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Comment Re:Law works for wealthy people... (Score 1) 330

"BMW Assist" is basically a knock-off of GM's "OnStar". I wouldn't be too surprised if stories like this are happening all the time with less pricey cars. Anytime there is a stolen car with GPS and a communications link, police are going to make a serious attempt to find the car and grab the thief. Locking the scumbag inside the car is just an added bonus.

Comment IQ and attention to detail are different things. (Score 1) 163

"How hard is to remember to unload your weapon before packing it?" I guess there's no I.Q. check for firearms purchases, maybe there should be.

IQ and attention to detail are different things.

Also: Even the best-trained, most reliable, gun user can have a lapse when in a hurry, as in when packing for a flight.

That's why firearms training stresses redundancy, with rules like "A gun is loaded as soon as you put it down and look away". Or "Don't point (even an "unloaded") gun at anything you don't want to destroy."

The phenomenon is referred to as "a visit from the Ammo Fairy". That entity is similar to the Tooth Fairy, but instead of leaving a coin under you pillow it leaves a round in your chamber. B-)

Comment I have read much of it, as I would an encyclopedia (Score 3, Interesting) 353

My wife and I each had a copy of the first three volumes when we married. Yes, there are female computer nerds. B-)

I first encountered it when assigned one of the volumes as a text back in 1971. Of course the class didn't consist of learning EVERYTHING in the volume. B-)

I use it from time to time - mainly as a reference book. Most recently this spring, when I needed a reference on a data structure (circular linked lists) for a paper. I've found it useful often when doing professional computer programming and hardware design (for instance, where the hardware has to support some software algorithm efficiently, or efficient algorithms in driver software allow hardware simplification).

I don't try to read it straight through. But when I need a algorithm for some job and it's not immediately obvious which is best, the first place I check is Knuth. He usually has a clear description of some darned good wheel that was already invented decades ago, analyzed to a fare-thee-well.

I only see him about once a year. He's still a sharp cookie.

Comment They let the ban on propagandizing citizens expire (Score 4, Informative) 319

Three and a half years ago the US government, under the Obama administration, let the ban on propagandizing US citizens expire - and immediately began writing and spreading "fake news".

From an FP article dated July 14, 2013:

U.S. Repeals Propaganda Ban, Spreads Government-Made News to Americans

For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the U.S. governmentâ(TM)s mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to American audiences. But on July 2, that came silently to an end with the implementation of a new reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic U.S. consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for U.S. domestic propaganda efforts.

So the only thing new here is US citizens noticed one of the government's renewed, official, domestic propaganda operations.

Comment Re:Not a proper study, get this astroturf out of h (Score 1) 74

our arguments are not based in law, nor are they in agreement with the physician's code of ethics, which works by informed consent in such cases.

I've already posted a couple of links explaining the history, the law, and the prevailing practice of ethics in medical research... which you very obviously have not bothered to read if you're making comments like that.

=Smidge=

Comment Re:Not a proper study, get this astroturf out of h (Score 1) 74

Nothing you just wrote about would be resolved if we were to let patients die from lack of treatment. Hell, none of what you wrote about is even comparable, for exactly the reasons I've already explained.

I really don't understand why you're having this difficulty: If giving no treatment carries a known high risk of harm to the patient, then no treatment is not an ethical option.

I'm not dismissing the efficacy and usefulness of placebo-controlled trials. I'm saying it's unethical to not treat patients with fatal illnesses if a proven treatment exists.
=Smidge=

Comment Re:Not a proper study, get this astroturf out of h (Score 1) 74

Yes it does, that's why it's called ethics.

As in, it's unethical to take a course of action that you know will result in permanent harm to the patient.

Not treating IBS can potentially result in non-life-threatening discomfort. With patient consent that's an ethically acceptable risk.

Not treating brain cancer can potentially result in mental disability and death. It is not ethically acceptable to provide no treatment when you KNOW that no treatment will result in an unacceptable outcome. So you provide the standard treatment and compare the experimental treatment to that.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p...

=Smidge=

Comment FTC, not FCC, is the correct agency. (Score 2) 191

Most of the harm from ISP misbehavior is the manifestation of one of two perverse-incentive situations:
  - integration of an ISP into a content-provider megacorp, leading to penalization of competitors or other perceived threats to the larger content-providing component.
  - an under-competitive market situation (monopoly, duopoly, other under-four-competitors) situation, allowing ISPs to provide less than they promised or less than what is expected of "internet service" without a "vote with their feet" option for customers.

Both of these are not internet-technology issues and both are things the FCC handles poorly, and which are outside its mandate. They're better handled by such agencies as the FTC and DOJ, under antitrust and consumer fraud models, than by the FCC.

With respect to the content-provider/ISP vertical integration issue: Trump has already come out opposing the ATT/ Time-Warner merger. Additionally, the mainstream media's pile-on against his campaign has left him with no love for the "content providers". I'd be willing to bet that he'd be all for antitrust action to split up the other ISP ("content transport") / news reporting ("content generation") partnerships under the rubric of "breaking up anticompetitive vertical integration". B-)

Comment Re:Well then... (Score 1) 586

Why didn't they start this years ago when Obama extended and expanded the Patriot Act?

Probably because:
  - Servers in the US have First Amendment protection
  - Servers in other countries have whatever protection - or restrictions - the other countries have.

In particular:
  - Moving certain data (such as encryption software) from the US to other countries may violate US export laws. (Backing up a server in the US to a server outside the US is more clearly an export than serving in the US something that was downloaded in the US.)
  - Storing certain data - such as personal information, NAZI propaganda, or criticism of various governments - may be illegal in various countries.

So setting up a backup in some other country was probably perceived as more risk than leaving the data solely in the US under Obama, while the perceived risk to the data under Trump may be enough to move the volunteers to take on the extra trouble .

(If Brewster hasn't commented on this by then, I'll try to remember to ask him the next time I see him. But that's probably most of a year away...)

Comment Re:Well, I agree with this (Score 2) 154

"The US does not have an official right to privacy."

Yes, it does, also known as the 4th amendment.

"[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The right to privacy in a public forum (or on a public network) is debatable, and the conduct of the US government is as the 4th amendment never existed. But it exists, at least on paper.

Comment Re:Let me guess... (Score 1) 115

Not just RAM. Vista video requirements led to a generation of laptops with Intel GMA 900 video that were obsolete before leaving the factory. Instead of relegating such hardware to the recycle bin, it was marketed as "Vista Capable". https://www.cnet.com/news/microsoft-e-mails-reveal-intel-pressure-over-vista

Comment Re:Congress has passed a law... (Score 1) 154

If the Republicans want to rubber stamp a clown cabinet, so be it. Should be a fun four years.

Cabinet is just some of the President's direct reports. No big deal. He can just wait until the next Senate recess and make recess appointments. Meanwhile, he can talk to anybody he wants WITHOUT a confirmation, and if congress leaves open a cabinet post with special powers, he can just wield them directly, himself, until it's filled. That means he can either rubber-stamp the UNofficial advisor's advice, or substitute his own decisions. That's more power for him than even having the Senate confirm a puppet (who might turn out to be Pinnochio and go his own way on something).

What IS a big deal is appointment of federal judges, federal appellate judges, and Supreme Court justices. The Ds applied the "nuclear option" to the first two, so expect the Rs to follow suit - and extend it to the third if the Ds get in the way.

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