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Comment Re:Apropos of nothing... (Score 1) 466

Over here, taxis are for the rich, busses are for the poor, and everyone else drives a car. And yet, our government is also trying to figure out what to do about those lawbreakers that have the gall to try to break the taxi monopoly by providing an option relevant for the 90%.

The 90% you say?

Let them eat taxi medallions!


Comment Re:23% of the company (Score 1) 471

most European standards are STRICTER than the American ones.

Not for diesels, which is what we are talking about here. In this case the American standards are stricter. You have to pull out some massive engineering mojo to make a diesel passenger car that's street legal in the US. Apparently VW doesn't have what it takes.

Well, seeing as how the EU in general has stricter regulations & standards across multiple environmental areas vs the US *except* in tiny, select areas like the one discussed here, perhaps it is actually the result of too-strict standards/regulation being set/applied in the US vs the EU and other nations? Where is the research, data, models, and methods, and how were they interpreted to arrive at these particular set of standards?

I'll bet a large part of it was pressure from domestic car makers & unions for standards to be set as a barrier precisely to counter VW & other non-domestic small diesel passenger vehicles, since US car companies offerings in that class have been sparse to non-existent.

Follow the money.


Comment Re:Don't take yours in. (Score 2) 411

Yeah, pulling heavy loads is exactly what Jetta's are known for.

A Jetta *is* a heavy load for a Jetta! Never mind additional waste-weight like passengers and/or cargo/luggage!

Ever tried accelerating on an inclining/upgrade on-ramp for merging onto a freeway in a Jetta with 2 or 3 people aboard? Even on a 0-degree grade on-ramp it's dicey.

There is danger both in a vehicle being under-powered and over-powered. However, AFAIK there are no government regulations which detail minimum acceleration/engine power requirements for a given horsepower/vehicle weight class for US passenger vehicles.


Comment Re:I've heard this song before... (Score 0) 58

Maybe as a general matter you are right, but I was talking strictly about this case, it looked communist to me.

LOL! Wait...are you serious? Perhaps you should retake Polysci 101.

The goal of communism is to create a classless society by eliminating the power of the bourgeoisie. If the government (DOD) is "seeding" the means of production by handing over money/power to the proletariat, then you would be correct in describing the policy as communist. But for some reason, I have a sneaking suspicion that proles won't be reaping any benefits of this arrangement. It is the bourgeoisie that will benefit.

So no, not communist. Textbook fascism.

Generally correct, but I believe a more accurate description of the US is a fascist oligarchy composed of the power elite in politics and finance/banking and currency (the Fed for just one example).


Comment Re:Giving it the old "college try" eh? (Score 4, Insightful) 281

I wish we could figure out how to limit the money they can spend or "is spent in their behalf". And I am annoyed as hell with paying for serving officials working on behalf of their own or a member of their party's campaign. It's our money they're being paid with.

There's really no good solution here.

The problem is that campaigning is synonymous with marketing plus a healthy dose of propaganda thrown in.

This takes manpower & organization. Leasing and staffing hundreds of offices. Buying TV/radio airtime and media production staff. That all costs money. A national/worldwide campaign for president of the US, astronomically so.

Handing each qualified candidate (and who determines who is "qualified" and who decides what the hurdles are and if they've been met?) a set amount to spend totally disadvantages challengers vs incumbents and/or already publicly well-known candidates. Plus, different candidates with different campaign issues, styles, and demographic footprint require differing strategies and different spending levels. There's no way to account for all the factors involved for a meaningful comparison. It would effectively eliminate any remaining and already-marginal chances of any 3rd-party/independent candidate or anyone else not approved by major-Party 'establishment'.

The authors of the US Constitution warned again and again against large political parties and the threats they pose. Combined with a large government that means the apparatchiks have plenty of government to sell large donors.

One thing that absolutely has to be stopped is the foreign money coming into US political campaigns & political organizations, along with "bundling" and other methods used to avoid leaving trails back to the sources to obstruct any future detection and/or investigation as well as skirt legal limits on contributions.


Comment Re:Fuck precious metals- propellant all the way ba (Score 1) 61

...but propellant mining is the one that all the other things rely on- it's the equivalent of oil in space.

Oh, NO!


Why, oh *why* did you have to say *that*!?

Good grief man, did you *have* to use the "O"-word!?

You *know* what's coming now, right?


"Ehrrmahgerhdd!! Ehrmahgehrdd!!

Now Big Space Oil is gunna cause Orbital-Warming CO2 Terrorists In Spaaaace!!"

Way to go, man. Way to go.


Strat :P

Comment Re:buh, bye (Score 0) 495

You are not seriously comparing Trump to Obama, are you?

Heavens, no!

Trump actually has experience successfully running something, whereas all Obama had previous to his entry into politics was "community organizing" and the 'Choom Gang". Although to be fair Obama was very successful at whitewashing his past regarding his schooling etc, so there's that.


Comment Re:Danish article (Score 1) 244

5 months ago, the danish news site Ekstra Bladet had an story about Popcorn Time (in danish):

Is that article illegal as well? I guess a LOT of people learned about Popcorn Time that day...

One step at a time.

The news service likely has lawyers on retainer which means a lengthy legal battle and the outcome is less than certain.

Therefor, you go after the low-hanging fruit like these two poor slobs who are without such resources in order to build a string of solid legal court precedents.

*Then* you go after the news service(s), libraries, bookstores, universities, etc.


Comment Re:Won't do a thing. (Score 1) 168

Neither. I get the point, it's just so horribly made it doesn't follow at all from the events in her books.

The point may seem horribly made to those to whom the concept is foreign and antithetical to their way of thinking, yes.

And it seems you conveniently missed the title of one of her stories. "The virtue of selfishness".

I quoted Atlas Shrugged, and specifically for the authoritarian point made. You're welcome to start another thread where Rand's other works could be discussed in relation to other concepts like capitalism vs collectivism. I preferred to stay on-topic.


Comment Re:Won't do a thing. (Score 1) 168

If that's what you took away from Atlas Shrugged then you missed the point or simply refuse to acknowledge it for ideological/political reasons.

Where she goes wrong is in assuming this means that only selfish people should lead the world and then everything will be all right.

Wanting to not have the fruits of your labor stripped away and redistributed to those who have not worked for it (but who would otherwise be capable) is NOT "selfish". It's the story of the ant & grasshopper, only these grasshoppers come armed and take from the hard-working ants at the point of a gun.

As was her writing on that point; it's hard to find more selfish people than the ones she so strongly despise in her stories. They just happen to not be written as heroes, and therefore their selfishness is bad, while that of the heroes is good. Simply because her stories make it so.

The villains in Atlas Shrugged seek power & control by robbing other people of the fruits of their labor through the power of an authoritarian government, and making it so that everybody is guilty of breaking *some* law/regulation so that selective enforcement allows them to have leverage on anyone they wish.


Comment Re:Won't do a thing. (Score 5, Interesting) 168

Mod parent up; even the death penalty wouldn't stop it, it's so commonplace that once half the population is in jail; a military coup would ensue.

The point isn't to put everyone in jail, the point is to put anyone in jail.

Turn everyone into criminals and you legally put anyone of them in jail when they are inconvenient for whatever reason.

"Did you really think we want those laws observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against... We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Reardon, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."

- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Yeah, yeah. "Objectivist", blah blah blah.

For being so wrong she is proving to have been remarkably prescient.


Comment Re:Way to encourage responsible disclosure. (Score 2) 87

Two years? That's outrageous. Any vendor that takes that long to patch their holes *deserves* to get zero-day'd.

Things like this, and that nonsense that the court in Boston pulled wrt/ to the researchers and their DEFCON presentation, really sour me on the idea of "responsible disclosure." If the result of my courtesy is going to be a lawsuit and a gag order, I'd not be particularly inclined to offer vendors the courtesy in the first place.

Easy fix.

Just make it a high crime with onerous penalties to perform security vulnerability testing, release vulnerabilities, or to be complicit with either or both without both the manufacturer's and government's prior approval, either of which may withdraw consent/approval at a later date and leave researchers et al legally liable & open to prosecution ex post facto if things don't turn out to the manufacturer's and/or government's expectations.

Problem solved! /s


Comment Re:It'd be hilareous if not so sad... (Score 1) 338

it's 191Km away it not fucking close at all!!..

Coz of course, lava and ashes are gonna take roads and tolls... Distance is about 140 km, which is very close for a volcano that big.

Hey, hate to rain on your roll, but if a volcano 140km away erupts on a scale that it's a serious threat to a reactor installation at that distance, seeing how we're talking about an island with limited area, chances are very good that the presence of a reactor installation will be the least of their problems!


Comment Re:Deliverance? (Score 2) 664

This, of course, could pose difficulties for Amazon or others who wish to use automated drones pervasively if they want to take off and land practically anywhere. And in my opinion, it should. But I can see it being used for remote deliveries to rural areas, or deliveries to significant-sized businesses or tall rooftops where it's prearranged, expected, and not likely to interfere with young children, pets, random passersby, etc. (or for it and its merchandise to be stolen randomly when the intended recipient doesn't pick it up or meet it right away...)

First, let me say that IMHO the guy shooting the drone acted in a hotheaded, impulsive, and dangerous manner. My post history shows I am a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, but that's for responsible & intelligent handling and use. What this person did was neither smart nor responsible. He should be charged with reckless discharge of a firearm resulting in the destruction of private property. At the least.

Off-topic in reply to your post, matthewv789:

Where small drones would be extremely useful is in transporting time-sensitive (for patients and/or samples) medical/biological samples, cultures, etc between a rural hospital and a lab facility in the city, or even within the city or a multi-building complex,

Larger size drones could save lives by allowing first responders to put an accident victim directly onto a drone carried as standard equipment for emergency vehicles for immediate air evac to a trauma center, rather than wait for a helicopter to arrive.

It will be a fight, as government is not concerned with how widespread adoption of drone technology affects *your* privacy or safety or well-being (besides media optics for propaganda) so much as they are concerned how it affects *their* privacy and ability to hide things from the public while simultaneously monitoring the general public using the same technology.

"For we but not for thee" seems to be a common sentiment from all in D.C. regardless of Party.


Talent does what it can. Genius does what it must. You do what you get paid to do.