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Comment Re:Self-respecting drunks (Score 1) 178

If it's reasonable to force people to install them on their cars, it's reasonable to make people use them with their bicycle in the same circumstances

No, it is not reasonable. A 30 lb bicycle, which for most riders barely goes above 20mph, being considered equivalent to a 2000+ pound machine that can trivially exceed 80 mph, is downright idiotic.

Comment Re:the original intent (Score 2) 272

There never was an original intent to "intellectual property" as you think it does because it doesn't exist in the US. Instead, we have patents, copyrights, and trademarks, three different sets of laws with three different purposes.

For patents, there was never any intention about protecting 'the little guy', it was to discourage secrets and to enrich the public domain, by making a bargain in exchange for disclosing of secrets. Prior to patents, many technological acheivements were kept secret and when the inventor died or guild disbanded, the knowledge went to the grave with them.

If intellectual property ever had an original intent, it would be to confuse people into thinking of all three of those sets of laws as the same thing, and to compare them to physical goods. It seems to have worked on you.

Comment Re:See no need to go to git (Score 1) 245

You don't need DVCS for more than one developer, but certainly for some teams, organizations, and situations it offers a lot of benefits.

Fir a lot of projects the DVCS advantages are tenuous. A lot of regulated industries mandate by law fairly strict top-down control that erodes a lot of the DVCS benefits. A lot of projects are not pure software projects that have lots of required binaries files that git and mercurial are powerless to merge sensibly. A lot of organizations have a variety of projects all stored in a single repository for whatever reason, and having to clone the entire thing for a single project is a nuisance.

For situations like those, which are commonplace in the commercial world, SVN and the centralized model is a fine way of doing things.

In my experience, DVCS is excellent for pure software projects, and sucks for anything else. SVN on the other hand is a great tool that is useful for a great number of projects beyond software.

In otherwords, use the tool with the right capabilities for the task at hand, not because of what's trendy.

Comment Re:The whole juror system needs to be abandoned (Score 1) 102

It's not like the courts can do anything about it. The money to pay for that is set by the legislature. I don't foresee any legislator voting to increase taxes or fees to increase payments for jurors. Coupled with the social stereotype that jury duty is for idiots, it's a downward spiral.

Comment Re:The whole juror system needs to be abandoned (Score 2) 102

The law is full of vagueness and contradictions. The very term "reasonable", which is common in many criminal statutes, by its very nature is open to interpretation and depends on situation.

You are right in that the laws are written much as computer programs are, except the people writing them don't even have remotely the skill to properly do so. And the law doesn't have an implementation to test against, it's written and goes straight into production. We all know how well that practice usually turns out for software developers.

Unlike code, with the law, instead of a bluescreen, when an error occurs, someone gets killed, goes to prison, or loses their property.

Comment Re:Recommended documentary on eyewitness testamony (Score 5, Interesting) 102

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all. - H. L. Mencken

Comment Re:Automated test in is a minimum (Score 2) 152

That's not going to work, because you'll never be able to economically write a requirements document so complete that the behavior is so well defined that you can get meaningful test coverage from it.

To get that kind of completeness you'd have to code the entire software in MSWord, which is a terrible programming language, and without ever testing it along the way.

Testing needs to be a continuous process as part of software development, not something that happens parallel or afterwards.

Comment Re:customer-centric (Score 3, Interesting) 419

if the US wanted the contents of a safe deposit box in Europe they cannot legally seize it, doing so would be a violation of europan law

They can't take the box by force, but the US can instead throw you, the owner of it, in the slammer until you cough up the requested evidence. Where the evidence is, is irrelevant.

The two most common things in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity. -- Harlan Ellison