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Submission + - Idaho Law Against Recording Abuses on Factory Farms Ruled Unconstitutional

onproton writes: An Idaho law that made it illegal to record and document animal abuse or dangerous hygienic practices in agricultural facilities, often referred to as an ‘ag-gag’ law, was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge on Monday. The judge concluded that the law restricted constitutionally protected free speech, and contradicted “long-established defamation and whistleblowing statutes by punishing employees for publishing true and accurate recordings on matters of public concern.” Idaho is just one of several states to pass this type of law, which allow food production facilities to censor some unfavorable forms of speech at their convenience. Under the Idaho statute, an employee that witnessed and recorded an incident, even if it depicted true and life-threatening health or safety violations, could be faced with a year in jail and fines of up to “twice the economic loss the owner suffers.” In his ruling, the judge stated that this was “precisely the type of speech the First Amendment was designed to protect.” This decision has raised questions about the constitutionality of these types of laws in other states as well, and it’s likely that there will be more legal battles ahead.

Comment Re:mid-90's network card on linux (Score 1) 267

Well - I had a similar network card experience once, an 8-bit card was incorrectly identified as a 16-bit card. Some digging and I found the driver code that made the wrong assumption and patched it. I should have filed a bug correction on the kernel but I never did, and today it's pretty much no point in doing it. Card in question was a 8-bit Western Digital compatible card from Accton.

Comment Re:debugger (Score 1) 267

Programs that crashes when running under a debugger are always fun, sometimes it's better and easier to run the program normally and then do a post mortem on the core file generated. Hence "generating core dumps" is a standing joke in some development.

Fortunately the number of cases where a debugger don't work have diminished greatly over the years compared to how it was under MS-DOS.

Comment Re:Debugging Gone Wrong (Score 2) 267

Bug #1 - not a bug really. Just an awkward mistake, but good that Bloomberg dropped it. But that also shows the need for documentation of how stuff works when someone quits.

I once developed an SMS gateway and did a test run on it but forgot to change the list of phone numbers so my manager at the time got 50 text messages with the same content. Ooops! :)

Comment Re:You are not qualified to debug your own code (Score 1) 267

I see one reason to write clever code - and that's when you try to optimize for performance. But the "hot spots" in code are rare, so in those cases you can get away with it if you put in a decent comment in the code describing why it's done in a particular way.

Multithreading is also a special beast - looks simple, is simple to implement but you really have to watch out if you have shared variables/memory. It can lead to some not so obvious errors!

To iterate is human, to recurse, divine. -- Robert Heller