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Comment They know not what they do (Score 5, Insightful) 246

The new French bill briefly praises encryption’s role in protecting user data but immediately pivots to criticizing the effects of strong encryption on state security forces.

While water is great at quenching thirst, it also can kill a person if drawn into their lungs. Therefore, we demand that bottled water manufacturers make their water such that it can no longer drown someone.

Comment Re:Liberal Party? (Score 1) 220

It's dangerous to evaluate foreign countries on the American political spectrum

That's only because we don't have a scale that calibrates that far left.

Conservatives = Democrats
Liberals = What kind of Commie bastards are you?
NDP = Heads literally explode

The closest thing they have to our Republicans is the Christian Heritage party, if they even exist anymore.

Comment Re:Lessig is hard to listen to (Score 2) 281

Why isn't he creating a political party rather than running for President? This must be the only-two-parties rule again? I heard once that there are more than just Dems and Reps in the US political system but I never hear much about them.

The reason why is because it's dead easy to run as one of the major parties and use their ballot line. In some states it is practically too late to try to start a new party or run as an independent; it's an incredibly time-consuming and resource-draining process. If he runs as a Democrat, he's on the ballot in all 50 states and DC. If he runs as an indy, he might be able to reach somewhere in the 30-40 state range.

Unlike the UK (which I'm assuming you're from just because that's the easiest assumption), where a few signatures and a deposit gets you on the ballot, here each state has different rules, and most states unabashedly try to keep independents or minor party candidates off the ballots with unequal laws.

Comment Re:Freedom of Speech? (Score 1) 164

You'd figure if people believe the CEO is such a hypocrite, they'd quit using the service. For some reason they believe that the website is somehow theirs. It isn't. They're just providing free content.

The real issue here is that people who want to discuss controversial topics are pissed that their megaphone is being taken away and they incorrectly believe that because the dude gave them a megaphone one day, he can't take it away the next. It all boils down to "my ideas are unpopular and its unfair that someone will not continue to subsidize them."

Comment Re:It's all about the routes, dummy (Score 1) 654

That's the thing. A lot of the routes are useful to only a small amount of people at any given time. For people to give up their cars, we'd need armies of buses that run past stops every 5 minutes and covered about 95% of the city. That simply isn't cost effective.

Trains are only effective because they can be (but are not always) faster than driving. Buses almost by definition can't be faster than driving.

Comment Re:The song of the Lotus-Eaters (Score 4, Insightful) 503

Not so sure about that.

The reason why birthrates are low in wealthier societies is due to children becoming a financial liability rather than an asset. In agrarian cultures, children are basically free labor.

When everything is "free", children will not be a financial liability anymore, leaving many folks to breed like rabbits.

Comment Re:Accepting Responsibility (Score 1) 352

I wouldn't go as far as to say they are saying that black people aren't smart enough to understand the situation, but I will readily agree that people are trying to work this up into something that it really isn't.

News flash, given their skin color, it is easier for black folks to be mistaken for apes in an image processing algorithm than white people. This just shows the algorithm isn't perfect. Write up a bug and make a test case.

Now that I think of it, I wonder how non-technical folks think that image recognition works. Maybe if you were ignorant on the subject, you might immediately think "OMG, they have racist programmers at Google." Of course, this is where responsible media outlets would point out that computers have zero prejudice and that image recognition is hard work.

Comment Re:political speech (Score 1) 233

Or the defensive person knows how unreasonable and impressionable people are.

Granted the guy has totally went off the deep end and Striesand Effect-ed himself, but have you ever read the comments section on a local newspaper or TV station's website (or read /. at -1)? It's amazing we still have electricity and running water given those geniuses.

I agree that is what a reasonable person would do, but I would charge that most people aren't reasonable.

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"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers." -- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a particularly vivid fantasy)