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Comment Re:Encryption (Score 1) 291

Routine searches of items as they travel across the international border into the US have never been basedon on reasonable suspicion. That was the custom at the time when the Fourth Amendment was ratified and continues in unbroken tradition today.

I specifically say 'routine' to mean things like xray of baggage or vehicles, inspection of cargo,
provision of payment for customs/tariffs, verification of visas/passports and the like. No one has ever suggested that a country should allow people and goods to enter without being checked for compliance. Nor would most of the useful parts of the regulatory state (e.g. the requirement for pharmaceuticals to be safe/pure) be possible if anyone could bring suitcases of the knockoff Chinese medicine through the airport without fear of a search.

Of course, neither extreme position ('the border police can do anything/nothing') is tenable. What I was trying to document is the limits on either end. So you have the sort of short interview on the one hand and the 48 hour hard limit that requires judicial authorization on the other.

Comment Re:Encryption (Score 2) 291

Josh Wolf served 226 days for failure to comply with a subpoena issued by a district court judge pursuant to a court ordered entered into during a grand jury investigation. His case in no way involved a border search. And right or wrong, it has no bearing on this topic.

What we were discussing here was border searches and what sort of searches and seizures agents can carry out without any judicial hearing. Like what sort of searches can be carried out and what sort of limits on the duration of said searches might be before the agent needs to go to a judge.

So either you don't know that the two have nothing at all to do with one another (except in the sense that 'both involves the US legal system', which also relates my speeding tickets to OJ's murder trial) or you did figure that out but are posting off topic nonsense anyway.

Comment Re:Encryption (Score 3, Informative) 291

Incorrect. Prolonged (non-routine) detentions must be based on reasonable suspicion. Even then, the duration of the detention must be limited to the time necessary to confirm or dispel that suspicion. And even if there is reasonable suspicion, under no circumstances can the duration exceed 48 hours without a judicial hearing.

See this handy guide [PDF] for more details and lots of citations. Or here's a quote for the lazy:

There appear to be no âoehard-and-fast time limitsâ that automatically transform what would otherwise be a routine search into a non-routine search, nor render a non-routine search conducted under the reasonable suspicion standard unconstitutional. Rather, courts consider âoewhether the detention of [the traveler] was reasonably related in scope to the circumstances which justified it initially.â In order to provide perspective, the 16-hour detention in Montoya de Hernandez was considered a non-routine search (justifiable by reasonable suspicions), while a one-hour vehicular search did not require reasonable suspicion. The Second Circuit has characterized four- to six-hour-long detentions of individuals suspected of having terrorist ties as routine.

However, the Fifth Circuit in United States v. Adekunle concluded that the government must, within a reasonable time (generally within 48 hours), seek a judicial determination that reasonable suspicion exists to detain a suspect for an extended period of time.

Comment Re:over-simplification of economy (Score 1) 496

The entire field of economics is predicated upon the idea of 'endless growth', the implementation of which is trashing the planet. It would be good if we could do something about that first.

Actually, growth leads to the sort of prosperity that is conducive to environmentalism. It is really only after people can afford food, shelter, power, heat and medicine that they chose to stop trashing the planet. Until that point, worrying about the planet is a luxury they cannot afford. If you want to save the planet, your strategic aim should be to ensure that your protections allow sufficient economic growth to make the third world comfortably middle class enough that they actually care about it and are willing to shoulder the additional expense and brake on growth inherent in the environmental tradeoff.

There's a reason India is building 100s of coal fired power plants and mocking the US and Europe when we tell them to switch to more expensive sources even when they already have 30% on hydro/solar.There are still 250 million Indians without power -- why would a democratically accountable government put more priority on reducing emissions than on providing a basic need to them? And given this is a basic need that westerners have for decades taken for granted, what right do we have to lecture them?

I don't mean to say that I don't believe in environmentalism. I do, even though I think it has significant tradeoffs (and is sometimes executed inefficiently, in the sense that I believe we could have more protection at less cost, making everyone happier all at once). But it does have to be placed in the right spot in the list of priorities.

Comment Re:Abuse? (Score 1) 212

Right. So if that coffee shop specifically advertizes "Free WiFi With Unlimited Bandwidth", and is not a coffee shop but a multibillion dollar IT company with a dedicated department of lawyers going over every detail of the deals they offer, what's the implied meaning of "Unlimited Bandwidth"?

I think in the Microsoft case, it's clear that unlimited storage on OneDrive is that it's unlimited storage for items relating to the imputed use as a collaborative tool. That would mean documents, photos, and the like. And, you know, be reasonable about it using your own internal ability to discern it.

[ Of course, now the rules lawyering begins. "Oh photos are allowed, I'm going to download every GIF on planet Earth and sync it because I'm on the spectrum and hence believe that technically-correct-is-the-best-kind-of-correct". And that might tempt me to say, "No, it's your own personal, non-commercial, photos, not the entire National Geographic archive since 1965". But I won't, because that just invites more rules-lawyering and concedes the idea that I'm supposed to enumerate every detail. ]

Oh, and for bandwidth, I would think "Unlimited Bandwidth" would imply something fuzzily-like "No numerical limit but users in the top 5% that are using more than 10-20x what the median user does should probably lay off a bit. We'll probably let them go at top speed unless the network is saturated, at which point we'll put them in the lowest priority QoS so that the other 95% of users don't experience degraded performance due to those hogs." But I'm not going to formulate that in a rules-lawyery way, because it's pretty obvious to the reasonable folks that when 5% of users are using 50% of the resource, they should a back a smidge.

Comment Re:economics (Score 1) 260

At least in SF, my impression is that new supply is expensive which drives up the average price but suppresses the increase in prices for other units by soaking up high-end demand that would otherwise chase other units.

And that's the rub -- it's better to have two $5K condos and 10 $3K flats than to just have the 10 flats. In that case, the would-be-condo owners will just bid up the flats, pushing out whoever was in that segment. And those folks will bid up the next tier and so forth.

Or do you think that rich people that want to live in SF will look at the unavailability of high-end real estate and think "Oh well, nothing but cheaper units here, I'll pass" or will they buy up those properties and renovate them up?

Comment Re:The old struggling to fight off the new (Score 1) 260

Yes, the same thing should happen with banks, insurance companies, childcare and hospitals. Let's get the government regulations out of the way and rely on Yelp reviews and Facebook likes. FREE MARKET!

Because clearly if person ever expresses the opinion that one particular regulation or set of regulations should be repealed, that person is forever committed to arguing that every single one should be repealed. And conversely, if one ever argues that a regulation has positive worth, they are permanently banned from arguing against any other. Analyzing each regulation independently and concluding that (like many other things) some are useful and some aren't (and a few really perverse ones are downright counterproductive) should definitely not be allowed.

Comment Re:Abuse? (Score 1) 212

Because we are humans and not machines and, as such, we are capable of understanding limiting principles that are fuzzy and imprecise. Moreover, in many cases we prefer such fuzzy limits because in most cases it's much less effort to rely on them than to expend the intellectual effort to precisely quantify the limits. Besides being a pain to draft, communicate and clarify, precise language creates two additional negative effects: first it displaces the existing fuzzy limits, which can actually lead to less heuristic control. Second, it encourages rules-lawyering that consumes more effort and bogs people down in nit-picking (except that pig likes wrestling in the mud).

To give a practical example, coffee shops are happy to offer "Free WiFi", often having a large sign to that effect. But if buy a small regular coffee and proceed to download/serve dozens of Linux ISOs at max bandwidth over Bittorrent (and degrade the service of everyone else in the shop), you will be asked to leave. It's implicit that "Free WiFi" here is understood in the context of things that normal people do in a coffee shop. It would be positively ridiculous for them to have to write the rules out instead of just assuming that people will be reasonable.

You can only use X MB per hour and $Z of baked goods minus A MB every time you harass the baristas. At no time can your peak bandwidth, as measured by the rolling average over the last 60 second period as computed every 10 seconds, exceed A/B Kbps download/upload. A first offense under this section shall be punishable by a discrete warning. A second offense under this section shall be punishable by a public shaming in front of the other patrons. Third and subsequent offenses shall be punished by having hot coffee poured on your laptop, phone or pants at the discretion of the barista. Offenses shall toll at the rate of 1 offense per calendar week, provided that you visit the coffee shop at least twice during said calendar week.

TLDR: Summarized succinctly in a single-pane webcomic.

Comment Re:UK And International Affairs (Score 1) 238

...and if they are reluctant to take responsibility like Johnson and Farage have been they should be forced to

First of all, I'm not aware of any democratic system since ancient Greece or Rome that contemplates the power to compel a citizen to serve as an official against his or her will. That alone would be pretty remarkable. I'm not sure such a thing would be consistent with the UNCHR or the ECHR (to which the UK is still bound).

Second, if those were indeed the terms, the Referendum Act of Parliament probably should have mentioned them. Compelled service aside, now you're talking about surprise compelled service :-)

Comment Re:... Negative only on Intellect (Score 1) 727

You completely missed the point, didn't you? The point is that you are going to have a PC in your house anyway, unless you're one of the old people who doesn't own a computer. Since you already have a PC regardless of whether or not you use it to play games, you don't need to factor the cost of that PC into your gaming cost, because the gaming cost is only the extra money spent to turn your regular PC into a gaming PC.

Not at all true. My laptop has been going strong doing all my personal computing needs for a few years now, with the added bonus of weighing only a few pounds and fitting in my backpack. If it weren't for my gaming habit, I wouldn't have a desktop PC at all. So the entire cost of the desktop[1] is attributable to the need for gaming.

This is not a strange situation among the generation that grew up with portable computing. Those of us (myself incl) that grew up in the 386 era have not all moved on, but that's the way things are going.

[1] OK, so maybe I can save $100 or so using the desktop instead of my USB external for storage overflow. Still need the $5/mo Crashplan account in case of a physical disaster. I could set the desktop always-on and use it to stream music to myself rather than pay for a streaming service ($25/year saved minus the power used idling it). I don't think most of those can work too well.

Comment Re:there's a major problem... but how does that he (Score 2) 393

Cops are individuals. There are good ones and bad ones, and they have good days and bad days. Their lives are often at risk. Sometimes they do heroic things, sometimes they do horrific things. You cannot solve problems like this by painting with too wide a brush.

OK, but let's talk brass tacks for just a second. Baton Rouge offers new recruits the princely sum of $25K a year, maybe rising to $35-40K after a decade. Your average nice suburb in Louisiana starts at $32-35K and goes up to $50-55K or more.

So you know what, cops are individuals and there are good ones and bads one -- 100% agree. It's just that Baton Rouge gets a lot of the crappier ones. You get what you pay for, and poor places just don't get very much good police.

Comment Re:PARENTING ISSUE, not Government control issue. (Score 1) 167

The control belongs with the parent, not the government.

Control hasn't moved at all, only the default settings. If you ever read TFA:

If they don't respond, we will switch it on for them and invite them to amend or switch it off themselves.

I cannot fathom how you can say this removes control from anyone. Is there any evidence to believe

  1. A) That a customer that gets a porn page blockage will not know why or how to turn it off
  2. B) That the switch to disable this filter is difficult to find on their customer web portal
  3. C) That SKY will not respect the customer's desire in that switch
  4. D) That any of the parade-of-horribles you may counter with are realistic and not just slippery-slope hypotheticals

I don't like censorship and nanny-State-ism one whit, but this just doesn't set off my CAPITAL LETTERS. It's merely a default settings -- one that might make sense for non-tech-savvy parents and which porn consumers can very easily switch off.

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