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Comment Rubber Ducking (Score 3, Interesting) 131 131

It's called Rubber Ducking. The idea is that by talking out loud, you have to form your thoughts into words, which requires you to organize your thoughts more completely. Think about all the times that you've gone to ask someone a question, and as soon as you ask them the question, you figure out the answer yourself. Whether you use a rubber duck, a live video audience, or another person doesn't matter much. This is one of the reasons that pair programming can be quite effective.

Why Some Developers Are Live-Streaming Their Coding Sessions 131 131

itwbennett writes Adam Wulf recently spent two weeks live-streaming himself writing every line of code for a new mobile app. He originally started to live-stream as 'a fun way to introduce the code to the community.' But he quickly learned that it helps him to think differently than when he was coding without the camera on. "Usually when I work, so much of my thought process is internal monologue," he said, "but with live streaming I try to narrate my thought process out loud. This has forced me to think through problems a little differently than I otherwise would, which has been really beneficial for me."

Comment So do cars (Score 1) 228 228

Cars also help terrorists. Maybe we should consider restrictions on them too, to make sure they can't be used for terrorism. And guns help terrorists. I certainly don't see the Americans raising a fuss about that. Curiously, the UK doesn't seem to be raising a fuss about that either. Heck, western governments frequently help terrorists. Perhaps we should address that one first.

Comment Re:It's simple (Score 1) 452 452

If you believe that courts only hear cases for guilty people, or only convict guilty people, then our conversation was over before it started.

And it's not designed to protect you from improper conviction (because that would be impossible). It's designed to protect you from additional punishment for pleading your innocence.

You should probably watch Dont Talk to the Police (or any of several similar videos and articles). It explains how an innocent person can try defend himself and still get into trouble.

Comment Re:It's simple (Score 1) 452 452

Because if I'm a witness, telling the truth doesn't lead to me being punished. (If my testimony could lead to my prosecution, then I would be able to invoke the 5th Amendment right to not testify, unless I had been given immunity.)

So a witness doesn't have the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" dilemma. The Wikipedia article (and many others covering the reasons for the 5th Amendment protections) does a pretty good job of explaining this.

Comment Re:It's simple (Score 1) 452 452

There was once a common practice of forcing defendants to testify, and adding more charges if they denied guilt and then were found guilty anyways. The Fifth Amendment protects against that practice, and only that practice.

I think you could make an argument that prosecutors are doing something similar in recent times. They pile on lots of charges, hoping some will stick. (And hoping that juries will see all the charges, and make an assumption that at least some of those must be true.) The time and cost of defending against all those charges is so daunting that the suspect is faced with 2 bad choices -- spending several years of their lives and all their savings defending themselves, or pleading to a lesser charge even though they did nothing really wrong. This dilemma is basically the same dilemma that the 5th Amendment is trying to protect us from.

Comment Re:End of a Dream (Score -1) 344 344

George Zimmerman would never have seen prosecution if he was black or Trayvon was white; guilty or not the evidence just wasn't there.

What kind of crack are you smoking? 1. He followed Trayvon -- he was the one doing the assaulting. 2. Do you truly believe that the American justice system treats blacks better than whites?

Comment Re:Better use for NSA capabilities: Watch Congress (Score 1) 250 250

If the NSA can monitor anyone (which Snowden claims, and which appears to be true) then there's likely some monitoring of Congress going on. Sad that Congress itself doesn't seem to realize this. (Or at least not those either profiting in some way from the NSA or being blackmailed by the NSA.)

You will lose an important tape file.