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Comment Re:My Pet Peeves (recent Windows laptop keyboards) (Score 1) 361 361

The numeric keypad tends to be pretty highly valued by typists that are 10key proficient and type a lot of numbers. It's actually more common than you probably believe. I and many others prefer to buy laptops/keyboards with the 10 key numeric in place.

Comment Re:Investigating if laws were broken (Score 1) 312 312

The precedents that the Supreme court has put in place authorizing the drug war laws allow things like this to happen. The court has basically put down the law that the end justifies the means. You can see this most apparently in Civil forfeiture where the government sues property not the owner of said property. Because this was targeting drug proceeds it was deemed ok even though it's a clear violation of the 4th amendment. Now that law is being abused to take money from small business owners and anyone in possession of any cash.

The natural extension of the drug war exceptions was to allow police to be wrong about the law yet still be able to pull someone over and search them based on that officer not knowing the law. Hence an illegal search based on an officer being wrong about the law is allowed because cops are allowed to be wrong about the law but you aren't.

Comment Re:Am I missing something? (Score 1) 265 265

Involuntary commitment to an institution is incredibly rare in the US. You need to be an active threat to yourself or others to be forcibly committed. For this to happen you basically have to prove to a court the person is going to hurt someone. Often this results in a guardian being appointed with power of attorney and that person can sign someone into a treatment facility.

There are very good reasons for this. Before these policies were in place, that required a court order to commit someone against their will, the commitment procedure was routinely used to commit someone that family, friends or someone with power wanted to put into a secure facility with little to no regard for their actual mental state. This resulted in things like during the 50's for it to be common for daughters deemed "promiscuous" to be involuntarily committed, even if they were well into their 20's. Or the towns rebellious kid from a poor family being committed and lobotomized because he the mayor didn't want his daughter dating that "freak".

Involuntary commitment is a very dangerous thing. It should be reserved for the most extreme cases because otherwise it will be abused. Although I don't like that most of the long term homeless in the US are actually mentally ill the fact is most of them want to be where they are. You can't have a free society if you are going to decide that if people don't abide certain societal customs that they need to be locked up and forcibly medicated. That direction lies authoritarian government. The only time involuntary commitment should even be an option is in the case of actual violence or imminent violence that can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

Comment Re:Dangerous power (Score 1) 265 265

Getting anyone committed or in a forced hold is almost impossible. You have to prove they are going to hurt someone physically. The woman ruined her life but I doubt she had one incident where she was deemed to be dangerous enough to warrant a hold and psychiatric evaluation. This is true even if you are married to someone.

After 20 years of crazy the guy probably had enough. At some point even if you love the person the crazy gets to be more than you can handle and you have to put your own needs above the needs of the marriage. I say this as someone that doesn't believes that marriage should be forever. But having first hand experience with mental illness in a loved one I can tell you that at some point people need to just take care of themselves so their own mental health doesn't deteriorate.

Comment Re:Worst possible example. (Score 5, Insightful) 87 87

He's saying "use drones to be able to use your limited resources more intelligently" - for example, focusing on getting that jaws-of-life to a potentially critically injured car accident victim rather than diverting to a probable false alarm house fire.

If you honestly think that such a thing even happens you are as foolish as him. You are creating a straw man with an event that's as rare as unicorn sightings.

The fact is that budgets are limited and you can't have an infinite number of rescue workers responding to everything.

Many of these budgets have fixed costs, for example you have 20 firefighters sitting around 24/7/365 (multiple shifts). And these firefighters aren't in new york responding to calls every few minutes. They spend 90% of every day sitting on their ass, just like every other sub-urban/rural firefighter.

And compared to the salaries and overheads of humans, drones are very cheap.

I see your malfunction now. You seem to think that drones fly themselves. That the guy sitting there flying the drone is invisible and doesn't cost salary and overhead. That the drone itself doesn't require maintenance, fuel, parts or will need a ground crew. You are WRONG. The drone is going to cost almost as much to operate as it would cost to put a plane up (except it's cheaper to buy than a plane). And the guy flying it? He's going to cost as much as a highly trained pilot because he's going to be one. This thing is the size of a fridge, it falls out of the sky and lands on someone it's going to kill them. The FAA isn't going to allow anything that size to be flown without someone with a pilots license behind the controls, as they've already decreed BTW.

You also seem to be of the view that drones are miraculous and can spot people in a gutter or a lost child in a forest. People in manned helicopters have a hard time spotting that stuff, how on earth do you think a drone could do it so easy?

Drones aren't miracles. You seem to think they are. This plan is nothing more than some jackass with a hobby that wants the taxpayers to fund it.

Comment Re:Worst possible example. (Score 2) 87 87

You forgot the fuel, maintenance and spare parts. I'd be willing to bet daily operating costs will be equivalent to having a plane up.

A plane is a plane, doesn't really matter if it's manned or not, it's still going to cost about the same, unless you think you can train bob the high school drop out to fly a drone and the drones operate on hugs and happy thoughts.

Comment Re:Not the CFAA, but possibly the FCC (Score 1) 138 138

It really doesn't matter what you think the law is. If they can get a judge to go along, a jury to convict you and an appeals court to uphold it you WILL got to jail. The CFAA has allowed far lesser things to put people in jail. The CFAA is so incredibly generic that they can put you in jail for almost anything involving a computer, and it's so technical in nature that you're guaranteed a jury won't understand it which means the government has a major advantage. This is doubly true for the courts, both the original and the appeals.

I wouldn't be so cavalier about the CFAA, Aaron Swartz had a view similar to yours then he was looking at 25 years in Federal jail and killed himself under the stress of being raped daily for 25 years. What he did wasn't technically illegal either and the people involved didn't even want to prosecute him.

Comment Worst possible example. (Score 1) 87 87

So most fire alarms are false alarms so the solution is to delay deployment of the fire department until a drone can see if the fire is real? He can't really be suggesting that because that would mean he's a complete fucking moron. The faster the response time of a fire department to an actual fire the lower the loss of life and the less property damage. If you are going to wait 30 minutes for a drone to launch and fly over the fire you are going to basically kill everyone that's in the building and burn down everything that catches fire.

And the Ironic thing is he acts like sending the fire department out to a call costs money. The firemen are sitting there on their ass all day long getting paid whether they respond or they don't. Sure there is a very small cost in fuel and other expendables if they do respond but to act as if the entire cost of the fire department is saved if they don't respond is completely idiotic.

This guy wants a toy and he's trying to convince the public to pick up the cost. That and he didn't think through his "example" at all.

Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.