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Comment: Re:What about my rights? (Score 1) 171

by david_thornley (#47586771) Attached to: US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation

If there's something you specifically want me to read, give me more indications. I found a discussion thread on my own, read the article, and skimmed through the talk page.

Earlier, you said that " I don't believe fractional reserve banking with bitcoin can exist". That's a pretty strong statement. The general consensus of what I've read is that it could exist, and people have varying predictions about whether it's likely to, and I certainly haven't run into any convincing arguments why it can't happen. Either you've not given me a good pointer to your own arguments, or they aren't convincing.

It seems to me that it may take a while to get a bank of sufficient reputation, but certainly Mt. Gox could have done it well before its collapse. People were using it as a bank.

I don't have to find an example of something to prove that it can exist. Are you willing to say that self-driving cars cannot exist on Minnesota highways? There aren't any there, and there never have been any.

Comment: Re:If true. If. (Score 1) 194

TSA screenings are often physically invasive, and generally require somebody to submit to groping or nude photos. They may not be effective at all, and in any case provide only a really, really tiny amount of additional security. The TSA was first put in place when airliners were used as weapons, and it's been continued to simply "protect" passengers on what really is an incredibly safe method of transportation.

As a US citizen, I welcome changes that make people free to strike out and start their own businesses without having to worry about one health care emergency wiping them out.

Comment: Re:If true. If. (Score 1) 194

Driving a car is dangerous, too. You can do a lot of damage with one. I don't see a major difference.

You seem to be basing your beliefs on a rather strict interpretation of the Fourth Amendment. It protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, and doesn't define "unreasonable". It then puts a requirement on warrants, for those cases where a warrant is required, but doesn't say that warrants are required for searches. I consider it reasonable to require restaurants to be inspected and banks to be audited. I'm not at all sure about DUI checkpoints, and I think the TSA has gone way beyond reasonable.

Comment: Re:Not just the passports (Score 1) 160

by david_thornley (#47586589) Attached to: Passport Database Outage Leaves Thousands Stranded

Apparently you've never had to run a payroll.

First, you're saying 8 hours a day. However, this only matters for international flights, and they can expect to get in pretty much whenever. We want to have coverage for more than when your flight happens to come in. Think 24 hours a day. That's something like 40 or 50 additional agents. Remember that number.

Second, people cost a lot more than you actually pay them. You have to pay FICA on top of that, there's likely to be benefits of some sort, and you need to manage these guys, hire and fire, and keep track of everything. That's going to push the cost up by probably 50%.

Third, these guys have to do more than look at passports. They have to be able to deal with what might come up as customs officers. This involves training and supervision, and you might not be able to get good enough people at $10/hour.

Overall, then, you're massively underestimating the costs. I'm going to estimate well over a million a year to keep these stations staffed, and I'm being conservative here.

As far as costs go, I really doubt it's general government incompetence. I suspect it's at the Congressional and Presidential level, where irrational budget decisions are made because neither party wants to go along with what the other sees as rational. (Remember the Sequester, which actually cost more money than not sequestering?)

Comment: Re:Microsoft and Borland (Score 1) 172

by david_thornley (#47585491) Attached to: Getting Back To Coding

You know what was so nice about Borland's Turbo Pascal when it came out? It was being able to write, compile, and run programs without restarting applications.

Consider my first C compiler for my home computer. I had to bring up an editor and write the code. Then I got out of the editor and ran the compiler and then the linker, and then I had an executable. Then I got Turbo Pascal, and I could work on programs without invoking multiple applications and switching disks. Yay! I'm a lot less impressed with IDEs when I can have multiple xterms and, for example, just keep vim up all the time.

Comment: Re:Thanks for the pointless scaremongering (Score 1) 351

I think it highly likely that an Ebola victim is coming in on an airplane sometime. If we fly one in now, very carefully, we are likely to be better prepared for the guy who boards the plane to New York in the time after infection and before symptoms start, and who starts feeling flu-like after a few days here, and then starts leaking blood.

Comment: Re:Murica (Score 1) 436

by david_thornley (#47585061) Attached to: Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

Huh? Iranian courts have no jurisdiction over people not in Iran who are not Iranian citizens. If they do have jurisdiction over somebody, they can legally compel them to hand over information they have access to. As a US citizen currently in the US, I can ignore all Iranian legal directives until they get a US court to cooperate, so if I have control over a server I'm not going to give the Iranian government access. And, yes, it may be unwise to keep direct access, while in Iran, to some information in the US.

BTW, it's perfectly legal to be a Christian in Iran, although I suspect there's some social stigma, and maybe legal restrictions, attached. I believe the crime is converting from Islam to another religion, which I consider to be in gross violation of human rights.

Comment: Re:Moving information for Freedom.... (Score 1) 436

by david_thornley (#47584923) Attached to: Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

The US government has no jurisdiction over non-US citizens who are not in the US. If somebody in the US has free access to the data, then a US court can require them to hand it over. If this is illegal according to the jurisdiction where the data is actually stored, then it's up to the people in that jurisdiction to limit access to the data. If it's illegal in Ireland to allow certain data to be disseminated, and I can access it from here in the US, then I can legally disseminate that data. The business in Ireland may be breaking the law in allowing me access, but I'm staying legal over here.

Comment: Re:Applies oversea or applies to local access? (Score 1) 436

by david_thornley (#47584867) Attached to: Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

True, the EU has strong privacy laws, which is fine. So, what is a server located in the EU doing automatically accepting data requests from US entities? If I have legitimate access to a server in the EU that holds data that I could not legally access or publish in the EU, and I'm in the US, I can do all sorts of things with the data that would be illegal in the EU. While sitting here, I'm not in EU jurisdiction, and I'm subject to US law only.

If an EU business is allowing somebody in the US free access to confidential data, then it seems to me the EU business is violating the law, not me in the US. Since I'm under US jurisdiction, a US court could order me to get the data, since I've got access. If I had to submit a request that would be granted or not based on EU law, the US court could order me to make the request, but obviously has no jurisdiction over the EU business.

The key piece of information about the data is not where it is physically stored, but where people with immediate access to it are. In this case, Microsoft US has such access. Whether this is legal in Ireland is a matter between Microsoft Ireland, the Eire government, and the EU.

10 to the 12th power microphones = 1 Megaphone