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Comment laws falling further behind... (Score 2) 157

Partly because of the paralysis and partly because of the sellout in Congress, laws governing the use of technology in law enforcement have fallen way behind. My knee-jerk reaction is to say "no weaponized UAVs within our borders", but that's just not realistic. LE won't just standby while bad guys weaponize theirs, nor should they. But so far we haven't even gotten control of handheld Tasers. Instead of being used in place of deadly force, they're being used in place of physical restraint or even passive noncompliance, as if they never result in injury or death, which they most certainly occasionally do. I'd say a starting point would be to create federal legislation specifying when Tasers can be used, and it should be pretty restrictive. Then that can be extended to included remote-controlled vehicles. Will such laws preclude the unwanted use of weapons on drones? Of course not. But those doing so may be caught, fired, and prosecuted.

Comment Can't see how... (Score 2) 164

...a national government can fix this, and I believe in appropriate laws and regulations. Unless we wall off the internet into national subnets, and I sure don't want that. I can imagine an international organization in which states become members by agreeing to track and prosecute DDOSers and manufacturers of insecure devices and disallow nonmember states from connecting. Works for a year or two until scope creep turns the organization into a surveillance and enforcement nightmare.

Comment Re:Mathematica is pay to play only (Score 1) 241

BASIC is one of the worst ways to start anyone in anything. I've written more lines of various dialects of BASIC than anything else, and they all suck, especially for beginners. I can almost forgive those guys at Dartmouth for inventing it, but not people like Gates who pushed it after it became obvious how bad it was.

Carefully constructed lessons/projects involving JavaScript would still be my top choice. It's an excellent language and providing something that kids can use on their own everywhere for instant gratification and to construct things of an interactive nature is important in the early learning stages (the ONLY possible reason to use anything BASIC).

Comment We are and we're not (Score 1) 537

Who says we're not? Lots of things have been improved. However, many have allowed their efforts to be directed towards profit-making ventures that improve nothing more than some "entrepreneur"'s wallet size. This is where a strong union with a lot of participation could help. Not one like UAW that's focused on money and wages, but one that focuses on preventing techies from being abused (and eliminating H-1B).

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