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Comment: Re:Chimp interview ... (Score 1) 332

by UncleGizmo (#49519331) Attached to: Update: No Personhood for Chimps Yet

Actually, it's cases like this that help define what constitutes rights and obligations for the plaintiff. To your example, corporations weren't automatically assumed to be people, but in the late 1800s cases were raised as to the validity of contracts held by corporations. The contracts were deemed valid, since the court ruled that people should not be deprived of their constitutional rights when they act collectively - therefore granting equal "rights" to corporations similar to individuals, in that narrowly defined context.

Corporations don't have wholesale similar rights to people. Currently a corporation cannot claim Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination (that has been ruled upon).

However, in 2010 the Supreme Court upheld the rights of corporations to make political expenditures under the First Amendment. This was ruled upon by today's more conservative and pro-business Supreme Court, and many have said this is over-reaching. Which, if enough people and resources raise it as an issue, it may be overturned, or (more likely) specifically added as a constitutional amendment to abolish this rule.

This is why there is so much hand-wringing over new Supreme Court justices - they are 1/3 of the government's balance of power, and they serve a lifetime. If there is a president and majority party in Congress, they can influence the law of the land far beyond their tenure by appointing new judges that fit their political POV. ...but I digress...

Comment: Re:Decent (Score 1) 482

by UncleGizmo (#49487743) Attached to: Seattle CEO Cuts $1 Million Salary To $70K, Raises Employee Salaries

aaaah yes, the broad-brush analogizing that passes for informed discourse! (and no, I'm not new here).

"People" implies a majority (otherwise it wouldn't be relevant to your point): Research/data, please?

Yes, money worries aren't exclusively caused by low salaries (nice hedge, btw). But to use what amount to psychological outliers to dismiss what has become accepted discourse on wage inequality is faulty logic.

Comment: Re:regulation? (Score 0) 245

by UncleGizmo (#49446009) Attached to: 3D Printed Guns Might Lead To Law Changes In Australia

As an American, and one who doesn't own a gun, I'll chime in... I don't believe we're morons because we want to own guns, I believe we're morons because we think that owning a gun will keep us secure as individuals.

The point of having the freedom to own guns was as a check and balance against government or organized tyranny. For example, the fact that we had the right to bear arms was specifically mentioned by Admiral Yamamoto as to why Japan should not attack the US mainland.

However, today, the reasons given (by the gun lobby) seem to be heavily oriented toward individual protection. Since the U.S. is not going to be invaded by a traditional army any time soon, it's also subtly encouraged the paranoid belief of the tyranny of our existing government. I think this is illogical, but many today here don't.

IIRC, there are at least as many guns owned per capita in Switzerland. So it's not purely the ownership of guns that is dangerous. It's putting those guns in the hands of people who truly believe that the government is out to "steal" their way of life - by taxing them to pay for those "lazy" types who don't want to work, by "forcing" them to accept other religions and ways of life as at least equal to their own, by giving an "unfair" advantage to certain classes of people when it comes to work, and by "undermining" police forces who are accused of racism when they're "just doing their jobs" - all while there have been real and significant cuts to education and human services...that is what makes it dangerous.

Comment: Re:Somehow I'm reminded of Kirk (Score 1) 114

This may not be true in the Netherlands, but in the U.S., I believe that the issue of where to draw the line is addressed by the government having the ultimate ability to redact any information that it considers to be of sensitive or proprietary nature. Of course, the flip side of this is that in some cases (in the U.S), redaction has included literally all of the information within the documents of the request, save page numbers and other inconsequential information - rendering the point of FOI requests useless.

This is the continuing struggle of democracy - balancing liberty & transparency with security* and confidentiality... and that's scary for a lot of individuals and governments.

*By "security" I mean keeping a government secure - from invasion, economic demise, attack, etc. rather than the more Orwellian "we're here to protect you which is why we must be involved in every aspect of your life."

Comment: Re:stop electing anti science politicians (Score 1) 416

by UncleGizmo (#49276751) Attached to: Politics Is Poisoning NASA's Ability To Do Science

Methinks you miss the point. Yes, the debate is corrupted, but you lay blame at the feet of science for not "producing a model that actually works"?

Say it with me: "all models are wrong; some are useful." The implication of this is that there must be much trial and error, to get better and better models to explain the causes.

The (correctly-termed) "anti-science" proponents do not look to fund or study countering hypotheses, they find ways to poke little holes in the current model then use that to support broad brush policy decisions - not better models.

Your example - 18 years of cooler weather - does not "completely invalidate" the model. It brings up an issue warranting further study. Perhaps Sen. Cruz will be willing to agree to funding it, since he is, based on your implication, not "anti-science."

PC Games (Games)

+ - Game Engines that Changed the Industry->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Game Almighty as posted a retrospective piece looking at some of the most important game engines in the history of gaming. Included is discussion about SCUMM, Source, Renderware, and other engines that have left a mark on the industry. Here's an excerpt from the SCUMM section: "Created by Ron Gilbert in 1987 while at Lucasarts (then Lucasfilm Games), the Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion was a hybrid game engine and programming language for adventure games. SCUMM allowed the creative minds at Lucasarts to design puzzles, locations, items, and branching dialogue sequences without having to directly modify the game's source code. Their endeavors turned out to be some of the most memorable adventure games of all time, including Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, the Monkey Island series, and Full Throttle."
Link to Original Source

+ - Top 10 Internal Security Threats (says CIO.com)->

Submitted by
Esther Schindler
Esther Schindler writes: "An endpoint is any device that can connect to the corporate network (desktop computer, notebook, cell phone, whatever). The Bad Guys who want to break in are focusing more attention on those endpoints because, after all, users are known to be lax about security even if the IT department is professionally paranoid. In Securing the Endpoints: The 10 Most Common Internal Security Threats CIO.com enumerates the top 10 internal-to-the-company vulnerabilities, and what companies can do about them."
Link to Original Source

+ - HTC Touch to Counter the Apple iPhone->

Submitted by
yonp writes: "Report on the HTC's Touch Phone:
"Well guys and gals, this assuredly looks cool: an HTC Windows Mobile Professional 6 Pocket PC phone with HTC's newly developed TouchFLO screen technology that recognizes gestures and can tell the difference between a stylus and finger. They've created a new Today Screen that takes advantage of this new technology with large icons and gesture sensitive actions. It might not be an iPhone, but it surely sounds like a compelling improvement to Windows Mobile devices.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Hackers becoming ever more secretive->

Submitted by Simplicity
Simplicity writes: Hackers are coming up with ever more secretive and complicated attacks in order to bypass traditional signature-based anti-malware applications, according to the latest Web Security Trends report from IT security company Finjan. The report found that criminal gangs are now keeping track of IP addresses of victims visiting target websites — exposing users to malicious code only once. This code vanishes the second time the user visits the website. Finjan said the hackers use these methods to hide malcode from web crawlers, URL filters and reputation engines.
Link to Original Source

+ - The 10 "Inconvienient Truths" of File Shar

Submitted by
54mc writes: "The IFPI, an international recording industry organization, has released a list of Ten "Inconvenient Truths" of file sharing. Though the group has a vested interest, it's still an interesting read as it tears apart some of the most common arguments in favor of file sharing. Ars Technica follows up with a more thorough explanation of some of the points."

"America is a stronger nation for the ACLU's uncompromising effort." -- President John F. Kennedy