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Ask Slashdot: What Does Edward Snowden Deserve?

mutube Re:It might be an unpopular opinion... (822 comments)

Snowden committed crimes.

Allegedly.

For the rule of law, he should be tried and sentenced to the prescribed penalty for those crimes.

For the rule of law, he is innocent until proven guilty.

I'm glad we know what he told us. But you can't not prosecute people who undoubtedly did commit crimes because you agree with their stated motives.

The only person who can know if he 'undoubtedly' did commit a crime are the judge and jury in court. If you let that go the second you think "He don't look right..." or "Well, I saw on the news that..." then you're throwing the whole judicial process on the scrapheap. This even applies if you "saw him do it" a.k.a. "I (think) I saw him do it and I'm (pretty) sure he did" - and even if he confesses.

It may seem like syntactic sugar but you'll do yourself a lot of good if you start inserting "allegedly" into any statement you make about an individual pre-trial - and subconsciously do so when reading other people's information-free opinionfacts. For the record I think he's guilty as sin of the law, but that the law is probably wrong.

about 9 months ago
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Tesla Sending New Wall-Charger Adapters After Garage Fire

mutube Re:Bravo, Tesla (195 comments)

Absolutelty. My house is wired so that when I plug in a high load device it electrocutes the neighbours kids. One of them nearly died when I got my new 8 slice toaster, I dread to think what would happen if I plugged in a car?!

Tesla should be ashamed of themselves!

about 9 months ago
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Rap Genius Returns To Google Search Rankings

mutube Slashdot keeps on pushing the boundaries (115 comments)

Unfortunately, it's the boundaries of how un-newsworthy content can be and still be called "news".

Someone I've never heard of does dodgy SEO, gets banned by Google, then gets the ban lifted (+- unproven allegation of favouritism) and I'm supposed to give a shit?

Happens every day, almost entirely to other people I've never heard of either.

about 10 months ago
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Lawmakers Out To Kill the Corn-Based Ethanol Mandate

mutube Re:Maybe this corn can be used for food again? (314 comments)

Ah, I see - you chose to take their post literally.

I chose to assume the caveat "Except the obvious shit" to apply.

I was being facetious. But when you add the "Except the obvious shit" caveat you then introduce "who gets to decide what is obvious".

Perhaps we can all agree "I support sunset clauses on bad laws!" and be done with it?

about 10 months ago
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Lawmakers Out To Kill the Corn-Based Ethanol Mandate

mutube Re:Maybe this corn can be used for food again? (314 comments)

I don't make that assumption at all (and I don't agree with it either). As I wrote elsewhere:

What I can't agree with is applying sunset clauses to laws that are intended to last. The solution to "Some laws are bad" is not "Let's make laws last for less time and then renew them!" it's "Let's make better laws". If a law is so bad you can't bear to enact it unless it is automatically repealed in 5 years - it's probably not a very good law. All this accomplishes is feeding short-termism, allowing politicians off the hook for their crap. "Hey I passed a law! (But don't worry it won't do any real harm because it'll be off the books before we see the consequences)."

Sunset clauses increase legislative overhead. There are two outcomes from this that I can see:

  1. the politicians are overworked so they are able to produce fewer laws, and so fewer laws (bad and good) are passed
  2. the politicians are overworked so they are less able to usefully debate/deconstruct laws, and more bad laws are passed

From your post it sounds as though you are advocating for position #1 - that is by making politicians revisit their laws, fewer laws are passed and so the bad laws will be reduced. However, if we apply sunsetting to everything then we also lose good laws. If you think this is on balance an optimum solution then sunsetting is a strange way to approach it - you can have the same effect by simply reducing the numbers of politicians*. That also has the benefit of saving money.

(* the Constitution may have a problem with this - but that's something that can be dealt with when you sunset that and revisit it).

I fall more on the side of position #2 in that I want elected representatives to spend their time doing maximally useful work. I do think there are probably too many laws, but that the most efficient way to deal with that is through progressively revisiting and repealing those that are deemed counterproductive (by the same debate process as sunsetting). I would argue quite strongly that such review should be carried out.

about 10 months ago
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Lawmakers Out To Kill the Corn-Based Ethanol Mandate

mutube Re:Maybe this corn can be used for food again? (314 comments)

Like the Constitution?

Just to clarify - I'm not against sunset clauses in all cases. But I am against the idea (expressed in the original post) that "There really should be sunset provisions on all laws." Some things don't need regular repeal - some laws are just that good. Like laws against murder. Similarly, short term laws to cover things (like getting back on topic corn subsidies) make sense as a short term financial instrument. There sunsetting makes sense - and gives a defined end point for companies that depend on the subsidy.

What I can't agree with is applying sunset clauses to laws that are intended to last. The solution to "Some laws are bad" is not "Let's make laws last for less time and then renew them!" it's "Let's make better laws". If a law is so bad you can't bear to enact it unless it is automatically repealed in 5 years - it's probably not a very good law. All this accomplishes is feeding short-termism, allowing politicians off the hook for their crap. "Hey I passed a law! (But don't worry it won't do any real harm because it'll be off the books before we see the consequences)."

Bundling these things into cumulative bills would mean they'll get so little oversight that they may as well be permanent. They're hardly read the first time, what makes you think anyone will pay attention to what the law says when it's on page 543?

about 10 months ago
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Lawmakers Out To Kill the Corn-Based Ethanol Mandate

mutube Re:Maybe this corn can be used for food again? (314 comments)

Huh? That makes no sense. So, basically, you're saying that it takes more time to buy (or not buy) a car someone built than it would take for you to engineer and build a car yourself. That's nuts, yo.

Quite obviously, no. In bigpat's OP they stated that: "There really should be sunset provisions on all laws." This is clearly nonsensical. Or would you argue that there should be sunset provisions on the laws against murder? The Constitution? If not then you accept there is a class of laws for which sunset clauses don't apply (i.e. laws that will be a good law for a long period of time). "There really should be sunset provisions on all laws." is demonstrably false.

If you want to argue that laws against murder get sunset clauses attached and renewed on a decade-by-decade basis assuming "Senator Bob" remembers please do, but I want it as a car analogy.

As opposed to months of 'closed doors' meetings, secret deals with lobbyists, writes and re-writes and re-re-writes, etc.

Because that is of course the only alternative. I'm starting to wonder whether you're ticking off a list of logical fallacies here, you've already managed a Straw man, Either or and False analogy.

That had nothing to do with sunsetting laws, and everything to do with the fact that our Congress is made up of, essentially, narcissistic 5th graders.

Ad hominem.

I'll take your final point though I was thinking of the budget not the fiscal cliff. In other countries the previous budget continues to run until a new one is in place. As a result the running government can't be held hostage to the whim of Senator Bob on an off day. It's not always a simple case of "yea or nay?"

about 10 months ago
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Lawmakers Out To Kill the Corn-Based Ethanol Mandate

mutube Re:Maybe this corn can be used for food again? (314 comments)

Er, no. Sunset clauses are a terrible waste of government time. Just think about it - if every law you pass gets a sunset clause, that means cumulatively over time you're spending a bigger and bigger portion of your time renewing previous laws to make them still active. You end up with situations like the US "fiscal cliff" - which miraculously every other mature democracy on Earth manages to avoid.

Any good law will be a good law for a long period of time. If it becomes not a good law, repeal it. If you're not sure it's a good enough law to last, don't pass it.

about 10 months ago
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Why Reactive Programming For Databases Is Awesome

mutube Re:Spreadsheet programming (165 comments)

Is it just me, or does it seem like everyone now-a-days is trying very hard to come up with new methodologies and paradigms and web 6.5isms, so they can get their 5 minutes in the lime light?

That's nothing. My new product turns the light plaid.

about a year ago
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White House Calls On Kids To Film High-Tech Education

mutube I'm torn (95 comments)

Competition is good but if the government is doing it this must be socialism.

about a year ago
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Tech Titans Oracle, Red Hat and Google To Help Fix Healthcare.gov

mutube Re:Spread out the demand (404 comments)

So, to summarize...

  • You value people with wealth over those that work
  • You think a person's contribution to society is directly proportional to disposable income (Miley Cyrus > Van Gogh)
  • You would rather keep someone alive who inherited vast quantities of wealth (and does nothing) vs. someone who started with nothing and now has a job cleaning floors
  • You don't like people who clean floors
  • You want your pizzas served by people with diseases
  • ...preferably from a pizza shop that doesn't clean it's floors

Your utopian dream (I'm calling it Cyrocracy) might just be fair if a) everyone started their life with the same opportunities and wealth; b) all money was redistributed on death (no inheritance). But that smells an awful lot like government intervention so I guess your weird little fantasy can stay just that.

about a year ago
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Nebraska Scientists Refuse To Carry Out Climate Change-Denying Study

mutube Re: Science, or sinecure? (640 comments)

The majority disagreeing with you |= a conspiracy.

The scientists are free to study what they like (in so far as permitted by their funding). This is a deliberately scuppered study on the effects of climate change on Nebraska. By ignoring the elephant in the room the results become next to useless, even dangerous. Since scientific careers are built on usefulness of research taking this on = ~ 3yr of career down the pan for nothing. "They should study it anyway! Scientific curiosity! Every angle!" Yes, and they should also study whether there are fairies on the moon and whether the solution to this whole climate change thing is copper bracelets or setting fire to icebergs. Nobody has checked that right?! Right!

There are an infinite amount of things to study. Scientists have to use their judgement, based on evidence and experience to determine the validity of a line of investigation.

Your boss comes in tomorrow and says "Hey 'phairy, we've got a problem with the network think we're getting hacked." All the evidence points to Chinese hackers, there are even posts all over Netcraft confirming it. "But," your boss continues, "my new business partner is Chinese so don't bring them into it". "I want the report on my desk pronto - and if it doesn't help fix the problem you're fired!*"

I guess you'll just buckle down and write that report?

*fudged to fit the analogy. Feel free to replace with "you can spend the next 3 years upgrading our network to block everything (except Chinese hackers). If it doesn't solve the problem you're fired!"

about a year ago
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Nebraska Scientists Refuse To Carry Out Climate Change-Denying Study

mutube Re:Scientific Method (640 comments)

Grant money is grant money, and publications are publications.

That couldn't be less true if it tried. A PhD/post-doc spent outputting useless intentionally-crippled research is not the basis of a successful career.

I am sure there are many grad students / post docs willing to take on this research.

Find one. I hear Nebraska has some money to spend.

about a year ago
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Ten Steps You Can Take Against Internet Surveillance

mutube Re:EFF instructions don't work (234 comments)

Thanks for the link - that cleared things up nicely.

The Tor site is a tad jargon heavy methinks.

about a year ago
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Ten Steps You Can Take Against Internet Surveillance

mutube EFF instructions don't work (234 comments)

The video on the EFF site gives instructions for downloading a Vidalia Bundle for Mac - but this doesn't exist on the Tor website. The only downloads that I can see available are the 'Tor Browser Bundle' which is an auto-launching Tor node and browser combination.

So you can't run a node without a Tor browser window open all the time?

about a year ago
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Inside the Guardian and the Snowden Leaks

mutube Re:Reference Newspapers (239 comments)

The Independent is another good UK paper. It seems positioned slightly less left/more liberal/more free market compared to the Guardian (my take). They also make a point of having intelligent dissenting opinions in the paper - so you get to see well reasoned arguments from different sides instead of a battle of talking-heads-who-shout-loudest.

Makes a good reading companion to the Guardian.

1 year,14 days
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Inside the Guardian and the Snowden Leaks

mutube Re:Reference Newspapers (239 comments)

fox news

Adding noise to your sample doesn't improve its accuracy.

1 year,14 days
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Bennett Haselton's Response To That "Don't Talk to Cops" Video

mutube Re:Why we have a 5th Amendment (871 comments)

Well, yes. But this thread was about an attempt to elicit an admission of guilt. Which presumes there is some guilt to admit on your part (you cannot 'admit' something you have done, cf. confess) So, in this hypothetical situation, you are driving in some way illegally e.g. speeding. So, the question still stands. If you are pulled over speeding and do not know why you were pulled over, are you now not liable for driving "without due care an attention".

It of course depends on whether driving without due care and attention is better than knowingly driving over the speed limit.

None of which I claim to know, just curious.

1 year,18 days

Submissions

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Apple issues Trojan removal tool

mutube mutube writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mutube writes "Apple has released a fresh Java update that it says removes the Flashback Trojan on infected computers. The malware installs itself if a user visits a malicious website, exposing the computer to control by hackers. The update's release comes two days after Apple said it was tackling the issue, and a week after an anti-virus firm warned 600,000 Macs were infected. Kaspersky, has recalled its own Trojan-removal tool after it affected some user settings."
Link to Original Source
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British tourists banned from USA for single tweet

mutube mutube writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mutube writes "Tourists visiting the USA have may want to watch what they say, after two British tourists were refused entry on security grounds following a single tweet:

Before his trip, Leigh Van Bryan wrote that he was going to "destroy America". He insisted he was referring to simply having a good time — but was sent home. Trade association Abta told the BBC that the case highlighted that holidaymakers should never do anything to raise "concern or suspicion in any way". The US Department for Homeland Security picked up Mr Bryan's messages ahead of his holiday in Los Angeles. The 26-year-old bar manager wrote a message to a friend on the micro-blogging service, saying: "Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America." "The Homeland Security agents were treating me like some kind of terrorist," Mr Bryan said. "I kept saying they had got the wrong meaning from my tweet."

In case the intended meaning is lost in translation, he was talking about having a lot to drink."
Link to Original Source

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Climate unit releases virtually all remaining data

mutube mutube writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mutube writes "The BBC is reporting that the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit, target of "ClimateGate", has released nearly all its remaining data on temperature measurements following a freedom of information bid.

Most temperature data was already available, but critics of climate science want everything public. Following the latest release, raw data from virtually all of the world's 5,000-plus weather stations is freely available.

Release of this dataset required The Met Office to secure approval from more than 1,500 weather stations around the world. The article notes that while Trinidad and Tobago refused permission but the Information Commissioner ruled that public interest in disclosure outweighed those considerations."

Link to Original Source
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Bruce Perens Aims for OSI Executive

mutube mutube writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mutube writes "Open Source advocate Bruce Perens began petititioning for support in election to the OSI Executive Board. As a self-electing board, demonstrable community support is needed to attain a seat. Perens is standing on a platform of reducing over-representation of vendors to help balance leadership to developers who are traditionally elsewhere. He argues that this will help reassert the importance of developers in the Open Source world and ensure their ongoing rights to the direction of both their code and the concept itself.

In his petition notice, Bruce suggests that recent Open Source involvement by Microsoft could lead to them being offered a place on the board. With a background fighting SCO and Novell-Microsoft patent agreements, is Bruce the best man to take them on? Who else would you want on your side?"

Link to Original Source

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