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Comment: The problems is... (Score 2) 472

by fahrbot-bot (#48224439) Attached to: Employers Worried About Critical Thinking Skills

While many companies claim to want people with critical-thinking skills, they quite often don't want their employees exercising those skills. Someone who thinks too critically about an issue and raises a concern is often criticized as not being a "team player" (a phrase I actually despise because its often misuse).

I have, a few times, been accused of not being a "team player" because I've raised concerns about an issue. After almost 30 years as a Unix system admin/programmer, my standard reply is now: Part of my job is to review issues and make recommendations. As my employer/manager, you are certainly free to ignore my recommendations, but if somethings goes wrong because you did, I am going to say "I told you so." All my managers have been okay with this - so far...

Comment: Re:Computer Missues Act 1990 (Score 1) 516

These things are seldom as black-and-white as they appear at first. From what I've seen in the US, courts often apportion the blame across multiple parties in a civil lawsuit. Let's say that on the way home from the bar, I drive over a curb and kill someone walking on the sidewalk. If the victim's family files a wrongful death suit, the court might decide that I'm 95% responsible, the pedestrian is 2% responsible for wearing dark clothing at 2 AM, and the city is 3% responsible for failing to follow regulations on curb height. The resulting damage award will be split accordingly.

So it's very believable that a court might find FTDI partially responsible for any damages that occur as a result of their deliberate attack against other peoples' hardware. Even a 1% share of the blame for a serious-enough malfunction could be enough to bankrupt the company. They may be morally right, they may be legally right from a criminal-law standpoint, but nevertheless, under US law, they may have cut their own throats if any innocent parties were harmed by their actions.

This was an incredibly stupid move on FTDI's part.

Comment: In related news ... (Score -1) 340

by fahrbot-bot (#48218689) Attached to: NY Doctor Recently Back From West Africa Tests Positive For Ebola

... Fox News and Republicans apoplectic with Obama. Wait, did I say "news" - sorry.

[ Just saw Megyn Kelly on The Kelly File talking about this - so pretty, but so stupid. And in other surprising news, she's a blond on Fox News. Wait, did I say "surprising news" - damn. Again, sorry. ]

Ya, you don't like it, but know I'm right... :-)

Comment: Just on a computer? But, but, but... (Score 2) 164

...any British person deemed to have carried out an unauthorised act on a computer that resulted in damage to human welfare, the environment, the economy or national security in any country would face a possible life sentence.

What about politicians that do the same thing? Oh, I guess that would an "authorized" act. Never mind.

[ Man, oh man, if we could jail politicians for damaging the economy, environment or human welfare here in the U.S. ...]

Comment: Re:Nah, this is just stage 1 (Score 1) 324

by Man On Pink Corner (#48207909) Attached to: Hungary To Tax Internet Traffic

Because some people understand that the election of Reagan, like everything else in politics, was a reaction to something else. In Reagan's case, his success was a reaction to confiscatory taxation, disastrous economic policies, and out-of-control growth of Federal bureaucracies under Carter and earlier administrations.

In the context of the times, Reagan was not wrong when he said that the scariest words in the English language were "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help." Where he went wrong was when he climbed into bed with religious fruitcakes, giving them more power over ordinary Americans' lives than even the Democrats had tried to assert.

Other people, including the most vocal on Slashdot (DURR HURR DON'T LIKE TEH GOVERNMENT? MOVE TO SOMALIA!!!11!!) don't understand the action-reaction nature of politics. They assume that things will somehow work out differently the next time their own visions of maximal statism are implemented. The neoliberal statists and Moral Majority Reaganites are just two halves of the same coin, really.

Comment: Re:I'm still waiting... (Score 5, Interesting) 161

by fahrbot-bot (#48197837) Attached to: Cell Transplant Allows Paralyzed Man To Walk

It's similarly illegal to study gun violence under a US public health research grant, even though every other class of mortality is nominally okay.

More pointedly, the US keeps statistics on deaths from gun violence, except the number of people killed by police. From: List of killings by law enforcement officers in the United States

Although Congress instructed the Attorney General in 1994 to compile and publish annual statistics on police use of excessive force, this was never carried out, and the FBI does not collect this data either.

Note: This was recently covered by The Daily Show on Comedy Central.

Comment: Re:problem (Score 1) 119

by fahrbot-bot (#48197241) Attached to: Google Adds USB Security Keys To 2-Factor Authentication Options

What makes you think our government gives a shit about anything other than grabbing more power?

I'm not sure that sentiment makes sense - or ever has. The Government already has *all* the power, should it wish to exercise it. They make, interpret and enforce (or not) all the rules. All it takes is good people not doing anything to stop bad people.

For example. The Supreme Court recently decided that Freedom of Speech over-rides any argument for a buffer-zone around abortion clinics (and, I believe, other places), but strictly enforces a buffer-zone around the steps of the Supreme Court.

The study of non-linear physics is like the study of non-elephant biology.