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Comment Re:Browser history (Score 1) 144

I suppose that not only IP pros, but most people who had to fix some internet/browser related issue for someone else, have found out one or more thing about that person, that could be considered as embarrassing. Especially when it comes to personal machines, that are only used by a single person, the use of some kind of "privacy mode" seems to be overwhelmed by the convenience of using bookmarks and similar things.

I've seen a couple of things that I consider to be weird, but I do not judge people based on that, since it's none of my business.

Comment Re:Seems like freedom of speech to me (Score 1) 195

I'll try to keep it short But I can make no promises.

In this case, the entity who's delivering the message is partially to blame, even if the message was from a friend. For example it's a very common thing here to have a "no unsolicited advertisement" sticker on your physical mailbox. Which tells the entity who delivers ads, that you do not want them on your property. From my moral point of view, something similar as you've already mentioned (opt out or even better an opt in) would be absolutely sufficient in order to resolve this matter. And this is what I believe to be the consequence of this. Some mechanism where you opt in and then receive all those updates, similar to a newsletter, which is not considered to be spam.
A blanket ban would not infringe those who welcome those ads. Since this is civilian law, a person who has been damaged or had their rights violated has to sue first. And if they do not chose to sue, it's none of the state's business. If a 3rd person chooses to sue on your behalf, but without your consent, they can't build a case, since no one was damaged. Just as with unwanted advertisements in your physical mailbox, usually the worst thing that will happen to the party that distributes unwanted ads are complaints. They might get some angry letters, faxes or phone calls. But virtually no one is suing about something that's so insignificant.
I'm not sure how our courts would view something like a profile on facebook. As far as I know there's no precedent. But I suppose, as long as the messages stay on facebook and are not delivered to your private eMail box, it's not considered as spam. But again, I'm not sure here. Depending on the judges and lawyers, they may very well find some odd loopholes for this.

Ultimately I'm not sure if this is much of a free speech issue. I was just replying to people who were trying to make it a free speech issue and pointing out that such an act would not be protected by free speech.


Yes, I know that the laws can differ greatly from state to state.
Here, where I live it's similar to what you're writing about Maine. Well, actually what I'm going to talk about here is federal law in Germany.
I also do not have the right to use force in order to get rid of trespassers or even burglars for that matter. I've got to call the police. And that's how it usually goes down, when it come to trespassing. You ask them to leave and if they refuse, non violently, you call the police. Then they'll be removed and possibly liable for the damages they've caused, if there are any.
I'm fine with this. I'm not a violent person and prefer a peaceful way of resolving a conflict.

But there's something else that bothers me a lot. It doesn't matter if they're breaking into my house, destroy everything in their way and threaten my children. If I hit them and hurt them, in a situation that didn't call for it, then I'll be having my day in court. And there's no jury which may emphasize with my situation. On the contrary, it's likely that there will be lawyers which are making me look like the bad guy, for not inviting the burglars into my house (doesn't matter if they didn't even bother to ask first) and share some of my wealth, because those burglars had a very difficult childhood and whatever. God forbid if I dare to shoot them with the guns that I legally own (I do not own any guns at the moment). Doesn't matter if they're armed as that would only entitle me to defend myself with non firearms. Since I'm basically not allowed to have a loaded weapon in my house. Doing that would pretty much result in jail time, even though I only protected my family from someone who forcefully broke into my home. Pretty much the only scenario where I'd be allowed to use weapons, is when they're armed and shoot first.
In fact what I'm supposed to do is retreating. Hiding, calling the police and wait until the burglars are long gone before they arrive. I'm not even allowed to capture the burglars by non violent means, like locking them in, because that's false imprisonment. Imprisoning them would be a violation of their human dignity, which is inviolable according to the very 1st article of our constitution.


Thanks for your explanation. I always appreciate first hand information about things.
Other than that, I'm not sure if I'm a good sample for the culture that I live in. Most Germans are very staunch supporters of zero tolerance gun control. They grew up in this environment and have this belief, that no one really needs a gun and that guns almost never can cause something that isn't bad. Basically everything, something gun related happens, like a shooting at a school, the blame is shifted to guns, besides of video games. Politicians push for even stricter laws and basically all political parties agree.
I used to be one of them, since it's not easy to escape the kind of peer pressure when it comes to opinions on gun laws. But after I've done some of my own research, looked into statistics for violent crimes, gun related crimes and compared it with the gun control laws of the respective countries, the realization was pretty simply and ought to have been obvious a long time ago.
Guns don't kill people. Sure, they're making it a lot easier, but in the end they're simply tools. Also, guns do not seem to promote violent or gun related crime. There must be some more important factors in that equation, other than gun ownership and lax gun laws. Maybe politicians should look more into socio-economic factors, it's not as convenient as gun restrictions or banning video games, but looking for a cause instead of treating the symptoms doesn't sound like such a bad idea to me.
I'm in favour of lowering the requirements for carrying permits and ownership here in Germany, but I'm also in favour of rigorous background checks, psychological evaluation, tests of marksmanship and gun safety. Unfortunately I'm pretty much alone with this. Except for some of my closest friends (all academics with advanced degrees), not many people accept my attitude. Again and again I can experience how hard it is for people to break out of the "I never needed a gun and you certainly don't either"-attitude.
Still, I'm currently working on my hunting licence, which will entitle me to buy and own two handguns and as much rifles as I want, as well as the required ammunition and additional equipment. Unfortunately, a carrying permit doesn't come with that, which means that I'm not allowed to transport guns for other reasons than going hunting, returning or for repairs, for example.


Lastly, when it comes to things like nationalism, I always have to think back what I learned in school. Pride and shame are emotions that are appropriate for events that you've caused. It's appropriate to feel pride for your accomplishments and same for your failures. But something like feeling pride for being born in some specific location on our planet, with specific genes and all the other things that you didn't get to decide, that's false pride. It's alright to be glad about your fortune, but pride is a tricky emotion since it can be hurt easily. And then you end up defending something, that you may not even stand for.
It made sense to me back then and still does.

Comment Re:Seems like freedom of speech to me (Score 1) 195

I don't really care that much nationality related things.
I just wanted to shed some light on the issue of freedom of speech here. When it comes to your private property, your freedom of speech supersedes that of others who might want to voice their opinion on your private property. If you do not like advertisements from certain individuals or groups on your private property, you're entitled to take legal action against them.
It's not that dissimilar from the US. There you also don't have to allow someone to voice their opinion when they're on your property. You're within your rights to shoo them away or even use force. For example you've got the right to get rid of WBC protesters that are protesting on the lawn in front of your lawn (if applicable) if you do not agree with them. But once they're on public property, you're not allowed to censor their speech.

Comment Re:Seems like freedom of speech to me (Score 1) 195

I'm not sure how it works in your country, but freedom of speech in Germany doesn't entitle you to dump your unsolicited advertisements on the property of others. I can see how they want to extend these laws to things like eMail-boxes as well.
However, I don't see why they're targeting Amazon here. As I understand it, it's the people who use that share button who are to blame.

Comment Re:QWERTZ auch (Score 1) 315

If I may ask: What do you find tedious about typing German with a German keyboard layout?
Other than that, I can't confirm that Germany officially discourages the use of accented letters. They did do it in the past, but not any more. For example I've got a lot of "ü" and "ß" on my ID card.

Comment Re:QWERTZ auch (Score 1) 315

I managed to get used to the layout over time. At least when it comes to the plain and simple Cherry keyboards, that I've been using.
But, yes, a huge problem is that accessing those special keys totally interrupts the flow when typing. For example if I want to use curled brackets, which are extremely common when it comes to the syntax of various languages, then I have to either press Ctrl+Alt+7/0 or Right Alt+7/0. This means that I either have to take me left or right hand completely away from the default position in order to access these important keys. The French layout is even worse.

Comment Re:EU has to stand up for itself (Score 1) 44

It would be only prudent to assume that those nations in question at least tried to spy on their supposed friends.
Yes, governments are spying on their own people, which is against the constitutional rights of most of those countries. But the fact that there's already this kind of injustice, does in no way justify even more injustice.

Comment Re:EU has to stand up for itself (Score 1) 44

What about that?
While some may call it hypocrisy if those nations do it to their own citizens, it doesn't justify the mass surveillance from a foreign entity.
How do you think the US government would react if it became public that those EU countries, that spy on their own people, targeted the US population? Perhaps they'd also invite the Russians and Chinese to the party.

Comment Re:One obvious question. (Score 1) 301

Creating demand is exactly what the prevalent theory is about this issue. And yes, by that logic downloading music/movies/series does also increase demand, there were even articles on Slashdot about that, containing studies. The record and film industry being oblivious of these findings, doesn't make the issue with CP any less true.
Other than that, yeah, how some jurisdictions can see something like a highly stylized comic (manga for example) as CP, does seem weird and idiotic to me as well. In this case, a rational thinking mind has to assume that there are no victims until proven otherwise.

Comment Re:invite more people in? (Score 1) 547

The thing is that they're not losing their 'roots' in many European countries.
They might lose their native languages over the time, but specialized schools, maktab, make sure that they do not loosen their values. There they receive 'education' in Islamic studies and learn what their god-given rights and duties, mostly due to Quran recitals and readings. The things that children learn there are often anti constitutional.

Of course, not every Muslim child is attending one of these schools, it's not compulsory education, but there are still plenty of children who do so because their parents make them. And through the indoctrination and the fact that these secular societies are already large enough, the odds are that their own children will attend such a school as well. Sure, there are those who escape this cycle and have no desire to return to it, but the fact that this is still going on with 2nd, 3rd and even 4th generation Muslim immigrants, is worrying.

Comment Re:Fucking Spare Me (Score 1) 179

I agree with you. Those people are in fact deniers.
But in most conversations I've been, they were adamant on being labelled as "sceptics. Many of them state that they'll believe reliable evidence and then ask for such evidence. But in the end virtually everything will be shot down in many cases. Most commonly by ad hominem, nitpicking, strawmen, false dichotomies and similar things.

The most fruitful conversations I've had in these cases where, when people simply admitted that they they are mostly sceptical of the agendas of politicians and other powerful people/organisations. And again, I don't want to argue a strawman here myself. This is just an anecdote on my part.

Comment Re:Fucking Spare Me (Score 1) 179

If that only was true.
The forms of scepticism that I've encountered most frequently is the refusal of any data that is presented by any sources but themselves. (Note that not all of the sceptics are like this. But many of those with a particularly loud voice are like this)
Then it doesn't matter whether there are rather reliable temperature records for the past 200 years. Since the chair of IPCC was accused of sexual harassment every single thing that is connected with the issue must be a lie.

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