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Comment Re:Look up laws on booby traps (Score 1) 216

Hence what I said about "overly literal geeks". You think so long as you can find something that you consider to be logically consistent, that'll work and you are out of trouble. I'm telling you that is NOT how it works in a court. They very much take the "reasonable man" approach and factor in intent. Doesn't matter how clever you think you are, what matters is what the law says and how the judge applies it.

Comment Look up laws on booby traps (Score 5, Insightful) 216

I doubt they'd have a hard time stretching it to over something like this. If you have a device who's only purpose is to destroy something and it goes and destroys something, well you are pretty likely to get in trouble for it.

Remember courts aren't operated by overly literal geeks who think if they can find some explanation, no matter how outlandish or unlikely, it'll be accepted. The law bases a lot around what is reasonable, and around intent. So your attempt at being cute won't work, and you'll be off to jail.

It also may very well be illegal just to have, or be made illegal if not. There are devices that are outlawed purely because they have no legit use. Many states ban burglary tools, which can include things like the cracked ceramic piece of a spark plug (the aluminum oxide ceramic breaks tempered glass easily). If they catch you and can prove intent, then you are in trouble just for having them with the intent to use them illegally.

Oh and don't think they have to read your mind or get a confession to prove intent. They usually just have to show that the circumstances surrounding the situation are enough to lead a reasonable person to believe that you were going to commit a crime.

And a post like this, would count for sure.

Comment These idiots are going to get sued (Score 3, Informative) 216

The problem with a device like this is it is hard to find a substantial legitimate use for it. Given that, they are likely to be targeted for a lawsuit and they are likely to lose that suit.

While it is perfectly ok to sell a device that gets used to commit crimes, you generally have to have a legit reason to be selling it and it can't be something that is totally made up that nobody actually believes. So for example while a crowbar can certainly be used to break in to a house to or attack someone, they are also widely used used to get nails out of things and pry stuck objects apart. As an opposed example a number of companies that sell devices to help you cheat on urine tests have gotten in trouble since their devices had no use other than said cheating.

It is very, very hard to think of a legit use for this and I can't imagine they'll get many legit sales. So it'll probably get them in legal trouble.

Comment Even ones that are tested can have problems (Score 1) 115

I bought an Anker USB C-C cable. I got an LG phone with C, and Qualcomm quick charging on it so I needed some new adapters to be able to charge it at full speed. Gout a couple of adapters, and couple of A-C cables and then said "why not?" and got a C-C cable too. No use for it yet, but I figured I'd get it since I'm sure my next laptop will have C on it.

A few weeks later, Anker sent me a recall notice. Apparently there was a problem in the cables that could cause issues with high power use cases so they gave me my money back and promised a replacement when available.

The issue was actually apparently in the ICs on the cable. Yes that's right, the cables have to have controllers on them too since they have to communicate what kind of power they can handle.

It is likely to be a problem for some time. The good news is A-C cables aren't such an issue since A supports much lower voltages and currents (can only go up to 12v and and like 2.5a) so they don't have to be as insulated and don't need as much protection (apparently a resistor on them does the trick) but still. The C-C stuff though, it will be an issue.

Comment If you do business in the US, the IRS gets to peek (Score 1) 203

You find it is true of most nations, actually. If you are playing with finances in their borders, their tax agencies get to have a look at what is going on. Doesn't matter if you are a citizen or not. There can be tax implications even if you are't a citizen but regardless they want to see what is going on.

I mean look at the FIFA guys who got brought down by the US: It happened because they were doing shit with US currency and US banking. That is why the US took an interest and has legal standing.

Comment Re:Fair, but they have to decide what instead (Score 1) 298

You might want to try and spend a little more time considering your responses and a little less time getting all worked up, it'll help you make points more cognizant and likely to persuade.

First off I didn't post AC so... not sure what you are going for there.

That aside, when you start talking about nuclear power as "Kablooey power" you are more or less saying "ignore my opinion, I have a childlike view on this." Making up silly names does nothing to make your point, it doesn't convince me you have a valid view, it says to me your view is based on fear and a lack of understanding, not on a carefully considered weighing of the evidence.

So given that, I'm not going to waste more time trying to convince you since it won't work, logical appeals to people with an emotional position don't succeed. I'm just going to suggest that you might want to chill out, spend some time reading what you are responding to, and argue based on logic, not on emotion. You'll win more converts that way.

Comment They can't get private insurance (Score 1) 298

The potential costs are too high, private insurers aren't willing to underwrite it. Same kind of shit with flood insurance. In the case of nuclear it is really, really hard to price that shit as well. I mean problems with it happen very rarely, but when they do the potential costs can be huge and the costs can be difficult to estimate because you deal not with just actual costs, but with political/PR issues as well. Things like big exclusion areas are not the kind of thing that is necessarily mandatory as a public health measure, but can be necessary because people are really, really scared of radiation.

There are some things the private industry just won't do, or at least won't do well, for better or worse. Well, that's part of the reason we have a government: to deal with those cases.

For nuclear power what should happen, and indeed may happen in some places I don't know, is that they should pay in to a government sort of fund/insurance. That doesn't mean they will (or indeed could) pay up front any and all amount that could be needed to cover any disaster, but that they've helped defray costs in the event the government does need to provide disaster assistance.

Comment Fair, but they have to decide what instead (Score 1) 298

Because you don't get something for nothing. People can decide they are willing to use less power, decrease power usage enough and you can get away with less plants. However that does mean compromising modern lifestyle, as increases in efficiency only go so far (and many people have already done what they can to increase the efficiency of their use). They can use fossil fuel power instead, though that requires buying the fuel on a continual basis (Japan has no reserves to speak of) and dealing with the pollution it produces, particularly when you are talking a smaller nation like Japan with less places to put power generation far away from people. Renewables are an option, but only to an extent. Again there's the space issue but also none of them so far are reliable for generation at all times. You can use them to deal with peak loads of various kinds, but they don't work well for continuous generation and thus don't tend to be a solution all on their own.

There are lots of feasible options, but they all have tradeoffs and that is the problem. People who dislike nuclear power are made about its tradeoffs (the danger in the event of a catastrophic failure and the high cleanup cost mostly) but often don't have an alternative solution. I see a lot of "we don't want that" or "we should do something else" but little of what that should be. It isn't magic, there isn't some great solution that we could all have if we just wanted to. We have to deal with the tradeoffs.

Personally, I imagine that while there will be complaining, in the long run Japan will continue to use nuclear for a lot of its power needs as they are not going to be willing to make big, permanent, reductions in power use and none of the other options have tradeoffs they are going to want to take.

Comment Ummm... no (Score 1) 1424

About 39 million people live in California that is total people, including kids, immigrants, people not registered to vote, etc. Even if you assume that all those people could vote, and that they all voted the same way... well it still isn't enough to elect a president. In this election which had a pretty mediocre turnout, each major party candidate got more than 60 million votes (by way of comparison President Obama got almost 70 million in 2008).

But like I said, not all can or do vote. Of those 39 million people, only somewhere in the realm of 12-16 million actually do vote, numbers vary by year but are in line with the overall trend in the US of pretty low voter participation. So when you look at it California accounts for about 12% of the population in the US and what do you know, about the same percentage of the popular vote, which would seem to be the literal definition of fairness in terms of "one person, one vote".

However, even that large voting block doesn't matter since it turns out California is not unified, no state is. Maybe you get the mistaken impression it is because of the EC results, but that is only because of the "winner take all" nature of elector allocation. California likes democrats as a whole, but not universally. This year 7.2 million people there voted Clinton, 3.8 million voted Trump.

So no, it wouldn't decide an election in a popular vote, not even close.

Comment Not quite (Score 1) 1424

Not disagreeing that he's being a tool (sadly he's been a tool for awhile now) but you are wrong about the electoral college. The electors are free to vote for whomever they want. Even if the state has a faithless elector law, they are still free to vote the way they like, the state can just punish them afterwards (though the legality of them doing so is unclear).

The EC was designed this way. States choose electors to send, via whatever means they like, but those electors are then the ones that have the votes. If they decide to vote some other way, they can do that, it is legal and done by design. Like say back in the day, when this all took a long time, the electors show up and the candidate they pledged to vote for is dead. They don't have to just cast their vote for a dead guy, who then can't take the oath of office, they can evaluate what is going on and vote for someone else. But that also means they could just get together and all decide to elect someone because they are all friends. There is no check on that.

Seriously, have a look in to it.

Comment You don't anyhow and the EC keeps it that way (Score 1) 1424

If you like in a rural state, nobody gives a fuck about you in the general election. Look at a map of campaign visits. They don't care about you and there's two big reasons, one of which is getting worse:

1) Your state always votes republican by a big margin. I don't need to know what state you live in to be pretty confident in that, it is how it goes. Rural states always go republican with high margins, almost no matter what, FDR probably being the only notable time not. Well since a democrat can't win there, there's no need to campaign, wasted time and money. Also since a win to 10 points is the same as a win of 30 points no need for a republican to campaign there. As long as the margin is enough to be secure, nobody cares.

2) Even if you do swing, you don't carry enough electoral votes to be interesting in everything except edge cases. 3 votes doesn't usually swing it, so they'll spend time in states where there are enough votes to matter. This will only get worse as people continue to move to cities (a process that hasn't stopped, and isn't likely to). in 50 years you could very well have an electoral map where 5-6 states control a majority of votes and if only one of those is likely to swing, the'll be the only one any one cares about.

The EC with its first past the post, winner take all setup guarantees this continues. You continue to have no say, despite being told it makes you have a say. However a popular vote actually DOES give you a say. While your state individually doesn't get control over the election (which no state should and if you want that, you should evaluate your views) collectively rural states DO matter because the difference in number of voters adds up. If they vote more republican or more democrat (or more other party, a non-EC system makes that much more possible) that'll matter. The democrats shitting on them and losing by 30 points instead of 10 could be the difference between winning and losing an election.

Comment Doesn't work like that (Score 2) 70

If you actually study dual citizenship, or if you are a dual citizen (I am) you find out that both nations warn you that they can't do much to protect you from claims of the other nation. You are subject to the authority of both countries, you don't get to pick and choose which as it suits you.

In particular Snowden's case would be pretty cut and dried with any government the US has an extradition treaty with: He broke US law, while a US citizen, and while he was physically in the US. What's more, he did so knowingly, as you have to go through a pretty extensive process and sign NDAs when you have a security clearance. They make it very clear you aren't allowed to release the information you are given access to and it is criminal to do so.

Now you can argue that he shouldn't be charged for this because of the circumstances surrounding it, but you can't argue that it isn't against US law, because it is for better or worse. So it would be quite a simple case for any court considering an extradition request.

Also I think you are confused about Russia's motivations. They aren't trying to be noble heroes here and help this guy out because of the goodness of their heart. This is statecraft. It is well within their interests to have him on the hook so he needs to keep them happy or they can ship him back to the US.

Comment Some of it is the chroma (Score 4, Informative) 126

It is true that basically all video encoding these days is done with a 4:1 luma:chroma ratio. So ya 4k video has 1920x1080 chroma samples. However another, probably more important part when talking Youtube is just bitrate. Youtube is pretty aggressive about the bitrates they use to save on bandwidth costs and play on a wide variety of connections. For 1080p30 it uses a bitrate of about 2.5-3mbps. That's pretty crap, considering Blu-rays are usually more in the realm of 25mbps at the same picture size. More bits = more detail in compression, regardless of how many pixels.

Well it gets a lot better at higher picture sized. 2.5k video is about 8-9mbps and 4k video is about 16-18mbps (these are all for VP9 streams). It's a big jump, more than the resolution increase itself would require for equal quality. Hence, a better output even when downsampled.

In fact if you were to take a 1080 video from a camera, upsample it to 4k at a high bitrate and feed that to Youtube, the result would look better played at 4k and downsampled to 1080 on your screen than if you just uploaded the 1080 video directly to Youtube simply because Youtube will allocate more bits to its compression.

Comment And something I think many people don't know (Score 1) 124

Is the IRS regularly does look at lots of financial records. Lots of entities report things about you to the IRS by law. Your W-2s? The IRS already has those, your employer sent it to them. Same with 1098s, 1099s, etc. You'll notice that they say something like "This is important tax information and is being furnished to the Internal Revenue Service." That means they are sending it to the IRS, as well as you. The IRS gets told about things like the interest you earn, and interest you pay, money you make, taxes withheld, and so on.

This is done for everyone. It is normal reporting, not an investigative thing. So the IRS doesn't ask banks/employers/etc for records on specific people, they are given records for all people, from all eligible institutions.

As such you can see why they'd think it might be reasonable to get information from a site that deals with financial transactions. Doesn't matter if you are doing transactions to magic Internet money any more than if it matters if it is transactions to stocks, options, or anything else.

Comment Re:In a similar vein... (Score 1) 315

I'm a fan of Dell laptops. I tend to like Latitudes better than XPS's but that's mostly preference for how we use them in an enterprise. Dell is a great choice if you want good warranty support. They'll do on site replacement of parts next day if you purchase a good enough warranty, which is nice if you want to ensure minimal downtime.

Sager can be worth looking at, they have a lot of flexibility in what they'll configure for you. Their tech support is pretty crap though, so make sure you get it through someone like XoticPC or RJ Tech who will do support if you need it, and be prepared to send it back if service is needed.

In general for long battery life you want to make sure to go with integrated graphics, rather than switchable, and go with a lower end CPU rather than a higher one. Stick with dual core rather than quad core. Make sure you use an SSD, not a magnetic disk. If you are willing to pay the premium Intel processors ending in U are lower voltage and as such get better life, but they cost more for a given performance level. And of course just look for larger batteries. The bigger the watt-hour rating, the longer the life.

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