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Comments

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The Unique Candidates of the New Hampshire Primary

Quothz Re:Let see one implement their motto... (116 comments)

Man, I hesitate to reply to ACs but I see this meme a lot. The simple truth is that truth isn't simple: Some regulations are good and useful, like the ones that say food distributors can't poop in the food; others are anti-competitive or purely fee-driven, like requiring licensing to practice interior decoration; and some are both, like requiring banks to have a certain amount of cash on hand. The only way to avoid the bad and keep the good is to elect honest, thoughtful representatives instead of demagogues and fools. Which is t'say, it can't be done.

more than 2 years ago
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House Websites Jammed After Obama Debt Speech

Quothz Re:Rewrite the Constitution or face default! (1042 comments)

Affect and effect are not the same. Affect is a verb, while effect is a noun.

Except, of course, for the times when "affect" is a noun and "effect" is a verb. You might effect to have less affect, if you were so inclined. The actual reason they aren't the same word is the same reason "now" and "new" aren't the same word.

about 3 years ago
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If I'm the driver, I like to go ...

Quothz Re:5 Over (717 comments)

But what really grinds my gears is when some asshole pulls into the space that I'm purposely leaving open.

If you consider the times when you've had to force your way into a lane, turn across a lane, or miss a turn because traffic was too tight, then it may bother you less. Just think of the space as both a safety margin for braking and to allow folks to shift lanes. Sure, you have to adjust your space, but if more folks did it, driving'd be a lot more pleasant.

more than 3 years ago
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Income Tax Quashed, Ballmer To Cash In Billions

Quothz Re:I live in Seattle. (650 comments)

If you eliminate income tax, sales tax will have to increase considerably.

You. . . you understand that Washington has no personal income tax, right? It does have a fairly steep sales tax, but not as high as the number you pulled out of your ass. Taxes on businesses and property are where the difference gets made up. You're right in that people often slip down to Oregon, which has no sales tax, to do shopping, especially if they live near the line. But I want to make it clear that nobody's talking about eliminating income tax in Washington, they're talking about creating it, so you can skip arguments about why eliminating it won't work.

more than 3 years ago
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FBI and NYPD Officers Sent On Museum Field Trip

Quothz Reminds Me (70 comments)

That's reminiscent of a Mexican mayor who required his officers to regularly read books (and write short reports) in order to be eligible for promotion. I've been curious for some time how well that worked out. The LA Times story is archived here (behind a paywall but there's an abstract).

more than 3 years ago
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FBI and NYPD Officers Sent On Museum Field Trip

Quothz Re:Wish it would, but ain't never gunna happen... (70 comments)

Every time we hear the police complain that "Civilians don't understand what it's like, it's a lonely dangerous job, you could never do it, you could never understand"

This is no dig on you, but it's worth pointing out at this point that cops are civilians. And likewise worth pointing out while I'm here that cops are citizens. Folks on both sides of the badge have a nasty tendency to forget that. I'm not sure why.

more than 3 years ago
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Generic PCs For Corporate Use?

Quothz Re:$1000 a PC? (606 comments)

Even after accounting for their profit margin and your time spent re-imaging the machines with a clean version of Windows, the cost from Dell compared to DIY for standard beige-box business machines should be somewhere between slightly cheaper and slightly more expensive; if it's the latter, a single point of contact for warranty issues is still perhaps worth the money.

I hate to admit it (because I despise Dell's business practices), but this is true 'nuff. In addition, if you're getting any kind of bulk discount from Dell, you'd lose the ability to use that, which will raise your costs for notebooks and peripherals even if you can assemble desktop boxen more cheaply. At a thousand machines every couple of years, you should be getting a discount; if not, shop around.

Even better, shop around anyway and be willing t'pay a little extra to a company that isn't quite so abjectly evil.

more than 3 years ago
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Putting the Squeeze On Broadband Copper Robbers

Quothz Re:Copper broadband? (282 comments)

There's a simple explanation to that: In the 90ies it was discovered that the maximum carrier frequency of fiber optics is around 1-2 GHz, while there's new milestones been reached over copper wire every couple of years.

This may surprise you, but some time has passed since the 90s. DWDM has been demoed to carry 400Gb/s on one fiber and Lucent's making noises about raising the bar to 600 Gb/s. 20 Gb/s multiplexers for fiber are relatively cheap and are becoming ubiquitous.

more than 3 years ago
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Pope Says Technology Causes Confusion Between Reality and Fiction

Quothz Re:Hmm (779 comments)

Please see the Laws of Thermodynamics (specifically the 2nd law).

That's the least sane thing posted in this thread so far, and the competition for that honor is stiff. The second law of thermodynamics addresses the distribution of energy in a closed system. It only implies determinism if you apply it to a system consisting of you and the voices in your head, given a value for "entropy" that is equal to "crazy".

On another note, determinism and free will aren't the only choices any more, because of the possibility of non-deterministic but random events.

more than 3 years ago
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Motorola Sues Apple

Quothz Re:Just great!! (176 comments)

companies will spend 90% of their revenue filing or defending dozens of lawsuits, get nothing done anymore

Except that giant corporations love time- and money-wasting processes, as long as everyone has to play. It limits competition by forcing startups to have years and millions of dollars handy just for idiot patent suits before they can even think about revenue.

more than 3 years ago
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Scalpers Spur Apple To Require Reservations For iPhone

Quothz Re:Yet another clever marketing gimmick (119 comments)

Same story with "price gouging" laws. Here's a hint: there's no such thing as price gouging.

Yes, raising the price of food or medicine a hundredfold following a disaster that limits supply and access to alternatives is exactly the same as reselling an iPhone for profit. Because in both cases lives are at stake.

While I would never hope there will be a disaster, they happen from time to time, and I truly hope you find yourself in a position in which you must give up your car, home, and life savings to get a few days' clean water for your kids. Maybe then you'll see the difference between that and paying fifty bucks over retail for a toy.

more than 3 years ago
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Apple Pays Couple $1.7m For 1 Acre Plot

Quothz Re:Fair market price (215 comments)

In the US, SCOTUS was apparently fine with municipalities using eminent domain for the benefit of developers. Had Apple decided to be evil, they probably could've gotten it for a small fraction of what the property was really worth.

The first part of what you said is true, but the Kato ruling doesn't prevent state and local governments from restricting eminent domain from benefiting private development. Many places did so after the fallout from that case.

Assuming the GP is correct and NC did that thing, Apple would have to take the time and money for a massive lobbying campaign to change the law, then ask for the land to be force-bought. It would've been much more expensive than the price they paid, very time-consuming, and very risky. There would've almost certainly been some degree of public backlash as well. Since Apple isn't in the property development business, there'd be no future benefit to them. Buying the land for a couple of million made a lot more sense.

Apple doesn't get any not-evil points for this, sorry; it was easily the more pragmatic choice. In the "corporations not being as evil as they could be" race, they're still pretty much in the middle of the pack, but losing a bit of ground each time a factory worker producing iStuff components jumps off a building because his death benefits will feed his family but his paycheck won't.

more than 3 years ago
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One Man's Fight Against Forum Spam

Quothz Re:Illegal (245 comments)

If you do what you want based on what you feel is right, we might just not have any laws at all. There is a reason why the laws are created by the society as whole and not a single person or a group with single interest.

So, just as an analogy, if the police decided to stop enforcing laws against auto theft, you believe it would be wrong for others to do so. I don't think that holds water. What this guys is doing is indeed illegal, but not immoral; when our government is unwilling or unable to enforce or prosecute laws it becomes incumbent upon non-sanctioned individuals to protect society by doing so. The simple fact is that the government is not able to even begin to scratch the sheer volume of spam, nor is it interested in going after spammers unless it can wrench a large settlement and some headlines out of the deal. If we wish to preserve the Internet as a medium for the exchange of ideas, some of us must take action to protect it from those who exploit it at a very real, monetary cost to innocent people.

more than 3 years ago
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Monkey Island Creator Slams Corporate Control Over Game Publishing

Quothz Re:Happy and satisfied (298 comments)

As much as Apple annoys me, this is one case in which I actually have gained a skosh of respect for the company. Good for Apple for limiting the placement and visibility of ads! If left to themselves, ad companies would essentially reinvent the screaming, flashing pop-up ad at every opportunity. I frankly have no idea what an iAd is supposed to be, but it's nice to hear that Apple's trying not to let 'em take over whatever it is they subsidize. If advertisers are gonna be whiny babies and complain to the media because Apple won't let 'em have everything their own way, then this should be a rare positive story for Apple.

more than 3 years ago
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Swedish Police Shoe Database May Tread On Copyright

Quothz Re:Sure it is! (156 comments)

Shoeprints being part of a future police investigation is about as hypothetical as my claim that should I throw a rock in the air it will fall back down.

I think you're misunderstanding the point. Jurisprudence does not, in general, recognize a future hypothetical case as being equal to a current actual case, regardless of the likelihood (the exception, it seems, being American 9th Circuit lawsuits against future John Doe copyright violators, but that's not jurisprudence so much as an unholy cross between corruption, politics, and insanity). To permit otherwise would be akin to allowing police to use investigative powers for any imaginary future purpose, and nobody wants that, except police.

The correct answer is for the police to ask nicely. I honestly can't imagine more than a bare handful of shoemakers would deny them a limited license to make use of the prints for internal investigative purposes. I'm not sure about Swedish law, but in most places fancy-pants lawyerese isn't even needed; just a "sure, use our prints for that purpose, signed, authority person" letter on record. No need to adjust the laws when any decent administrator armed with Internet access, a handful of stamps, and a printer can solve the problem.

more than 3 years ago
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Film Industry Hires Cyber Hitmen To Take Down Pirates

Quothz Re:Er, (457 comments)

It's more a store fighting shoplifting by tracking down people they think might be shoplifters and setting fire to their cars.

If I can stretch that analogy much too far, it's more like a store sending out hundreds of cars to block and harass people who may be shoplifters on the road without regard to the impact on other traffic. DOS attacks use the same infrastructure you're trying t'use to work, play games, read the news, post on /., and such. So in essence they're attacking everyone on the Internet as retaliation for one site ignoring an accusation of piracy.

Given that some, admittedly few, DCMA notices are sent out improperly formatted, in bad faith, or to the wrong people, this becomes particularly irksome. One hopes it opens up all kinds of crazy liability issues for both Kumar and whomever pays him, but we all know that big filmmakers, both in Bollywood and Hollywood, have a war chest larger than some nations' GNPs.

more than 3 years ago
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Big Brother In the School Cafeteria?

Quothz Re:indoctrination (425 comments)

Now from the summary I don't even know what a personal identification number code is. Unless you have a secret code to unlock a little brief case that contains your PIN.

Obviously it's the code you'd use to decrypt the DAT tape on which your PINs are stored, including this one, the one for ATM machines, the one for EBT benefits, and so forth.

more than 3 years ago
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GPS Tracking Without a Warrant Declared Legal

Quothz Re:Power from the people (926 comments)

My memory from law class is rusty and it was Canadian law class but Citizen's Arrest is just the right to detain someone you witness in the act of committing a felony for the shortest amount of time possible until you can get an officer of the law there. It's not the actual right to arrest someone.

Au contraire, like: In the US, private citizens who are not law enforcement officers generally have no right to detain another citizen, only to arrest. TSA officers and other rent-a-cop types have a little more leeway on detention. Remember, to "detain" someone is to briefly stop that person for the purpose of asking questions under the implication that they are required to remain, although they may simply walk away. To "arrest" a person is to stop that person from leaving, and walking away becomes resistance.

When a cop asks you where you're going at 3 a.m., you're being detained, and you need only stop long enough to ask if you're free to go to ensure that you aren't under arrest. When a cop pulls you over for speeding, you're being briefly arrested.

There are special laws that may require you to remain in certain general vicinities at times (the scene of an accident or crime, for example), and courts may compel a person to be somewhere without arrest, but whenever one citizen prevents another from going somewhere else, it's an arrest.

more than 3 years ago
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The MPEG-LA's Lock On Culture

Quothz Re:Kill the lawyers. (457 comments)

Legislators are largely NOT lawyers, and of the few who are lawyers, most have never practiced.

54% of the US Senate is comprised of lawyers, as is about 36% of the House. At the state level, it thins out a bit; 15% overall, with a significantly stronger showing in the state Senates (see the National Conference of State Legislatures website for more detailed details, if you care for 'em). While a lawyer might agree that fits with your "largely not" statement, there's an implication that only a handful of legislators are lawyers, and that's misleading. It's also worth noting that these figures are the lowest seen in quite a few decades.

Lawyers, as a group, have a -very- strong hand in shaping the law today, in recent memory have had an even stronger voice, and have never been left out of the game. It's just fortunate that lawyers disagree as much--or more--as anyone else does.

I agree that we can't (entirely, or mostly) blame "the lawyers" for bad laws, not even the lobbydroids. Ultimately, public apathy, indifference, and plain stupid are the root causes of bad lawmaking. I -can- blame lawyers for perverting the courts into an overly-formalized, inaccessible, and almost incestuous haven for billable hours. I can also blame lawyers for not policing themselves well. The rules are made by and enforced by colleagues who're likely to be sympathetic, and that's a problem.

more than 4 years ago
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Stone Tools Found On Crete Push Back Humans' Maritime History

Quothz Re:Humans are pretty damn clever... (176 comments)

Crete's highest peak is visible from about 100 nm.

It took me about thirty seconds to shake nanometers out of my head and come up with nautical miles. "Gosh," thought I, "that's even flatter than Kansas, where the highest peak can be seen from several microns' distance."

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Craigslisting of Neighbors' Stuff OK in Texas

Quothz Quothz writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Quothz (683368) writes "Last spring, an Arlington police officer listed his neighbor's athletic gear on Craigslist. After a review, the Tarrant District Attorney's office has decided no crime was committed. "The law just wasn't there", says county prosecutor Dixie Bersano. So, Texans, clean up those yards and lock those doors: Your stuff is free for the giving."
Link to Original Source
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Seven Arrested for Pics of Out-of-Control Officer

Quothz Quothz writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Quothz (683368) writes "When San Diego Deputy Marshall Abbott was called to a Congressional campaign fundraiser on a noise complaint, he went out of control. After the hostess refused to provide her date of birth, he decided it was time to break out the pepper spray. He then pulled out a Taser, dragged a 60-year-old woman to the floor by her arm, and called for backup. Police cars, fire trucks, a K-9 unit, and a helicopter apparently were needed, in case others chose not to reveal their dates of birth — but the real story is that seven people were arrested for photographing the cops with their cell phones and "talking back to an officer". "Most" were released at the scene. It's about time we stopped coddling these photograph-taking, back-talking, birth-date-withholding little old ladies and brought some justice to Congressional campaign fund-raising gangs."
Link to Original Source
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Associated Press Sends Takedown Notice to Itself

Quothz Quothz writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Quothz writes "Associated Press affiliate WTNQ-FM in Tennessee received an unusual legal threat against its Youtube channel. You guessed it: the AP threatened its own affiliate if it doesn't stop posting news there for its listeners. It appears that the AP has a single executive assigned to battle Youtube, and "nobody told the AP executive that the august news organization even has a YouTube channel which the AP itself controls". Although the AP quickly changed its tune, this seems pretty indicative of the rabid-dog nature of IP enforcement today. On the balance of it, I'm surprised the RIAA hasn't managed to sue itself yet."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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Google search for "sony DDU220E troubleshoot"

Quothz Quothz writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Results 1 - 1 of about 2. Search took 0.20 seconds.

But not exactly two.

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From the "Too Much Spare Time" File

Quothz Quothz writes  |  more than 11 years ago So... with a war raging in Iraq, allegations of misconduct, a couple nations making accusations of war crimes, and everything else going on in the world.

And Bush is taking another day off for another funeral. Thurmond's I can see - but Hepburn's is simply pandering. It's not like she was a family member or a personal friend, she was just an actress. My uncle's a pretty good mortician. Think the President would turn up if he kicked the bucket?

This kind of cold-blooded behavior makes me sick.

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Geneva Con-whatzit?

Quothz Quothz writes  |  more than 11 years ago

The BBC News tells us a story about how their visit to our Cuban prison camps was halted early. This doesn't worry me so much as the quote at the end:

"We are detaining the enemy combatants here in Guantanamo in a humane manner in accordance with the Geneva Conventions with the exception of the requirements of military necessity."[Emphasis Mine] This from Major-General Geoffrey Miller. That's Major-General, United States Army.

Hold the phone. Within the what did you say? When I was in the Army, we were told that the US obeyed the Geneva Convention, and I don't recall any fine print. I ranked slightly below the local squirrels, I'll admit, so I don't know what the brass really had to say about it.

I'm squeamish about the idea of the United States Army as a bunch'a war criminals. It has been hinted in the BBC News that the U.S. has pressured Belgium into halting prosecution for other American war crimes in Iraq.

This does not bode well to me, folks. We're supposed to be, like, all enlightened and civilized and shit. Odd parallels spring to mind between the United States and the old Byzantine Empire, and they are not good comparisons.

Enough ranting for now. Comment if you think I'm hopelessly mistaken.

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