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Comment: Re:I'm extremely surprised... (Score 2) 149

by garcia (#49753167) Attached to: The Body Cam Hacker Who Schooled the Police

In Minnesota, the public sector is mandated by statute to release information to the public and be setup in a way which facilitates this action:

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/sta...

13.03 ACCESS TO GOVERNMENT DATA.
Subdivision 1.Public data. All government data collected, created, received, maintained or disseminated by a government entity shall be public unless classified by statute, or temporary classification pursuant to section 13.06, or federal law, as nonpublic or protected nonpublic, or with respect to data on individuals, as private or confidential. The responsible authority in every government entity shall keep records containing government data in such an arrangement and condition as to make them easily accessible for convenient use. Photographic, photostatic, microphotographic, or microfilmed records shall be considered as accessible for convenient use regardless of the size of such records.

I have used this exact quoted statute many-a-time to force local government agencies in Minnesota to not only provide me information, which they were usually willing to do, but for free or very low cost.

I made a request once to a public transit agency who told me it would be several hundred dollars to do. I told them if they had followed the statute to make the data readily accessible by the public, it wouldn't require the work they were trying to charge me to do. Their legal counsel informed them I was indeed correct and I got it for the cost of the media.

Maybe there is a similar statute in this case which drove the decision?

Comment: Comparing proprietors is not freedom. (Score 1) 520

by jbn-o (#49752087) Attached to: Ads Based On Browsing History Are Coming To All Firefox Users

So you're switching away from a browser that is still Free Software (which provides the ultimate configurability), the basis of variants (GNU IceCat, for example) that make it more convenient to respect your software freedom by only showing you Free addons by default, for a proprietary browser. And then you're getting lost in the weeds by debating the purported merits of one proprietor over another (Google vs. Opera) where you know so little about both such comparisons pale to what you give up by choosing any proprietary software.

I'd rather keep my software freedom, run more Free Software, and enjoy the wide variety of Free Software addons to help me keep browser privacy (NoScript, Priv3+, disabling Javascript-based clipboard manipulations, browser ID spoofing, and so on).

Comment: "Resistance" (Score 1) 355

by Zhe Mappel (#49748443) Attached to: What Was the Effect of Rand Paul's 10-Hour "Filibuster"?

I don't carry a torch for Rand Paul, but I am grateful for his act of resistance.

You ask what effect is achieved by his resisting. I will reply, unromantically, almost none.

We could argue about public education (did he really reach anyone new who doesn't already know the Patriot Act is evil?) and about self-aggrandizement (was he merely campaigning?).

To my way of thinking, we are living in a time when our votes count for little, our representatives do little for us, and against this condition of a democratic people isolated from control of the state, a sickening reversal of control is instead true: the security state is ascendant and it is our freedom that is waning.

If my apprehension of our position vis-a-vis the state is correct, this means that most protest will be reduced to a minor symbolic key. Its value, then, is in what it symbolizes, and I would say a filibuster on this point of authoritarian government power symbolizes a refusal to surrender casually. A refusal to be cheapened to the point of not caring; a defiance.

Quantifying such things is easy. What is the net benefit? Again, almost zero. But not entirely. A spark is kindled, or if you prefer, a flicker is kept going in a small and dull flame, with the hope that later we may fan it into something bolder and more valuable.

The value of this filibuster is sustaining hope.

Education

Student Photographer Threatened With Suspension For Sports Photos 372

Posted by timothy
from the you-belong-to-the-state dept.
sandbagger writes: Anthony Mazur is a senior at Flower Mound High School in Texas who photographed school sports games and other events. Naturally he posted them on line. A few days ago he was summoned to the principal's office and threatened with a suspension and 'reporting to the IRS' if he didn't take those 4000 photos down. Reportedly, the principal's rationale was that the school has copyright on the images and not him.

Comment: Re:Who needed it? (Score 4, Interesting) 70

Seriously. NetUSB? On a router? WHY the devil would I want that?

Printer sharing. A problem that was solved well in the 80's and since re-solved slightly worse every few years. It is difficult to imagine a worse way than NetUSB, but I am sure there are developers out there with a better imagination than mine.

Comment: Re:Minimum Wage (Score 1) 1076

by Catbeller (#49737249) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

It was tried for a while, the 0 dollar wage. It was called slavery, and it DID work. The plantation owners were the wealthiest humans to ever walk the planet. Still might have been, adjusted for inflation. A great success. Those owners would have bought the world up with their wealth, bit by bit, had slavery not been sort-of stopped. Of course, normal non-slave humans were competing against free labor, and so barely got by, with lousy schools and dirt roads and abysmal ignorance that lasts to this day. We paid a lot for that free labor, didn't we? A truly "free" market - once side got their goods for free.

Comment: Re:Minimum Wage (Score 1) 1076

by Catbeller (#49737173) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

People were paid 18/hour in 1966 to work like a dog at McDonald's (you've never worked a restaurant chain job, I see). And the corporation grew into fantastically profitable giant. Seemed to work.

And people who get paid minimum wage don't get forty hour work weeks. They usually are capped at 18-29 hours, to avoid full-time employee status. And the work hours are jangled weekly so they can't get second jobs. Fun!

You're not everyone. And you've no imagination when it comes to life's little snafus. I take it life has treated you well. You've never really been too ill, or blacklisted, or locked into a bad situation because of family issues, or been unable to find employment because of past accusations or convictions, or had a nervous breakdown, or been hit by a car and been unable to function, or been employed in an industry that was gutted for profits.

And no, you've not seen the minimum wage jacked over the years. It was down to 40% of its original value even after all the "jacks", until finally someone performed arithmetic and found it started life at $18 an hour.

Comment: Re:what happens at universities? (Score 1) 1076

by Catbeller (#49736875) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

Even with a poverty minimum wage, corporations were getting workers for no pay whatsoever - interns - with the promise that if they slave now, someone would smile on them someday and hire them. This is what happens when there are no real laws. After a time, people will be paying businesses to hire them for nothing - logical, same reason. And it is happening overseas - H1B and other workers are paying for the priviledge of not being paid much, or at all, when they bribe recruiting companies.

"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite improvements." -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors

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