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Comment: Encryption was defined as a weapon as well (Score 4, Insightful) 312

by putaro (#49640795) Attached to: Defense Distributed Sues State Department Over 3-D Gun Censorship

Encryption was defined as a weapon until '97. There were a number of interesting end runs around that, including a book with all of the PGP source code in it. Since you could print the definition for a 3D gun, banning 3D files for guns should run into the same legal restrictions that banning the publishing of encryption software did.

Comment: The only unlimited credit line you can get (Score 1) 234

It's funny, but it's been this way for ages - the phone company will essentially give you unlimited credit. Mr Dorff is living on about $1500 a month. How many credit cards with $25K limits do you think he has? I don't understand why phone companies don't just set a max for your bill and then shut you off if it goes over that, at least for billable items like long distance.

Comment: F Mark Rowley (Score 5, Insightful) 230

by putaro (#49526235) Attached to: UK Police Chief: Some Tech Companies Are 'Friendly To Terrorists'

I regard the threat to my privacy and civil liberty by criminals like Mark Rowley as much more significant than that posed by terrorists. Snowden didn't make companies add more encryption. Overreach by government agencies caused it. They're just trying to shoot the messenger but they created the problem by circumventing or ignoring the law.

Comment: Re:Here's a better idea (Score 4, Interesting) 678

by putaro (#49510565) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California

Do the math - bottled water doesn't even move the dial compared to agriculture. Total US consumption of bottle water per year = 10 billion gallons or about 31,000 acre feet. An acre-foot is about what one household uses per year, so it's the equivalent of a small city. In contrast, California uses 38 billion gallons a DAY. Stopping bottled water will not solve the water crisis. Alfalfa would certainly have a bigger impact.

Comment: Re: Invisible hand (Score 3, Informative) 536

Telephone and electricity wires cost money to run as well. We mandated that the utilities provide service to all and they used to simply spread the cost over the entire customer base. As long as you're profitable in the large it doesn't really matter if each customer turns a profit. However, if a company is not required to do so, they will, of course, focus only on profitable customers.

We chose to subsidize services that were viewed as vital, such as phone and electricity. Cable TV is not a necessity but internet access may be.

Comment: Re:Ahhhh, C++ (Score 1) 757

by putaro (#49231397) Attached to: Was Linus Torvalds Right About C++ Being So Wrong?

You can abuse the C pre-processor as well. The early versions of the Bourne Shell are, essentially, written in Bourne Shell through the use of a mess of C macros. When I was working at a Unix vendor I was assigned to track down a bug in the shell and that was just...wrong. Some time around Sys V somebody un-macro'ized the code.

The world is no nursery. - Sigmund Freud