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Comments

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Mt. Gox CEO Returns To Twitter, Enrages Burned Investors

Camael Well, it is a property offence (281 comments)

Strictly speaking, it is embezzlement

Embezzlement is the act of dishonestly withholding assets for the purpose of conversion (theft) of such assets by one or more individuals to whom such assets have been entrusted, to be held and/or used for other purposes.

In other jurisdictions, this may be known as misappropriation.

Usually the burden of proof lies on the person you entrusted the property to (especially if it is a paid service) to explain what happened to it. If he can't/won't, you can invite the court to draw an adverse inference against him. Proving where it went is his problem.

about a month and a half ago
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Mt. Gox CEO Returns To Twitter, Enrages Burned Investors

Camael Re:This just in. (281 comments)

Okay, here's some evidence for you. I will freely admit that if I could not have downloaded Season 3 of Game of Thrones, I would have shelled out $40 to get it on BluRay. HBO and/or the makers of the show and/or whatever retailer I would have bought the set from lost $40. I liked the shows enough to watch them but I really don't feel like paying $40 after having watched them all just to ease my commercial equivalent of a conscience. True fact and actual value lost. So what now? Can we be done with the "nobody lost anything because of downloading" argument once and for all and move on to something more substantial as a reason for both copyright reform and ethical Internet usage?

Your mistake is in assuming you speak for everyone else. Not everyone who downloads would have bought the set if the downloads were not available for various reasons (eg set not available locally, lack of interest, lack of funds). Hence, no direct link of cause and effect evidencing actual loss insofar as other cases of infringement are concerned.

In your case however, given your own admission which can be used against you, there is a direct link hence actual evidence of loss. Be happy you're not sued in court.

about a month and a half ago
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Mt. Gox CEO Returns To Twitter, Enrages Burned Investors

Camael True value (281 comments)

The bitcoins in question had a monetary value of $400 million. That is, they could be exchanged for that much at the time. $400 million buys you a lot of physical stuff.

Not true. I seriously doubt you can find anyone who is/was willing to buy all those bitcoins for $400 million. I also doubt anyone is/was willing to accept all those bitcoins in exchange for $400 million worth of physical goods.

Lets say for example I take a slug of tin and stamp it into many coins of my own making. Nobody is willing to give me anything for the coins except for my best friend, who is willing to pay me $1 for 1 coin. The true value of my coins would still be zero. You can't argue that based on that one exception, the coins I made is each worth $1.

about a month and a half ago
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Mt. Gox CEO Returns To Twitter, Enrages Burned Investors

Camael Interesting? Dangerous? compared to? (281 comments)

An interesting and dangerous reminder of the nature of bitcoins. I am sure there were many bitcoin users who expressly intended to cheat on taxes and hide other criminal financial transactions.

I'm sure that users of cash and other forms of currency do not get scammed, do not get tricked, do not suffer fraud and do not lose the value of their currency of choice. Nope, perfectly safe.

And I'm sure that there are no users of cash and other forms of currency who expressly intended to cheat on taxes and hide other criminal financial transactions. Nope, all perfectly law abiding.

Oh, wait...

Lets not go overboard with the hyperbole here. All forms of convertible currency is exposed to risk.

about a month and a half ago
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Adobe To Let Third Party Devs Incorporate Photoshop Features

Camael But...why? (39 comments)

Third party developers will be able to build mobile applications that tap into the features of Adobe's Creative Cloud, including effects such as Photoshop's "content-aware fill" and PSD file manipulation

But if you are a mobile developer coding an app which you presumably intend to profit from in some way, why would you want to put your creation at the mercy of Adobe? Not to mention the hassle of having to ensure that your app is compliant with whatever flavour of Adobe's Creative Cloud exists at the time, and having to update every time Adobe changes something.

Seems more trouble than its worth, really.

about a month and a half ago
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1958 Integrated Circuit Prototypes From Jack Kilby's TI Lab Up For Sale

Camael Re:Learn to use a dictionary (76 comments)

The sad thing is that the wrong/erroneous parent post you are replying to is actually modded higher/insightful than your correct/accurate reply.

So much for moderation. =)

about a month and a half ago
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1958 Integrated Circuit Prototypes From Jack Kilby's TI Lab Up For Sale

Camael Re:Microchip (76 comments)

1. Microchip is a brand name. Calling an IC a Microchip is like calling a moving staircase an Escalator.

Factually correct, but doesn't answer the question of "Why not?" We do it all the time. We xerox documents. We google for results. And besides, it is already too late .

about a month and a half ago
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Bill Gates To Stanford Grads: Don't (Only) Focus On Profit

Camael People are more altruistic than you think (284 comments)

bullshit, most the dramatic increase in human life and health of the last 500 years has been driven by and is the result of profit-seeking. The only solutions to mankinds problems will be produced and distributed that way

Untrue. And unlike you, I have citations and links to prove it.

You might have heard of Edward Jenner , father of immunology and the man whose work in vaccination reduced smallpox from a feared fatal disease to a mere footnote today. Did he become rich from it? No. He sacrificed his own practice and in the end had to be bailed out with public funds.

Jenner's continuing work on vaccination prevented him continuing his ordinary medical practice. He was supported by his colleagues and the King in petitioning Parliament, and was granted £10,000 for his work on vaccination. In 1806, he was granted another £20,000 for his continuing work in microbiology.

Or we can look at Louis Pasteur, father of microbiology. He

...was a French chemist and microbiologist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization. He is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and preventions of diseases, and his discoveries have saved countless lives ever since.

What was was the motivation for his work?

After serving briefly as professor of physics at the Dijon Lycée in 1848, he became professor of chemistry at the University of Strasbourg, where he met and courted Marie Laurent, daughter of the university's rector in 1849. They were married on May 29, 1849, and together had five children, only two of whom survived to adulthood; the other three died of typhoid. These personal tragedies were his motivations for curing infectious diseases.

You may be cynical and personally driven by profit-seeking, but don't assume everyone else is.

about a month and a half ago
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California Regulators Tell Ride-Shares No Airport Runs

Camael Wut? Traffic? (314 comments)

Please explain why heavy traffic around LAX is relevant to the discussion, seeing that both established cab companies and ride companies want to brave the heavy traffic to pick up passengers at the airport.

The city in fact is trying to keep ride companies out.

about a month and a half ago
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California Regulators Tell Ride-Shares No Airport Runs

Camael Re: Cabbies. (314 comments)

Wow. No wonder driving for ride companies like UberX, Lyft, Sidecar, Summon and Wingz is increasingly popular. Also not surprising why the city is acting so heavy handed towards said ride companies- can't have their drivers (*cough*indentured servants*cough) working for the competition, after all.

about a month and a half ago
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California Regulators Tell Ride-Shares No Airport Runs

Camael But do the benefits outweigh the costs? (314 comments)

While researching your point, I came across this pro-driving is a right not privilege article which seems to set out the history of drivers licences. One part struck me though :-

Although there appear to have been no legal challenges to the constitutionality of requiring drivers licenses, there were a number of test cases in several states which challenged the legitimacy of the registration laws. Invariably these laws were upheld on the basis that they were a proper exercise of the police power of the state to provide for the health, safety, and comfort of the citizenry. The earliest registration laws were justified by state authorities, as well as vehicle owners, by referring to "the need of identifying a vehicle with its owner as a protection against theft."

Doesn't licensing make sense in this context?
- to ensure that the majority of drivers on the road have at least demonstrated minimal competency in driving by passing a mandatory test
- to ensure that drivers are covered by insurance (which i think is a pre-req to getting a licence in most places)
- to link vehicles with their drivers for the purposes of identification, for liability settlement in case there is an accident, theft etc

It doesn't seem that unreasonable in light of the amount of damage already caused by licensed drivers every year. Completely doing away with licensing and thereby allowing even those who have failed their driving tests to drive would seem counter productive.
 

about a month and a half ago
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Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

Camael Not sure what you are getting at (519 comments)

I don't get your point, to be honest. Your links show that there are some teachers who are scum who take advantage of their students, which sadly is neither surprising nor new.

If your argument is that Mark Berndt should have been sacked, they had already started the procedure to sack him but he quit before he could be sacked.

L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy — then the No. 2 in command — said he acted to remove Berndt from class the same day he saw the photos and felt there was justification for immediate dismissal. Records indicate that Berndt was pulled from the school on Jan. 6, 2011. And, then-L.A. schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines, who has since retired, said he ordered Berndt to be fired when he heard about the photos.

The district’s legal staff warned Cortines that there might be complications for acting so quickly. Standard practice in L.A. Unified and elsewhere has been to “house” teachers in a district office, away from students, until a legal issue is resolved. But Cortines said he told senior staff that he didn’t want to wait, an account that was confirmed by a former Cortines aide.

By Feb. 15, the paperwork was ready for the elected Board of Education to dismiss Berndt formally and the school board ratified Cortines’ decision. As of Feb. 16, the district stopped paying Berndt, said Vivian Ekchian, chief human resources officer for L.A. Unified.

But the matter didn't end there. Berndt had 30 days to challenge his dismissal, which he did with the help of Trygstad, Schwab & Trygstad, a firm known for representing the teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles. In this case, Berndt hired the firm privately; its specialties include defending teachers facing dismissal.

Berndt’s case was then set to go before an administrative hearing panel, a process that would take months. While awaiting a hearing, Berndt resigned from the school system in June 2011, six months after Deasy and Cortines determined to fire him.

If you're arguing they should have the power to sack him immediately, I disagree- everyone should be entitled to due process and be given an opportunity to defend himself. Giving him 30 days would not matter as long as he is kept away from students, which he was.

If you're arguing he should not be entitled to any benefits, I agree - that is a loophole that should be closed.

Because Berndt never was officially fired, he retains lifetime health benefits that he earned through decades of service in L.A. Unified. Ekchian said the district is researching its options for trying to rescind those benefits should Berndt be convicted.

If you're arguing that LAUSD screwed up, then perhaps- I'll leave it to the pending lawsuit to decide the matter and punish LAUSD (or not) appropriately.

Whats all this got to do with strict government control over education anyway? This looks like a criminal matter to me.

about 1 month ago
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Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

Camael Re:Strict government control is not good (519 comments)

When you say "loose government control", some people hear, "anarchy". Just like when you say, "lower taxes", they hear, "elimination of all taxation". No intermediate states are contemplated, or even considered possible.

I agree, which is why that disclaimer is the very first line of my comment =)

Moderation is an oft forgotten virtue in our turbulent times.

about 1 month ago
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Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

Camael Re:Good (519 comments)

At the end of the day these are high school teachers, they are not really qualified to make judgement calls on what the truth is.

If what you are saying is true, I am actually kind of appalled that persons of this caliber are allowed to warp the minds of the young and the impressionable. And it seems to point to a bigger underlying problem than mere tenure laws.

about 2 months ago
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Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

Camael Strict government control is not good (519 comments)

Seems to me that strict government control over government funded education (i.e. public schools) is legitimate. I await your argument as to why it's not.

Bear in mind, I'm advocating loose government control instead of strict and not complete lack of control.

1. Strict controls increase the administrative costs of having to comply with the rules and regulations. For every requirement dreamed of by bureaucrats, someone has to see to it that the requirement is met. This will unnecessarily inflate the budgets of schools, some of which are already operating on a shoestring.

2. Strict controls distract the teachers from doing what they should be doing- educating students. I'd rather the teachers concentrate on how to improve their students' understanding of their lessons rather than be fixated on whether or not they have fulfilled their quota of hours spent teaching, etc.

3. Strict controls in the form of standardized curricula, teaching methods and tests stifle creativity and innovation. If we accept that all humans are unique and different, why do we apply a one-size-fits-all approach to educating students? And if we search our memories of our most highly regarded teachers, it is often the case that said teacher went above and beyond the standard teaching methods to teach the students.

4. Strict controls disempower the teachers from exercising their discretion and choosing the most effective means to educate their students. There is obviously a big difference between how you would teach a class of students from a privileged background as compared to say students from a ghetto neighbourhood who may be distrustful of authority.

These are some points just off the top of my head. I will grant you that there are many horror stories of lazy teachers, corrupt school administrators etc in the education system, but the better approach would be to remove these people rather than introduce more rules and regulations to try and control their behaviour.

about 2 months ago
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Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

Camael Treat the disease, not the symptom (519 comments)

Uhhh most states have 'fire at will' laws that mean you can get rid of a person for any reason or no reason whatsoever.

The long history of public employment abuse definitely shows some sort protection is needed.

So instead of having excessively permissive state legislation permitting abusive "fire at will" scenarios, coupled with excessively restrictive tenure laws carving out a special exception for educators, doesn't it make more sense to just deal with the source and amend the problematic state legislation on employment itself?

This is like quibbling over how much painkillers cancer patients should legally be prescribed instead of treating the cancer itself.

about 2 months ago
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iOS 8 Strikes an Unexpected Blow Against Location Tracking

Camael Re:Lack of intent (323 comments)

If I intentionally buy an IPhone instead of a non-mac address randomizing phone just for this feature does that show intent?

Of course not. People buy iPhones for many different reasons. Filing serial numbers off a car however...

about 2 months ago
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Amazon Launches Subscription-Based Billing And Payments Service

Camael Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (76 comments)

It exists. It's called a credit card, underwritten by a real bank, which will adhere to actual banking laws instead of "whatever we decide we want to do", and actually have some stake in fraud prevention.

I am sure banks are all law abiding entities who respect the letter and spirit of the law and do not try to subvert existing rules to pass on costs to their customers.

I'll give you that banks want to prevent fraud though.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Don't like a patent? Help kIll it.

Camael Camael writes  |  1 year,7 days

Camael (1048726) writes "When Joel Spolsky spotted an undeserving Microsoft patent application, he didn't just let it be granted — He killed a in just a few minutes. In short, he found prior art and submitted it, and the USPTO examiner rejected the patent because of it. From TFA :- "Micah showed me a document from the USPTO confirming that they had rejected the patent application, and the rejection relied very heavily on the document I found. This was, in fact, the first 'confirmed kill' of Ask Patents, and it was really surprisingly easy. I didn't have to do the hard work of studying everything in the patent application and carefully proving that it was all prior art: the examiner did that for me." This is all under the umbrella of Ask Patents'."
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Transparency and the PRISM programme

Camael Camael writes  |  about a year ago

Camael (1048726) writes "When President Obama took office, he issued a "Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies" where he stated that :-

Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing... My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use.

After the PRISM program was revealed, in an interview with Charlie Rose on 17 June 2013, when asked whether the program was transparent, President Obama stated that :-

It is transparent, that’s why we set up the FISA court...My concern has always been not that we shouldn’t do intelligence gathering to prevent terrorism but rather are we setting up a system of checks and balances? So, on this telephone program you have a federal court with independent federal judges overseeing the entire program and you’ve got Congress overseeing the program.

Politifact.com opines that

We don’t doubt that there are good reasons for secrecy at the court, but if you’re going to operate a mostly secret court, you also don’t get to crow about how "transparent" it is. The president can’t have his cake and eat it, too.

Do you think having the FISA Court oversee the PRISM requests make the process transparent?"

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Snowden discloses US hacked Asia Pacific fibre-optic network operator

Camael Camael writes  |  about a year ago

Camael (1048726) writes "In an exclusive provided to the South China Morning Post, a newspaper based in Hong Kong, Snowden revealed that computers at the Hong Kong headquarters of Pacnet – owner of one of the biggest fibre-optic networks in the Asia-Pacific region – were hacked by US spies in 2009. Accoding to their corporate website, Pacnet owns and operates the leading pan-Asian fiber optic submarine cable network spanning 36,800 kilometers that lands in 19 cable landing stations and extends from India to the US."

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