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Comment Re:Probably (Score 1) 592

Now we have roundabouts. They work even better than traffic lights for most intersections. Far less accidents and a smoother overall traffic flow.

At the cost of massively more real estate. No wonder houses cost so goddamn much in Europe. You're wasting too much space on roundabouts.

Comment Actually, the picture is of the first crater... (Score 4, Interesting) 130 one can easily see. This is a crater in the middle of a paddy field. The regular array of tufts of greener is planted rice. The crater is order of a meter across or maybe a bit less (scale from the array of rice plants) and is formed in soft paddy mud that has had all of the rocks and solid material removed over as many as hundreds of years. This strike didn't kill anyone.

From the article, the second strike was near a tank -- which is basically a large open well sometimes surrounded by or even formed out of stone or masonry, typically NOT located in the middle of a muddy, flooded rice paddy -- injured several people and killed one, which means that it had more energy than the rice paddy strike and likely hit ground solid enough to cause significant shrapnel. A rice paddy is pretty close to a perfect environment to NOT cause a lot of shrapnel.

Just sayin'. I'm guessing the newspaper had a stock photo of the first hit and figured most people would be too ignorant to detect the "error" and wanted to be first to press to get wider reading and didn't wait on somebody going to photograph the actual crater.


Comment Re:Fundamentals (Score 1) 350

No, I'm for not making the military rules of engagement the same rules as your local law enforcement agency have to follow.

The people in Guantanomo Bay were not taken in military engagements. If they weren't wearing uniforms and weren't representing a government, but were busy trying to kill people with guns and bombs, they're just CRIMINALS. That's all.

There is no such thing as a terrorist, as a legal distinction. There are military combatants and there are civilians. If a civilian plants a bomb, he's still a civilian. He's just a criminal civilian. If a civilian shoots a bunch of people with an automatic weapon, he's still a civilian. He's just a criminal civilian. If a civilian gets together with a bunch of his buddies and plants bombs and shoots a bunch of people with automatic weapons, he's still just a civilian.

We even have a name for that. We call them mobsters.

Attempting to create terrorism as a legal distinction is stupid twice. Once because you're playing in to their narrative, giving them far more credence than they deserve, and twice because it's being used to foment fear and trample rights here at home. One is cowardly, the other treasonous.

Taliban, Al Queda, blah blah, these are just mobs. Organized crime. Treat them as such. The people in Gitmo are foreign nationals. Deport them. A bunch of Iron Age assholes running around in a desert on another continent are not a threat to me. If you failed to capture them via proper criminal procedures, you're just a fuckup. Releasing them is fixing a fuckup. If they are what you say they are, they'll reoffend, in which case they can be captured with proper law enforcement procedures, tried, and locked up legally. Meanwhile, you personally should stop defending the fuckups.

Comment Oh please let it pass. (Score 5, Interesting) 186

According to Michael Geist, TPP requires implementation of a DMCA-style take-down notice system, while eliminating the good faith belief requirement. Oh please oh please let it pass. YouTube? I'm sorry, it infringes. All of it. Vevo? Infringing. Take it down. Redtube? Infringing. Take it down. If TPP is implemented, it is our duty to see to it that no automated take-down system in any of the 12 countries will work anymore. And it will be legal.

Finally all those spam botnets will have a productive use.

Comment Re:Obligatory (Score 1) 668

Will everyone's ears bleed if they hear the word nigger or cracker or spic or wop or kraut or chink uttered?

With the exception of nigger, I don't think these kids recognize those words. I only come across kraut and wop and spic in historical fiction, and chink was on the way out when I was in grade school. And I'm not young. I've never heard cracker anywhere outside of the deep south, either.

Nowadays they call each other unclefucker. The ethnic slurs are tame in comparison.

Open Source

Homemade Speed Trap Made By Former UVA CS Professor ( 582

An anonymous reader writes: Irritated by speeders in his neighborhood and frustrated with the City of Charlottesville's inability or unwillingness to enforce the speed limit, a former professor in the Computer Science department of the University of Virginia created a program in openCV to track vehicle speed on his residential neighborhood street: "You'll find that almost 85 percent of the cars going by are violators [of the neighborhood's 25mph limit]". This includes a city bus doing 34mph.

Comment Re:Enforce login to post (Score 1) 1833

I second this. The value of the comments section is (and always has been) informative commentary from people who know what they're talking about. The folks who want to read trolls can go look at 4chan or YouTube comments. Fears about groupthink are wildly unfounded -- people get modded up for "controversial" opinions all the time without any Microsoft/Apple/Google/Facebook/liberal/feminist/GNU/Linux/Gnome/KDE/Sony/BSD/Minix conspiracy stopping them.

The theory that anonymous commenting will somehow create a utopia of free speech has utterly failed. Pseudonymity is almost always good enough. I'm fine with letting logged-in users have their posts show up anonymously for the special cases.

Comment FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed new rules (Score 1) 167

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed new rules...

Former cable and wireless industry lobbyist Tom Wheeler proposed new rules that is making the cable companies whine and cry.

They must be wondering what their money got them. I guess Tom plans to retire after this. He is 69 years old, after all. Between this and net neutrality, he's doing a fine job warming his toes with all the bridges he's burning.

Comment Re:I knew something was up (Score 1, Interesting) 298

No worries. With the Great Global Warming Conspiracy in place, power companies have already been raising rates and gouging people for years and anticipated being able to do so for decades. Solar simply bites into that with net metering.

But it is nothing like the bite that is going to happen if any of the three or four companies or major projects that claim to be on the verge of fusion energy turn out to be correct within the allotted timeframe. Or, better yet, if two or three companies solve it slightly differently at once, so there isn't even a window of real patent-monopoly free from competition.

Of course that is also going to more or less kill solar in its tracks unless/until they can get prices down to order of $0.10/watt/decade of operation. That will break even with fusion, maybe, possibly -- the difference between free but unreliable "fuel" in the case of solar vs almost free and reliable fuel in the case of fusion, with both of them costing order of $100 million/GW for the generation facility, a quantity that is recoverable at current retail rates in a matter of days of operating at capacity (power companies charge order of a billion dollars for ten hours of the electricity produced by a gigawatt plant).

If Lockheed-Martin's semi-sized megawatt plant works, we might even see the real demise of the electrical grid and giant regulated monopolies, over time. Communities could buy off-the-shelf generation in a modular way and plug it into a municipal grid and pay for it on a co-op basis.

In the meantime, all measures taken to combat carbon dioxide raise the cost of electricity. All things that raise the cost of electricity increase the profits of the government regulated monopolies that sell it, that are usually permitted only a more or less fixed marginal profit. They'll make electricity using squirrels in cages if that's what the public mandates, as long as they get a fixed MARGINAL profit on the final retail price.


Comment Re:Space Race! (Score 1) 132

spaceX is way ahead of the real players ... in the 1950's. SpaceX is 100% focused on extracting money from the government with gimmicks. Once required to say, actually comply with aerospace engineering practices and government contractor business processes (you know, that oversight thing) their prices will be just the same or higher (much more musk ego to pay for than boeing exec ego).

Says the butthurt ULA employee.

Don't worry, the welfare for mediocre engineers will continue. It's not like they were paying you for what you could do to begin with. They'll just stop having you pretend to make rockets.

Comment Re:"I forgot" (Score 1) 500

Ah, I see what you are doing there...

Proposition A) We should never let crazy or stupid people own or carry firearms, just like we shouldn't let them reproduce, vote, operate power tools, drive, teach, preach, or work in government.

Proposition B) It is crazy and stupid to own a firearm! Studies show that you are more likely to shoot a relative than a criminal (even if that relative DID "need killin'"). They are expensive. They serve no useful purpose except to enable an individual to hurt someone or punch meaningless holes in things from a distance. Criminals have a higher probability of carrying firearms than the general population, which means that it is a provable fact that firearm owners are more likely to be criminals. So crazy, stupid and you're probably a criminal as well you gun owners you.

Conclusion) If you want to own a firearm, you shouldn't be allowed to. Only people who have no interest in owning firearms should be allowed to own or carry them. And only then if they aren't, by a definition that I (being sane and smart) would be happy to write down as a standard to be fairly applied to the entire populace, crazy or stupid or both.

Carry on the good work, brother! We can work on the reproduction, voting, etc later!


Comment A simple solution... (Score 3, Funny) 500

... we could all just fly naked. Think of the advantages! No more worries about concealed weapons that are any larger than will comfortably fit in an orifice. An opportunity to really get to know your neighbor. Necessarily improved climate control -- no more flights that are too cold or too warm. And a complete lack of literalist religious folk on the aircraft, because for most of them appearing naked in public is an even bigger sin than allowing infidels to spread lies about the one true faith or failing to bring on the apocalypse so Jesus can return to usher in the Kingdom of Heaven.

The merely prudish would, of course, take the train, which would be a welcome burst of new business for alternative transportation. Throw in a little alcohol and a whole new meaning of "in-flight entertainment" could emerge as a new cultural norm. The increased happiness among fliers could lead us to world peace!

It's the perfect solution. At least as long as they have one of those boxes that say "your body must fit inside of this box in order to take this flight" -- for humans...


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