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"Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention

yakovlev Re:Gun nuts (1374 comments)

First, I want to be clear, I am NOT calling for a ban on firearms. I'm simply saying that when a firearm is around, I'm more careful, due to a rational fear. I'm also more careful to watch for cars when crossing the street than when on a sidewalk, due to a rational fear of getting hit by a car.

That said, I am also against calls for increasing the amount of firearms present in public places, particularly schools and hospitals. These are both places where people's judgement may be poor (due to either youth or stress) and as a result the risks of a firearm are disproportionate to those in a private home or a shooting range.

Wrong, and here's why:

1.) All people who own guns own a gun, and nearly all own ammunition. This means that simply being around a gun owner or at a gun owner's house I am dramatically more likely to get shot accidentally. This is perhaps not so much a fear of the gun owner as it is fear of the gun itself.

This would only be true if said gun owner started taking his firearms out and handling them carelessly, which is so rare that you stand a better chance (by at least an order of magnitude) of being hit by a car driven recklessly (yet for some odd reason, no one is calling for a ban on automobiles.)

Again, not calling for a ban on guns. Just saying that I'm more careful when I know one is around. I'm really more concerned about children or teenagers mishandling the gun than I am about the owner or myself. Kids can be pretty crafty. If a toddler can climb on top of my refrigerator then a teenager can potentially find a way into a gun safe.

2.) MANY gun owners believe in using their gun for self-defense. This also increases my likelihood of being shot around a gun owner because the gun owner may mistake me for an intruder.

If you break into my house, yes - expect to be shot if it's dark, and held at gunpoint if it's daylight. If you are not an intruder, you have nothing to worry about. Under what condition do you expect to be mistaken for an intruder, anyway?

The situation is if I knock on your door at 2am because my car broke down and my cell battery is dead. Another potential situation would be if my teenage son is sneaking, invited by your daughter, into your daughter's bedroom (see point #5, below.)

HARDLY ANY gun owners (and this includes police officers and members of the military) are sufficiently skilled to discharge a firearm in a crowded indoor situation with multiple panicked people and possibly a few assailants in such a way that they correctly identify and harm the assailants but do not harm the bystanders. If an individual has multiple years of experience working as a military sniper they probably fall into this group, but even then they may not fall into this group when using a handgun.

Hardly any human being is sufficiently skilled to safely land a crippled airliner - and yet the odds of either happening are roughly the same, if not slightly in favor of the crippled airliner. Your point?

This point really had to be taken in context with the point after it, about more people thinking they can than actually can. I know several gun owners who when they hear about things like Columbine say that "If I had been there I would have put a stop to that." I don't see a lot of people making similar boasts when a plane crashes. My point is that such situations are not nearly as simple as they might seem. Moreover, I've seen trained police officers take defensive action (ducking and throwing another person to the ground, not brandishing a firearm) on things that turned out to be innocuous.

My overall point was twofold (and my original wording tried to reflect this, though perhaps unsuccessfully): 1.) If such a situation were to occur, the average gun owner shooting back would likely make things worse, not better. 2.) The person who thinks they can shoot in a situation like this is probably more likely to think they are in a situation like this than they are to actually be in one. I'm willing to concede the second point simply because I'm not sure if the accidental shooting statistics would support me or not.

5.) SOME gun owners believe guns are a good way to solve interpersonal problems besides those involving self-defense. These people WANT their ownership of a gun to be a form of intimidation to some individuals. I rationally consider these people to be a danger to everyone.

Such people are promptly arrested/convicted for assault, brandishing a firearm, etc. They are only a danger once, and once only. After that they are, as convicted felons, no longer allowed to own such things.

I'm not talking gang members here (though they might fit,) I'm talking about people who say "if my wife was cheating I would take my gun and kill the guy." This kind of talk won't get you put in jail (obviously going through with it will), but it is using a firearm as a form of intimidation. Someone owning a firearm who makes such threats might be willing to use the firearm in other circumstances as well.

Meanwhile, how many people commit DUI, reckless driving, blatant disregard for life/limb in their automobiles (see also the almost-daily police chases in LA), and assorted road rage incidents? Do you therefore also fear automobiles under the rational banner, or is it just that you fear something you have no familiarity with (considering that owning and using a firearm is replete with enforced gun safety demands at the gun range, classes required for hunting, classes/certifications required for concealed-carry permits, etc?)

Hunter safety is actually a good example of my overall point. When you go hunting you KNOW there are firearms around, and they will be discharged. As a result, you take precautions to ensure that a.) You don't shoot anyone else. and b.) Nobody shoots you. All I'm saying is that the presence of guns in other settings can also result in increased safety risks. I agree with another poster that I don't understand why this concept is so controversial.

Another poster made the herd immunity argument, and in a sense they are right. I'm probably safest if people who I don't happen to be around have guns, and as a result potential intruders are wary because I MIGHT have a gun. This happens to describe my situation most of the time, so lucky me, I get the best of both worlds.

about 9 months ago

"Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention

yakovlev Re:Gun nuts (1374 comments)

It is not rational to fear all people who own guns.

If you own a gun, here are the things I know and suspect.

1.) All people who own guns own a gun, and nearly all own ammunition. This means that simply being around a gun owner or at a gun owner's house I am dramatically more likely to get shot accidentally. This is perhaps not so much a fear of the gun owner as it is fear of the gun itself.

2.) MANY gun owners believe in using their gun for self-defense. This also increases my likelihood of being shot around a gun owner because the gun owner may mistake me for an intruder.

3.) HARDLY ANY gun owners (and this includes police officers and members of the military) are sufficiently skilled to discharge a firearm in a crowded indoor situation with multiple panicked people and possibly a few assailants in such a way that they correctly identify and harm the assailants but do not harm the bystanders. If an individual has multiple years of experience working as a military sniper they probably fall into this group, but even then they may not fall into this group when using a handgun.

4.) FAR MORE gun owners believe they fall into group 3 than actually do. This makes them a danger to others when they incorrectly gauge either the facts of the situation they are in (see #2) or their ability (see #3.)

5.) SOME gun owners believe guns are a good way to solve interpersonal problems besides those involving self-defense. These people WANT their ownership of a gun to be a form of intimidation to some individuals. I rationally consider these people to be a danger to everyone.

6.) MANY gun owners are responsible with their guns and how they are stored. They also understand the risks of discharging a firearm and the limits of their ability. For these individuals the increased risks come primarily from items 1 and 2, and not items 3-5.

My point is, it is perfectly rational to fear gun owners for the increased risks they bring to my personal safety. While I am most afraid of those who fall into group 5, all gun owners represent an increased risk to my safety.

about 9 months ago

Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law

yakovlev Re:The Re-Hate Campaign (1116 comments)

I wouldn't be so sure and all these marriages would do is to remove yet another arbitrary constraint, this time not on sex of people involved but on a number.

While I wouldn't necessarily oppose legalizing marriages with multiple people, the restraint to a single marriage per person is hardly arbitrary. Many of our marriage laws rely on it. For instance, how does "without a will, all property becomes the property of the surviving spouse" work if there are more than one surviving spouses?

And it's not like you will change people's minds when your politically correct zeal pushes them underground. They feel wronged and the persecution only fossilizes their worldview.

I don't agree with the grandparent, I will absolutely defend Eich's right to donate to whatever campaign or cause he chooses, (within established limits, which he was well within.) However, I also agree that the correct remedy for bad speech is MORE speech. In this case, that took the form of a lot of people on the internet pointing out that he had taken certain actions with which they personally disagreed. Furthermore, they expressed their belief that this was sufficient cause for him to step down from his current position, and some expressed a desire to sever business ties with his current employer over his continued employment. All of this is also well within their rights. If this is going too far on their part, then there will likely be more speech (such as your own) condemning their over-reaction, and so-on.

There was a big stink over Chic-fil-A a while ago. A certain city refused (threatened to refuse?) to allow them to do business there because of their founder's beliefs. This was absolutely wrong and should be illegal. A number of people then chose to conspicuously increase the amount of business they did with Chic-fil-A. That's a good form of money as speech. Another group of people then chose to boycott Chic-fil-A, partially in response to the conspicuous consumption. Well within their rights as well. Another group condemned the boycott as unconstitutional (as well as objecting on other grounds.) A final group pointed out that not only was the boycotting group's action, which was not being done on behalf of a government, perfectly constitutional, but it was basically equivalent to the first group's conspicuous consumption. This is the way things are supposed to work.

The point is, speech is good. The correct response to speech isn't going "underground" but expressing your views both louder and more clearly.

about 10 months ago

Elite Violinists Can't Distinguish Between a Stradivarius and a Modern Violin

yakovlev Re:Headline is a lie (469 comments)

I'm fairly sure this article is from a participant in the previous test, not the new one. For instance, it discusses being done in a hotel room, while the new study was done in a practice room and a concert hall.

about 10 months ago

SF Evictions Surging From Crackdown On Airbnb Rentals

yakovlev Re:Also Oakland (319 comments)

NOT the same thing.

I have no problem with "Shut down or be evicted." If it's illegal or against your lease agreement then it's perfectly reasonable to tell you to cut it out.

What I have a problem with is SF evicting without a cease-and-desist. This is going straight to the punishment stage without the request to stop something that many may not realize is illegal. I suspect that the landlord getting to up rental rates when a tenant moves out may have a lot to do with this excessive behavior.

about 10 months ago

Microsoft: Start Menu Returns, Windows Free For Small Device OEMs, Cortana Beta

yakovlev Re:Big deal. (387 comments)

1.) The charms bar is badly designed. I'll give you that this pain is attenuated by the fact that you don't need it for most desktop usage. I hate the hot corner (I hit it when changing monitors) but I'm not convinced I can safely disable this feature completely. (And I'm not confident that I'll remember the keyboard shortcut, especially if I never use it.)

2.) I read a Windows 8 developer blog that specifically said something like "we redesigned the start menu because our runtime data indicated that with Windows 7 people rarely use it." I'll accept that this is only partially true, but that doesn't really change my argument. Start search is one of the many "better ways" but sometimes I don't remember the name of a program, and having the menus is the reminder. The start menu is most useful for programs that I may not have used in months.

3.) I agree, avoid metro apps where possible. I don't typically run windows 8, but weren't some of the system apps (like media player) replaced with metro apps? I thought I remembered metro periodically popping up when doing various things, but it's been a while so I can't remember what those things were.

about 10 months ago

Microsoft: Start Menu Returns, Windows Free For Small Device OEMs, Cortana Beta

yakovlev Re:Big deal. (387 comments)

It's interesting,because my opinion on those two is the exact opposite.

I couldn't care less about boot to desktop. That's a single button click when I boot the machine.

However, I use the start menu quite often. It provides a hierarchically sorted list of every program I have installed on the system. I use that about once a week to once a month. It also provides a list of my most recently used programs. I could move those to the taskbar (and sometimes do) but sometimes these change and I don't want them semi-permanently taking up space on the taskbar.

There are three things that are really bad about windows 8. I've ordered them from worst to least bad.

1.) The charms bar is torture on a desktop. You have to go to the top right of the screen, then go halfway down the screen in a narrow strip to actually click on something. If your mouse moves outside that narrow strip for even a moment, the charms bar disappears and you have to do it again. "Thank you, sir, may I have another?"

2.) The start menu was removed, because it is rarely used. This was just not thinking. The start menu has become big and clunky... that's also become it's purpose. We have new and better methods to access frequently used programs, but the start menu continues to be useful for those infrequently used programs. A hierarchical list is certainly better than displaying them all in a flat grid of live tiles.

3.) Metro programs can't run in a window. This makes them inconvenient for multitasking, which is common for desktop users but not for tablet users.

about 10 months ago

Don't Help Your Kids With Their Homework

yakovlev Re:Um, right. (278 comments)

I suspect the real problem has nothing to do with this statement (or your response.)

The real problem is that helping kids with homework is HARD, even more so if the parent thoroughly understands the material.

The key to helping with homework is helping your kid in a way where you promote learning the material better, rather than just giving answers to them. Ideally you can just say which questions they got wrong and they will find on their own what they got wrong and fix them. However, sometimes they need more help than that. Then it's taking them just far enough to see what's going on and making sure that on the next problem they can make the mental connections that you helped them make on the previous problem. This is doubly hard in situations where the homework only has one or two of the "tricky" problems. It's incredibly difficult when you realize your child hasn't fully internalized something they learned before, and you've got to re-teach (or at least reinforce) that older skill and THEN get them to apply it to the current situation. All of this has to be done WITHOUT making them dependent on you to find the answers.

Because helping with homework well is so difficult, I suspect a lot of parents wind up, often unintentionally, doing something a lot closer to just giving the kids the answer. Kids are also good at getting their parents to give them answers by not really trying or by just guessing wildly at answers without really considering if they are correct.

about 10 months ago

Creationists Demand Equal Airtime With 'Cosmos'

yakovlev Re:just wait... (667 comments)

Honestly, I was a little nervous that the second show was a very strong "the creationists are all wrong, and here's why," argument. Regardless of my agreement with the bulk of the contents of the show, I still thought it was a poor choice for this early. I fear that this makes the show appear to be actively anti-religion, which risks alienating a lot of viewers and hurting ratings.

I want the show to succeed, and if that means putting off the controversial topics until the show has a more established viewership, such a choice seems prudent.

about 10 months ago

Creationists Demand Equal Airtime With 'Cosmos'

yakovlev Re:Whatabout we demand equal time of our views ins (667 comments)

Actually, the argument for rejecting the old testament is even easier. The old testament was written (really passed down orally) at a time when there was little distinction made between secular law and religious law. The two got stirred together because, well, anything considered important was taught to the younger generations in pretty much the same way. The new testament records are substantially more pure and accurate, being that they both were purely religious records (the christians had no secular legal power) and were written down to begin with (much of the new testament is made up of letters between the then-current apostles and the christian church in various areas.)

None of this makes an argument for the divinity of the religious instruction contained in either testament. However, the purity of those teachings and the accuracy of the contents relative to the original source strongly favors the new testament.

about 10 months ago

Eric Schmidt On Why College Is Still Worth It

yakovlev Re:Going bust not unique to drop-outs (281 comments)

I believe there are a number of problems with your economics professor's argument that basically come from the fact that he was only considering the demand side of economic activity.

Doctors (particularly specialists) are paid seemingly ridiculous amounts because there is a very serious supply problem. In my metro area of over a million people, there are a number of specialties for which there is a single doctor. This doctor is clearly overworked as their PA basically has to see most of their patients in order to control the doctor's load. Thus, the doctor is able to charge monopoly rents for their services. The fix for this specialist problem is to open more medical schools. Opening these medical schools may take some government funds as start-up capital until the affect on doctors' wages is seen industry-wide.

In a more gruesome supply issue, we should pay organ donors (or their families) for their organs. Economics says the cost of the organ is already included in the cost of the surgery, that money just goes to the surgeon instead of the family. Paying organ donor will increase the supply of organs, thus ultimately lowering the cost of organ transplants. All of this of course ignores the possibilities of abuse.

Teachers also suffer from a supply issue, but this is of the opposite character. College graduates are basically told that if you have trouble finding a job in your field, you can always teach. This societal pressure towards teaching means that there are a disproportionate number of applicants for teaching positions. Furthermore, having been a teacher significantly reduces your hire-ability in other fields, again causing the individuals to be trapped in the teaching profession. Raising wages in the teaching profession requires getting people to stop thinking of teaching as a guaranteed job (which it isn't, ask anyone with a recent teaching degree) and start viewing it as a specialized field. There are a number of other industries (engineering, nursing, etc.) where, despite facts to the contrary, the industry is trying to create this same image of "a guaranteed job," likely in order to create the same over-supply of job applicants.

As the above two points show, you don't get the whole picture of a market (even a labor market) without considering the supply side.

SIDE NOTE: CEO pay is a completely different thing. One of the primary objections to CEO pay is that, unlike stock brokers(bankers is a very general term) or doctors, they carry very little risk for the problems they create and the salary they receive. In fact, due to "golden parachute" contract provisions, CEOs are often actually contractually incentivised to make their companies fail. While I can understand the reasons for this in some ways, these people are also smart enough to know what we engineers know: "tell me what you're measuring, and I'll do well at it." In this case, they are being measured on how quickly they can be fired, presumably for running the company into the ground. I think if there were fewer examples of this kind of reward(often a lifetime's worth of a normal person's earnings) for failure, people would be more willing to accept the extremes of CEO pay.

about 10 months ago

The Next Keurig Will Make Your Coffee With a Dash of "DRM"

yakovlev Re:Why? (769 comments)

Coffee makers make a little or as much coffee as you want. If you want one cup, only put one cup or water and a proportionate amount of grounds. And you have the added benefit that while brewing many cups of Keurig is a linearly hard problem (meaning that it takes 20 times longer to brew 20 cups), conventional brewing is not. When you actually in a situation where you are brewing a lot of coffee, the conventional method becomes more efficient per cup.

Any computer programmer should be able to tell you which is the overall more efficient solution for the general situation.

I can't believe you got away with this.

Unless you have a collection of conventional coffee makers of increasing size (including industrial versions) then making coffee in a conventional coffee maker is ALSO a linear process.

  • Time to process n cups of coffee with a Keurig: n/1, which is O(n)
  • Time to process n cups of coffee with a 12-cup coffee maker: n/12, which is ALSO O(n)

These are both linear processes, it's just that the 12-cup coffee maker is about 12 times as fast (for large values of n.)

about a year ago

Obama Praises NSA But Promises To Rein It In

yakovlev Did anyone else read this as... (306 comments)

'The NSA actually does a very good job about not engaging in domestic surveillance, not reading people's emails, not listening to the contents of their phone calls. Outside of our borders, the NSA's more aggressive. It's not constrained by laws.'

I read this as a VERY carefully worded line that rather than saying "the NSA is actually pretty reasonable" really says "if you think what we're doing in the US is bad, you should see what we're doing overseas." It practically comes out and says that they're doing all of those things "outside" the US borders. He also implies that all of the metadata collection that is done domestically is just fine.

Based on this, I would suspect that some program that the NSA agrees costs more that the intelligence gathered is worth is going to be cut, but overall nothing is going to change.

about a year ago

Mark Shuttleworth Complains About the 'Open Source Tea Party'

yakovlev Re:Of course... (419 comments)

Sometimes (I'll admit this is the exception rather than the rule) simplifying provides a clearer picture of something specific that the original person stated and that the person wants to address.

Substituting "consensual" for "as long as no one is coerced" is equivalent in my book, and otherwise there is nothing in your response to imply that GP's statement is an inaccurate portrayal of Stallman's views. If anything, using the word "consensual" was perhaps being too generous towards Stallman, as it could be argued that "as long as no one is coerced" is actually a LOWER bar to meet than "consensual."

Based on a cursory search of the internet, it appears that while RMS pays lip-service to the real power issues that exist in adult-child relationships, I don't think he really understands the depth to which power in such relationships is centered around the adult. Furthermore, it appears that he doesn't realize how young of children are abused. RMS seems to really be thinking people who are at the boundary of adulthood, whereas many of the abused are so far from adulthood that there is no question that they CANNOT provide any meaningful form of consent. It's not clear to me if Stallman believes that young children could ever meet his standard of not being coerced.

Both GP and I are addressing a specific portion of Stallman's statement because that part is cloaked in a number of areas on which reasonable individuals could respectfully disagree. That specific portion shows either extreme ignorance or a frightful lack of judgement. It is difficult to tell which.

about a year ago

Mark Shuttleworth Complains About the 'Open Source Tea Party'

yakovlev Re:We have. It's called the X Window System. (419 comments)

My experience has been that X is broken on all fronts, and, while I don't understand the internals, I completely believe that something new is required to really fix them.

X is overkill for local display because it has to carry along a bunch of logic to pretend like it's displaying over a network. This results in significantly degraded local performance compared to what would be possible with a more optimized solution. A lot of workarounds have been put in so that this isn't as bad as it was, but it's still less than ideal.

X is bad for modern remote display because it doesn't tolerate intermittent connections. If your client-server connection goes down all your applications die, which makes it useless for viewing remote applications from a laptop over wireless.

Even in cases where the connection is persistent, X is dog-slow over high-latency connections. Firefox rendering over X from a server a time zone away is unusable. My understanding is that this is because, at least for naive client implementations, too much communication between the client and server is required beyond simple display data.

Based on the above, I can think of NO case where X11 provides a GOOD solution to modern display needs. The experts appear to agree with me. My naive expectation would be that the right solution is to design a new protocol that works wicked-fast locally and that has hooks to allow its output to be displayed (using a separate protocol) over an intermittent network connection. Wayland at an extremely high level seems to match my naive expectation.

about a year ago

A Ray of Hope For Americans and Scientific Literacy?

yakovlev Re:actual "platform" (668 comments)

Let me preface this by saying that, as you would expect, I have done no detailed research or cost analysis of rural or low-income phone subsidies.

That said, I can come up with a number of reasons why rural and low-income phone subsidies could turn out to be a good idea, and could end up being a net positive (or at least a net neutral) economically.

For rural subsidies, the most obvious expense saved is fire prevention. Subsidizing phone service for rural areas can ensure that both forest and house fires in rural areas are reported faster, resulting in reduced loss of property and reduced government costs associated with fighting those fires. This alone may be enough to justify subsidizing rural phone service. There are likely other advantages to subsidizing rural phone service as well.

For low-income subsidies, the case is a little harder to make. The best argument I can make is that low-income subsidies may result in higher employment levels. It can be awfully hard to get (and sometimes to keep) a job if you don't have a phone. The government gets to collect income taxes from those who work, so they have a financial interest in creating maximum employment. Again, there are likely other advantages to low-income phone subsidies.

In both cases, I think everyone can agree that it decreases the value of these programs when individuals exploit the system in ways it was not intended, particularly if those people break the rules when doing so.

Realistically, many times programs like these (particularly the low-income one) really just provide an incentive for people to do things that they should already be doing. Since the government is unable to tell people "you MUST pay for phone service," (grumble... individual mandate... grumble) the subsidies may be a cost-effective way to encourage people to make decisions that they might not otherwise make (like paying for phone service) that ultimately save the government money in other areas.

Again, this is a complex area with a lot of interconnected and non-obvious consequences. It could go either way. Without a good study it's impossible to know. Finding out would require a study of the cost-effectiveness of rural and low-income phone subsidies which would, predictably, also likely have to be paid for by the government. :-)

about a year ago

A Ray of Hope For Americans and Scientific Literacy?

yakovlev Re: actual "platform" (668 comments)

While I generally agree with what you are saying, I feel that your statement here needs correction.

You've flipped the argument, which isn't how the Constitution works. You're arguing that the Constitution is a document which allows laws, instead of being a document that bans laws.

The constitution both allows laws and bans laws. The concept of enumerated powers in the Tenth Amendment says that the constitution gives certain powers to the national government, and that all other powers are "reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." The Supreme Court has given the federal government a tremendous amount of leeway in interpretation of the Commerce Clause, which is the constitutional basis of the modern federal government.

It's possible that those in the Tea Party really would like to go back to a government where the Commerce Clause has a substantially less expansive role, but that would require DRASTIC changes to the federal government. Agencies that we rely on every day (think USDA and FDA) would have to be shuddered, or their roles drastically diminished, as they would no longer be able to regulate commerce within a state. The role played by those agencies would have to be performed at a state level. State tax rates would have to rise dramatically to cover their significantly expanded role in monitoring intrastate commerce. Furthermore, this would produce a tremendous amount of jurisdictional challenges as we would have to re-litigate what qualified as inter-state and what didn't, and even once the rules were established a lot of court cases would revolve around determining what side of the inter-state/intra-state line a particular behavior fell on.

As you noted, the constitution also contains a number of important safeguards that prevent certain types of laws being passed, both by the federal government and by the states (via the Fourteenth Amendment.)

about a year ago

Did Apple Make a Mistake By Releasing Two New iPhones?

yakovlev Why a 64-bit phone is good: (348 comments)

Timing... for developers.

You want to get your 64-bit processor out the door so that people who make apps that might benefit from more than 4gb of memory can start to write their apps for 64-bit BEFORE you actually start shipping phones with more than 4gb of memory. This allows them time to convert to 64-bit without being rushed into it. It also gives your OS developers time to get the 64-bit OS out the door. If the 64-bit OS isn't ready when you ship the product, you release with a 32-bit OS and you just don't advertise the 64-bit feature. (Or you say "64-bit ready" or something like that and promise the next OS release will bring 64-bit to existing phones.

In short, as a consumer, you don't care... yet. You want the 64-bit in a year or two when you have 8 gigs of memory in your phone. In order to have applications for that 8-gig phone, you want Apple to release a 64-bit phone now, so that developers will be ready with 64-bit applications to put on that 8-gig phone.

The other aspect here is that most architectures tend to clean things up when they move to 64-bit, and ARM is no exception. Some of those architectural changes that come with 64-bit will be more valuable sooner, and could translate to performance boosts right now on some applications that switch to the 64-bit architecture.

about a year ago

NJ Court: Sending a Text Message To a Driver Could Make You Liable For Crash

yakovlev Re:Missing the point of text messages... (628 comments)

The problem is that now, with this ruling in hand, anyone who texted someone near when they were in an accident is likely to get sued. They will then have to prove that they did not know that the person was driving. This is a civil suit, and I believe preponderance of evidence is the standard, not reasonable doubt.

But, what if the sender *should* have known. A very good example of this is above, where someone pointed out that if my roommate recently left to go to the store, and I realize that we forgot to put Orange Juice on the list, I could be liable for texting them to that effect. A lawyer would argue that I *should* have known they were driving if not enough time has passed for them to actually reach the store.

Basically, this is a great big gift to lawyers in New Jersey. If someone texted a driver involved in an accident, they will now be sued along with the driver. On the other hand, if I texted someone around the time that they were in an accident, I would now need to call a defense lawyer.

Can I invent a scenario where the sender who is not the driver *should* be liable? Yes, I can.
If I am a judge, should I mention that hypothetical in a ruling unless I already have that case before me? NO. Why? because even insinuating that such a situation exists is just inviting lawyers to vigorously try to determine just what the limits are for that type of liability, at the expense of what I'm sure will be many innocent individuals. Sometimes as a judge what you don't say or rule on is as important as what you do. This is a case where ruling on something you didn't have to does more harm than good.

In this case, the judge should have said something like "If I, for the sake of argument, accept the Plaintiff's assertion that defendant could be liable, they would still fail in THIS case because... ... therefore I do not have to rule on the more general question at this time."

about a year and a half ago

Comcast Threatens TorrentFreak For Posting Public Court Document

yakovlev Re:fair use (215 comments)

Did you even read the rest of my comment after the first line?

All of the cases you describe are cases where my "Plaintiff pays" is the same as "loser pays."

For the cases where they differ, your only response to this was "I don't have any assets." However, some of us do, and would like to keep them. I think it is fair to set the balance of risks against the person bringing suit, thus discouraging frivolous lawsuits.

Basically, if a defendant is accused of stealing your stand mixer, and the Plaintiff sues them about it. Assume legal costs are $5000, which is incredibly low.

US system, Plaintiff wins: Plaintiff out $4800, Defendant out $5200
US system, Defendant wins: Plaintiff out $5000, Defendant out $5000

Loser Pays, Plaintiff wins: Plaintiff up $200, Defendant out $10000
Loser Pays, Defendant wins: Plaintiff out $10000, Defendant even

Plaintiff Pays, Plaintiff wins: Plaintiff out $4800, Defendant out $5000
Plaintiff Pays, Defendant wins: Plaintiff out $10000, Defendant even

Plaintiff Pays is the only system that actively discourages frivolous lawsuits by making the Plaintiff lose in most frivolous cases. In both the US and Plaintiff Pays systems, they can convert to loser pays but this has to be litigated.

about a year and a half ago


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