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Comment Re:Unfortunately, Congress will make itself exempt (Score 3, Informative) 266

Until very recently Congress were the only individuals exempt from insider trading laws.

They effectively still are. A key part of the STOCK act was rolled back after the election.

Therefore, Congress will pass a law making itself exempt from CIA/NSA spying and the rest of the country be damned.

Interestingly, the UK already has something like this, it's called the Wilson Doctrine and is not a law but rather a promise the Prime Minister makes to MP's by tradition.

Comment LOL Itanium (Score 0) 136

I'm sure someone's crunched the numbers and this makes sense on paper, but seriously? Porting to Itanium before x86? I know HP wants to prop up its teensy niche CPU server line, but I just can't see how to justify that. Who's going to migrate software from old VMS systems to a new one on very highly vendor-locked hardware? It seems like anything likely to ever be updated before the heat death of the universe would probably have made the jump to Linux-on-x86 years ago.

Comment Re:Online in England, maybe (Score 2) 282

The UK just passed a law that says any company whose website has UK users i.e. all of them has to comply with UK surveillance requests. It's as bad as the USA when it comes to those kinds of extra territorial laws now.

Politicians have generally not been able to handle the notion of borderless transactions and information flows. This "you have to comply with our laws if your service is accessible to our citizens" trick is their solution. You say, how do they enforce it, well, through exploiting the international world in which we live - grab people from planes using the absence of anonymous air travel, extradite people, seize assets, etc.

The way it's going, in future everyone who does anything interesting in this world will have a list of countries they can't go to or fly through, and organising conferences will become an exercise in set intersection ....

Comment Re:ACM doesn't get it on (C) (Score 1) 213

Yep. Their Code of Ethics says:

1.5 Honor property rights including copyrights and patent.

Violation of copyrights, patents, trade secrets and the terms of license agreements is prohibited by law in most circumstances. Even when software is not so protected, such violations are contrary to professional behavior. Copies of software should be made only with proper authorization. Unauthorized duplication of materials must not be condoned.

I don't pirate software. I pay for the stuff I use when required. However, I damn sure don't respect software patents or nebulous "terms of license agreement" EULA bullshit. I'll honor them as mandated by law to keep me and my employer out of trouble (although every programmer reading this has probably violated 3 stupid patents today in the course of their job). And while the RIAA doesn't "authorize" me to rip CDs I've bought, I'm legally entitled to do so and will at my convenience.

I think my views are pretty mainstream among programmers. If the ACM wants me to join, they need to remove the requirements for me to worship pro-corporate, anti-citizen, rent-seeking behavior. I can't ethically consent to support their unethical Code of Ethics.

Comment Re:Stress could not be understated (Score 1) 100

My wife's a doctor and we recently moved to a new state with very protectionistic licensing policies. For example, you're required to have passed the medical boards within the last ten years. Doesn't matter if you're a professor of medicine at Harvard: you had to have passed the boards recently. You know, the ones new doctors take in their senior year of med school when they've been doing nothing but studying for the last for years straight and it's still fresh in their minds. So my wife, who's owned a successful practice for the last (more than 10) years had to pass the given-every-6-months test that determines whether she gets to keep doing the job that she's an expert at.

I'm writing this in sympathy for your situation, and to let you know that it apparently sucks for lots of professions. Your wife's not in it alone, and as someone who went through your role in the situation: I feel your pain. Best of luck to both of you!

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 100

I don't know about that. Say the average first year lawyer makes $60,000 (pulled directly from my butt; I have no idea what the actual number is and don't care to look). Suppose that 80% of bar takers pass the exam. That means the expected income for the next six months of a random person taking the bar is 60K * .8 * .5 = 24K. This is the number that a good lawyer could convince a judge (who is a lawyer) that these young, brilliant, aspiring lawyers should be compensated by the testing firm (who is not a lawyer).

That's not shabby pay for a fresh graduate sitting around (ahem, studying!, ahem) until the next testing period rolls around.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 100

I'm almost certain that a company which just screwed over a bunch of protolawyers will allow free re-testing for those involved. It would probably turn very, very ugly for them if they didn't. Test takers will have to pay for travel again, which is probably significant for many of them, but they won't have to pay for test prep and fees again.

Comment Re:Not deploying driverless cars kills people (Score 1) 190

The highways (motorways) are actually the safest roads. In the UK only 4% of accidents happen on those roads and they are rarely fatal (while the absolute speeds are high, the impact speeds are often low because it's an impact between two vehicles going in the same direction, and there are safety features of the motorways themselves that try to avoid any accident resulting an a vehicle coming to a sudden stop). The same is likely true in the US.

Comment Re:Not deploying driverless cars kills people (Score 1) 190

I've lived in both the US and UK, and I can say that the reason the USA has 13.6 and the UK rate is less than half really is due to US drivers being *a lot worse* than UK drivers. Also there are other factors, such as the lenient treatment of drunk drivers in many US states, leading to people not really being deterred from driving drunk. I saw a lot of people driving obviously drunk in the 6 years I lived in the USA. In the UK, you get done for drunk driving you actually lose your license and have to retake the (very strict) driving test again, and you lose your license for a long period (e.g. 2 years) and a high probability of a prison sentence, and the ban really is a ban, no "you may still drive to your place of work", so there is a very strong deterrent against drunk driving. Second offence and you definitely go to prison as well as have an even lengthier driving ban.

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