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Comment: Re:Does he stand a chance? (Score 1) 161

by anagama (#48661197) Attached to: 'Citizenfour' Producers Sued Over Edward Snowden Leaks

Yeah, but in the past those lawsuits cast the Feds as the bad guys (which they are of course) but in this lawsuit, the Feds are the putative good guys (LOL). Considering how rotten and corrupt the system is, top to bottom, I would be surprised if they dismissed this case on standing grounds. They'll wiggle around that in some way because in the American court system of today, getting to a specific predetermined result by any twisted means is what counts.

For example, when justice Roberts commented on the recent case in which it was determined that ignorance of the law is no excuse, unless you are a cop, he supported that opinion with this:

Chief Justice Roberts conceded that the court's decision at first blush ran afoul of the maxim that "ignorance of the law is no excuse."

On reflection, he said, the maxim holds the government and its citizens to the same standard where it counts.

"Just as an individual generally cannot escape criminal liability based on a mistaken understanding of the law," Chief Justice Roberts wrote, "so too the government cannot impose criminal liability based on a mistaken understanding of the law."

They aren't even trying to pretend they are making sense any longer. They just talk horseshit and expect us to eat it.

Comment: Re: Simple answer... (Score 1) 482

by anagama (#48644511) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

I won't vote for either the GOP or DNC as a protest vote. I get that it is a protest vote and my candidates (I'd vote for Satan if he ran as a third party candidate, barring any 3d party candidates, I vote for my cat) and that my candidate won't win. The best hope I have is to be perceived as a spoiler which _might_ shift a party my direction.

The simple fact is, the GOP and DNC totally agree on all of those issues. We basically have two Republican parties: the one in favor of gay marriage and abortion, and the one against. But if I expect that voting for GOP or DNC candidates will change anything I mentioned above, I would be deluded.

So in fact, we do have people to blame other than ourselves. We can blame the people that own the parties and we can blame the parties for a lack of actual choice. And I suppose we can blame "ourselves" -- or at least those who affiliate with either party -- for thinking there is one ioata of difference between the parties.

Comment: Re:if there is no evidence presented in how they.. (Score 3, Interesting) 51

There's some scary Supreme Court precedent just handed down. The cop can be ignorant of the law, i.e., think you broke a law when you didn't, and then conduct a search, and that search is now legal thanks to a brand new Supreme Court decision. That's right, ignorance of the law is no excuse, except for cops.

Pick your poison:

Of course this is supposed to be limited to "reasonable" ignorance, but look at Smith v. Maryland. A one time, short term, metadata collection on a specific individual where there was certainly probable cause for a warrant if the cops had not been lazy, is today interpreted to mean that all metadata can be collected for every person, for all time, in the absence of probable cause. Or how the Executive branch interprets "imminent" to include "maybe possibly at some point of time in not so near future." This ruling is a free pass for the cops to do whatever the hell they want and claim ignorance of the law. Just give it 30 years.

Comment: Re: Simple answer... (Score 1) 482

by anagama (#48634859) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

Your tax dollars at work:

  • 13 years of continuous war
  • Paying off Wallstreet and banksters to trash the economy
  • Massive universal surveillance
  • Importing cheap labor and exporting jobs
  • The most awesome largest prison industry on the planet
  • Mine resistant vehicles for rural sheriff's departments
  • Forced subsidization of the for-profit health insurance industry
  • Monopolies for Comcast (and its ilk)
  • And oh yeah, maybe, if there is anything left over, and after they fall into rivers, bridge repairs

The fact that a small percentage of the tax dollars go to something useful, is like saying that Jeffry Dahmer was nice to puppies so we should forget everything else about him.

Comment: Re:Wrong conclusion (Score 1) 269

by anagama (#48589123) Attached to: Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

I did the same thing. I had been waiting for my 80gb model to die before getting the 160gb model, but the news made me go out pick up one of the last boxed iPods in my area at the normal price.

What I particularly like about the classic is that it has physical buttons. That means I can change things while driving without averting my eyes. People don't think about the danger of driving, but when you aren't looking at the road, the chance of being in or causing some life changingly horrendous accident is so much greater.

Secondly, the arrangement of the physical buttons is important. I once had a Creative Labs ____ MG -- can't quite recall the name, circa 2000 or 2001. The button arrangement was horrid -- I had to squint and stare at the tiny buttons on the side every time to not accidentally delete while meaning to skip ahead. With the classic, I can skip and pause by feel alone. I'm sure there are other players I could learn this too, just saying the interface with the Classic is satisfactory for driving.

Comment: Re:XBMC Finally? (Score 1) 140

by anagama (#48565585) Attached to: $35 Quad-core Hacker SBC Offers Raspberry Pi-like Size and I/O

I don't personally know the answer to this, but I was interested too. There is a video on one of the articles linked in the the summary showing it doing various things, including video, and based on that, it looks promising. I can say that I've wasted far more than $35 on finding out a thing is crap, so this seems a pretty low risk proposition to try this thing out.

Anyway, here's the video link:

I probably wouldn't do the video thing, but if there was a way to make to the arduino libraries that come with Sparkfun or Adafruit gadgetry, this thing has the power to do some pretty interesting stuff, and a lot of it all at once.

Comment: Re: Diversity is good, especially in SciFi (Score 1, Informative) 368

by anagama (#48543541) Attached to: Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

Ian M. Banks' culture series doesn't include the specific items you mention, but he certainly does deal with the cultural as well technical differences of a far future. The Player of Games would be a good start:

Elements include being able to change one's sex, glands to produce any number biologically useful/pleasurable substances at will, what do people do when they live in the embrace of a (mostly) benevolent AI that doesn't need them. And then there's a good story interwoven with it all.

Comment: Re:Why only women? (Score 4, Informative) 310

The police seem very reluctant to prosecute women, and men are reluctant to apear weak.

I can speak to the second part. I've been punched in the face exactly one time in my life -- saw stars even -- by my then girlfriend. At a different point in our relationship, she choked me and by the time I realized she was serious, I was getting dizzy and my ability to stop it was compromised. Lucky for me she quit on her own. That was well over 20 years ago -- back then I said nothing. Even today, despite the passage of time and the consequent ability to chalk up my reticence about the incident to the ignorance of youth, I feel embarrassed by it -- so much so that it is a struggle to not post this as AC.

Comment: Re:The lesson (Score 1) 329

by anagama (#48491153) Attached to: Taxi Medallion Prices Plummet Under Pressure From Uber

I agree with you more than I disagree and in a society with a rehabilitative rather than retributive prison system, I would definitely agree. As things are now however, serving time does not demonstrate that a person is safe to society. I do understand your point about a permanent disadvantaged underclass, it's just that we need a prison system that will help reform people rather make them hardened, and to get there, we have to make prison far less about vengeance than it currently is.

Comment: Re:Dumps, you say? From the anus? (Score 0) 523

by anagama (#48487021) Attached to: Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

Summer of 1994 (I can remember because it was just before I started grad school), I used Mavis Beacon to learn to touch type. I'd been using computers since I was 12 but just did the hunt and peck -- I think it took a couple weeks to become reasonably proficient, might even have been less. The thing is, once you learn to touch type, you only get better and better as time goes on. It was probably one of the best and most useful things I ever learned.

As for my cursive penmanship, that has always been beyond bad. And painful -- hand cramps and all that. I can print sort of legibly but hand writing belongs to the past for daily use. Quick notes of six or seven words, artistic calligraphy, scrawling something in the dirt on the back window of a car -- it's those sorts of occasional use cases for which writing by hand is reasonable.

Comment: Re:The lesson (Score 1) 329

by anagama (#48486067) Attached to: Taxi Medallion Prices Plummet Under Pressure From Uber

Maybe a criminal background check too. Kidnappers should probably not be taxi drivers. But your point is right on -- as long as a person can demonstrate that he or she is not a threat to the public (bad driver, violent criminal, dangerous car), there is absolutely no reason to deny a license to be a taxi driver.

Comment: Re:Duh (Score 3, Interesting) 454

by anagama (#48458405) Attached to: Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

Workers bear the burden of H1B -- both the immigrants and the locals. That burden could be shifted by changing the rules. For example, make the visa last three years, non-renewable, cost $25,000 per visa paid for by the employer, and once the worker has been employed for two weeks, he/she will have the legal right to quit working for employer, even if that means sitting at home playing video games and doing no work at all, and make all employment contracts that contain some kind of damages provision if the worker quits or is fired, not just void, but result in a $25,000 fine, or twice the damages provision in the contract, whichever is greater, to be imposed on the employer.

This way, if a company really wants that genius they just gotta have, they can get that person no problem. They just better treat him/her right or risk losing a substantial investment. As for getting slave labor, it would make that completely unfeasible from a financial perspective.

Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche.