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Comment Jury Nullification Died (Score 1) 608

At the jury selection of Tim Dechristopher:

BILL MOYERS: So when did you know for sure that you were going to be convicted?

TIM DECHRISTOPHER: During the jury selection of the trial. That was what really did it. There was a moment during the jury selection we had this huge jury pool because it was a high profile case. And there was a moment where the prosecution and the judge found out that most of that jury pool had gotten a pamphlet before they came in on the first day from the Fully Informed Jurors Association. And it was a pamphlet that didn't say anything about my case, but it talked about jury's rights. It talked about why we have juries. And it, you know, quoted the founders of the country on juries being the conscience of the community. And the prosecution flipped out over this. It was the only time I saw the prosecutor completely lose his cool during the whole process. And we went into the judge's chambers and the prosecutor was screaming and saying, "We should have a mistrial here." And wanted to just throw the whole thing out.

BILL MOYERS: Because of this pamphlet that were—

TIM DECHRISTOPHER: Right. Right. I mean, the prosecutor was almost spitting when he was reading from this and saying, "This notion of voting your conscience it’s out in space." And he was terrified. He was, he was really scared of what was on that pamphlet. And then rather than get rid of the whole jury pool, the judge called the jurors in one at a time to his chambers. And I was—

BILL MOYERS: Each one individually?


BILL MOYERS: Privately?

TIM DECHRISTOPHER: Yeah. And my legal team and I were on one side of the table. The prosecution was on the other side. The judge was at the head of the table and there was one juror at a time at the other end. And the judge would say, "You understand it's not your job to decide what's right or wrong here. Your job is to listen to what I say the law says, and you have to enforce it, even if you think it's morally wrong. Can you do that? Can you follow my instructions, even if you think they're morally wrong?"

And unless they said yes, they weren't on the jury. And I was sitting in the seat closest to the juror. And I watched one person after another say, “Yes, your Honor, I'll do whatever you tell me to do, even if I think it's morally wrong." And they meant it. And that's when I knew that I was going to be convicted.

BILL MOYERS: Because they were going to decide if the law had been broken, not if it was a good law?

TIM DECHRISTOPHER: Yeah. Yeah. And the judge would define for them what the boundaries of that law was. And, you know, so basically it was if he committed this action, then he's guilty and you have to convict him.

Comment Maybe someone here can figure this out... (Score 1) 188

If I pay an extra 10% premium to the power company for my electricity to "come from 100% renewables," and the power company claims its total mix (all customers) is 30% renewables, and I replace my ICE car (at end of life) with an electric, that I charge at night, is that any good for the environment?

Comment Re: (Score 1) 337

Google (and Baidu) is learning to recognize letters, numbers, images, faces, the spoken word, more complex things every day, not unlike a baby. Eventually, Google will recognize our internet of things (with exploits), including everyone's phone, and medical implants, and DARPA's robot progeny. Maybe a human, perhaps one of the AI experts recently hired by Google, will be at the helm, maybe not, that just changes who has total control. If Google (or Baidu) wants to grow (it's that or be conquered by that which does), it'll need more resources. What will the top AI (or its operator, if it has one) want to do with everything else and everybody else? Render them nonthreatening first, then use them.

Comment testable theory of quantum gravity? (Score 3, Funny) 62

It is shown here that Newton’s gravity law can be derived from the uncertainty principle. The idea is that as the distance between two bodies in mutual orbit decreases, their uncertainty of position decreases, so their momentum and hence the force on them must increase to satisfy the uncertainty principle. When this result is summed over all the possible interactions between the Planck masses in the two bodies, Newton’s gravity law is obtained. This model predicts that masses less than the Planck mass will be unaffected by gravity and so it may be tested by looking for an abrupt decrease in the density of space dust, for masses above the Planck mass.

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist