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Comment: Re:No, it wasn't. (Score 1) 463

There is another option - the police department may argue that a rare occurrence like this may be outweighed by the countless lives the police officers had saved because they were allowed to text while driving. Not that I would know if that's correct but I suppose that was the rationale behind allowing it in the first place.

Comment: Re:No, it wasn't. (Score 1) 463

That is not quite correct either. You cannot be 'convicted' of entering the bicycle lane because that is not a criminal offense. You can be charged with manslaughter and there you have to consider the culpability, or the state of mind of the defendant. I think we can disregard the possibility that the cop *intended* to kill the cyclist, so that leaves us with considering recklessness or negligence.

For *recklessness* you would need to prove that the subject knowingly broke the law disregarding the possible risks. This is typically the case where most of the cases of killing people with a car while breaking the law (drunk driving, speeding, etc.) fall in - if you do that and kill someone, you have been driving recklessly and will be prosecuted for vehicular manslaughter. It does not apply to the cop, because he drifted in the bicycle lane unknowingly.

*Negligence* applies to cases where you can argue that "a reasonable person with the same general knowledge and abilities" as the accused would have reacted in that situation differently thus avoiding the disaster. In general, cases where you broke the law unknowingly fall here as well as cases where people fail to exercise more caution - e.g. not slowing down in an extreme rain storm, snow, etc. There you could argue that a typical "reasonable person" would slow down, or that a "reasonable person" would recognize that he/she is breaking the law. In the TFA case you would have to prove that a typical cop either would not have texted while driving or that a typical cop would not have crossed the lane while texting. Both of those would be really hard to prove in a court of law.

Comment: Re:No, it wasn't. (Score 1) 463

The law specifies areas where you have to yield to pedestrians. See for instance this explanation given by the Wisconsin authorities. A typical case that will not be prosecuted is when a driver kills a pedestrian that entered the road outside of any crossing or specific designation for pedestrians and without checking for incoming traffic.

Comment: Re:No, it wasn't. (Score 1) 463

You can't "mow" people down. But if you hit and kill someone unintentionally without breaking any traffic regulations and laws, you won't be prosecuted. In this case, the cop didn't break any laws or regulations. The closest charge you could try to apply would be criminal negligence but even though it is the least strict level of culpability that's applicable by the law it would be impossible to apply it in this situation. You would have to prove that "a reasonable person with the same general knowledge and abilities" (meaning a cop) as the accused would have not done what the cop in question did in that situation.

Comment: Re:Some of us do still assemble, even now (Score 1) 294

by wienerschnizzel (#47653295) Attached to: The Technologies Changing What It Means To Be a Programmer

Unless by "native development" he meant "roll your own game engine", in which case he's using the wrong terminology.

Maybe he means that because of outsourcing, more and more applications are being developed in India by the "natives" rather than in the US by H1Bs

Comment: Re:Response to sanctions (Score 3, Interesting) 252

It is basically Putin's way of saying: "Look, I am in control of how to get to space."

He's not. I'm pretty sure Chinese, Indians, Americans and Europeans are going to continue to go to space with or without Putin.

US simply does not understand the Russians. Sanctions cannot possibly work against them.

US is not working against 'Russians'. It's just containing a power-hungry dictatorial imperialistic regime. Attacking the wealth of a regime is always a good way to reduce its ability to conquer neighboring nations.

They always one up whatever move you do

Do you seriously think they didn't consider all the options Putin has? Or maybe at least the obvious ones like cutting his exports and imports? It's just a typical reactionary BS

This time it is gonna be played to the utter economic destruction of one of the two nuclear super powers or an all out nuclear war.

Yeah, imagine US losing their 28th business partner by volume of trade . Economic destruction my @ss.

It looked like such a smart move by the US state department to take over the Ukrainian government, too bad they didn't understand that the move would inevitably start a war. Now we will all pay the price.

Typical dictatorship thinking - if I lose control over a government it must be because some other country took it. There's no way people would just elect their own representatives...

Comment: TLDR Version (Score 3, Informative) 183

by wienerschnizzel (#47557493) Attached to: How Gygax Lost Control of TSR and D&D

TSR, a small company dealing in the fringe hobby of "war gaming" got hugely popular at the beginning of 1980's thanks to an unexpected publicity from a hoax that got propagated by the national media.

The company owners and executives, Gygax and the Bloom brothers were no skilled businessmen and they projected this sudden jump in the company's revenue into the next years, expecting it to grow tenfold in a year. They went on a hiring and acquisition spree accordingly.

As the miraculous growth didn't come, TSR ran into financial problems, running on a $750k deficit by the mid 80's

The Bloom brothers tried to get a big outside investment to get the company out of the red numbers but Gygax opposed - he didn't want non-gamers to control the company. To this effect he executed an ancient option he got when the company was formed, gained a (very narrow) majority of the company's shares and thus the power to strip the Bloom brothers of their executive positions and void the investment by the outsiders.

In response the Blooms wanted to execute the option of selling all their shares back to the company for a large (but not outlandish) sum of some $500K but TSR could not afford it.

Half a year later the Blooms executed the same option Gygax did before to gain a slight majority in the company and sold all of their shares to Lorraine Williams for a third of the price per share, making her the largest and a majority shareholder.

One day later Gygax was stripped of all his executive positions in the company

He fought the decision in court, but really had no case and eventually sold off his shares in order to finance his new business.

How Gygax lost his copyright to D&D and Grayhawk the article does not say

All in all a really boring story

Comment: Re:Money - the ultimate natural selector (Score 1) 511

Plus, the article does not seem to understand the drugs it's talking about. Caffeine is definitely a workaholic's drug and I can see how it could be upgraded to cocaine. But oxycodone and other opiates? Those will not help you pull another over-nighter. They'll knock you out instead.

Comment: Does not make sense (Score 1) 625

by wienerschnizzel (#47228131) Attached to: EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability
Either you obesity causes you to have some real disabling condition like joint damage or breathing problems in which case you don't need a special 'obesity disability' to be considered disabled, or it doesn't cause you any disabling conditions and again, you don't need to be considered 'disabled.

It's like saying everybody that has been in a car crash should be defined as disabled.

Comment: Re:Patents are Legitimate Personal Assets YOU own (Score 1) 139

by wienerschnizzel (#47228039) Attached to: Why United States Patent Reform Has Stalled

A better solution would be to eliminate patents entirely.

This is not really the best solution. There are still legitimate businesses using patent laws in legitimate ways to protect themselves - pretty much all industry involved in chemistry, biotechnology and material science. It takes a lot of initial resources to develop a new material or a new drug even though the eventual manufacture of them might be cheap. It would just not make any sense to invest in these things if the minute you get the new drug out of the door a dozen other companies would start selling it for half the price because they didn't have to cover the research and testing costs.

A much more elegant solution would be to pay for the patent protection. It could work like this:
- you choose the $ amount others have to pay you to use your technology (covered in the patent)
- others can just pay you that amount and use it (you cannot decline)
- you have to pay 1% of that amount per year to the authorities or lose your patent

That's the basic idea. You could maybe extend it with things like changing the amount, or limiting the timespan during which the people can use your patent after they pay etc.

It wouldn't harm the honest users - the big pharma could easily pay a couple hundred thousand per patent, the small inventor could easily pay 100 bucks per year and get some money back (because under current laws it's practically impossible for an individual to enforce his patent). And the trolls that have tens of thousands of trash patents on their portfolios would fold.

Unfortunately there would probably be much less litigation going on so the lawyers will lob aggressively against any attempt to introduce such a system.

What hath Bob wrought?