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Comment: What is the legal theory here? (Score 4, Insightful) 140

by crbowman (#49272753) Attached to: How Police Fight To Keep Use of Stingrays Secret

One of the things that I really hate about some journalism today is a failure to ask the obvious question. Could someone please explain under what legal theory an agency (state or local police) can sign an NDA and claim the NDA allows them to fail to meet a provision of law. I would think the law trumps the NDA and that it wouldn't be legal or perhaps unenforceable to sign such an NDA when you are required to release records under state or local law.

Comment: Was any of this classified? (Score 2) 538

I fully understand the implication for archival purposes of this failure and I'm not happy but it seems she's trying to rectify this thought I'd rather a national archivist select which emails get archived not her staff. However,I kind of yawn at this aspect of things: not good but not worth getting in a tissy over.
My greater concern was if any of the communication was classified or unclassified but sensitive. I mean over the course of her tenure she's got to have had some emails like that. Even if none of it was classified or sensitive, does she understand the implications this has for national security particularly should she become president and do something this boneheaded? She's gotta know she was doing it and it was wrong.

Comment: Which to choose (Score 1) 407

Pick Objective-C. The language is small and simple to understand. If you're already a good programmer with knowledge of C you can learn it in 2 weeks to a month. The frameworks will take longer but the language you can learn in a few weeks. C++ on the other hand will take you forever to learn, it's a large complex language.

Comment: Re:Enough (Score 1) 288

No that's not what I said. By "public benefit" I mean the government (state local federal) can't provide a right or a benefit (education, social security, medicare, unemployment) to a segment of the population. If Microsoft wants to provide their own after school programs or summer camp that is their right (and we could argue separately if that would be a good thing.) I'm specifically talking about things our government provides.

No it's still not acceptable. If they are doing that it's not acceptable. Make opportunity and programs available to all. If there are resource limitations then have a process for selecting beneficiaries that is gender neutral. Skills based testing or lottery.

Comment: Re:Lead girls to water bottles to stoke CS interes (Score 2) 288

Actually I was. I had no role models and no encouragement. I was ignored. I was ostracized by my peers. In high school I was told I didn't have the math skills to continue in the honors math track. Not once, but twice. I insisted I was going to stay in that track. I had to take summer school to so. I was also moved from honors biology to regular because "I wasn't honors material". I ended up get a 93% after I was moved. There were universities to which I wasn't accepted. I was touched inappropriately by my professor when I tried to get help with a class I wasn't getting. I've failed classes. I've been told I couldn't take classes that I needed to graduate. But I didn't give up or quit. This is what I want to do and I'm good at it.

Comment: Re:Couldn't they have spent that money better? (Score 1) 204

Yes and this is important. We need bad examples to teach people that bad things can happen and you want to do the right thing to avoid them. For instance you don't want civil servents to collude with politicians to jack up their retirement benefits to unsustainable levels so that they can get a benefit in collective bargaining agreements with politicians who will be out of office when the benefits are due. Too big to fail is likewise a problem with wall street. The fear of a city failing is what ought to keep retires from taking an "I don't care" attitude to city management. If civil workers and retires know that their failure to encourage a responsible path for their government will mean possible loss of their retirement they will be quite effective advocates. Besides their already was a safety net for retires who loose their pension. They'd still get social security. True that's not great but it is meant to keep them from starving and the undesirable outcome is necessary for the feedback system to work. I find it problematic to advocate that we need to prevent people from investing so we can protect them from bad outcomes because we lack the resolve to let them fail. Failure is an important part of many systems and our failure aversion doesn't benefit us as a society. If we're going to eliminate the down side to market based systems should we really be surprised when they don't work? Bondholders should have lost money and lots of it. After all they were investing where there is always a risk of loss of investment.

Comment: Re:Couldn't they have spent that money better? (Score 3, Insightful) 204

If they borrowed money in the form of municipal bonds to get this done and it doesn't pay off and they default or declare bankruptcy why should the state bail them out? The creditors who bought the bonds should take a haircut for making a bad investment. Why should the state bail out those investors? Isn't that how municipal bond markets are suppose to work? Isn't that why they're private, won't private investors look at what the bonds are for and make a judgement if it's a good investment of their money or not? Who are you to tell the bond holders how to invest their money?

Comment: Re:or $2,000 per household, owed by non-subscriber (Score 4, Insightful) 204

I don't see this as that different from a municipal water system. The town, through it's elected officials, chose to implement this plan. Perhaps the citizens voted for this system knowing that initially it wouldn't break even but think that it was good for the town as a whole. Much as I might vote for a municipal water system even though I get my water from a well and don't want to subscribe to the water system. I realize that it's good for the town and therefore good for me indirectly even if I don't directly take advantage of it. I support bond measures for schools even though I don't have children and don't plan too and so do some who send their children to private schools. Who are we, not part of the town, to question their wisdom and judgement from afar. Perhaps the town made the judgement that as the internet grows and government services migrate to the net, more people will sign up and it will be revenue neutral or even make them money down the road. I support the idea the local government is the best and I see no reason to over turn their judgement here.

Comment: Re:Big (Score 2, Informative) 175

by crbowman (#48938041) Attached to: Microsoft Launches Outlook For Android and iOS

Yawn, the mail, calendar and contacts apps on my iPhone already work pretty well with the change server at work. Every now and then they stop syncing but I simply turn off the syncing of those 3 items and then turn it back on (I don't even have to delete the account info just flip 3 switches). Wait a few minutes till the phone sucks down the data again and I'm off. It's not outlook that's indispensable, it's Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Why would I pay for Outlook, the only thing I really miss is the ability to set my out of office messages from the phone. Filters are another things missing, but that's something that's complicated enough that the once every year I set one up I would just do it from my laptop. Am I gonna switch apps for that? Nope.

Comment: Re:life in the U.S. (Score 1) 255

by crbowman (#48909957) Attached to: Verizon, Cable Lobby Oppose Spec-Bump For Broadband Definition

I call BS on this. No one is abridging anyone's freedom of speech when they advocate regulating corporate communications. The share holders can still band together and say anything they could as a company and they could spend just as much money if not more. What they can't do is spend the money of all the shareholders on a viewpoint that they don't all necessarily support based on a majority control and call it a business expense which they get to write off. People have free speech rights not corporations and not unions and not churches.

To err is human -- to blame it on a computer is even more so.