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Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk

Loki_1929 Re:It's more of a statement about NYC (474 comments)

To be fair, South Africa is now the rape capital of the world.

Which is not to say that a system of racial oppression was to thank for keeping rape down, but rather to point out that strict policing can be associated with safer streets.

2 days ago
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Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk

Loki_1929 Re: Education versus racism (474 comments)

As some others have said in more colorful ways, being a good cop means doing everything you can under the law to get bad cops off the street. Bad cops doesn't just mean those taking bribes, planting evidence, etc. Bad cops includes police officers who unnecessarily approach situations with undue aggression and who unnecessarily escalate situations. I understand that much of an officer's interactions are either with people who aren't at their best or are with people who are just pain rotten to the core, but if that drives them into a pattern of cynicism and aggression not warranted by the situation, they can either self-report and get behind a desk and get counseling until their head gets back to a better place or they're bad cops.

I'm a law-abiding citizen. Minus some exceeding the posted speed limit here and there, I'm not causing trouble. I also happen to work late quite a bit, which has led to numerous interactions with the police. Nearly all of those have been completely reasonable where everyone was decent and the situation was handled without any issue (usually just a "why are you here at [late time]?" followed up with a reasonable explanation, maybe running plates, in and out in 3 minutes kind of thing). In a very small number of cases, I was met by an adrenaline-pumped idiot who was very obviously itching to rip me out of the car and beat the Hell out of me. I've been berated and goaded by a cop who was doing everything he could to escalate the situation to where he could take stronger action. As I said, it's a very tiny number of issues out of all the times I've had contact with officers and I've always kept my cool and been in the right to the point where it didn't turn into anything. But all it would take is one of those adrenaline-pumped alpha assholes deciding I looked at him wrong and but for a camera recording the incident, he could very easily write up the report such that I was the aggressor and was threatening toward him and resisted arrest, thereby justifying any injuries. With that report and the word of the sworn officer, I end up with a criminal record and losing everything I've earned in life.

And that's why it doesn't matter if there are 99 good cops for every one bad cop. Because that one bad cop can ruin so many peoples' lives. We as citizens are second-class when we file a report or step into a court room trying to stop a bad cop doing bad stuff. What's really needed are for all those cops who are decent people to start standing up against the ones who aren't, start calling them on their bullshit, start reporting them at work, and start testifying on behalf of people who are wronged by them. I understand that that hyper-aggressive adrenaline junky alpha asshole is great to have by your side when you're under fire, but you have a duty and a responsibility to either see that he gets right in the head or see that he finds a new profession where he doesn't have any legal authority. The more you protect assholes like that, the more of them you'll find around you and the more the citizens in your community will distrust and even hate the police.

I support the good cops out there trying to help good and decent people and do the right thing. As for the bad cops out for a thrill? Well at the very very least, I want them off the streets and getting help. Stop protecting them. Stop protecting people who protect them.

2 days ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

Loki_1929 Re:Subsidies? (516 comments)

How many tax subsidies finance into your average power plant? ...long term storage costs for nuclear waste

Now that's just unfair. Long term storage costs for nuclear "waste" only exist because the government doesn't allow for the reprocessing of perfectly good fuel. If they did, we'd be more like France, where the total final long-term waste of a family of four's entire lifetime fits in a soda can. And as all the usable energy has been removed from it, it actually is waste, meaning there's no energy radiating from it and no danger from it. At which point, those costs look vastly easier to manage and all subsidies can come off with virtually no impact to costs.

Government created a problem (basically a tax) by disallowing the reuse of perfectly good fuel. It then partially solved the problem it created by generating a subsidy to offset the tax. In the meantime, good fuel is wasted, exposed, and dangerous. It's about the dumbest thing in the world, but then again, it was something our government came up with, so at least that makes some sense.

about a week ago
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The Downside to Low Gas Prices

Loki_1929 Re:Stupid, trucks cause the problem (554 comments)

So the Japanese government owns the car engines and the people just pay rent to possess them?

about two weeks ago
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UN Climate Change Panel: It's Happening, and It's Almost Entirely Man's Fault

Loki_1929 Re:Obviously. (695 comments)

I encourage all climate denialists to get at least 4, maybe 5-sigma certainty on any cancer diagnosis before taking any action. Cancer treatments are expensive after all, and you should wait until you're really, really, super duper extra sure you have it!

First of all, what on Earth is a "climate denialist"? Are there people who deny that the Earth has a climate? Or is it a farcical misnomer purposely intended to ridicule anyone with the slightest bit of skepticism about something that even the experts aren't 100% certain about? (hint: 95% from IPCC != 100%)

As for your medical advice, the next time you notice your body temperature rise by 1/2 degree in an hour, best go ice bath yourself immediately or you'll soon be dead.

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

Loki_1929 Re:Nothing? (429 comments)

John Snow is an expert in quantum mechanics? Who knew?!

about three weeks ago
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Undersized Grouper Case Lands In Supreme Court

Loki_1929 Meanwhile... (251 comments)

Meanwhile, Kagan and Kennedy appear amenable to a more literal reading of the statute, given that groupers are in fact touchable and that makes them "tangible objects" under the ordinary meaning of those words.

Did they also appear to have their fucking derp faces on while doing this? SCOTUS is supposed to be the court of common sense, where nothing else matters except what makes sense in the light of the US Constitution and being a reasonable human being. What kinds of goddamn idiots are these we've allowed to sit on this court?

Thank goodness this fisherman didn't also throw his old Beatles albums overboard with the fish, since those are "records" under the ordinary meaning of the word. Maybe in all these confirmation hearings, instead of asking potential SCOTUS justices a bunch of stupid hypothetical questions they won't answer anyway, we should use the time to figure out if the person is a moron who will do stupid shit like this.

about three weeks ago
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UN Climate Change Panel: It's Happening, and It's Almost Entirely Man's Fault

Loki_1929 Re:Obviously. (695 comments)

The human race is a child sitting in the control room of an old Soviet nuclear power plant. A light started blinking red and some of us think we may have done something to make it start blinking red. What you're arguing is that rather than taking the time to understand how a nuclear power plant operates and what the controls in front of us do and what that blinking light means, we should start pushing buttons to see if we can make the red light go away.

That's suicidally stupid, except it's suicide for all of mankind which makes it worse. We're the only known intelligent species in the entire universe living on the only planet in the entire universe which is known to sustain life. We have a responsibility to maintain that life. Purposely screwing with the conditions on that planet without having a solid understanding of how the climate operates is completely insane and irresponsible. A responsible course of action is to take reasonable measures to limit known impact points (i.e. things we know for a fact have a measurable and directly observable negative environmental impact) while we seek to gain an understanding of the system as a whole.

about three weeks ago
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UN Climate Change Panel: It's Happening, and It's Almost Entirely Man's Fault

Loki_1929 Re:Obviously. (695 comments)

Third option: Non-carbon generated electricity that is cheaper than carbon. (That's an economic, as in real, 'cheaper', not tax/subsidy to make it cheaper)

So, modern nuclear power it is. Start mass producing CANDU reactors (CANDU 6es and ACR-1000s) around the world while pushing ahead with research to convert them to using Thorium so we never run dry. Put them everywhere that needs power and that can't use geothermal. Standardize on common-sense, workable regulations (starting with eliminating any stupid anti-reprocessing rules) and plow through any NIMBY BS put up by local ignorant fools. Within 20 years, you'll have replaced all fossil fuel electricity production with something that actually works and provides plenty of power for everyone.

So the cheap electricity option is not even really an option, is it?

Sure it is. It requires a huge up-front cash investment for construction, but running costs are quite low. Complete the work to replace other fuels with Thorium and you've got somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000 years of power for the entire planet at current rates of use. Increase usage by two orders of magnitude and we're down to maybe 1,000 years if we never put another penny into energy R&D.

Oh darn.

about three weeks ago
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UN Climate Change Panel: It's Happening, and It's Almost Entirely Man's Fault

Loki_1929 Re:Obviously. (695 comments)

He's correct in what he said, just not why he said it.

Good science isn't political at all; it merely describes reality. Climatology, as groups like the IPCC present it, isn't good science. It's a bunch of fudge-factor-laced models and ignored observations tightly wound around a political agenda. Basically, ignore what you can't explain, place assumptions anywhere the data is incomplete, draw conclusions that don't match up to reality, and pretend it all makes sense because you have "consensus".

That's not to say there's nothing usable in the whole thing. The problem is that we need better data collection, more data collection, and a lot more work put into understanding the underlying mechanics of the system as a whole before we start drawing wide-reaching conclusions about the drivers of the whole thing. The data needs to be put into real context and that means realizing the limitations and inaccuracies inherent in the proxy measurement techniques we have today and not trying to use some statistical fuzzy math to come up with some make-believe historical record.

But back to what he said, he's right in that the political nature of the "Global Warming/Climate Change" zealotry isn't science. It does, however, bear a striking resemblance to many cults.

about three weeks ago
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Where Intel Processors Fail At Math (Again)

Loki_1929 Inaccurate headline (239 comments)

The headline is quite inaccurate. The processors are doing what they're designed to do; approximate the results of certain operations to a "good enough" value to achieve an optimal result:work ratio. Sort of like how the NFL measures first-downs with a stick, a chain, and some eyeballs rather than bringing in a research team armed with scanning electron microscopes to tell us how many Planck lengths short of the first down they were.

This is a documentation failure. They're fixing the documentation. For anyone who would actually care about perfect accuracy in these kinds of operations, there are any number of different solutions to achieve the desired, more accurate result. The headline and the summary make it seem as though there's a problem with the processor which is simply incorrect.

about a month and a half ago
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Tesla Announces Dual Motors, 'Autopilot' For the Model S

Loki_1929 Re:Awesome (283 comments)

Financing can be cheaper than cash depending on the rate and the rate of inflation.

about a month and a half ago
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Fortune.com: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline

Loki_1929 Re:Bullshit. (342 comments)

But these 716 women who had made it past all that shit and were working in the tech sector found that once you get there, it sucks to be in a job where you're treated poorly because you're a woman, or you feel isolated because everybody else is a guy.

There are exceptions. My sister is a successful electronics engineer. But she works in a big company where she's not the only woman. She might have left the industry too if she had worked her first job in a smaller company where it was all men except her.

So.... the problem is still in the pipeline? If suddenly, tomorrow, there were twice as many women as men in the tech pipeline and that continued for a decade, which of the things these 716 women identified as problems in the industry would continue? Being the only woman? Rarely. Being treated poorly because you're a woman? Unlikely when more of them are working there. Your sister is actually the counter-example to the Forbes article: put more women into play and suddenly the culture is no longer an issue.

about 2 months ago
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Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

Loki_1929 Re:uhh (549 comments)

Granted, but it's twice he's taken on a "there's no way, guy's a joke for even trying!" kind of challenge and succeeded really beyond anyone's wildest expectations.

It may turn out that this endeavor is simply beyond the ability of humanity in its present state of development, but that's a far cry from Musk being a snake oil salesman. Again, you can accuse him of having a reach exceeding his grasp, but he's demonstrably capable of accomplishing far more than anyone imagined when he first made his ambitious claims. There are a lot of steps between where we are today and a human being stepping onto the Martian surface and Musk appears to be taking some very practical approaches to taking each of those steps. He may not make it all the way there, but he obviously isn't insincere in his efforts.

about 2 months ago
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Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

Loki_1929 Re:uhh (549 comments)

You left out privately building space ships delivering stuff to the International Space Station with more reliability and for a fraction of the cost of anything NASA's done.

So there's that.

about 2 months ago
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Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

Loki_1929 Re:uhh (549 comments)

When Musk claimed he was going to start a new and successful American car manufacturing company when nobody else has managed to do so in the past half century or so and American manufacturing was considered a sick and dying animal, it was easy to label him a snake oil salesman. When Musk claimed he was going to start building rocket ships and launch stuff into space and make deliveries to the ISS at a fraction of the cost of anything done by NASA, it was easy to label him a snake oil salesman. But he just went ahead and did those things, successfully, at great personal risk because he's both driven and incredibly capable.

If there's one lesson we should all have learned by now, it's not to bet against Elon Musk. He's a risk taker with dreams greater than just about anyone alive, but I think the worst you can claim about him at this point is that his reach exceeds his grasp. Calling him a snake oil salesman is demonstrably unfair. All the other crazy things he's set about doing are happening before our eyes. Creating a self-sustaining colony on another planet may seem beyond our will our even beyond our capability at this point, but Musk's view that it must be done for the survival of humanity is a view shared by Stephen Hawking and many others. If there's anyone alive today who can make it happen, it's Musk.

about 2 months ago
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Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

Loki_1929 Re:Profitable, if self-contradictory (549 comments)

I think you'll find that your first argument is a misunderstanding of the term "universe" and actually only applies to the observable universe. Otherwise, one gets into quite interesting arguments about what the universe is expanding into and whether that is infinite and what its laws are. As for matter following the laws of thermodynamics, you'll quickly find that quantum mechanics strongly disagrees with that. The reality is that at small scales, matter (being just one form of energy) follows the laws of chance, and merely has a weighted average toward thermodynamics at larger scales.

The universe is not so simple.

about 2 months ago
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Forest Service Wants To Require Permits For Photography

Loki_1929 Re:Bogus justification (299 comments)

In other words, if you're Brian Williams and you'd like to film a news story there, you have every right to do so. If you're Michael Bay and you want to film a movie there, somebody probably needs to step in and put a stop to it before the forest is obliterated by a multi-kiloton series of non-nuclear explosions and scantily clad women running around between them.

about 2 months ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Loki_1929 Re:Great one more fail (600 comments)

The US Constitution was an open declaration of treason against the Crown, which at the time controlled the most powerful military the world had ever seen. It was signed by farmers, lawyers, and doctors who had little in the way of protection against that army and little chance of surviving the fight. To say it was anything less than a suicide pact is absurd. The fact that few alive in this country today have their intestinal fortitude speaks volumes to why we're in decline. They had balls. Somewhere along the way, we lost them.

And if you don't think voting leads to people dying, you aren't paying attention.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Green deaths: The forgotten dangers of solar panel

Loki_1929 Loki_1929 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Loki_1929 (550940) writes "Often lost in the ideologically driven debates over which source or sources best fit humanity's needs for clean, safe power moving forward are the hazards of implementing each proposed solution in scales large enough to make a difference. This writeup covers the dangers inherent to solar panel deployments for rooftops and speaks to how that scales in a country like the United States."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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A few items of interest, you probably will want to read on..

Loki_1929 Loki_1929 writes  |  more than 10 years ago

So I was reading about slashdot's little subscription-as-a-gift thing, and I was thinking that I might randomly select a few individuals from my fans list for a gift subscription. I was going to do the whole bunch, but then I pulled out my calculator and figured out that ~100 fans times $5 is really freakin' expensive. I really don't love you all that much - really. Anyway; I'm pondering how to do it exactly, but I'm thinking I'll probably do it Christmas morning and announce the nicknames of the lucky few in my journal. Please stay tuned for more.

Also, for those of you who were asking about the bootable CD I mentioned before, please stay tuned and I'll give you more info about what's on it and how to set it up for yourself once I have the time and inclination (probably within a week). I'll try to post replies to everyone who asked about it, but by the time I get into it, the discussion could very well be archived. One more reason to check my journal every so often.

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RIAA RICO defense...

Loki_1929 Loki_1929 writes  |  more than 11 years ago

This was from a previous Slashdot posting of mine, but I wanted the discussion to continue if possible. Post is reposted below:

"The suit ... charges that the RIAA's program is deceptive and fraudulent business practice."

Which brings us one step closer to my idea. If there are any real lawyers here, could you please tell me why no one has bothered to attack the RIAA's charges using the Federal RICO Act? The RIAA and member organizations have engaged in a pattern of corrupt business practices for over 50 years, and are now using the law to intimidate individuals, companies, and universities to further their interests.

From my (admittedly limited) understanding of RICO, you must prove that the organization has engaged in a pattern of criminal activity, and is using illegal means, especially under cover of authority (court actions, copyright law, etc) to further their interests. Now, the ongoing illegal activity is really two-fold. That being, the RIAA's member companies have illegally maintained an effective distribution monopoly by engaging in anti-competitive acts, and have conspired to defraud consumers with a massive price-fixing scheme which caused consumers to be overcharged by more than $480 million (USD) since 1997 alone, according to the former head of the FTC. This scheme was labled "Minimum-Advertised Pricing", or MAP by the Attorneys General who investigated and eventually brought about a settlement. With regard to the anti-competitive acts, the RIAA and member companies have engaged in such practices as "payola", in which radio stations were paid money in order to ensure that music not controlled by the RIAA's members was never played, and therefore never heard by the public at large. Thus, their only competition, the independent artist/label, continues to struggle to get by, while the RIAA monopoly takes in billions each year.

So I ask again, why is it that no one has attacked the RIAA on RICO grounds. A corrupt organization cannot use the legal system to facilitate its illegal activities. The lack of legal online modes of music distribution is but more evidence of the RIAA's desperate struggle to maintain its distribution monopoly with an iron fist. It would seem to me that showing these lawsuits to be nothing more than tactics designed to further the interests of a corrupt organization is a far better defense than, "my client didn't know it was illegal".

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The New America

Loki_1929 Loki_1929 writes  |  more than 11 years ago

---

DISCLAIMER: What I write below is in no way meant to incite any sort of violent action on anyone's part. Violence is never the only way, and a truly strong person will accomplish his or her goals through peaceful means regardless of how much more difficult it makes things. What comes below is specifically designed to provoke thought and a response; nothing more. Please, do NOT go out and do something stupid because of anything that comes from this thread.

---

So I started thinking about things a bit after starting this thread which has 18 replies thus far. Someone said that the US government isn't fucked up past the point of no return, yet. That got me thinking about what happens once it is. Should all freedom-loving people move somewhere else? Where? There is no "New World" left on planet Earth where we can set up our own government and our own way of life. What else is there then? Revolt? Not exactly a viable option when the police in this country could easily crush most any revolt. Then factor in the FBI, CIA, Army, Navy, Marines, etc, etc.

So I'm left thinking that we can do one of three things. Option one is to sit on our hands and see what happens. Maybe things get turned around in 20 years or so. Maybe it goes back to being good ole' America before we're dead. Or perhaps we resign ourselves to telling our granchildren about what it was like to be able to go anywhere you want or say anything you want without being taken away by government agents.

Option two is a full out revolt. "Great idea", except everyone who joined in would be dead or jailed within days if not hours. Even if it somehow succeeded, the cost would be too high. To win a war in modern times, you pretty much have to obliterate the place of conflict. The result? Our homes, our businesses, everything we own is destroyed. In the War of 1812, this pretty much happened. The English burned the White House to the ground, along with much of the rest of our country. In the end, it worked out well for most of them, but something like that has massive potential to be a Pyrrhic victory. Ultimately, I think this option is ridiculous, unworkable, and undesirable.

The thid option, and the one I'd suggest as the only sane alternative to option one is to fashion a new government, with a new Constitution which draws on all the knowledge we've gained from more than 200 years with our original US Constitution and to prepare to put this government in place if the time comes that our current government is beyond redemption. This differs from a revolt in that it requires broad support from the citizens of this country as well as the police and the military. The idea is that if the police, the military, and most citizens support the new government, the old government becomes irrelevent with no one left to enforce its decrees. Hence, a peaceful transition to a new and (hopefully) improved government.

Now, if we are to entertain the possibility of a new government (assuming it one day becomes necessary, and no I don't think we're anywhere near there yet - as in at least 5 or 10 years away), we'd need several things. One: a formal declaration of the rights and powers of the government, its structure, and its limitations. Two: a method of trasition (ie. how do we get from gov A to gov B without violence?). And thirdly: a list of potential people to head up the new government. Personally, I think the formal declaration should be based on the US Constitution; specifically a constitution of enumerated powers for the government, broad by its very nature, but taking into account instances where it's failed over the last 200 years. Think McCarthyism; think Japanese internment camps; think dept of Homeland Security; think indecision 2000; think DMCA. Lastly: We need a specific, yet somewhat vague list of absolute rights and privilages of all citizens, as well as those visiting, etc. Think Geneva convention; think basic human rights; think Amendments to the US Constitution. The difference here is that these would be more thoroughly explained (without being too specific as to preclude allowances for not-yet-imagined technologies and ideas), and completely absolute with some sort of fail-safe mechanism to prevent any loopholes or lapses.

Please post comments, thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. All constructive posts are welcome, even if they're controversial in nature.

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M2 (MetaModeration

Loki_1929 Loki_1929 writes  |  more than 12 years ago

"Have you Meta Moderated recently?"

I'm seeing this quite often lately. Then again, I just started moderating not too terribly long ago, so maybe it's normal to answer that question with "yeah, about 4 hours ago". Then again, I haven't gone more than two days in a row without answering the call to M2, so I suppose I'm a prime target for the asking. I've found plenty of M1's I didn't agree with, but only a handful that I could honestly say were 'unfair'. I suppose using the unfair M2 sparingly is the best way to go, as I wouldn't want to deny anyone M1 simply because I think it was a little "off". That being said, I've been leaving alone the ones where I can't make a strong decision either way, which amounts to an average of 2 or 3 per 10 M2's. If anyone has been M2'ing a bit longer, feel free to share any advice you might have, as the guidlines for M2 are (probably necessarily) a might bit vague.

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First journal entry, so I'll start in the complaints dept.

Loki_1929 Loki_1929 writes  |  more than 12 years ago

* 2002-02-26 07:29:41 The Register Invades US (articles,announce) (rejected)
        * 2002-03-12 00:01:32 Creative to aquire 3d Labs (articles,announce) (rejected)
        * 2002-04-06 01:19:53 Comcast.net users blocked from google (articles,news) (rejected)
        * 2002-04-29 15:29:57 Hollings' new bill just as bad as the last one (articles,news) (rejected)
        * 2002-06-11 15:10:32 US Citizen to be held indefinitely without counsel (articles,news) (rejected)
        * 2002-07-29 17:39:05 "Pre-Crime" may become a reality (articles,news) (rejected)
        * 2002-09-13 01:36:28 The future of computing - CDS (articles,news) (rejected)
        * 2002-10-03 03:29:28 Mitnick's laptop for sale on Ebay (articles,news) (rejected)

Of the 8 stories I've submitted since I started doing that, I believe 7 were good, solid stories, with at least 4 well-deserving front-page shots. 3 were posted several hours or days after I submitted. I'm not so much complaining about the rejected stories, as I'm asking whether or not I should continue taking the time to submit them.

Are there just so many people submitting stories that I need not bother?

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