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Comment Re:Well, there goes the 4th Amendment again... (Score 1) 204

Go read that opinion again. (It's another Scalia one.)

In that case, the officer was (a) in a home and (b) did not have the homeowner's permission to take hold of anything. The home is what ramped the protections up to the max; the fact the homeowner did not consent to anything kept those protections in force.

It's much different from the driver of a car giving evidence directly to a cop. The protections were lesser, and the driver waived them.

Comment Re:Well, there goes the 4th Amendment again... (Score 1) 204

Please, go read the opinion again. Particularly read Scalia's opinion, where he lays out the reasons why an infrared camera is an illegal search of a home. It has to do with the fact the home is the bastion of the Fourth Amendment. There is literally nowhere that receives more Fourth Amendment protections than the home.

A set of blank cards, which someone voluntarily gives to the police, receives far less protection. If a cop asks me for a birthday card I'm holding, and I voluntarily hand it over, and the cop opens it up and finds I've tucked a baggie containing bump of cocaine inside, has the cop committed an illegal search? Under your logic, yes, since the bump wasn't in plain sight.

But the plain sight exception does not apply when the police have lawful possession of the evidence!

Good grief, man. This is high-school civics class stuff.

But seriously, read Scalia's opinion.

Comment Put it in perspective. (Score 2) 204

Alice and Bob are driving down the road when they're pulled over by cops. Alice is driving. Bob gets arrested on an outstanding warrant. As Bob's getting out of the car, the cops see a black plastic bag underneath Bob's seat. They ask Alice about the bag. She says, "This? Oh, it's just oregano, officers. A lot of oregano. No, we don't have receipts for it, and, uh, we bought it at ... err, from some guy. But it's just oregano. See?", and gives it to the cop. The cop, upon opening the baggie, sees what looks like oregano. But the volume of the oregano is much more than you'd need for a pizza, so the cop figures it might be marijuana and decides to run a field test on it. Ultimately this field test is turned over to the State Police, which are able to conclusively say it's marijuana. Bob is now facing marijuana possession charges and complains his Fourth Amendment rights were violated.

That's exactly what happened here. The defendant was arrested on an outstanding warrant, the arresting officer asked what was in the bag, the driver gave the bag over and said he and the defendant bought 143 gift cards from "someone", but couldn't identify whom, nor provide any receipts, and their business plan was to "resell" these cards for a profit. Put all that together and it's on the same level as telling the cop your weed is oregano -- it's a lie that's completely transparent.

Since the cops were given the evidence, they did not seize it illegally. Since the cops had an incriminating statement from one of the participants, they had probable cause to check for illegality. Legal seizure plus probable cause equals go directly to jail, do not collect a $200 gift card.

This Slashdot headline is misleading to the point of being journalistic malpractice.

Comment Re:Stay out of the way (Score 4, Informative) 169

= = = Stay out of the way and let the people sort it out. Government interference always makes things worse = = =

Actually, in its response to the FERC's requirement to develop plans for geomagnetic events the US provision-of-electricity industry explicitly said that preparations for ordinary geomagnetic storms (say up to G5-) were its responsibility, but preparation for catastrophic events such as G5+ Carringon Events was not within its capability and should be undertaken by government.


Comment Re:Overstepping Constitutional authority (Score 3, Informative) 169

= = = If there is no Law that permits the executive branch to prepare for space weather, than the President is not permitted to order it. = = =

So back in the early-mid 1990s when the Internet was a new thing to most people/organizations and US Government agencies started using their discretionary funds to build websites to provide information to Citizens, that was impermissible because there was no law authorizing it? Interesting. In fact, I'd be surprised if even today there is a specific law authorizing Executive Branch agencies to "build websites" or "use the Internet".


Comment Re:Like it would have mattered (Score 1) 176

I don't have a link for the specific article, but Washington University reported that they would have 8 portable cell towers in operation to supplement the usual service ( https://debate.wustl.edu/ ). That compares to the 1992 debate, when they had the phone company install 3500 temporary phone lines and converted athletic building showers into film developing cubicles [1]


fn1: still the 1904 Olympics gym and locker room at that time with heavy-duty tile everwhere

Comment Re:Not equally (Score 1) 867

= = =
Also this year, Bernie Sanders was a serious contender to succede Obama as head of the Democrats (and the country).
The ideology of the Democrat party, led by Obama, is similar to the ideology of Bernie Sanders.
Bernie Sanders says Bernie Sanders is a Communist, the country's best-known Communist.
Obama might not exactly *be* a communist, but he's on the same team as the leading US Communist
= = =

I've been reading online discussions for 34 years and that is one of the most amazing leaps of mis-logic I've ever seen.

Minor point: Sanders is a self-describe Socialist, not Communist. Bit of a difference.

Second point: Sanders' socialism is the good old fashioned 'democratic socialism' that rebuilt Europe from 1950-1970, not even close to the full-scale socialism proposed in the 1920s-30s (and at other times).

Third point: Sanders, although not a member of the Democratic Party, was a serious candidate for the Democratic nomination for President. He was not a "serious contender" and had a very small chance of actually winning (probably less than 10%)

Finally, being a serious candidate for a party office does not mean that one's ideology thereby infects that party, much less retroactively infect previously elected officeholders. Barack Obama not only married into a South Side family he became a standard South Side conservative Democrat and is overall to the conservative side of the median USian. He'd be the successor to Eisenhower if the Republicans could bear to let him join the country club.


Comment Connection? (Score 2) 111

= = = While this deal is being negotiated, Samsung's mobile phone business has been navigating a recall of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones over issues with batteries catching fire and exploding.= = =

I doubt there is much more connection between Samsung's printer and cell phone divisions than there is between their printer and guided missile destroyer units.


Comment Re:Apple CPU design (Score 1) 324

That's a good question. My guess is probably not, at least at the level where there is direct consumer interaction. I would think camera manufacturers would have been interested in the Lightning connector for example but I never heard a hint of discussions in the photo hardware press, leading me to think there were none. [presumably Apple in engages in the patent/technology horsetrading along with all other high-tech firms]


Comment Apple CPU design (Score 3, Interesting) 324

Apple's CPU design work doesn't seem to get much coverage outside the highly technical trade press, but they have and continue to produce great designs on the ARM base. Not sure if their license allows them to sell their chips to 3rd parties, but I'd think both the 9 and 10 series would be attractive to many systems designers (aerospace, etc). Also wondering if Apple is moving toward at least a dual-CPU (x86 + A10, say) design for the next generation of Macintosh.


Comment Re:What liberal arts actually means (Score 1) 420

A BA in a science is a BS with the math and other difficult parts removed.

I said that was true for institutions which offered both. And even then, it's not that math is removed -- it's that a couple of upper-level courses covering esoteria are removed to make room for a better grounding in the humanities.

My friends with BAs in math did the full gamut of differential and integral calculus, number theory, differential equations, analysis, linear algebra, statistics, and more. Even as a CompSci major I took differential and integral calculus, differential equations, and statistics.

Comment Re:What liberal arts actually means (Score 4, Insightful) 420

Liberal arts is rooted in theoretical nonsense...

I hold a B.A. in computer science from a fairly good private college. One of my best friends graduated with a triple-major B.A. in physics, mathematics, and computer science, from the same institution. Other close friends from undergrad received B.A. degrees in chemistry, biology, geology, environmental science, and botany.

In fact, my undergrad alma mater doesn't offer the B.Sc. degree at all.

In 20 years in the software industry, not once has anyone ever asked whether I hold a B.A. or a B.Sc. It's a total nonissue. Some institutions offer the B.A., some offer the B.Sc., some offer both but differentiate them on how many differential calculus classes you've taken.

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