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Comment: Re:Why the same article (Score 1) 327

With the rapidly rising influence of feminism on the Web and the related backlash movements, it seems like we could be having an interesting, intellectual discussion about what is going on, and how it's affecting tech culture.

Seriously? Have you ever tried to have a discussion with a (third-wave intersectional) feminist? First they yell mansplaining, then they yell derailing, then they yell for the authorities, and if that doesn't work they cut off communication.

Comment: Re:Not pointless... (Score 3, Informative) 388

by russotto (#49770339) Attached to: D.C. Police Detonate Man's 'Suspicious' Pressure Cooker

Gasoline doesn't explode, it burns. Of course, as our resident expert in IEDs and Constitutional Law, you already knew that, right?

Pressure cookers neither explode nor burn, unless you pack them with explosives. Gasoline vapor mixed with air, however, explodes. If you want to make a car bomb, you don't need a pressure cooker. Ask Dateline NBC.

In New York State you can get expired registration and/or inspection citations while your car is parked.

Yes, but you can't get driving on a suspended/revoked license citations while the car is parked. There's a difference: expired registration/inspection applies to the car, revoked license applies to the driver. If my license is revoked, it's still legal for me to allow anyone else with a valid license to drive my car, and it is still legal for the car (assuming its registration and inspection remains valid) to be parked on public streets where parking is permitted. (There was a meter in front of the car, so parking was clearly permitted at least some of the time).

Comment: Re:Not pointless... (Score 4, Informative) 388

by russotto (#49770283) Attached to: D.C. Police Detonate Man's 'Suspicious' Pressure Cooker

"Did you know that in the District of Columbia, the Mayor or his representative can revoke your license for any reason at all, and the only appeal is to the Mayor?" No. Could you please point us to the law that authorizes mayoral driver's license revocation? (I'm betting you can't.)

You lose. DC Code 50-1403.1(a) and (c).

Comment: Re:Okay... (Score 1) 388

by russotto (#49770249) Attached to: D.C. Police Detonate Man's 'Suspicious' Pressure Cooker

The great thing about a smell of gasoline in a car is that it can both be made to sound suspicious and that it's completely non-disprovable; if the cops claim to smell pot and they destructively search the car and not a microgram of pot is found, the cops look pretty foolish. But gasoline? If no one can smell it later, maybe it was just a bit of a spill which evaporated since... who could know?

Comment: Re:Not pointless... (Score 4, Interesting) 388

by russotto (#49769505) Attached to: D.C. Police Detonate Man's 'Suspicious' Pressure Cooker

Have you ever heard the expression, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should?"

Yeah, usually from authoritarians who think it's perfectly OK to enforce laws which they couldn't be bothered to actually enact.

Fucking common sense says don't park your fucking car a block away from the United States Capitol with anything inside that could be misidentified as an explosive device.

Like its gas tank?

It also says you should keep your drivers license current and in good standing.

It was revoked. Did you know that in the District of Columbia, the Mayor or his representative can revoke your license for any reason at all, and the only appeal is to the Mayor?

You think they just cited him for that offense without checking to see that he was actually operating the vehicle?

Sure, why not? Now they can leverage dropping that charge against his not filing a lawsuit for the damage to his car.

He's not getting the book thrown at him in any of the media accounts I've read, he's getting the same treatment he would have received if he was pulled over for a routine traffic stop.

I don't know about you, but I've never been pulled over for a routine traffic stop when I wasn't driving.

Comment: Re:did they damage the car? (Score 5, Insightful) 388

by russotto (#49768859) Attached to: D.C. Police Detonate Man's 'Suspicious' Pressure Cooker

They broke the rear window and blew up the pressure cooker outside the car. Reimburse? No, they didn't reimburse him; instead they arrested him for operating a vehicle after license revocation, just to cover up for their incompetence. Obviously if a car belonging to someone has moved, it must be that person who moved it, right?

Comment: Smith v. Maryland (Score 3, Informative) 94

According to Smith v. Maryland, Law enforcement doesn't need a warrant for pen registers, because people have no expectation of privacy in the numbers they called. That one decision has led to the entire NSA metadata collection, as well as unrestrained use of Stingrays and similar devices. Remember that next time someone sneers at the slippery slope.

Comment: Re:Tolls? (Score 1) 826

by russotto (#49743823) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

He's probably heard something somewhere and made a stupid assumption. Road wear is heavily influenced by the pressure between the tire and the road. (ie: the weight per square inch. Or pounds per square inch). And little to do with the pressure _inside_ the tire. (It has _some_ effect, higher tire pressures generally reduce the tire's footprint on the road, increasing the contact PSI.)

Pressure inside the tire and pressure between tire and the road are very close to equal. A 120psi bicycle tire really is putting 120psi on the contact patch. And this has a small practical effect: in very soft asphalt you can sometimes see ruts caused by bicycles.

But road damage isn't entirely dictated by tire pressure

Comment: Re:You can ban these so-called "tools" AFAIK. (Score 5, Interesting) 126

by russotto (#49743645) Attached to: US Proposes Tighter Export Rules For Computer Security Tools

David Sternlight is that you? You know you can legally buy both ski masks and crow bars, right? In fact, I think REI sells ski masks, crow bars (cleverly disguised as climbing hardware), and backpacks all in the same store, and they haven't been shut down yet.

Comment: Re:Government Intrusion (Score 1) 826

by russotto (#49740973) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

A 5,000lb car causes more than twice the wear of two 2,500lb cars.

The oft-quoted 4th power law is a rule of thumb which holds only in the axle weight range of heavy trucks. On roads meant to handle heavy trucks, a 5,000lb car and two 2,500lb cars do just about the same amount of damage, which is none at all. A certain amount of light traffic actually reduces total damage by suppressing growth of vegetation.

On roads not meant to handle heavy trucks, damage by weight has as far as I know not been studied in a systemic manner.

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