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Comment: Re:Mitt Romney Deux? (Score 1) 553

by debrain (#49613825) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Announces Bid For White House

What socialism is going on?

You mean what socialized programs are in the states? The list is pretty long, inluding e.g.

- Military
- Medicare
- Police
- FBI
- Public education
- Food assistance
- FEMA
- Road infrastructure
- Air traffic control

Of course there is also the socialization of losses on Wall Street, with the bailouts of the big banks by taxpayers.

Just some examples. Or have I misunderstood the question?

Comment: Re:Pontifical Academy of Sciences (Score 2) 703

by debrain (#49577681) Attached to: Pope Attacked By Climate Change Skeptics

in fact most of the information that survived through the dark ages survived because of monks

Much survived because of monks, but if my history is right (and it's probably not) the enlightenment came from knowledge that survived via the Arabs. Hence we have names like Algebra (from Al-Jabr), for example.

I am seem to recall that during the dark ages the Romans/Italians had around 2-5% literacy rate. Not much knowledge survived there.

There was progression by monks during the middle ages, notably time-keeping and eyeglasses. But I am not sure how much historical knowledge was retained by them. It might be lots - but I've just not seen any historical books to that effect (though I would enjoy reading knowing more).

Comment: Defer to Ground (Score 0) 385

by debrain (#49355695) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

(I am copying a prior post of mine, but I think it bears repeating)

A flight officer should be able to engage a "defer to ground" mode from anywhere on the plane, at any time. Once "defer to ground" mode is engaged the autopilot cannot be disabled without the approval of an air traffic controller, or the consent of more than one (or more than two) flight officer(s). The air traffic controllers can then issue instructions to the autopilot or remotely control the plane or disable the "defer to ground" autopilot.

If the plane is out of range of air traffic control, the autopilot would (in addition to attempting to stabilize any descent) change trajectory to either a.) the closest known safe ground relay or b.) the closest known safe landing site.

In the ordinary course the pilots are in control, with "defer to ground" off by default, and can only be enabled by flight officers on the plane, so the plane cannot be compromised by malicious ATC.

Comment: Re:Security is hard... (Score 1) 737

by debrain (#49344631) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

The secure door was not well thought out, IMHO. I have always thought there were better options, such as:

A flight officer should be able to engage a "defer to ground" mode from anywhere on the plane, at any time. Once "defer to ground" mode is engaged the autopilot cannot be disabled without the approval of an air traffic controller, or the consent of more than one (or more than two) flight officer(s). The air traffic controllers can then issue instructions to the autopilot or remotely control the plane or disable the "defer to ground" autopilot.

If the plane is out of range of air traffic control, the autopilot would (in addition to attempting to stabilize any descent) change trajectory to either a.) the closest known safe ground relay or b.) the closest known safe landing site.

In the ordinary course the pilots are in control, with "defer to ground" off by default, and can only be enabled by flight officers on the plane.

Just a thought.

Comment: For everyone who didn't read the decision (Score 5, Informative) 52

1. TekSavvy did receive costs.

123. In sum, I am satisfied that TekSavvy has proven a total of $21,557.50 as its legal costs, administrative costs, and disbursements of abiding with the Order.

2. Those costs were not as much as demanded by TekSavvy.

129. ... Rather, no costs of the assessment will be awarded because neither party should be rewarded for its conduct: TekSavvy, without justification, has greatly exaggerated its claim, while Voltage has unreasonably sought to trivialize it based on unreliable and largely irrelevant evidence.

For details about the costs that were asked and awarded and the reasoning for such, have a look at para. 113 and following. e.g.

119. Under this heading, TekSavvy seeks to recover the sum of $81,524.12 for expenses incurred in communicating with affected and non-affected subscribers and the public; creating an online portal tool for the use of subscribers; and responding to a higher volume of inquiries and complaints ... These tasks, are ... TekSavvyâ(TM)s costs of marketing, promotion, and customer relations, which I consider to be TekSavvyâ(TM)s costs of doing business. Consequently, I disallow these costs.

Whether one thinks this is being "let off the hook" is up to the reader, and also irrelevant to the decision. This is a comprehensive, precedent-setting, non-trivial decision accounting for a multitude of legal and factual variables. I, for one, find it consistent with the tone and spirit of the prior decision, largely agreeable, in this case.

Comment: Re:Here's a real situation. (Score 1) 340

The tact a lawyer is generally obliged to take is: advise the border guard that the information on the laptop is not controlled by the lawyer, and that the lawyer does not have the authority to give up the password.

A lawyer holds client information under the protection of solicitor-client privilege, and cannot be compelled even by court order to disclose that information, save exceptional circumstances (crossing a border not being one of those).

As a lawyer, the examples I keep in my back pocket if I am asked by a border guard to give up a password, after explaining the above, include: What if I represented a member of the border patrol in a potential dispute against their employer? Or a dispute between the border service and another branch of government? With my password, the border service could obtain access to communication that gives them an unfair edge, or perhaps inflames what would be an otherwise docile dispute. More importantly: would you or your colleagues, as border guards, seek the advice of and speak candidly with a lawyer about a potential dispute when you know that your employer might well be reading it?

Privilege lives high atop the field of concerns for lawyers, because anything that puts a chill on the communication with and advice of lawyers undermines the rule of law. Among other problems, not having rule of law puts a damper on the legal business, though it has historically been good for the hired-goons business.

The US and Canadian border guard in my experience steer respectfully clear of privilege.

There is one way to find out if a man is honest -- ask him. If he says "Yes" you know he is crooked. -- Groucho Marx

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