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Comment IIRC, you don't have to give them the password (Score 1) 514

If I recall correctly, you're obligated to let them search your phone (i.e. had it over), but you can't be compelled to give them the password. I guess they could delay you while they try to browbeat it out of you, and they presumably could confiscate the phone itself because they can't see what's on it, so it might be a high-cost stance to take.

Comment Punch cards and paper tape (Score 1) 615

I could set up a Model 26 or 29 keypunch to skip certain fields, and shift into numeric mode for others. Huge savings in productivity. I also knew how to use a collator so that a dropped deck could be put back in sequence. Then there was knowing how to splice a paper tape when it tore, which it frequently did unless you had the budget and foresight to use mylar tape. It's quite remarkable nowadays to realize how dependent we used to be on physical media to handle information.

Comment A few of mine (Score 2) 268

Embedded, Space Welders, The Ezra Klein Show, Federalist Radio Hour, Internet of Things Podcast, The Amp Hour Electronics Podcast, O' Reilly [Bots | Data | Design | Hardware | Radar] Podcast, Mad Dogs and Englishmen, Vox's The Weeds. The why is because they're interesting and introduce me to developments and topics that I haven't previously encountered.

Comment Sounds very inefficient (Score 1) 364

Given that solar accounts for 0.5% of US energy consumed, if the cited employment figures are true then each solar employee is much much less productive than his/her fossil counterpart. We could get a lot more employment in construction if we required all excavation to be done with hand tools, but would that be desirable? Likewise, saying "It employs a lot of people and is therefore good" regarding solar uses the wrong metric for its desirability.

Comment Re:Merkel.... (Score 2) 333

What exactly did you want to say? Taking down "Fake News" from your web site is ... hm, wrong? Being forced to do it by law is ... wrong? Is something wrong with your mind?

The problem here is that, similarly to DMCA takedowns, the default action is going to be to take it down as soon as a complaint is filed, not perform some sort of investigation to make sure the complaint is legit. So if you're a party bent on suppressing unfavorable or inconvenient news, it'll be in your interest to gin up complaints to get it removed. The only thing that would act to ameliorate this would be fines for illegitimate complaints, and what are the chances of that happening?

Comment It's not the carrier's problem (Score 2) 295

Not the seller, the courier. Leaving a package on a doorstep is no less negligent than leaving it on the side of the road and telling someone to go get it before it's stolen. This should be covered under existing law.

The consumer has the power to fix this already: when ordering, request a "signature required" delivery. If the seller doesn't offer that, order elsewhere. Whatever you decide, it isn't the carrier's problem if you elect to assume the risk.

Comment Brilliant (Score 1) 173

The letter sent on Monday by the Internet Association, a trade group whose 40 members also include Alphabet's Google, Uber and Twitter, represents an early effort to repair the relationship between the technology sector and Trump


We loathe you with every fiber of our being. Here's a list of what we want.

Comment Re:Great news! (Score 1) 231

No more mining jobs means less voters having a stake in the mining industry, much of which is the mining of coal. Less mining jobs also means less rural mining boom towns which inevitably turn into ghost towns.

That implies the people who get their power from coal-based plants can't make the connection between coal and inexpensive electricity. People rather quickly notice when their monthly bills rise to unaffordable levels.

Comment Going by complaints, job loss is a good thing (Score 2) 231

Isn't it universally acknowledged that mining is dirty, dangerous, difficult, and a threat to worker's health? I'd think eliminating as many mining jobs as possible would be seen as a good thing. Same for all the other industries where the work itself is said to be bad for workers: fishing (dangerous), truck driving (dangerous, deleterious to health), fast food (poorly compensated, demeaning, dead end), etc.

Comment Free stuff! (Score 1) 170

"Society said it did not matter if you could pay for electricity; we wanted everyone to have it. Society said we would not limit dial tone to those who could pay the most, we gave it to all," said telecommunications lawyer Gerard Lederer of Best Best and Krieger LCC in Washington, D.C., in an e-mail.

I didn't realize that I could have electricity and phone service even if I don't pay for them. Like an idiot, I've been paying those bills each month. Tell me more.

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