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Comment: Re:My two cents... (Score 1) 183

by tranquilidad (#49102845) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Can Technology Improve the Judicial System?

Here's the proposed law as voted on by California voters in 1994. You can go to page 64 to read it yourself.

From the law, "...if a defendant has been convicted of a felony and it has been pled and proved that the defendant has one or more prior felony convictions, as defined in subdivision(b), the court shall adhere to each of the following:..."

To be pled and proved means the district attorney has to present evidence to the jury that the defendant has committed the prior felonies that would impose the harsher sentences and the jury would have to agree; the jury would have to convict the defendant of violation of the three strikes law.

My "opinion" is based on the text of the law and having first-hand knowledge of the jury instructions that go with a three-strikes trial.

If those references aren't good enough for you then you can look at the following link to California Penal Code 1025(b) which reads:

...the question of whether or not the defendant has suffered the prior conviction shall be tried by the jury that tries the issue upon the plea of not guilty...

I'll take the actual text of the law over your vaunted article in Rolling Stone. Didn't you notice a slightly biased position in the article you read?

Comment: Re:My two cents... (Score 1) 183

by tranquilidad (#49101337) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Can Technology Improve the Judicial System?

Bullshit - he was sentenced to life for being a 3 strike criminal under the California penal code.

Regardless of whether you like the general concept or not, no one was sentenced to life for a "minor" crime. The juries in all these cases had to decide additional questions beyond the initial crime for which he was arrested and charged.

After voting for a conviction for the crime that caused an arrest the jury then had to come to another independent and unanimous decision on a second conviction for the crime of being a habitual criminal subject to life in prison.

It was the jury's choice, given the information they were provided, to convict this person as a habitual criminal and that was what resulted in a 25-to-life sentence. The jury could have just as easily decided to acquit on that second charge.

Comment: Re:Soudns half sensible.. (Score 1) 577

If you consider 12% to be major then, yes, a major source of Mexican cartel's weapons come from the U.S.

"...out of approximately 30,000 weapons seized in drug cases in Mexico in 2004-2008. 7,200 appeared to be of U.S. origin, approximately 4,000 were found in ATF manufacturer and importer records, and 87 percent of those - 3,480 - originated in the United States." 3,480 of 30,000 is 11.6%.


Of course, another major source of guns used in Mexican crimes came directly from the ATF. The Mexican government states that as of September 2011, ATF supplied guns have been found at about 170 crime scenes.


Comment: Re:The sad part? (Score 1) 577

How is an unimplemented suggestion confirmation of anything? .

The fact that someone in the government would think it's OK to even suggest such an outlandish infringement of individual liberty is pretty scary.

Yes, it would be scarier if they had actually carried out the suggestion but it's disconcerting enough that people who suggest operations such as these are employed in positions where they can wield authority.

Comment: Re:Short sighted (Score 4, Informative) 230

by tranquilidad (#48595461) Attached to: Forbes Blasts Latests Windows 7 Patch as Malware

Though I agree with your sentiment there was an additional patch in the group (KB2553154) that was a security update that conveniently broke ActiveX controls and macros in Excel 2013. It wasn't just one incredibly bad patch.

I pity the poor vendors and their even poorer customers whose spreadsheets suddenly stopped working on December 10th.

Comment: Re:Reminder of who not to credit (Score 3, Insightful) 151

by tranquilidad (#48348377) Attached to: 25th Anniversary: When the Berlin Wall Fell

It's not about a single speech and its timing.

Reagan's speech was part of a much larger program to pressure the Soviets. Reagan believed, fundamentally, that communism was evil and spent a lot of energy fighting it.

Now, you may rightly argue that Reagan didn't personally tear down the wall. You may reasonably argue that Reagan wasn't the only influence in getting the wall torn down.

Reducing Reagan's and Thatcher's programs against communism and all that represented it down to a single speech is unfair. Your concentration on the timing of the speech in relation to when the wall came down certainly seems to discount any other actions the US and other countries took.

Your concern that there were other speeches that aren't as well publicized as Reagan's is fine. How about highlighting a single line or a few lines from those speeches that brought as much focus as Reagan's imperative to Mr. Gorbachev? In fact, most people are probably unaware of what Reagan said in that speech other than his rallying cry and creating such a slogan is often a powerful mover.

Comment: Re:Rainbow PUSH said ... (Score 4, Insightful) 123

by tranquilidad (#48301191) Attached to: Amazon Releases (Not Many) Details On Its Workforce Demographics

Required by whom? Under-represented how?

Do you measure representation based on the numbers of that minority in the community? If so, which community: city, county, state, nation, world? Or, do you measure representation based on the number of individuals that have entered the field?

What measures do they take? If someone whose skin is black or brown is under-represented do you pay those candidates more because of the color of their skin? If Asians are over-represented do you pay them less to discourage their entry in the industry and get their numbers "back in line?"

What makes race? If someone is born of multi-racial parents which race counts?

The problem with demands such as these is they don't seek to solve any supposed problem other than enriching their own pockets through consultation fees. If you are measuring workplace diversity based on the skin color you observe when you look at your fellow work mates then you are, ultimately, practicing a form of racism yourself.

Every proposed solution to this manufactured problem is in and of itself racist.

Rainbow PUSH doesn't want to believe in, and it's in their best interest to discourage, individual accomplishment and responsibility. If they fail to divide along skin color then they fail to enrich themselves through extortion. If we allow their division to continue then we continue to promote the very mechanisms that create inequality.

+ - CurrentC Breached->

Submitted by tranquilidad
tranquilidad (1994300) writes "As previously discussed in Slashdot, CurrentC is a consortium of merchants attempting to create a 'more secure' payment system. Some controversy surrounds CurrentC's requirements regarding the personal information required, their purchase-tracking intentions and retail stores blocking NFC in apparent support of CurrentC. Now news breaks that CurrentC has already been breached. CurrentC has issued the standard response, "We take the security of our users' information extremely seriously.""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Remember when WSJ had a modicrum of decency? (Score 1) 720

Your proposed definition puts your hypothetical family, currently earning the current federal minimum wage and after median federal income tax rates are applied for that income level, at 138% of the poverty line.

The poverty line is, generally, defined to be the minimum income required to acquire the necessities of life.

It would appear that the current federal minimum wage provides for more than a living wage.

Comment: Re:Remember when WSJ had a modicrum of decency? (Score 1) 720

A "living wage" is complete bullshit. Can you even begin to give a definition to which even one, single large group can agree? I don't mean one of these feel good ethereal definitions - I mean one that actually has meaning.

Should it include the ability to work in whatever geographic area the person desires?
Should the person's commute be less than a certain amount of time?
What luxuries should the person be allowed to have? A cell phone? A smart phone? Internet service? Cable TV service?
Should a person be able to make a "living wage" by working no more than 40 hours a week? How about 32 hours a week?
Should a person be able to make a "living wage" by having only one employer?
Should a "living wage" support a family with only one worker? How large a family?
Should government assistance count towards the person's living wage or should that be a bonus?

"Living wage" is a nice phrase to throw around and it might make some people feel good about their politics but it provides no basis upon which to build economic planning; even if you believe it's the job of the government to perform either economic planning or to provide guarantees that everyone lives happily ever after.

Comment: Re:Remember when WSJ had a modicrum of decency? (Score 1) 720

On the other hand...

"Many of the states that have seen job growth despite raising the minimum wage are states with higher livings costs where fewer people actually work for minimum wage. Seattle is a great example of this, if extreme. Famous for enacting an ordinance that would raise the minimum wage to $11 an hour next year and ultimately to $15 an hour by January 2017, Seattle has a very high cost of living and a skilled population earning higher than average wages. Educational attainment is high: 56 percent of people in Seattle have a bachelor’s degree compared with a 28.5 percent national average for individuals aged 25 and older. Raising the minimum wage in Seattle is therefore far less intrusive than it would be in say, Omaha, Nebraska. According to CNN Money, someone who makes $45,000 a year in Omaha would have to make $61,353 in Seattle (36 percent more) just to have the same purchasing power."

+ - Is The Majority Of Global Warming Caused By Natural Atmospheric Circulation?

Submitted by tranquilidad
tranquilidad (1994300) writes "In a paper published by the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, two authors ascribe the majority of northeast pacific coastal warming to natural atmospheric circulation and not to anthropogenic forcing. In AP's reporting, Ken Caldeira, an atmospheric scientist with the Carnegie Institution for Science says the paper's authors, '...have not established the causes of these atmospheric pressure variations. Thus, claims that the observed temperature increases are due primarily to "natural processes are suspect and premature, at best."' The paper's authors, on the other hand, state, '...clearly, there are other factors stronger than the greenhouse forcing that is affecting...temperatures,' and that there is a 'surprising degree to which the winds can explain all the wiggles in the temperature curve.'"

Comment: Re:How do investors react to such info? (Score 1) 234

by tranquilidad (#47565069) Attached to: Comcast Confessions

You seem to think these items are disconnected.

The company is responsible to its owners only.

If it is in the best interest of the shareholders to piss off the customers then that's what they should do.

It is more likely that it's in the best interest of the shareholders to do as you suggest, have happy employees, happy customers and a product/service with which they can be proud.

As an investor I will put my money in those companies that give me the greatest return. Just because a company's sole focus is profit doesn't mean they shouldn't be a "good" company. The bigger question is not for the shareholders but for the customers. Why would customers continue to generate profits for the shareholders if it doesn't provide them with something they value or see as a fair trade for their dollars?

A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming is not worth knowing.