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+ - New Dropbox Terms of Use Adds Arbitration Requirement, Prohibits Class Action

Submitted by memnock
memnock (466995) writes "The Legal Genealogist has this story about Dropbox, the cloud storage company:
'... The second key change is one that has a number of Dropbox users up in arms. It’s putting in a binding arbitration section to its terms of use and a blanket bar on class action lawsuits...
... Even if you do opt out of the arbitration clause, you won’t be able to join forces with other users to sue as a group in what’s called a class action lawsuit. And you’d have to file any suit you do bring as an individual in California.'"

+ - Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences 7

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Like something out of the movie "Inception," Rhiannon Williams reports in the Telegraph that Dr. Rebecca Roache, in charge of a team of scholars focused upon the ways futuristic technologies might transform punishment, claims the prison sentence of serious criminals could be made worse by distorting prisoners' minds into thinking time was passing more slowly. "There are a number of psychoactive drugs that distort people’s sense of time, so you could imagine developing a pill or a liquid that made someone feel like they were serving a 1,000-year sentence," says Roache. Roache says when she began researching this topic, she was thinking a lot about Daniel Pelka, a four-year-old boy who was starved and beaten to death by his mother and stepfather. "I had wondered whether the best way to achieve justice in cases like that was to prolong death as long as possible. Some crimes are so bad they require a really long period of punishment, and a lot of people seem to get out of that punishment by dying. And so I thought, why not make prison sentences for particularly odious criminals worse by extending their lives?" Thirty years in prison is currently the most severe punishment available in the UK legal system. "To me, these questions about technology are interesting because they force us to rethink the truisms we currently hold about punishment. When we ask ourselves whether it’s inhumane to inflict a certain technology on someone, we have to make sure it’s not just the unfamiliarity that spooks us," says Roache. "Is it really OK to lock someone up for the best part of the only life they will ever have, or might it be more humane to tinker with their brains and set them free? When we ask that question, the goal isn’t simply to imagine a bunch of futuristic punishments – the goal is to look at today’s punishments through the lens of the future.""

Comment: create demand? (Score 1, Insightful) 162

by reynolds_john (#43574961) Attached to: Cyber Vulnerabilities Found In Navy's Newest Warship

It should give pause to anyone joining the military that our citizens, and our own government would seek to arm the rest of the world, potentially to be used against us. better to stay in school, join the military industrial complex and create the weapons, rather than be paid a pittance and die prematurely on the battlefield. Take a page from our congressional leaders.

Comment: Re:Step 1. (Score 2, Interesting) 1197

by reynolds_john (#31231938) Attached to: Health Insurance When Leaving the Corporate World?

Interesting. I've given thought to this myself - just because I'm not sure the US wishes to remain (or even maintain) its governmental obligations to society. People today tend to believe that government should only be here to wage war and 'defend' the populous. I tend to think government (at least a good part of it) should be to ensure the well being of its people, and that includes equitable health care. How have you found the health care in Toronto in comparison to the US?

Comment: Re:A good manager... (Score 1) 426

by reynolds_john (#30506338) Attached to: When Developers Work Late, Should the Manager Stay?

In response to the original - simple answer, wrong question. The manager should stay if:
1. The manager can provide some sort of recognizable value to the effort (getting coffee, running interference, coding, whatever).
2. The manager is directly responsible for the late hours being incurred.
3. The manager can provide some sort of morale boost to the employees by physically being present.

On the flip side, should you remain in the office when the manager has to stay late? Perhaps he's staying late because your team didn't finish the code you promised at a particular time. What then? Why isn't the CEO staying late when you have to work overtime?

In response to parent:

Indeed, it may be time for the poster to stop looking at the individual "I'm putting in OT, why isn't my manager here" and start looking inwards, and at the macro level of the organisation. Recently, in an attempt to understand my own organization's psychotic management style (note here I'm not absolving myself of any wrongdoing), I've been reading Edward Yourdon's "Death March". Snippet:

"Companies both large and small are filled with politics and are staffed by managers and technical developers who suffer from hysterical optimism as well as the usual gamut of emotions such as fear, insecurity, arrogance, and naivete. And the combination of re-engineering, downsizing, outsourcing, and global competition - together with the opportunities provided by new technologies ... and the internet - suggest to me that death march projects are likely to be a common occurrence for years to come."

The rest of Yourdon's book is spent lending an understanding as to why these things happen from many standpoints, with the hope that you can empower yourself to make a *rational* decision about your involvement in the project, and even the company as a whole. At the end of the day, it's your time, and your life. But at least come to the conclusion that you're 50% of the problem - management isn't solely responsible for your unhappiness. With the frenetic pace of companies today, people have very little time to learn, develop, and get things right. By the time something settles into resembling a normal project, everything changes and the process of education, experience, mistakes, etc. starts all over again. The players, environment - everything changes every single day.

I'm not implying that everyone should throw up their hands. But if you're not actively attempting to change the environment around you through your own education and experience, then I submit that you're just part of the problem.

Comment: Re:redmine (Score 1) 428

by reynolds_john (#30466640) Attached to: What Does Everyone Use For Task/Project Tracking?

Where are my mod up points!?
Redmine is the beautiful solution which walks the lines between having to input far too much information, being useful for the developer, and still useful for managers.
It seems to have quite a few TRAC defectors too. I've never used Trac, so I don't know why.
Bugzilla was far too 'developer oriented' for me - Redmine seems to take care of that rather well.

Comment: Re:Only every 8 months? Lucky. (Score 1) 932

by reynolds_john (#30079034) Attached to: Easing the Job of Family Tech Support?

This is genius. I'm imagining the same thing on "Car Talk":

Caller: Hi, I'm calling from BFE, Arizona. My 1998 Honda Accord has the following problem...

Tom: STOP RIGHT THERE! You need to sell that car, and get a Lexus. We only recommend Lexus.

Caller: Uh, well, I've got a problem here I was hoping you could solve instead of a $40k solution...

Tom: Well, you were too stupid when you bought that. Sorry. Just go get a Lexus. Problems solved!

Tom: Next caller!

Comment: Re:Summary doesn't make it clear... (Score 4, Informative) 624

by reynolds_john (#29081213) Attached to: Arizona Judge Tells Sheriff "Reveal Password Or Face Contempt"

In the first gulf war we slept and lived in tents without airconditioning in the middle of summer (think Marines). The Air Force, not 2 miles away, had all air conditioned tents.
I'm glad to hear you're treated better than we were. It was effing miserable.

"In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -- Carl Sagan, Cosmos

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