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Comment Re:NSA is part of "big government" after all (Score 1) 179

Crap. I have to burn this because I accidentally moderated you as insightful. You're right that big government is a failure. But Trump isn't going to do a blessed thing to downsize anything. That man's as much a totalitarian as Hillary and neither should have gotten as far as they have already. Twenty years ago, the scandals and missteps by both of them would have ruined their campaigns. Hell, Howard Dean torpedoed his run with a single howl only 12 years ago!

Comment Re:Writers decide who a character is (Score 1) 354

Really? In the Star Trek episode, "The Enemy Within", the writers wanted Spock to sneak up behind the evil Kirk and knock him out with a punch. Nimoy, the actor who played Spock, thought this was too violent for such a thoughtful character, and he and Shatner worked out an alternate idea that they then demonstrated to Gene Roddenberry. This was the creation of the famous "Vulcan Neck Pinch." In a later episode, there was a need for a Vulcan greeting. Once again, Nimoy came up with the solution, calling upon his own experiences in a synagogue when he was a kid. The actors bring a lot more to their characters than just playing their parts.

Comment Re:Dear Microsoft.... (Score 4, Informative) 117

They tried that. Up until around 1999, Microsoft wouldn't allow a new PC to be shipped with anything but stock Windows (and before that, DOS). Pre-installed software was forbidden by the licensing agreement.

An antitrust lawsuit in the late 90s claimed that this practice was anticompetitive because OEMs couldn't put alternative web browsers on PCs. So Microsoft was forced by the courts to allow OEMs to install whatever they wanted on prebuilt PCs.

Comment Re:America is broken (Score 4, Interesting) 571

This is the Internet. The net is so wide here that you are literally quite likely to find a man that has bitten a dog.

Off-topic, but since you brought it up ...

I was four years old. My parents had an overly exuberant keeshond that delighted in nipping at me. It is possible the malevolent hound was only being playful and socializing, but to me it was behaving more like a competitive, overbearing sibling. For example, it never nipped at me when an adult was around. One winter day, after we were all outside in the snow, my mom went upstairs and this treacherous canine knocked me down from behind and nipped at my ears "playfully". Still in my one-piece snowsuit and wearing mittens, I'd had enough of this cantankerous pupstart's behavior, and I demonstrated the evolutionary advantages of an opposable thumb by grabbing his snout with both mittened hands, and finishing with a powerful argument delivered by human incisors directly upon his loathsome, black, wet nose!

Naturally, the little bitch shrieked and whined theatrically over the comeuppance, but I stood over him triumphant. "How do you like it?!"

Comment Re:Enormous tax and administrative burdens (Score 1) 347

For physical purchases, sales tax is based on where the sale happens, so the tax rate will (presumably) depend on whether or not the McDonald's has a bus stop on its block.

But if I ship you a bicycle fender, do we base it on whether there's a Houston bus stop on your block, or on mine? The law has always been that you have an obligation to pay if there's one on yours; this new law is attempting to shift the burden to me (a seller in another state who probably doesn't even know how Houston sales taxes work) to find out whether or not you have a bus stop on your block, charge you the appropriate tax, and send a check to the City of Houston.

Submission + - Shoe Company: Obama Admin Pressured Us to Stay Quiet on TPP ( 1

schwit1 writes: The Boston Globe is reporting that U.S.-based shoe manufacturer New Balance has come out hard against the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal. The odd thing, though, is that "the Boston company had gone quiet [on TPP] last year."

Now, apparently, we know why:

New Balance officials say one big reason is that they were told the Department of Defense would give them serious consideration for a contract to outfit recruits with athletic shoes.

But no order has been placed, and New Balance officials say the Pentagon is intentionally delaying any purchase.

New Balance is reviving its fight against the trade deal, which would, in part, gradually phase out tariffs on shoes made in Vietnam. A loss of those tariffs, the company says, would make imports cheaper and jeopardize its factory jobs in New England.

Submission + - California Crypto Backdoor Bill Dies in Assembly

Trailrunner7 writes: A California bill that would require backdoors in phone encryption has died in the state assembly after failing to gain enough support to move out of committee.

The bill, proposed in January, would have required that device manufacturers have the capability of decrypting and unlocking any phone sold in California after Jan. 1, 2017. A similar bill proposed in New York is still making its way through that state’s legislature.

The California bill ran aground in the Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection, where it did not even go to a vote after failing to get a second from a committee member. Privacy advocates hailed the bill’s defeat as a key win for users and tech vendors.

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