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Comment Re:How is this legal? (Score 1) 1103

Leave unions be, just don't let them lobby the state in any way.

Thus violating both the First Amendment and various human right treaties by denying union members their right to assemble and petition the government. But that's a small price to pay for keeping the dirty peasants from getting uppity with their lords, amirite?

Comment In school (Score 1) 125

We'd screw up scraps of paper and throw them at each other.  Here is their 'rich corporate' version: pay expensive lawyers to write
lots of 'legal magick' words on lots of expensive paper, then pay expensive lawyers to throw said paper on behalf of the corporation.
Essentially it's a mischievous children's activity for those with money to burn.  Both corporations can easily pay their 'big' losses, and neither
has anything useful to do with the winnings except pay more lawyers to throw more 'paper snowballs'.

Comment Of the day? (Score 2) 208

He probably could work backwards from the observable patterns in the simple games of the day to some kind of understanding of the math and/or code behind them.

It's not like current game AI is really any more complex with some rare expections. Graphics are prettier, and levels are usually at least semi-3D, but the enemies are still dumb and your own allies dumber automatons.

And that's the way it's going to stay, too, since the gameplay balance depends on it.

Comment Re:You would be right, if ... (Score 1) 1073

But to use your analogy, imagine for a moment that the FDA required all beef - even that mixed with pork or chicken products - to be marked as kosher.

"Kosher" is a term specific to Jewish dietary laws, while "marriage" is not specific to abrahamic religions. Furthermore, marking everything kosher would make it difficult to avoid pork, while calling gay marriage marriage makes it no more difficult for you to avoid marrying someone of your gender than it already was. Your analogy is flawed to the point of irrelevance.

Or, to put it another way: selling something as "kosher" when it's not is false advertising and falls under (secular) consumer protection laws, while calling gay marriage marriage does not, since no one's trying to sell you something.

Christians, Jews, and Muslims consider marriage an act of God, not of mankind. Surely you've heard the term, "A match made in Heaven", which alludes to God's involvement in bringing a man and a woman together. To call two men or two women married profanes a relationship considered sacred, and reduces marriage to mean, more or less, that two people are simply fucking each other on a permanent basis.

To call some relationship a marriage in no way affects any other relationship. How could it, if they are "acts of God" and "matches made in Heaven"?

It reduces the societal esteem of all marriages, because marriage no longer means that something sacred and wonderful has occurred between a man and a woman, but only that two people have decided to live with one another.

So basically, what this really comes down to is that high school never ends?

Also, it occurs to me that judging the same thing to be either sacred or profane based solely on the shape of the genitals of the people involved seems very much like something a mortal meatbag, rather than an eternal spirit, would do.

To further put this in perspective, consider how offensive it would be, if a police officer were to inquire about your wife, "Is that your bitch, or is she someone else's ho?" If it would be offensive to regard your relationship with your wife as nothing more meaningful than that of a prostitute, how much more offensive is it that the Supreme Court of the United States considers your marriage to be roughly analagous to two men committing sodomy.

Except, of course, no one has claimed that people having sex is the same as people getting married. Beyond that, you're a human being. Gays are human beings. Should we declare that gays are not, in fact, human beings, since otherwise someone might think that you are roughly analogous to them?

Grow up.

Comment Re:engineers with combat experience (Score 1) 207

I believe there's a rule in the US, wherein if someone likes their job that indicates a management mistake. Whenever my job starts to not suck, management messes with it so it sucks again.

It's not really specific to the US, and it actually makes sense from a certain point of view: if someone is enjoying their job, they're not being squeezed as hard as they could be, thus you could make them do more and fire someone else. Of course you end up destroying motivation, loyalty and long-term productivity, but you've long since cashed your bonus check by then, and the shareholders have got their bumb'n'dump opportunity.

Basically, everything sucking as hard as it can is the price of economic efficiency, and in fact is pretty much its definition.

Comment Re:Makes it easy for police (Score 1) 276

I'm sure the civil-liberties obsessives here would hate the idea of ubiquitous ANPR, but the practicality of the situation is that it works.

The practicality of the situation is that we don't know if it works. No, a single datapoint featuring particularly dumb terrorists doesn't prove anything, nor does the rather inane slippery slope of "avoid taxes today, murder people tomorrow". If anything, you'd imagine that someone transporting a bomb would be more likely to ensure their vehicle is squaky clean.

On the other hand, the expression you used - "civil-liberties obsessives" - does reliably flag you as a threat. Just look at Europe's not-so-distant history to see what happens when people start giving their leaders more and more power in the name of security. Or do you perhaps think that this time power will miraculously fail to corrupt and end up at the hands of a homicidal tyrant?

But I guess it's inevitable that the same shit will begin again as the generation that got the lesson hammered into them by artillery dies off.

Comment Re:Yes, other motives... (Score 1) 1073

But redefining marriage to specifically include immoral relationships is particularly prejudicial against Christians, Jews, and Muslims, and infringes on their rights to live according to their faith.

Gays marrying no more infringes on the rights of those who think it's immoral than me eating pork and washing it down with beer infringes on the rights of Jews and Muslims.

Comment Re:Ask yourself, what would RMS do? (Score 1) 224

Turing complete is a bad measure when dealing with real computers.   Brainfuck is Turing complete, but incapable of displaying a single typical webpage on a modern computer.

All computer data is computer data.  That is, it is a sequence of 0s and 1s.
All computer data may be arbitrarily interpreted by an interpreter.
An interpreter reads computer data and follows its programmed instructions based on the computer data.
A computer program is computer data for an interpreter.
A binary is a translation of a computer program so that a microprocessor may be used as the interpreter.
A text file may be seen as a program for an interpreter such as notepad which compiles the text file into a memory image that then causes Windows to display a rectangle on screen whose content resembles the text file.

There is no formal barrier between program, source and data.  All computer data is computer data and is subject to arbitrary interpretation.  All data may be seen as a program for a suitable interpreter.  Some interpreters languages permit more complex variations in behaviour than others, and Turing Compleness places a theoretical maximum bound on this complexity.  But it is a very rough bound in many ways, having no connection with measurable aspects of practicality (so a programming language that requires ten million lines of code and ten years per line of code per line-of-code and microsecond for another language are equally Turing Complete if they can, given countably infinite resources, compute the same countable sequences of 1s and 0s.)

Comment A bigger problem (Score 1) 224

A bigger issue is the potential for GPL source for a proprietary interpreter, or GPL source for a chain of GPL interpreters where a proprietary transformation is required at some stages of the build process.  The GPL does not require disclosure of a fully working build process (else a Windows binary compiled from GPL source in Visual Studio would require providing the recipient with a licensed copy of Visual Studio or a working alternative).

Comment Decision logic and its applications... (Score 1) 78

Machines can be broken into two parts: the interface to the outside world and decision logic.
Decision logic can be hardwired or configurable.  A configuration of the configurable
parts of a machine comprises the software.  Software may be viewed as a program or
as data.  This is an artificial distinction: data may be viewed as a program for an interpreter
(notepad.exe interprets a text file and generates an interactive graphical experience that
appears to represent the contents of the text file).  Some data may be interpreted by
a hardwired logic unit.

All this was invented or discovered by WW2 with the exception of the fine details of the interface.

Use of a logic processing machine should not be considered patentable in any way.
In principle, once Turing's paper was written, one could enumerate all software for all machines.
Thus, since all the countable numbers were certainly discovered and logically formalised
in the 19th century, they should be considered already discovered.

As soon as an outside world interface involves decision logic, the decision logic should
be factored out and only that part that does not involve decision logic should be considered
a design and be patentable.

Copyright should not apply to what can be logically derived from a problem specification: it
should apply only to artistic expressions that are beyond derivation by a logical procedure.

Thus, what is truly art should be copyrightable (and there should be a common sense test
of whether someone could have produced something similar).  Designs should be patentable,
but not decision logic.  Decision logic should be considered already invented as of Turing's
paper and thus beyond the scope of copyright or patent.

That is the only logically sensible way to apply copyright and patents to technology.  Trouble is,
laws are made by technologically naive people, presided upon by technologically naive judges and juries,
and essentially those who understand technology properly have no power of those who make laws
regulating it.  This a dichotomy between understanding and power is why the system is as stupid
and broken as it is.

DNA should, accordingly, be considered software for a pre-existing interpreter that is over 20 years
old and thus equally non-patentable.

Comment Re:BBC and NYT confirm this news (Score 1) 536

Others speculate that he's only going to Moscow in transit to Iceland (which has offered him asylum) or some other place.

Can Iceland offer him an effective asylum? It's a (pretty remote) island in Atlantic, with low population and almost no military. What, exactly speaking, would stop the US from simply taking him? It does have a history of invading small countries for whatever reason, and both R and D have plenty of reason to scare other whistleblowers into silence.

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