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Comment: And as such, is actionable. (Score 1) 171

by davecb (#48427785) Attached to: US Gov't Seeks To Keep Megaupload Assets Because Kim Dotcom Is a Fugitive
Lawyers often study "conflict of laws", where law A says "X is a crime" and B says "do X". Good legal draftsmen will therefor say something like "not withstanding A, do X", but not everyone is a good draftsman(/woman/shark). It would be amusing and very embarassing to charge a district attorney with possession of stolen property (;-))

Comment: Re:And it won't be (Score 1) 144

by davecb (#48407395) Attached to: What the US Can Learn From Canada's Internet Policy
More correctly, they want to control the news. One man controlled roughly 1/3 of the news at one point, and pushed for his preferred party and leader. The leader face-planted on a seadoo and the party had to do an unfriendly takeover of another party (mine!) to get into power. The newspaper chain in question is barely alive any more.

Comment: Votes needed, extra dollars optional (Score 1) 144

by davecb (#48405007) Attached to: What the US Can Learn From Canada's Internet Policy
Right now, the government needs votes, and telecom behaviour has annoyed a large enough minority that they're worth campaigning to. Pitching to minorities has been a priority for the government since they got in, as they previously had been criticised as being composed entirely of white western farmers and oilmen.

+ - Google Glass future clouded as early believers lose faith->

Submitted by ErnieKey
ErnieKey (3766427) writes ""After an initial burst of enthusiasm, signs that consumers are giving up on Glass have been building." Is it true that Google Goggles are simply not attractive to wear, or perhaps it's the invasion of privacy that is deterring people from wearing them. Regardless, Google needs to change something quickly before they lose all their potential customers."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Not as simple as teaching how to ... (Score 1) 328

by davecb (#48393965) Attached to: Former Police Officer Indicted For Teaching How To Pass a Polygraph Test

This is a classic way to get a proponent of X into trouble: get them to say under what circumstances X would be breaking the law, and assert they were a proponent of breaking the law. Another is ordering someone not to do something legal, then charge them with disobedience. A third is to ask them if they had (ever) broken the law, then charge them with lying if they had but the statute of limitations had run out.

All are hard to defend against, as they're constructed half-truths. None addresses the propriety, truth or desirability of the original action, only the consequent, so a court can sometimes be tricked into ruling narrowly on the second part alone.

+ - Senate may vote on NSA reform as soon as next week-> 1

Submitted by apexcp
apexcp (931320) writes "Senate Majority Leader (for now) Harry Reid announced he will be taking the USA FREEDOM Act to a floor vote in the Senate as early as next week. While the bill, if passed, would be the first significant legislative reform of the NSA since 9/11, many of the act's initial supporters have since disavowed it, claiming that changes to its language mean it won't do enough to curb the abuses of the American survailence state"
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+ - A Band-Aid that could suck bugs out of your wound->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Scientists have made progress towards a band-aid like device that can literally suck bacteria out of wounds. When they placed nanofibers in a petri dish of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium involved in chronic infection, the bugs quickly attached themselves to 500-nanometer-wide fibers, but hardly onto fibers with larger diameters. When the researchers coated the nanofibers with different compounds and tested them on the bacteria Escherichia coli, also responsible for chronic wounds, the bugs formed bridges on fibers coated with allylamine, a colorless organic compound, but stayed away from fibers coated with acrylic acid. The researchers, who plan to test the meshes on composites that resemble human skin, hope that they will eventually lead to smart wound dressings that could prevent infections. Doctors could stick the nano–Band-Aid on a wound and simply peel it off to get rid of the germs."
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Comment: Re:Computers are making everyone's life easier (Score 3, Interesting) 212

by Catiline (#48358141) Attached to: New Book Argues Automation Is Making Software Developers Less Capable
The analogy I like to use when discussing the Art vs. Engineering paradigm in programming is architecture (the wood & steel building sort, not hardware chip instructions) design. Every architect, whether building a private home or an office complex, needs to know certain fundamental facts about the materials they use (load bearing capacity, for instance) and the choice of what materials are used is (typically) dictated by the intended purpose of a building. Brick and wood framing is pretty universal, but you don't generally see homes being built out of little more than tin siding and steel frames like factory warehouses, or giant glass walls like skyscrapers.

That part -- mating the materials with the intended purpose -- is the "art" in architecture. The "art" in programming (aside from some limited domains like UX or AI) is less immediately describable except by effect (e.g. "How quickly do new team members get up to speed?") but should be no less important to any project manager. I don't really think that programming has been around long enough for us to have our Frank Lloyd Wright moment, but that is no reason to ignore the "intangibles" and immeasurable aspects to quality code.

It's a poor workman who blames his tools.