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Comment Re:Washington Lawyers (Score 1) 185

Interesting post. Part of the issue here seemed to be an ongoing understanding and knowledge of the impact of new technologies. New technologies were used before their impact was really known. The debate would then lead to - should new technologies been used before any longer term tests are done, or just proceed with the best knowledge at hand. I'd imagine both sides could make a compelling argument.

Also I think you are right - common law seemed to have done the job here - initially at least. But the problem for me is that without an EPA like institute (maybe a state level one would suffice), the crime needs to be committed before the retroactive action is taken and it is fixed. Anything with that sort of feedback loop isn't very efficient [often times this is the worst cost effective approach if a long term analysis is done]. It would be better to monitor on an on-going basis these types of activities before the river was destroyed. The EPA like organization can note the environmental issue resolved by common law in this case, and make it part of its knowledge base for monitoring in the future to avoid having such a long feedback loop.

On the whole I agree though - it is very hard to compare standards now vs. a previous generation. What is acceptable changes over time. The only way a previous generation of bad decisions should be punished by law is if there is evidence supporting that the decision makers had information at the time indicating they were knowingly making a bad decision that would harm people and break the law (either a specific law or common law).

Comment Re:Meanwhile... (Score 1) 265

This is pretty spot on. In the grand scheme of things I would imagine a human life is worth their (average economic output due to both their labor + personal spending/yr) + (avg tax revenue generated from income/yr) + (avg tax revenue generated from purchases/yr) - (avg gov money spent on the individual due to services, etc/yr) Hard things to adjust for are how many other people connected to this human being would be affected by their loss to the point that it would hurt their own economic output profile. This could be emotional affects, loss of opportunity to work for/with or do business with them, loss of opportunity to learn/inspire for younger generation, and so on... I don't know it that amounts to 100k yr or not, but that doesn't seem wholly unreasonable. I doubt these numbers are easy to calculate at all as they have a domino affect. A human being that has passed too early has lost their ability to provide and spend on goods and services, which in turns slightly changes the numbers for each company they would do business with, which in turn changes the tax generated from those companies as well, which in turn slightly lowers the profits for that company, which in turn slightly reduces pay/benefits/shareholder worth for that company, which in turn reduces these people's ability to spend, which in turn....

Comment 'Delete cookies on exit' + use multiple browsers (Score 1) 344

The Opera browser (and maybe other browsers) has a 'delete cookies on exit' feature. In other words, you can accept cookies when you browse to various websites, but these cookies are not saved between browsing sessions. This is an excellent feature, because you can make it a per-site setting. e.g I'll let my cookies persist for slashdot, or other forums sites, but amazon has its cookies deleted after every browser session automagically. Another nice tactic with keeping facebook data segregated from cookie re-targeting is to have multiple browsers on your computer and dedicate one browser specifically for facebook. On my macbook, I use Opera for daily browsing, firefox for facebook, and safari for banking transactions (there isn't much rhyme or reason as to how I divided up browsers by browsing type, other than I like Opera's UI). Cookies are segregated, less vulnerability to cross site scripting, and this also forces be to copy paste urls for banking sites from emails into safari (since its not the default browser).

KDE 4.0 Beta 1 Released 249

dbhost writes "Along with this morning's cup of coffee and log reviews, I discovered that the KDE team is moving forward with a long awaited beta release of KDE 4.0 beta release of KDE 4.0. The most interesting item I found in the notes is that the file manager in KDE is being separated from Konqueror into a component called Dolphin. Also, according to the announcement, konsole has been treated to a number of improvements such as split view, and history highlighting."

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