of those questions. Those would have been excellent questions for a reporter to have asked and reported on the answer or lack of answer to. Since they didn't, I have to assume, by default, that the driver had insurance, since it wasn't brought up as an issue.

Overall, seems to me like making sure he has insurance would make sense to be part of their due diligence in using him as a driver but, nothing that I have seen has confirmed nor disconfirmed whether or not they do that or did that.

Comment: Re:There's not a lot to say, this is scummy (Score 2) 297

by TheCarp (#48411555) Attached to: Uber Threatens To Do 'Opposition Research' On Journalists

At least in this article I don't see what they did so wrong. The driver was at fault, it was reported to the police, Uber says it deactivated his account pending investigation of the incident. Sounds like, at least by their statements, they are doing the right thing.

I assume the driver had insurance which he carried separately, and its his car so he can and will drive whether he has an uber account or not.... so I really don't see what more they would expect? This all seems relatively straightforward about who is at fault and why and it isn't really Uber, it is the driver.

Comment: Re:Not for Windows 8 or 8.1 (Score 1) 176

by TheCarp (#48410885) Attached to: Microsoft Releases Out-of-Band Security Patch For Windows

Well slightly confusing as it sounds like it IS for windows 8 and 8.1, but, its not critical on those platforms since the actual vulnerability is not present, but it still does make some changes.

This sounds to me like "an unrelated change we made in 8 made this, we think, unexploitable, but we are patching the error anyway, just in case". Not sure that is exactly correct, but that is how I interpret that.

Comment: Re:Nothing I'd like better... (Score 1) 106

by TheCarp (#48410013) Attached to: Tor Eyes Crowdfunding Campaign To Upgrade Its Hidden Services

Its easy to forget, especially when many of us talk so much about large policy issues, that the US government is NOT a single org but a very large umbrella collection of many interdependent orgs, each with their own agenda.

Sometimes these agendas align, sometimes, they diverge and work at cross purposes.

The NSA has no operational need for tor, they are likely 100% focused on breaking it. Likewise the DEA, and FBI similarly. However, you start getting to DARPA, and parts of the State Department, and a strong tor is actually an asset for some of them or the people they support.

Comment: Re:Middle School (Score 2) 77

by TheCarp (#48402639) Attached to: Magic Tricks Created Using Artificial Intelligence For the First Time

Actually a website that does this tricked someone I know recently. I was actually engaged in a card game when they came up to me exclaiming this website could do math with the numbers in her head, and it worked every time.

It took me about 20 seconds to figure out what was going on, and even despite suggesting "why don't you try again, write out each step" and then "try it again with X for your number, and write out each step", still more than 20 minutes to get them to see what was going on.

Comment: Re:Hmmmm (Score 1) 186

by TheCarp (#48402155) Attached to: Battlestar Galactica Creator Glen A. Larson Dead At 77

I found out while watching BSG (new series, not the old). It definitely explains a lot. In fact, really.... the new series is sci fi human origins story for mormons. You know the whole "all our old myths are really just forgotton lore of an ancient civilization sort.

That said, I really liked about 90% of the series and really hated the that very aspect of the story. Loved the journey, hated where they were going and what they did with it in the end; far to "God in the Machine" for me.

Its one of those ones I tell people to watch the entire series up to the last episode, then just imagine that everyone dies in a huge jump just works better.

Comment: Re:Oh fark off (Score 1) 554

by TheCarp (#48391413) Attached to: The Downside to Low Gas Prices

Did you even read what GP posted? The money in his state goes tot he GENERAL FUND. So the gas taxes can go up, and they can STILL not fix the roads. These are entirely independent variables.

So if the money is from the general fund anyway, any claim that the gas tax being low is why the roads don't get fixed is also.... absolute bullshit. Its because they didn't consider it a priority and didn't want to do it.

What the world *really* needs is a good Automatic Bicycle Sharpener.