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Comment Re:No problem. So what's the alternative? (Score 1) 417

What you describe is called underwriting and is quite common on public radio and television. I have somewhat mixed feelings about it. At least if the process introduces bias into the news, you are told who the people giving them money are and you can make a decision about the legitimacy of the story on your own.

Comment Re:Parity? (Score 1) 1016

I don't think "tragic accident" is the most appropriate way to describe what happened to that kid. Tragic? Yes. Accident? No, this word does not accurately describe the situation.

It seems pretty clear that the cop was grossly negligent. Read the article. Watch the news footage.

The cop was doing 72 miles per hour when the speed limit was 40. Even if he had his lights and siren on, which he did not, he should have not been going more than 30 miles per hour over the speed limit. Not only that, but he didn't even swerve to avoid the kid.

Comment Re:Parity? (Score 3, Informative) 1016

I clicked your link... The kid was struck crossing a busy, unlit road at night, by a car coming around a blind corner. Sounds like tragic accident to me. If anybody is to blame it's the kid's parents for letting him out at night on a bike, without proper safety instruction.

Read the article. The cop was speeding around a blind corner without his lights or siren on. Yes, he was responding to a call, but he was breaking police protocol, and probably state and local laws, by speeding and by failing to turn on his lights and siren. Should the kid have been in the street? Well, there's no law against riding your bike in the street that I've heard of. How do you know that the child had no safety instruction? It seems to me that the cop is the one without adequate safety instruction. Hitting and killing that child seems to have been caused by the officer's negligence - driving too fast without his lights and siren on.

So what's your point? That we should be punishing people severely for things they have no control over? I presume you believe the punishment for violating the DMCA to be disproportionate, but you picked a poor example.

My main point is that there is a severe lack of parity in the US justice system. Those with money and/or power (cops, giant corporations) can basically do what they want while the little guy (kid on a bike, hardware hacker) get screwed or worse. A side point would be that a crime that has actually caused significant harm (the cop killing the kid) goes basically unpunished while the "crime" of modifying game consoles which hurts basically nobody can be punished by 10 years in jail.

Comment Re:Take back the seconds (Score 1) 383

It may not cost you anything, but not everyone has the luxury of being on an unlimited or high limit plan. In fact, there's a good number of people that don't have a traditional cell phone contract and use the rechargeable/calling card/by the minute/pay as you go type phones.

Personally, I have an older contract that doesn't have a ton of minutes each month. I don't regularly use more than half of my minutes each month, but then again I hardly talk on the phone. I know a good sized chunk of people who have gone over their minutes pretty regularly.

Finally, even if you're only billed in 1-minute increments, that 15 seconds can still push an otherwise 1 minute call into the 2 minute range.

Comment Re:I'm one of them (Score 1) 422

As another poster said, this means that your phone is triangulating your location based on cell tower signals and is not reading from the GPS.

I'll bet you have Verizon as your carrier. They won't allow you to use the device GPS with Google Maps. They want you to pay for their "VZ Navigator" application. I think you can use the GPS with Blackberry Maps, though.

I have a Blackberry Pearl and have the same problem on the Verizon network.

Comment Re:hunter2 (Score 2, Insightful) 849

You might want to RTFA before typing out such a long post. If you did, you'd notice a few things.

1) He's specifically advocating this for login forms on the web
2) He specifically says that security trumps usability in some instances
3) He gives a very clear example of a way to enable/disable this feature

With the proliferation of mobile devices with tiny, sometimes virtual, keyboards, typos are very common. When you can't even see that you've made a typo because it is obscured by dots, then you have no chance of correcting it.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could uncheck a little box that says "Obsure my password"? If you're paranoid, you could just check the box before entering your password or leave it checked, depending on the default.

Comment Re:What took them so long? (Score 5, Informative) 460

This kind of attitude is why our rights are slowly crumbling away. The Ron Paul staffer was not legally obligated to answer these questions. The notion that simply caving in and answering the questions anyway would have sped his passage through airport security has no bearing on any of this. He was clearly in the right and the TSA drones were in the wrong. He did nothing illegal and therefore should not have been held, searched, or subjected to questioning.

By giving in to the seemingly small intrusions on our civil liberties that happen on a daily basis, we are willingly giving up our rights. Unless we stand up for ourselves, even at the cost of possible inconvenience, the rights that we enjoy will eventually disappear.

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