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Comment: Re:no doubt living in Russia sucks (Score 1) 378

by Shakrai (#49176303) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

And to be fair didn't USA more or less invented freedom? ;D (No? Someone feel free to write down some points, I'm interested and don't really mean and say that USA was first but I respect it being a thing from the very beginning over there and taken seriously.)

The Western concept of freedom probably started with the Greeks. Of course, they weren't perfect, they owned slaves (as did the young American Republic) but Western civilization has never been and never will be perfect. The Romans added a great deal to the mix, as did the British, and the United States is really just built on all that came before it.

Incidentally, I've never been to Sweden, but I've spent some time in Finland. I'm actually headed back there for a month this summer and have a trip to Stockholm on the agenda. If you've got any suggestions for things to do.... :)

Comment: Re:Bad idea (Score 2) 378

by Shakrai (#49175973) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

Most likely he would be tried under a military tribunal as an enemy combatant, which means he is already guilty no matter what evidence is presented.

Our country can't even move forward with the military tribunals of unlawful combatant foreign nationals captured aboard, even though such tribunals are explicitly allowed under both domestic and international law. You think we'd be able to do it against an American citizen, for crimes allegedly committed on American soil? Give me a break. This is the type of conspiracy theory nonsense that makes internet discussions a complete waste of time. Study how the real world works, it's a lot more boring and bureaucratic than you think.

Comment: Re:Bad idea (Score 2) 378

by Shakrai (#49175861) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

You'll forgive me if I decline to discuss my views of the relevant NSA programs, since /. isn't exactly welcoming to opinions more nuanced than "Snowden Good. NSA Bad."

All I'll say on the subject is that there are mechanisms in place for people who feel their Government is doing wrong. He could have gone to the relevant Congressional committees or the Inspector General at NSA. He could have used the whistleblower act. He ignored all of those options and leaped straight to leaking, then further threw the baby out with the bathwater by leaking details of programs that had no bearing whatsoever on domestic civil liberties, like NSA's activities against China. In effect, he substituted his judgment for the judgment of our elected representatives, an act of extraordinary hubris in the words of Robert Gates.

In spite of everything I may have retained some understanding of his choices had he opted to selectively leak the details of NSA's domestic activities. He didn't do that though, he took as much as he possibly could and leaked it all, with no consideration for the damage it would do to American interests and national security. That may not mean anything to you but such actions have far reaching ramifications and I don't recall seeing Mr. Snowden's name on the ballot when I was selecting the people who would wield that power on my behalf.

Comment: Re:Parody (Score 1) 173

by LateArthurDent (#49175769) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

"Satire" doesn't mean "Different".

In a reddit AMA, Khan explained what he wanted to show was the nature of how society finds violence acceptable in a kids show versus what they consider adult themed. He said the major difference between his short and the original power rangers cartoon was that when characters get shot, red liquid spurts out. Plus he showed titties. Other than that, it's the same type of fighting, with people hurting or killing others. But one is a kid's show and the other is "gritty".

It absolutely fits as satire and valid commentary.

Comment: Re:no doubt living in Russia sucks (Score 1) 378

by Shakrai (#49174957) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

I would not generalize Russia to be a shithole.

You might have a different perspective if you're homosexual. Or Muslim. Or generally anything but Slavic Orthodox.

Here's an interesting statistic that speaks volumes about corruption in Russia: The annual global wealth study published by the financial services group Credit Suisse says a mere 110 Russian citizens now control 35 percent of the total household wealth across the vast country.

Comment: Re:Bad idea (Score 2) 378

by Shakrai (#49174909) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law. - MLK Jr, emphasis mine

I can't arose much sympathy for someone who professes to love his country but seeks refuge from a regime that stands opposed to virtually everything his country stands for. There are people who are willing to die for this country, without fame or recognition, but Mr. Snowden both outs himself and refuses to face a jury of his fellow citizens?

Comment: Four factor analysis for fair use (Score 1) 173

by JoshuaZ (#49173661) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use
With the disclaimer that I'm not a lawyer, this seems like fair use. In the US there are four major prongs to evaluate fair use The first is purpose, which as Wikipedia summarizes is "The first factor is regarding whether the use in question helps fulfill the intention of copyright law to stimulate creativity for the enrichment of the general public, or whether it aims to only "supersede the objects" of the original for reasons of personal profit. " Since there's no profit here, this does well on the first prong. The second prong isn't very relevant here- it just means that because this is a fictional work, the standard is slightly stricter. The third prong looks at the amount of the original material that has been used. Since only a few names, some colors and certain aspects of costumes were used, the amount used is very small. The fourth factor is whether the material dilutes or competes commercially with the original source material. No one is going to go and not by Power Rangers material or not watch the original because of this. There's clearly no competition or loss of profit to the actual franchise. Overall, seems like a clearcut case of fair use even before we talk about the parody defense.

Comment: Re:Yes, I agree (Score 1) 422

by Chandon Seldon (#49173083) Attached to: Why We Should Stop Hiding File-Name Extensions

Systems people just need to do their goddam jobs. Workers have enough crap to worry about.

Nonsense. If you spend 6+ hours a day working at a computer, you have some responsibility to know how to use that computer.

What next? Is every company going to have an "office chair support" department so people don't have to figure out how to raise and lower their own chair? A typist pool so that nobody has to learn how to type?

Comment: Re:B0ll0cks... (Score 1) 417

It would be my pleasure to see the whole lot of them have the actual text of the law applied to them as though they were a tattooed black guy with multiple priors.

We often have suitable laws; but they just mysteriously never even get brought up, much less by people in a position to do something about them.

Comment: Re:B0ll0cks... (Score 3, Insightful) 417

It's either bullshit(fairly likely) or the rules need to be changed yesterday(actually, at least a couple of administrations ago).

Aside from the obvious issues with complying with transparency, discoverability, and archiving requirements that are legally imposed on official business even at much lower levels(heck, I've done penny-ante IT minion stuff for small municipalities that was subject to public records laws that would have made doing things over personal email grossly unprofessional at best and illegal at worst, and she's the fucking Secretary of State...), what about security?

Given the delightful creep of the Top Secret National Security Stuff blob to cover ever larger swaths of DC, surely the Secretary of State does some emailing about stuff that is, at least for little people, probably supposed to not leave the SCIF, much less be handled by who-knows-who at some random email provider or a DNC mailserver admin.

Comment: Re:The real morale of the story (Score 2) 191

I can't speak for TechyImmigrant; but it sounds like he is nervous about things that suggest software development(especially by people with no track record of it) substantially more involved than microcontroller firmware. Which is probably fair, given that even professional developers working for companies that make software have horror stories.

If that's in fact his reasoning, there's probably a distinction between "Using a handy bluetooth module that acts like a serial port because most laptops and no cellphones have RS-232 ports", which is relatively safe, easy, and close to drop-in; and "Adding a nice, easy, drop-in wireless module so that our smartphone app(coming real soon now, we promise!) can communicate with the onboard web interface we've almost finished writing!", which has the potential to go nowhere, slowly.

Comment: Re:The real morale of the story (Score 1) 191

Simple, useful and you know you could do it yourself if you weren't so lazy. You're paying them to be less lazy that you.

Also a reasonably handy way(not necessarily optimal; but good enough to get the job done) to organize the equivalent of a group buy. Unless you really love screwing around with toner transfer and ferric chloride, PCBs get markedly cheaper when you go from 1 unit to a few hundred or few thousand units, as do pretty much all the components you'd stuff the PCBs with. DIY isn't impossible or anything; but it'll be a good bit cheaper per unit if the quantity is higher.

What good is a ticket to the good life, if you can't find the entrance?