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Comment: Re:Minor inconvenience for United (Score 1) 124

by Obfuscant (#49598113) Attached to: Judge Tosses United Airlines Lawsuit Over 'Hidden City' Tickets

To assume it's not an evil plot would require the assumption that United had lawyers so inexperienced that they didn't know they were filing in the wrong venue.

They didn't know what the judge would rule until he made the ruling, or that there would be a ruling. You talk like it is a cut and dried issue, and it isn't. They filed in the jurisdiction where the alleged damages were taking place, and which is probably also the jurisdiction specified in the contract for carriage that the customers who were buying the tickets were subject to.

The claim that the defendants don't have significant presence in Illinois for purposes of legal action, in the context of an Internet-based service, is just ridiculous. The judge is applying brick-and-mortar rules to a global network.

Comment: Re:'Hidden city' explanation (Score 1) 124

by Obfuscant (#49597927) Attached to: Judge Tosses United Airlines Lawsuit Over 'Hidden City' Tickets

The one real issue I see (as mentioned in TFA) is that when you skip the second leg, they will wait at the gate until they're sure you're not coming.

They may not know you're "not coming" until they do a seat count and see that you aren't there. Then they have to figure out who is missing and maybe pull your luggage. That's a significant delay.

They can't really delay the flights very long over this,

If you've checked a bag, they have to delay. Otherwise they won't delay very long over this and that may keep them from putting someone else in that seat -- costing them revenue.

In short, the airlines lose nothing,

Wrong. At worst they have an empty seat they could have sold at full price weeks in advance. Usually they can fill the seat with a standby pax who pays less than full fare for standby. Both are losses. At best, they will have a full fare pax who was bumped from a previous flight, and that's when they lose the least.

Include in that loss estimate the lost revenue when a full-fare pax trying to reserve a seat cannot get one on that flight and has to go via another airline to meet his schedule.

While it's complicated to determine exactly what the loss is overall, there are times when they lose a full fare, and times when they lose only the time it takes to deal with filling the seat. On average, that's a loss.

Comment: Re:'Hidden city' explanation (Score 2) 124

by Obfuscant (#49597831) Attached to: Judge Tosses United Airlines Lawsuit Over 'Hidden City' Tickets

I thought it was a TSA regulation that it is not permitted for your luggage to travel on a different plane than you.

I believe that the rules say YOU cannot cause your baggage to go on a flight you aren't on. I.e., you can't check in and then not get on. That's to keep you from planting a bomb in your baggage and then not being on the plane. But if the airline puts your bag on another plane, you can't plan that.

Airlines do it all the time, too. Weight limits may make your luggage be held for the next flight, or it may not make a connection.

Thus, yes, they'd have to pull your luggage off the plane if you didn't get on.

When you're on a stopover with no equipment change, you got on the plane in New York and you might not get off in Chicago. They don't know who got off, the scanners don't keep track of that.

Comment: Re:Also, stop supporting sites with poor encryptio (Score 1) 317

by Obfuscant (#49595861) Attached to: Mozilla Begins To Move Towards HTTPS-Only Web

It would be better to have Firefox warn that the site had "outdated security" or something like that. The warnings could start out hardly noticeable and gradually become more conspicuous.

You mean like the unending stream of "security policy violation" messages that some sites trigger by, IIRC, mixing https and http content? The popups that come so fast that you can't get rid of one and stop loading the page before the next one comes up? And then you need to try to get through a dozen of them before doing anything else, except killing one causes two more to pop up?

That kind of "hardly noticeable"? Firefix has a history of not dealing with "security policy" warnings intelligently.

The idea is to get the message in front of as many Firefox using customers as possible before the businesses are aware of it.

That's the kind of action that causes websites to stop supporting browsers. If a specific browser prevents the user from accessing a website, then the business will ultimately react, but it can't do it by just waving a magic wand. Their support will be telling people that the browser is no longer supported -- because that's the truth.

At that point they can either fix their website or block Firefox.

They won't have to block firefox, firefox will be blocking itself.

But now if they block Firefox the reason will be widely known and the bank subject to public ridicule.

Haha haha. Most people won't understand why, and most people won't care. They'll use a browser that works, and since that browser can deal with it, it will be firefox that's broken.

Comment: Re:The all-or-nothing fallacy (Score 1) 349

No wonder we have such big, out-of-control government.

Given your desire for the EPA to be used as a bludgeon to keep evil companies from hegemonizing burgeoning whatevers by creating more and more rules to smake them down with, you are being hypocritical beyond all imagination here.

You haven't read the bill, you cannot comment on it intelligently. You are a waste of time.

Comment: Re: I like this guy but... (Score 1) 437

by Obfuscant (#49587221) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

Sony bitches about $200 million lost in piracy? Let the IRS tax them on their new made up bullshit number.

You want to hand Sony a $200 million write-off on a loss? Wow. Oh wait, you want to TAX a loss, not allow a deduction for it.

Suddenly IP "losses" go to sane levels.

Why do you care what Sony claims for losses as long as they don't get to write them off?

I want IP taxed at 15% of the value claimed,

IP is taxed when it makes money. You want wealth redistribution, not honest taxation.

Comment: Re:The all-or-nothing fallacy (Score 1) 349

And I am even more certain that YOU have not read it.

Exactly so.

You have the nerve to claim that I haven't read the bill and then admit that you haven't bothered to read it yourself. You'd rather make asinine claims about what the bill would require without knowing what the bill actually says just so you can play political football. You're arguing against the bill without even knowing what it says.

Can you think of a more valid reason to oppose it?

Yes. If it were a bad bill it would be a more valid reason to oppose it. You realize, I hope, that you've just admitted that you are opposing every bill Republicans propose just because they are Republicans. I really hope I never find you saying that the Republicans are bad because they opposed Obama's policies and hoped that none of them passed.

Further, are you sure there is even a problem for this Republican solution?

I see no problem with this "Republican" solution. You have shown none, all you've done is make stuff up and parrot the talking points you've been given.

How many of the EPA regulations are based on "secret science" anyway?

Who cares? Why are you in favor of regulation based on nothing more than heresay? Wait, I know, it's because you think the EPA should be a bludgeon against those awful companies that make money. Spouting about "hegemony" was a dead giveaway.

Comment: Re:The all-or-nothing fallacy (Score 2) 349

My guess - no, my certainty - is that you have not read this law. That you have no idea what's really in the law, or what the law covers and does not cover.

And I am even more certain that YOU have not read it. You talk about trade secrets or banning the words "climate" and things that aren't covered at all. You talk about "previous versions" of this bill that "ban models", yet haven't noticed the implicit acceptance of computer models in 2(3)B(ii). You think that data about a specific company's fracking mix has to be made public before studies that show any of the chemicals in that mix can be banned for use in fracking, and that's just not true.

It should be clear I've read it. I've quoted from it extensively in previous discussions about it, and in this one.

I don't have a problem with the EPA not allowing me to inject benzene into the aquifer. Do you?

Stop being obtuse. If the only jurisdiction the EPA had was how much benzene someone could inject into an aquifer you might have some point. Their reach extends MUCH further than that, and you don't know what rules they might make tomorrow that impact you. Now, it's nice that you want them to be able to do it based on "we say..." from someone who can't produce a scientific study supporting their claims, but I am not so tolerant of government regulation.

What's your biggest beef, personally with EPA regulations?

You haven't read the bill and cannot support any of the claims you make about it, so you try to turn it into some personal issue to sidetrack the discussion. I have a common sense belief that they need to justify ALL of their regulations with science that can be reviewed by anyone who wishes to do so. It's that simple. Why do you have a problem with such review? What regulations do you personally want that cannot be supported by scientific studies and fact? I know because you've already told us: anything that can smack down evil corporations.

Because you're trying to prevent my burgeoning hegemony over government and politics?

No, because YOU support any regulations that the EPA can come up that would smack me down, based on nothing more than "PopeRatzo says ...". Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

By the way, the job of the EPA is not to "prevent burgeoning hegemony" over anything, it's to create rules to protect the environment. Period. Those rules need justification. Why shouldn't they? I have yet to see anyone explain why they shouldn't.

Comment: Re:What's the problem? (Score 1, Insightful) 349

With a name like "Obfuscant" I'd lean towards the former.

And now your argument is pure ad hominem.

As far as I can tell, the actual bill requires all data to be reproducible.

You tell wrong. Are you making it up out of whole cloth? It requires data to be available online in a form that anyone who wishes to verify or reproduce it can. It makes no requirement of reproducibility. Some people even lie and say that this law requires the EPA to reproduce it.

That means the raw data used by a study has to be available publicly (and probably on the internet) or it's "secret science" and can't be used by the EPA.

Close. You could read it for yourself if you want. It says nothing about all raw data, only "all scientific and technical information relied on to support such covered action". The raw data leads to results, the results are the scientific and technical information that are relied on.

In fact most sources I've seen actually say that even including difficult to reproduce data bans the EPA from using the study.

They lie. There is no such language in the law. Read it for yourself. It is even shorter than the FCC net neutrality rules.

Several say flat-out that private data of all types is banned.

They lie. The data isn't banned, but use of data that isn't available "in a manner that is sufficient for independent analysis and substantial reproduction of research results" cannot be used in formulation of EPA regulations.

But what about private medical data? Doesn't have to be made available. "Nothing in the subsection shall be construed as requiring the public dissemination of information the disclosure of which is prohibited by law." If your private medical data is covered by HIPAA, it doesn't have to be made available -- but it doesn't have to be made available anyway, only the results used to support regulatory actions. If you've signed away your legal protections to that data, well, you should have gotten legal advice prior to signing.

The Amendment that would have fixed this would have given peer-reviewed articles a free pass on the point, and it was voted down by the committee.

The process of peer-review is prior to publication. If it is published, then put it online and the law is satisfied. People here seem quite enamored with Open Access publishing, so any law that furthers the cause should be greeted with open arms. But here we have opposition to law, so keeping science private is somehow good.

So please, tell me how you could use a private database in your study and still get it used by the EPA.

That depends on what the "private database" contains, but I'd say that if you want public regulations then you should provide support for your desire and not just "because I say so". If your entire study is based on someone's private database then you have reproducibility and validity issues from the get-go and that means you aren't really doing science, you're trolling for data to support whatever conclusion you're looking for. That's the kind of science this law would stop, and I think that's just fine.

Comment: Re:The all-or-nothing fallacy (Score 1) 349

No, they're allowed to pollute groundwater by lobbyists bribing legislators to make it so that regulatory agencies have to accept corporate oversight.

This law has nothing to do with corporate oversight.

And through creating a climate of fear where government scientists are told that certain words, like "climate" and "change" are not allowed.

This law says nothing about preventing the use of certain words.

Remember, an earlier draft of this bill forbade government agencies from using scientific "models".

THIS law says nothing about banning models.

The only solution is to make corporations afraid for their very lives. If it takes an EPA with the ability to make them squirm, then that'll have to do

So, basically, fuck science, if the EPA can write regulations that stop companies from doing things you don't like just because you don't like it, that's fine with you. The EPA doesn't have to have any reason at all to enact regulations strangling some corporate activity because corporations don't deserve fair treatment based on scientific evidence, they just need to be punished.

I would have hoped you understood that EPA also impacts private citizens and the same regulations that apply to evil corporations also apply to people like you. I say, fuck science, any regulation the EPA can come up with that smacks PopeRatzo down is a good'un. If science isn't necessary for corporate rules, they aren't necessary for public rules either.

Comment: Re:The all-or-nothing fallacy (Score 2) 349

Benzene can be a useful substance in certain controlled situations, but it's not safe for people to drink. How does "banning chemical Z if it's harmful" deal with that?

Because the actual regulation wouldn't be "ban benzene", it would be "the MCL for benzene in public drinking water is X ppb", just as the regulations regarding MCL in drinking water are already written. I didn't think you would see a statement about banning chemical Z as a claim that the regulation would say nothing but "ban chemical Z". Sheesh. I thought the context of "toxic chemicals used in fracking" would have been obvious and assumed.

How do you think "Z" gets banned?

By writing a regulation. That regulation doesn't need to say anything about the mix of chemicals some oil company is using to frack, or any knowledge about the mix at all. All it has to do is ban Z for that use -- based on solid, reviewable studies that Z actually is bad and not just someone saying they think is must be bad and should be banned. Nobody needs to know what the mix is, or even if company XYZ is fracking or not. All there needs to be is a study showing why Z should be banned. For use in fracking. By ANY company.

The only reason we're getting this micromanagement by congress of the EPA

It's not micromanagement to require EPA regulations to be based on publicly available and reviewable science. It's common sense.

because the corporatists can smell victory over any government oversight or regulation.

Oh for goodness sakes. The law requiring public availability of data that regulations are based on doesn't prevent regulation. Not even close. Do you even know what the law says?

Comment: Re:Mesh networking (Score 1) 141

by Obfuscant (#49582463) Attached to: Ham Radio Fills Communication Gaps In Nepal Rescue Effort
I think my point was that it is pretty much irrelevant if the ham can make complicated internal repairs to his radio, it is the fact that the ham can make repairs to large scale infrastructure. When the ground shakes really hard, it won't shake the itty bitty surface mount resistors off the circuit board in any of my radios, but it may knock the tower over and break the antenna and cut a feedline. I have spares for both, and if it does shake the resistors off the radio in any of the repeaters I run, I have spare radios I can put into service quickly.

Public safety users cannot do that. Commercial radio repair will be a scarce resource.

Comment: Re:Mesh networking (Score 1) 141

by Obfuscant (#49582421) Attached to: Ham Radio Fills Communication Gaps In Nepal Rescue Effort

Why do they do this? because they know that the large telecom companies are too damn cheap to set up their networks in a way for them to be bullet proof.

Because the public is too damn cheap to pay for 100% availability of telecom systems. You wouldn't pay what it would cost to have 100% available cell service during disasters, or any other public infrastructure for that matter. And governments don't pay for 100% capacity for their public safety communication systems, either, for the same reason. The public wouldn't put up with the taxes they'd have to pay to get there.

A five channel trunked radio system can handle five simultaneous users (ten when Phase II P25 with TDMA is available). What happens in a disaster when six people want to talk at the same time? You got it -- one doesn't get to.

We'll pay for service during normal times and complain about the prices, and then complain when the service dies during a disaster when it is overloaded.

Comment: Re:Don't single out EPA (Score 2) 349

I would definitely not want my medical data made public, even with anonymization, because I know that some clever person may later come up with a way to link my identity to my medical data using a method that the original researchers never considered.

Some poorly-anonymized data can be de-anonymized.

Here's a published result as would be required by law: "Of 1000 individuals with Crohn's Disease, 14% had a 200% increase of HDL levels after a three week exposure to water containing 30ppb As." Please de-anonymize that data. It's sufficient to reproduce the study and verify the results, but you can't determine the names of any of the participants.

People could say, "But hey, some fraction of this data was gleaned from private sources,"

"Gleaned from private sources" is irrelevant. "This data" is. It doesn't matter where the data came from, only that it be made available for review if it is going to be used for regulations.

"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer