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Comment: Re:Double jeopardy ? (Score 2) 52

Isn't there a law that forbids being trialed more than once for the same events ?

Yes, there is. In fact, his lawyer is going to appeal invoking double jeopardy.

That being said, it looks like that law may not favor him because:

Once again, however, the law is not as simple as it first appears because the statute has an important exception if the earlier case was “terminated by a court order expressly founded upon insufficiency of evidence to establish some element of such offense which is not an element of the other offense, defined by the laws of this state.” Roughly translated, that means Mr. Aleynikov probably can be prosecuted again because the federal case focused on tangible property, while the New York charges cover computer programs.

There is a good chance the latest charges will move forward, which makes Mr. Aleynikov’s demand that Goldman pay his legal fees all the more important because the earlier case essentially bankrupted him. According to a complaint filed in the United States District Court in New Jersey, he claims that the legal fees for the federal case were approximately $2.4 million, and the state case is likely to run up a similar bill.


By the way, here is another weird tidbit about the case:

It seems a bit odd that someone accused of stealing from his employer can demand that it pay for his lawyer, but that is how the law operates for public companies like Goldman that agree to indemnify their employees for legal fees and make advance payments of those costs.

Goldman’s bylaws require it to indemnify an officer for all costs in any proceeding, including a criminal prosecution. As a vice president at Goldman, Mr. Aleynikov appears to come within the scope of the bylaws that entitle him to seek payment of his fees.

The bylaws commit Goldman to pay Mr. Aleynikov’s fees in advance of a resolution of the case as long as he agrees to repay the money if it is determined he is not entitled to it, which he has done.

Fabrice Tourre, who is on leave as a vice president, is having many of his legal expenses covered by Goldman as he faces a securities fraud lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Goldman also paid a portion of the legal fees of its former director, Rajat Gupta, to defend him against insider trading charges, even though he was accused (and later convicted) of passing confidential information received from the firm.

Even better for Mr. Aleynikov is a provision of Delaware law, the state in which Goldman is incorporated, that requires a company to pay the legal fees of an officer who “has been successful on the merits or otherwise in defense of any action, suit or proceeding.”

When the appeals court reversed the conviction and ordered a dismissal of the charges, he was successful, even though the court also noted at one point that “Aleynikov stole purely intangible property embodied in a purely intangible format.”

That does not mean Goldman will pay the $2.4 million or advance additional money anytime soon, however. Companies loathe this type of claim because it makes them responsible for costs when they consider themselves the victim of a crime, and so there is an incentive to litigate the claim. Given Mr. Aleynikov’s dire financial condition, the firm could try to stall the case in the hope that he will settle for a smaller payment.


Comment: Re:Sanders amazes me (Score 1) 268

by stephanruby (#49603831) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

supporting the concepts, and understanding the economics on how to give everyone everything for free are 2 different things.

That's the thing, opposing the bank bail outs means that he doesn't want to give everyone everything for free and it also means that he supports the free market to some degree.

Personally, I don't know much about his policies, so I don't even know if I support his positions, but I do know that when someone like yourself is using absolute quantifiers like 'everyone' and 'everything' when speaking about a particular political issue, then it means you've stopped listening rationally to the other side on that particular issue.

Comment: Re:Dumb stuff (Score 1) 491

by stephanruby (#49601897) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

In a Washington Post op-ed, Zug, a student at the top-ranked Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, argues that a centerfold does not belong in the classroom.

The thing is, Maddie should have just used a picture of Justin Bieber for her homework (or someone equivalent to Justin Bieber). I am sure that the teacher would have adapted (even if it's not the current standard, it could become one).

And in her op-ed article, she should just have campaigned for that. Making light of the situation by making your own one-sided request sure beats telling everyone not to do something. Nobody likes to be told that they can't do something, even men. Instead of telling someone not to do something, replace it with a positive action they can do instead. And if she wants to win the argument, she should argue (tongue-in-cheek) that everyone, even the heterosexual boys in her class, should be using Justin Bieber from now on for learning image processing.

The first thing that needs to get done is to translate some of the current tutorials on image processing with a picture of Justin Bieber. The second thing that needs to get done is to improve on those tutorials in whatever way possible. If you get a bunch of teenage girls working on those two tasks, I can guarantee you that they'll learn something about Image Processing. And of course, the tutorial examples with Lena Soderberg won't disappear because of this, but at least, you'd be creating alternative materials, so you'd actually be giving high school teachers a choice in which materials to choose.

Comment: Re:All too often (Score 1) 33

by stephanruby (#49601611) Attached to: The Pioneer Who Invented the Weather Forecast

The article was pure-navel-gazing for the BBC.

The term "meteorology" was coined in Ancient Greece. The science of meteorology was studied in Ancient Greece and probably in many older ancient civilizations like India or China under other names.

Weather is such an important and life-threatening phenomenon, you can bet that there were warning systems in place in small fishing villages and/or over large territories.

One of the earliest scientific approaches to weather prediction occurred around 300 B.C.E., documented in Aristotle's work, "Meteorologica." The ancient Greeks invented the term meteorology, which means the study of atmospheric disturbances or meteors. Aristotle tried to explain the weather through the interaction of earth, fire, air, and water. His pupil Theophrastus really went to work and wrote the ultimate weather text The Book of Signs, which contained a collection of weather lore and forecast signs. Amazingly it served as the definitive weather book for 2,000 years! (What if they're still reading this 2,000 years from now?)

Theophrastus's weather lore included colors of the sky, rings and halos, and even sound. Hippocrates—also known as "the Father of Medicine"—was also very much involved with the weather. His work On Airs, Waters, and Places became a medical classic, linking good health with favorable weather conditions. The opening of his work begins with the advice that those who wish to investigate medicine must first begin with an understanding of seasons and weather.

Weather forecasting advanced little from these ancient times to the Renaissance. Then beginning in the fifteenth century, Leonardo da Vinci designed an instrument for measuring humidity called a hygrometer. Later Galileo Galilei invented the thermometer and his student Evangelista Torricelli came up with the barometer for measuring air pressure. With these tools, people could monitor the atmosphere. Then Sir Isaac Newton derived the physics and mathematics that accurately described the atmosphere. Newton's work on motion remains The Book of Signs of modern meteorology. To this day, his principles form the foundation of all computer analyses and predictions.

Read more: Weather: Forecasting from the Beginning http://www.infoplease.com/cig/...

Comment: Re:A glimpse into our future (Score 1) 67

by stephanruby (#49588449) Attached to: Apple, IBM To Bring iPads To 5 Million Elderly Japanese

What do you think society is going to be like when so many of the people not having kids get older?

It's going to look a lot like Florida, where the local sheriff's office makes checking-up phone calls to its elderly population every single morning as part of their primary duty. It's a great way to make sure the Sheriff gets re-elected that way.

It's going to look like this, where you hire services to check in on you regularly and make sure you are not dead or needing help... Even as the population gets more dispersed, there's a need for things like this so family who lives far away can still make sure parents are OK.

On a side-note, it seems like the Japanese have found a replacement business model for their postal service. We could try doing something similar in the US.

Technology can only get us so far. There always needs to be a certain amount of (live non-remote) human contact.

Comment: Re:Waitasecondhere... (Score 1) 393

by stephanruby (#49588307) Attached to: Tattoos Found To Interfere With Apple Watch Sensors

The fact that there's a technical issue isn't what matters. What matters is that they apparently either didn't think to test it, or didn't warn purchasers that it might be an issue.

I'm not an apple fanboy, but the real fact is that most people don't read warnings anyway (even if they had been given, which they clearly weren't).

For a limited time, Apple should just give refunds to people with tattoos on their wrists. It's not like that many people are going to qualify. Or if those people don't want a refund, they could just disable the wrist detection function and forget about using the heart monitoring and watch apple pay. Let's not pretend that this watch is anything more than a superfluous gadget, a wealth status symbol, or a fashion accessory.

An Apple Watch support page does refer to potential disruption to heart rate monitoring caused by inked skin, however it fails to mention further interference with other key functions. “Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance. The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings,” it reads.

The unlock wrist detection function can be turned off, however this also disables Apple Pay.

People with tattoos have many more things to worry about than an Apple watch anyway.

It's really the tattoo parlors that should have warnings and disclaimer forms that clients should sign.

Comment: Re:Banning by regulation (Score 1) 192

by stephanruby (#49582687) Attached to: Massachusetts Governor Introduces Bill To Regulate Uber, Lyft

I keep seeing people making this exact same quip without providing any evidence that there is any such guarantee. "I think I sound clever" and "They have an app" don't count.

Also I should say, the first time I tried Uber, I was given a promo code for $20 (these are not hard to get if you want to give Uber a try yourself, you just need to google for one, the only problem is that you can only use them once).

In my case, I made sure that the upper limit of my quote was less than $20. So for the first Uber trip I took, I basically didn't risk any of my own money (although, I did need to provide the app with my credit card number). So if the Uber car didn't come within the 3 minutes it said it would, I could have basically walked away not losing a single cent on the transaction.

One beginner mistake I made thought, was to set the pick up location automatically based on my gps sensors. I shouldn't have done that. With Uber, you have to adjust the pick up location manually before you do anything else. The app doesn't allow you to tweak the pick up location after you've inquired about a ride, so be sure to set that part first. That's the only UI usability problem I had with the app, otherwise the rest of the process is done very well and the entire app is extremely well polished (even on Android, which is the phone OS I use).

Comment: Re:Economy of Scale (Score 1) 81

by stephanruby (#49579859) Attached to: Uber Testing Massive Merchant Delivery Service

FedEx/UPS are bonded, insured, and reliable, and have global logistics chains. Uber is some guy with his mom's car, no commercial license, possibly improper insurance, and quite likely operating as an illegal commercial vehicle in many places.

FedEx is a lot more like Uber than you think. FedEx drivers are independent contractors. They get no benefits, no overtime, no sick leave, and no insurance. They pay for and maintain their own vehicles.

And yes, there was even a time when the US Post Office was trying to outlaw FedEx, because FedEx drivers had the gall to sometimes use door mail slots (instead of just leaving the envelopes on the ground in front of people's doorways when they were not home).

In any case, FedEx had some rough patches when it started out and FedEx did some questionable things. The same will happen with Uber. For one thing, now that Uber is no longer a startup, its CEO needs to get fired/resign. He is simply too direct and not socially mature enough to be the mouth-piece for the company.

Comment: Re:It is an ad. (Score 5, Informative) 216

by stephanruby (#49575795) Attached to: How Google Searches Are Promoting Genocide Denial

The official Turkish position is, "Let the historians decide." I'm not sure what good that does them.

Is that a new position? Or does Turkey like the Armenians better than the Kurds somehow?

When Noam Chomsky wrote about the treatment of Kurdish people in Turkey, the position of the Turkish government was to prosecute Noam Chomsky's Turkish publisher.

Comment: Re:Banning by regulation (Score 2) 192

by stephanruby (#49575471) Attached to: Massachusetts Governor Introduces Bill To Regulate Uber, Lyft

I keep seeing people making this exact same quip without providing any evidence that there is any such guarantee. "I think I sound clever" and "They have an app" don't count.

I don't need a guarantee. Uber lets me know in real-time where the available Uber cars are located (along with real-time traffic information and the number of stars that a driver has). That's more than enough for me. If I don't see an available Uber car on the map near me before I order, then I know I can't rely on Uber to pick me up. It's as simple as that.

And if I make an order, and an Uber driver accepts that order, then that Uber car is immediately taken off the public map of Uber cars, and I am the only one who can see it moving on the map.

Not only that, but once an Uber car driver accepts a pick up order from someone, he isn't being bombarded with other offers along the way. Also, his rating is at stake, because Uber will ask me to rate him after the ride (whether he picked me up on time, or not). In addition to that, even if I falsify my customer rating of the driver by saying that he took 30 more minutes than he was supposed to by taking a detour in between, Uber could verify my claim with the gps data of the driver, and/or the gps data and time of my pick up on my phone (which I assume is logged when the Uber app is in use).

So this isn't me being clever. I'm just someone who has used Uber in the past. Anyone who uses Uber at least once would come to the same conclusion I have.

That being said, let me add a disclaimer: When I make fun of Taxi cabs, I make fun of the Taxi Cabs in San Francisco. If you don't live or work in a city like San Francisco, or New York, where medallions are extremely expensive and insanely scarce because of corruption, then you may not have had the same problems with taxi cabs during peak hours as I have had.

Comment: In-depth political analysis (Score 4, Funny) 95

I wish to subscribe to her twitter feed.

I bet that maintaining a Twitter and Facebook presence will help with her re-election campaign.

Also, she's not bad looking as far as judges go. In American politics, good looks count for a lot.

Meanwhile, Slaughter emerged on top from a field of four Republicans, which includes Mallia, but she too did not earn the more than 50 percent vote to win her respective race.
Slaughter accumulated 10,015 votes while Mallia finished the race with 7,654.
Mallia was first elected as a Democrat in 2000, but switched to the GOP in November.
Their rivals, Zachary Maloney and Paul Lavalle, combined for approximately 12 percent of the vote.

Slaughter is actually the perfect name for a judge in Texas. I bet she got 3,000 votes for her last name alone.

And Maloney sounds too much like baloney, that poor guy was doomed from the start. Why did he even run? I have no idea.

FORTRAN rots the brain. -- John McQuillin