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Comment: I think you need to review the law (Score 1) 358

by zzsmirkzz (#49831609) Attached to: Why Is It a Crime For Dennis Hastert To Evade Government Scrutiny?

It isn't illegal to withdraw money from the bank

Actually, withdrawing money from a bank can be illegal, if it is determined that you structured your withdrawals to avoid the reporting mandated by the government for large withdrawals (i.e. over $10K). Thank you War on Drugs for that bit.

nor to compensate someone in recognition of past harms

Compensating someone for past harms? No. Compensating someone for refusing to testify and/or cooperate with an active investigation? Yeah, that is probably illegal for both parties.

Comment: Re:Good model (Score 1) 183

by zzsmirkzz (#45145017) Attached to: Ed Felten: Why Email Services Should Be Court-Order Resistant

It's patently absurd to give the federal government the keys to the kingdom, but it's also patently absurd to say that criminals should get away with it because they used encryption.

Only one is patently absurd. In the US, the decision was made at the beginning when the legal/justice system was designed. It was designed on the basis that: "it is far better that 1000 criminals go free than one innocent be wrongfully imprisoned". That concept is the corner stone of our system and spirit of it. If every "difficult balance" were viewed through this lens it would be crystal clear than the intent was that "is is far better that 1000 criminals go free than violate the rights of one innocent". Unfortunately, a lot of people are short-sighted (and I'd say spineless) and cannot accept that allowing criminals to go free is also a way of protecting the innocent. They can't see that many moves ahead and/or they fear the criminal more than the government and will sacrifice their protection from one to eliminate the other, never realizing that the government they so trust is made up of many criminals (or soon-to-be criminals).

Comment: Re:And I blame my parents (Score 5, Insightful) 734

by zzsmirkzz (#45144853) Attached to: Facebook Comment Prompts Arrests In Cyberbullying Suicide Case

WILL NOT stand by and allow someone to be punished for speaking something that I find offensive. I don't care if it offends you, it's not your right to avoid offense.

There is another distinction that you are missing. When it comes to bullying, the speech isn't necessarily "offensive", it isn't said with the intent to "offend" the victim. It is "harmful", it is said with the intent to cause "harm" to the victim. As with most legal cases, intent is important. If it can be proven a bully engaged in speech with the intent to cause harm then that bully could be prosecuted, not for his speech, but for his intent. If it the harm can also be proven, as in this case the suicide of the victim, then the charges/sentencing can be increased. They may have only intended to harm the victim however the death of the victim was the result, they are now liable (or partially liable) for contributing to that death.

Now, in case you are talking specifically about the offensive facebook post, then you must also look at it another way. The facebook post amounts to a confession, a confession of intentionally causing harm to the victim (bullying) as well as the acknowledgement that it led to the victim's suicide/death. Furthermore, it is a confession of no remorse for the effect that was caused by the bully. Even if she has no intent for her speech to lead to an acutal suicide, when she was faced with the fact that it did, she was not remorseful of her actions. Given these facts, she should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and given no leniency in sentencing.

Comment: Re:Sure, to lower paying jobs (Score 1) 674

by zzsmirkzz (#45036907) Attached to: The Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Why Tech Doesn't Kill Jobs
I would just add, that minimum wage needs to provide a basic level of acceptable living without additional government assistance. This is where the problem lies. People who work full-time for minimum wage need gov't assistance to survive. Employers don't have to pay more because there are gov't assistance programs to cover the deficit. There is one, obvious solution, the government raises minimum wage so that those who earn it no longer need or qualify for gov't assistance and since it goes across the board, it won't make competition any harder. This, however, they will not do as it will lessen the power the gov't has over the people via the assistance programs. They cannot survive without them and will continue to elect whoever promises to keep them around and/or increase them.

Comment: Re:Fucking idiots (Score 1) 1532

by zzsmirkzz (#45005007) Attached to: U.S. Government: Sorry, We're Closed

Actually, Romney already did what you're suggesting. It worked well in Massachusetts.

Do you line in MA? Are signed up for the MA subsidized Commonwealth care? Do you use their facilities and doctors on a regular basis? I would assume that the answer to at least the second two are "no" if you think "it worked well". It worked well on paper. For the people who actually needed it and rely on it, and I personally know a few, well, let's just say it sucks. The facilities suck, the doctors suck, the "insurance company" sucks. Nothing is done right or on time. It's like dealing with a group of completely incompetent and overworked people, you know, just like dealing with any government bureaucracy.

Comment: Re:Fire them. (Score 0) 252

by zzsmirkzz (#44971861) Attached to: Senators Push To Preserve NSA Phone Surveillance
Actually, they are violating their oath to uphold the constitution above all else which this program is clearly in violation of as, last I checked, the PATRIOT and subsequent acts were not (thankfully) constitutional amendments that could super-cede the 4th amendment and are, in effect, null-and-void in any area where they conflict with the 4th.

Comment: Re:So why is it used in Windows? (Score 2) 665

by zzsmirkzz (#44961281) Attached to: Bill Gates Acknowledges Ctrl+Alt+Del Was a Mistake
CTRL+ALT+DEL was already a well known, highest priority, key combination from before windows existed. Back when hardware had actual interrupt assignments, the keyboard was assigned the lowest interrupt (the user in front of the keyboard was considered the most important and had highest priority over all other sub-systems - yes lower numbers had higher priorities for those who don't remember). CTRL+ALT+DEL was designed to allow the user to forcibly (and controllably) reboot the system should some lower-priority sub-system be mis-behaving. The only time this did not work was when the CPU itself was frozen (divide by zero, anyone?). That is where the low-level, special-handling was originally designed - in hardware.

Comment: Re:"Broken campaign fincance": a Constititional ri (Score 2) 688

by zzsmirkzz (#44812255) Attached to: How Car Dealership Lobbyists Successfully Banned Tesla Motors From Texas
Where is the allowed acceptance of corporate campaign contributions covered in there? I don't see it. Notice my wording, running for and holding office is a choice, it's completely voluntary. By choosing to run for and, potentially, hold office you must agree to the rules. If those rules say you cannot accept compensation from for-profit corporations (as opposed to non-profit political organizations), then you cannot. Constitution not violated.

Comment: Re:You still can't control recipient devices (Score 1) 183

by zzsmirkzz (#44757447) Attached to: NSA-resistant Android App 'Burns' Sensitive Messages
If you don't trust the recipient, why would you send them encrypted messages? The point of this feature is to close the "I forgot to delete it" hole that exists and represents the "this message will self-destruct in xxx time" concept. Of course I understand you may be referring to the ISP installing or modifying the phone's software so as to get a copy of the plain-text and this is a valid, although unlikely, concern. The fix (and only fix) is to make sure the plain-text is also encrypted in some form so that only the true recipient can read/understand it. The stronger encryption protects it in transit, the weaker encryption protects it from those with access to the device.

Comment: Re:No so much (Score 1) 637

by zzsmirkzz (#44566769) Attached to: Medical Costs Bankrupt Patients; It's the Computer's Fault

He knows he needs help, and he knows it's his right (as a human) to live

It's his right to live yes but that doesn't make it someone (or everyone) else's responsibility to help him do so. It's people's fear of death that causes the dissonance you speak of, not our upbringing that socialism is bad. I know I don't have a right to everyone else's money (or the doctor's services) even if I need them to live. But if I were facing death I might be tempted to claim I did because fear will cause all sorts of irrational thoughts and ideas.

This is the fundamental problem with a "right to healthcare". You are either claiming a right to other people's money or a right to other people's time or both. This, when considered fully, is tantamount to slavery. That is why we do not have a "right to healthcare".

Comment: Re:Removing bins will not fix underlying problem (Score 1) 179

by zzsmirkzz (#44545863) Attached to: London Bans Recycling Bins That Track Phones
You're missing that this is wireless technology and there is no way to directly connect to one AP while ignoring all others (at least in the connection phase). Every packet is broadcast to every antenna that can receive it, every packet is coded with the MAC address of the source (so the recipient knows who sent it and can reply) as well as the intended recipient (or all if it is a real broadcast). AP's that aren't listed as the recipient should drop/ignore packets they receive that aren't addressed to them but there is nothing forcing them to do so. While maybe not 100% technically correct, I believe it is sufficient to explain the problem. The problem is this: every antenna in range can receive every packet and can decode basic information about the sender and intended receiver of the packet. This cannot be fixed technically as it is by design. The only thing than can be done is to legislatively outlaw the practice of gathering this information and/or using it to compile a database.

Comment: Re:Shining example of why nothing good lasts forev (Score 1) 149

by zzsmirkzz (#44437767) Attached to: Fifth Circuit Upholds Warrantless Cellphone Location Tracking
It IS a living document now that can be changed. However, the methods for changing it, properly, are hard and those in power are to lazy to do it, especially when the people aren't forcing them to. Of course, if they were to do it the proper way, they actually need the support of the vast majority which in most of these cases they do/did not have.

Those who claim the dead never return to life haven't ever been around here at quitting time.