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Comment Re:America Cannot Compete (Score 1) 215

1. The Tenth amendment says the Feds must have Constitutional justification for what it does. It does not specifically limit government powers, but just emphasizes that the Feds have no more jurisdiction than the Constitution says. The Supreme Court was acting according to this.

2. What the Executive branch argues for public consumption does not affect the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has ruled that the ACA penalty is a Constitutionally permitted tax.

A. "Origination" is a slippery word. Not having read the ruling, SCOTUS may have found a corresponding origination in the House.

B. Ah, another idiot who never heard of the Sixteenth Amendment. That one allowed the income tax, among other things. It was passed specifically because, before its enactment, a US income tax was unconstitutional.

C. Who cares about the jurisdiction of the suit? Whether or not the suit was properly brought, the Supreme Court has ruled. It is hardly likely to change its rulings and reasoning if another case is brought. As far as still having a case, yes, they can bring another suit, but it will almost certainly be decided the same way, assuming the Supreme Court hears it.

Frankly, I trust the Supreme Court over a guy who argues the constitutionality of a tax without considering the Sixteenth Amendment.

Comment Re:Who are Accenture? (Score 1) 215

My second-hand observations are that they are very good at eventually delivering something that more or less works, and extremely good at getting sign-offs. My wife once almost signed on with a hospital as a consultant to watch the progress on the big name consulting company (don't remember if it was Accenture), and decided they weren't tying her to the tracks to let Accenture or whoever run over her. Presumably they're also good at keeping management happy by giving them slick progress reports, but I'm not tied into that as much. Moreover, if you're an executive, and you hire a leading corporation to do something, you're fairly safe from backblast if it doesn't work.

Remember that, by and large, no techie contracts with Accenture. They sell at levels above any technical expertise. IBM did that back during their heyday, selling to executives who didn't have to use IBM's Job Control Language or other tools. IBM was also good at presenting itself as the safe option, hence the saying "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM", one anecdotal case I read to the contrary.

To understand how things go in big business, one must understand big business, which is not the strong point of the average geek, since the ways of thought needed to understand it frequently seem just wrong.

Comment Re:The most insightfull part of TFA (Score 1) 148

Um, the math being used? If an electron simply goes through one slit or the other, it doesn't produce an interference pattern. We can test that by testing which slit the electron goes through, and, sure, no interference pattern. If we don't observe that, we get the interference pattern. Clearly, the electron is doing something different, and this rather implies not going through just one slit. It isn't that we don't know which of two states the electron is in, it's that the electron behaves differently from what it does if it's in either state.

Comment Re:Wrench beats encryption every time (Score 1) 374

IANAL, but I don't think you're right.

A warrant may say to search a house for drugs and/or drug paraphernalia, and I think the courts will hold that that's sufficient specificity. From what I've read, this means they may look anywhere in the house that may have drugs or paraphernalia, and that includes a safe. They don't need to know anything with absolute certainty, since a search warrant is issued on probable cause. It would be counterproductive to have to convict you before searching for incriminating evidence.

They cannot search anywhere that can't hold what they're looking for. If the warrant says to look for large-screen TVs, they can't so much as open a drawer legally. From what I've read, they can notice illegal things in plain sight, or in places they are already permitted to look.

As always, if this is of vital importance to you, trust the ramblings of a pseudonymous person (or AI, or dog) on the Internet.

Comment Re:Cry me a fucking river... (Score 1) 374

IANAL, but as I understand it the law in the US is not settled. You cannot interfere with a legal search, but I don't think you are required to assist it in any way. Of course, in a physical search the authorities can break anything they need to get what they're looking for, and that doesn't apply to file encryption. There is one case where the password was demanded based on the authorities knowing what was encrypted, but not AFAIK on general suspicion. Don't rely on any of this without talking to, you know, an actual lawyer.

Further, if a file has evidence of illegal activity, actually knowing the password may be incriminating, and you can't be forced to divulge whether or not you know it. If this ever matters, just do what your lawyer tells you to do.

Comment Re:So the USA is all libertard? (Score 1) 374

The US Constitution is, at least theoretically, a list of things US governments, and in particular the Federal government, are allowed to do, along with some specific things they are not allowed to do. If the Feds are not specifically allowed to do something according to the Constitution, they can't do it. The courts have been pretty firm on this principle, although willing to stretch Constitutional provisions past anything I see as reasonable sometimes.

Therefore, where the US Government has authority, that authority derives from the Constitution, and is subject to it. If I were in a place outside the US but subject to US authority, my Constitutional rights still exist. They may be denied me, but government agents do violate the law at times.

Comment Re:Cry me a fucking river... (Score 1) 374

It's an old ASCII thing, actually. ^H (control-H) is a way of specifying 0x08, which is "backspace". Once terminals started getting backspace keys, the actual ^H became largely unused. Pressing control and H is in fact a destructive backspace on the vim instance I just tried.

I'm not sure about the ^W you sometimes see to cancel out words, but that also works in vim. I don't know if it's ASCII or not (my reference says ETB, and I don't know offhand what that is).

Comment Re:Leak Tracking (Score 1) 124

It's simple. First, come up with a type of picture that you can plausibly send around. Ideally, acquire cats. Second, take your own pictures. Third, embed your message in the picture. Fourth, send out the picture that contains the message. Make sure the original never leaves your own possession, and never ever reuse a picture. Find different cute positions for your cats instead.

Comment Re:The problem... (Score 1) 124

I don't understand. If I put a message in some seemingly random data, either it stays on my system or I look suspicious for sending it to somebody else. If I use my phone to get JPEGs of my cats looking cute, and embed messages in them, and send them around, and never reuse a photograph, I'm not doing anything suspicious. (Selfies would also work, but I personally don't like sending all sorts of photographs of me around.)

Comment Re:GTK+ is standalone (Score 1) 282

How would that be possible if Qt was written in a weird dialect?

To nitpick, some languages make it easy to make their own weird dialects. Common Lisp is outstanding in this, but C++ allows it quite nicely. Add some libraries with their own classes and operator overloading, and you've got a weird dialect that will compile fine.

Comment Re:GTK+ is a C library (Score 1) 282

The real problem I have with 16-bit characters is more how they're used: typically to support UCS-2 rather than UTF-16, meaning that Unicode code points off the basic plane are SOL. If you really need fixed-length characters, you need UTF-32. If not, a simple byte string (not zero-terminated) will serve for UTF-8 and UTF-16.

Comment Re:GTK is trash (Score 1) 282

There have been two versions of ISO C++ (there never was a separate ANSI one): the 1998 and 2011 versions. There will be another standard this year, with relatively minor changes.

That means that anything written significantly before 2011 could not take advantage of anything that could be called a later version of standard C++. (Many features were available earlier, either in Boost or compiler extensions, but it took time for everything to settle down. A feature called "concepts" was pulled almost at the last moment, for example.)

I find it irritating that libraries have their own string libraries, rather than using std::string (quite usable despite the design issues), or their own containers, but a lot of them were started well before C++98 was readily available.

Comment Re:GTK is trash (Score 1) 282

Who wants to compile webkit and doesn't have a 64-bit machine? Seriously, my phone is 64-bit. The only 32-bit computer in my house surprised me by showing up on my LAN once. I hadn't realized it was still plugged in to power and ethernet.

Any decent development machine nowadays is 64-bit with plenty of memory to compile webkit (RAM is cheap). You can use 32-bit bearskins and stone knives if you want, and they're just fine for a whole lot of things, but not for serious development.

Sure, you can do object-oriented C. I've done it. It includes extra stuff that you have to remember to write, and which is something you can get wrong. C++ classes are a lot easier to write correctly. C++ classes allow for easy resource management. std::unique_ptr and std::shared_ptr will do 95% of the resource management you'll ever need, and std::weak_ptr will do much of the rest when judiciously applied. C++ templates, while hideous when written, allow things that C can't do at all well. std::sort is potentially much faster than qsort(), and easier to use. The C++ container/iterator/algorithm model from the STL is extremely powerful.

C++ has a whole lot more ways to handle program complexity than C does, and when you get into large code bases that makes a real difference.

Comment Re:GTK is trash (Score 1) 282

How does LGPL work on iOS? On most desktop OSes you just provide the LGPL component as a shared library and provide the source code, so a user can theoretically change and recompile the LGPLed stuff and drop in the new shared library. You can't do that on iOS. I've seen arguments about whether GPLv2 and hence LGPLv2 are legal in the App Store, but it's very clear that GPLv3 and hence LGPLv3 are not.

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