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Comment Market distortions. (Score 1) 490

Thanks to rent control, I'm paying $300 per month less than market rate.

Market distortions can make it financially disastrous to move, as compared to staying in the same place.

Rent control is one.

Another is, for homeowners, is Proposition 13 in California (and similar laws in some other states). Think of it as "rent control on taxes", designed to keep the skyrocketing housing prices from driving people out of their homes:
  - Stay at the old place - get taxed on the price of the house when it was bought (or Prop 13 went into effect) plus a small inflation adjustment.
  - Sell it and buy a new house in CA (or the same state etc.) - get taxed on the new house's CURRENT price, plus a small inflation adjustment - forever forward. Then there's being taxed on the hyperinflated price of the house you sold as if it were a lump sum of income, unless you take the once-in-a-lifetime exemption or one of the other income tax rules for switching houses without being bankrupted. And the new mortgage is at the current rates, too, and on a much pricier home.

Moving used to be much less of a financial hit than it is now.

Comment I'd like to see a Third Amendment defense, too. (Score 5, Informative) 118

Spying on the population was a big driver behind the THIRD amendment:

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

While forcing the colonists to provide housing and upkeep for the soldiers sent to oppress them was an economic issue, there was more to it than that.

A soldier "quartered" in a colonist's house also served as a spy for the crown and its army. He eavesdropped on the conversations of the family and visiting friends. He had the opportunity to view their records when they weren't home (or even if they were). He reported anything suspicious to his unit. His presence inhibited getting together with others to hold private discussions, especially about opposing (by protest or otherwise) anything the government was doing. He was a continuous walking search, fed and housed by the people he was investigating.

It seems to me that law-enforcement and intelligence agency spyware, such as keyloggers and various data exfiltration tools, is EXACTLY the digital equivalent: It is a digital agent that "lives" in the home or office of the target. It consums the target's resources (disk space, CPU cycles network bandwidth) to support itself. It spies spying on the activities and "papers" of the target, reporting anything suspicious (or anything, actually) back to its commander, to be used as evidence and/or to trigger an arrest or other attack. It is ready, at a moment's notice, to forcefully interfere with, destroy, or corrupt the target's facilities or send forged messages from him.

Spyware is EXACTLY one of the most egregious acts (one of the "Intolerable Acts") that sparked the American Revolution. I'd love to see the Third brought back out of the doldrums and used against these "digital soldiers" the government is "quartering" inside our personal and private computing devices.

Comment Enjoy your trip. (Score 1) 136

Last year I spent close on $3,000 in the USA. This year, I'm going to Sri Lanka.

Enjoy your trip.

Meanwhile, Trump will just have ICE deport three more illegal immigrant households, more than making up for the money you might have spent (even if you'd been giving it straight to the US taxpayers, rather than mostly to the megacorps that exploit them.)

Comment Re:Retarded headline... (Score 1) 55

With "buy" using a lowercase "b", it better indicates that "Snap" and "Snap Interactive" are two different entities. Not as good as the quotation marks I just used (which I've no frigging idea if that is a grammatically-acceptable use), but better than it is now.

Officially grammatical or not, putting the quotes around the two company names is how I'd have done it. It nicely clarifies the boundaries of the multiple-word names, making the meaning of the sentence obvious.

Comment Quotes 'cause an unconstitutional law isn't a law? (Score 1) 267

Because it isn't really illegeal becasue they changed the law after peoples sstarted doing it that's ENTRAPMENT

You're thinking of "ex post facto" - making an act illegal after it takes place.

I think that would apply to, at least, any rentals that were in progress when the law came into effect. New rentals might be a different matter.

This law amounts to a zoning/land-use law change. If the rentals were actually legal under the previous laws, they might remain legal as a "non-conforming use", despite the new law, until the property is sold to a new owner.

Also: If the new law has the effect of substantially reducing the property's value to its owner, the owner might be able to sue the city for the difference, under the Fifth Amendment's "takings" clause and the doctrine of "partial taking".

But IANAL and even if I were I'm not a New Yorker.

Comment Re:What is the problem?.. (Score 1) 341

Why hundreds of people were protesting isn't some kind of unsolved mystery that demands or even justifies law enforcement digging through the last decade of electronic personal data in order to "crack" the case. ... The root of the issue is the bullshit justification that a search warrant of this kind was even authorized.

What's that got to do with finding evidence for intent and/or conspiracy? Both are legitimate pieces of evidence to search for, in a place that is legitimate to search with a warrant, and such warrants may be properly granted if probable cause exists.

A group of identically masked "protesters" working together to commit felony assault and arson is just about the definition of "probable cause" for suspecting conspiracy and intent, and legitimately searching for evidence to nail the conviction.

Comment Re:"...which begs the question..." (Score 3, Interesting) 341

"Begging the question" is almost always used incorrectly...

Unlike, for instance, French (a "dead language spoken by millions"), which has a rule-making body with the force of law that can fine you (in some jurisdictions) for saying "hamburger" in an otherwise French sentence, American English is a living language.

That means what is "correct" is what the bulk of the speakers actually say. It changes from time to time. This is one of those times and one of those changes.

It is also a Germanic language, not a Romance language.

It's similar to the prohibition on ending a sentence with a preposition (which is a rule from Latin which academics keep trying to impose on English speakers, though the grammatical form always was legitimate in English and other Germanic languages). "Begging the Question" began as a mistranslation of a Latin phrase (attributed to Aristotle) that was incorporated as a technical term (for a particular logical fallacy) into a specialized academic vocabulary. But the phrase has ALSO come to be used for other things (which actually match the string of words more closely).

Some academics claim their subculture's first use makes it the only "correct" meaning of the phrase. But like other words and phrases in English, the common usage defines the (set of) "correct" meaning(s).

Comment Re:So now under Trump... (Score 5, Interesting) 341

Setting cars on fire, assaulting people, and breaking windows isn't "protesting."

Well, actually it can be a "protesting" tactic.

But being an "act of protest" doesn't make it any less a violent criminal act, or any less subject to prosecution and criminal sanctions.

It also doesn't make planning to do it in a group any less a felonious conspiracy.

= = = =

I'm waiting with bated breath for the new administration to follow the money back to Soros (busting people all the way along the trail) and find enough evidence to bust him as the kingpin of a criminal conspiracy. Wouldn't THAT cause consternation.

Comment Moore's law and partitioning repositories. (Score 1) 213

So buy a bigger disk. They're cheap.

That's not the problem. It's the time to process all those files every time you run commands like checkout status diff etc.

Are YOU really having speed issues now?

If not, don't expect to as your project grows, either. As long as the Moore's law variants apply and you don't add developers at an exponential rate, the machines will improve exponentially, wihch is faster than the repository grows. (Even if you DO add developers exponentially the output per developers drops off quickly.)

If you ARE having trouble I'd bet you didn't partition your repositories at project, application/subsystem, or API boundaries Git works fine if you have, say, one repository for the compiler support / standard library or vendor's SDK, another for your project's application, maybe a third for your-stuff specific libraries shared among multiple projects. You glue them together in the makefile common inclusions.

If you aren't crossing a repository boundary where you have separate components that have to interact across distinct release versions, you did something wrong. Even diverge-converge approaches won't give you a good way to test across those version combinations or protect you from change-storms unrelated to YOUR project - not just with git, but with any SCCS I'm familiar with. (And I've been programming - and/or designing digital hardware - for a living since computers were just switching from using tubes.)

Comment It's the hook to make your repositories break (Score 2, Insightful) 213

The whole point of git is that you have identical copy on your machine. Why take away git's biggest advantage?

Because it's biggest advantage is also one of it's greatest inefficiencies and frankly on a large project chances are you may not need it all. The whole point is you have an identical copy on your machine of what you're working on

So buy a bigger disk. They're cheap.

Why did they do it? It's obvious: it's the bait on the hook to get you to break git and your open source projects (even CURRENT ones) that compete with them.

By keeping you from having a full copy of the repository, they break git: If there are files that you didn't use in recent checkouts, they're not stored locally or not brought up to date when you pull. If something goes wrong externally - like loss or corruption at a cloud site (such as the recent lost-update debacle) you have no non-microsoft-git-internals-expert way to recover - maybe no way to recover at all.

You lose the ability to work offline. You lose the ability to look at history, or parts of the repository you haven't been to yet, without being back on line to a working and trustworthy external server, and so on.

Comment Re:Close but I have a nit to pick. (Score 3, Insightful) 952

My understanding is that Executive Orders can only be made for powers either bequeathed to the President via the Constitution, or where Congress has granted the Executive branch those powers via legislation.

We are in total agreement there - that this is the theory,

In practice the President orders as he will, limited only by his conscience (if any), the courts, and (in extremis) behavior so egregious that his underlings would mutiny or Congress would impeach. Essentially that means the courts, which have explicit rules and policies in place to minimize such interference.

LBJ called politics "The Art of the Possible". I've always read that to mean "Everything I Can Get Away With".

In the case of immigration, it is Congress who decides the parameters of who enters the country, but it is the Executive's job to interpret and enforce immigration law.

I note that the "immigration problems" we are currently having stem from various Presidents' choices to NOT enforce immigration law (and Obama's choice to write Executive Orders purporting to grant non-Congressionally-authorized extra immigration waivers and handle incoming illegal immigrants in a way that destroys the paper trail necessary to find and deport them). Trump can keep most of his immigration promises just by switching to vigorously enforcing the laws as written and building the (already Congressionally Mandated and partially funded) wall.

For the rest, Congress, post 9/11, wrote the President a number of anti-terrorism blank checks. I'd be surprised if there wasn't at least one that could be read to authorize his actions. If he can't find or stretch one to fit, THEN he can try to justify it from his Constitutional Powers.

Of course, if it ever DOES come to court, Trump's attorneys can throw ALL the claims at the bench simultaneously. Only one needs to stick.

Comment Look at The New Deal (Score 1) 952

I wonder how many of these executive orders will stand up to judicial scrutiny?
A lot fewer than have/will be made I suspect.

Ordering the drafting of one, checking it when it's done, sending it back for revision if necessary, and signing it, takes what? A quarter day? That means he can do several a DAY and keep it up as long as he's in office. (He'd need to, even if the courts don't strike even one. There are SO MANY things to shut down and at most he has less than three thousand days to do it - and all the OTHER presidential work as well.) Cost is trivial, since the manpower is already on staff and paid for by government funds.

Pushing opposition to an order's implementation, into and through court, takes months to years. (Again, the government pays for Trump's side, this time to push back.) There's no guarantee it will work, or that it will affect more than a small part of the order if it does work.

For a historic example of how this can work, see how F.D.R. used it to create The New Deal, including its welfare state and fascist control of industry. (The latter mostly got knocked down in court, the former is still with us - all grown up and entrenched.)

Or look at what Obama did with his "Pen and Phone" and a Democratic Party dominated Congress.

Then consider that, in general, (and in contrast to neocon claims,) it's easier to break something than to build it.

Comment It's not just here. It's EVERYWHERE. (Score 2) 952

This site does does seem to be getting more political and less technical in the choice of stories being put forward.

It's not just here. It's everywhere. For instance:
  - I run into these arguments on a computer experts mailing list.
  - I see them keep popping up on an alternative energy BBS - bringing the board operators out to repeatedly admonish the posters about the "no political discussions" rule.
  - (I'd probably see them in more places but I've been sick as a dog this last week.)
  - My wife sees them on a num ber of mailing lists, facebook friends groups, and so on that she's on, including a chicken-breeder's discussion group(!)

As I read it:
  - The left-wing movement currently called things like "progressivism" has, for generations, infiltrated power-base organizations and used social pressure to turn their members into group-think clones and the organizations into tools for further expansion and for implementation of their policies. They've just received their first major setback in half a century. Their carefully constructed mechanisms, which they thought were about to give them an unbreakable lock on power, either massively failed to perform or are going onto the chopping block with Trump wieldng the axe. So they are doubling down, frantically applying their tactics, redoubled, in every venu they can still access;
  - Their non-members (especially those in rural and/or "fly-over" locations, after decades of being gaslighted, just received a massive sanity-check and became connected with many others who think like them. Further, they saw the other side exposed as what they'd consider evil and corrupt - first by the leaks, then by the tantrum after the loss. With this for armor, they are resisting social-pressure attacks rather than backing down.


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