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Comment Re:Can we get an explanation on who gets mod point (Score 1) 1829

I remember there being a setting many years ago that allowed you to turn off being given mod points. It was for people like me who wanted nothing to do with moderating and instead preferred to just respond. I enabled it years ago, but in looking for it again over the years I've been unable to find it, and I haven't received any mod points in at least 5 years, despite having Excellent karma the entire time. So, I'd assume the setting is still somewhere, but that I just don't know where.

Comment Re:What I want (Score 1) 1829

On a serious note, I actually wouldn't mind a feature that allowed me to indicate I had retracted a post. Not remove it, mind you, since I should have to live with whatever idiocy I posted, but maybe change the green bar's color to a different shade of green or add an icon next to the message ID to indicate I no longer stand by what I said.

I've been corrected more times than I can count by people posting thoughtful comments that contradict what I said, and when that happens, I'd like to point people towards the responses that did the correcting, which is especially true if I've been upmodded but the responses that corrected me have not yet been.

Comment Re:Things that make you go "hmmm..." (Score 2) 150

This sounds suspiciously like a perpetual motion machine.

Only if you ignore the fact that the energy they're re-capturing was generated by the plane's jet engines during flight, rather than by this fuel cell. It's just a form of regenerative braking, no different than the flywheels commonly in use in automobiles today. And they said they'd be using the energy to power the plane on the ground. Water is a natural byproduct of the energy production, rather than the goal.

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 133

It's like saying IE was the best browser because it was so widely used for a time

Correlation != causation. Contrary to your reading, I neither suggested nor implied that things are good because they're widespread. Rather, I spent a paragraph explaining the differentiating factor for this technology and then suggested that a company stood to gain by getting it to market first. Which is true. Having widespread use is necessary, but by no means is it causative, nor does being widespread mean they're better.

In fact, the reason I specified "widespread" was not because I was making the value judgement that "more = better" (which is what you seem to have inferred), but rather because I was suggesting that "more widespread = more relevant". While you or I may be interested in neat technologies like over-the-air wireless charging, it's utterly irrelevant to Everyday Joes until they can get their hands on it. As such, component companies putting together neat little demos are one thing, but it's something else entirely when the technology is in a device that anyone can buy. That sort of news is worth of a lot more attention in the general media, which is what I was saying.

Comment Re:Twitter shouldn't be shutting anyone down.. (Score 1) 828

Yes and no.

No, I was not thinking merely in terms of prohibitions under law (though I can see why you might think I was, since that's basically all I talked about). Rather, I was narrowly addressing a particular point while avoiding the tangent of "oughtness" or making a moral judgment. Even so, thanks for the refresher on the subject, since it's been a few years since I've reviewed that specific material! And it is something with which I wish more people would familiarize themselves, since you're quite correct that people need to think beyond merely what the law allows/compels. I would assert that the law exists in the service of a higher moral purpose, rather than being an end unto itself, so it's good to review material of this sort occasionally so that a healthy perspective isn't lost.

As for the "yes", yes, you are correct, I was addressing the issue of what happens to our rights if we are being compelled to do something (though, as a quick aside, I was speaking of being compelled in a more general sense, such as if someone has a gun to your head). My comment was intended to point out a simple fact: an obligation, be it externally or internally imposed, to print the words of others will naturally come at the cost of other basic human rights. I never intended to suggest that meant printing the words of others was a bad thing, since I do agree that the right should extend beyond what the government permits. Even so, because of those costs, I also believe that the extent to which the right is extended should be left to the individual to decide. Otherwise, as we agree, it would result in the trampling of rights.

Sorry for the confusion, and I hope my overall thought process is a bit clearer now.

Comment Re:Meet the new boss (Score 1) 1305

This is why I stopped going a few months back. I'm fairly traditionally right-wing (i.e. not extreme), but the commentary and editorializing over there eventually took things so far to the extreme (in both directions) that you couldn't have a reasonable discussion.

Any mention of taxes or large corporations would derail into a shouting match between the types of folks who insist that all taxation is "government theft" and those who think that corporations in the West are broken and that companies as large as Apple or Microsoft should be broken up and have their wealth redistributed to the poor.

With everything derailing so easily and so quickly at the slightest mention of topics that most people would consider mundane and settled, there was little room for reasoned debate. I'm fine with a few loonies, but the whole conversation just went down those lines, every single time, and the upmodding made it clear that that's where the groupthink was for the site too. I eventually just gave up.

Comment Re:So... (Score 4, Insightful) 133

The difference here is that Apple's purported solution requires no physical contact with the device. No mat, no pad, just use your device anywhere within the range of the charger and it'll charge wirelessly, over-the-air.

They certainly didn't invent it, and it isn't innovative at this point, but if they're the first ones to put it into widespread use, they'll likely reap a lot of well-deserved credit in the media.

Comment Re:Twitter shouldn't be shutting anyone down.. (Score 1) 828

Without disagreeing, I'd like to point out that if anyone can compel me to print their words on my platform, I no longer have the right to choose with whom I associate. So, yes, it's a matter of degree, but there's a very good reason why most reasonable people choose to only extend it so far as the government reaches. Anything more, and you begin trampling on other rights. As the saying goes, your rights only extend to the point that they step on someone else's.

I think it's unfair to characterize a typical degree of support for the right to free speech as "not supporting it very much". I'd say that we're supporting it to the maximum extent possible within the constraints imposed by the other basic human rights.

Comment Re:Advertising is not a freedom of speech issue (Score 1) 195

It's not unsolicited advertising. If you don't like seeing communication that the friends and contacts YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO HEAR FROM

It must be nice living in the future. At least, I presume that's where you're EMPHATICALLY writing from, since here in the present, IMAP4 doesn't require that you Follow/Friend someone before they can e-mail you...which was one of the ways that this spam went out from Amazon.

Comment Re:When you say "impossible," do you *mean* imposs (Score 3, Insightful) 231

How is it complying if it's supposed to be impossible to do so?

The short answer to your question is that the phone in this court case is an iPhone 5s that's still running iOS 7, and thus it predates the safeguards in iOS 8 and 9 that prevent Apple from decrypting it. The lawyer is arguing that even though Apple is technologically capable of decrypting it, law enforcement cannot compel Apple's assistance, since doing so would put an onerous burden on Apple by forcing them to undermine their own business.

To go into a bit more detail, Apple markets itself as being incapable of decrypting their own devices. Which is true...for everything sold in the last two years. But that's a distinction that is lost on most customers, so the lawyer is arguing that if Apple is compelled to assist law enforcement in this case, it would cause direct harm to its business by resulting in exactly the sort of confusion you're having. After all, how would a typical customer reconcile the conflicting information? If Apple is seen decrypting this guy's iPhone while advertising that it's outright incapable of doing so, customers won't buy their products because customers won't believe what's being advertised.

The long and short of it is that Apple is telling law enforcement that if they want the phone decrypted they should do it themselves, since Apple is under no obligation to assist, nor can it be compelled to assist, any more than, say, a bottled water company could be compelled by law enforcement to tarnish their own product by putting a pollutant in the water.

Comment Re: FUD (Score 1) 357

You don't hear anyone complaining that we're poisoning our children when we're de-icing the roads, do you?

Yes, actually I do.

Do you? You've linked a whole slew of problems that exist with road salt (all of which I agree with), none of which contradict what I was saying. My claim was a narrow one: that the AC was full of crap when he asserted that salt would poison people if it were sprayed around like RoundUp. And I backed that up by pointing out that we're spraying salt around in massive quantities already (as your first link says, 22 millions tons on the roads each year in the US alone), yet we're not seeing the salt poisoning epidemic he would have us believe would be happening.

Is road salt free from issues? By no means! But those other problems are orthogonal to the discussion at hand. If you actually are claiming that road salt is poisoning our kids, give me a link and I'll take a look, since that'd be news to me, but otherwise, it seems a bit premature to suggest that I have egg on my face.

Comment Re:I get it, but it's stupid. (Score 2) 187

In this case, Amnesty's report indicates that the complete chain is a bit longer than the summary suggests. In fact, the full chain is more like:
Miners in the DRC using child labor ->
Congo Dongfang Mining (CDM) ->
Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Ltd (CDM's parent company) ->
three battery component manufacturers in China and South Korea ->
battery makers ->
Sony/Apple/Samsung/Volkswagen/Microsoft/Daimler

Moreover, while child labor is horrible and needs to be stopped, Amnesty's headline of "Exposed: Child labour behind smart phone and electric car batteries" is overly sensationalist, since they haven't actually shown what they claim. They've shown a business connection, but haven't shown that any of the Congo cobalt is actually being sourced for use in smartphones or electric cars.

By their logic, I'm supporting Mexican drug cartels if I eat at a restaurant with a decorative antique that came from a store that bought it from a dealer who is actually part of a drug smuggling operation in which some of their antiques are hollowed out and loaded with drugs from Mexico. Mind you, the antique that I saw was a normal one that was never part of the smuggling, but because that dealer's client list includes the store who sold the antique to the restaurant where I ate, I'm participating in the international drug trade. Never mind that we had nothing to do with it at all.

Again, child labor needs to end, but this is ridiculous. Amnesty needs to substantiate their claims with something more than client lists that don't specify what's being sold.

Comment Re: FUD (Score 1) 357

Of course they don't, but so what? You may want to re-read the thread to get some context. He wasn't talking about the dangers of Roundup on the food we eat. He was making a baseless assertion about the dangers of airborne Roundup "that can just float around and affect other people" while making a patently inaccurate claim that salt "would cause problems, [sic] too" if it was sprayed around similarly. My counterexample directly refutes his statements, but you're quite correct that it does not apply more broadly to other concerns that exists. And that's fine, since I never implied that it did. If you drew that inference, then I apologize, but it was never my goal to tackle every issue in this field. I was merely addressing one person who was fear-mongering out of their ignorance.

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