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Comment Re:Four reasons (Score 1) 375

He collected a lot of data of criminal activity, far too much for him to do more than scan it. He then turned it over to the most reputable and responsible journalists he could find, and he had the sincere belief that they would exercise good judgment in deciding what parts of it were properly newsworthy and what parts were irrelevant or should be protected.

I think for exposing the criminal elements there, he should surely be commended.

At the same time, isn't the major complaint about the criminality of the programs that he exposed is that they collected far too much data in the belief that the intelligence and law enforcement agencies would exercise good judgment in deciding which parts of it were properly about legitimate foreign intelligence targets issues and which parts were about US citizens or gathered in the US and thus protected. In fact, that's what the minimization procedures [PDF] were designed to do, see Â3(b)(4). I certainly don't believe that the minimization procedures were sufficient to make the program lawful or desirable.

But then can I really believe that Snowden's minimization strategy to avoid disclosing legal programs was sufficient to make his actions lawful or desirable?

Comment When the subway is shut down by paranoids... (Score 1) 428

... the actual value of a cab ride increases considerably. That's not manipulation, it's actually more valuable to have a car take you the same distance when you don't have the alternate choice.

Meanwhile, any Uber driver that had a bit of flexibility and could jump and make a bit of cash. And in the process, help relieve the crush of people that are stranded by shutting down a system used by more than 50% of commuters.

The wisdom of shutting down our world for each boo-boo remains undecided ...

Comment Re:The real issue (Score 5, Insightful) 195

The real issue is that some people want to live in a place where their neighbors can't leave trash out or have cars on their lawn (and to have enforcement that has teeth, unlike some municipalities). Some people want to raise roosters, other people think that owning a rooster violates your neighbors' right to quiet enjoyment of their homes. People that want those restrictions, and are in turn willing to accept the reciprocal restrictions on themselves, can voluntarily and knowingly live in a place where everyone agrees on that basic deal.

Now, that sort of thing isn't for me (and I bought a house in a nice district with functioning public parks and whatnot with no HOA) but it is extremely illiberal to deny a group of people the right to voluntarily associate in a manner than they all find beneficial. And since we are on the topic of choice, I see you are somehow suggesting that the non-HOA living arrangement is somehow in danger, which is patently ridiculous since 20% of existing homes and 40% of new homes don't have one.

TLDR: Freedom includes the right to create your own arrangements. Some of them might seem silly to us, in which case we should just not partake instead of being righteous about it.

Comment What does a URL prove exactly? (Score 3, Interesting) 241

All it takes is a quick glance at the URL in question to see that.

To see what? That's it's not labeled as being infringing on something? Can Gawker publish http://gawker.com/definitely.n... and point a 'quick glance at the URL' to claim they didn't distribute it (leaving aside the question of, if they did, was it tortious).

Of course, I'm reasonably confident that the torrent in question was not actually infringing. But to conclude that, you'd have to take a quick glance at the content or compare the hash against one you know is Ubuntu or ....

Comment Re:Does Zoning Abrogate First Amendment? (Score 1) 305

Of course you have the freedom to question, describe, criticise and suggest. But if you open a magazine that does those 4 things, and your building don't follow the fire code, we're gonna shut it down. If you don't pay your employees overtime, we're going to fine you.

Those 4 protected freedoms protect your magazine, but they are not a shield against other law that magazine has to follow.

Comment So there's nothing wrong with the diagnostic ... (Score 4, Interesting) 74

... but the FDA is still finding something to complain about.

This is after preeminent scientists argue that bioethics needs to get out of the way of modern research.

An interesting parallel, by the way, was John Nestor. Here was a guy that intentionally (and even with good intention) drove 55MPH in the fast lane of DC traffic. He was, at best, misguided, since speed differential is more dangeous than speed and his actions were likely safety-reducing. He was also an FDA bureaucrat that never approved a drug and was ultimately fired for his "caution" that probably cost more lives and more lifesaving drugs than it ever saved.

Comment Re:Does Zoning Abrogate First Amendment? (Score 3, Interesting) 305

This is what I've never quite understood: why does it seem that zoning laws are allowed to ignore constitutional freedoms? Banning research and development, "including software coding" would seem to ignore the right to free speech, free assembly and the right to privacy

Sometimes speech is also conduct, and conduct can be regulated. For instance, if I call you up and say "give me a million BTC or else I'm going to kill your family", surely that's speech but it's also criminal conduct (e.g. 18 USC 875 for Americans, YMMV elsewhere). Similarly, if two coffeehouse owners in a small town meet over lattes and one says "Let's raise prices a quarter" and the other says "Sure, we'll change ours next week", surely that's speech, they are just talking, but it's also criminal conduct (15 USC 1). Or urging a specific person to commit suicide. The fact that all of these crimes are accomplished by talking doesn't magically throw First Amendment protection over conspiracy to fix consumer prices.

The same is true in civil, as opposed to criminal, law. Libel, defamation, and slander are tortious, even though they are obviously speech. So are tax fraud, misleading investors and filing false business reports, even if you use a printed medium to convey them. Publishing your company's trade secrets as a book (or a newspaper) won't get you off the hook, neither will failing to pay generally-owed taxes or follow generally-applicable laws (like zoning) for your magazine. I mean, no one (I think?) believes that the NYT or /. can just ignore the zoning laws and set up whatever, wherever any more than they can violate labor law or building codes or tax law (right?).

Eugene Volokh did a fairly thorough review of the boundary between speech and conduct.

Comment Re:Epinephrine cost per dose in about 50 cents (Score 2) 396

I estimate the cost of goods sold per Epi-pen is about $2 to $3 each. Any figures beyond that are profit. Any higher CGS presented by Mylan, should they choose to do so, are likely accounting techniques where they move ongoing R&D costs onto old and fully paid for products. The retail price of Mylan's Epi-pen is legalized theft such that Al Capone would be proud.

Al Capone and his bootleggers were largely in favor of prohibition ($$$) and opposed to its repeal. They were also (violently) opposed to their competitors trying to move alcohol outside their protection racket. You want to fuck Mylan over, stop making it difficult for their competitors to compete with them

Last year Sanofi withdrew an EpiPen rival called Auvi-Q that was introduced in 2013, after merely 26 cases in which the device malfunctioned and delivered an inaccurate dose. Though the recall was voluntary and the FDA process is not transparent, such extraordinary actions are never done without agency involvement. This suggests a regulatory motive other than patient safety.

Then in February the FDA rejected Teva's generic EpiPen application. In June the FDA required a San Diego-based company called Adamis to expand patient trials and reliability studies for still another auto-injector rival.

The only shocking thing is that the price didn't go up more when a field of three competitors was narrowed to only one that's given a legal monopoly over the whole market.

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