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Comment Link to the Decision (Score 3, Informative) 681

From the text of the decision, this was the telco's argument:

Bridgewater's statutory claims focus on two provisions in Minn.Stat. 475.52, subd. 1. First, Bridgewater contends that Monticello did not have the statutory authority to issue the bonds because the Fiber Project is not a “utility or other public convenience from which a revenue is or may be derived.” Minn.Stat. 475.52, subd. 1. Second, Bridgewater asserts that Monticello intends to improperly apply the bond proceeds to pay current expenses, which is explicitly prohibited by the statute. Interpretation of these statutory provisions is an issue of first impression in Minnesota.

Comment Exactly. (Score 1) 567

I can't really tell the difference between 160k and 320k in my car. The difference might be detectable on my crappy computer speakers, but it's slight. But in with my real speaker systems (either Vifa or Morel speakers, and Sunfire electronics), the difference is very noticeable. Most people simply aren't listening on systems that are technologically capable of producing the quality you would want to preserve by either using 320k+ or even lossless.

Headphones might be another story. I don't do enough listening to really say for certain, but my experience is that on even so-so headphones, I can tell the difference between crappy mp3s and good ones. But if we're essentially talking about people using their included ipod headphones, and using them to listen WAY too loud, I can totally see how there isn't much difference between the really bad files and even so-so ones.

This is precisely my a lot of my music for DJing purposes is just plain old 128k -- in a big room with speakers designed primarily for loudness, the quality of the source becomes nearly irrelevant.

Comment Re:Gentlemen! (Score 1) 101

If 90% of the people in your apartment complex are growing their own pot and you're part of the 10% that is not should you lose your right to not have the police kick down your door without a warrant?

Yes. You should. To do otherwise would allow illegal activities to go on simply by keeping at least one law-abiding person on the premises (i.e., children).

Comment Re:Plagiarism detection is easy (Score 1) 289

The harder part is identifying the source of the plagiarism. For undergraduate papers, even the harder part is trivial.

Wouldn't simply requiring authors to cite their sources solve this problem? Yes, it's a pain to cite -- but any form of serious writing should, and usually does, require it. I'm not talking about strictly following BlueBook legal citation rules, but something more than a "list of authorities used".

Comment Re:Very selfless of Iowa. (Score 3, Interesting) 1088

I'm originally from one of those smaller states that supposedly has a disproportionate amount of power compared to it's size. And I hate the electoral college.

First, as to the whole "people pay attention to it" argument, I certainly haven't seen that. Did anyone pay attention the last couple elections -- were, what, 35 states clearly going one way or another anyways, so they only paid attention to the so-called "swing states." Now, that may give some states extra pull when they are close, but when a state like ND, Wyoming, and Montana aren't -- they are essentially ignored.

Second, and this is the most important reason in my mind, it discourages people from voting. On many occasions, I have heard people mention how it was pointless for a liberal to vote in ND, or alternatively, for a conservative to vote in Minnesota.

Comment Bart's Coment (Score 1) 873

KENT BROCKMAN With our utter annihilation imminent, our federal government has snapped into action. We go live now via satellite to the floor of the United States congress.

SPEAKER Then it is unanimous, we are going to approve the bill to evacuate the town of Springfield in the great state of--

CONGRESSMAN Wait a second, I want to tack on a rider to that bill - $30 million of taxpayer money to support the perverted arts.

SPEAKER All in favor of the amended Springfield-slash-pervert bill?


SPEAKER Bill defeated.

KENT BROCKMAN I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply doesn't work.

Comment Re:Pfft, lawyers (Score 1) 693

That's because you don't just "learn" what we do. We go to a ridiculously intensive school for three years, study another couple months full-time for the bar, and then start learning how to actually be a lawyer. It's pretty easy to google "why can't I connect wirelessly" and get an answer. It's a lot harder to get a quick answer to "how do I defend myself in a custody action."

The best analogy I've heard is this, from a judge. "If my car was running, and me -- knowing nothing about cars -- decided to start taking it apart and fixing it, I'd probably make it worse. And you would think it's crazy that I didn't hire a mechanic and that it's my own fault for messing it up. But then people come in on matters far more important than their cars -- custody matters, criminal stuff, etc... -- and try to be their own mechanics. And then they blame the legal system when they mess it up."

I get it, lawyers are expensive. But so are plumbers and electricians and mechanics and programmers. Maybe a little more, sure. But this whole "$500/hr" stuff isn't what most people are paying, unless you're a large company insistent on hiring only ivy league grads at 1000 person firms. It's realistically a forth of that amount at smaller firms. And lawyers also have 7 years of school to pay for.

Comment Re:Dont. (Score 3, Interesting) 468

I work in a state courthouse. Here, Windows is set up force new passwords every so often and of ridiculous complexity (numbers + letters + symbols + sanskrit, or something of that nature). So what we have is a situation where 50% of the computers here have little post-it on them with the user's passwords. It does far more harm than good.
The Courts

Porn Found On L.A. Obscenity Case Judge's Website 393

Stanislav_J writes "In a bizarre revelation, the judge who is presiding over the Isaacs obscenity trial in Los Angeles was found to have sexually explicit material on a publicly-accessible website. Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, acknowledged that he had posted the materials, but says he believed the site to be for personal storage only, and not accessible to the public (though he does acknowledge sharing some of the material with friends). The files included images of masturbation, public sex, contortionist sex, a transsexual striptease, a photo of naked women on all fours painted to look like cows, and a video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal. The latter two are especially ironic in that the trial involves the distribution of allegedly obscene sexual fetish videos depicting bestiality, among other things, by Ira Isaacs, an L.A. filmmaker."

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