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Comment Re:Passcode? (Score 2) 318

If you are going through the border, they can refuse you entry if you don't comply.

They can only refuse you entry if you are not a citizen. To the best of my knowledge, all civilized countries, including the US, have an absolute right of return. If you are a citizen of that country, you can not be denied entry into it. They can deny your stuff, and make your life miserable, but they can not refuse to let you in.

Comment Re:Passcode? (Score 1) 318

What good would having the phone do, unless it's unlocked?

Depends on what they wanted it for. The more likely thing is they took it back and swabbed it for drugs. The phone was just a frequently handled item that would likely contain narcotics residue if it was being handled by someone who was running drugs or similar. The phone doesn't need to be unlocked to swab it.

Comment Re:Easy (Score 5, Interesting) 318

Actually, the most likely thing they wanted to do was swab it for drugs. My sister was a Canadian border guard, and if they had any suspicion that you might be carrying drugs or similar, they'd take an item of yours (ID, phone, etc...) into the back room and swab it to check for the presence of an elevated amount of narcotics. If they found it, that would cause them to do a more thorough search.

Comment Re:Limiting providers fine - kickbacks no (Score 1) 173

But in-building coax won't work with two cable ISPs unless you lay down two parallel coax networks.

No reason why you couldn't have different cable ISPs on different frequencies on the one cable. This is just another reason why the content and internet service should be completely severed from the company operating the physical plant. Yeah, your physical plant (either twisted pair, coax, or fiber) is a natural monopoly. There's no reason why the content and/or internet service has to be.

Comment Re:Depressing... (Score 1) 249

I know it's silly, but the thing I would most like to see improved in MacOS is the print dialog.

All hail Clarus the Docgow! Moof!

In all seriousness though, that one little icon did wonders to tell you how you were manipulating the page as per the print dialog... much better than what's on there now.

Comment Re:Numerous bits of ignorance. (Score 5, Informative) 343

Both Iridium and Orbcomm are truly global systems. Iridium satellites are in 86.9 degree orbits, and with 66 of them in active service, they provide pole to pole coverage. In fact, some of the early phones had a firmware bug that would cause them to get all confused in polar regions because they had so many satellites to choose from, and Iridium only allows hand-off between satellites going in the same general direction. Not a problem in most of the world, but at the poles, yes.

The only place where there may be issues with Iridium is over China, but that's due to licensing and legal restrictions placed by the government there, not due to any technical reason.

What you're probably thinking about is Globalstar, which is not global in reach. With Globalstar, your handset/earth station must be within single-hop distance to one of their earth-based gateways (Ie the satellite must be able to see you and a gateway at the same time). This means there is a large coverage gap in the mid pacific ocean.

Because Iridium uses inter-satellite links, all civilian traffic downlinks through their gateway in Tempe Arizona, and DoD downlinks through an earth station in Hawaii. If you make an Iridium to Iridium call, there is a good chance that it will get routed directly through the satellite constellation and never go through Tempe (or Hawaii).

Comment Re:Zoning laws are bad? (Score 1) 524

Or should a rich person deny public access to a public beach because they're rich?

This is why I'm glad to live in a country where no private individual can own the land below the maximum normal extent of water. For ocean beaches, this means that all people have access to the beach below the high-high tide mark, unless there is an explicit foreshore lease for something like a port or Navy base.

Comment Re:Badly written article (Score 1) 460

What he didn't tell you is that is usually diesel.

The organization I work with actually has a tank that is dual compartment; one side for gasoline the other side for diesel. Gasoline is used to fill up the small generators, lawn mowers, and other similar small power equipment. The diesel side is in case someone does something stupid and forgets to fill up one of our busses, bulldozers, or the backhoe when they're outside of town.

Comment Re:Badly written article (Score 1) 460

Not in a pickup truck though....

This is actually pretty common, there are a number of manufacturers that produce truck-bed fuel tanks intended for refuelling other vehicles, you just don't often see them in the city. They're used for transporting fuel to construction sites (it's not like someone is going to drive that skid steer to the nearest gas station to fill up every 8 hours), and also not uncommon for those who enjoy power "sports" (Skidoos, ATVs, etc...).

The whole issue of spillage can also be mitigated with appropriate materials. I own a small (27') sailboat with a diesel engine. When we fill our tank up, you have to pass the fuel nozzle over the water and into the cockpit. When you do this, it's always done with the nozzle pointing up, and wrapped in a sheet of oilsorb. Spilling into the ocean is generally a much worse offence than dripping a bit onto asphalt (which is already a petrochemical product).

Basically, as long as the companies doing this are well regulated, and follow procedures, I don't see the issue. Would I ever use it? No, especially because I doubt they haul diesel around for my TDI, and I'm also enough of a cheapskate that I wouldn't want to pay the premium.

Relatedly, around here at least (Vancouver, BC), I see a number of services that do this with a 2000 gallon tank on the back of a 5 ton truck. They go from construction site to construction site refuelling all the equipment on-site.

Comment Re:dont know (Score 1) 254

I spent 15 years in school to earn the right to exercise a profession where I handle people's lives daily, and I certainly don't make 4000 Euro per afternoon. There is more than one kind of dishonesty.

Ok, lets turn this around. Let's say this photographer took a series of photographs for an architecture firm, and sold them at $250 each for wall use only rights. The architecture firm then turns around and uses those photographs as a key part of a portfolio that helps them win a $4,000,000 design contract, which is not permitted by the license. It's pretty clear that the photographer has a right to claim a portion of that fee.

Comment Re:Why (Score 1) 254

Because for something like that, the photographer would charge something like $25,000 instead of $250/image. If you're just going to use it as a photo in a frame in your office, or say as an advertising poster in your elevators, you're not going to pay the photographer what he would demand to hand over the copyright.

Comment Re:The 'real market value of his work' is irreleva (Score 2) 254

It seems like "predatory licensing" knowing that they would likely be abused and therefore lead to a lawsuit.

This is pretty common in commercial photography. A good friend of mine is an architectural photographer, and on top of the fixed fees for showing up, and expenses, each image he produces is licensed to the client individually, or sometimes as a group (say if they're going for a building award). The terms of these licenses are highly variable, and depend on the needs/desires and budgets of the client. If the building developer just wants to hang a picture on their wall, they will typically just go for say a 3 year wall-use only license. That's relatively inexpensive, and soon enough they're going to want to replace the photo with their next project anyway. Conversely, fi they want to have it written up in a magazine or whatever, that's a significantly higher license cost, and again needs to be negotiated.

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