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Comment Re:good luck with that. (Score 1) 276

A US CBP Agent absolutely can prevent a U.S. Citizen from entering the country. So can a ICE officer. But more likely they will call your device "contraband" and seize it, and you may be subject to extensive "interviews." (read: interrogation).

Remember that CBP has a long memory -- if you do anything off-color, you will be flagged for extra attention forevermore. Argue with them once and you'll be on their shit list forever. Don't declare something and get called on it and you'll be on their shit list forever.

It is best not to fuck with immigration officials.

Comment Re:good luck with that. (Score 1) 276

Nope. Not really. Because you have willingly interacted with enforcement agents, your rights are different. Suggest you read this: https://www.eff.org/wp/defendi...

Here's the pertinent part:

"If a border agent asks you to provide an account password or encryption passphrase or to decrypt data stored on your device, you don’t have to comply. Only a judge can force you to reveal information to the government, and only to the extent that you do not have a valid Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.38

However, if you refuse to provide information or assistance upon request, the border agent may seize your device for further inspection or consider you uncooperative, which the agent may take into consideration when deciding whether to allow you to enter the United States."

The case cited in the Ars Technica article is a different situation because the plaintiff/defendant unwillingly interacted with law enforcement. By approaching the US Border and "willingly" interacting with CBP and/or ICE you give up a certain amount of rights. Same is true with a TSA checkpoint.

So... "Good luck with that!"

Comment millions still using incandescent bulbs (Score 1) 217

Millions of Americans (hundreds of millions, really) are still using incandescent light bulbs, a technology that is almost 150 years old.

Millions of Americans are still driving cars powered by internal combustion engines, a 150 year old technology.

What's the problem with a 60 year old programming language? Should these agencies re-write to run on a 40 year old operating system using a language based on another 40 year old language? Hell! maybe they should re-write the whole stack in Rails! We've seen how successful that has worked out.

That old code, with some new code too, running on modern mainframes forms the backbone of the worlds business. Mainframe technology, though seemingly dated and arcane, is extremely robust and supports exceptionally high volumes using COBOL and in many cases, mainframe assembler.

You don't replace something because it is old, you replace it when the economics of not fixing it demand replacement.

Comment it wasn't always this bad. (Score 1) 267

I am by no means a Apple or Mac Fanboy, but I must say that iTunes 4 was pretty decent. I used to use it to play music as well as loading my iPod.

That was the last version that was usable. iTunes 5 sucked, and every version since has sucked harder.

Now I only start iTunes to mess with what is stored on my iPod. I should probably convert to RockBox

I will not hesitate to bitch about the new iPods, disposable pieces of crap that they are. I'm on my 2nd iPod, and I intend to keep it running as long as possible: a iPod Video 30GB from gen 5. It's on it's third battery, and last Summer I replaced the internal 30 GB drive with a SD card (which sadly is not easily removable.) It works better than any other player I've used, though when if finally dies I will simply stream everything from "the cloud."

Comment there's an inflection, all right. (Score 1) 431

Our grandparents' parents electric lights and telephone are now the internet and wireless and google and wikipedia -- nearly instant access to nearly the sum of human knowledge nearly anywhere.

There's an inflection in the productivity graph, yes, but it is opposite of what Gordon says, productivity will go up, not just in the USA but worldwide.

Comment Re:Why New Hampshire? (Score 4, Informative) 388

1. it is a small state, with about 1.3 million residents
2. it is a rich state, #6 on per-capita income and household income
3. there are jobs to be had, the state has a favorable economic climate
4. there's a lot to do, mountains, lakes, the ocean.
5. no sales tax, no income tax (OTOH property taxes are very high)

Comment Visit your local store. (Score 1) 138

Visit your local surplus stores and buy stuff. Let's keep these places in business.

Or when traveling. If you go to Orlando, you should visit Skycraft. You can spend a long time browsing in there. And buy stuff the TSA is never gonna let you take on the plane.

ESS in Manchester NH is a good place for some odd stuff, too.

And as one other poster mentioned, there are a lot of components and other oddities to be had at hamfests, especially the bigger ones.

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