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Comment Re:You don't own common sense (Score 1) 921

the side that goes along with the overwhelming amount of research (not to mention common sense) that suggests more guns = more gun accidents (and of course, more gun violence.)

Then I'm sure you can cite some of this research? The actual fact is that in recent decades, firearms accidents and murders by firearm have both decreased while the number of guns in private hands has increased.

Now, if you don't like guns, that's fine; like abortions, if you don't like one, don't have one. But if you're going to talk about an "overwhelming amount of research" about crime, you'd better be able to cite some criminology papers.

Comment Re:I think the difference is (Score 1) 921

your odds of surviving a knife attack are orders of magnitude better than surviving a shooting.

Not if the attacker has decided to kill you, no. Knife attacks are sometimes done specifically to wound or mutilate rather than kill.

The fact that despite the easy availability of black-market firearms 30% of US murders are committed without a firearm ought to clue you in that it's not "orders of magnitude" easier to survive an attack by other means.

The ancient world killed people with blades quite effectively. The armies of Alexander didn't have guns. Nor did the Romans, the folks who gave us the word "decimate".

But the phrase "Guns don't kill people" is verifiable bullshit.

No, assigning intent to inanimate objects is verifiable bullshit. Hammers don't build buildings. Scalpels don't perform surgeries. Guitars don't play music. Gasoline cans and matches don't burn down buildings. Shoes don't kick people. In all of those situations we understand that it is a person, not an object, which is responsible. But many people have an irrational emotional response to firearms due to their status as a cultural shibboleth, and so lose track of this principle.

Comment Re:"Police found Purinton 80 miles away at Applebe (Score 1) 921

A gun is a weapon, and has a single purpose. It kills. It kills well.

A gun is a tool, which fires small pellets at a high velocity. Pellets can be fired at a variety of targets for a variety of reasons. Among those reasons are both self-defense and aggressive violence against other human beings. They are neither the easiest not most efficient way to murder human beings, efficient mass murderers use fire while poison is easier for killing one at a time. Your local Home Depot is more dangerous than your local gun store. Firearms are, however, the best means of self- and community-defense yet developed. As the cliche says, God made man, but Samuel Colt made man equal.

The U.S.'s murder rate is linked much more to its prevalence of economic injustice and history of racism than to the legal status of firearms. (There is no correlation between a state's murder rate and it's gun laws, but there is one between it GINI score and its murder rate.) Criminologists are pretty clear that gun control laws have little effect on violent crime, and may increase it by decreasing the ability to citizens to defend themselves.

Comment Not sticky: ethically obvious (Score 3) 227

That's a stickier problem in electronics because of drm and other various anti piracy measures. At what point does an antipiracy device become a hinderance to repair?

From the point where it is actually implemented, onwards.

Which is higher priority?

The rights of people who have done no wrong are (okay, should be) higher priority.

Ideally, create fair laws that describe the bounds of legitimate behavior. Punish people who break these laws. Don't do things to people who are not breaking the law that prevent them from doing legitimate things based on the idea that someone, somewhere, might break the law.

The problem with DRM (Digital Rights Management) as it is presently constituted, is that the only rights that are being managed are those of the publishers. The rights of the consumer are being roundly trampled. It's appalling, really.

Comment Broken business models? (Score 1) 227

A business model that needs laws to prop it up is broken.

Copyright and Rights Licensing

Upon which the GPL is based, as well as just about the entire entertainment industry. It's difficult to imagine a studio spending tens or hundreds of millions on a production based on the hope that no one would copy and distribute the resulting product without seeing to it that they were compensated.

Patents

Upon which the drug industry, chip industry, etc., is based.

While these mechanisms are clearly not optimum, they do seem to benefit society in general. Certainly they are strong supporting factors for progress in the fields that they act as rights bulwarks for.

I really don't see that business models based on associated laws are inherently broken. Would you care to elaborate on your position?

Comment Re:Idiocracy doubles down (Score 1) 114

Why do you want access to *the* filesystem?

So I can control and organize my data.

If you don't like iCloud Drive, you can use Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive and a few others. I believe all of the rest of them give you the ability to use folders.

I don't want to give my data to a third party. I want to be able to control my own data. I have plenty of local storage, and no need or desire whatsoever to place my information in someone else's hands. If you want to do so, of course, by all means. For myself, I'd just as soon not enter into the lottery of "which cloud service will suffer a security breach next", or the lottery of "which cloud service is sharing data with government / corporations / hackers / employees", or the lottery of "geee, the Intertubes are down, I guess I can't get at my data", or the "you must look at ads or pay a fee to get at your data lottery", or the "I'm on a plane and so I can't get at my data lottery", etc., etc., etc.

It's up to you to decide which documents will be stored locally on the device.

Indeed it is. And the answer is "all of them", except where I have also stored them on some other device I own and wholly control.

Comment The free market, pizza, and sneakers (Score 2) 117

Why is this not happening with pizzerias or sneakers?

It most definitely is. A decent quality pizza worth less than $2.00 (I make them from scratch, and that's what they cost me in low quantity in a relatively isolated region where raw materials prices are high, so I'm quite sure of the number) often costs well over $10.00. Sneakers worth about $8.00 can cost far, far more than that -- no more than a little bit of canvas, plastic and metal off a mass production line. The gouging is blatant and obvious. The fact that you are willing to actually write as if it wasn't reveals that you have no actual sense of the economics of either matter.

Why am I paying the same price for 75 Mbps up/down today, that I used to pay for 35 Mpbs up/down 6 years ago?

Because US broadband is lagging far behind the state of the art, and prices are far too high. You should be running much faster, and paying much less. Same was true six years ago. And you are not even at the bottom of the low performance / high price heap. In many places, it's worse.

The answer: competition.

No, the answer is collusion.

Comment The frictionless slope (Score 2) 117

The Federal Communications Commission plans to halt implementation of a privacy rule that requires ISPs to protect the security of its customers' personal information.

Not that the FCC was ever very much more than a corporate puppet, but it's fascinating to watch them, and the government in general, find ways to be of even less service to the people.

So far, in just a couple months, we've seen the elimination of the requirement that energy companies must disclose royalties and government payments; the elimination of rules preventing dumping of coal mining waste into rivers and streams; the funneling of even more money into our "only more costly than the next eight countries put together" military; assertion that we need more and better nuclear weapons; suspension of an insurance rate cut for new Federal Housing Administration loans; completely unjustified disruption of already-issued visas; the installation of a white supremacist on the national security council; an order to "review" a rule requiring financial managers to act in their clients' best interests when handling retirement accounts; an "easing" of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010; amplification of the drug war; amplification of the war against personal and consensual sexual choices; partisan filtering of the Whitehouse press pool; anti-free-press agitprop straight from the president... all this, along with a great deal of additional rhetoric that indicates more of this nature is likely on the way.

We no longer need turn to dystopian fiction to see just how badly our government can act out. A dystopian reality is rapidly establishing itself. The indicators are so strong at this point that some of the "peppers" are actually beginning to look like forward-thinkers.

I wonder just how much of this kind of damage the country can suffer before it undergoes some kind of seismic shift, or, if it will just deliquesce into a fully classist, corporatist nightmare.

I prefer to hope that the complacent have had a wake up call as to just how foolish and blind large segments of our population actually is; that they now understand that it is possible that without their active resistance, both at the voting booth and in general, all of this will continue apace while every tweet from President Trump, every bit of nonsense from Spicer and Conway, every craven abrogation of responsibility by congress, every unwise and harmful regulatory alteration, will be met with a blinkered nod-and-drool from the very people that saw to it that he reached the Oval Office — and that this will outright determine the future course of the country along these same destructive lines.

These are such very interesting times. We know we're not 1940's Germans; but we're finally going to get an answer as to whether we are better — or worse. I see little reason for optimism in this regard at this point in time, either.

Submission + - White House blocks news organizations from press briefing (cnn.com)

ClickOnThis writes: CNN reports that it, along with several other major news organizations, were blocked from attending a press briefing at the White House today. From the article:

The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Politico and BuzzFeed were also excluded from the meeting, which is known as a gaggle and is less formal than the televised Q-and-A session in the White House briefing room. The gaggle was held by White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

In a brief statement defending the move, administration spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the White House "had the pool there so everyone would be represented and get an update from us today."

The pool usually includes a representative from one television network and one print outlet. In this case, four of the five major television networks — NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox News — were invited and attended the meeting, while only CNN was blocked.

And while The New York Times was kept out, conservative media organizations Breitbart News, The Washington Times and One America News Network were also allowed in.


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