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Comment Re:What is the MightyMartian plan? (Score 4, Interesting) 406

Mass murder is becoming common because of ISIS. You don't like Newt's ideas.

What are your ideas?

Don't bring us a problem, we have enough of those. Bring us a solution.

The Orlando massacre, while tragic, would have to occur daily to crack the top 5 causes of death. Even then, I'm not sure it would. If you took the combined global death tolls of every terrorist act in the last two decades and condensed them into a single quarter, then put it on repeat, it still wouldn't make the top 5 annual US deaths.

Terrorism is vastly overblown as a threat to any of us. Far more damage is done to our daily lives in the name of stopping terrorism than has ever been done in the name of it.

So, I agree the best solution is not to do nothing - the best solution is to dismantle all the somethings people have done in the last two decades under the guise of protecting us from terrorism.

Comment Re: median vs average (Score 1) 622

I have done similar, but with a twist: I have bought used cars with cash from my parents when they wanted to get something newer. I know the condition/history of the car, I get a good deal, and my state waives sales tax when transferring the property to another family member if you fill out the right forms.

Added bonus: since I primarily bike commute to work, I get another 5-10 years out of the car.

Comment Re:Prime Directive (Score 5, Interesting) 359

Given the fallout from all our meddling in other countries' affairs (particularly the middle east), the prime directive is looking better and better every day.

The same reasoning was given for the prime directives several times in TNG -- the federation encountered several another species that weren't technologically as advanced, they interfered, and everyone was the worse for it.

Comment Re:Divide and conquer (Score 2) 144

why would any sane person invest their time in qualifying for such a career if its longevity is threatened.

Because IT isn't threatened. With computers going into everything, IT is here to stay, and it is going to continue increasing as a proportion of all jobs. This is in spite of the industry's attempts to kill itself with cut corners, aversion to experience, and constant reinventing-of-the-wheel due to a refusal to learn from history.

Comment Re:How many false claims? (Score 4, Insightful) 116

DMCA full text

The DMCA contains the word perjury twice: once in relation to the person making the claim, and once in relation to the person making a counter-claim:

(vi) A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly in-fringed.

You'll note that the only statement subject to perjury is that the claimant is authorized to act on behalf of a rights owner. The first half, about accuracy, is not subject to the same penalty. The prior section (v) mentions that a statement must be made that there is a good faith belief that the subject of the claim is infringing, but it makes no mention of any penalties if this is untrue.

There is some token language later on about misrepresentation - that the claimant is liable for any damages incurred by the alleged infringer should the claimant knowingly misrepresent that the material is infringing. However, proving there was intentional misrepresentation is a pretty high bar, and in most cases, the damages are low enough as to be not worth the legal fight anyways.

Comment Re:This is why (Score 1) 156

As consumers, it is our job to set the standards by which businesses should operate. If they fail to live up to those standards, it is our job to cease doing business with them. That's how the free market works.

If Google, Facebook, et. al. start censoring their content, even it it starts out innocently at first by censoring "extreme" content, then I will simply move on to other services, and I would encourage others to follow suit.

It starts to cross a line if we discuss enacting laws to control what they can do, but so far, I haven't seen any such suggestions.

Comment Re:Well, yes. (Score 4, Insightful) 224

That last sentence highlights that this is a really sticky question. If I happen to be doing something in a public street, and someone else is taking video of their kid riding their bike for the first time, and they happen to include me in the frame, and they post that video on YouTube, have they invaded my privacy? I don't think so. Saying that they have basically eliminates the notion of a "public place" entirely.

But clearly there is a difference when some large entity records all actions in a large area at all times and archives them all for later use. What, exactly is the difference? How, exactly, do we draw the line?

The big difference is that spread around a large enough area, government surveillance is much closer to someone following you around with a camera all day than someone who just happens to catch you while photographing or video recording something else.

If an individual did it, you would be really creeped-out, and if it happened more than once, you'd probably try to obtain a restraining order. It doesn't matter that you can't expect a particular moment in time is private - it's extremely unnerving when you feel like someone is following you.

Or, looking at it from another perspective - how would anyone feel if they saw police officers standing on every street intersection every hour of every day? Would you feel happy, safe and secure?

I can't speak for anyone else, but it would make my neighborhood start to feel more like a prison to me. I remember my last year of high school years ago, when someone decided it was a good idea to have a couple police patrolling the halls, despite having no incidents to warrant it. It was pretty alarming, and I was glad I was leaving soon.

I cannot fathom why so many people accept the current surveillance state. It puts unprecedented power in the hands of government, and there is little evidence that it has produced any meaningful benefit to doing so. Yet, it seems like every time someone brings up their discomfort at something or another, there's a chorus of people who chime in either how they should accept it because they shouldn't expect privacy or because it's really been going on for a long time, so they should be used to it by now.

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