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Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 76 76

Sadly, it's part of the risk... you either fight, or you pay up in a settlement.

Now nothing is stopping those companies from litigating against the troll for their money back plus interest, legal fees, etc etc.

That said, I'd love to see an instance where a defeated patent troll is forced to make the contested patent public domain if they are 1) not using the patent in a product they themselves sell, and 2) launch more than x number of lawsuits and/or get x number of settlements over it.

It would up the risk to the troll, making them think very carefully before litigating (or even threatening to do so.)

Comment Re:Or let us keep our hard-earned money (Score 4, Insightful) 546 546

External health costs? Do you have any idea how many highly toxic chemicals are used, in quantity, to turn polysilicon into a working solar cell? *

Better idea: Use environmental and workplace safety laws to enforce and minimize those health costs, instead of using the concept as a cudgel to push cronyism.

* I have worked in the solar industry - even the polycrystal and monocrystal cells use an astounding amount of toxic gases and fluids to prep and coat a solar cell, and don't ask what goes into a thin-film solar panel...

Comment Re:Under what authority? (Score 1) 288 288

They can question all they want, but if the envelope is sealed, you can answer such questions with "get a warrant". They may arrest you, but unless they can get said warrant, they're specifically not allowed to know what's inside the thing.

Now if there are complaints of blackmail going on and your name is attached to those complaints, or the envelope tests positive for narcotics, that's a different bucket of fish... but you gave no real details on the transaction, so "get a warrant if you want to know - otherwise, if I am not being detained or arrested, am I free to go?" is a perfectly legal answer to give to such questioning.

Comment Re:Under what authority? (Score 1) 288 288

My only conclusion it is time to stop treating the cops as the ones who know and enforce the law.

Actually, most folks are told part of that by lawyers, first and foremost. The police are not there to interpret laws, and most are not fully aware of them all. But then, that has never been their job. The police only exist for one reason: public safety. Their one job is to keep order and peace, and to forcibly detain those who violate said order and peace. That's it. So they do the enforcement part, but not the knowledge part of it.

It is the job of prosecutors, judges, and juries to know the law - the prosecutors to discern and prioritize who broke what laws, a judge to preside over any proceedings that determine guilt or innocence, and a jury to ultimately decide whether the prosecutor's specific assertion(s) would be legitimate or bullshit. Then of course there's the defendant and his/her lawyer, which get their say in all of this.

The cops are only there to try and ensure that no one gets hurt otherwise.

So yeah, you are correct in that bit of it... the police do not and are not expected to know the law, at least not enough so that they can determine whether or not one was broken. Of course they can testify to any breakage they witness, but otherwise that's the limit of their input as per laws.

Comment Re:Likely misdemeanor mishandling of classified in (Score 5, Insightful) 425 425

Similar to sibling, I have previously worked for a defense contractor, subject to similar regulations... and among my duties, I was the primary sysadmin on the email MTAs (both the company and the DoD/DLA-owned ones).

If I would have merely seen someone in the company do what the Clintons did, and had not reported it? I would have immediately lost my IT-1 clearance, gotten fired on the spot, my employer would have probably been kicked off the contract, then we'd both be blacklisted from any further DoD consideration.

If I had done it myself? Getting fired would have been the least of my worries.

Comment Re:See..... (Score 1) 129 129

I believe it was a joke...

Funny-but-true: A buddy I work with tried that on a developer's MacBook Pro today. He wound up munging /etc/sudoers instead. Now they're currently trying to figure down how to get a live distro running that can mount Mac filesystems so they can fix that. It's kind of hilarious from my POV..

Overall, if you already have physical access to the box, it's game-over anyway, and given the astronomically tiny percentage of Macs running OSX 10.10, that has sshd running, and happens to be on a publicly accessible network (either public wifi or a public IP addy)? Prolly not a really big concern...

If all else fails, lower your standards.