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Comment Re:lethal injection is for sissies (Score 1) 1160

Not weighing on death penalty but the narrow scope of your statement.

The government still carries out the whole thing. If you claim to want small government but support the death penalty, you're nothing but a liar.

Your statement seems to lead that there is only one govt. That's the fallacy. There are municipalities (cities, townships, maybe even county) govt, then there's state govt., and finally the federal govt.

When people complain about Big Government, they are talking about the federal level. Why would someone want the size of government to be small at the top (federal level)? Because we have the least amount of say at that level, and it has the most reaching effects. The lower you go, the more influence you have. Therefor the thinking is the more power over your lives they should have. Of course conversely, the lower levels of government also effects less and less people.

You might have heard a saying at one point in time, "The states are experiments in democracy." That was supposed to because the people had a fairly good say in what the state did and didn't do (it's a lot easier to petition a government when you need a lot less number of signatures on a petition) and other states can look at it and say "Hey that went pretty well. Maybe I can implement something like that for my people." or "Well that didn't work out very well, guess we won't be going down that road." You have more control (notice I said more, not total control) over what effects you and what works for you (after all the different areas of the country have different needs) and if someone in a different area of the country wants something that ends up being a bad idea, you're not effected.

Death penalty is handled as a state level. The the federal government shouldn't come into play unless they want to take it away from the states to decide for themselves and make it a federal penalty. So yes, you can still believe in a small government at the federal level and still support the death penalty at the state level.

Comment It's not as bad as it seems. (Score 0) 729

The article reads... The functionality of the default behavior of the middle mouse button will be for context menus. That reads to me that it'll still be customized to be what ever you want it to be.

After all isn't that what drew us to Unix environments in the first place? You don't like something, change it yourself. Shells that first allowed you to embed commands right into the prompt itself, window managers that allowed you to update the look and feel of your windows, including animated fire in the title bars. With a text editor and a config file you could do anything.

And in the end. If it doesn't give you the ability to change the behavior, it's not like there isn't 500 bazillion other window managers out there.

Comment Re:Which movies you pirate changes the validity (Score 1) 167

And if you openly pirate, say, Steamboat Willie, on the grounds that it should have passed into the public domain, I think that's a reasonable and arguably justifiable protest. But if you openly pirate, say, Wreck-it Ralph, or Brave, or (shortly) Monsters University - movies that have been out for less than a year - then your alleged argument that copyright should have a shorter, 20-30 year term is unsupported by your actions.

And therein lies the problem... How many people are pirating Steamboat Willie, the Seven Year Itch, To Catch a Thief, etc., as opposed to recent movies, music, games, and software? The Top 10 most pirated movies chart for this week lists Life of Pi, Silver Linings Playbook, Skyfall, Django Unchained, Argo, The Hobbit, Here Comes the Boom, Flight, Zero Dark Thirty, and Robot and Frank, every one of which is less than a year old. Similarly, the top pirated games (for 2011, I can't find 2012 numbers) were all released that year.


Your suggestion isn't bad, except that people shouldn't be pirating just anything, but specifically things that would have fallen into the public domain but-for the last extension. Things that are currently 60 years past the life of the author, say. That would be a meaningful, and credible, protest.

I agree with you that there's a difference, but...

I'm reminded of a story I heard somewhere (book, movie, sorry can't remember) were some people were on their way to work and they where discussing the fact that if they were late the punishment was death. Somewhere along the way they were delayed and were going to be late for their work and one guy asks another one what is the punishment for revolting, and the answer was death. So faced with the same punishment if they revolted or late for work and they were already late for work, they decided to revolt instead.

While the current punishment for piracy isn't death, it's the same if you pirate a movie that would of been in the public domain vs. something that is current and wouldn't be in the public domain; then to the pirate, what is the difference?

Of course to the pirate, nothing, but if the purpose of the piracy is civil disobedience (which the OP was talking about and you responding to) then it does matter because it would be to express the idea that Copyright is broken.

Comment Re:CS - not CIS (Score 2) 347

CS courses are things like: Finite State Automata, Algorithms and Data Structures, Relatational-Database Engine design, Compiler design and optimization, Operating systems design, Discrete Math, Graphics Architecture and Mathematical Transformations, OOD/OOP, Structured Programming, Software Engineering. (Notice there is no "language" course listed).

For me, the reason there wasn't a language course was because each one of those classes used a different language. By the end of the degree program the people will have forgotten more languages than most others will ever know.

But the upside is that I can, with a straight face, say I am a programmer and not a coder. The language is no longer important, it's just an implementation of the program. I can move (and have moved) from projects that use Ada to C to C++, Assembly, Snowball, COBAL, etc... with little trouble other than keeping the projects themselves straight in my head. Picking up the language of the day ends up being trivial.

Some can say that it also leads to someone that is a jack of all trades with being a master of none, but isn't necessarily true, as you will find that you do tend to lean towards 1 or 2 languages that you like and you really learn the ins and outs of them.

Comment Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (Score 1) 817

"Grey area" nothing.

The OP was stating that just because the federal govt. passed a law means the States had to accept it, because of the Supremacy clause. I was saying it's a grey area because of the perceived abuse of the Commerce clause, that any law is allowed to be passed because it relates to Commerce.

Article 1, section 4 explicitly says Congress can override state regulations regarding elections.

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing [sic] Senators.

I succeed to your point, that Congress can in fact impose Law on the manner of States holding Congressional elections, which would in turn trump any state law. The Presidential election is described in Article Two, in which he's elected by Electors and it explicitly states that it's entirely under the jurisdiction of the states;

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

I still succeed your point though, since the Congressional election and the elector/presidential elections happens at the same place and time, Congress can pass a law the state will have to uphold.

Comment Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (Score 1) 817

I'm glad you're not a lawyer.

You and me both!

1. The Supremacy Clause clearly states that federal law trumps state law wherever they conflict.
2. Treaties trump federal law wherever they conflict.

So if you have a state law that says you can't do X, and a treaty that says you must allow X, then X is allowed.

1. Absolutely, but if the Constitution explicitly states that the manner in which elections are held are controlled by the States themselves, then how can the Supremacy Clause come into play?
2. I've have never read that a Treaty trumps federal law. I'm not saying it doesn't, but it doesn't make sense and the Supremacy Clause states who wins out between a conflict in the local state and elsewhere. But it does go back to point number one in that a court case states that a treaty can not convey powers to the federal govt. that the Constitution doesn't already give it. So if the Constitution says that the federal govt. can't tell the state how to handle it's election, a treaty signed by the federal govt. can't either.

Comment Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (Score 1) 817

For the federal govt. to enter in an agreement that defines any procured or policy not dictated by the Constitution is effectively void and cannot be enforced.

Well, you know, except for that obscure, little Supremacy clause, right?

And now, that's a grey area. The Constitution states that the federal govt. is not able to pass any law that is not enumerated to them via the Constitution. That is why the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (a.k.a. Obamacare) could not be legal in any circumstances unless it was declared a tax (which the justice dept. lawyers did argue). So if the Constitution states that the state has control over their own election, then not even the federal govt. can interfere with it.

I call it a grey area because it seems that, lately, everything is related to the Commerce clause. Initially the legality of the individual mandate of the PPACA (forcing every citizen to purchase health insurance) was argued to fall under the Commerce clause, but the Supreme Court threw that out and draw a line stating that the federal govt. can not force a citizen into Commerce in order to regulate it.

A treaty allowing for non-authorized observers to be near a polling station, can not be argued to fall under the Commerce clause.

Comment Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (Score 2) 817

Technically, the state law is in disagreement with international agreements:
"Access of election observers is regulated by state law. This frequently does not provide for international observers as required by paragraph 8 of the 1990 OSCE Copenhagen Document. Domestic observation is expected to be widespread." ( - page 2)

The document:
See page 1 for the US being part of it and page 3 and further for what was agreed upon.

"(8) The participating States consider that the presence of observers, both foreign and domestic, can enhance the electoral process for States in which elections are taking place. They therefore invite observers from any other CSCE participating States and any appropriate private institutions and organizations who may wish to do so to observe the course of their national election proceedings, to the extent permitted by law. They will also endeavour to facilitate similar access for election proceedings held below the national level. Such observers will undertake not to interfere in the electoral proceedings." (page 7)

IANAConstitutionalL, but I'll play one on slashdot.

With having said that I'll say, then the agreement is illegal

The Constitution states that the states, that make up the country, have control on how elections are handled, except for a few details such as dictating when the elections can happen, but for the most part every state has control over how they handle elections. For the federal govt. to enter in an agreement that defines any procured or policy not dictated by the Constitution is effectively void and cannot be enforced.

Now one might argue that the U.S. Attorney General is going after states that pass voter ID law, and if the states can pass whatever election law they want it and trump the federal govt., how can he do that? He is able to have that right because of the 24th Amendment which states; that no one, not even the state, can deny a person's right to vote because of failure to pay a tax. If the Justice dept. is able to argue that obtaining a photo ID is looked at as having to pay a tax, then it violates the Constitution. Which explains the reason, so many states are pushing for a free photo ID program.

In short, it doesn't matter that the state law is in disagreement with the agreement, the state law trumps the agreement.

Comment Re:Ban is dumb (Score 1) 1080

Energy use is heavily subsdized, and the same people who hate bans, hate taxes even more. People aren't willing to pay taxes, so the next rung down has to be used.

The intent of the posting was to convey that a person pays more using an incandescent bulb than a more efficient bulb, based on the extra energy usage. It doesn't matter if energy is subsidized or not, the rate will be the same with both bulbs. Therefore the effect should the same effect as a tax on the behavior (if you were to tax behavior). Adding an actual tax, ends up doubling the tax.

In my observation, people are willing to pay taxes. It's the perceived amount of taxes and what it gets spent on is the issue. When people pay taxes to fund national defense at the federal level, and first responders at a local level, it's a perceived good. When people pay taxes and find their funding studies on shrimp running on treadmills, or for "pancakes for yuppies", it's a perceived WTF. People aren't willing to pay MORE in taxes when there is so much waste with the money they have now.


Submission + - The high price of connecting with an Apple iPhone 5 (

SternisheFan writes: "A blog by ZDNET's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols for Between the Lines | September 19, 2012 --

        While I prefer Android smartphones and tablets, I also like my iPod Touch and iPads. Like many iFans, I also own a variety of devices that work with them: a car FM radio adapter, a clock radio, and an attachment for my stereo system. I'd think about buying an Apple iPhone 5 except not a single one of those devices can work with the iPhone's new Lightning interface. Don't take my word for it. David Pogue of the New York Times, the biggest Apple fan this side of Daring Fireball's John Gruber, wrote: the “decade-old iPhone/ iPad/iPod charging connector is everywhere: cars, clocks, speakers, docks, even medical devices. But the new iPhone won’t fit any of them.”
      Even if you are willing to pay for these new adapters, as Pogue remarks, “not all accessories work with the Lightning, and not all the features of the old connector are available; for example, you can’t send the iPhone’s video out to a TV cable.” Great. Just great. So what's the best answer if you want to get the most from your iPhone 5? Why, it's to buy new Lighting-compatible accessories, of course! You may think you're getting an iPhone 5 for $199-$399, but if you want to use it with other accessories your final tally may end up closing in on a grand. I like the look of the new iPhone, but I don't like it that much."

Comment Re:can't stand the republicans, only watched the d (Score 1) 342

President Obama has:
-Passed healthcare reform through the house, senate, *and* the judiciary. This reform mandates personal healthcare coverage. It also mandates insurance companies insure every part of a person's health, there are no pre-existing conditions anymore.

It has been my experience that this is flat out mis-information. Pre-existing conditions has been a state issue (well technically health care is delegated to being state issues) and the Insurance companies has, for a long time, been forced to accept pre-existing conditions. In fact there are at least 5 states that mandate that there is a insurer of last resort that must except everyone. The difference between what the states have mandated and Obama's "Affordable Care Act", is that insurance companies have been allowed to raise the premium rate if you apply with a pre-existing condition (i.e. place you in a higher risk pool), or deny a claim if you didn't declare it. Now they are not allowed to do either (so if you pay the fee for some number of years and just go to urgent care clinics for routine wellness visits, and find out that you need thousands of dollars of medical care, you still get to turn around and sign up for insurance and pay the same rates as someone that has been carrying insurance for 20+ years and been paying their premiums the entire time).

So what Obama has done, isn't to allow pre-existing conditions, it's to make it illegal to discriminate against them in the form of premium rates.

Comment Re:'Fair Use' is not sufficiently well defined (Score 1) 194

The problem with your argument is that fair use is not a right. Instead, it's a defense against infringement. Even if something is within the boundaries of fair use, no one is required to respect only protects you from being liable for infringement. So when someone (or some machine) denies that fair use, there's nothing legally wrong with doing so.

The problem isn't (yet) with the definition of fair use, it's with the lack of protection of fair use as a right. For the purpose it serves, fair use is defined well describes enough to explain the intent and purposefully leaves the interpretation to judges and juries. To protect against cases like the one in the story, we need to first make it against the law to deny fair use...then we can worry about more explicitly defining what is and isn't fair use.

Disclaimer, I am not an expert on law nor do I even play someone on TV that is an expert on law. This is nothing more than my opinion, how ever misguided and wrong they might be.

On the surface what you're saying sounds right but there's something nagging me that says it's wrong. Copyright is suppose to be a right, but with limitations. Fair use is one of those limitations. The protection is already there and inherently so because it's a limitation. So to say that there's nothing legally wrong in not respecting fair use doesn't sound right (not that there isn't precedence where something that is taken to an extreme nature that it's lost it's meaning).

The protection of fair use is in that the entity is projecting a copyright where they don't have a copyright (i.e. past the limits of copyright). It's no different than if someone off the street tried to sue Disney for copyright infringement on the use of Mickey Mouse. They don't have the copyright and therefor have no right to sue.

Comment Re:SunView (Score 1) 654

SunView. Beat the pants off OpenWindows for simplicity.

First off remember that SunView was incorporated into OpenWindows (as part of the XView toolkit). What I think you were trying to compare was SunView and NeWS. While I agree with you that SunView looked simpler, I definitely don't look back on it with as fond of memories as you do.

I was drawn to UNIX environments because of the customizing of seemingly every aspect of it. Didn't like the some magical limit... Update the header file and recompile your kernel. Didn't like the shell interface, you had plenty to choose from (okay at my time I was in awe that I had /bin/sh and /bin/csh to choose from, ksh was for pay and I was too cheap). SunView was not very customizing. Trying to program using XView (I do thank my lucky stars that I at least started programming after it was ported to X and didn't have to use the native library) was frustrating.

NeWS on the other hand was clunky, sucked up tons of memory (ugh... real time postscript interrupter running on a Sun SLC was slllooowwww) but was completely customizing. Didn't like what you see, or how it worked. Write your own add on and load it up in real time (good thing I was tops in my grade school Logo Turtle class).

ahhhh Now those were the days... Now get off my lawn!

Comment Re:awesome publicity for public awareness (Score 1) 597

It's not perjury, and they're not criminals. Perjury is making a false or misleading statement while under oath, and there is no oath here.

17 U.S.C. (512(c)(3)(A)(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 infringed.

But IANAL. So why isn't this perjury?

Because the under penalty of perjury statement corresponds to being authorized to act on behalf of the person claiming infringement. Nothing about what they were submitting was true, only that they have the authorization to submit complaints.

So under the DMCA, if I see that you uploaded someplace a Disney video, I can't say "I represent Disney and you need to take it down". Someone authorized by Disney has to submit the claim.

Comment Re:Can be invalidated if design has practical util (Score 4, Funny) 326

That and according to this Wikipedia article: "Design patents cover the ornamental nonfunctional design of an item. Design patents can be invalidated if the design has practical utility (e.g. the shape of a gear)." So let's figure out how to show "practical utility" for a wedge shape.

It's a Mac... It's only functional use is as a door stop. The wedge shape has been standard for door stops for eons!!!!

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