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Comment: Ex-offender-residency restrictions are bad (Score 1) 112

by davidwr (#49755095) Attached to: 'Prisonized' Neighborhoods Make Recidivism More Likely

This is another reason restricting "ex offenders are not allowed to live in this neighborhood because it is too close to a church/school/park/bus-stop/bank/check-cashing-business/bar/adult-entertainment-venue/etc" rules are bad ideas.

I'm not saying it's a bad idea to tell a particular offender who is on parole or probation he can't live in a given area as a condition of release, or that a particular ex-offender has to stay away from his past victims, but it is a terrible idea to have entire neighborhoods "off limits" to all ex-offenders or all ex-offenders of a given class (e.g. ex-gangbangers, etc.).

+ - Four quasars found clustered together defy current cosmological expectations

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang writes: Get a supermassive black hole feeding on matter, particularly on large amounts of cool, dense gas, and you're likely to get a quasar: a luminous, active galaxy emitting radiation from the radio all the way up through the X-ray. Our best understanding and observations indicate that these objects should be rare, transient, and isolated; no more than two have ever been found close together before. Until this discovery, that is, where we just found four within a million light years of one another, posing a problem for our current theories of structure formation in the Universe.

Comment: Don't forget chromatic abberation (Score 1) 123

by davidwr (#49719327) Attached to: Prenda's Old Copyright Trolls Are Suing People Again

Blue- and red-pixels adjacent or lined up on top of each other? Unless we are looking at them straight on, those get cross-ways and overlap or no longer line up for those of us wearing thick glasses. Not only can this cause distractions and headaches, but in some cases like a poorly-done bar chart it can actually lead to me reading the bar chart differently than a person with thinner glasses, contacts, or 20/20 vision.

+ - North Carolina Still Wants To Block Municipal Broadband->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: In February, when the FCC rolled out its net neutrality rules, it also voted to override state laws that let Texas and North Carolina block ISPs created by local governments and public utilities. These laws frequently leave citizens facing a monopoly or duopoly with no recourse, so the FCC abolished them. Now, North Carolina has sued the FCC to get them back. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper claims, "the FCC unlawfully inserted itself between the State and the State’s political subdivisions." He adds that the new rule is "arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion within the meaning of the Administrative Procedure Act; and is otherwise contrary to law."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Even if they were, it would be different (Score 2) 123

by davidwr (#49719125) Attached to: Prenda's Old Copyright Trolls Are Suing People Again

In the case of the BSA, you can easily identify all legitimate plaintiffs - there is usually only 1 per possible violation - and it or they can authorize the BSA to act on its behalf.

Even if every ADA-advocacy-group signed on with Prenda, Prenda could still not speak for individuals who were not members of these groups, and it could not speak for those who were members of the groups unless the individuals had authorized the groups to act as their legal representatives in such cases.

In short, Prenda is saying "settle with us" without saying "but oh by the way there are millions of potential plaintiffs out there who can sue you over this same issue tomorrow."

If that isn't worthy of sanctions by the state bar associations, it should be.

Comment: Don't pay the dane-geld (Score 5, Interesting) 123

by davidwr (#49719081) Attached to: Prenda's Old Copyright Trolls Are Suing People Again

Unlike a copyright claim that only has one potential plaintiff, EVERY disabled person in America is a potential plaintiff, as well as your state's Attorney General and the US Attorney General.

Plus, once you've been sued, you can no longer claim ignorance if someone else sues you over the same issue later.

The only proper response is to say "thank you for informing us of the problem" and if there is an actual violation, fix it or find some legal work-around (You have excess bathrooms that aren't ADA-compliant? Close them down. Is there a way to apply for a waiver? Apply. Etc. etc.). But do not pay the dane-geld or you will never get rid of the "Dane".

Oh, and yes, these guys should be disbarred for offering to settle a claim when they know good and well they cannot speak for all potential plaintiffs AND they know good and well that if a settlement is reached, it will at least temporarily defeat the purpose and intent of the law.

Comment: Goodwill, fluctuating valuations (Score 1) 335

by davidwr (#49718497) Attached to: Stock Market Valuation Exceeds Its Components' Actual Value

Many companies own assets that are hard to value or quickly fluctuate in value so any expert appraisal of the "asset value" of a company should be assumed to have non-trivial "error bars."

Also, some "assets" like "goodwill" are very difficult to measure reliably. Let's take the company that makes Blue Bell Ice Cream. It's got 100+ years of "goodwill" stored up in the minds of Texas Ice Cream and once they get their production going again, their ice cream will fly off the shelf in Texas simply because many customers will buy it "as a show of support".

However, the current recall as "spent" a good deal of that "goodwill": If they have a similar recall any time in the next 30 years, or if they do anything that indicates they don't care about their product's quality, they won't have it nearly as easy a time if they have another corporate disaster.

+ - Texas appearently sharing drivers' license photos with FBI->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The Dallas Morning News "Watchdog" column reports that the Texas Dept. of Public Safety entered into a "Memorandum of Understanding" with the FBI back in 2013 that allows the DPS to share drivers' license photos with the FBI under limited circumstances. It also reports that back in 2012 the FBI was working to get similar agreements with other states.

Texas is the state that recently added — and later repealed — a requirement that you submit a full set of fingerprints to get or renew your driver's license.

Link to Original Source

+ - PandaLabs discovers 'Phantom Menace' hack targeting oil tankers->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: A malicious cyberattack has been exposed which specifically targeted the maritime oil industry, according to cloud security firm PandaLabs. Discovered in January last year, the attack which has been dubbed ‘The Phantom Menace’ by Panda is thought to have started in 2013. The security firm believes that the malware continues to target the oil sector, stealing critical data in an attempt to defraud oil brokers. Despite Panda revealing the highly-targeted attacks, the dozens of maritime companies affected by the virus have refused to provide comment on the data breach facing public concern over the security of their IT networks. In a report titled ‘Operation Oil Tanker: The Phantom Menace’, Panda explores what it claims to be one of the most unique hacks it has revealed in its 25-year history. The virus was not detected by any antivirus software as those behind the attacks were using a combination of tools and scripts to disguise their activity and avoid detection by traditional security systems.
Link to Original Source

+ - South Africa publishes commercial drone regulations->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: South Africa has become the latest country to publish official regulations for the use of drone aircraft for commercial operations, and it's bad news for the film and mining industry. The regulations require every drone and every pilot be registered and licenced, and drones can't be operated within 10km of aerodromes or 50m of buildings. And certainly not above crowds of people. Industry so far reckons enforcement is going to be impossible...
Link to Original Source

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