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Comment Re:Loaded words and misfired analysis (Score 1) 376

But as the poster you responded to said, the problems are political, not technical. Take the disability checks for veterans problem. Have you seen the backlogged piles of paper?

Yeah, we could solve that problem. Those of us responding to this slashdot article could probably solve that problem in about a week. Of the few hundred posters, I'm sure by a show of hands we could find a couple of network and sysadmins to throw together some servers, a few database guys to write the schemas, a rails monkey to type "rails generate new Veterans_App_Form" and some j2ee coders to glue it all together. There, done.

Now, good luck getting the VA to allow us to implement it.

Comment Re:Disbar, impeach, and imprison that shyster. (Score 1) 167

Whatever do you mean, citizen? The fourth amendment is alive and well! You are secure from unreasonable search of your papers without a warrant from a judge, every bit the same today as in 1789! But these orders to search are letters, not warrants! Completely different. Kind of like a warrantless wiretap. Why would you need a warrant for a warrantless wiretap? That's why they're called warrantless, silly! "Oh look at me I need a horse to pull my horeless carriage!" You nut, with your kidding. Too much, too much I say.

And your email isn't on paper, you noodle! Get with the times! And "reasonable expectation of privacy?" You know we're reading your email and logging your text messages, right? How can you expect them to be private when we're reading them! That's a completely unreasonable expectation. Be like you having a reasonable expectation of dinner when I've snatched your plate from your hands and am eating it in front of you! Not reasonable, not reasonable at all!

And the fifth amendment? Fine and dandy, so glad you asked, so glad you asked! We're not asking you to incriminate yourself, heavens no! We just want the passwords to your encrypted drives. The passwords aren't incriminating! "Oh look at me I have an illegal password!"

Don't worry your sweet little noggin, citizen, the republic is alive and well. We would NEVER imprison, torture or kill individuals without due process. And you can rest confidentially that your freedoms are secure because we use enhanced interrogation techniques on indefinitely detained enemy combatants and then employ done interdiction against known terrorists identified via a process, that is due, but is not necessarily judicial.

Now you get back to your circuses...I mean TV, citizen! Oh, but don't tell me who won Dancing with American Idol! No spoilers, lol! Well, unless you have some spoilers about your neighbors, and anything terroristy or muslimy they might be up to. Thanks!

-- The DoJ

Comment Re:What kind of encryption did the FBI break? (Score 2) 802

Sure. Assuming TFS is accurate, a drive with a valid chain of evidence that's got your personal financial data, your vacation photos, and pics of naked kids, that's plenty enough to overcome reasonable doubt. It's not "beyond a shadow of a doubt," just a reasonable one.

However, just because you can reasonably prove somebody did one thing wrong doesn't mean you can now force him to incriminate himself more. The fifth amendment still applies. ...

Okay I can't keep a straight face anymore. Amendments? Constitution? Pffffttt protections against...hahahaha oh man. As if any of that shit mattered anymore. What is this, 1776? "Oh hey, look at me, I'm a citizen and I've got rights!" Ahahahaha what a joke.

Comment Why is as important as how (Score 4, Funny) 623

"The three great virtues of a programmer are laziness, impatience, and hubris." ~ Larry Wall

Why you learned is as important as how.

1987, Apple IIe, 4th grade. My brother comvinced my dad to buy one for the house 2 years before and after one of the first "we've got to computers in the classroom!" pushes there was one in every classroom too...collecting dust because the teachers didn't know how to use it.

My brother had taught me "Hello World" in BASIC, and that combined with the Basic Apple BASIC book let me write terrible programs where the computer would ask you a name, and when you typed it in the computer would say '$name is a nerd!"

I discovered I possessed at least the first of Larry's virtues in order to avoid boring social studies projects. We'd get week-long projects where you had to "make something" about the states, or the presidents or the biosphere, so kids would make flash cards or a mobile or whatever. I wrote a quiz program ("Name That State!") that would ask you, at random, from a set of hard coded questions (ripped from the book) about the states and then tell you if you got the answer right or wrong and tallied your score at the end. This was wizardry to the teachers and I got an A.

Well they didn't really understand code reuse, and so when the next week I'd hand in "Name That President!" which was the exact same program with the questions swapped out, A again. That same code got reused for at least four years in different classes. "Name that type of cloud!" "Name that Biome!" "Name that Export of Honduras!" (Hint, it was probably 'bananas').

You'd think at some point they would have caught on and told me to do something different. Maybe they did but didn't say anything. But I kept getting As so I kept turning in the same stupid project with a 10 minute change. Kind of explains Windows, too I guess.

Comment Re:Texas leads the way, again (Score 2, Insightful) 262

Why are you asking "statute in Texas law"? I thought I was pretty clear it was a Supreme Court ruling. (I did use an unqualified acronym for it, SCOTUS, so if that's the source of the confusion I apologize.)

Anyway, Dover v. Kitsmiller is one of the well-known and recent ones, but never reached the SCOTUS. One that did, though, is Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish Board of Education. That explicitly barred even the mention of creationism as an "alternative" to evolution, let alone its explicit teaching. That went all the way to the SCOTUS after the school board was ruled against, and the SCOTUS declined to consider a reversal, so that decision became final, and with the Supreme Court refusal to reverse, became caselaw for the entire land.

Since Supreme Court decisions are sovereign over Texas law, that makes it illegal in Texas or anywhere else in the US. That stems, of course, ultimately, from the First Amendment (government may not establish/endorse religion), and the Fourteenth (rights amendments applied to state/local law as well as federal). Those are ultimately the laws at play here. I'm not sure why you think Texas law would have anything to do with it.

I'm also unsure why you think "(my) personal definitions" have force under Texas law, or where you think I claimed that. But the Supreme Court of the United States, and the US Constitution, most certainly do have legal and binding force in Texas.

Comment Re:Texas leads the way, again (Score 2, Insightful) 262

Even if evolution is "part" of the state standard, teaching of creationism in a science class is forbidden by both law and definition. It was ruled by the SCOTUS, long ago, to be a religious doctrine and not a scientific theory, and it is exactly that, as it is either unfalsifiable (old-earth) or already falsified (young-earth). Any "science" class teaching creationism, is not one.

If you really need a citation for the SCOTUS ruling, I'll dig one up. But yes, I absolutely have "something to stand on" here.

Comment Re:Texas leads the way, again (Score 1, Informative) 262

No, they're not. They have that law on the books, and then they wink-wink-nudge-nudge when it gets widely broken. Even the governor admitted that they do, in reality,

So yes, I'm concerned with what's happening in reality. Do you really think that regulation is getting consistently enforced, and teachers who violate it disciplined or fired, when even the governor is saying the direct opposite? Regulations and laws only mean anything if they are, in practice, enforced.

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I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman