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Comment: Re:PUBLIC school (Score 1) 379

and since they are not 18, they are unable to consent to a contractual agreement.

This isn't true. Assuming the student is under 18, they can still enter contracts; details vary by state, purpose, and age, but at the very worst, they just can't be held responsible if they don't fill their end. The other party (non-minor) is still legally obligated to fill their part.

If minors were unable to consent to a contract, business dealings with minors (employment, subscriptions, purchases, bank accounts) wouldn't be legally binding, and minors would be able to defraud people by lying about their age - a literal anarchy.

Comment: Re:Force his hand..."Sue me! Sooner than later..." (Score 2) 379

It doesn't matter what the public reaction is, we're talking about college admissions people whose job involves weeding out students who will be more trouble than they're worth.

Going up against the principal at your high school is almost certainly classified "trouble".

Comment: Re:Yes & the sheer amount of existing code/fra (Score 1) 414

by diamondmagic (#49745917) Attached to: The Reason For Java's Staying Power: It's Easy To Read

There's a difference between abstracting complexity away; and relying on a cute, obscure, not-quite-feature of a syntax in your program because it saves a few characters.

When I open a TCP stream to another system, I don't muck around with any details of the features negotiation, speed... I just do it. When I write to the stream, it's a one-line operation, and the system takes care of retransmission for me, and when I read, the system takes care of packet ordering for me. I don't even need to know what a packet is. That's good abstraction.

or

var doubled = numbers.map(function(v){
      return v*2;
});

See, I can read that.

The bad abstraction is the one that still exposes little-known things to the programmer.

@error_or_die(50)
function connect(**options):

or

if(~q.indexOf("=")){

Like, what the hell is going on here?

Comment: Re:Paranoia (Score 3, Informative) 85

Bitcoin miners don't rely on generating secret random numbers, they don't even rely on random numbers at all. They just need to put together a block, prepend an arbitrary number to it, and determine if the hash has the required number of zeros in front. If not, change/increment the arbitrary number, repeat.

The worst thing that happens is a million little chips are running the exact same computations redundantly, wasting CPU cycles and becoming a very expensive hot water heater, but nothing more.

Comment: Re:No self driving trains? (Score 1) 393

There's nothing wrong with "maximizing profits" - are you implying we should be taking a loss? Buying up resources, combining them, and reselling them for less than they were worth before? Isn't that destroying value? (Yes, Amtrak takes a loss, but there's plenty of other rail companies that don't.)

Do you know firsthand that overtired personnel are uniquely a problem in rail? Why not healthcare, aviation, or even retail? Do we have to if the problem in rail first, or can we pull in things that work from other sectors? Or can you explain why that wouldn't work?

(This just seems like a really cheap shot at whatever it is you're trying to shoot.)

Comment: Re:No self driving trains? (Score 1) 393

Problem is, you'd end up screwing over the poor - that is, all the people who cannot afford a Prius or similar hybrid/electric vehicle.

Are we also screwing over the poor by not outright giving them a vehicle to drive, a place to live, and free Internet? Disadvantaging the poor doesn't automatically imply unfair. Especially if you're living in New York City, already one of the most expensive places to live.

It would also jack up the price of nearly anything that is transported over the roads... again hitting the poor the hardest of all.

Higher gas prices means that people have less money to pay for other goods, so prices won't uniformly go up - goods not reliant on gas will fall in price. This reflects and redistributes allocation of goods based on the new "cost" of gas.

This means more tax money to spend, of course, so goods demanded by the government will also rise in price. (If it means, however, that they're borrowing less money and keeping the same spending habits, then the interest rate will fall.)

However if this were due to a natural disaster, the increased prices would reflect the new scarcity of gas and the fewer number of total goods bring produced overall. Having fewer goods to allocate among society (in this case) isn't "unfair", that's just the cold hard truth that no law will fix.

Comment: Re:Border Search Exception (Score 1) 200

Those same people also passed the Alien and Sedition Acts. Saying "The first Congress did it" is not generally a good argument for interpreting the Constitution.

And the Constitution does permit states to perform inspections on imports, though they can't tax them for revenue:

No state shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection laws

Though I'm actually not sure how inspection of imports is constitutional Federally, it clearly should be given the threat of invasive species, I'm guessing the Framers figured state-level control is sufficient.

Comment: Expectation of privacy? (Score 2, Interesting) 216

I know I'm going up against many years of case law here, but... the Fourth Amendment doesn't say anything about privacy. It says no searches and seizures without a warrant.

So the question is: Is it legal for MetroPCS to hand over the data, presumably in violation of their privacy policy and CPNI laws? Or did they do it because they were threatened and intimidated?

Comment: Re:standard operating procedure for monopolies (Score 1) 182

Ok? I'm here arguing against legal monopolies. Patents, government utilities, crony capitalism, it's all the same here.

I'm not sure how you "force" someone to share Internet, the Internet is built on sharing. I want to run a packet over your network, I pay or peer to connect to your network, problem solved, we're sharing a connection.

If a no network service provider is providing service, that probably means it's unprofitable, i.e. the total number of resources that would have to be expended to provide service exceeds the benefit the service will provide. Most people living in these areas aren't going to be running businesses, they'd be perfectly well served with some form of wireless connection which would do just as good a job with far less expense. No act of Congress can overturn this fact of economic law.

It's like subsidizing people to live in flood zones with federal flood "insurance", Housing is great, especially if you want to take the risk and assume the cost, but that's wasteful and just stupid.

Comment: Re:standard operating procedure for monopolies (Score 1) 182

That's a non sequitur. What if I replaced "Internet" with "Food"? You get a bunch of nonsense that, without exception, has caused famine and millions of deaths.

Who decides what is "infrastructure"? Of course /. will think Internet is vital; someone else might think food is vital. But that's not a reason to leave food to the government! Why would the Internet be different?

The Internet is too important to leave to the government. Or does the NSA and FCC need to tell you?

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