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Congress Capitulates To TSA; Refuses To Let Bruce Schneier Testify

BobGregg Irony (435 comments)

How ironic that the very next story on Slashdot (and the one I read before this) was about Chinese censorship of speech the ruling party finds threatening to itself.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Bans Game App That Criticizes Smartphone Production

BobGregg Free market at work (213 comments)

Why, what's wrong with that? It points out what is so very wrong with government regulation. The "regulation" in this case being that pesky freedom of speech most people have to adhere to. If we just got rid of the government, then the free market can sort out everything - just like Apple is doing. Then we'll be in free market heaven, won't we?

more than 3 years ago
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I say (N. Hemisphere) Fall starts ...

BobGregg Re:Why no (454 comments)

Exactly. Fall this year starts around September 23rd 2011. Definition I heard the entire time I was growing up.

more than 3 years ago
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PayPal Predicts the End of the Wallet By 2015

BobGregg And flying cars. (391 comments)

Around the same time, you see. And secure electronic voting, too. And also, pigs flying out of my ass.

more than 3 years ago
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Re: the U.S. 2012 election campaign, I am:

BobGregg Re:Why does it matter? (462 comments)

>> Umm, yes... According to the constitution,

You keep using that word [Constitution]. I don't think it means what you think it means.

more than 3 years ago
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Tennessee Makes it Illegal To Share Your Netflix Password

BobGregg Re:If WE THE PEOPLE are in control of our destiny (495 comments)

>> Without legal protection, some services of this nature would be unprofitable,
>> and thus there would be no Netflix.

Yes... because Netflix, whose stock price is up at least 4-fold over the last 2 years, and raking in record profits quarter on quarter, is clearly having trouble under the current setup.

more than 3 years ago
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Tennessee Makes it Illegal To Share Your Netflix Password

BobGregg Re:Limited number of simultaneous connections? (495 comments)

Bingo. Gmail already shows multiple IPs to you today if you're logged in in different places, so it's not as though it's hard to track. Trivial technical solution, rather than the massive hammer of legislation. Why bother trying to get a state to pass a law? And why Tennessee, of all places? It's almost as though someone's trying to set a precedent for something...

more than 3 years ago
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NC Governor Allows Anti-Community-Broadband Law

BobGregg Re:So how do you feel about eminent domain? (356 comments)

>> You confuse property by right with property by government fiat.

There is, in essence, no such thing as property by right. All property "rights" are conferred by common social agreement - i.e. by government declaration of one sort or another. There can be no other essential right, as otherwise I'll just come along with my bigger gun and take "your" property - gee, guess it wasn't yours after all.

This is easily demonstrated by dissecting your own statement, which consists of two axioms: that I can own property either a) if I got ownership rights transitively from someone else that previously owned it (through legitimate means), or if I created it myself.

>> A person acquires property by right either by honest agreement with its previous owner (purchase or trade or gift)...

This defines the ability to own property in terms of the ability of the prior person to own it - but unless there's an "original" owner at the end of that chain, that's a reductio ad absurdum fallacy. Who "originally" owned the property? Where did *his* rights derive from? There is also the question of where the "legitimate means" of transfer are defined (also by government/social contract), but let's overlook that.

>> ...or by creating that property.

Since the original thread was about property taxes - essentially land taxes - I'll restrict this to land. Nobody involved here ever originally created any of the land on earth. Therefore, this axiom is 100% false and inapplicable; which means the other axiom fails as well, since there was no original owner of any land. Therefore, there are no such property rights, QED.

The only way out of this fallacy is if we as a group *decide* that at a particular point in time, we are going to establish land rights by fiat. That is exactly what the social contract and government enshrinement of property rights do. Establishment of original ownership allows for establishment of the "legitimate means" of transfer of those rights, which are also defined by our social contract. Without that social contract, there are no property rights. None.

In the UN Declaration of Human Rights, there is a flat declaration of the human right to own property. Signatories and other agreeing parties agree that that right exists; go to a country that does not buy into the UN Declaration (the middle of Somalia, somewhere) and I guarantee you, no matter who you pay for what, no matter what "moral" grounds you may think you have, you have no property rights whatsoever.

But if you buy into that portion of the social contract - that governments can establish and grant property rights - then you must buy into the rest as well. You can't simply pick and choose whether you're participating with the rest of us or not. If you don't want to be a part of the common social contract, then you're welcome to leave, head for some Pacific island or remote strip of Antarctica, and try to make your claim. When the Chinese navy arrives to kick your ass out, maybe they'll buy your spiel about inherent moral property rights more than I do. Good luck with that. In the meantime, land property within the US falls under the guidelines of our system of laws and common agreements, and short of leaving, you don't get to opt out.

more than 3 years ago
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The world will end ...

BobGregg Re:Don't worry, be happy (585 comments)

Not 9/11. Us. *We* did the real damage to ourselves; continue to do so, too. "They" were counting on it, and sadly, they were right about at least that one thing.

more than 3 years ago
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Supreme Court: AT&T Can Force Arbitration

BobGregg Re:Oohh.. (415 comments)

Au contraire.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_in_the_United_States

Congress has impeached Federal judges numerous times, and has certainly impeached a sitting Supreme Court justice as well, though in the incident I'm thinking of (Jefferson vs. Samuel Chase), the judge was only impeached, not convicted.

more than 3 years ago
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US Funding Five Game-Changing Energy Projects

BobGregg Re:Until costs go down... (529 comments)

>> The Obama administration, for example, both has engineered a ban of incandescent lightbulbs
>> and a ludicrous increase in the required gas mileage for auto manufacturers via CAFE.

Sigh... The Obama administration had nothing to do with the ban.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_Independence_and_Security_Act_of_2007

Signed into law by George Bush. If yer gonna tell lies about Obama, at least do 5 seconds of research.

more than 3 years ago
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Greenpeace Says the Internet Emits Too Much CO2

BobGregg And not just CO2... (370 comments)

...it emits too much methane. Seriously guys, couldn't you have taken that outside??

more than 3 years ago
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US Open Government Sites To Close

BobGregg Re:This Is Pointless (385 comments)

Yes, because that's how all the poor got where they are today - they didn't start that way, have bad breaks, discrimination, or any of a million other reasons. They all bought too many boats. Screw 'em.

more than 3 years ago
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Crack In Fukushima Structure May Be Leaking Radiation

BobGregg Re:Millie bloody who? (280 comments)

>> 1,000 millisieverts of radiation per hour

If it helps, this is equivalent to 1 Sievert/hour.

You're welcome.

more than 3 years ago
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Watson Wins Jeopardy Contest

BobGregg Re:AI Winter (674 comments)

Several review articles have mentioned that category titles were deliberately given very low weight in Watson's algorithms, because they can be so tricky. Hence, it didn't pay much attention to the need for a U.S. City.

more than 3 years ago
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MySpace Lays Off 47% of Employees

BobGregg Re:How's that working out, Rupert? (206 comments)

>> people DO make it big without luck, i.e. I don't think Steve Jobs / Bill Gates were
>> as lucky as people on American Idol,

You should read the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. His thesis is that people make it to extraordinary levels often by virtue of having had extraordinary chances that others haven't had. For example, as a very young man Bill Gates had opportunities to get computer time that were available to very few others at his age. That's a very relevant kind of "luck" - a contributing circumstance provided by others, that he would not have been able to provide for himself.

more than 3 years ago
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Is Mark Zuckerberg the Next Steve Case?

BobGregg Re:Shallow (470 comments)

>> What an idiot. He just says "MySpace falls first, Facebook falls second"
>> without even attempting an analysis into why MySpace fell to Facebook.

Or AOL, for that matter. I just went MySpace.com (owned by News Corp., remember), and was immediately struck by how many ads were being smacked in my face. Then I brought up Facebook: no ads. Kind of reminds me of the difference between Yahoo! search and Google search a few years ago.

more than 3 years ago
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Obama Eyeing Internet ID For Americans

BobGregg Nobody here even knows what the story is about. (487 comments)

Seriously. Almost nobody commenting here even took five seconds to even think about what was actually being discussed. It's all just knee-jerk "jack boots are coming" nonsense.

"Internet ID for Americans" - Article title FAIL. This has nothing to do with a government identity of any sort. Nor is it a singular identity, credential, or technology. It's for use in commerce - you know, like OpenID? - but actually standardized so that companies will actually widely accept it. That's why the first sentence of the linked article, the whole point of the news of it, is that the Commerce department would head the effort, not Homeland Security. (Declan McCullagh, I like you, but you should be ashamed.) From the article: "This is not about a national identity card." From these comments: "It's a national identity card!"

"Single point of failure" - Reading comprehension FAIL. The published strategy talks about setting up an identity trust ecosystem where individuals set up any number of identities and credentials, of their own choosing, possibly using different technologies of use as they see fit. Much like the SSL cert ecosystem today provides a means of merchant identification, without there either being a single point of failure or sinister government control.

"Trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist" - Reality-check FAIL. I just don't know what planet you're from. If you're saying that identity theft on the Internet isn't a major concern, then you're seriously misinformed. It costs our economy millions, if not billions, in lost productivity and fraud. That's a valid government concern - making sure that economic activity can take place safely and thrive.

For frack's sake, the same people who were screaming about how Microsoft Passport was a bad idea (and it was, because it was monopoly-controlled) are now saying the free market should solve the problem. Or, you know, that there's actually no problem at all. No wonder it's so hard to get anything done in this country.

Having a national strategy to push towards building a real trust infrastructure is a GOOD idea. Reduces costs, reduces redundancy and waste, IMPROVES security on the Web. Trust infrastructure GOOD. Psycho spasmodic knee-jerk Fox-News "Govmint bad" reactions with no forethought BAD.

more than 3 years ago
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US Banks That Offer Transaction History?

BobGregg Re:Credit Union (359 comments)

All *federal* credit unions are insured by NCUA's share insurance fund. Not all states required state-chartered credit unions to be insured in the same way, though many are, and most are insured in at least some way. It's pretty easy to tell if it's a federal credit union - it usually has the words "federal credit union" (or initials FCU) in the title.

more than 4 years ago
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The best day of the week, generally:

BobGregg Re:Sigh (510 comments)

In metric weeks, that's Tuesday.

more than 4 years ago

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