×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Colorado sued by neighboring states over legal pot

apraetor Re:This should be interesting (2 comments)

Laws constructed under the Commerce Clause authority to restrict the interstate sale of alcohol have been ruled unconstitutional; maybe this will mark the end of our prohibition-era drug war nonsense. This could well be a can of worms the Attorneys-General will regret opening.

2 days ago
top

Colorado sued by neighboring states over legal pot

apraetor This should be interesting (2 comments)

Last I checked there was no amendment giving the Federal gov't authority to create drug laws; it's an interpretation of the commerce clause that's been used as legal justification. Wikipedia has an interesting break-down of the source of constitutional authority for drug laws here. The argument is tenuous and based on the idea that if the federal gov't refuses to tax something, then it has the authority to make laws criminalizing all trade. It's an argument which gives the fed broad reach beyond the letter of the US Constitution; it doesn't mean it's right or wrong -- just that it's the kind of interpretation liable to being changed as our society loses it's hard-nosed Puritanical belief in regulating the private lives of others.

2 days ago
top

Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

apraetor Re:its not as if american cops have anything to fe (515 comments)

When you speak you exhale; if your airway is restricted or partially-blocked you can still potentially force air out by creating high pressure in excess of 1 ATM using muscles. When you inhale, however, the force to move the air comes entirely from the pressure difference between your lungs and the environment; assuming you could pull a vacuum with your lungs the best you can EVER achieve would be 1 ATM of pressure forcing air into you -- without external help. EMTs can use bag-valve-mask hand ventilators to provide a source of high-pressure air to help force it into you (assisted breathing) but that would require the cops to actually give a crap and get help.

about a week ago
top

Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

apraetor Re:Pay with the pension fund! (515 comments)

Agreed. We've hired cops who aren't genuinely prepared to risk their personal safety for the benefit of their community. In any given cop-citizen interaction the cop is almost guaranteed to react to perceived threats with excessive force because they don't have any incentive to NOT shoot first -- there's no reason for the officer to wonder if it's the citizen who is in the most danger. I live in a smallish city, but I routinely go out of my way to avoid being near cops; I've got a couple friends that are officers and them I like, but the rest.. I'm not taking the chance.. I don't trust their judgement in situations where the line between threat and non-threat isn't black&white.

about a week ago
top

Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

apraetor Re:Fire them. (515 comments)

Depends on the state in the US, but many of them are at-will and you can be terminated at any time. They can fire you with no reason given and it's legal; if they cite a reason then you might be able to sue, if you can prove an illegal reason for firing.

about a week ago
top

Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

apraetor Re:Fire all the officers? (515 comments)

Would it be much different? They already dress up like soldiers; at least soldiers follow rules of engagement and have proper training.

about a week ago
top

Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

apraetor Re:Fire all the officers? (515 comments)

You're right about the fact that a sworn officer of the law is supposed to be risking their personal safety by giving the benefit-of-the-doubt and not shooting immediately. Unfortunately we've allowed a culture to build up where the cops are trained to make sure they "come home safe" by erring excessively on the side of shooting first. Your idea about killing them is dumb, but the cops who shoot first are also not true police officers -- they've forgotten that serving and protecting also means protecting innocent citizens from use of force, too.

about a week ago
top

Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

apraetor Re:Fire all the officers? (515 comments)

It's a problem of incentivization. No one wants to be hurt or killed, but being a cop means putting yourself into unpredictable situations. The officer has lots of incentive to shoot first, because we (society) haven't given them any good disincentive NOT to. In any given cop-citizen interaction the citizen could be a threat, or could be a harmless innocent; we need to give the cops incentive to look carefully before they shoot, because right now anytime you talk to a cop you have an INCREASED chance of being shot than if the cop wasn't around. The cops need to know they'll pay big-time if they don't take care to protect us from their own fight-or-flight response.

about a week ago
top

Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

apraetor Re: Fire all the officers? (515 comments)

There is this stigma around civil forfeiture; John Oliver showed how it's being routinely used against innocent citizens, but still.. people who don't consider themselves criminals don't believe it'll happen to them until it's too late. This is why my car's dash cam dumps to the cloud when I hit a panic button.

about a week ago
top

Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

apraetor Re:Fire all the officers? (515 comments)

Employers have typically less tolerance for crimes committed on-the-job than for ones you might commit on your own time, out of their sight; why should a police department have a different standard for crimes, even minor ones, committed under color of law?

about a week ago
top

Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

apraetor Re:Fire all the officers? (515 comments)

When it comes to arresting citizens for recording, and the deletion of the recordings, the courts DON'T accept that excuse from cops anymore. That's why Baltimore has paid out those millions recently.

about a week ago
top

Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

apraetor Re:Fire all the officers? (515 comments)

I could buy into that argument, but in this case it would be multi-million dollar remedial training. It might be worth the money to learn new lessons, but not to correct what amounts to either incompetence or willful disregard of the law.

about a week ago
top

Bank Security Software EULA Allows Spying On Users

apraetor Re:Not required - yes (135 comments)

Nail on the head. The recent trend towards use of debit cards attached to checking accounts is worrying; if used fraudulently you can be liable to $500 or more. On the other hand, a traditional credit card comes with a $50 max liability if the card is lost/stolen, and if the card numbers are stolen (but not the card) then you have $0 liability. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the shift toward debit cards is supported wholeheartedly by the banks wanting to reduce their losses to theft -- they give you a nice shiny debit card with a credit card company logo as proof of trustworthiness and ease-of-use, and never mention your increased exposure.

about a week ago
top

Are the TSA's New Electronic Device Screenings Necessary?

apraetor Re:TSA Has Been Useless Since The Beginning (184 comments)

I'm no fan of the TSA, but: how can we quantify the effect of simply having *some form* of security to deter the less-suicidal ones?

about a week ago
top

Are the TSA's New Electronic Device Screenings Necessary?

apraetor Re:(In that Counter Strike voice) Terrorists Win (184 comments)

Yea, El Al flights are safe; they also have missile countermeasures packages on their aircraft. Safe, sure.. but have you seen their ticket prices?

about a week ago
top

Are the TSA's New Electronic Device Screenings Necessary?

apraetor Re: Redundant Question (184 comments)

I'd rather not fly on a plane where the pilots are put in the position of needing to do anything besides actually fly the plane.

about a week ago
top

Does liquid water freeze or boil in space?

apraetor It's just a function of vapor pressure (1 comments)

At normal room temperature the vapor pressure of water is lower than atmospheric pressure, so water is a liquid. As you heat water the vapor pressure increases, and when it reaches the same pressure as the ambient atmosphere you see the phenomenon "boiling", a.k.a. the spontaneous transition of water from liquid to vapor phase. Space is a (nearly, but not a true) vacuum, so the vapor pressure of liquid water will be higher than ambient pressure -- boiling. At the same time, space doesn't HAVE a temperature; you can't have conduction without a medium to do the conducting. It's an energy balance: heat is being lost to the phase change, and radiated away as infrared, while incident IR from the sun adds heat. The water will eventually freeze, because the boiling will remove a lot of the available heat from the system.. but it'll also continue to evaporate. Atoms on the surface of the ice will continue to spontaneously transition to vapor phase (sublimation), and since space is a vacuum there will be no boundary layer near the surface to restrict dispersion. Still, the lack of much thermal energy will minimize the process, except while exposed to sunlight. Do a Google search for "comet sublimation" if you're curious. P.S. Fill a wild-barrel syringe with water part-way (no air!), then seal the tip. Next, pull back on the plunger (it'll be HARD!) and you'll see spontaneous boiling. We tend to forget that "boiling" isn't something that happens because water is 212 deg.F / 100 C, but rather is a pressure-driven process. Even more interesting is what happens to water when you increase the pressure high enough to make it freeze at room temperature, then heat it hot enough that it CANNOT freeze despite the pressure -- the "triple-point", where water exists in solid, liquid, and gaseous forms simultaneously.

about two weeks ago
top

The Sony Pictures Hack Was Even Worse Than Everyone Thought

apraetor Re:100 terabytes of data - a few movies? (528 comments)

A lot of the stuff that can hurt them the most isn't going to be video, it'll be all manner of personal / confidential files.. and that stuff is tiny compared to the video.

about two weeks ago
top

The Sony Pictures Hack Was Even Worse Than Everyone Thought

apraetor Re:Over what time interval? (528 comments)

Assuming the disks were part of an array for redundancy, how many disks would have to be stolen before you could rebuild the remainder?

about two weeks ago
top

The Sony Pictures Hack Was Even Worse Than Everyone Thought

apraetor Re:Over what time interval? (528 comments)

If someone stole one disk from a RAID array, rebuilt it, then stole another.. it could be done. If someone stole a set of disks from an array of Amazon's S3 service it might (ignoring any encryption) contain a similar mix of data.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

top

Child Porn Suspect Must Decrypt Own External Hard Drive

apraetor apraetor writes  |  about a year and a half ago

apraetor (248989) writes "I wonder how this stacks up against recent federal court rulings related to border searches and self-incrimination.

MILWAUKEE (CN) — A man suspected of housing child pornography on his hard drives must help the U.S. government decrypt them, a federal magistrate ruled. U.S. Magistrate Judge William Callahan Jr. issued the order last week, overturning an earlier decision that said the suspect, Jeffrey Feldman, was protected by his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination.

"

Link to Original Source
top

Apple sells apps that don't actually *do* anything

apraetor apraetor writes  |  more than 4 years ago

apraetor (248989) writes "This app, like many others in the Apple App Store, claims to do things which are patently untrue. In addition, the claims are things which the iPhone OS SDK outright bans developers from doing. For example, the app claims to repair battery capacity issues. Meanwhile, the SDK allows only polling the battery's current charge % and state (i.e. charging, full, discharging). An email I sent to Apple's App Store support last week has gone unanswered.

This app is such bs. It doesn’t actually *do* anything. The “features” it claims are all built-in to iPhone OS anyway. It relies on the naivety of users for sales; it is unfortunate that Apple, which purports to “approve” apps for customer protection, lets dishonest developers openly deceive those same customers for profit. The developer claims that the app “performs maintenance” to restore lost battery life, but the iPhone SDK documentation makes it clear that 3rd party apps can do nothing other than display the current charge of the battery, and the charge status.
“Magical battery-fixing junk”
This app claims to increase your iPhone volume.. yet another piece of Apple-approved deceptive advertising."

Journals

apraetor has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?