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Comment: Re:Not sure about this. (Score 1) 192

by almitydave (#48028889) Attached to: CEO of Spyware Maker Arrested For Enabling Stalkers

Let's not forget that the NSA has been doing all of this and more, with no consent of _either_ party.

Ha, that gives me an idea. Just start all phone conversations with "this call may be monitored by law enforcement for unknown purposes." That'll probably really cut down on my phone time.

Comment: Re:But... the children!? (Score 1) 192

by almitydave (#48028805) Attached to: CEO of Spyware Maker Arrested For Enabling Stalkers

Does anyone want to be one of "those parents?"

I want to be one of those "helicopter" parents. I see the other parents, nose stuck to a cellphone, or chatting with their friends, while their kids dumpster dive out back of the medical facility. I want to be involved. I want to know what my kids are doing. Who they're with. Where they are going.

That's not "helicopter" parenting, that's basic paying-attention parenting. A "helicopter" parent is one who tries to micromanage their children's lives; using your examples, organize everything your kids do, choose their friends, accompany them everywhere, supervise constantly, yell at teacher for giving them a C grade, remove all potential adversity and risk of injury, etc. The use of "helicopter" is supposed to invoke the image of hovering constantly overhead.

It's actually a quite harmful way to raise children, as they don't learn the critical skills to deal with life - how to deal with failure, overcoming obstacles on their own, the freedom to develop their own interests; in general self-reliance and resilience.

Comment: Re:Uhhh (Score 1) 903

by almitydave (#47995051) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

...but in no way is failure to pay a debt actually illegal.

I understand your point and was mainly reacting to the poster's dickish opinion. But I do believe there are laws on the books requiring the payment of debt. You may not be arrested or go to jail, but there are legal consequences for not paying a debt.

If you enter into a "legally binding contract" and don't fulfill your obligations under the terms of the contract, you're liable for civil action (but not criminal). The legal system will enforce private contracts, and all auto loans (the ones you get from a dealer that involve signing paper anyway) are accompanied by such a contract; so yes, there are legal consequences for not paying a debt, but indirectly and not because of some law that requires payment of debts.

Notably, there are ways out of the contract that may not require paying the debt: for instance, if you don't pay your car loan and the bank repossesses the car, you haven't broken a law even though you didn't pay the debt - the bank exercised its rights under the contract to take the car back if you don't pay. Normally, the bank won't sue you, unless you make repossession impossible.

(IANAL or creditor or loan-writer so I could be completely wrong)

Comment: Re:To Kill a Mockingbird (Score 1) 402

by almitydave (#47994539) Attached to: It's Banned Books Week; I recommend ...

This is still banned? It was required reading in my public junior high school...

"Banned Books Week" is about books that are or were banned by someone somewhere, or that people sought to have banned; so they're not necessarily STILL banned. Some are great works of literature that were just controversial at a particular place & time.

United States

Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway 363

Posted by timothy
from the adventures-in-quasi-capitalism dept.
theodp writes Even as it cuts about 14% of its workforce, Microsoft is complaining that the company might be denied some of the "roughly" 1,000 H-1B visas for foreign workers it intends to seek, and made it clear that the company could shift some work to Canada or overseas if it can't get talent on its terms. "If I need to move 400 people to Canada or Northern Ireland or Hyderabad or Shanghai, we can do that," said William Kamela, a senior federal policy lead at Microsoft, who later explained that about 60% of Microsoft's workforce is in the U.S., yet it makes 68% of its profits overseas (where it also stashes its cash out of IRS reach). Kamela made the statements on a panel at a two-day conference on high-skilled immigration policy, where he sat next to Felicia Escobar, special assistant to President Barack Obama on immigration. The day before the conference, Mark Zuckerberg's FWD.us PAC — which counts Bill Gates as a Founder and Steve Ballmer and Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith as Major Contributors — posted its "MythBusters" video on H-1B visas.

Comment: Re:In lost the will to live ... (Score 1) 794

by almitydave (#47969389) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

If everyone could understand and internalize those two simple rules, then "all the law and the prophets" would be unnecessary. After all, Jesus just basically said that they are redundant anyway. But people don't understand that, hence we have the rest of the Bible trying to extrapolate those rules to all manner of practical situations, filtered through each author's social and cultural knowledge that actually had nothing to do with God.

The Bible in a nutshell: "'Don't be a dick' throughout the ages."

+ - Apple's 'Warrant Canary' Has Died

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "When Apple published its first Transparency Report on government activity in late 2013, the document contained an important footnote that stated: “Apple has never received an order under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. We would expect to challenge such an order if served on us.” Now Jeff John Roberts writes at Gigaom that Apple’s warrant canary has disappeared. A review of the company’s last two Transparency Reports, covering the second half of 2013 and the first six months of 2014, shows that the “canary” language is no longer there suggesting that Apple is now part of FISA or PRISM proceedings.

Warrant canaries are a tool used by companies and publishers to signify to their users that, so far, they have not been subject to a given type of law enforcement request such as a secret subpoena. If the canary disappears, then it is likely the situation has changed — and the company has been subject to such request. This may also give some insight into Apple's recent decision to rework its latest encryption in a way that makes it almost impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police."

Comment: Re:No (Score 1) 393

by almitydave (#47932075) Attached to: Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

You must be some paid shill, because that wasn't even REMOTELY the point of the GP post. The point is that the existing cost of the Tesla Model S already hits Anderman's price range, so the Model 3, being smaller and another three years out from now to improve battery manufacturing costs, should easily sell for a lower price point. But you wouldn't understand because you need it explained in one-syllable words, written in crayon.

The new car: it's not as big, has less range, and its charge pack is made in bulk. How could it NOT cost less? (provide your own crayon)

Comment: Re:finally (Score 1) 77

by almitydave (#47891397) Attached to: Amazon Instant Video Now Available On Android

UPDATE: It works now on my Galaxy Tab 4 8". Here's what I did:

-Uninstall the Amazon app I got from the Google Play app store.
-Install the Amazon app store by downloading the apk from Amazon.com using a web browser.
-Using the Amazon app store, install the Amazon app listed there and the Amazon Instant Video app.

Now, from the Amazon app, I can peruse the Prime Video selections, and watch free items.

A word of caution: after doing this, it enabled 1-click purchasing (it was previously disabled for my Amazon account), which I disabled, but forced on 1-click purchasing for digital items with no way to disable. Be careful what you click.

Comment: Wrist-centric use cases (Score 2) 471

by almitydave (#47872615) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

A successful smartwatch app would need to be one that was most usable in the same way you use a wristwatch - glancing at it occasionally, non-complicated UI interaction, etc.

Aside from the obvious fitness apps, there will be infinity variations on telling time - one that uses the number system from "Predator" would be neat - and calendar/agenda apps would be the most useful. If they support NFC, you could share schedules and contacts with a fist-bump and give new meaning to the phrase "synchronize your watches."

GPS navigation might be useful as a wrist-based app too, especially when on foot, bike, or when driving in jurisdictions that prohibit use of cell phones.

The key is they have to be apps that are better suited to a wristwatch form factor than a phone, although I'm sure there will be tons that aren't, just because devs will want to cash in on the latest new thing.

Comment: Re:Don't try this in Europe (Score 1) 63

by almitydave (#47837309) Attached to: Appeals Court Clears Yelp of Extortion Claims

Check out the context for yourself. The quote is from Starship Troopers.

It's not that Heinlein doesn't understand or is deliberately obfuscating, he's simply using a perspective different from your own, IMHO. The way I interpret Heinlein here is that rhetoric and flowery prose doesn't *give* us freedom, and that freedom is something that needs to be fought for, to get, and to retain. Read (or re-read) the novel -- I think you might learn something.

I read it during my formative years, and it was influential in the shaping of my political views; but that was so long ago I couldn't tell you what it said or what I liked about it (the politics part - what's not to like about powered armor?). In the given context, it's not a different perspective from my own - it's what I was saying here and elsewhere: that simply recognizing rights doesn't secure them. Out of context, that quote sounds like Heinlein doesn't even believe in the concept of rights inherent to a person, or that it's irrelevant.

What the Declaration states, and what I believe as well, is that these rights are real and exist; whether respected, trodden upon, forgotten, or codified into law; and the moral corollary that everyone has a duty to respect the rights of others; disagreeing with the assertion that rights are arbitrary, not transcendental, and can be revoked by a society. Ultimately it's a philosophical question: what's a "right", how do we get them, and how do they relate to morality in the context of society?

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

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