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Comment: What are the "procedural mistakes"? (Score 4, Informative) 92

by meustrus (#46769447) Attached to: Lavabit Loses Contempt Appeal

If like me you want to know what the "procedural mistakes" were, and not read what is almost certainly someone's unnecessary diatribe about why the end result is wrong (hint: it's wrong, so, so wrong, and we all know why), let me help you find them. Use the last link in the summary, copied here:

Summary: The case is about whether Lavabit should have been held in contempt, which hinges upon whether the court had the right to demand what it was demanding. However, Levison did not make any legal argument against the demand at the time. Therefore, it was justifiably held in contempt. The issue of whether the court had the right to demand private keys is important, but the issue needed to be raised sooner and with more force. Now it's irrelevant to further proceedings.

I am not a lawyer and I have not actually finished reading the article yet.

Comment: Re:No problem! (Score 1) 163

by meustrus (#46683871) Attached to: It's Time To Plug the Loopholes In Pipeline Regulation
I suppose you'd rather we read about it on Conservapedia. Well I tried to read about a few things there once. After only a couple hours of reading I had long passed the "don't trust Wikipedia, this is what *really* happened" stuff and had wandered strangely into a "nerds suck, jocks rule, god hates fags" shithole. Which is what happens when a web site based on countering perceived "bias" operates for years without any of the kind of (admittedly draconian at times) quality controls Wikipedia has in place.

Comment: Re:What a bunch of hooye, total garbage (Score 1, Interesting) 91

by meustrus (#46625341) Attached to: Book Review: Money: The Unauthorized Biography

You say that governments print money and control the money because government wants more of it. In America, my friend, the government is the people. In the words of the great Republican Abraham Lincoln, "government of the people, by the people, for the people". Our government is not an entity of its own, clawing away for every advantage. Our government is a body of leaders representing all people living within our nation: a Republic.

Therefore when one thinks of the ways that our government takes away our wealth, takes away our freedoms, takes away our dignity, we must not think of it as a great leviathan, secure in itself by virtue of its ability to lay waste to the lesser people. It is not some abstract deity that takes from us. It is ourselves. It is the political circus we have all become part of. And whether or not all the elephants recognize them, every circus has ringleaders.

Who benefits from all this taking? Who benefits from the government printing money while still taxing it from the people who earned it? Who really holds the power that is being sucked into Congress? You're right about one thing: it's not us. But I guarantee you that if the government itself reaped the benefits, we would not have a deficit in the trillions.

Comment: Re:What a bunch of hooye, total garbage (Score 1, Interesting) 91

by meustrus (#46625113) Attached to: Book Review: Money: The Unauthorized Biography
*sigh* no mod points today. I may disagree with the basis of roman_mir's assertions, but I don't think the post should be voted down. It's not nasty; the closest thing to vitriol is calling the book a "piece of shit" (which reads more like a thesis statement than an ad hominem). I know that a lot of fucking crazy Republicans (or more likely trolls masquerading as such) have been posting some pretty steamy piles of shit around here lately, but this post definitely is not one of them.

Comment: Re:It's time to fix this (Score 1) 173

by meustrus (#46605381) Attached to: Homeopathic Remedies Recalled For Containing Real Medicine

By 'prescription', I mean approval by a homeopath. Obviously there is no licensing set up to ensure such people to be legitimate. I considered suggesting to set one up, but since homeopathy is not a science it's not really possible to do so practically.

What I would like to see is for homeopathic remedies to require the statement "these claims have not been approved by the FDA" and prevent them from using "Drug Facts" labels that make them look legitimate. This would not affect "real" homeopathy as far as I can tell; practitioners ought to be trusting the person concocting their prescription, not the drug companies. It would only affect the shams. And it shouldn't preclude the FDA from following the manufacturing processes either.

Comment: It's time to fix this (Score 2) 173

by meustrus (#46592317) Attached to: Homeopathic Remedies Recalled For Containing Real Medicine

It's about damn time something was done to fix this homeopathic mess. Read the Wikipedia article on Homeopathy for a moment. The thing that struck me about it is not the "diluting makes it stronger" part. Everybody knows that. What struck me is that "homeopathic remedies" are basically always prescription-only.

Why do we allow non-prescription drugs to bypass FDA inspection because they are labelled "homeopathic"? I mean, truly homeopathic drugs should not be any cause for concern, but then they should also only be taken by prescription. What we have instead is a menagerie of sham drugs claiming to be "homeopathic" to avoid drug testing. Nothing 1x or 2x diluted should ever seriously be sold as "homeopathic".

It's about damn time to get rid of the special treatment altogether. Slapping a "homeopathic" label on a drug must not be enough to excuse it from proper testing. I could understand it it was diluted 10x, but then that only applies to the "active ingredient". What we have here is a drug with an "inactive ingredient" that happens to be penicillin (whether it was intentionally added or not - and excuse me, but what part of diluting a homeopathic drug involves "fermentation"?).

Alternative medicine is one thing, but it's something else if the producers themselves mix the product with real medicine because they think it is actually snake oil.

Comment: Re:Stupid (Score 1) 217

by meustrus (#46578013) Attached to: Oppo's New Phone Hits 538 PPI

I know you were talking about equal pixel density, but I don't think AC was:

Yet I would kill to have those kind of resolutions on my 12" laptop.

"Resolution" generally refers to the number of pixels on the whole screen, not the number of pixels per area. So the field of a 12" screen at 2560x1440 will not drop by over a factor of four over a 5" screen at 2560x1440. I get your point though that a 12" screen more like 6400x3600 to have a similar DPI would have a terrible yield.

Comment: Re:Stupid (Score 1) 217

by meustrus (#46550879) Attached to: Oppo's New Phone Hits 538 PPI

God dammit when will these resolutions be available on normal-sized desktop screens? If they can pack 2560x1440 into a 5" screen for $600, why does it have to cost more than that to get any desktop monitor with that many pixels? It shouldn't have to be 27". All kinds of laptop screens are racing towards 4K-like resolutions, but you simply cannot get the same 3200x1800 resolution at any size on the desktop you can in 14" laptops. At least until you get to 4K TVs.

2560x1440 or even better, 2560x1600 is a magical resolution for a computer screen. It's the resolution where you can fit two programs side-by-side with a full 1280 pixels of horizontal space, which has been the standard available for the last 15 years. Unless something is designed for wide screens (and then hey, it will probably scale to the whole massive space of your desktop) it's like having two screens side-by-side, except with amazing vertical space, no bezel in the middle, and a cinematic capability for displaying video and games.

This screen resolution is practical on a desktop computer. If we can get it on 5" screens where it's nothing more than marketing (more than 300dpi is a waste) why can't we get it somewhere useful?

Comment: Re:Battery life? (Score 1) 217

by meustrus (#46550755) Attached to: Oppo's New Phone Hits 538 PPI
I should hope the scout leader doesn't need the phone to play Angry Birds during the camping trip. If it is for the sole reason stated - emergencies - then having contact with the rest of the world is a very important safety precaution. Just because it didn't exist before doesn't mean it should be foregone. Emergency communication can save your life in situations where before cell phones the rescue teams would find corpses by the time they knew to look.

Comment: Re: Ridiculous. (Score 1) 914

Of course rehabilitation is not the goal. The person is talking about life sentences. The person is talking about punishment, about vengeance. It's natural for some people to seek vengeance against people who have done truly unspeakable things, but it's not constructive. What would be more constructive is to remove them from society, figure out why they did what they did, and try to keep it from happening again.

The concern I'd like to address is purely economic: is it right to spend more money just to make the criminal's life more miserable? Because then everyone paying taxes is paying the price. What if the most painful torture was liquid gold injections (and it had to be gold)? If you're already determined to use torture, would it really be worth the extra expense over, say, pulling fingernails? Developing new, inventive ways to make people suffer is the realm of six-fingered villains from The Princess Bride. This has no place in our society.

Comment: Re:Are we not advanced enough to use UTC Time? (Score 1) 310

by meustrus (#46474133) Attached to: Daylight Saving Time ...

You don't need to always use UTC to get the benefits you describe. Just always give times in UTC when communicating across time zones. The only disadvantage is that the receiver might not know how to convert from UTC to local time. This is basically the same problem as converting people to UTC, however. At least this way the receivers know they need to look up the conversion, rather than thinking they know but getting it wrong due to DST or whatever.

In every situation where the time zone is not obvious, it should be included in every statement of time. Obvious would be communicating with someone in the same time zone where we both will be in the same time zone at that time. Non-obvious would be communicating with unknown parties that might be elsewhere, especially over the internet, but even a physical bulletin board would count if it was near a time zone boundary.

Comment: Re:Wow, So Douchey (Score 1) 413

You're certainly right about the AAC/256 part (at least if it's properly encoded). But there are a lot of other things mentioned that cause the sound "at the mixing board" to be superior. In fact, most of them are the mixing itself. Perhaps in the quest to make "the best mix we can to translate to whatever sorrowful playback medium of the average customer" you have actually mixed a brick wall soulless mockery of what you were listening to.

But I understand there's no going back now. It's probably for the best if recording studios start releasing lossless 24/192 audiophile versions, because they might actually be better mixes. I'd buy that for the mix and immediately down-sample to 16/44 so I can have 4.5x as much music.

"Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished." -- Goethe