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Comment Something people forget... (Score 1) 195

You're not actually allowed to riot. Rioting isn't some god-given right, where taking it away is a form of oppression. Rioting is a crime, and it's a crime because it hurts people. A machine that makes it harder to get away with rioting is a good thing, in the same way that having a bank that can't be robbed would be a good thing, no matter how frustrated it makes potential bank robbers feel.

Comment Re:Vagina award (Score 2) 180

Countries that have reached some partial success but are also still developing tend to have lots of female engineers because women don't have the luxury of choosing jobs that they like or which are more fulfilling--they are otherwise poor and take whatever job will make the most money. In the West we have fewer female engineers because women have more options. Only people who like it (meaning geeks, meaning mostly men) or people who can manage "man works bad job so wife can do something fulfilling" (men) become engineers in the West among the middle and upper classes.

Iran has lots of female engineers too, for the same reason.

Comment Re:Prison Time (Score 1) 46

Think about how many lives he ruined.

It's easy to gloss it over because he just took a little piece here and there. Just a few thousand dollars. But he made up for it in volume.

Let's estimate how much he ruined people's lives. The agreement describes 6 million dollars of fraudulent copyright charges. Just as an estimate, assume that the average person makes $20 after taxes (you have to pay the charges with after-tax money)--maybe I'm off by 50% but it'll at least be good as an estimate. That means that 300000 hours of people's lives went to pay for this. Assume that people can work 16 hours a day and you have over 50 years of human beings doing nothing but work 112 hour weeks, eating, and sleeping to pay fraudulent charges.

He's just doing it piecemeal, instead of pushing all the 300000 hours on a single person. But it still adds up. Of course I'm probably off by some factor here (the victims still need to pay for food and housing while working the 50 years, for instance--how do you account for that?) but it seems like 39 years in prison is reasonably close to the damage he caused.

Comment Re:This happens with every change in administratio (Score 1) 251

Please don't look at one incident and translate that into "they're all criminals."

It's not that the incidents directly mean they're all criminals. It's that the incidents show that checks and balances don't exist or are not working. If you don't have working checks and balances, that's an environment which criminals are going to take advantage of.

Comment Re: Welcome to the future of capitalism (Score 1) 726

According to the Federal laws, the deduction for the cost of a uniform (or any other item primarily to the benefit to the employer, which would include aprons) can't legally bring the employee below minimum wage.

So either Allsup's was violating the law or it changed recently.

Comment Re:Hey, cable companies: (Score 2) 200

If the private company can't build a better network and provide better service than the people doing it for themselves then the private company doesn't get any business.

Even if the private company can build a better network at the same price, the customers of the private network will not just be paying that price--they don't become exempt from taxes, so they'd have to pay double. This prevents private networks from becoming successful.

What you would be saying is only correct if the people can choose to purchase the private network's service instead of the government network's service. This is not an option.

Comment Re:I bought counterfeit Gameboy Advanced Games the (Score 1) 64

I once bought a counterfeit Pokemon Emerald off of Ebay and it did *not* work great.

Pokemon Emerald uses flash memory for its save file which is a pain for counterfeiters to make, so they hack the game to use battery backup instead. When the game is hacked to use battery backup, you can't trade Pokemon to generation 4 or the Gamecube games (since those are external programs which don't know that the save file is stored in a different way so they look for it in the nonexistent flash memory) and in fact using those can destroy your save.

Also, of course the battery can run out.

I had to throw it out and buy a real one locally from Gamestop.

Comment Re:Meh (Score 2) 574

It is not the same as a news item whose author pursues the truth in good faith

The Washington Post did not post that in good faith. They posted it because Russian hackers have been used as an excuse to bash Trump, and the Washington Post's narrative is anti-Trump.

Also, the phrase "reckless disregard for the truth" applies here. They aren't excused from having posted fake news just because they didn't care if it was true and didn't bother checking.

Comment Just remember... (Score 1) 280

If you are going to say "programmers should refuse to program unethical things", remember that this will be taken to heart by programmers who have ethics different from yours. It's not only going to apply to drug websites.

We don't *want* programmers who are working on web sites for abortion clinics to do all they can to end the project because they have an "obligation" to avoid the "unethical behavior". (If you happen to be against abortion, imagine an example using a gun-rights website instead.)

Comment Re:Blame the news websites. (Score 2) 624

Apart from the click-bait headline, I think the actual content is valid.

Yes, and if the fake news had been in the first three sentences, you could have said "apart from the first three sentences, the actual content is valid". The headline was still posted by CNN, supposedly as part of a news article. They're not blameless just because the fakery is in the headline, especially since the headline is the part that the most people will see. A month later people won't remember exactly where they read that math is racist, but they'll have the idea in their head.

(Of course, "math is racist" is so absurd that people might reject it anyway, but they might remember a more plausible sounding but still fake one.)

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