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Comment Re:I still don't get it. (Score 1) 128

you will find that ransomware doesn't actually fall under this definition

Only under strict-common law. If you read further down:

Most jurisdictions have statutes governing extortion that broaden the common-law definition. Under such statutes, any person who takes money or property from another by means of illegal compulsion may be guilty of the offense. When used in this sense, extortion is synonymous with blackmail, which is extortion by a private person.

Comment Hard to believe (Score 1) 258

he wanted to avoid having to later repurchase books purged from the shelf

I volunteer at our local library's used bookstore where some of our donations are withdrawals. I guess the obvious question is why would they be repurchased if they weren't circulating in the first place? What's also left out of TFS is that library circulation is often used as a metric for a branch's success, as market share is for internet startups (that don't necessarily generate profit). The excuse looks more like a fig leaf to promote the branch supervisor.

TFS does touch upon a more general discussion about what books the local branch should stock, or whether there even should be local branches in the day of Amazon and Netflix. Gaming circulation certainly doesn't help the cause for keeping local branches.

Finally, low circulation doesn't (or shouldn't) automatically point to withdrawal and books are withdrawn if they become 'damaged'. Typically issues develop with the bindings as book drops literally are, and they ain't a binding them like they used to. One of our group used to repair bindings to keep the books in circulation longer.

Comment Re:Are you kidding? (Score 3, Insightful) 207

who gives a flying...

People who really care about typography or the presentation of their content.

my manual typewriter only had quotes in one direction

Indeed. Though typical typewriters weren't intended to generate content for mass consumption. Back in the day personal computers were supposed to change that by enabling desktop publication. (Recall the Mac/PC is Not a Typewriter books by Robin Williams.) However as the media for consuming written content migrated from paper to screen, things got a lot more complicated and in some ways a step back is taken here and there. Eliminating curly braces might be one of those small steps back.

Comment Re:Question (Score 2) 146

Until a few years ago we used MS DOS 7.1 to host (alas no longer supported) software for pointing and tracking at our observatory. While we migrated to Windows based software, and from stepper to brushless DC servo motors, I've held onto the DOS system to upgrade an even older non-computer controlled telescope mount. The software's actually pretty good for for it does, with a decent UI and nice functionality (e.g. RS232 hooks to outside control, non-sidereal tracking capability). The software relies on an ISA digital I/O board to talk to the stepper motors. While I've not tried FreeDOS it's nice to know there's potentially another option.

Comment Re:Reagan Air Traffic Controllers Strike again.... (Score 1) 858

Trump is fucking civilian

Trump is the president elect working on his transition. Unless his request can be shown to be unduly burdensome he should be given the courtesy of a reply. I'm no fan of Trump but fuck the DoE bureaucrats for hiding behind "respect[ing] the professional and scientific integrity and independence of our employees" and playing into his hand. Trump has the right to turn it into his own Travelgate if he wishes.

Comment Re:Know that "privilege" you like to talk about? (Score 1) 280

poor single parent household kids who refuse to be educated

I think this is a bit over simplified. At the earliest ages I don't believe the kids "refuse". It's likely they get less resources (esp. teacher quality) and hence fall behind early on. Then as they become socially promoted through the grades there's a mutual understanding with the school bureaucracy that there's little hope of catching up. Poor single parent households are not likely to helicopter over their kids to ensure the school bureaucracy provides decent resources the way other households might. In part it's due to their own limited resources (e.g. time, perhaps language) as well as to what I'd call culture.

Comment Re:Not a proper study, get this astroturf out of h (Score 1) 74

My thinking was that all the trial patients should have been forced to go through the onerous EM exercise with a random half actually getting the EM treatment in addition to everyone receiving standard treatment. I don't think this was the case and it's possible that there were selection biases towards those who were able choose(?) to go through the EM therapy. If there was some conflict with EM therapy and the standard treatment then some placebo for standard treatment should be used as well. The idea of course is that nobody knows or can tell who's getting what treatment during the trial. How practical that is and the ethics involved are above my pay grade.

Comment It's a placebo Re:oh no (Score 1) 297

The bloody veterinarian here in town sells that crap. There's a store here, a "healthfood store" that sells all manner...

I think they're selling the placebo effect. The vet may actually be selling it to placebo (sorry for using it as an adj.) calm anxieties of the pet owner. I don't think placebos work as well if you slap a placebo label on a sugar pill.

Comment Re:Different sets of laws (Score 1) 1368

what you guys need is different sets of laws

We already have that to some extent at the state, county and city level. California (CA) just authorized legal pot. One issue is there can be too many jurisdictions that can easily cause confusion, especially in our 'modern age' where mobility is much easier than in the past. I recall on business trips to Alabama where it was indeed confusing whether one was in a dry county or not (counties are typically smaller there than in CA). Another issue revolves around rights and such, where here I'm thinking of the states rights arguments used by the right and racists during the 50's and 60's.

Comment Re:Disheartening (Score 2) 164

I hope you reconsider, because this is one of the more interesting articles I've read here in a long time.

I agree. I think what's most important is what ultimately becomes a 'story'. As for the comments it's not too difficult to filter the dross. Any dearth of quality might be expected on a story such as this, where expert knowledge of the subject matter is beyond the ken of even most nerds.

Comment Re:The whitewash continues (Score 1) 733

The main point still stands that whoever was responsible for enabling classified content to breach the security perimeter which it originated in should be held to account, as breaching the perimeter at best demonstrates criminal negligence. That no one, neither government, media or politicians have followed up on this is something of a mystery. My guess is that media and politicians have their blinders on while their spotlight is focused exclusively on HRC. The government is, surprise, simply incompetent, happy to sweep things under the rug while nobody else is looking.

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