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Comment: Ignorance of law is no excuse unless you're a cop (Score 2) 51

The supreme court just found that even if a cop did something not exactly lawful, if the breaking of the law was reasonable then that's fine and forget the 4th amendment.

In a decision issued this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the police in a case arising from an officer’s “mistake of law.” At issue in Heien v. North Carolina was a 2009 traffic stop for a single busted brake light that led to the discovery of illegal drugs inside the vehicle. According to state law at the time, however, motor vehicles were required only to have “a stop lamp,” meaning that the officer did not have a lawful reason for the initial traffic stop because it was not a crime to drive around with a single busted brake light. Did that stop therefore violate the 4th Amendment’s guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure? Writing today for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts held that it did not. “Because the officer’s mistake about the brake-light law was reasonable,” Roberts declared, “the stop in this case was lawful under the Fourth Amendment.”

Roberts’ opinion was joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, and Elena Kagan. Writing alone in dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor criticized her colleagues for giving the police far too much leeway. “One is left to wonder,” she wrote, “why an innocent citizen should be made to shoulder the burden of being seized whenever the law may be susceptible to an interpretative question.” In Sotomayor's view, “an officer’s mistake of law, no matter how reasonable, cannot support the individualized suspicion necessary to justify a seizure under the Fourth Amendment.”

Comment: Re:not decentralized! (Score 3, Informative) 144

by witherstaff (#48629555) Attached to: Will Ripple Eclipse Bitcoin?
I assume the submitter was trying to bump the price. The technical crowd here probably won't be rushing to buy some Ripple. Ripple was entirely pre-mined with almost all of the coins still held by the developers. The pump and dump process with alt coin can be very amusing to watch yet almost all other alt-coins involve only coins actually mined and not held by one entity. While I'm a believer in crypto currencies I am not convinced Ripple is worth having any of.

From the wiki page : The founders of Ripple Labs created 100 billion XRP at Ripple's inception. No more can be created according to the rules of the Ripple protocol. Of the 100 billion created, 20 billion XRP were retained by the creators, seeders, venture capital companies and other founders. The remaining 80 billion were given to Ripple Labs. Ripple Labs intends to distribute and sell 55 of that 80 billion XRP to users and strategic partners. Ripple Labs also had a giveaway of under 200 million XRP (0.002% of all XRP) via World Community Grid that was later discontinued.[28] Ripple Labs will retain the remaining 25 billion

Comment: Re:Why virtual currencies are ineffective (Score 1) 144

by witherstaff (#48629419) Attached to: Will Ripple Eclipse Bitcoin?
A government fiat currency that they can arbitrarily 'print' more money? The entire reason bitcoin was started was due to the banking failures which the government still has not addressed. Too big to fail has only grown bigger. Also old government cash is still plenty anonymous, although bitcoin itself isn't really anonymous without some work.

Comment: Re:Home of the brave? (Score 1) 586

by witherstaff (#48629337) Attached to: Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release
I have a niece and nephew via adoption, there are a surprising number of kids needing homes. After the first, a year+ boy, they were offered a variety of other children. They wanted to wait a few years until taking on another. Later on a baby girl was delivered to my sister at work - talk about convenience. Total cost was less than 200 bucks a kid for court costs. Good investment.

Comment: Re:they must hate cash, too (Score 3, Insightful) 111

by witherstaff (#48512689) Attached to: MasterCard Rails Against Bitcoin's (Semi-)Anonymity
They already do try to punish businesses for accepting cash. They require merchants to suck up the cost of accepting Credit cards and not allowing a company to charge more to cover the credit card merchant fees. Of course 'cash discounts' can be done but that's uncommon. Most places just suck up the %3 as part of the cost of business so anyone paying cash does essentially pay more.

Comment: Re:After the first five minutes (Score 2) 286

by witherstaff (#48247729) Attached to: The Airplane of the Future May Not Have Windows
That video link in the article of a panoramic view of just clouds instead of a wall would freak me out. Making it look like the seats were flying through the air like Wonder Woman started doing Commercial Flights is not my idea of comfort. Or if you're sitting sunside and trying to nap - could you please turn off the wall please it's too bright for me

Comment: Re:Why at a place of learning? (Score 4, Interesting) 1007

by witherstaff (#48247677) Attached to: Creationism Conference at Michigan State University Stirs Unease
Having went to Catholic school and having to do something during religion class, I keep a vague list of points to ponder from the Bible.
  • Oral sex is good - Song of Solomon is all for that
  • 10 virgin wives? Sure it's a parable, parables are based on things people understand so again.. 10 virgin wives? - Gospel of Matthew
  • Killing lots of people is expected if people in another city believe in another god - Deuteronomy
  • Wear a hat or go to hell - Leviticus
  • Zombies - Gospel Matthew, more than Jesus rose from the dead
  • Women are subservient to men, shouldn't teach or have any authority over men - 1 Timothy
  • Anything without fins and scales from the waters is unclean to eat. Sorry tasty lobster, shrimp, calimari, catfish, etc - Leviticus
  • So many bad animals to eat. escargot, pig - life without bacon?
  • Slavery is OK as long as they're foreigners. - Leviticus (Bring this up during discussion of border security for fun shock factor)
  • Tats bar you from heaven - Leviticus (Just pick a random passage from that book and you can find something everyone is doing wrong)

Comment: Re:I don't work for the store! (Score 1) 342

by witherstaff (#48192621) Attached to: An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man

Old RPG nick aside, I'm an American so I think my comment would be more self deprecating on a country wide scale. Having grown up around a family business I stopped being surprised at what wouldn't be stolen out of a retail store. I live in a farming area with many 'on your honor' farm stands. Take produce from the stand and leave money in a coffee can type setups. People steal the money cans on a regular enough basis. For these reasons and more I couldn't imagine letting people scan their products when they put things in a cart and it not being massively abused. I'd be overjoyed to be proven wrong.

I agree with you on the self checkouts. While they're sometimes quick for a handful of items, If it's more than a few items then you should get a discount equal to an employee's wage. BUT I'm all for scanning an object when I put it in the cart and just paying for it when I leave, no double handling of products by putting in the cart, taking out to be scanned, putting back in the cart. Almost walking right out the door after finding what I wanted was very quick.

Comment: Re:Hold on a minute (Score 1) 198

by witherstaff (#48190807) Attached to: Developers, IT Still Racking Up (Mostly) High Salaries

For tech oriented startups location ends up being a big deal. You have to appeal to investors and being in the middle of a cow pasture is a deal breaker. Also from a population percentage there are not as many angel investors around to get something even going. Then staff like having entertainment options that big cities can offer.

There are a few incubators in some of the smaller cities that are still running. Offhand I've read of them in Iowa, Philadelphia, there's even one in Detroit. Not high cost areas. Not the easiest place to attract funding or talent.

Pohl's law: Nothing is so good that somebody, somewhere, will not hate it.