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Comment Re:Varied opinions (Score 1) 541

First, I feel that Snowden should actually have his day in court and present his case before anything related to a pardon or commutation is discussed. The American people need to see and hear both his and the government's position and evidence in a more balanced, less sensational environment than the MSM gives us.

The only question that would be debated at trial, or on which any evidence could be presented, is whether or not Snowden stole secrets. The government has overwhelming evidence that he did, including his own repeated admission, to many people, in many forums, many of them recorded and nearly all of them perfectly admissible. There would be no arguments presented as to whether his decision was justified because it was in the public interest, because that has absolutely no bearing on his guilt under the Espionage Act. The only place that would be argued is in his lawyers' appellate pleadings.

So, a trial would do nothing to enable the public to hear the sides. The trial would consist of the government submitting into evidence many pieces of proof of Snowden's act, and Snowden's complete inability to disprove any of it. It's more likely he'd just plead guilty to avoid wasting a court's time -- and making a judge who has to sentence him angry.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 4, Informative) 541

IWould prefer a trial where he would be allowed to make his case. Manning wasn't afforded that opportunity either.

Huh? Manning was convicted - hence there was a trial. What use would another trial be?

Well for one it would be a trial against Snowden, not against Manning. And the request was for "a trial where [the defendant] would be allowed to make his case", not a secret trial by a Mickey Mouse court with a pre-determined outcome.

Under the offense Snowden has been charged with, they could have a fully public and perfectly fair trial but the outcome would be completely known in advance. The Espionage Act includes no provision for justification as a defense, so the only question to be tried is whether or not Snowden stole secrets, and there's absolutely no question that he did. Snowden's only hopes if he were to be tried are (a) that the trial judge would hand down a very light sentence, (b) to have his conviction appealed to the Supreme Court who might find that the Espionage Act's lack of a public interest defense constitutes an unacceptable infringement of freedom of speech or (c) a presidential pardon. (a) is unlikely because you can be sure the government would pick a "good" judge, and (b) is a crapshoot, and one that would leave him rotting in jail for years until SCOTUS ruled, assuming they ruled in his favor.

Snowden's best move is exactly what he's doing, staying away until some president decides to pre-emptively do (c). His current status likely also positions him better to generate ongoing publicity in opposition to government spying since it makes him a more controversial and/or tragic figure.

Comment Re:Sounds familiar (Score 1) 91

It's hard to charge a user for a back-end system.

Said no bank executive, ever.

FWIW, I've heard bank executives say pretty much exactly that. Typically they don't say "charge a customer", they couch it in other terms like "recoup investment", "generate revenues", etc., but they definitely say it, because it's true.

Comment Re:Infrastructure vs Independence (Score 1) 439

You suck at brain-work. You've forgotten about all of the people who live on the east side of the mountain, but used to live on the west side of the mountain.

You've, instead, re-stated my point. The reason that the mountains aren't full of people is exactly because there was fuel to let them continue on to the other side.

No, he's quite right. Most people don't drive through mountain ranges on a regular basis. I don't, and I live in the mountains. And have an electric car.

Of course, if your lifestyle does include driving hundreds of miles on a regular basis, then EVs aren't for you. Not yet, anyway. But that doesn't change the fact that they work very well for lots of other people.

Submission + - Law for Autonomous Vehicles: Supporting an Aftermarket for Driving Computers (perens.com)

Bruce Perens writes: How will we buy self-driving cars, and how will we keep them running as self-driving software and hardware becomes obsolete much more rapidly than the vehicle itself? Boalt Hall legal professor Lothar Determann and Open Source Evangelist Bruce Perens are publishing an article in the prestigious Berkeley Technology Law Journal on how the law and markets might support an aftermarket for self-driving computers, rather than having the manufacturer lock them down or sell driving as a service rather than selling cars. The preprint is available to read now, and discusses how an Open Car, based on Open Standards and an Open Market, but not necessarily Open Source, can drive prices down and quality up over non-competitive manufacturer lock-in.

Comment Re:Swearing (Score 1) 265

Experiments prove that swearing when in pain reduces the pain.

Google Stephen Fry and Brian Blessed video for a pop-science demonstration of such.

And in such instances, "fake" swear words do not have the same effect, even if you know what they stand for...

So... swear words are magic? I don't buy it. They may have an effect in people who normally think and use them, but that certainly can't be true for those who don't.

Comment Re:IT is amazing (Score 3, Informative) 90

Most folks drink stale coffee. Try roasting your own (I use Sweet Maria's for supplies) or going somewhere with a roaster on site who is honest enough to tell you the roast date. It should be from 2 to 10 days ago. Flavor development in coffee is a rancidification process. Like cheese, you want to catch it when it is a little, but not too, rancid.

Comment Re:...Or Just Take Aspirin. (Score 2) 90

Let's not forget the effect of helicobacter pylori bacteria on ulcers, they are in general held to be the main cause these days.

I have another theory about the beneficial effect of aspirin, caffine, etc. We evolved with them. Our diet was rich in salycilates and chemicals similar to theobromine or caffine. They came from the plants we ate, some of which were mildly toxic and which we evolved to process to the point that we became dependent on some of their effects. There are a lot of things in the primitive diet that modern people don't eat much at all, like acorns which had to be soaked to remove alkalai and tannin.

If this is the case, taking aspirin and drinking coffee or tea replace substances found in a more primitive diet.

Comment Re:It's about landmass (Score 1) 439

So if you only need a non-EV a dozen times per year, have you considered renting for those trips? You can rent a small (but decent) car for about $30 per day. Assuming each of your long trips was for two days, that would run you about $600 per year in rental fees. Whether or not fuel savings the rest of the year would offset that cost depends on many, many factors. Of course, this assumes that you have a car rental location within driving distance for your EV, but unless you're really out in the sticks, you probably do.

on top of which it's extremely expensive for what it is

Perhaps. I find that I really *like* driving an EV. The relatively high acceleration, especially off the line, plus the silence -- and the ability to warm the car up with the garage door closed on a cold morning -- are nice. I enjoy driving an EV more than I enjoy driving a combustion-powered vehicle, which is worth something to me.

I should mention that I own two vehicles. One is an EV (Nissan LEAF) which we use for running around. We live 20 miles from town, but it has enough range to run into town, do some running around, and get home. If we absolutely need it, there's a quick charger in town that we can use to "top up" to get home. 15 minutes there gives us enough charge to get home, but it's rare that we need it. My other vehicle is a full-sized pickup truck (Ford F350) with a big diesel V8. We use that for hauling stuff, towing stuff (boat, tractor (on flatbed trailer), camp trailer, etc.), tooling around in the mountains, etc. We sometimes use the pickup for long trips, but usually if we don't actually need the pickup we rent a small car. It's cheaper than feeding that big diesel (which gets 15-19 mpg).

My LEAF is leased and the lease expires next month. I normally buy vehicles and drive them until they die, but EVs were new enough that I wanted to be able to walk away. I think we're going to go test drive the Chevy Bolt, and if we like it we'll get one of those. We like EVs, but would appreciate just a little more range than the LEAF gets us -- to ensure we never have to stop at that quick charger.

Comment Re:Swearing (Score 4, Insightful) 265

People who don't swear scare the fucking life out of me.

I don't, except in circumstances where I'm deliberately trying to shock, or at least surprise. It's not a matter of "repression", it's that profanity is not part of my vocabulary. You assume that people who don't swear are "repressing" or "censoring" themselves, but that assumption presumes that they actually do swear in their internal dialogue, but then don't say it out loud. But I don't use profanity in my internal dialogue, either, though I suppose I have some stand-in words (dang, etc.) which fill more or less the same purpose.

To put it another way, a good friend of mine like to say "If you don't scream FUCK when you hit your thumb with a hammer, your head will explode." My response is "When I hit my thumb with a hammer, I'm in way too much pain to go to the effort of remembering to scream FUCK." He's assuming that the curse word will be naturally present and that if you don't scream it it's because you're holding it back. For me, the curse word just isn't there, so what happens when I hit my thumb is a wordless howl of pain. No repression involved, and my head remains intact.

In addition, I think profanity is generally counterproductive. Rather than saying that something is "fucking stupid", why not spend two more seconds thinking, and articulate why it's stupid, or what about it is stupid? Your phrase accomplishes exactly nothing other than to make people understand that you're angry. It conveys no other information and does nothing to rectify the stupidity. Also, it's pretty common that when people bother to think about what exactly it is that's making them mad, they discover that, in fact, it's not stupid and that they just hadn't thought the whole situation through.

Finally, I find that the fact that I hardly ever use profanity makes it a really powerful tool on the rare occasions I do choose to use it. Those who use it constantly have basically nowhere to go when the situation deserves a really strong statement.

Comment Re: most vulnerabilities != most vulnerable (Score 1) 147

because people report vulnerabilities against very old versions of Android which, while they do still exist in the wild, constitute a fairly small number of devices...

Android KitKat, which was released in 2013, is still being used on 22.1% of the devices out there. And 36.3% of the devices out there run KitKat or older versions of Android.

Gingerbread 1.0% Ice Cream Sandwich 1.1% Jelly Bean 11.6% KitKat 22.6%

Very true, and part of the reason that the Play store and Verified Apps protections are so important.

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