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  • Mar 27th, 2015 @ 5:44pm

    conservation of evidence

    Whom would you rather fly with?

    A) A young Muslim man.
    B) A convicted murderer with knowledge of explosives.
    C) A pilot from Düsseldorf who has passed background checks with basically no red flags.

    At some point we must face facts; people who sound the scariest aren't necessarily the greatest risks, and our intuition just isn't very good when it comes to very rare events.

    And note that the scary convicted murderer with knowledge of explosives didn't actually cause any trouble at all on board the plane. So the only evidence we have indicates that there is no harm in letting such people fly (or walk free in the street, for that matter), and that the TSA doesn't measurably improve public safety whether it does "its job" or not.

  • Mar 20th, 2015 @ 4:14pm

    poison spines

    "...Last month the company made a really bold move in announcing that it would provide free legal support for any other startups sued by AGIS..."

    Oh, that's interesting. It sounds like a principled stand (and maybe at heart it is), but it's also eminently practical: it could be a death sentence for AGIS, which would make a fine deterrent against any other troll thinking about trying to take a bite out of Life360.

    The next step is for the trolls to change their behavior; if a company is big and fierce enough to mount this defense, a smart troll will not want to mess with it (or at least it won't want to be the first to mess with it, and being second isn't worth much since a competent troll leaves its victim right at the edge of bankruptcy).

    Also, if AGIS finds itself cornered, it may try to fold and reappear under a different name; Hulls might want to consider extending his declaration of war to any troll acting at the direction of Kenyon & Kenyon, or at least letting word get around that he'll consider it, which would be almost as effective.

  • Feb 17th, 2015 @ 9:54pm

    it hit me like a brick

    I think... I think I just had a great idea.

    Open source Lego prosthetic limbs.

  • Jan 28th, 2015 @ 8:38pm

    what technology allows

    This was inevitable, and not hard to foresee.

    Now we're talking about laws to prevent the police from collecting such data; if we pass such laws, the police will still do it. In a few years, anyone will be able to sift through a huge volume of publicly-available camera footage (security cams, body cams, dashboard cams, bike cams, traffic cams, phone selfies, quadcopter video, whatever) with a common OCR app and produce similar results. We can pass laws against it, for all the good that will do. The government will talk about requiring that all cameras recognize license plates and blur them-- with predictable results.

    We're not far from the appearance of the same thing with facial recognition; snap a picture of a face that interests you, then scan the distributed archives to see where and when that face has appeared in photos or video over the past ten years, anywhere in the world. The government will try to forbid this, but also to have it.

    I really don't see that we can do much about this.

  • Jan 9th, 2015 @ 5:16pm

    Re: Re:

    "'Fear sells', and that by providing the fear, AND promising to deal with it, you can stay in office easier. It's the American way of dealing with it."

    As an American, I'd be deeply insulted by that if it weren't true.

  • Dec 12th, 2014 @ 5:30am

    In All Fairness

    In this particular case, I suspect that the signal-to-racist-flame ratio on the St. Louis Post editorial page may simply have dropped too low for the moderators to save.

  • Dec 12th, 2014 @ 5:27am

    Re: Re:

    “Incivility decreased by 17 percent..."

    I'd love to know how they quantified incivility.

  • Dec 4th, 2014 @ 7:48pm


    Why not just make the glass easily replaceable?

    Oh, and if you want the latest, most expensive phone, and you want it to have a really big screen and be really thin, and the very first thing you want to do with it is put it in your hip pocket and sit on it, then maybe you'd be better off with some child-safe toys for a while longer.

  • Dec 3rd, 2014 @ 9:46pm

    by their works shall ye know them

    "The House voted 293 to 123, making it a pretty clear and overwhelming statement that Congress did not, in fact, support such practices by the NSA."

    If there was such a statement, it now appears to have been false.

    I know that there's a lot of overt posturing and covert favor-trading in Congress; perhaps someone who understands the rules of congressional procedure better than I can verify that these 293 representatives do not actually have the power to stop this move. And I really would love to know how many of them knew when they voted in favor of the amendment (perhaps currying favor with the public) that it was marked for a quiet death in the swamp (perhaps currying favor with the executive branch).

  • Dec 1st, 2014 @ 10:09am

    (untitled comment)

    "The [data protection working group] considers that... de-listing decisions must be implemented in such a way... that EU law cannot be circumvented."

    No matter how many times I read this, I can't make any sense out of it. These "data protection officials" don't seem to know the first thing about law or computers, and their whole philosophy seems to be "do what we meant and don't bother us about details". Is that a hiring requirement at the CJEU?

  • Dec 1st, 2014 @ 9:39am

    Re: Attacking the symptoms, not looking for a cure

    Telling thousands or millions of sites to remove offending material would be a lot of work, and most of those sites don't have much money to confiscate.

    They'd rather milk one cow than a million mice.

  • Nov 27th, 2014 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Sent the money somewhere else

    If a seizure does not lead to an indictment (of a human being, not a pile of cash) within six months, then the seized property should be returned to its owner and matched dollar for dollar from the police pension fund.

  • Nov 24th, 2014 @ 8:43am


    If they had said "you're fired for being indiscreet about our guests", I'd agree with you.

    What they said was "you're fired because these people threatened to cancel a contract you knew nothing about, on the grounds that your innocuous action offended them, because they have a sense of privileged self-importance that would embarrass a six-year-old Chinese empress."

  • Nov 23rd, 2014 @ 5:08pm


    'The cost of telling these kinds of stories is higher than you could possibly imagine... [If your position] is still that Cosby is "innocent until proven guilty," consider that you are contributing to the problem.'

    Really? In addition to being despised and found guilty in the court of public opinion, will some of these women lose their jobs? Will their homes be vandalized? Will they sometimes be beaten up -- and occasionally killed -- by vigilantes? If these women are university students, will student groups circulate petitions that they be expelled? Will there be serious attempts to change the laws so as to strip these women of their civil rights and convict them of felonies without due process?

    No? Then they don't have it as bad as a man accused of rape.

    Oh, and you are most definitely part of the problem, and if I were a patronizing ass I'd say that these things were more serious than you could possibly imagine.

  • Nov 21st, 2014 @ 5:37am

    Re: Re:

    That can be true only if multiple rapes actually occurred. End even if they did, I'm not convinced that the victim of the first rape would be culpable for the second. The second victim could say to the first "if you had gone straight to the police, I might not have been raped", but that does not necessarily mean she can say "my rape was partly your fault".

  • Nov 20th, 2014 @ 9:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Is Lou Ferrigno known for choosing women of exceptional veracity? Does being married to Lou Ferrigno dispel the feminist tendency to define rape as almost anything, or the human tendency to seek fame and public sympathy, or to invent evidence to help convict someone already thought to be guilty?

    Why did you mention it (without parentheses)? Please be honest; does her being married to Lou Ferrigno make you feel that she should be believed more than someone who isn't?

  • Nov 20th, 2014 @ 5:27pm

    Re: Re:

    I haven't read about this scandal, and I don't intend to.

    I don't know the details, but unlike most people talking about it, I know I don't know the details.

    If eleven other people take the same stance, then Mr. Cosby can be tried in court, and we'll look at all the evidence that exists with all the objectivity we can muster.

    Until then, I don't find 10 non-independent accusations against such a public figure much more convincing than 1, and his silence and the silence of media stars don't convince me of anything at all.

  • Nov 17th, 2014 @ 9:42pm

    Re: Re: Waiting For The ...

    We are considering complex chemistry and looking for a theory that assumes little, predicts much and can easily be disproved if it's false.

    A theory involving ancient non-human intelligences doing vaguely defined things at an unspecified time is a theory that assumes an enormous amount, predicts nothing and is nondisprovable.

  • Sep 26th, 2014 @ 8:09am

    follow the logic

    “The average pedophile at this point is probably thinking, I’ve got to get an Apple phone.”

    But wait! The new Apple phone has a bendy aluminum case, so the average pedophile will think "nah, I'll stick with my old phone, and keep lots of incriminating data on it."

    Hurray for Apple, and inadequate user testing!

  • Sep 10th, 2014 @ 9:09pm

    Baloney detector pegged

    There's this thing called Conservation of Energy. It's a rule built into the universe. Any discussion of a new trick that violates this rule must start with a few words about how physicists around the world are tearing up their theories back to Galileo and starting over, before digressing into the refueling schedules of ships at sea. Otherwise it's almost certainly crackpottery.

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