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  • Feb 13th, 2017 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re: The Math

    ... egregious infringement of Constitutional rights .. should carry with it either a jail sentence or fine.

    I agree in principle. In practice this is very hard to get right and would essentially discourage anyone from serving in government at all. But we should move closer to your suggested end of the spectrum, for sure.

    Perhaps less extreme than that, I propose that there be some notion of impeachment for incompetence. That is, you're not jailed or fined, but if you demonstrate that you're incompetent at being a government official, then you should not be a government official. You should lose your job. That's also hard to define and easy to abuse, but doesn't have quite the deterrent effect for public service as jail or fines would have.

    What we kind of already have, but not really, is the notion of failure to be reelected due to incompetence. Voters should hold their elected officials accountable for incompetence. That hardly happens though, due to myriad failings of our electoral systems.

  • Feb 13th, 2017 @ 7:02am

    The Math

    The camera manufacturer has no liability if the cameras are deployed unlawfully.

    So the town is on the hook for the 35% they paid BLS. That works out to $477.23 per inhabitant. That's 5 speeding tickets per person.

    Sadly, the politicians who implemented this anti-tourism tax probably won't be held accountable.

  • Feb 9th, 2017 @ 8:18pm

    Re: Re: Good on Them

    It only applies to citizens...

    The preamble says the constitution was written by the citizens (the "people of the united states"). It doesn't say it was written only to apply to citizens.

    Paraphrasing, it says "We [citizens] wrote this constitution for these reasons."

    More specifically, Article II, Section 1, paragraph 5 says, "No Person except a natural born Citizen, ...". There'd be no need for the qualification "except a natural born Citizen" if 'Person' was already limited only to citizens.

    So it's certainly not the case that everything in the constitution only applies to or refers to citizens.

  • Feb 3rd, 2017 @ 9:28am

    Re: Corporate Governance

    Corporations should be forced to operate within a system that is designed for and serves the citizens it represents. What we have instead is a government that is heavily influenced by and operates to serve corporations. There is lip service given to how anything that benefits corporations indirectly benefits citizens, but too often it is just whitewash.

    We need to demand much more vociferously the government we're supposed to have: "government of the people, by the people, for the people" that Lincoln said shall not perish from the earth. It certainly seems to be fading if not yet perishing.

  • Feb 1st, 2017 @ 5:20am

    Re: Re: You can do that?!

    You mean decide if P == NP, right?

    If P = NP, then P == NP by definition, unless you're running in parallel and assignment is not atomic. Then if P = NP we still need to decide if P == NP. Maybe what you really meant was NP = P. That would/could be good.

  • Jan 31st, 2017 @ 11:53am

    Re:

    For those not in the know about this meme:

    http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/profit

    So basically, we have a president with a South Park level ability to create a plan.

  • Jan 31st, 2017 @ 5:36am

    Re: TRUMP CAN DO NO WRONG

    I'm hoping he ends up being better then the Clinton gangsters in the long run. he just needs to staple his mouth shut. IMHO, executive orders should be banned. Obozo's EO's were all crap also.

    Trump's in quite a hole already. There's zero practical hope that he can redeem himself even to the point of being the 2nd worst president ever. It's a fun fantasy to imagine the turnaround it would take for him to even be considered "not bad" after a start like this, but just a fantasy.

  • Jan 13th, 2017 @ 6:42am

    This one's a little petty

    > Look, there's no joy in understanding that Talbot's
    > emarrassment has multiplied because of his admittedly
    > hilarious attempt at a coverup, but the world does need
    > to understand that attempts to hide information in this
    > manner will only result in it being further spread.

    The Streisanding stories on Techdirt are generally of the sort where someone tries to use copyright or some other tool of digital information suppression to hide info, and in that respect fit right in to Techdirt's bailiwick.

    This one may be amusing because of they guy's failure to be even at all sophisticated. But I think it's a bit lame for it to have ended up here. There's no real link to the important issues that Techdirt generally concerns itself with. The post just seems to be mocking the guy, and then justifying it with a lame claim about the world **needing** to understand the Streisand effect?

    Misusing copyright and patent law are important topics. The Streisand effect per se is not.

  • Jan 13th, 2017 @ 6:19am

    Re:

    Genius. Generalizing, what about a whole line of T-shirts claiming to have invented all sorts of stuff, or just one with blanks:

    I invented _______ in ______.

    You can write your own in with a marker.

    I invented wheels in 1985.
    I invented bread in 1992.
    I invented photons in 2003.
    I invented toasters in 1945.

  • Jan 13th, 2017 @ 6:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Fucking people...

    Ahh, after a bit of googling, now I see. He's got an email management company, just wrote a book about email, etc. He's made a business out of being the purported "inventor of email".

  • Jan 13th, 2017 @ 6:11am

    Re: Where are the t-shirts?

    T-Shirt idea:

    To: shiva.ayyadurai@vashiva.com
    From: the.internet@email.com
    Subject: Email invented in 1972

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email#Origin

  • Jan 13th, 2017 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re: Fucking people...

    I've been wondering what Ayyadurai gets out of this whole fight, aside from bragging rights? I used to presume he was some minor tech drone with nothing else to his name than bragging rights over email. But he seems to be an educated person with many other ways to succeed in life. How did he end up becoming a person with nothing better to do than fight over bragging rights?

    Does this create economic opportunity for him, as a consultant or web developer or what?

  • Jan 13th, 2017 @ 5:55am

    Re: legal defense

    I'm not sure I'd hire a lawyer who makes an offer of services in a site's comments section.

  • Jan 13th, 2017 @ 5:49am

    Re:

    KT: "...I have developed site policies designed for every possible occurrence...".

    You realize your credibility plummets after spouting this kind of self-aggrandizing back-patting, right? (I meant that intentional redundant redundancy...) More to the point, claiming you are some kind of expert in forum management doesn't strengthen your weak arguments. It makes them even weaker, because your only claim to a legitimate argument is your own claim of being an authority.

    Your victim-blaming is shameful on two levels. One, the victim in this case didn't even do anything to, in your words, "deserve what [they got]". To suggest that is just you trying to make yourself better in comparison to a strawman you're creating. Second, even if you think they did make a mistake, why does it then follow that they deserve to be sued out of existence.

    We don't live in a world where it is a good idea to leave your wallet sitting on a park bench somewhere. If you do, chances are good it will be stolen. It's predictable, and easily preventable, but does the person who does that *deserve* to have the wallet stolen. No. Period.

    Your attitude suggests you feel that people *should* be punished for not living up to some threshold of moral or intellectual achievement. That is some dangerous thinking, man.

  • Jan 12th, 2017 @ 7:11am

    Re: Re:

    It really is *our* fight, because, for example, I thought about showing solidarity with TechDirt by posting on twitter how Mr.Email didn't invent email, using the same info TD used, but then I was chilled. I don't need a lawsuit anymore than TD does.

    Using the courts as a "tool" in any fight is terrible. Courts should be used to *resolve* disputes on an equitable basis, not as a weapon that helps you win just because you have more money.

    Anti-SLAPP, loser-pays approaches are sorely needed, especially when it comes to free speech.

  • Dec 9th, 2016 @ 10:21am

    Anything can be criminalized

    This is such an idiotic idea. Companies can put whatever they want in their terms of service. They'll be lucky if its flagrantly abused enough that the law is repealed. ("User agrees to tip us a minimum of $5 every month." "User agrees to let our CEO borrow their car whenever he's in town.")

    If companies are at all savvy, they'll just start down a slippery slope towards achieving all their copyright and IP dreams in the form of cleverly worded and benign seeming restrictions. ("User agrees not to create derivative works for a period of two years after receiving their last software update." "User agrees that breaking DRM does irreparable harm to the company and agrees that treble damages, as calculated by us, are an adequate remedy.")

    Yikes!

  • Nov 18th, 2016 @ 8:08pm

    Re: Re: Sigh

    Don't conflate Trump with the things Trump supporters want. Trump was a disaster as a candidate, is a disaster as a pres-elect, and will be a disaster as a president. We are playing into his hand if we think we need to sugar-coat that in order to somehow win over his supporters. You can sugar coat your dislike of Trump all you want and you will not win over his supporters.

    What may win over his non-fringe supporters (of which there are some) is substantive progress on real issues that have a real effect on people's lives.

    My most favorable interpretation of this election is this: no one supported the person Trump is; they supported him because he was a Rorschach inkblot of indeterminate nothingness onto which they could project the things they wanted, and they were rebelling against a political system that no longer really represents the people.

  • Nov 18th, 2016 @ 7:58pm

    Re:

    Trump is probably the most distilled version of someone in public life who wantonly and proudly fails to consider his responses carefully. It is that exact quality, and very nearly only that quality, that made him electable. He has nothing else to offer.

  • Nov 8th, 2016 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re: Ignorance of the law is no excuse to be in congress

    That last part was an attempt at humor! ;) (The first three paragraphs were serious.)

    You do make a good point though. We have arrived where we are today because the people don't demand a certain standard of competence out of our elected officials. If we did that, the media would more or less respond as needed. Too many people are willing to overlook various transgressions as long as the transgressor is espousing policies we like. The media, but more especially the people should seriously make a much bigger deal out of holding our representatives to higher standards -- across the board!

  • Nov 8th, 2016 @ 9:41am

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse to be in congress

    Cramer: "Your FCC license and the liberty that comes with your First Amendment rights are not a license to broadcast anything you want or in any way you choose."

    Actually, that's exactly the point of the first amendment.

    There are limitations (porn, obscenity, etc.) which might make his statement true in some technical sense, but the thing he wants to eliminate, bias, or more benignly "opinion", is exactly what the first amendment protects, in particular when it comes to politicians and the government.

    Perhaps what we need is an agency that reviews what our representatives say to evaluate their understanding of our laws and constitution. Whey they demonstrate ignorance, they are required to attend remedial classes.

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