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Comment Re:Take-home exams? (Score 1) 264

I wonder why oral exams aren't more common in the United States. When I came to do graduate studies in Europe, they really forced me to shape up and learn my stuff. Not only do they make cheating impossible, but when you are judged on how fast you provide the answer, you also internalize it better.

Because giving hundreds of students oral exams would require effort on the part of the faculty and they believe that they have better things to do.

Comment Two Reasons Larger Chains Can't Surcharge (Score 3, Interesting) 732

Consumers in ten states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, Texas) won't be affected, since laws in those states forbid the practice (it seems that gasoline station owners here in Massachusetts got a different memo, though).

Visa/MC contracts still state that merchants have to have the same policy across their business. For larger chains that have a retail presence in these ten states, the prohibition on surcharging there means no surcharging anywhere else either.

From NBCNews:

Visa and MasterCard have rules that require retailers to handle credit cards the same way in all of their stores across the country. That means a chain with stores in any of the 10 states where a surcharge is banned would not be able to have a surcharge at any of its stores.

The settlement also states that merchants have to apply the same policy equally to their other cards that they accept, such as AMEX or Discover. Since AMEX still prohibits surcharging, if a merchant accepts AMEX they cannot surcharge for credit cards.

From NBCNews:

The National Retail Federation points out that under terms of the settlement, a merchant who adds a surcharge to purchases on a Visa or MasterCard would have to do the same with American Express cards. But AMEX prohibits surcharge fees. So a merchant who accepts American Express as well as Visa/MasterCard would not be able to surcharge any of those cards.

Comment Re:This is why developers are not sysadmins (Score 1) 176

The first thing you learn is that your private SSH keys are sacrosanct. Most developers seems to just go through a howto on how to generate a SSH key and don't think about anything after that. They're probably all using node.js or something.........

Followed by going through the git howto that tells them to
git init
git add .
git commit -m "Initial Commit"

Comment Re:leaked huh ? (Score 1) 899

If you have a gun and ammo, and want to commit suicide, then fine, go ahead, there's nothing stopping you. But no one, including the government, is obliged to make sure you have access to a gun, in order that you can take that course of action. It's not a right.

The government is obliged to make sure that it doesn't prevent you from having access to a gun. That would be the second amendment to the Constitution.

Comment Re:Shopping List (Score 2) 899

And here I thought people bought guns to protect themselves against crime. I guess there are many things I still don't understand about guns.

There are arguments for both directions in this. Some people will argue that because guns are a high value commodity on the black market, they are a lucrative target for theft. Others will argue that there is an increased risk of getting injured or killed in an attempt to rob these homes.

Comment Gawker and John Cook (Score 5, Informative) 899

The summary makes it sound like Gawker had a choice when it didn't publish the addresses of gun owners.

In a similar move, Gawker published the names of licensed gun owners in New York City without addresses

The only reason John Cook didn't publish them is because the NYPD didn't give them to him.. John Cook made it pretty clear that he would have published the addresses if he had them.

Because the NYPD is more interested in raping and/or eating ladies and spying on Muslims than it is in honoring public records law, the list contains only the names, and not the addresses, of the licensees.

Comment Lala was not the threat (Score 4, Insightful) 143

Lala was not the threat. The threat was that Google would acquire Lala and in turn would combine it with their position in the search engine realm. That was the threat and Apple paid the price to keep Lala out of Google's hands. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Google hadn't tried to lowball them and had bought Lala at the time.

Comment Re:Hair-splitting (Score 1) 1862

That is incorrect. Personal ownership of both semi-automatic and automatic weapons is perfectly legal in the United States, provided that the proper licenses are obtained and the proper taxes are paid. It's mostly a question of doing the paperwork and paying the money. The same thing goes for suppressors. A private citizen can buy and fit a suppressor onto a firearm legally as long as he has done the paperwork and paid the taxes.

I should further qualify this by saying that this only applies to automatic weapons that were manufactured and legally registered before 1986. The Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 had a clause inserted in the last hour that banned the possession or sale of machine guns manufactured after May of 1986 to civilians.

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