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Comment Re: Stop chasing the shiny (Score 1) 161

The non-replaceable batteries are more a function of being smaller and smaller. With quick charge, it's less necessary the first few years, and it's actually not too hard to replace the batteries with the right tools, or going to a shop.

As for the upgradable storage, that was more a function of the OS than anything else. Memory cards were originally mass storage devices running variants of FAT. While convenient, this caused a lot of problems - the Android security model requires processes not writing to each other's data or reading it (otherwise your games can steal credentials from your online banking, for example).

When running FAT on the memory card, any app with SD permissions could read all the files (a very bad thing), and it led to some real problems (such as very bad things being possible for users of LoJack, which included many Samsung Phones by preload. Disconnecting the mass storage would break apps that required the files on the card.

Addressing these issues first required the use of something like MTP (which uses a daemon and doesn't require exclusive access to the SD card). This makes it possible to write and read without breaking apps. Next, the card needed to be encrypted in order to protect the user data - otherwise, anyone who steals the phone can extract all the data on it. Locked boot loaders are designed to wipe the device when being unlocked for the first time, so that stolen devices aren't easily hacked.

Finally, cards needed to get fast enough to be functional as internal storage. Android marshmallow added support for external storage being treated as internal once those requirements could be met (accessible, secure, fast enough), and now we have phones that have external storage again. Apple does their own thing, but on the android side, it was more technical reasons than anything else for the lack of upgradable storage. It caused a lot of problems and took up space, so companies removed them.

You can see this with the Moto X. The X2 (second edition) took SD cards out. The pure edition added them back, using the same tray as the SIM card. Samsung's S5 had removeable batteries and external storage. The S6 took those out (for size and technical reasons). The S7 added the card back, but added quick charge instead of a removable battery, because the technical issues for the SD card have been addressed, but the size constraints stay.

Apple, on the other hand, wants to charge a bundle for more storage. They are control freaks, too, but the embedded encryption make external flash storage a viable option for them without losing that control. They may relax this requirement at some point - they finally made RAW photos an option in IOS 10, coming off external SD card. All data from an SD card has to be imported in their own app - it can't be read directly by other apps.

Comment Re: Stop chasing the shiny (Score 2) 161

The biggest advantage to buying new cars is consistency and ability to plan.

I've been running the same car since 2012. It had a catastrophic engine failure, just a little past the warranty. It cost me $8,000 to fix.

With a leased car (or a new car), I know exactly what my costs are, and if it breaks (like mine did on occasion during the warranty period), it's not my problem - it's theirs.

Comment Re: So? (Score 1) 751

As the head of the executive branch, Obama has selectively refused to enforce the law, reducing actual deportations significantly. President Trump is free to make enforcement of existing law a priority.

Illegal immigrants are already criminals; Trump won't need congressional approval to ramp up deportations significantly.

Comment Re: So? (Score 1) 751


More people increases GDP, but it does not increase wages, nor standard of living. Losing that GDP is ok, if there is upwards pressure on wages due to decreased supply, and increased disposable income to pay the now increased prices.

In other words, the country is poorer, but it's people (the working and middle class) are wealthier. I'm fine with that.

Comment Re: So? (Score 1) 751

Statistics Canada concluded that every 10% shift in the labour market resulted in a 4% shift in wages in the other direction.

In other words, more immigrants, poorer citizens and vice versa. Ultimately, immigrants increase the GDP, but that's not good for people with jobs. It's good for the government.

Comment Re:Errrrrrr, NO (Score 4, Interesting) 313

I wouldn't because it's safer not to. The stats are really clear. If you try to use your own weapon for self defence your likelihood of being shot dramatically increases.

That's not true at all.

There are two main ways of looking at the statistics. Both have their error rates. The first is to look at people who died by a gun who own a gun. This tends to lead to false positives, as it includes (for example) people who buy a gun but don't use it, as well as people who buy a gun because someone threatened them - they were going to end up shot anyway.

The second approach is to look at people who die by their own gun. This leads to false negatives, as there are indeed cases where drawing a firearm escalates a situation where there would not have been a homicide.

In addition to going with data gathering that includes false positives, the anti-gun crowd tends to lump in suicides in the "firearm deaths" statistics, which leads to more false positives (cases where people were going to kill themselves anyway). They also like to compare only "odds of dying from a firearm" between owners and non-owners, which is of course higher, for exactly the same reason that "odds of dying from a car" is higher when you own a car. The problem with this approach, is that it does not include the chance of self-defence, so it's impossible to have any other outcome. Even though the odds of dying may be lower, the odds of dying from a gun go up.

Recognizing that, even using the pessimistic numbers, you're still almost certainly safer with a firearm than without. Here's why:

In the US, if you are not a 18-25 year old black male, you are actually safer with a firearm than without. That single segment is responsible for a huge portion of both homicide victims and perpetrators.

In addition, there's also the matter of training. Parents who own pools are more likely to have their kids drown (unsurprisingly). Parents who teach their kids to swim are less likely than those who don't, even if they own a pool (also unsurprisingly). Likewise, the firearm statistics include people who carry that are stupid and untrained. Don't be one of those people, and your odds get even better still.

Likewise, if you have children who don't know how to use firearms, keeping loaded guns around the house makes negligent deaths far more likely. If you don't have kids, you're much safer.

On top of that, whether or not you are safer depends on whether you are likely to be a victim, and how strong you are. My 85 year old grandmother (for example) is not in a position to defend herself from a violent attacker. She has no children in the house whatsoever. For her, a bedside firearm is far, far, far more likely to defend her than to be used against her, as she's already in a position of weakness to any likely attacker.

I prefer to defend myself with gun control and a more equal, fair society

So, you prefer rule of the strong and the many. Good for you. Some of us have been assaulted (and have family members that have been, too). What would you say to rape victims - "just sit back and let it happen"? Scream, and hope he gives up? Guess what, he didn't.

On balance, that seems to work better than the American model.

If you subtract the black population, the firearms homicide rate is on the higher end of Europe. If you subtract the Hispanic population, the rate is closer to the low end of Europe.

The US doesn't have a gun problem. It has a minorities with guns problem.

Comment Re:Federal Law (Score 1) 55

The CFAA limits itself to protected computers, which largely applies to government, but does have a section for "knowingly and with intent to defraud, accesses a protected computer without authorization, or exceeds authorized access".

There was no intent to defraud here.

Alternatively, there is another section,

"knowingly causes the transmission of a program, information, code, or command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally causes damage without authorization, to a protected computer;
(B) intentionally accesses a protected computer without authorization, and as a result of such conduct, recklessly causes damage; or
(C) intentionally accesses a protected computer without authorization, and as a result of such conduct, causes damage and loss."

There was no damage to the computer here, nor loss.

"knowingly and with intent to defraud traffics (as defined in section 1029) in any password or similar information "

There was no trafficing in access codes.

"with intent to extort from any person any money or other thing of value"

There was no intent to extort.

Hackers usually get caught for fraud or extortion. Sometimes, they get "without authorization", but that applies mainly to government computers, bank computers, or things deemed important to national security. Damage works too, but that's more rare.

As an example, the guy who hacked AT&T picked a lot of the wrong data to grab.

According to authorities, they obtained the ICC-ID and e-mail address for about 120,000 iPad users, including dozens of elite iPad early adopters such as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, then-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, anchorwoman Diane Sawyer of ABC News, New York Times CEO Janet Robinson and Col. William Eldredge, commander of the 28th Operations Group at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, as well as dozens of people at NASA, the Justice Department, the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security and other government offices.

He also bragged about dropping AT&T's stock price, and using it to pump his security company's brand. He was convicted of fraud, and had previously been quoted as saying "I hack, I ruin, I make piles of money. I make people afraid for their lives.". He was in New Jersey, and exceeded access in furtherance of a tortious act. He was found guilty of conspiracy, the objects of which were "to cause monetary and reputational damage to AT&T and to create monetary and reputuational benefits for themselves".

These guys, as researchers, are not in the same league at all.

Comment Re:slippery slope (Score 1) 822

Apart from that being the only report that makes the claim "porn access reduces rape,"

I'm trying to stick with things that are reasonably open access.

Ferguson, Christopher J., and Richard D. Hartley. "The pleasure is momentary the expense damnable?: The influence of pornography on rape and sexual assault." Aggression and violent behavior 14.5 (2009): 323-329.

PDF at

Victimization rates for rape in the United States demonstrate an inverse
relationship between pornography consumption and rape rates
. Data from other nations have suggested
similar relationships. Although these data cannot be used to determine that pornography has a cathartic
effect on rape behavior, combined with the weak evidence in support of negative causal hypotheses from the
scientific literature, it is concluded that it is time to discard the hypothesis that pornography contributes to
increased sexual assault behavior.

Fisher, William A., et al. "Pornography, sex crime, and paraphilia." Current psychiatry reports 15.6 (2013): 1-8.

PDF at

On page 362, they have a chart showing that from 1995 to 2011, rates of forcible rape went from 37.1 per 100,000 to 26.6.

While we would not go as far as Ferguson and Hartley, it
does seem to us that in the context of very widespread and
unfettered access to essentially all types of sexually explicit
materials, rates of sex crime, indexed in a variety of ways,
have not increased and may have decreased

There are other studies that show a similar trend.

Comment Re:slippery slope (Score 3, Informative) 822

I'd like to see the study that not only shows correlation, but causation between access to porn and rape statistics.

There is a correlation, but it's in the other direction.

The results above suggest that potential rapists perceive pornography as a
substitute for rape. With the mass market introduction of the world wide web in the late-
1990’s, both pecuniary and non-pecuniary prices for pornography fell. The associated
decline in rape illustrated in the analysis here is consistent with a theory, such as that in
Posner (1994), in which pornography is a complement for masturbation or consensual
sex, which are themselves substitutes for rape, making pornography a net substitute for

There is research that suggests porn might have a causative relationship for reductions in rape, which would make a certain degree of sense, given that there will be fewer sexually frustrated men.

Comment Re: slippery slope (Score 3, Insightful) 822

What I am going to pass along is the fact that every single human being I've encountered in "real life" that said they had an allergy to "cigarette" smoke in fact had an allergy to other people smoking, and didn't like the smell

Hi. In the past, as a kid I referred to cigarette smoke sensitivity as an allergy. To be fair, I thought it was. Now, I recognize that it is, in fact, a migraine trigger.

If I'm lucky, exposure to cigarette smoke just leads to a pounding headache. That's what usually happens with brief exposure. With a little more exposure (as is often the case in Vegas), it escalates a bit and becomes a debilitating headache, followed by difficulty breathing and vomiting (after which I feel a little worse). In extreme cases (for example, when there was a fire alarm during class and egress was through the smokers outside the door, and I was not prepared and holding my breath), it results in temporary complete loss of vision, in addition to vomiting and the feeling of having my head put into a vice.

If you've never had the experience of going suddenly blind, it's absolutely, horribly terrifying, particularly when you don't know why. This was my first blindness, and I hadn't been officially diagnosed, so it was just a bizarre thing I talked to the doctor about - he thought it was swelling on the optic nerve and proscribed Benadryl.

You may not know people in person who are genuinely sensitive to smoke, but we exist. I will do my best to avoid you, but I don't necessarily know where you've been, and if I walk through a cloud, you can cause me hours and hours of literal agony.

I have a real, REAL HONEST allergy to certain perfumes and aftershaves, but that doesn't stop woman from drowning themselves in it, and it doesn't stop guys from swimming around in Axe body spray.

Those trigger migraines in me, too. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Comment Re:Pleas (Score 1) 584

The plea system is often broken because they use it to give the appearance of leniency while at the same time throwing the book at you. In reality it's to save court-time.

I'm very, very well aware.

For possession of a firecracker (no damage to people or property), I was forced to plead guilty to a felony in order to avoid a mandatory minimum 5 year sentence if convicted.

That's one of the ways that black people get screwed by the system. They are less likely to take the deal, and fight for their day in court. As the song goes, "I fought the law, and the law won."

Comment Re:This will be fun (Score 1) 584

That also ignores that a high population of blacks and hispanics are low-income families

No, it doesn't. In fact, that's exactly why the statistics are like that. Black and hispanic individuals are more likely to be poor. They are more likely to be criminals. Comparing similarly situated populations of whites and blacks (economically speaking), the black population commits more crime. Between non-hispanic whites and hispanic whites, the hispanic whites commit more crime. Between black populations and hispanic populations, the blacks commit more crime.

Poverty is also a factor, separate from race. So, when you remove blacks from the statistics, you get a decrease both because of the race, and because you eliminate a percentage of those in poverty. Likewise, when you remove those with the highest levels of poverty, you get a decrease in crime rates because of the poverty (for example, drug addicts of all race), as well as a decrease in crime rates because you also remove a disproportionately high rates of hispanic and black individuals. Because people in poverty (as a class), and white people (hispanic or not) as a class commit crimes at a lower rates than blacks (as a class), removing those in poverty will decrease rates, but not as high as simply removing black people.

If you swap the races--the whole country is rich blacks and we have a media dialogue of all the minority white people being held down by all the blacks--you'd get docile blacks and violent whites.

That doesn't mean we imagine race X is involved in more crime than race Y; it means race X gets to see more justifiable reason to involve itself in more crime than race Y, and behaves as a rational actor.

When speaking of data, it does mean that race X is involved in more crime than race Y. Justification is a function of ethics, I'm talking about data. There are ways to massage the laws (for example) to criminalize behaviour more likely to be seen in blacks than whites. On the other hand, there are also situations where whites are more likely to respond to criminalizing something than blacks are, so a law that isn't unreasonable at all will still have a disparate impact.

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