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Comment Re:They know this data gets released? (Score 1) 91

Why waste "their" time?

The "they" to which you refer are investigators who have better things to do with their time than make numbers look worse. Remember, the investigators' job is to build a case that the court won't reject. A rejection means the investigators are actually trying to violate someone's legal rights. Thus far, no court has actually found these requests unconstitutional, so there's no reason for rejection.

Comment Re:So forgetting a password (Score 5, Informative) 787

No.

The definition of the word "produce" is important. If the evidence already exists (as encrypted data on the hard drive), then the court can compel someone to produce (deliver) it to the investigators.

The 5th Amendment protection is to intended to prevent the court from forcing confessions. To that effect, the court is not allowed to compel a defendant to produce (create) evidence against themselves that did not already exist.

As an analogy, the court cannot compel you to write a confession. If you already wrote one and put it in a safe, they can compel you to give them the combination to the safe.

Comment Re:Why does it need to be political at all? (Score 1) 699

I figured I would when I wrote it... It's worded very poorly.

To contrast with "generally having less interaction with the government's pesky rules", a better phrase would be a "consensus-based life". The left-leaning folks are more likely to take the consensus of an expert group (such as scientists) and apply it as the rule for everyone else. On the other hand, the right-leaning folks feel they should be able to decide what's best for themselves, and others' opinions don't really hold any authority.

Of course, we should remember that the expert opinion at one point gave us eugenics programs, and individual opinions give us religion-based education curricula.

Comment Re: This is sad seeing republicans... (Score 2) 699

When did "slots in this bathroom" and "tabs in that bathroom" get sooooo controversial?

I know someone who was born with a slot and a tab, and a 50% mix of cells for each... where do they go? The bushes?

For about the first 14 years, the "tab" was dominant, and he was a mostly-healthy boy, starting to form the preferences that boys do at that age. Then puberty struck hard, and the "slot" parts started making hormones that would have been lethal to suppress, so he became she, and her "tab" is now in the process of being suppressed so it can eventually be cut off completely.

So now there are many complicated questions to be asked. She still has both kinds of parts, has adjusted to looking and behaving like a "slot", prefers to be assembled with other "slots", and eventually will have only a "slot". What bathroom would she be comfortable in? In which bathroom would her presence make others uncomfortable? Does any of that coincide with her (tab-indicating) driver's license, or her (duality-indicating) birth certificate, or her (slot-indicating) recent medical records?

On an unrelated note, I am hereby starting a petition to revoke your euphemism privileges.

Comment Re:Why does it need to be political at all? (Score 1) 699

Last I knew, the fundamental belief of the right was that individual liberty is preferred over being beholden to a collective. Most of the Republican complaints you mention are variations on the theme of wanting lower taxes, less regulation, and generally having less interaction with the government's pesky rules. To the right, those goals are more important than the left-wing preferences for social welfare, demographic equality, and a science-based life.

If the "regime" to which I refer were purely a democratic state, ideally with many unproductive committees, that's be a good start to a right-wing tale, but it's far more likely to be an oligarchy or dictatorship where a very limited number of people abused their individual liberty to get more power for themselves. It could be a government, corporation, headless militia, or even disorganized marauders, but the key is that it's oppressing one one group more than another, increasing its own hegemony.

Comment Re:Why does it need to be political at all? (Score 2, Insightful) 699

Ignoring any bias in the demographic itself, it seems to me that it's just harder to write right-wing sci-fi.

It's easy to write about an enemy that has all of the money, power, and control, providing a convenient struggle for the protagonist. It's much more difficult to write (and thus, more rare to find) a good story where the enemy is given the same circumstances as the protagonist, and both are given the same life choices. Sure, you can say that the antagonist was given too much freedom... but then you have to establish why he chose that way, and if you try to use any variation on "because he's evil", your story goes from being a thought-provoking philosophical adventure to being a heavy-handed morality essay.

You could more generally make a strong leftist state be the enemy. That's the dystopian road blazed by sci-fi in the 1960s, and several movies since the 1970s, notably Logan's Run and Soylent Green. It's a time-honored genre, but that's also the problem. It's old. Dystopian fiction dates back a few centuries, and combining it with science is hardly groundbreaking.

For a while, a popular trend was to base such stories on real people and events, who could be suitably framed for conflict while keeping their political slant. Of course, the reading audience quickly grew tired of every Nazi and Soviet alternate-history piece, and those have waned in recent years.

To more directly address your point, consider the alternative: Writing left-wing sci-fi is easy.

The plot is simple: An underdog wants freedom for himself against the oppressive regime of the evil overlord, who had freedom and used it to oppress others. What makes the underdog different is that he will stand for justice for everyone, show kindness to everyone the audience could identify with, and never miss a chance to help others. Relying on teamwork and everyone's unique (identifiable and presence-justifying) abilities, the protagonist establishes a utopian foothold, where all of the characters that the audience identifies with are loved and cared for.

In fiction, that plot is sufficient for a story. In reality, things are much more complicated. What happens if one of the protagonist's allies was really only following because his girlfriend was? What if the rules of the protagonist's new state really screw some of the wealthier folks? What if the protagonist himself is genuinely a right-wing capitalist who just wants to make money and retire in obscurity?

You're right - Political strife isn't where really good fiction comes from. The best sci-fi works are ones where every character has their own motivations, and they don't boil down to "be good" or "be evil". Rather, they reduce to things like "sleep safely", "get back to stability" or "avoid the consequences of a mistake". One particularly good sci-fi space opera work, itself nominated a few times for Hugo awards, has spent nearly two decades dealing with the indirect results of a mistake. Characters have come and gone through the series, and politics has been an issue, but by that time every character had their own long-established reasons to hold their preferences. At no point was the story ever purely about morality, even when the "definitely evil" characters were introduced - they eventually got their own motivations.

Those deep-rooted, long stories that take the time to establish characters and motivation are great sci-fi, and can avoid bias toward either political slant.

That's hard, though.

Comment Re:Apple set themselves up for this (Score 1) 277

The response is the same today as it was then. Standard connectors have are different from Apple's designs. Which one is better is mostly subjective at this point, and Apple's chosen to follow the path that best aligns with its business model.

Consider, for example, USB-C cables. They're a great idea, and have so much promise... until a faulty one fries your device. To engineers, that's the cable's fault. To an average user (Apple's target market, mind you), a cable is just a cable, and the now-dead device is just unreliable. Another example is a MicroSD card slot. There are fast cards and slow cards, and Apple has absolutely no way to control the quality of what could impact their reputation.

The old sales tactic is to not just sell a product, but an experience. Apple is actually following through on that. For years, they didn't just sell a computer. They sold a computer and the promise that all of your hardware upgrades would be compatible and correct, because they would come directly from Apple... for a price. For the customers who weren't technically-inclined, that's precisely what they wanted.

Comment Re:I've already seen how this turns out. (Score 3, Informative) 271

You do exactly what the handbook says.

You show up on time, do your job as best you can, and try to get done in 40 hours. If it's not going to happen, tell your manager that the choice is overtime or failure. Either way, it's his call.

I've had managers choose failure. I've had managers tell me that I should consider all overtime approved until certain deadlines are hit. I've never had a (long-lasting) manager tell me to break corporate policy, and most prefer to know early what the outcome of the week will be, rather than be surprised on Monday when schedules slip.

Comment Re:Shark (Score 3, Interesting) 61

Now, what's being overlooked, of course, is the scientific merit of such a feat. This is one of those cases where we have an opportunity to gather data at very little additional cost, and it may reveal new insight that may assist future work.

If we ever do leave Earth for a significant length of time, running on a treadmill is one of the often-proposed mechanisms for maintaining muscle during the long trip, and possibly for the long stay at an extraterrestrial outpost. Unfortunately, we haven't really had much success with treadmills so far. Even with rigorous exercise, astronauts have typically lost up to 0.4-1% of their bone density per month in space, and when we're talking about trips of several years, that's a significant health hazard. This run provides a rare insight: what if the astronauts do more than just "rigorous exercise"? What if they routinely do what would be extreme on Earth?

During the run, Peake's body was monitored, and of course routine measurements will continue. This may provide a promising avenue for future research, or it may not. It may indicate against future research in this direction. Either way, the expense to do it now is only a few hours of time, rather than the millions or billions of dollars to run a specialized experiment.

Don't think of it as spending money to run a marathon in a spectacular war. We already spent the money to put people in space, and now we're getting every bit of data we can for that money.

Comment Re:Sounds fine to me... (Score 1) 101

There's a leap of faith you're making there.

What's the authority for Snidely to have me audited? What's his justification to have my computer confiscated? With video evidence of jaywalking... Well, jaywalking's a crime, and it should be pursued like any other crime, at the discretion of the appropriate prosecutor.

The key to minimizing abuse is that the system should be built such that actually causing an abuse requires a large number of conspirators and enough documentation to raise a big red flag to oversight offices.

Comment Re:RTFM: AppLocker (Score 1) 118

Looks like you didn't read TFA.

The exploit is that regsvr32 can download a script from the Internet and execute it. If that script launches an executable that AppLocker should block, teh executable will launch anyway.

In short, not only is a single command all that's necessary to download a malware kit from the Internet and run it, the kit can be a simple (and locally untraceable) way to get around AppLocker restrictions.

Comment Re:But... (Score 1) 120

If a terrorist wants to use a drone to attack a plane, what regulation is going to stop them?

The regulation that says that no drones may be flying within a few miles of an airstrip, regardless of intent. Then when they pull out the drone and start prepping it to fly, they get arrested then, rather than after their drone ran into an engine intake.

They already are looking at breaking murder laws, so why would they care about drone laws?

They won't care about the punishment for breaking drone laws, but violating the drone laws allows law enforcement to see what exactly they're up to, which may interrupt their other plans.

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