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Comment: Re:Jurists with knowledge results in mistrial (Score 2) 558

by bwalling (#34586412) Attached to: Judge Declares Mistrial Because of Wikipedia
The definition in the dictionary isn't what the law is. Juries are supposed to render verdicts on the facts and the law, not on Merriam-Webster, Oxford, Britannica, Wikipedia or anything else. If this was a matter of state law, then the jury was given the relevant portion of state law that the defendant was charged with. If 'rape trauma syndrome' is a technical term relevant to the case, then expert witnesses are brought in by one or both sides and are questioned by both sides. The ability to bring these witnesses in court is determined by the judge to ensure that the witnesses are qualified to speak on these subjects. If other literature defining this technical term was admitted into evidence, the judge ruled on its validity, most likely by considering its source. The point of all of this is to make sure that juries (not "jurists", FYI) are deciding cases based on accepted facts that come from expert sources, and that both sides are aware of and can act on the information the jury has. If there are significant questions about or concerns with the information in the Wikipedia article, both the defendant and the plaintiff/prosecution have a legal right to be aware that it has been given to the jury and to address it. To not allow them to address it is a significant breach of their rights.

Your suggestion that limiting sources of facts and information to those that can be verified encourages ignorance boggles my mind. The Internet is full of misinformation, and I wouldn't want a jury deciding my future based on what they found online. Even worse, I could be convicted based on some piece of evidence that I wasn't even allowed to refute.

Comment: Re:Choice is bad, obviously (Score 1) 405

by bwalling (#33589946) Attached to: Will Android Flavors Spoil the Platform?
I don't have a problem with choice - it's great. The problem really comes with exclusivity agreements whereby only Verizon customers can get feature X and only AT&T can get feature Y, such that you're screwed if you need both. Hopefully, Android doesn't wind up mired in this. It happens in all sorts of industries.

Comment: Re:pfft (Score 1) 405

by bwalling (#33589854) Attached to: Will Android Flavors Spoil the Platform?
Choice is all well and good when there is an option that gets you what you want. When things splinter and then I have to choose between Feature A that I really need and Feature B that I really need, but can't get both at the same time due to some BS exclusivity agreements or something like that, then choice sucks.

Comment: Re:Price point (Score 1) 266

by bwalling (#33564042) Attached to: Boxee Box Pre-Orders Start At $229
I'm amazed that they came out at this price point given Roku's existence at $99 (and below) and the recently announced AppleTV at $99. At $299, this thing is dead in the water for all but the geeks that need a specific feature or format. When I saw the price, I immediately looked to see if it had a TV tuner, because that's the only thing that could justify the price.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 1695

by bwalling (#33520898) Attached to: Rackspace Shuts Down Quran-Burning Church's Sites
You do realize that in many places, there are oligopolies in control of the mechanisms of speech? There are only a few media companies that own TV channels. Same thing with radio and newspaper. If these places all start exerting editorial control over what their paying customers can say in advertisements, then they have effectively shut down free speech in favor of their own opinions.

Comment: Re:Why should ANY of them get an HOV lane pass? (Score 2, Informative) 384

by bwalling (#33066954) Attached to: Chevy Volt Not Green Enough For California

I love how slug lines show the lengths that middle class Americans will go not to ride a bus.

As someone who used to commute by bus, I can say that buses are terrible in most places I've lived. The last time I used the bus with any regularity, it was only a last resort. If I left my house on bicycle, I could be at work in 20 minutes. If I took the bus, it was 45 minutes from pick up to drop off, probably 52 minutes overall, counting the walk to/from the bus stop and being a few minutes early so as not to miss the bus. I only took the bus when it was raining or when it was summer (too hot to ride without too much sweat), but the bike was much better any other time.

Comment: Re:U.S. Cleanup Solution: Step 2 (Score 1) 171

by bwalling (#33063050) Attached to: X Prize To Offer Millions For Gulf Oil Cleanup Solution
There's little point in singling out BP. Every last one of the companies is being cheap in the wrong places and risking disaster while the US Govt fails to do anything about it. They're all responsible. Even more, we're responsible because we continue to demand oil and gasoline. BP just got unlucky, but they're all doing. Hate the industry and hate the demand that's creating the industry. Also, realize that that demand is us.

Comment: Re:.04 DUI in Oregon (Score 1) 957

by bwalling (#32688838) Attached to: The worst I've ever been in trouble w/ the law ...
That was part of why I brought this up. I have no problem with alcohol related driving laws in general. At some point, they go too far. I understand the motivation - the idea that we want to be safe, especially when people are steering very heavy objects at high speed, but some people seem to want to take the alcohol laws to an unreasonable point. At that point (like the no drinks in 24 hours rule), you've more than surpassed a great number of other issues that will impair driving. No one is suggesting requiring enough sleep before driving, but it can be a huge impairment. I've had days when I was too sick to drive a car. Hell, most people probably drive themselves to the doctor to get treated for being that sick!

I assume we hammer on alcohol because it's an easy target and it's easy for the authorities to measure.

Related to this, I'd love to see bars or restaurants start having breathalyzers available to patrons. If I have a single beer with dinner, I'm pretty sure (but not 100%) that I'm under 0.08 just based on the approximations you see in various publications. What if the restaurant poured me a 22 ounce beer? What if it was a Tripel? Luckily, my wife rarely has a drink with dinner, so I don't really have to worry about it.

Comment: Re:.04 DUI in Oregon (Score 2, Insightful) 957

by bwalling (#32677848) Attached to: The worst I've ever been in trouble w/ the law ...

A general rule I have adopted is this: no alcoholic drinks in 24h before driving. Easy to abide to.

I had a beer with dinner last night. Are you somehow suggesting that I should not have driven to work this morning (10-12h later)? Is there some scientific evidence to support this notion? How does this scientific evidence compare to a person that got less than (8/6/4/2) hours of sleep or has a cold or a caffeine addict that didn't have their coffee?

"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite." -- Bertrand Russell, _Sceptical_Essays_, 1928