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Comment Re:At least they'll announce it in public... (Score 1) 111

Courts have acknowledged that the bulk collection and instant availability of data can lead to not just a qualitative but an actual quantitative difference in what that collection means. More important, I don't care what the law says, I don't think it's a good thing for the state's security agencies to be that efficient or that powerful. Whether or not this falls within the current legal definition of what's legal in the current regime is irrelevant.

Comment Re:I don't want robots making my pizza (Score 1) 208

Who the *$%* does this moron think he is?

Somebody who thinks human beings have a higher purpose in life than doing a robot's job badly?

Which I agree with. Because I'm a marxist. Ownership of the means of and profits from production belong to the workers.

If you have that sort of resource (re) distribution than humans can pursue that higher purpose.

If you have the sort of exploitive capitalist oligarchy we currently have in America then automation produces an even larger class of even more contingent workers at the mercy of the predatory owners of capital. Tough to pursue your higher purpose when you're starving.

Comment Re:publicly available information (Score 1) 95

Voter registration information is a public record. It is publicly available. In some states you have to send a letter and a few bucks for the DVD it's copied on. In others you have to check a TOS like form to promise not to use the data for commercial communications. Etc.

Voter registration is public information and it should be.

Who owns guns absolutely should not be held in any government database. There are laws that restrict exactly that (on the federal level). But don't kid yourself. California explicitly records the sale of every gun in a state DOJ database. Is it legal? Probably not. And if you've got 10 years and a few million bucks to spare on a quixotic pursuit of justice, you can try and prove it.

Comment Re:Translation (Score 3, Funny) 361

Why does it work better for porn? That would be a brilliant market niche that would provide a great point of differentiation with a motivated audience. I can see the problem with getting the word out, though. I can imagine the ads now, and I don't think they'd work well with MSFT's overall brand strategy.

Comment If you're not already boycotting Disney... (Score 1) 164

...then you're a bad person.

Did you forget how they treated their IT people? I found out about it here of /. The whole, replace them with H1-B workers, make them train the replacements thing.

I skipped Deadpool over it. Bummer, it looks really good, but I'll just have to wait for a copy to pop up on bittorrent. My wife and I really wanted to go. But I couldn't look at myself in the mirror if I supported them with my $.

Comment Republicans are often the only... (Score 1) 69

...politicians who are able to show any sense about criminal justice issues.

This isn't because they're any better on the issue. It's because they have the freedom to actually use their heads. Democrats are, in general, too terrified of being Willie Horton-ed to do anything but try and prove their tough on crime. Give the police anything they want, whore for the district attorneys and the prison guards, appoint prosecutors to the bench, etc., etc., etc. That's why Bill Clinton signed the (terrible) 1994 crime bill, and why California Governor Gray Davis issued a blanket ban on parole for murder convictions.

The terrible thing is that means the only remotely sane criminal justice policy comes from some Republicans. They aren't actually any good on the issues. A lot of time they've just decided something like "locking up all these poor folks and black folks for years on end costs so much I can't afford to give any more tax cuts to the rich." But they're better than the terrified Dems.

As Spock once told Kirk: "Only Nixon can go to China."

Comment Re:probably really for grow-ops (Score 1) 173

Actually the weed industry is a lot smaller here than I'd expected, it's regulated a lot more tightly, and there is a LOT of police activity focused on shutting down unlicensed grow operations. I moved here from Humboldt County, California and I was shocked to find weed here is scarcer and more expensive than it is there.

Comment Do you want government discriminating like this? (Score 1) 173

The Grant Public Utility District is a public -- meaning government -- agency. Do you really want government agencies deciding some businesses should pay higher rates than others? Maybe under very specific circumstances, but I'd be very skeptical of this in general.

While the PUD talks about 'recovering costs,' there is a very good argument that what this is about is about the incumbent business interests -- in this case agriculture -- making the newcomers subsidize them by paying higher rates. These guys may be farmers in the sticks, but they aren't dumb, they've got political power and they see a group of newcomers coming to town with a bunch of money and they're figuring out how to make some money off them.

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