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Comment: Re:It might be an unpopular opinion... (Score 1) 822

by mutube (#46084171) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Does Edward Snowden Deserve?

Snowden committed crimes.

Allegedly.

For the rule of law, he should be tried and sentenced to the prescribed penalty for those crimes.

For the rule of law, he is innocent until proven guilty.

I'm glad we know what he told us. But you can't not prosecute people who undoubtedly did commit crimes because you agree with their stated motives.

The only person who can know if he 'undoubtedly' did commit a crime are the judge and jury in court. If you let that go the second you think "He don't look right..." or "Well, I saw on the news that..." then you're throwing the whole judicial process on the scrapheap. This even applies if you "saw him do it" a.k.a. "I (think) I saw him do it and I'm (pretty) sure he did" - and even if he confesses.

It may seem like syntactic sugar but you'll do yourself a lot of good if you start inserting "allegedly" into any statement you make about an individual pre-trial - and subconsciously do so when reading other people's information-free opinionfacts. For the record I think he's guilty as sin of the law, but that the law is probably wrong.

Comment: Slashdot keeps on pushing the boundaries (Score 5, Interesting) 115

by mutube (#45866723) Attached to: Rap Genius Returns To Google Search Rankings

Unfortunately, it's the boundaries of how un-newsworthy content can be and still be called "news".

Someone I've never heard of does dodgy SEO, gets banned by Google, then gets the ban lifted (+- unproven allegation of favouritism) and I'm supposed to give a shit?

Happens every day, almost entirely to other people I've never heard of either.

Networking

Coca-Cola Reserves a Massive Range of MAC Addresses 371

Posted by timothy
from the maytag-and-starbucks-champing-at-bit dept.
An anonymous reader writes "GNU MacChanger's developer has found by chance that The Coca-Cola company got a range of MAC addresses allocated at the OUI, the IEEE Registration Authority in charge of managing the MAC addresses spectrum. What would Coca-Cola want around 16 million MAC addresses reserved? What are they planning to use them for? Could this part of a strategy around the Internet-of-things concept?"

Comment: Re:Maybe this corn can be used for food again? (Score 1) 314

by mutube (#45719543) Attached to: Lawmakers Out To Kill the Corn-Based Ethanol Mandate

Ah, I see - you chose to take their post literally.

I chose to assume the caveat "Except the obvious shit" to apply.

I was being facetious. But when you add the "Except the obvious shit" caveat you then introduce "who gets to decide what is obvious".

Perhaps we can all agree "I support sunset clauses on bad laws!" and be done with it?

Comment: Re:Maybe this corn can be used for food again? (Score 1) 314

by mutube (#45719467) Attached to: Lawmakers Out To Kill the Corn-Based Ethanol Mandate

I don't make that assumption at all (and I don't agree with it either). As I wrote elsewhere:

What I can't agree with is applying sunset clauses to laws that are intended to last. The solution to "Some laws are bad" is not "Let's make laws last for less time and then renew them!" it's "Let's make better laws". If a law is so bad you can't bear to enact it unless it is automatically repealed in 5 years - it's probably not a very good law. All this accomplishes is feeding short-termism, allowing politicians off the hook for their crap. "Hey I passed a law! (But don't worry it won't do any real harm because it'll be off the books before we see the consequences)."

Sunset clauses increase legislative overhead. There are two outcomes from this that I can see:

  1. the politicians are overworked so they are able to produce fewer laws, and so fewer laws (bad and good) are passed
  2. the politicians are overworked so they are less able to usefully debate/deconstruct laws, and more bad laws are passed

From your post it sounds as though you are advocating for position #1 - that is by making politicians revisit their laws, fewer laws are passed and so the bad laws will be reduced. However, if we apply sunsetting to everything then we also lose good laws. If you think this is on balance an optimum solution then sunsetting is a strange way to approach it - you can have the same effect by simply reducing the numbers of politicians*. That also has the benefit of saving money.

(* the Constitution may have a problem with this - but that's something that can be dealt with when you sunset that and revisit it).

I fall more on the side of position #2 in that I want elected representatives to spend their time doing maximally useful work. I do think there are probably too many laws, but that the most efficient way to deal with that is through progressively revisiting and repealing those that are deemed counterproductive (by the same debate process as sunsetting). I would argue quite strongly that such review should be carried out.

Comment: Re:Maybe this corn can be used for food again? (Score 3, Insightful) 314

by mutube (#45719319) Attached to: Lawmakers Out To Kill the Corn-Based Ethanol Mandate

Like the Constitution?

Just to clarify - I'm not against sunset clauses in all cases. But I am against the idea (expressed in the original post) that "There really should be sunset provisions on all laws." Some things don't need regular repeal - some laws are just that good. Like laws against murder. Similarly, short term laws to cover things (like getting back on topic corn subsidies) make sense as a short term financial instrument. There sunsetting makes sense - and gives a defined end point for companies that depend on the subsidy.

What I can't agree with is applying sunset clauses to laws that are intended to last. The solution to "Some laws are bad" is not "Let's make laws last for less time and then renew them!" it's "Let's make better laws". If a law is so bad you can't bear to enact it unless it is automatically repealed in 5 years - it's probably not a very good law. All this accomplishes is feeding short-termism, allowing politicians off the hook for their crap. "Hey I passed a law! (But don't worry it won't do any real harm because it'll be off the books before we see the consequences)."

Bundling these things into cumulative bills would mean they'll get so little oversight that they may as well be permanent. They're hardly read the first time, what makes you think anyone will pay attention to what the law says when it's on page 543?

Comment: Re:Maybe this corn can be used for food again? (Score 0) 314

by mutube (#45719193) Attached to: Lawmakers Out To Kill the Corn-Based Ethanol Mandate

Huh? That makes no sense. So, basically, you're saying that it takes more time to buy (or not buy) a car someone built than it would take for you to engineer and build a car yourself. That's nuts, yo.

Quite obviously, no. In bigpat's OP they stated that: "There really should be sunset provisions on all laws." This is clearly nonsensical. Or would you argue that there should be sunset provisions on the laws against murder? The Constitution? If not then you accept there is a class of laws for which sunset clauses don't apply (i.e. laws that will be a good law for a long period of time). "There really should be sunset provisions on all laws." is demonstrably false.

If you want to argue that laws against murder get sunset clauses attached and renewed on a decade-by-decade basis assuming "Senator Bob" remembers please do, but I want it as a car analogy.

As opposed to months of 'closed doors' meetings, secret deals with lobbyists, writes and re-writes and re-re-writes, etc.

Because that is of course the only alternative. I'm starting to wonder whether you're ticking off a list of logical fallacies here, you've already managed a Straw man, Either or and False analogy.

That had nothing to do with sunsetting laws, and everything to do with the fact that our Congress is made up of, essentially, narcissistic 5th graders.

Ad hominem.

I'll take your final point though I was thinking of the budget not the fiscal cliff. In other countries the previous budget continues to run until a new one is in place. As a result the running government can't be held hostage to the whim of Senator Bob on an off day. It's not always a simple case of "yea or nay?"

Comment: Re:Maybe this corn can be used for food again? (Score 3, Insightful) 314

by mutube (#45718517) Attached to: Lawmakers Out To Kill the Corn-Based Ethanol Mandate

Er, no. Sunset clauses are a terrible waste of government time. Just think about it - if every law you pass gets a sunset clause, that means cumulatively over time you're spending a bigger and bigger portion of your time renewing previous laws to make them still active. You end up with situations like the US "fiscal cliff" - which miraculously every other mature democracy on Earth manages to avoid.

Any good law will be a good law for a long period of time. If it becomes not a good law, repeal it. If you're not sure it's a good enough law to last, don't pass it.

Mars

India To Launch Mars Orbiter "Mangalyaan" Tuesday 109

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the first-time's-a-charm dept.
sfcrazy writes "On Tuesday (Mangalwaar) the Indian Space and Research Organization (ISRO) will launch the Mars orbiter Mangalyaan from Satish Dhawan Space Centre. The spaceship will take over 10 months to reach Mars and, if everything goes well, it would make India the first country to send a payload to Mars in its first attempt, and would beat close rival China whose recent mission failed."

Comment: Re:Spread out the demand (Score 2) 404

by mutube (#45297001) Attached to: Tech Titans Oracle, Red Hat and Google To Help Fix Healthcare.gov

So, to summarize...

  • You value people with wealth over those that work
  • You think a person's contribution to society is directly proportional to disposable income (Miley Cyrus > Van Gogh)
  • You would rather keep someone alive who inherited vast quantities of wealth (and does nothing) vs. someone who started with nothing and now has a job cleaning floors
  • You don't like people who clean floors
  • You want your pizzas served by people with diseases
  • ...preferably from a pizza shop that doesn't clean it's floors

Your utopian dream (I'm calling it Cyrocracy) might just be fair if a) everyone started their life with the same opportunities and wealth; b) all money was redistributed on death (no inheritance). But that smells an awful lot like government intervention so I guess your weird little fantasy can stay just that.

Lo! Men have become the tool of their tools. -- Henry David Thoreau

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