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Comment Re:Four reasons (Score 1) 341

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 My recollection of Kindergarten, circa 1986 (Score 3, Insightful) 227

We had only half-day kindergarten. We went outside at least twice a day. During the day, we sang songs, did water coloring, played with clay, construction paper and scissors, the sandbox, sock puppets. There was lots of arts and crafts. There was always story time, where our teacher would read aloud to us. The only academic work I can ever recall was studying the alphabet, learning how to count to ten, how to count money, and learning how to write our name.

I still work in a school, in Minnesota, and now kindergarten is full day. Kids are expected to learn how to read. They do lots of worksheets, spelling tests, spend time learning how to use computers, and learn basic adding and subtracting. There's also lots of social behavior practice (how to stand in lines, how to be quiet and raise your hand, how to take turns, not interrupt others, etc.) And writing...lots and lots of writing. Long story short, what I covered in 1st grade 30 years ago is now what is expected in Kindergarten. Play is a thing of the past.

At this rate, expect them to be bringing home Algebra textbooks by the turn of the century.

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 Re:Another way to get people to buy new phones (Score 1, Informative) 204

My counter example is that 2 months ago Apple replaced the logic board in my early 2011 MacBook Pro totally for free, under the replacement plan for the design flaws in that system. And I didn't even buy this computer new, I bought it as a refurb from Apple, and the Apple Care that I bought when I purchased the computer had run out a long ago as well.

Apple is really good about repairing computers, especially under AppleCare. I've had issues with two Macs. The first was my 2007 TI PowerBook. The escape key stopped working on the keyboard. I had about 2 weeks left on AppleCare. They Fed-Exed me a box overnight, I sent it in, and had it back the same week. They not only replaced the keyboard, but the front bezel & the trackpad.

My 2008 24" iMac had a faulty logic board, and I live about 70 miles away from the closest Apple store. They sent out a repair guy to come to my workplace. The fix didn't work. It was near Christmas, so the next time they could send someone, my workplace was closed until after New Year's day. So they sent someone to my house. He couldn't get it working either. I brought it up to the Apple Store, and they replaced it with a new 2010 27" iMac. Although it was a frustrating process, I was pretty pleased with the outcome.

Comment Billions and billions (Score 1) 204

thousands upon thousands of iPhone 6 Pluses are completely losing their functionality under normal use...

I wonder what exactly they consider normal use? I have an iPhone 6 plus, and use it quite extensively. I like to play a few games (Marvel Puzzle Quest for example) that require quite a bit of tapping on the screen. I've played that for almost 2 years, and not noticed any degradation in touchscreen responsiveness. I wonder how many of these users are putting their phone in their back pocket & sitting on 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 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 And that's the problem (Score 1) 367

Whether it's Monsanto and RoundUp-resistant weeds, or bananas and Panama disease : Nature adapts, while man-made genes don't. If humans modify their genes, the "most-popular genes" will become a larger and larger portion of the population, leading to a lack of genetic diversity, making for a wonderful opportunity for some disease to conquer them all, or some natural change to make it difficult for that portion of the population to adapt. As it's been said before, "Nature finds a way."

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