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johnnyFive  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Georgia's new anti abortion bill is bananas

    Lawmakers are waiting for a fiscal note from legislative staff to determine the expected cost to the state.

Hopefully they'll include defending it in court during the time it takes to be struck down.

tacocat  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

They're deliberately trying to trigger a Supreme Court challenge to Roe because they like their chances in this circuit court district so I'm curious if they definitely know because it was their intent from the start or if they don't care and didn’t bother to calculate it

johnnyFive  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I have purchased many books. Let's have a book thread

I just started Herzog by Saul Bellow, and am digging it so far. I also have high hopes for finally finishing Steppenwolf.

Beyond that, I'm looking for some good sci-fi to read when I don't want to think quite so hard.

johnnyFive  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Off my chest

    the more I realize that being a little bit good at a lot of things means being shitty at everything.

I relate to this quite a bit.

This bothers me, although we should be careful not to overstate the legal implications.

As for the idea itself, I don't really get it. I mean, are we going to say that a company that makes rat poison can only go so far when it talks about how deadly it is? In the case of firearms specifically, what exactly is the line for advertising? Are we going to blame a car manufacturer that runs an ad about how its car is really fast if some teenager wrecks because they were speeding? Wouldn't that be the kind of advertising that "resonated with disturbed young men who could be induced" to drive irresponsibly?

But more generally, I think it's wrong to try to blame the companies for what Adam Lanza did. To me it's scapegoating, and it trivializes his decisions and the failure of those around him to do anything. Blaming the companies lets us feel like we're doing something without looking much deeper at our society than we're apparently willing to.

ghostoffuffle  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·  

While digging into this a little, I came across a pretty neat online essay about advertising bans in the United States (appropriately titled "Advertising Bans in the United States") :

https://eh.net/encyclopedia/nelson-adbans/

Seems like the answer to your first question, "should we hold companies liable for irresponsible advertising" seems to be, well, we can, and we do. The four-pronged test cited in this essay, at least in theory, lays out pretty stringent rules for how the government may censor admen: is the product/activity lawful? Is the government's interest in regulation substantial? Does regulation thereof directly and materially advance that interest? Is that regulation not excessive?

In practice, seems like enough wiggle room can be found to restrict commercial speech when the opportunity presents itself and where the political wherewithal can be mustered. Given the above parameters, the answer to the hypothetical "are we going to blame a car manufacturer that runs an ad about how its car is really fast if some teenager wrecks because they were speeding" may very well be: yes. Which is probably why every car commercial you see where a roadster is zooming down a country road includes the small-text disclaimer to the tune of "car being driven by professional on closed course, don't do this, dipshit."

The bigger sticking point, and one you raised way back when, would be: is there any point to such restrictions? Do they work? According to this essay, at least, the answer is no. Restricting the way cigarettes are advertised, for instance, has had a dubious effect on smoking rates. Which bums me out on a lot of levels. And kind of deflates my idea.

As to your final point, I respectfully submit that blame isn't a scarce resource, and doesn't have to be doled out as such for better or worse. We can shine equal light on the actions or failures of an individual's immediate community as well as his broader cultural upbringing. Both are issues that need to be addressed.

johnnyFive  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: OMG, it’s a national emergency!

He sort of has a point, but doesn't really seem to understand the underlying legal framework as kleinbl00 has pointed out.

    Therefore, a sufficient condition for an action to violate a provision of the Constitution is that you can’t think of any possible action that would more clearly violate the provision if this one doesn’t.

Wat

johnnyFive  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Chelsea Manning jailed for refusing to testify on Wikileaks

I'm a little unclear on what, exactly, are the principles she's standing up for? If she's already testified about everything she knows once, why is she willing to go to jail to avoid doing so again?

johnnyFive  ·  15 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: New Intel CPU bug found: Like Spectre, only worse

Intel Management Engine (although other CPU manufacturers have an equivalent). It's a little side OS that handles startup and some other things. But it's a black box, and could be used to compromise whatever computer it's running on.

user-inactivated  ·  15 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Jeesh! Is this similar to what made Stuxnet so damaging?

johnnyFive  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: New Intel CPU bug found: Like Spectre, only worse

As well it should. See also: IME and its ilk.

user-inactivated  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·  

What is IME? I'm not familiar.

johnnyFive  ·  15 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Intel Management Engine (although other CPU manufacturers have an equivalent). It's a little side OS that handles startup and some other things. But it's a black box, and could be used to compromise whatever computer it's running on.

user-inactivated  ·  15 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Jeesh! Is this similar to what made Stuxnet so damaging?

I can't reply to kleinbl00 directly, but I'd just like to chime in and say that he seems to have read a different article from me. On the one hand, he tells us that Buzzfeed "managed to find only four crimes across twenty years." Except a tiny way in we're told:

    Villagers have been whipped with belts, attacked with machetes, beaten unconscious with bamboo sticks, sexually assaulted, shot, and murdered by WWF-supported anti-poaching units, according to reports and documents obtained by BuzzFeed News.

    The charity’s field staff in Asia and Africa have organised anti-poaching missions with notoriously vicious shock troops, and signed off on a proposal to kill trespassers penned by a park director who presided over the killings of dozens of people.

    WWF has provided paramilitary forces with salaries, training, and supplies — including knives, night vision binoculars, riot gear, and batons — and funded raids on villages. In one African country, it embroiled itself in a botched arms deal to buy assault rifles from a brutal army that has paraded the streets with the severed heads of alleged “criminals.”

    The charity has operated like a global spymaster, organizing, financing, and running dangerous and secretive networks of informants motivated by “fear” and “revenge,” including within indigenous communities, to provide park officials with intelligence — all while publicly denying working with informants.

We apparently have a different definition of "crime."

(edit to fix typo)

johnnyFive  ·  18 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: ContraPoints: The Aesthetic

I saw the upload, but haven't watched it yet. I'm really enjoying her channel!

tacocat  ·  18 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I like her older stuff. The drag looks can be kind of annoying and she used to not focus on trans issues. Still good but she's funnier when she's dunking on natsees

johnnyFive  ·  21 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 27, 2019

My assumption is that someone, somewhere said "this is what RFPs have to look like."

One of the things I've noticed is that large organizations, both private and public, are very bad at encouraging the right kind of risk-taking. If you're right, you may get some kind of reward out of it, but if you're wrong, you're pilloried. But no one ever gets canned for following accepted practice, and so many managers are content to coast their way up the seniority ladder while never rocking the boat or deviating from standard practice.

johnnyFive  ·  22 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 27, 2019

As someone on the user end of government IT, it's no picnic over here, either.

goobster  ·  21 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah, I was a SysAdmin for NASA at Ames Research Center in the 1990's. Fortunately I worked for a contractor (like 90% of NASA workers), so I wasn't in control of the RFP or acquisition process. I just told the NASA guy what we needed to buy, and it magically showed up 6-9 months later.

Now I'm on the other end, bidding on government RFPs... which are just the most stupidly written documents in the world. They define the features, buttons, and screens that they think their software should have ... but NEVER TELL ME WHY!!

Less than 10% of the RFPs I ever see (>100 in a year) actually state what problem they are trying to solve. "We need a better way to track X." or " We need to reduce the cost of Y." or "We are looking to improve the reporting in Z system, with data collected from P, Q, and R."

Instead the RFP says things like, "Must provide functional reporting" or "Battery life of 3 years on a single charge" or "One-click application of user hierarchy" or just a long list of report names with no description of what the contents of those reports should be, or even a glossary of what the terms mean.

If they just told me what problem they wanted to solve, rather than trying to be software and hardware designers, I could tell them how our software solves those problems. Instead I have to try to interpret a bunch of half-assed feature requests from people who have never designed a software application in their life, nor know what apps are available in the market to solve those problems today.

The stoopid. It hurts.

bfv  ·  21 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My favorites are the ones where they really want to go with a particular vendor, but they're required to shop around, so they write the RFP to describe exactly what the vendor they want does and you get requirements like having to store medical histories in an internet-accessible Access database running on Windows ME on a toaster.

johnnyFive  ·  21 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My assumption is that someone, somewhere said "this is what RFPs have to look like."

One of the things I've noticed is that large organizations, both private and public, are very bad at encouraging the right kind of risk-taking. If you're right, you may get some kind of reward out of it, but if you're wrong, you're pilloried. But no one ever gets canned for following accepted practice, and so many managers are content to coast their way up the seniority ladder while never rocking the boat or deviating from standard practice.

johnnyFive  ·  22 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: House Votes to Block Trump’s National Emergency Declaration About the Border

That's a welcome change from the news report I heard yesterday.

I hope people are aware of how sketchy it would be for Trump to veto something that is trying to curtail an abuse of power. The only reason I don't think we can call him a true authoritarian is that implies a coherent plan.

johnnyFive  ·  22 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: House Votes to Block Trump’s National Emergency Declaration About the Border

I'm glad for this to happen, even if the Senate won't follow suit.

bfv  ·  22 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The Senate won't get enough votes to override a veto, but I'm not so sure it won't pass at all. It only needs one more Republican.

johnnyFive  ·  22 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's a welcome change from the news report I heard yesterday.

I hope people are aware of how sketchy it would be for Trump to veto something that is trying to curtail an abuse of power. The only reason I don't think we can call him a true authoritarian is that implies a coherent plan.

johnnyFive  ·  23 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Facing Financial Pressures, GOG Quietly Lays Off At Least A Dozen Staff

I hope they can do okay - I much prefer buying from GOG than Steam, and always check with them first.