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Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 158

>Because Courts have no other practical way to censure law enforcement for violation of rights, they exclude evidence produced in violation of the Constitution.

There was no constitutional question being decided here. The FBI ran afoul of a rule in a federal law that establishes magistrate court within the federal court system. Specifically it was a rule which limits the territorial jurisdiction of any warrants issued by a magistrate judge. It's probably going to be a rule that gets changed by Congress in the near future if the FBI doesn't win on appeal of this decision.

That is a constitutional question, because no legal warrant issued. You need a legal warrant. If the warrant was void, the search gets suppressed.

I suppose you could argue on appeal that the exclusionary rule should not apply because the warrant was based on PC, just issued by the wrong court. But I don't think you'd get very far, because the warrant was not issued according to Constitutional authority.

Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 158

That is the status quo, but why? Only because no laws exist to directly punish law enforcement. With a simple law, congress or individual states could make it a like kind felony to lie in court or violate a suspects constitutional rights, covering everyone, including law enforcement. I believe they should also make it illegal for law enforcement to lie during interrogations, as this has led to many false confessions, often later proven false by DNA evidence. We have a far from perfect justice system in this country, but we are still by far the most fair system in the world. but as technology improves, we need to rely less on browbeating and "human" methods and more on forensics, surveillance etc. I am a firm believer that there should be surveillance on every public street, public park and other public areas, and all businesses should be required by law to monitor their internal and external spaces via looped surveillance. You should not have any expectation of privacy when you leave your property. The concern with incidental surveillance could be addressed by applying digital blackouts to any private property or private homes on fixed surveillance of roads etc. This type of camera network does nothing other than force multiplying the eyes of law enforcement, and provides a cold, objective eye to the behavior of everyone, private citizen and law enforcement. Drive by shootings would become a thing of the past overnight, as the shooters could be observed real time, tracked and intercepted by police, and it is damn hard to fight video in court.

Because the system isn't set up for it--prosecutors rely on police and as a practical matter generally can't take a position to department will hate. The department forms a blue wall of silence. And both police and prosecutors see criminality through the lens of law enforcement, which makes it impossible for them as a practical matter to take on the role of people who go after law enforcement for excess.

Comment Poor Audio Quality can be okay (Score 4, Insightful) 209

A lot of the "consumer devices" nowadays have very poor audio quality.

So what? If you can pay $200 for a hearing test, $200 for a consumer aid, and have a bad consumer aid that works for $400 instead of NOT BEING ABLE TO PAY FOR a high-quality hearing aid, it's still a net win for you and for society as a whole.

Comment Good. (Score 3, Insightful) 158

On the one hand, I have little concern for those who traffic in anything that genuinely hurts children. On the other hand, the FBI abuses their position regularly, lying to the courts and ignoring the courts' orders when lying doesn't work, so seeing them told, "Sorry. Try again," when another questionable procedure is reviewed is welcome news.

The people who most defend our liberties are the scum of the earth, because they are the people against whom it is easiest to justify the departure from the rights and privileges we recognize in or grant to all human beings.

Because Courts have no other practical way to censure law enforcement for violation of rights, they exclude evidence produced in violation of the Constitution. There are other ways you could work the system in practice--you could fine law enforcement, fire police officers, and have good, responsible, and accountable culture in law enforcement. But that's not something the courts can do effectively or without unwavering support from the law enforcement community and the community's true acceptance of neutral judgment. So the courts let the guilty go free as the only way they have to protect the rights of the innocent. It makes law enforcement be much more careful about at least following a script that reminds them what someone's rights are.

Comment Disgusting (Score 1) 92

What's really sad is that the government has actually managed to desensitize me to at least the *idea* of something as vile as child porn and terrorism. I now mostly associate it with attempts to stomp out a tiny bit more of our freedom. Congratulations, government.

Read a warrant in one of the cases where prosecutors are going after someone who posts child porn. You'll get resensitized by about the third word and want to throw up.

The tech crowd understands the overreaching problems and dislike the strict liability and overbroad criminalization because they're engineers and distrust authority (and authority has been known to wildly abuse power, to be fair, just like cops sometimes make bad decisions about who to go after). But the people who produce and post goddamn sexual interactions with kids, not even physically mature but actual three or four-year-olds, will make the most peaceful and desensitized of nerds want to throw up and beat the living shit out of those people.

Most federal judges agree the mandatory minimums for underage pornography possession are generally insane, but are powerless to do much about them. There are lots of things needing reform in this area of law. But the cops sure as fuck should be going after the bad guys.

Comment Re:The major problems will be man made (Score 1) 317

Its going to get really interesting when certain regions get temperatures over 38C and 100% humidity. And it becomes impossible to live without aircond; people outside airconditioning will just drop dead.

The United States still has Alaska, which is a little over 20% as large as the rest of the United States, and with basically no population. The entire population could fit there easily if you built it up.

Given the current balance of power, the United States could also just buy (or conquer, I suppose) one of the Canadian provinces pretty easily. The trick would be keeping Britain neutral (it has nukes); France would complain but probably not do anything. If Canada was really smart it could cut the still substantial trade barriers between the two markets, welcome more successful Americans and American companies up, and gain a lot more economic and political and potentially military power through that over time.

Comment Re:Stop telling me what I'll like and not like (Score 2) 317

For another thing, the people who would benefit most from this would be Inuit and good luck with that because Canadians seem to fucking hate the Inuit.

Um, no. At least not when it comes to economics. Some very conservative numbers: https://www.fraserinstitute.or...

I suppose some Canadians hate Aboriginals because it is so hard to fire them when they're doing a bad job, and of course there's some basic racism, but there's such a huge immigrant population in Canada these days that I think more of the racism is directed toward the immigrants, and or to the old favorite (French speakers if you're outside of Quebec) (English speakers if you're in Quebec). Plus of course the politics.

Comment Re:Fuck the rest of the world. (Score 1) 317

Why is it that altruism should only go one way? Why is it us who should show altruism and not the other ones?

Nobody said that it should. But as an evolutionary matter, it is good if it goes primarily forward (i.e. if we care about the future of our species and of our children more than we care about our own.)

Comment Re:You can stop it. (Score 1) 185

First sale doctrine prevents this sort of thing.

The first sale doctrine only applies to copyright law, not to all contracts. It also only applies to ownership, so you can change the ownership structure to a lease-to-own if you want to keep your competitors from looking at it legally for the first few years.

Comment Re:"Some" of its customers...??? (Score 1) 113

Why not all???

If you want fancier service they will want to control the hardware so that they can stream ads at you, better track your viewing, maybe deliver nonstandard signals, etc...

If you want basic service the only point of the set top box is to increase your cable bill and then WAY overcharge you if it doesn't get returned when you disconnect service.

If their move is in favor of consumers generally, they will discontinue the need to have a box with basic service. These are probably the people most likely to leave cable anyway--they don't have the money to waste an extra hundred bucks a month to see a bunch of big guys tossing a pigskin oblong around a field through a fake window in their living room.

Comment You can stop it. (Score 1) 185

So what stops a Ford employee from buying one and then giving it to his employer in return for a bonus? You can't stop it.

Contract Law.

You could prevent it if you set up the ownership of the car differently or possibly if you had certain specific terms in your contract. Or set up the car itself so that by opening the hood, you agree to a contract. There are lots of creative things you could do to try and set it up so that if a competitor dissects it, they have to pay you a fortune.

Comment Never let the facts get in the way of a headline (Score 4, Informative) 135

Estimates place the leak between 3000 and 3500 gallons. They've been pumping out the tank, which held 800,000 gallons at one point, and 20,000 gallons are left in it. There are now about 8 inches that have leaked between the layers of the inner tank and outer tank, the vast majority since they started pumping.

So they stopped pumping, to figure out how to deal with that.

Comment Re:This is either blackmail or a confession. (Score 1) 354

I don't know... For a while now, we've been entirely dependent on bond sales to fund our government. Flooding the market with $750B in treasury bills is a pretty big deal. They would have to raise interest rates on new bond sales considerably to make them more attractive than the secondary market bills that just got flooded... all $750B of them. It would create a rather huge fucking fiscal mess if Saudi Arabia did this. Wouldn't be the end of the world, wouldn't be a new depression, but the shit show on Capitol Hill would be enough to make you want to shoot yourself.

Or the Fed could raise interest rates and devalue that $750B worth of investments with a hit to the Saudis' interest rate risk. Financial Wars are stupid and counterproductive.

This is really probably just the royal family using their clout to protect a few friends and avoid embarrassing lawsuits trying to tie them to Osama Bin Laden.

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