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Comments

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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Zak3056 Re:Militia, then vs now (1580 comments)

You're essentially claiming that both you and your AR-15 are at least as accurate as the gold medalist in the 50m rifle at the 2012 summer games was while firing whatever piece of art was crafted for him by Anschutz. You can imagine how one might be incredulous in the face of this claim. "You don't know what you're talking about" is not a valid response.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

3 days ago
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OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

Zak3056 Re:April Fools stories are gay (1482 comments)

He should not be prosecuted for giving his funds, but for spreading his hate speech in public against gays.
And the proper punishment would be: banning him to repeat that or face a heavy fine (yeah yeah free speech lala I hear you, idiot!)

"Gay people are evil and should be stoned to death" is hate speech (though given no specific incitement to violence, is protected speech).
"I don't think people of the same sex should be allowed to marry" is a valid political view, and is also protected speech.

For the record, I firmly support gay marriage and don't really understand how anyone who claims to believe in small government, "freedom," etc could oppose it, as it basically comes down to "we don't like how those people live their lives, and it ought to be illegal." However, you're worse, because you're one of those assholes that wants to make talking about things illegal. "Free speech" isn't "it's ok to talk about those things I support."

about three weeks ago
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Stanford Researchers Spot Medical Conditions, Guns, and More In Phone Metadata

Zak3056 Re:Griswold vs Connecticut (193 comments)

Importantly, there's no explicit "right to privacy" in the US Constitution

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects" sure sounds a hell of a lot like "privacy" to me. Of course, an "explicit" right to privacy is not required, it's already guaranteed by those pesky 9th and 10th amendments.

about a month ago
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VC Likens Google Bus Backlash To Nazi Rampage

Zak3056 Re:Drift? (683 comments)

The summery itself mentioned this. These people are unable to pay rising property taxes....

California's Proposition 13 was designed to keep people from getting priced out of their homes. It's not lawful to reassess a property unless there is a change of ownership, or new construction. With this in mind, I'm not understanding how people can be priced out of a neighborhood they already live in due to rising property values.

Care to enlighten?

about 3 months ago
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Munich Open Source Switch 'Completed Successfully'

Zak3056 Re:Other Motives (275 comments)

I'm guessing you, and many others for that matter, think that since they have their own distro, they must be coding themselves almost everything they use. This is simply not true. Simplified version is they just select what software they want to use and install it off the official Ubuntu repositories.

No, I don't think this at all, but I would expect the level of effort to be similar to something like CentOS. Probably more so, since if I understand correctly, one of their goals was to not be tied too tightly to their upstream distro, so they'll be faced with having to replace libblahblah.so.4 and all of its dependencies when they want to update packages foo, bar,and blee that upstream decided can't change for stability purposes.

I will say that your point about the work involved with maintaining a golden Windows image is a good one, though given that DLL hell is mostly a thing of the past (I won't comment on the shitty way that MS dealt with that, but it is more or less fixed) it's probably a lot less work than the above. Still, it is a point I hadn't considered.

Their claimed cost savings is something like $20M, so that pays for a LOT of overhead. But does it pay for enough?

about 4 months ago
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Munich Open Source Switch 'Completed Successfully'

Zak3056 Re:Other Motives (275 comments)

Do we know that they saved money overall? I poked around the article but I couldn’t find anything.

That's also my question. I'm having difficulty wrapping my head around a decade long engineering effort, plus the ongoing costs of maintaining their own distro(!!) is going to lead to a net cost savings. Best of luck to them, and I do hope they succeeded here, but I too would love to see specifics (and not marketing drivel provided by MS, Gartner, etc).

about 4 months ago
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Pirate Bay Founder Warg Being Held in Solitary Confinement

Zak3056 Re:Solitary Confinement (192 comments)

It's only ignored by pussies too passive to fight for it. That document only lists your rights, if you want them you still have to defend them and fight for them. You still have to stand up for yourself, the law is in your favor, if you're willing to fight for it.

Bullshit. The constitution is an enumeration of powers possessed by the government. The list of rights embodied in the amendments are only examples, and the founding fathers thoughtfully included the ninth AND tenth amendments as a reminder of that. There was an argument over having a bill of rights at all, and those opposed based their objection on the idea that, over time, an enumeration of rights would come to be seen as an inclusive, limited list and undermine freedoms instead of enabling them. And here we are today, where most people believe the part in bold above.

about 4 months ago
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Google's Plan To Kill the Corporate Network

Zak3056 Re:Looooooong game (308 comments)

Please excuse the formatting above. I really, really, hate that slashdot can't seem to handle lists anymore.

about 4 months ago
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Google's Plan To Kill the Corporate Network

Zak3056 Re:Looooooong game (308 comments)

Google lives in a fantasy world, where the WAN is as fast as the LAN. For me, both at home and in the workplace, you're talking about two and a half orders of magnitude difference. That's the whole reason all this cloud stuff, streaming (as opposed to download) video, etc all seems so bizarrely alien. You're talking about such a tremendous performance downgrade, that I just can't begin to really take it seriously.

I suppose the thinking is that they are planning for the future, when some day the WAN gets reasonably fast, where my home and business DSL line is replaced with fiber. Cool. Be ready, Google. But how are you going to spend those decades of waiting? Some cons are a little too long, IMHO.

Some thoughts on this:

  • It my be fantasy for you and I, but Google actually lives in this world. When you can dabble in setting up gigabit city-wide networks as a freaking "experiment" it's reasonable to assume that bandwidth for remote connectivity isn't really an issue for you.
  • 100kbit is more than enough to buy you a reasonably quick remote desktop session. If all your real work is being done in the datacenter across multiple redundant 10gbit links, then who the hell cares what the WAN connectivity is, as long as it's enough to get the session to the user?

about 4 months ago
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Get Ready For a Streaming Music Die-Off

Zak3056 Re:It's a doomed race against time (370 comments)

That leaves out the dominant form of advertising: payola. Major labels spend a lot of the band's money to get songs on the radio, whether it's laundered through "independent promoters" or just cutting checks to Clear Channel. Then there's TV/Movies: the major labels are all affiliated with TV/movie studios, so the songs played on every teen-centric show are pretty strategically chosen.

FTFY. Label contracts pass the cost of basically everything on to the artist, so other than providing an advance and access to some slimy contacts, the label isn't really doing much for the artist (and in the end, the label owns the copyright on what the artist paid for... it's like a reverse work for hire).

about 4 months ago
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Physicists Plan to Build a Bigger LHC

Zak3056 Re:Peanuts (263 comments)

The price to the U.S for WW2 was $288 trillion, imagine the accelerator we could have build with that.

[citation needed]
According to The Navy Department Library, the second world war cost about $300 billion in 1945 dollars, or $4.1 trillion in today's dollars. If you include the costs of the Marshall Plan, etc, I'm sure that changes things quite a bit, but probably not almost two orders of magnitude.

about 5 months ago
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Google Nexus 5 Posts Best Gaming Benchmark Among Android Smartphones

Zak3056 Re:Why is this surprising? (78 comments)

Have you compared the prices of the two?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not out to take anything away from Google here (if I could have a nexus phone on Verizon, believe me, I'd be rolling a couple of dozen out tomorrow). I'm not comparing price/performance here, I'm just pointing out how silly it is to make a big deal out of the fact that someone's unreleased flagship device is faster than everyone else's existing devices.

about 6 months ago
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Google Nexus 5 Posts Best Gaming Benchmark Among Android Smartphones

Zak3056 Why is this surprising? (78 comments)

According to Rightware's Power Board, the Nexus 5 delivered the second-highest Benchmark X gaming score among smartphones, behind only the iPhone 5S, making it the most powerful Android-based handset in the land.

Latest generation flagship smartphone faster than previous models. Film at 11.

about 6 months ago
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Infosys Fined $35M For Illegally Bringing Programmers Into US On Visitor Visas

Zak3056 Re:Missing Step 2 (201 comments)

I have a better punishment: no visas of any kind for three years. No h1b, no b1, your CEO can't have a visa for his quarterly visit, nothing. The punishment should fit the crime.

about 6 months ago
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Nebraska Scientists Refuse To Carry Out Climate Change-Denying Study

Zak3056 Re:Really? (640 comments)

This is a bit like asking physicists to come up with a reason that newtons apple falls that DOESNT involve gravity. It just stops being science.

Why, exactly, is this not science? Science is a method, not a tucking religion! Our understanding of the universe is imperfect at best and it's certainly POSSIBLE that there is another explanation. Not at ALL likely, but possible.

If everyone had your hostility toward retesting what we already know, we'd still think the earth was flat and that it was the center of the universe.

about 6 months ago
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Nebraska Scientists Refuse To Carry Out Climate Change-Denying Study

Zak3056 Re:Governor Appointed (640 comments)

The post he responded to referenced Elon Musk and Bell Labs. Going a bit further afield the old xerox PARC and IBM of of did plenty of research. Microsoft spends a bunch on pie in the sky stuff. John Carmack plowed plenty of money into building rockets.

Has government funded research produced absolutely incredible results that we're all better off for? Abso-freaking-lutely! Is the government the ONLY one that spends on basic research with no immediate application? Absolutely NOT!

about 6 months ago
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German Report: Obama Aware of Merkel Spying Since 2010

Zak3056 Re:Obama Was Unaware of Merkel Spying 2002-2010 (280 comments)

To be fair, Obama didn't show up for work in 2007-2008, he was too busy running for higher office to do the job he was elected to do. I wish /. had emoticons so I could do the "rolling eyes" smiley right now.

Once upon a time, politicians would resign from their current office in order to run for a different one, but the last one I can remember doing that was Bob Dole in 1996. The worst example I can think of was Joe Lieberman, who simultaneously ran for reelection to the Senate and for Vice President just four years later.

about 6 months ago
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Federal Prosecutors, In a Policy Shift, Cite Warrantless Wiretaps As Evidence

Zak3056 Re:The Bush Administrations argument... (321 comments)

I think one thing you say above is a key point:

in theory, anybody can form a corporation and operate it to take advantage of the extra "rights" to be gained thereby,

I don't believe a corporation should have "extra" rights. I think should they have all the rights of the people that make them up, and that's where it ends. I agree completely that there is a massive problem with how we treat corporate entities--whenever someone can, say, commit a felony resulting in the deaths, and some limited liability entity walks away with a token fine as a result, there is something seriously wrong... but your proposed solution doesn't correct that! We need to overhaul the courts, not restrict free speech.

How would restricting the political activities of that entity-in-law have in any way affected the Constitutional rights of the people operating it?

How does, say, the New York Times corporation operate in an environment where corporate entities do not have free speech and freedom of the press? You can argue that the individual reporters are simply exercising their own rights, but that fails once you dig into it--the corporation's money is being spent to give those reporters a voice. The editorial page is more than just the editor's personal opinion, it's the de facto position of the newspaper. "Vote for Giant Douche! He's better than Turd Sandwich!" is being broadcast to millions of people, and it's a corporation that's doing it.

How, possibly, can you deny this right and still be faithful to the spirit of the first amendment?

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Lavabit.com owner: 'I could be arrested' for resisting surveillance order

Zak3056 Zak3056 writes  |  about 8 months ago

Zak3056 (69287) writes "NBC News is reporting that, "The owner of an encrypted email service used by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden said he has been threatened with criminal charges for refusing to comply with a secret surveillance order to turn over information about his customers.

"I could be arrested for this action," Ladar Levison told NBC News about his decision to shut down his company, Lavabit LLC, in protest over a secret court order he had received from a federal court that is overseeing the investigation into Snowden."

--I seem to recall that the constitution has something in it prohibiting involuntary servitude, but I could be mistaken."

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Go out and VOTE

Zak3056 Zak3056 writes  |  more than 9 years ago

It's Tuesday, November 2nd. It's time to fufill the most important duty a citizen of the United States has.

I don't care if you're going for Bush, Kerry, Nader, Badnarik, Cobb, Peroutka, or an even more obscure candidate. I don't care if you're a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, or Communist. I don't care if you're white, black, brown, yellow, purple, or green.

It's time to do your job. It's time to have your say in the direction this nation will take in the next few years. It's time to go out and vote.

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Something that bugged me enough to write about it.

Zak3056 Zak3056 writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I was metamoderating today, and had this comment, end up as one of my items.

The comment suggests an exit strategy for the US in Iraq, which involves allowing Allawi to be killed, and letting his successor (who would ideally be nominally anti-US) be seen to be kicked out of the nation. The author states that, If we do that, and do it soon, we win. Iraq will be no more anti-western than when we stared (that would be impossible). They will have no more or less love for Israel (that too would be impossible). The problems in the region will not have been solved. However, someone with the political clout to re-build Iraq without being attacked by guerilla bombings every day will be able to establish order. It will be slow and painful. There will be abuses, but it will work because he will appear to have "kicked out the Americans". In the end we will have removed the largest source of instability in the region (which we created) and accomplished our goal of removing S.H.

I disagree completely with this idea, and believe such a policy would have some pretty disastrous consequences down the road. But what truly annoyed me is that the comment was marked "flamebait."

That was an unfair moderation, and I metamoderated as such--while I disagree with it, the comment itself is quite interesting. The moderation was undoubtedly the result of someone who simply disagreed with the author of that comment, and to that, folks, I say letting your politics moderate for you is bad policy--it's sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming, "la la la, I can't hear you!"

I don't care what political ideals someone champions, I'm still willing to hear out what they have to say--the alternative to talking about our politics is shooting each other over them. We tried that one already, and I can't say I'd like to see a repeat performance.

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Nick Berg

Zak3056 Zak3056 writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I'm sure at this point everyone is familiar with the story of Nick Berg, so I won't bother to rehash the disgusting details. But this incident is so offensive that--after five years of being a /. user--I feel the need to make use of the Journal feature and state my thoughts on the issue.

The people--and I use that term loosely--who murdered Mr. Berg claim they have done so in retaliation for the abuse of prisoners at Abu Gharib. While the treatment of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers is both disturbing and disgusting--and, indeed, casts a dark shadow over our stated mission of "liberating the Iraqi people from the terrors of Heussein"--the idea that murdering innocents is somehow a just response is sickening.

News stories have quotes from around the arab world about this issue. Gems like "This was a justified retaliation. The Americans had committed very ugly actions against the Iraqi people in general and Iraqi prisoners in particular," said Mohammed AlBargouti, a 24-year-old security guard in the West Bank city of Ramallah. and While many thought it an appropriate response to what they see as U.S. abuses against Iraqi civilians, Mutaz, a Syrian taxi driver working in the United Arab Emirates, went further: "It must have been a beautiful sight. The Americans deserve even more than this for what they are doing in Iraq. Every American should watch this tape to see what is coming to them, or are they the only ones allowed to kill? are splashed across various wire stories.

Make no mistake: Nick Berg's murder had nothing to do with Abu Gharib--this is just a convenient excuse. It was an simply an excersize in terror, and a display of "power." Anyone who believes there is any justification for this act is simply not human. There is nothing redeeming about al-qaeda. There is nothing holy about al-qaeda. They are nothing more than thugs who claim to believe in god, because it allows them to control others who truly do.

To be fair, there have been some condemnations of this act from surprising quarters: "Hizbollah condemns this horrible act that has done very great harm to Islam and Muslims by this group that claims affiliation to the religion of mercy, compassion and humane principles," the Shi'ite Muslim group said in a statement. There you have it, folks: even Hizbollah, a group that does not shy away from suicide bombers blowing up children agrees that this is beyond the pale.

Personally, my thoughts run thusly: Men who can saw the head off of another human being while chanting "God is good!" have no place on this earth, and should be hunted down and killed for the good of all civilized people. And I, for one, would gladly be the man to pull the trigger.

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