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Comment Re:Self-incriminating password. (Score 1) 507

I believe the legal counter to this which is slowly starting to emerge is 'We're not ordering you to divulge your password. We're ordering you to decrypt the drive. We quite specifically don't want, or need, your password, nor do we care if the drive is encrypted with a passphrase, biometrics, physical token, whatever. We're just ordering you to decrypt it.'

Much like your 'papers' are immune to unreasonable search and seizure, but are subject to reasonable search and seizure, i.e. with a duly sworn out warrant and all that, so are your digital papers. I think this is the correct result.

I believe that, if the cops find a file in a locked file cabinet, said file being labelled 'Plans to murder my wife' and full of, well, plans to murder your wife, you don't get to have them declared inadmissible under the fifth; you get to refuse to answer questions like 'did you create these plans' and 'did you carry out these plans.' Seems to me that a directory full of documents, said directory being labelled 'plans to kill my wife' would be treated the same.

Comment Re:Opposite effect of that intended (Score 1) 318

And part of the modern tribalism problems are because Europeans drew some lines on a map and said 'This is now a country, surely you two tribes that have been in conflict for countless years can now just get along, yeah?'

Note that Europeans have done this to themselves; WW2 was a direct result of this sort of crap after WW1.

Comment Re:But the world is flat isn't it? (Score 1) 318

A few years back, I wrote a letter to a teacher who was teaching my daughter's public school class, I want to say around grade six, the whole Columbus fairy tale.

It was a lovely letter, full of references to Washington Irvine, Ancient Greek origins of geometry 'literally, earth measurement' and experiments demonstrating the globular nature of the Earth, and surprisingly accurate diameter calculations, the Catholic Church fully supporting and backing Columbus's journey, the whole nine yards.

I got back a terse reply that this was the curriculum, so shut it.

Did I mention that I live in Canada?

Comment Re:Plenty of precedent! (Score 1) 101

Well, there's a difference between a system where all the players a) are trained, b) are licensed, c) are insured, and d) are aware that they're assuming risk, and a system where some yahoo goes for a flight, in direct contravention of laws and custom, in a contrivance that is specifically uncontrollable and a hazard to navigation and safety, with the express intent of causing a disturbance.

Comment Re:About time! (Score 2) 265

The small percentage of the population which falls outside size norms want to pass laws requiring that they be given enough space at the same price as everyone else.

I'm well within "normal" size - 5'10", 150-160 pounds depending on the season and what kind of exercise I've been doing. I wear a jacket with 36" shoulders, and my trousers have a 31" waist.

Most of the major US airlines have seats that just barely fit me. I have flown on one (can't remember which offhand) where my hip bone was pressing into the padding on both sides of the seat simultaneously. If my hips had been any wider, I would literally have not fit in the seat.

This isn't about edge-cases. This is about airlines trying to provide accommodations that are inadequate for something like half of the population.

Comment Re:Nothing like fudging the number (Score 1) 97

If I round up, it makes the game look better than it is. If I round down, I am being giving an inaccurate portray of how I really feel.

You are but one drop of rain in a monsoon. Ratings *should* appropriately dither over the aggregate, so the few who are in the middle will likely half vote up, while half vote down.

While up/down may not be entirely fair, there's really more options for manipulation in a star rating system. By removing zero-star ratings as an option, they can artificially inflate scores. By changing the textual labels (what if 4-stars was described as "Just Okay"?) they can manipulate people into rating higher. And in general, companies are biased to WANT higher ratings, so you'll be more likely to stay around longer, spending more money, so whatever system they design is going to err or the high side.

Comment Re:GOOD. (Score 3, Insightful) 281

So how is Big Vax managing to hide all of the kids running around in polio braces? The walls full of iron lungs? All of the kids rendered sterile by mumps? All of the horrible pox scarring?

Measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, none of these are 'benign.' They're much more survivable, nowadays, due to much better palliative care, but it's also like saying that compound fractures or traumatic intestinal rupturing are 'benign' nowadays because they're not the instant death sentences they were a hundred years ago.

Comment Re:And so it begins... (Score 1) 407

You don't think it's possible that one of the manufacturers used a software/firmware-enforced lockout instead of a physical mechanism? That's basically what the designers of the THERAC-25 did.

What about a lockout mechanism that was physically weak enough for the robot to break through?

IMO, the lockout mechanism for heavy machinery should physically cut the power to the entire system, but I'm not a mechanical engineer, and there may be reasons where that's not possible.

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