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Comment Re:Shoot first (Score 1) 871

My point was just that as the accused you're not in the best position to determine what "time-sensitive information" is, and you certainly can't trust the police on that matter, because they will have no problem trying to guilt you. See, for example, Rhode Island v. Innis. At the very least invoke your right to remain silent, ask for a lawyer, and if the cops keep pressuring you or try guilting you about "time-sensitive information" and you feel that guilty about it you might be able to get what you say tossed at trial if it's used against you.

As for the opinions of judges, I moved from law to the sciences so I like to think I have a good perspective on both, and I've found that lawyers and scientists frequently get the other subject wrong, at least in the sense that they frequently don't really understand what the other is trying to accomplish. Approaching it as a science would not be a good idea for many areas of legal reasoning. Judges need to make distinctions between things that are frequently on a continuum. Yes, you can theoretically identify someone from an IP address, just like you can identify someone from a mail address or a telephone number. But it's harder with an IP address. The judge therefore has to decide where on the continuum does it get hard enough to identify someone to the extent that it's not really "personally-identifiable information" as contemplated by the contract; he picked IP address on the "not PII" side of the spectrum and frankly I probably would have done the same thing. And the judge didn't poll law professors, but in a sense they did poll judges -- for the exact point of law you point to, the judge cites another court case (1 judge) and an appellate court decision (at least 3 judges) who came to the same conclusion. I mean, scrolling through the slashdot story you posted, a lot of the commenters (and I would suspect a good percentage of them are network engineers, programmers who work with networking, etc.) agree with the judge.

Comment Re:Er, wait, what? (Score 5, Insightful) 140

Well, nuclear reactions that we can turn off like laser-initiated fusion are a lot nicer than the alternatives. The inside of your car engine is a raging inferno shot with electric sparks and compressed with inexorable steel cylinders. That doesn't keep you from going on a nice drive with your sweetie.

Comment Re:Queue The Anarchist & Druggie Comments In.. (Score 1) 318

I think that your post nicely dovetails with my overall point - there will almost certainly still be black markets even after legalization of various drugs. There will still be people pursuing illegal highs.

I believe there would be, yes... however if you legalise the 'safer' variants of most classes of drugs, the quantity of people persuing illegal highs will be significantly lower. As another poster mentioned, no one* would take "Krokodil" who could get their hands on cheap and easy Heroin.

Just legalise one or two opiates; one or two amphetamines; an entactogen or two; most of the tryptamine psychedelics; a few of the phenethylamine psychedelics... etc.

* "No one" meaning 'almost no one', since there'll always be morons.

Comment Re:Queue The Anarchist & Druggie Comments In.. (Score 1) 318

Does a shovel, when used as intended by the seller cause anyone harm?

Depends on the seller's intention... generally not, but maybe.

Does a knife, when used as intended by the seller cause anyone harm?

Depends on the seller's intention... generally not, but maybe.

Does heroin, when used as intended by the seller cause anyone harm?

Depends on the seller's intention... generally not, but maybe.

Drug dealers usually don't want to harm or kill their customers. It tends to reduce repeat business...

Comment Re:Queue The Anarchist & Druggie Comments In.. (Score 1) 318

right....because if it were all legal, people wouldn't be addicts still...

So, based on this line of thought, we should immediately outlaw alcohol, tobacco and coffee; all three substances only have very limited positive use and a high potential for harmful addiction.

The risk of addiction - hell, even the DANGER of the substance - has very little if anything to do with its legal status in most countries' legal systems.

Legalising or decriminalising various drugs may or may not reduce the number of addicts; but it WILL decrease the associated dangers that only exist because of the current legal status.

Comment Re:Queue The Anarchist & Druggie Comments In.. (Score 1) 318

The bad effects of meth are widely known, but people still take it instead of just using marijuana.

That has nothing to do with the relative dangers of the substances and everything to do with that the 'desired effect' of the drugs are totally different. It's like saying, "the bad effects of McDonalds are widely known, but people still eat there instead of just having a raw carrot.".

I'm a relatively frequent user of psychedelics (as my post history and sig clearly show), however have absolutely no interest in marijuana, opiates, or alcohol despite having tried all of them. On rare occasions (approx. once a year) I enjoy entactogens (almost exclusively MDMA) and on very rare occasions (approx once every two to three years) will also use amphetamines, however that's more for their direct use (in helping to perform a long repetitive task without losing focus or getting tired) than for any kind of enjoyment.

Comment Re:Queue The Anarchist & Druggie Comments In.. (Score 1) 318

The bigger problem though, is if synthetic drugs are cheaper and easier to make - they'll still appear and be sold, perhaps even disguised as the "real thing".

Usually, the synthetic drugs are much more difficult and expensive to make as they're far more chemically complex than the simpler 'traditional' recreational substances.

There are a few cases of some reasonably difficult to make drugs - such as LSD - however make one large batch and you've just created a year's supply for an entire average sized nation, so it does tend to balance out.

Comment Re:Shoot first (Score 1) 871

It's entirely possible that in Virginia Beach police officers are allowed to testify at sentencing, though if so I think that would be an unusual situation compared to most jurisdictions. Alternately, he may mean that when deciding on the verdict or the sentence the judge may take Bruch's testimony about cooperation into account. Either way, I don't think Bruch is intentionally making things up, but I do think he is probably overestimating his own importance to the process. For that tiny minority of cases that actually go to trial and sentencing, the prosecutor presents the charges and guilt is decided based on statute, and the judge doesn't have much discretion to ignore it. The judge may (or may not) have discretion when it comes to sentencing, but the prosecutors are the state's mouthpiece when it comes to sentencing, and the judge is probably not going to care much about what Bruch has to say. Also, you have to realize the entire criminal justice system with its multiple layers of procedure was created to deal with human limitations. Bruch might think he's some sort of wise, objective adjudicator but in real life nobody is, not even the judge. That's why these procedures are put in place.

Is it possible that talking to the police without invoking your right to remain silent could benefit you in the long run? I guess if the stars align right it's possible. But 9,999 times out of 10,000, it's better to talk to a lawyer before talking to the police, so you'd be taking a pretty huge gamble not doing so. And it would really be a gamble because you are never going to be in the position, as the accused, where you can objectively evaluate whether it's possible or not, no matter how smart or well-educated you are. And there are plenty of honest cops who try to put innocent people away, so it's not really a question of corrupt or not, it's just that you don't want to gamble that the police will have a hunch you're innocent rather than a hunch that you're guilty.

Anyway I hope I don't come off as too harsh, you're obviously a smart guy and you've given this a lot of thought, it's just that these issues have been debated for over 200 years and I think you're ignoring a lot of that history and taking an overly rosy view of the police. Since you seem to have an interest in the law, have you thought of pulling a Karl Auerbach and just actually going to law school? The schools are desperate for applicants so strong candidates have lately been able to negotiate pretty nice scholarship packages.

Comment Re:From Boston, over FiOS. (Score 1) 202

Well, Boston started out small and the two ways that it grew were 1) to fill in water areas, and 2) annexing surrounding towns.

So Boston Proper usually refers to the core of the city that either was part of the original settlement or at least wasn't part of some other town that got annexed and turned into a neighborhood. There's a good map here where you can see the outline of the Shawmut Peninsula shaded in, which is the original city, surrounded by made land, as well as surrounding towns and neighborhoods that used to be towns. Also that map is old; since it was made, the town of Hyde Park to the south was also annexed and became part of Boston. (Also not shown are massive sections of made land in East and South Boston for the airport and the seaport)

Anyway, Boston Proper isn't the same thing as Boston or Metro Boston.

Comment Re:Not sure why this article made the cut. (Score 1) 202

(495/128 and the spoke roads...93, 2, 3, 90, etc are why Boston is referred to as "The Hub")

No they're not.

It's from Holmes' "The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table":

"Boston State-House is the hub of the solar system. You couldn't pry that out of a Boston man if you had the tire of all creation straightened out for a crowbar."

Bostonians have long been known for their provincialism, and why not? Everywhere else just isn't interesting, important, or worth going to.

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