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Comment This actually makes sense (Score 4, Funny) 180

I'm an Android user, and easily the most humble person I know. As Weird Al put it in Amish Paradise:

Hitchin' up the buggy, churnin' lots of butter
Raised a barn on Monday, soon I'll raise another
Think you're really righteous? Think you're pure in heart?
Well, I know I'm a million times as humble as thou art

Comment Many on Slashdot can say, "I told you so" (Score 5, Insightful) 100

In past posts on Slashdot, the idea that the government should have backdoors into various systems that would allegedly be used only for legitimate criminal investigations. The security experts poo-pooed the idea, saying that all manner of things would go wrong, and this appears to be the day of reckoning. The government of course claims that this would never be a problem.

Security researchers 1, NSA 0

Is anybody here really surprised?

Comment Business Decisions Based on Economics (Score 2) 202

It's sometimes bewildering to watch companies with a responsibility to shareholders behave in ways that appear counterproductive to their own bottom line. If the study from Carnegie Mellon passes peer review *and* the movie industry does not respond in a way that actually curbs piracy, then one has to wonder what exactly drives their behavior. This is not a rhetorical question. If anybody here on /. has insight into this, please share.

Comment Citizen activism is an option (Score 1) 147

I was part of a jury pool in the 9th Circuit about 2 years ago and the judge told the prospective jurors that exactly this type of metadata would be shown as evidence. He also stated that this evidence was gathered without a warranty. As a prospective juror, I raised my hand and said that I was unwilling to find the defendant guilty if the prosecution's case hinged on that information because I believe this application of the 3rd party doctrine to be illegal. The judge responded that his job as judge is to decide which evidence is legal (and this evidence was "legal") to introduce and my job as a juror was to weigh that evidence without worrying about its legality. I then responded that Richard Nixon once famously said that "if the president does it, it's legal" and I went on to indicate, "we all know how that worked out". I was dismissed from the pool.

Comment Re:Oh good, more taxes (Score 1) 342

There's actually strong evidence that with each tax increase on cigarettes, consumption subsequently drops. The taxes in question are used for smoking cessation programs and other public health interests. Hardly parasitic, but also antithetical to a truly free society. On the other hand, society's shared costs don't occur in a vacuum. If my neighbor smokes, there's a statistical cost his neighbors will incur at some point in the future that involved supporting his healthcare. Given that the burdens are being shared in one way or another, I'm ok with not being "truly free".

Comment Re:Uh, just pay extra (Score 2) 644

I suppose a millionaire can opt to give money to fix roads and bridges via their tax returns. The problem with this solution is a sort of prisoner's dilemma though; you need everybody to participate with commensurate participation, or the volunteerism simply doesn't work. This is probably why they want to see the solutions codified in the tax code rather than be voluntary.

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Is it possible that software is not like anything else, that it is meant to be discarded: that the whole point is to always see it as a soap bubble?