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Comment: Re:Tim Cook is a Pro Discrimination Faggot (Score 2) 912

If Joe's lawnmower service center or Sally's cake shop is discriminatory it's probably not a big deal in the grand scheme of things (distasteful as it may be to some), but if you have the same problem with Toro or Albertsons it's a major issue.

There are many flavors of "Religious Freedom Law,"but at least the Indiana law applies to the employees as well as the businesses. So, Joe's lawnmower service may refuse people on the basis of religion at the policy level, but Joe, the employee of Starbuck's, may also refuse to serve people on the basis of his personal beliefs. The law is intended to prevent Starbuck's from firing Joe for his expression of personal religious freedom.

Comment: Re:Ballsy, but stupid ... (Score 3, Insightful) 283

by tburkhol (#49373675) Attached to: Attempted Breach of NSA HQ Checkpoint; One Shot Dead

What I'm saying is that death penalty should happen as a last resort, not a first line of defense. The car could have been easily stopped by ramming it off the road, and people tackled and arrested

The first line of defense is the stop sign. The second line of defense is the guards yelling "Stop!" The third line of defense is a gate. The fourth line of defense, in this case, was a pair of parked police cars that the SUV (reportedly) rammed through.

Guards discharging their weapons was decidedly not the "first line of defense." I'm not sure what else could reasonably have been done in short enough time, to stop a vehicle with demonstrated willingness to perpetrate violence, but ramming through the parked cars seems like pretty good justification for extreme measures.

Comment: Re:News for nerds (Score 2) 283

by tburkhol (#49373341) Attached to: Attempted Breach of NSA HQ Checkpoint; One Shot Dead

But why didn't the FBI's country-wide license plate trackers not catch them? Or is that only to trace their movements after they do something bad?

The historical database of license plate sightings is a terrific source of circumstantial evidence against people suspected of wrongdoing.

eg: your wife turns up dead. You renewed her life insurance policy a month ago. Three weeks ago, your car made several visits to "the bad part of town," possibly while you were at a murder-for-hire meeting. Nevermind that your insurance policy renews every February, and that a water main break diverted your commute.

Many things look suspicious once suspicion is upon you: the concern with a vast trove of location and communication history is that it is more likely to be twisted to make an honest man look corrupt than it is to find a criminal before he acts.

Comment: Re:Do It, it worked in AZ (Score 1) 878

by tburkhol (#49343441) Attached to: Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill

If we're going to start boycotting entire geographical areas because select businesses within their boundaries - fractions of a single percent - might refuse service, then... I don't even.

We're talking about a state law here, which presumably represents the general will of the people of the state. If Indiana puts up border signs saying "Welcome to Indiana, Gays may be refused service" it doesn't really matter whether 90%, 1%, or 0% of businesses actually do so - putting it in the law declares it a value of the people of the state.

Should I start walking into clothing stores demanding they stock clothes to fit my unusual size? Should I walk into coffee shops, demanding they accommodate my taste for foreign music and tea?

Orthogonal issues: this is not about stocking a particular product, this is about making a product equally available to any person. If the clothing store refuses to fit you until you pledge devotion to Allah, or if the best coffee shop in town demands you kiss a copperhead snake before you place your order, then maybe you'd have a complaint.

If you really want to push the coffee-tea analogy, would you take a large, diverse group of friends to a coffee shop that explicitly refuses to serve tea, knowing that some of your friends prefer tea? I suspect you would find a different shop/state that is more willing to accommodate your group. You might even tell the store owner that you're sad you couldn't bring your party to his place, but for the discrimination against tea.

Comment: Re:Do It, it worked in AZ (Score 1) 878

by tburkhol (#49343241) Attached to: Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill

But is it really practical to invent a religion and compare it to one that has been around longer than the government and had influenced the world for centuries before?

Yes. "Freedom of religion" does not contain any qualifiers. Your religion doesn't have to have a specific number of adherents, it doesn't have to have a long and glorious history, it doesn't have to have won wars against any other religion. It only has to be a set of beliefs or principles you take on faith. Those beliefs can change every 20 seconds, based on communication from from $DEITY, personal revelation, or direction of wind. "Freedom of religion" means that Catholicism is just as valid, and has exactly the same privileges as Quakerism, Sikhism, Jedism, or Flying Spaghetti Monsterism. Just because you believe your One True Faith does not negate my One True Faith.

It's worth pointing out that "Freedom of Religion" is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. The courts have frequently found that the needs and safety of secular society trump religious practice. Perhaps most notably, faiths that support polygamy may not have multiple bondings recognized as marriage. Even snake-handling is illegal in many states.

Comment: Re:And now, things get Ugly. (Score 1) 120

by tburkhol (#49334981) Attached to: Uber To Turn Into a Big Data Company By Selling Location Data

Can you trust that they never will?

Yes. Google's power over advertisers lies in Google's exclusive access to user information. Advertisers pay Google to figure out who would be good recipients of advertising, based on the belief that Google can identify those people better than the advertiser. If Google sells its collection of user data, then the advertiser will be able to make that determination for itself, and Google loses its main advantage over other ad-distribution networks. You do not sell the goose that lays golden eggs.

Comment: Re:What's missing from this story? (Score 2) 569

I want to believe that what you see in TV is just fiction and that doors don't go down with a kick, but even then...The average door in Europe is reinforced and it would take some ram hits before going down, and that assuming the door is not bolted.

The point of failure is usually the stud that holds the bolt. In typical US, wood-frame construction, this is a 2x4, with the bolt centered, leaving really just about 3 cm of pine wood holding the door closed. "Kick the door down" is also a euphemism for any form of forced entry, most likely a 40 (one man)-100 (two man) pound battering ram.

Comment: Re:What's missing from this story? (Score 3, Insightful) 569

If you were a cop and you were sent to an address in response to a 911 call claiming that there was someone at that address with a dangerous weapon, would you walk up to the door and knock politely?

Why not talk to them via bullhorn or phone without even approaching the house? It's going to take at least 15 minutes to assemble and deploy a SWAT team - don't you think any killing the guy has started will be done by then?

If you start with negotiation, you have at least some chance to let the adrenalin run out, get people thinking rationally about consequences, let the first pangs of guilt emerge. If you start with shocking and overwhelming force, you pretty much guarantee someone's going to get hurt. Police are supposed to be trained to deescalate situations. They may carry tools required to respond to an escalation, but they're supposed to be distinguishable from a lynch mob by their ability to remain calm and bring about peaceful resolutions. Failure of this training results in shooting of unarmed crazy people.

Comment: Re:Waste of time (Score 2) 252

There's zero fucking reason to put an HTPC in a crawl space.

Depends on your environment. In my area, the crawl space is often used for all mechanicals - HVAC, water heater, electrical service, even the whole-house vacuum. It makes running new lines really easy, with no tearing open of walls, not unlike an upside-down dropped ceiling. A central store of media files that can be distributed through the house is much more attractive than separate HTPCs for every room. One relatively beefy HTPC, capable of transcoding multiple media files for playback on low-power, fanless frontends is likewise very attractive. Especially if "crawl space" means a 3-4' high space between the slab and the floor of a house on a hill.

The only thing I'd recommend to OP is rack mounting on posts hanging from the floor joists - ie, suspend the system as far above the floor as possible. Water heaters and HVAC are designed to resist a little water/flooding - computers aren't. Dust is likely still to be a problem, but you can wrap the whole thing in a bag filter to cut that down.

Comment: Re:Understanding rules looser than style guide rul (Score 2) 667

by tburkhol (#49265793) Attached to: Why There Is No Such Thing as 'Proper English'

The rules sufficient for successful understanding are looser than the rules prescribed by style guides.

This is particularly true for spoken English vs written English. In spoken English, intonation and body language contribute to communication, eg bad vs bad. You're expected to fill in missing/garbled words from context. Written English is an attempt to encode all of that information.

So, sure, sloppy spelling, poor grammar, and homophone substitution may be understandable to your close friends. That makes it more of a code language or private language, and there's plenty of times where we like to share private, insider conversations. If you actually want to communicate with everyone, you have to use the parent language - step back from the Southern drawl or the Scots brogue and speak Common.

Comment: Re:This ex-Swatch guy doesn't have a clue (Score 1) 389

Sadly, the swatch-brand cheap watches were shit back then. A timex or a cheap casio digital would have been better. The cheap swatch couldn't actually take any abuse.

But a basic black, $10 timex was boring. Swatch made cheap ($20), crap watches that came in different colors. With 'funky' designs. People paid for swatches twice what they were worth because they had an off-center stripe on the face. And then someone realized that you could wear two, three, or even four swatches on one arm!

When the swatch guy gets up and tells you that iWatch has the potential to crush swiss watchmaking, he's talking about fashion, not function.

Comment: Re:Here's one (Score 1) 348

by tburkhol (#49224879) Attached to: Obama Administration Claims There Are 545,000 IT Job Openings

maybe I'm daft, but that is actually a reasonable job offer there. They would like someone to load some data into a hadoop cluster. Might take 6 months.

Agreed. I think a lot of the sour-grapes group look at "Excellent understating of HADOOP ecosystem" and read "founding developer of HADOOP," or interpret "Excellent Knowledge of Linux" as "Kernel developer." They're looking for a "big data" person and saying they're a Java shop with HADOOP/NoSQL infrastructure. Those people are out there. If you're not one of them, then this job may not be for you. 4 years experience means they're targeting people probably 25-30 years old. If you have vastly more experience than that, then this job may not be for you.

For pay rate, $30/hr is, to most of the country, a pretty good wage, especially early in the career. Other "good paying" jobs: construction, $15-25; Auto plant, starting at $16; teacher, start $18, median $35.

Comment: Re:SOME of that is clueless HR. SOME is to get H1B (Score 2) 348

by tburkhol (#49223687) Attached to: Obama Administration Claims There Are 545,000 IT Job Openings

But some of it is part of the "hire a cheap H1B" game. By making the requirements impossible (or rejecting all but a handfull of people who already receive astronomical fees on the consulting market), they can claim that "There are no available US citizens quaified for the post." Then they hire an H1B.

At most 85,000 H1b visas are issued each year. 7000 per month, nation-wide, compared with 2.8 million people employed in "Information Technology." I think you overestimate the impact of H1b on your personal employability.

Comment: Re:RTFA (Score 1) 282

by tburkhol (#49223425) Attached to: Scotland Yard Chief: Put CCTV In Every Home To Help Solve Crimes

It doesn't matter how easily you can walk there and disable the camera, if you are caught on camera first. That's who most camera placements that can be "snuck up on" have a camera pointed at that camera. Nobody can take out all the cameras without getting caught on camera.

The point of TFA is that people have dumb camera placement. They take the one camera they get free with the security system and put it in the bedroom, or otherwise inside. They mount the camera on the roof, pointed down at the front door, offering a nice view of an intruder's baseball cap. And honestly, the electric meter on most of the homes I've seen is mounted discretely behind the shrubbery, so it doesn't spoil the view of the house, and reasonably accessible to human meter-readers (they only stopped being a thing a decade or two ago in most areas). Then again, few of the homes I've seen have multiple ring-walls that seem to be common in AK.

"Text processing has made it possible to right-justify any idea, even one which cannot be justified on any other grounds." -- J. Finnegan, USC.