top High Court Rules Detention of David Miranda Was Lawful
"Freedom of the press" did NOT mean "Freedom of news corporations and their employees." When the U.S. Constitution was written, a press was a device someone might own or otherwise have access to. "Freedom of the press" meant that the U.S. federal government was not allowed to tell citizens what they could or could not say in writing. It was supposed to make clear that "freedom of speech" was not just restricted to what you could say with your mouth, but also via other methods of communication.
In other words, every U.S. citizen has the right to "freedom of the press," at least in theory.
In reality, almost every supposed right enshrined in the U.S. Constitution can (or often has been) taken away almost at will by those in power. In other words, the Bill of Rights basically has become the "List of Things We Might Let You Have Unless You Really Annoy/Embarass Us."
top Study Finds Methane Leaks Negate Benefits of Natural Gas-Powered Vehicles
What could possibly go wrong? It's not like fossil fuel corporations have a history of cutting corners to make even more obscene profits, cause disasters that they don't even come close to paying for, poisoning people and the environment, and then bribe politicians into letting them do it over and over again?
top Old cellphones, in my household ...
Exactly. Just a couple months ago, I sold my unlocked iPhone 4S (along with a few accessories) for $330, which went a long way towards covering the (subsidized) price of my 5S. That was by selling it on eBay - most used-device sites would only give about $140.
top Interview: John McAfee Answers Your Questions
Disappointing.... Guess I'll start getting my A/V from Peter Norton instead.
Not Peter North, then?
about a year and a half ago
top Bitfloor Indefinitely Suspends Bitcoin Trading
And they weren't a big bank like HSBC, which was given a slap on the wrist (relative to the illicit profits) for massive money-laundering that benefited terrorist organizations and drug cartels.
If Bitfloor had made contributions to enough politicians, they probably would have been allowed to continue.
about a year and a half ago
top US District Court: Game Elements In Tetris Clone Infringe Tetris Co.'s Copyright
Apparently one problem is that the Xio's expert made a terrible mistake:
Xio’s own expert admitted there are “almost unlimited number” of ways to design the pieces and the board and the game would still “function perfectly well.” Pl. Motion, at 35.
Basically, the judge was given wrong information about the realistic possibility of using blocks of other shapes or configurations. While there may be
some other piece designs that would work, there are not that many that would avoid introducing a fairly complex and thus hard-to-play geometry.
The judge also seemed to believe that a falling block game was a completely novel idea, without any real-world counterpart. I'm puzzled by this, and think she didn't comprehend the gravity of the situation (puns intended).
top Considering Cheaper Pico-Projectors As Standard Equipment On Cell Phones
If you meant all of the Star Trek franchise, you're forgetting all those Holodeck episodes. Now, making a story for TV was often a stretch, but it makes a lot of sense that crew would spend a lot of time in the Holodeck between locations.
top Courts Move To Ban Juror Use of Net, Social Sites
"start operating the courts in English" as opposed to legalese that only superficially looks like English but has completely different non-obvious meanings for words that ordinary people use all the time. . . . It is the legal system that perverts those meanings.
It's really sad to see someone say that technical legal terms are somehow bad. You want the law to be simple? Fine. If you do something some people think is bad, the state kills you. Simple. No need for extenuating circumstances like self-defense, accident, etc. Death penalty for everything.
Just like any other complex field (think computer technology or some other typical Slashdotter field), legal terms often have a lot of nuance. They need to - they describe non-simple concepts.
If you want the jury to get it right, come up with a list of commonly misunderstood (for the courtroom meaning) words and make sure to spend some time educating the jurors.
Despite what you may think from TV, they actually DO that - they are called "jury instructions," which define terms and explain how they fit together. If something has a meaning other than what a layperson thinks, it is the JOB of the attorneys and/or judge to explain that to the jury. That's the whole point of having a trial: to give the jury the information needed on which to base a decision. It's not perfect, but it's the best system we've come up with so far. Like the myriad proposed solutions for spam tend to ignore reality, most alternatives to the jury system fail to understand basic human nature.
I would be much more likely to try to look it up myself instead of asking the judge to explain it. For one thing, even the friendliest of judges is very intimidating, just because he is a judge and you are in his courtroom, whether you're the one on trial or not.
Looking up words on your own is a very bad idea. Would you want your technophobe relative setting up your own systems by reading articles on USAToday? Don't try to become the attorney or judge by looking up a term on "teh intrawebs."
IAAL, but not yours. Hopefully if you ever need one, you'll get a good one that does his/her job and makes sure the jury knows what it needs to give you justice (although if justice would be bad for you, I suppose my "hopes" wouldn't be yours *grin* ).
top Programming With Proportional Fonts?
What I wonder about is whether the ease of reading attributed (correctly, I assume) to proportional fonts apply to prose, but not necessarily to the kinds of reading needed in programming. When I read code, I'm sometimes looking for single-character mistakes. In a case like that, a proportional font that helps form "word-pictures" might mask an error.
In other words, the speed attributed to proportional fonts is for reading comprehension — translating text into thought — but might actually detract from the speed and accuracy of reading for the purpose of editing/finding mistakes.
top Google Hacked, May Pull Out of China
It almost sounds like the Chinese government is somehow implicated in the attack, which would sound incredible if it didn't include the personal information of dissidents.
Incredible? Where have you been? Governments around the world have strongly suspected the Chinese government has been silently providing support and encouragement, if not directly paying, hackers to probe and outright attack government and national infrastructure computer systems.
Do you get all your news via China-censored sources?
top Ireland's Blasphemy Law Goes Into Effect
cause outrage amongst all of our members.
Shouldn't that be something like "within each individual unique member" - or is even that too much like a multiple item set?
top $300 Sci-Fi YouTube Video Lands $30m Movie Deal
So, is it a $300 video gets a $30 million deal, like the title, or a $30 video gets a $300 million movie deal?
Based on the comments from people who appear to have RTFA, it seems the title is correct: $300 / $30 million. I sure hope whoever wrote that summary is working in entertainment and not engineering. Hollywood gets things wrong by a factor of ten all the time and no one dies, right?
[ Come on, that's a softball - someone post a good response. ]
top New Theory of Gravity Decouples Space & Time
first herd of the big band theory.
Is the first herd the trumpets? Would the second herd be the trombones?
Sousa, is that you?
top Videogame Places You're Not Supposed To Go
This topic reminds me of the final scene from: Buggy Saints Row: the Musical, by Cabel Sasser:
top Hubble's Exoplanet Pics Outshined by Keck's
If you don't get the joke in parent's sig, google the phrase. There's more goodness in that sig, too.