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Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

BitterOak I'd be happy if 4:3 came back! (187 comments)

Forget square monitors, I'd be happy if 4:3 made a comeback. Yes, I know they still exist, but they're a lot harder to find than they used to be. Go to any Best Buy or Staples and all you see are 16:9. Those are great for watching movies, but I prefer to watch movies on my TV and do work on my computer. And for pretty much all work except video and movie editing, 4:3 is better. I'm currently working on an old Samsung 4:3 which is starting to give me trouble (making strange noises and going dark at random times requiring me to cycle the power on the monitor.) I hope I won't have too much trouble replacing it when it dies.

6 hours ago
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UK Hotel Adds Hefty Charge For Bad Reviews Online

BitterOak Re: Ask the credit card for a refund (302 comments)

With businesses acting like this all over the place, communism ain't lookin' so bad these days.

Until you write a negative review of the government, that is.

3 days ago
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NYT: Privacy Concerns For ClassDojo, Other Tracking Apps For Schoolchildren

BitterOak Re:Custody review? What! Huge red flag here. (66 comments)

In what jurisdiction is it common, or even allowed, that a child's teacher (and his or her opinions about how the child performs when he's living with mom vs. dad) becomes a party to a parental custody hearing? It sounds to me like this information is being used waaaaay "off-label."

In just about any jurisdiction, custody battles often get vicious, with both parties using whatever information they can to discredit the other. Many witnesses may be called, some of whom may have very limited knowledge of the parties concerned. It is not surprising that teachers, which have a great deal of knowledge of student behavior and emotional state will have relevant things to say in such hearings.

4 days ago
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Former Police Officer Indicted For Teaching How To Pass a Polygraph Test

BitterOak Re:First Post (328 comments)

He screwed up.

Lesson #1, Question #1: "Are you guys cops?"

Doesn't work. Cops are allowed to lie and they routinely do during sting operations.

about a week ago
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R. A. Montgomery, Creator of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" Books, Dead At 78

BitterOak Re: Font (80 comments)

The body text of the books (and the obit.) is in a font called Souvenir.

about a week ago
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Study: Body Weight Heavily Influenced By Heritable Gut Microbes

BitterOak Re:Oh no (297 comments)

Of course it's not meaningless. Those calories are energy. If I ingest 1800 calories, and burn 1400, but poop out 400, I will maintain my weight, despite not burning as many calories as I ingested. If I have gut bacteria that break down certain long chain sugars so that that I can now ingest them, I will instead only poop out 200, and start gaining weight, despite eating the same thing, and doing the same amount of exercise.

Well, the answer in that case is simple: eat less. The amount you eat should be determined by how much exercise you get AND by how efficiently your digestive system processes calories. If your digestive system extracts more calories from food than someone else, you need to eat less. It's that simple.

about two weeks ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

BitterOak Re:Nothing? (429 comments)

OK, sorry, should have said ""X doesn't happen after Y" is an invariant" (there don't exist reference frames such that X happens before Y in one frame and X happens after Y in another frame).

That's only true for timelike separated events. (I.e. events such that a light pulse sent from the earlier event would reach the position of the later event before it occurs.) It is most definitely NOT true for spacelike separated events. This doesn't violate causality though because spacelike separated events cannot possibly influence each other since information can't travel faster than light.

about two weeks ago
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Amazon's Luxembourg Tax Deals

BitterOak Re:Tax collection for hire (200 comments)

Of course, there are people, like the parent, that are too stupid to understand how taxation work in the first place. So things like tax heavens are completely over their heads.

True, I was so stupid, I used to think they were called "tax havens", not "tax heavens". But I guess you enjoy paying taxes so much, you consider it a heavenly experience.

about two weeks ago
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Amazon's Luxembourg Tax Deals

BitterOak Re:Tax collection for hire (200 comments)

This would appear to be a bug in the international tax system.

Quite the contrary. It's not a bug it's a feature. The kind of deal Amazon was able to strike with Luxembourg is an important defense against overly greedy countries (like the U.S.) which try to tax more than they should be entitled to. Note that the story says this is only about non-U.S. earning. Why should the U.S. be entitled to taxes on non-U.S. earnings?

If Luxembourg is willing to offer lower tax rates than other countries, why shouldn't Amazon accept? It's no different than choosing to shop at a store that offers the lowest prices.

about two weeks ago
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Satellites Spot Hidden Villages In Amazon

BitterOak Re:Perspective. (84 comments)

There was a really good TV show (fiction) called Amazon that ran around 2000 or so, but lasted only one season unfortunately. It dealt with some of these issues. It's available on DVD, but unfortunately it ends with a cliffhanger that was never resolved. Really awesome show though. Kind of like Lost, which came years later, only much better in my opinion.

about two weeks ago
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Australian Courts Will Be Able To See Your Browsing History

BitterOak Sadly, not surprising. (182 comments)

What's depressing is that Australians probably won't take to the streets about this issue.

Really? I'm surprised Australians are even still allowed to take to the streets!

about three weeks ago
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Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

BitterOak Re:Constitutions CAN be useful, if honored. (475 comments)

Not true. In order to conform to Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, the new act only prohibits images that are obscene. In other words, it isn't enough that the (cartoon) images depict children having sex, the images must depict children having sex and ALSO must be obscene. Obscene speech was never protected by the U.S. Constitution. Cartoon images are no exception.

about a month ago
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Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

BitterOak Re: Moral Imperialism (475 comments)

Just FYI, the rule against illegal cartoons exists in the USA too. The Supreme Court struck down attempts to use CP laws in this way as being obvious nonsense, so Congress just went ahead and amended the law to make it explicitly illegal as opposed to implicitly illegal.

True. Then the U.S. Supreme Court struck down that law as well.

about a month ago
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Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

BitterOak Re: I don't follow (370 comments)

It's general knowledge in typography that Helvetica is the most legible typeface.

Citations please?

about a month ago
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

BitterOak Re:The Actual Issue (323 comments)

The parents were notified of the defamation and took no action to close the FB account, which remained available for another 11 months. The parents were held directly liable for failing to act once notified, not for what was posted on the fake FB account.

And Facebook was notified of the defamation and took no action for 11 months. Why is Facebook not liable? After all, Facebook had the technical ability to delete the account; the parents did not. For all we know, the kid may have even forgotten the password.

about a month ago
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

BitterOak Re:I don't get it. (323 comments)

If you read either the article or the judgment, Facebook refused when the girl's parents contacted them. They said that only the original creator of the account could delete it.

Then Facebook is lying, cause they delete fake profiles all the time. If Facebook knew they were hosting defamatory content and didn't subsequently take steps to delete it, then it is Facebook that should be sued here, not the parents of the kid who created the fake page. For all we know, the kid may have forgotten the password!

about a month ago
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

BitterOak I don't get it. (323 comments)

If the remarks were truly defamatory, then couldn't the girl or her parents simply get Facebook to delete the fake profile?

about a month ago
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FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

BitterOak Re:I don't trust it (284 comments)

All those "Nothing to stop" scenarios you threw out there are irrrelevant. They are more work and the FBI doesn't want more work. Due process is more work and they don't want that! So why on Earth would they "discuss with Apple" or "plant a malicious app" or anything else?

But if that's the case, then the current speeches by the FBI director are counterproductive to those aims. The only people who would choose not to buy an iPhone as a result of his comments are honest people. If anything, his speeches would encourage criminals to buy iPhones. Surely that can't be what the FBI wants, if it really is as hard to get at their data as he claims.

about a month ago

Submissions

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DHS reading your Tweets and Facebook postings.

BitterOak BitterOak writes  |  more than 2 years ago

BitterOak (537666) writes "Apparently, the DHS is reading your Tweets and looking at your Facebook wall. This may seem reasonable if they're trying to prevent a terrorist attack, but apparently, they're more interested in whether or not you are criticizing them!"
Link to Original Source
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Judge affirms students' right to post online pics.

BitterOak BitterOak writes  |  more than 3 years ago

BitterOak (537666) writes "An Indiana judge issued a summary judgment affirming that when public schools punish students for their Facebook pics, they may be violating the First Ammendment.

This case concerns two Indiana teenage girls that posted some pics on Facebook that featured some pornographic candies that were taken at a sleepover (not at school). The judge here questioned the constitutionality of the school district's policy that actions by students in or out of school are punishable if they bring "dishonor" to the school.

The school district indicated it would likely appeal the ruling which enjoins them from punishing the students by barring them from extracurricular activities."

Link to Original Source
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Canadian songwriters propose $10/mo Internet fee.

BitterOak BitterOak writes  |  more than 3 years ago

BitterOak (537666) writes "According to this story, Canadian songwriters are proposing a $10 fee to be added to monthly ISP bills, giving users a license to download music using peer-to-peer file sharing technologies for free, without fear of reprisal. The money collected would be distributed to members of a Canadian association of songwriters (SOCAN). The story doesn't make clear whether the license would apply only to Canadian music, or how musicians in other nations would be compensated otherwise."
Link to Original Source
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Public employee to face hearing over personal blog

BitterOak BitterOak writes  |  more than 4 years ago

BitterOak (537666) writes "In another attack on online freedom of speech, Michigan deputy attorney general Andrew Shirvell is facing a disciplinary hearing over a personal blog he created on personal time using personal resources. In the blog (which unfortunately seems now to be invitation only) he is critical of University of Michigan student body president Chris Armstrong for a variety of peculiar reasons including "promoting a homosexual lifestyle". Although rather childish, his blog is not related in any way to his job with the state, and in fact, he doesn't mention his employer anywhere on his blog. Should civil servants give up their First Amendment rights as a condition of employment?"
Link to Original Source
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Criminal libel charges laid for criticizing police

BitterOak BitterOak writes  |  more than 4 years ago

BitterOak (537666) writes "A Calgary man is facing criminal charges of libel for criticizing police. According to the story the RCMP have filed five charges against John Kelly for claiming on his website that Calgary police officers engaged in perjury, corruption, and obstruction of justice. What makes the story unusual is that the charges are criminal and not civil. Even in Canada, which has much less free speech protection than the United States, it is extremely rare for people to be charged criminally with libel. It is almost always matter for civil courts."
Link to Original Source
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BitterOak BitterOak writes  |  more than 7 years ago

BitterOak (537666) writes "Four high school students were arrested in Toronto Friday, charged with assaulting police and obstruction, during a protest over the suspension of students for posting derogatory comments about the vice principal on their private Facebook pages. 60 students showed up for the protest, and only four were charged with any wrong doing. This story raises interesting questions. I'm sure no one condones disorderly conduct at a protest, but should public schools have the right to suspend students over online speech? The article doesn't make it clear whether or not the student used school computers to post the comments."

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