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Comment: Re:Ummm.... (Score 1) 165

by david_thornley (#47808645) Attached to: XKCD Author's Unpublished Book Remains a Best-Seller For 5 Months

SMBC varies in quality. Some of them I've found really funny, others, meh. I find it worth reading. The only way you're going to get consistent quality is mediocrity. Similarly, much as I like XKCD, there's times that just don't grab me. I think Munroe keeps trying different things, which is generally good, but if you know something's going to work it's hardly an experiment.

Comment: Re:Competition is good. (Score 1) 199

by david_thornley (#47808239) Attached to: Battle of the Heavy Lift Rockets

What developing a relatively expensive launch vehicle can accomplish is to funnel Federal funds to the right states and congressional districts. This has been NASA's main problem for much of my lifetime.

It's also a good idea to have more than one heavy launch vehicle under development. Space-X has done some really impressive things, but they could fail to develop their heavy launch vehicle for any number of reasons. (I assume they can get one in service eventually, if it's not too expensive, but rocket engineering is really difficult.) There's much to be said for parallel development when you really want something.

Comment: Re:However... (Score 1) 403

by david_thornley (#47807973) Attached to: Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Why shouldn't a US judge demand that Microsoft US issue an order to Microsoft Ireland that would violate Irish law? In that case, Microsoft Ireland can refuse, citing the appropriate laws, and Microsoft US can show that to the US judge. A US judge should not have to know all relevant law everywhere in the world.

Comment: Re:customer-centric (Score 1) 403

by david_thornley (#47807901) Attached to: Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Sure. A US court cannot force an Irish citizen in Ireland to do anything. That's not the issue here.

The issue is that Microsoft US apparently has full access to that data. A US court can order somebody in the US to do something in the US.

I believe the important part here is not where the servers are, but where they are controlled from. If the data is directly available to Microsoft US, then it is subject to US jurisdiction. If this violates Irish or EU law, then Microsoft should not have set things up that way. If Microsoft Ireland has full control over the data, well, a US court can't make them do anything.

Comment: Re:customer-centric (Score 1) 403

by david_thornley (#47807767) Attached to: Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

I think this is the crucial point. Can Microsoft's US employees access the data the court demanded, without going through Microsoft's Irish employees?

If so, they have no business refusing a legitimate US court order. If this violates EU or Irish law, then Microsoft is at fault for setting that situation up. Any information directly accessible from country X cannot be considered protected from the government of X.

If not, then they need to order their Irish employees to cooperate, and see what happens. If Microsoft US can't get the information, then it can't. The judge may be unreasonable, but that's always a danger.

Comment: Re:Painkillers, HA! (Score 1) 213

by david_thornley (#47807559) Attached to: States Allowing Medical Marijuana Have Fewer Painkiller Deaths

Of course people can breed for high THC. That's hardly new technology (although we can do a lot more genetic engineering nowadays). I'd think people have been breeding for high THC for centuries now.

In other words, the possibility of selective breeding has nothing to do with whether THC content has gone up over the decades.

Comment: Re:Apparently the trolls are out here, too (Score 1) 1225

As a man, I'm not that keen on threats of murder or felony assault. I expect women in public life to be able to handle hurtful comments, but credible death threats are wrong and anybody, regardless of race, sex, or planet of origin, needs to take them seriously.

Comment: Re:Just proves the point (Score 1) 1225

Kids effectively have no rights. At least in recent memory (I haven't been following this, and it may have changed), many juvenile courts and similar institutions were assumed to be working for the benefit of the kids, which removed all sorts of protections. If I go to court, it is understood that the judge isn't on my side, and if I get convicted the sentence won't be to my benefit. Therefore, I get such things as the right to counsel and the presumption of innocence. Juvenile "justice" tended to dispense with such inconveniences.

So, yes, if I write violent fiction (and I do sometimes, never published though), or fiction about acts of terrorism, no problem. If my son had done that while in K-12 school, he could have been in serious trouble.

Comment: Re:*Dons asbestos suit* (Score 1) 1225

What makes you think people haven't attacked the film/TV industry, the music industry, or various religious groups as being misogynist? I've seen all three being accused. If you haven't, well, you must follow gaming news a lot more than other news. Nothing wrong with that, but you're making statements out of ignorance.

Sarkeesian has chosen to attack what she sees as misogyny in video games, much as others have attacked it in various other art forms and religions and other sorts of groups. She's specializing, which is a reasonable thing to do. She herself doesn't need to concentrate on misogyny everywhere, particularly when many other people are attacking perceived misogyny all over.

Corporate policies? You think corporate policies on women haven't been attacked? Do you read Slashdot articles that aren't about games? Have you missed all the articles on allegations of sexism and misogynist behavior in the tech industry? They attracted a lot of comments. Gamers aren't being singled out in any way, shape, or form here.

Comment: Re: Her work (Score 1) 1225

Why is this modded Flamebait? It's a blunt expression of opinions on her work, which is not objectionable, with some insults, which aren't that bad. It also insists that she should be safe from threats of violence, and that those who make them should be punished. Seems perfectly legit to me.

Comment: Re:Loose Lips Sinik Ships (Score 1) 247

I'm having a hard time coming up with a legitimate purpose for a no-fly list.

If we're fairly sure we know somebody's a terrorist, then putting that guy on the no-fly list will only warn him we're onto him. All he has to do is take periodic flights to keep informed. Therefore, the people we really think should be barred from flying often can be put on the list only by interfering with investigations.

A no-fly list does not prevent people from traveling, but rather inconveniences them. A terrorist on the no-fly list who wants to go from New York to Las Vegas is going to be a lot less annoyed than an innocent person. It doesn't prevent a terrorist from hijacking a plane into a building, because we've basically solved that problem. It may keep a bomb off the plane, but, really, how often would that happen? And couldn't the terrorist cause more terror by sniping at schoolchildren or something?

"The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults." -- Peter De Vries