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Comment meringuoid's law (Score 1) 314

"Whenever a controversial law is proposed, and its supporters, when confronted with an egregious abuse it would permit, use a phrase along the lines of 'Perhaps in theory, but the law would never be applied in that way' - they're lying. They intend to use the law that way as early and as often as possible."

Comment Re:A million? (Score 1) 510

Consider that the rest of the world has 22x the US's population. Consider that a large part of that does not have the good roads and vehicle safety laws of the US, or ready access to emergency rooms in the event of an accident. Even if their vehicular death rate was the same, that means 42k*22=924k, for 966k total. I'd say 1m is not a bad estimate.

Comment Re:Ummm Personal responsibility? (Score 2, Insightful) 520

If they have a 0.001% failure rate they will still err every decade or so.
Good point. And let me add, consider the fact that hospitals can have hundreds of nurses. If the average nurse makes an error only once a decade, then 100 nurses will average 10 errors each year. Error prevention systems are a good thing.

Comment Re:Go Costner! Boo on BP! (Score 4, Insightful) 289

oil companies will go broke if they screw up

Call me cynical, but it would never happen. Instead, oil companies would take a lesson from Hollywood, and make every single oil well its own corporation, so any disaster would be insulated to a single small corporation that goes broke.

Comment Already against the law in the UK (Score 5, Informative) 259

Tesco (think British Wal-mart) was legal purchasing Levi's jeans in Europe from wholesalers, and then reselling them in the UK for lower price than Levi's wanted them sold there. Levi's sued them, and won. We can only hope the US Supreme Court sees things differently.

Comment Re:Debug key (Score 1) 806

I did it a few times when I had my window manager configured to use ctrl+alt+(#) to switch between desktop windows. Type something on desktop 3, ctrl+alt+4 to check something on desktop 4, ctrl+alt+3 back, hit backspace with my right hand to correct my typing before fully releasing ctrl+alt with my left... boom, down goes X.

Granted, I would do something like that maybe twice a year, with 7 hour a day use, but I have done it.

Comment Re:Fraud-bait... tort-bait (Score 1) 419

It'll be amazing how many people suddenly come down with "disabilities" once insurance companies start paying for fancy PDAs and SmartPhones.
Even if 5x as many people suddenly "need" these devices, since they cost 10-20x less, wouldn't the insurance companies save money?

Comment China has reached the 1930s! (Score 2, Interesting) 172

Ever heard of the Hays Code? It applied to movies, but they didn't have video games back then.

The Production Code enumerated three "General Principles" as follows:

  1. No picture shall be produced that will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil or sin.
  2. Correct standards of life, subject only to the requirements of drama and entertainment, shall be presented.
  3. Law, natural or human, shall not be ridiculed, nor shall sympathy be created for its violation.

Comment There are things like this in North America, too. (Score 2, Interesting) 337

See "The Ghosts of Evolution: Nonsensical Fruit, Missing Partners, and Other Ecological Anachronisms" by Connie Barlow. For instance, Osage Oranges were eaten by extinct North American megafauna. In fact, the tree is rather similar to the one in this article, in that it also has sharp spines to defend it.

Pascal is a language for children wanting to be naughty. -- Dr. Kasi Ananthanarayanan