Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Pedestrian Follows Google Map, Gets Run Over, Sues

schwanerhill Making the driver's case (699 comments)

What strikes me is that by naming Google as a defendant, she's making the case of the driver (the defendant against whom she may have a legitimate claim). By suing Google, she says, in court documents, "the highway was dangerous enough so that a pedestrian shouldn't have been there." Now the driver just has to point to her own court filings which claim that there wasn't a safe place for a pedestrian to walk along that highway.

more than 4 years ago
top

Pedestrian Follows Google Map, Gets Run Over, Sues

schwanerhill Re:For serious? (699 comments)

It's irrelevant whether she wins. The defendant has already lost - legal fees will cost them double the damages claimed if they fight the case.

In this case, the legal expenses are probably much more onerous to the litigant (an individual) than to the defendant (Google). Assuming she does lose in court, Google will be fine, but she won't.

This isn't the kind of case that will involve days or weeks in court and huge teams of attorneys on both sides like, say, a patent case between two companies.

There are some cases in which the loser has to pay the winner's legal fees anyway; if ever that were appropriate, it would be this case. Any idea if that's true here?

more than 4 years ago
top

Mass. Data Security Law Says "Thou Shalt Encrypt"

schwanerhill Re:Interestate Commerce (510 comments)

[Congress has power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes;

Yes, Congress has the power to regulate interstate commerce, but that doesn't prohibit states from writing their own laws which affect any business done in their state unless the state law contradicts a federal law.

more than 4 years ago
top

Was Flight Ban Over Ash an Overreaction?

schwanerhill Re:Volcanic ash is a poor input (673 comments)

And is anyone still running any bare Aluminum? I certainly wouldn't, it leads to corrosion.

Yes, American Airlines has never painted their aircraft (in part to reduce weight). I don't think they've had any trouble with corrosion, and their MD-80s are going on 30 years old.

Boeing has a discussion of painting aircraft. They mention corrosion, and to a quick read, it looks like washing aircraft is more important than paint to reducing corrosion.

more than 4 years ago
top

The End of the 3.5-inch Floppy Continues

schwanerhill Re:Reminder (472 comments)

I needed the anouncement of the floppy disk demise as reminder that it is not already dead. Bought my last disk at least a decade ago....

Hmmm, a decade ago, it had been four years since I'd had a machine capable of reading a floppy disk. :)

(Bought an iMac as my primary machine in 1997, IIRC.)

more than 4 years ago
top

Will Your Answers To the Census Stay Private?

schwanerhill Re:Did you catch The Daily Show and Colbert Report (902 comments)

I don't care how many times pundits from the Census Bureau muck it up with our lord Jon and savior Steven they aren't going to convince me to answer 10 questions on a census. There is only one question I will answer on that stupid form, and if that lumps me in with the "evil" conservatives, so be it.

Have you actually read the 10 questions?

Questions 1, 2, 5, and 10 are all simply checks to make sure that the respondent really did, indeed, list all residents of the household (which isn't straightforward in all cases -- think roommates at college, for example).

Questions 6, 7, and 9 have all been asked since either 1790 or 1800 and are basic profiling questions. Don't like it? Complain to the almighty Founding Fathers. Question 8 (are you Hispanic) is necessary to make question 7 (race) make sense in a modern world.

Question 3 (your phone number) is to allow easy follow-up; if you don't include it, I don't think the bureau will care unless there's something they can't understand with your report (illegible handwriting, most likely), in which case they'll have to knock on your door to fix it (which costs far, far more of your tax dollars than a phone call).

Question 4, which has been asked since 1890, is the only one that I agree isn't really necessary.

The ten minutes the Census Bureau says this form will take is a gross exaggeration. Two is more like it -- far more than it took me to write this response or you to complain about it.

more than 4 years ago
top

Accidental Wii Suicide

schwanerhill Re:Suicide? (1343 comments)

Yup. I was preparing to nominate this occurrence for the Darwin award, when I noticed this detail. Male lions kill the offspring of a female lion before mating with her. This is apparently advantageous for their own genes. Ol' Dougie did the same.

The mother was standing 3 feet from the child when this happened. She could have taken care of the gun too, so I'm not sure her genes deserve to live on either.

more than 4 years ago
top

Accidental Wii Suicide

schwanerhill Re:Suicide? (1343 comments)

Oh really? Where's that? Where I live (UK) and where most of this site's users reside (USA) the primary purpose of prison is to punish. Then there's the desire to keep criminals away from law-abiding society. Once all that's been addressed, the courts and gaolers may give a thought to rehabilitation.

But punishing is part of rehabilitation. In this case, as others have said, the mother and stepfather are getting ample punishment by having their daughter die. I think there's no chance that these people are any danger to society (absent other evidence); they won't make this mistake again.

more than 4 years ago
top

Accidental Wii Suicide

schwanerhill Re:Suicide? (1343 comments)

It was his stepchild who killed herself. His one-year old biological child is alive and well.

more than 4 years ago
top

Accidental Wii Suicide

schwanerhill Re:Suicide? (1343 comments)

What if he has more kids? What if it was an illegal gun? This guy needs some jail time.

Whether he feels bad about it or not there should be a severe punishment for this level of recklessness, negligence and stupidity. Just add a gun to that level of child care and it will never end well.

If it's an illegal gun, he probably does deserve jail time on that count. However, in nearly all cases, the purpose of putting someone in prison is to rehabilitate the convicted criminal so (s)he can become a productive member of society again and not do the same (or similar) bad thing again. I rather suspect that losing his child will be a far more effective method of ensuring that he is never again careless with a gun than prison ever could be. In fact, prison may well make him worse off mentally.

In any sane society, he would certainly lose his privilege to own a gun, but this country has a misguided Constitutional amendment and a Supreme Court which misinterprets said amendment, so I'm not optimistic about that.

The article notes that he had the gun out because there was a prowler he was worried about. Is having guns around for defense really more likely to do good than cause harm?

more than 4 years ago
top

Obama Bars Federal Workers From Texting and Driving

schwanerhill Re:Really? (236 comments)

Learn how to use your damn voice mail because nothing is that important.

And if it is that damn important, pull over to the side of the road.

On a serious note, this order really does have some practical benefit because if a federal employee has something that is important enough that it has to be dealt with while driving, the employee can pull over, make the phone call, and the employee's boss will have no justification to complain about the employee being 5 minutes late for whatever appointment s/he was driving to. If the boss complains, the employee has a written policy to cite.

more than 4 years ago
top

Obama Bars Federal Workers From Texting and Driving

schwanerhill Re:'bout time (236 comments)

I don't know why a mobile is worse, perhaps it's a pavlov dog thing since when you have a phone to your ear you are normally trying to block out your surroundings.

I suspect a big part of it is that passengers are present and can see what's going on on the road.

When there's traffic that needs attention and I, as the driver, get distracted from the conversation I'm having with my passenger, the passenger understands why I'm distracted from the conversation without the need for me to explain why. When talking on the phone, it takes both more time and more mental effort on my part to explain what's going on to the person I'm talking to. ("Sorry, I'm concentrating on switching lanes now, so I'm not listening to what you're saying".) In practice, when on the phone, the driver is more likely to just keep full attention on the conversation.

That's not to say that having an involved conversation with a passenger can't be dangerous, just less so.

more than 4 years ago
top

Obama Bars Federal Workers From Texting and Driving

schwanerhill Re:Just federal employees? (236 comments)

Re "Just federal employees": The president can ban federal employees from texting while driving for work (or having cream in their coffee while on the job, for that matter, if he so chose) by an executive order. Banning all drivers from texting would take an act of a legislature, and this sort of thing is typically done by state law, not federal law. Congress can effectively force states to enact highway laws like this by withholding federal highway funds.

Congress may get there soon, but it takes more time.

more than 4 years ago
top

Apple To Ship Mac OS X Snow Leopard On August 28

schwanerhill Re:free upgrades? (647 comments)

We need some fucking laws. In other countries, you can't commercially use the word "free" to refer to any transaction which money changes hands for any reason whatsoever. Let's enact those here too.

I am sick and tired of having to hand over money for "free" merchandise. Why not call an air ticket "free" with a seating fee, a booking fee, a fuel fee, an oxygen fee, a plane maintenance fee, and a landing fee tacked on?

"Free" should mean precisely one fucking thing when you come across it in public: free .

I was deliberately not passing judgement.

However, reading what Apple actually says, I slightly misrepresented them. What they say is "If you've purchased a qualifying computer or Xserve on or after June 8, 2009 that does not include Mac OS X Snow Leopard, you can upgrade to Mac OS X Snow Leopard for $9.95.*", with the asterisk noting that that covers shipping and handling. I mistakenly used the word "free", but Apple never does.

Apple's upgrade page.

more than 4 years ago
top

Apple To Ship Mac OS X Snow Leopard On August 28

schwanerhill Re:free upgrades? (647 comments)

If you buy a MacBook after June 8, 2009 (i.e. any time now) that doesn't yet have Snow Leopard (10.6) pre-installed, the update will cost $9.99. Apple calls it "free" with a $9.99 shipping and handling fee. (See the Macworld story.)

more than 4 years ago
top

Univ. of Wisconsin's 30-Year-Old Payroll System Needs a $40 Million Fix

schwanerhill Re:As a UW Student... (418 comments)

Tuition is just a way to trim down their applicant pool. The state pays much more of your tuition than you do.

That's a cute one-liner, but if only it were true. The UW-Madison in-state tuition ($8020 for 2009-2010) is about the same as the state subsidy per student ($9379, 2008-2009). This doesn't factor in the additional $8040 per student for room and board. Nonresident of Wisconsin/Minnesota tuition is about $22,000 plus room and board.

more than 5 years ago
top

Homeland Security To Scan Citizens Exiting US

schwanerhill Re:Barriers to leaving a country (676 comments)

Sure, "yo, I'm leaving", "yes sir, here, let me stamp your passport."

Well, yeah, that's what immigration is, most of the time (at least with my US passport). The UK, the US, and Australia give a bit of interrogation at immigration (and the Canadians do to Americans whatever the Americans DHS does to Canadians citizens, entirely justifiably), but Chile and the EU just open and stamp the passport, both on arrival and departure. I can't speak from experience about anywhere else. (And GP is right that I was wrong to call what they do at exit "customs".)

That's not a barrier to leaving a country, and it's not "customs." Requiring you to be fingerprinted is a whole different league. Interesting that this story shows up alongside another today where some cancer patient was detained because they couldn't get a good set of fingerprints off him. I actually just got back from a conference in Hawaii with this guy who got hassled at the border because he climbs and his fingerprints aren't all they could be.

Yes, requiring foreigners to be fingerprinted is a whole different league, something I've written my elected officials to complain about. (The people directly affected can't do, which is why it probably won't change.) That doesn't mean that the exit immigration check that most countries do isn't immigration.

As GP suggested, the US has, until recently, had essentially no idea how many visitors overstayed their visas. I don't see the problem with that old approach, in general. Exit immigration is fairly time-consuming, mostly standing in line.

more than 5 years ago
top

Homeland Security To Scan Citizens Exiting US

schwanerhill Re:Barriers to leaving a country (676 comments)

All countries exercise at least some control over who can enter, but there's only one kind of country that erects barriers to who can leave. How long until you guys build a wall? Oh, apparently you've started already.

Huh?

While I agree with the complaint and don't like much of anything about the changes to US Customs and Immigration procedures in the last 7-8 years, the US is one of relatively few countries that doesn't put all passengers through an exit customs and/or immigration check. In all the overseas airports I've flown out of in recent years (in Australia, Chile, the UK, and Spain), you pass through a customs check before entering the international departures area.

This check is pretty cursory, but it's only the US and Canada (in my relatively limited experience) that don't do it.

more than 4 years ago
top

The End of Tax-Free Internet Shopping?

schwanerhill Re:The big question that must be answered (784 comments)

How will this mesh with the Sears decision by SCOTUS? My understanding (I'm not a lawyer) is that taxing interstate commerce is prohibited by the constitution (the root of all US law).

My understanding is that the states don't have the authority to collect taxes on a business without a presence in their state without Congressional approval. However, the Congress (which explicitly has the authority to regulate interstate commerce) can certainly pass a law giving states that authority.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

schwanerhill hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

schwanerhill has no journal entries.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...