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Comment: Re:Yes, a variety of ways (Score 1) 183

by dkf (#49101417) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Can Technology Improve the Judicial System?

The UK is putting its judicial system under tremendous financial pressure at the moment, to the extent that some criminal cases are just being abandoned because there's insufficient money to run them. They're (finally!) starting to experiment with allowing small claims court cases to be resolved over the phone, and also looking at decriminalising TV license violations to reduce pressure on the system. But you get the idea - the judicial system innovates extremely slowly even when being sliced to the bone. So don't hold your breath.

They're also moving the low-level courts to use a lot more technology to support them, things like video links so remand prisoners do not need to be brought to court, tablet computers with the legal texts on them in searchable form, that sort of thing. These are the sorts of things that technology can definitely help with, even though they definitely change the nature of justice somewhat.

Comment: Re:Judicial "system"? (Score 1) 183

by dkf (#49101349) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Can Technology Improve the Judicial System?

This is one reason the US (which only funds healthcare for Federal employees, Federal retirees, 65-year-olds, and the poor) actually paid more per capita for health care then the Canadian Federal government did, despite the fact that the Canadian Feds provide 100% of health funding in that country.

The real key is that there is a body in Canada (other than the ordinary Joe on the street) who wants prices to be kept down, and which has the power to actually make that happen. Because keeping charges down is a priority, use of generic drugs will be more widespread, as will the use of programmes to improve general public health (because they tend to be very cost effective overall) and the more rapid progression from diagnosis to treatment. That last point can be both good and bad: good because if they got it right, you're getting treated sooner instead of having more expensive (and possibly invasive) tests done, and bad because if they got it wrong, you're not being treated for what's wrong at all.

Comment: Re:Helping Castro (Score 1) 165

by belmolis (#49071279) Attached to: Cubans Allowed To Export Software and Software Services To the US
Israel has NEVER restricted the supply of staple foods to Gaza and presently imposes no restrictions whatever on the supply of food to Gaza. Nor do humanitarian organizations, such as the UN, not exactly Israel's best friend, say that the blockade has caused any humanitarian crisis in Gaza. In any case, were there restrictions on the transfer of supplies from Israel, the Gazans could get them via Egypt.

Comment: Re:Taken to the cleaners... (Score 1) 132

by belmolis (#49071223) Attached to: LG Exec Indicted Over Broken Samsung Washing Machine
As best I could tell from the video, he didn't deliberately damage the machine. He was checking it out in the same way a consumer who had had experience of shoddy construction would. Also, I wonder about the idea that those machines were to be used at the trade show. According to the article, the machines were located in retail stores, in the same city as the trade show, but not at the trade show location. So it isn't the case that he got onto the trade show floor in advanced and messed with the machines that they had set up for the show.

Comment: Re:Cigar Prices (Score 1) 165

by belmolis (#49063465) Attached to: Cubans Allowed To Export Software and Software Services To the US
They probably have computers, but I wonder what the state of the art is. There isn't much of a market for programmers of archaic Soviet machines via paper tape. Have they had sufficient access to modern computers and software to be able to compete for jobs in the US or write software anyone wants?

Comment: Re:Everything old is new again (Score 1) 51

by dkf (#48968911) Attached to: Graphene Based Display Paves Way For Semi-Transparent Electronic Devices

I haven't heard anybody discuss what the half-life of graphene is though, so it could be just as bad.

They're probably still working that out. It's one thing to know that it's theoretically possible, but another to demonstrate how to actually do it, so the report that it has been done (even if it turns out to not be very useful in the end) is relevant.

Comment: Re:It doesn't matter what people think... (Score 1) 458

by dkf (#48949079) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

The US has the most corrupt political system... it's really fascism where the corporations and the rich control the government.

That's not true. It's that the rich control both corporations and government. Observe how many senior politicians move in the same circles as corporate board members, and typically have done since early in life. It's not precisely corrupt, it's just that they prefer to do things for their kind of people above and beyond all else. Joe Dumbass can always be told what to vote for on things where it matters through advertizing and related stuff. It's not total control though; they ignore much of the detail of local politics, since who is your neighborhood dog-catcher doesn't matter at all to those with real power.

Comment: Re:Breakdown of adult interaction, oral tradition? (Score 1) 351

by dkf (#48899409) Attached to: Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

How in bog's green earth is any sort of family unit supposed to deal with the current knowledge set? Hell, even a university level professor can barely keep track of what goes on in their own field.

That's what the professor's family is for, to keep track of all the rest of human knowledge that the professor hasn't got time for.

Comment: Re:strawman; nobody's asking him to be "PC" or "ni (Score 1) 361

by dkf (#48841789) Attached to: Linus On Diversity and Niceness In Open Source

They're free to go fork the kernel and have their own software wonderland, with neither blackjack nor hookers.

If they want to arrange their own blackjack and hookers, they're free to do so. It's Open Source.

I will screw my tinfoil hat on a little tighter and suggest it might have something to do with the US Army being their largest customer.

I really doubt that that's it. I think you've let the tinfoil slip over your eyes a bit too far, and you've lost sight of reality there.

Comment: Re:Is this a US only problem? (Score 1) 217

by dkf (#48841577) Attached to: FCC May Permit Robocalls To Cell Phones -- If They Are Calling a Wrong Number

The problem in the USA is that people are getting several to dozens of calls a day.

That's not special to the USA. I have some numbers set to auto-block with very good reason. It's significantly less annoying in Europe though, as the caller pays the cost of the call (except in exceptional circumstances, which robocalls don't count as).

Blacklists/Blocking numbers is useless because the callers use spoofed callerID, so the number shown is different every time. Lately, they have been using spoofed callerID numbers that belong to government agencies or well-known businesses.

That's what the FCC needs to crack down on. The easiest way would probably to have a rule change that makes the phone companies part liable for any court-imposed liabilities arising from private actions over robocalls where those robocalls come from a spoofed number. That'll encourage the phone companies to sort out the problem very rapidly indeed, perhaps by making it significantly more difficult for phone users to supply the phone number in the first place. I know this will be inconvenient for some PBX operators, but mechanisms that are too easy to abuse need revision anyway.

Comment: Re:How could they? (Score 1) 179

by belmolis (#48826187) Attached to: Marriot Back-Pedals On Wireless Blocking
That isn't really true. There are specific rights that you can't give up. You can't, for example, submit to assault except in limited circumstances (e.g. surgery). But, in general, you can contract away all sorts of rights. Lots of contracts require disputes to be settled by arbitration, for example, which forces you to vie up your right to go to court. Such contracts are, in general, valid and enforced.

"Consequences, Schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich." -- "Ali Baba Bunny" [1957, Chuck Jones]

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