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Comment: Skip the station; Focus on the moon and mars (Score 1) 83

by WindBourne (#49379301) Attached to: NASA Denies New Space Station Partnership With Russia
Seriously, the ISS group needs to skip a new station and allow private space to take that on.

Instead, the ISS group should focus on getting a base on the Moon and then on Mars. Private Space will be going to the moon around 2020-2022. Europe, Japan, Canada, Russia, etc should join the private space and push to create the side infrastructure that can be used on the moon. In particular, robotics, nuclear power, etc.

Comment: Re:The future is now. (Score 2) 127

by swb (#49379231) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who's Going To Win the Malware Arms Race?

but why should a minority of us suffer due to a majority that aren't capable to make their own choices?

How is that not true of pretty much anything that has risk/danger associated with it which is ameliorated by prudence and caution?

Drugs: Many people are capable of using drugs sanely without risking themselves or other people, but because some minority shows absolutely no control we have massive controls on drugs.

Weapons: Many people are perfectly capable of safely owning even very destructive weapons without hurting themselves or others. But because some minority of people do batshit crazy things with weapons, we have a lot of controls on gun ownership and extreme controls on certain types of guns (automatic weapons, etc).

The list is endless. A minority of people are stupid, lack self control and any kind of prudence so we implement controls which address the lowest common denominator, occasionally allowing some people to jump through hoops to obtain slightly more access to something, but often with another set of draconian controls applied.

Comment: To not use Nuclear is foolish (Score 1) 198

by WindBourne (#49379221) Attached to: Nation's Biggest Nuclear Firm Makes a Play For Carbon Credit Cash
We have old gen II reactors that are being extended, but really should not be. However, there is NO replacement for them.
In addition, there is loads of spent fuel not only at these sites, but others that have been retired.

With transatomic and other companies molten salt approach, we can not only create a reactor that is INCAPABLE OF FAILURE (unless a number of physical LAWS are not true), but, these can burn up the majority of the 'spent fuel'. What will remain will be only 5-10% of the original volume, and will be safe in under 200 years.
Even once we build these (and we will), at some future point, AE combined with FUSION power, will likely become very viable. BUT, it is still better to run these fission reactors to process the 'waste' and turn it safer.

Comment: Re:He's just trolling (Score 1) 198

by WindBourne (#49379163) Attached to: Nation's Biggest Nuclear Firm Makes a Play For Carbon Credit Cash

The trouble with nuclear, at least in America, is that it's damn near impossible to keep it safe.

Actually, nothing could be further from the truth WRT new reactors. In POF, TransAtomic's molten salt reactor is impossible to melt down. Just like pebble reactors, heat makes the fuel become self-regulating.

In fact, the SMARTEST thing that America can do, is push for multiple companies to develop these and replace the OLD reactors with these new ones. They can use the spent fuel that is simply sitting on-site and burn it for the next 100 years. Likewise, we can use new thorium reactors to replace coal plants, rather than switching to nat gas.

Comment: Re:led costs $22????? (Score 1) 166

by WindBourne (#49377343) Attached to: Graphene Light Bulbs Coming To Stores Soon
why? What does it matter how big my house is? The house that I grew up in for about a decade was 7000 sq feet, that we built back in early 70s. In addition, it was built such that the specs still remain above what is called for today.
And at my current house, we have 43 solar panels so that we generate not just our electricity, but for others.
So, what the fuck do you care since I am obviously more of an environmentalist than you are?

Comment: Re:They can lower it all they want. It will not ma (Score 1) 402

by WindBourne (#49377277) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient
First off, the US's output has been dropping for 7 years. Likewise, the west's total output has gone down over the last 10 years, not up. So, the BS about the west not making differences is just that: BS.

Secondly, China's claim is also BS.
Here is the CO2 levels
It took the west from 1959 until 1995 to grow it by 40 PPMs. IOW, it took 36 years to raise it 40, or basically, about 1 PPM / year.
Now, what has happened in the last 20 years? Well, it jumped up by 40 again, which means that we are adding 2 ppm EACH YEAR. However, for the last 5 years, it has increased nearly 3 ppm / year.
The problem is, that the west has cut WAY BACK. ALL OF IT is 1995's level which means that we account for less than 1 ppm (that 1 ppm in 1995, actually included all of the world, but we will simply assume that it was the west).
So, where is the other 2 PPMs coming from? It is coming from the none-western world, of which more than 2/3 of that emissions is China's.

Now, you can continue to make wild claims. You can accept the lies of China's. However, you can NOT change the facts that CO2's massive rise belongs to China, and it is the fact that ppl like yourself do not understand the science or the facts that are happening. Basically, you are no different than the far right wingers that claim that AGW is not occurring. In your case, you refuse to accept the science that shows that the west is not only NOT to blame, but that China's continued growth means that YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR CO2's impact on the globe.

Comment: Re:WWJD? (Score 1) 984

Obviously, the state not allowing itself to intervene is obviously not an exercise of the power of the state - it's an exercise in restraint of said power.

The actual discriminatory power in this case comes from the individuals and corporations that discriminate - if there are none willing to do so, or if there are few enough and their scale is small, then it's all of no consequence. Even if said discrimination is pervasive, it is still limited to what private entities can legally do - so it's a very far cry from what government-powered discrimination can do (for example, it is not legal for corporations in the USA to summarily round up their customers and murder them in gas chambers; or to incarcerate them because they married a person of a different race).

Comment: How much cash walks away? (Score 4, Insightful) 124

by swb (#49375653) Attached to: Silk Road Investigators Charged With Stealing Bitcoin

Forget these two guys and their bitcoin score, how much CASH walks away during drug investigations? How much is outright stolen, how much is extorted? How much is taken in product in lieu of cash?

This is one of the most pernicious aspects to drug criminalization, the huge potential for corruption by law enforcement.

And it's just another problem completely eliminated by legalization.

Comment: Re:Senator Barack Obama voted for RFRA in Illinois (Score 1) 984

What makes you believe that those are Cook's personal politics, and not Apple's corporate politics? If corporations are persons, then they can also have legitimate political positions.

Also, why do you believe that this is ruining the corporate image of Apple, rather than enhancing it?

Comment: Re:Businesses Have A Right to be Jerks (Score 2) 984

From past experience (e.g. Jim Crow), we know that in some cases allowing people to discriminate results in discrimination so pervasive that it severely affects the targeted group - basically, they're unable to obtain the services anywhere, or they can only obtain them for significantly higher prices or significantly lower quality.

Comment: Re:We Reserve The Right To Refuse Service (Score 1) 984

So out of curiosity, are those signs that say "We reserve the right to refuse serve to anyone" legal? If they are, then why would they need to pass this law? If not, does a business have the right under ANY circumstance to refuse service to someone outside of where the law demands it (like a bartender refusing to serve an intoxicated customer)?

It is generally legal to refuse service to anyone, except for certain explicitly protected categories (gender, age, religion etc). The catch is that on the federal level, the said protected category list does not include sexual orientation. In some states, it is protected on state level. In some, it's not protected on state level, but is protected on the municipal level. The latter is especially common in large metro areas (which lean liberal pretty much everywhere) in otherwise conservative states.

So, basically, the reason why that law makes a difference is because it overrides various municipal bylaws prohibiting such discrimination, and carves out a religious exemption that pretty much anyone can arbitrarily claim in practice.

And yes, businesses can arbitrarily discriminate in other ways. They can refuse to serve intoxicated customers, for example, or people with mustaches (though in some cases discriminating based on some trait can be illegal if it is found that in practice it results in clear discrimination against some protected class by virtue of correlation).

Are businesses considered to be public and therefore must be open to everyone or are they considered private and open only to whomever the owner wants (like a private club)?

They can be either, it all depends on how you set things up. If you have some notion of membership, and only serve members, then you can apply pretty much arbitrary filters for people wanting to become members, including those protected classes - i.e. it's perfectly legal to have a whites-only private club, for example (though of course you'll get a lot of flak in the media as soon as it comes out).

Comment: Re:Fuck so-called religious "freedom" (Score 1) 984

And to further clarify. The problem with exceptions is that as soon as you open the gates, you need some safeguards to prevent your exceptions from growing so numerous as to effectively render the right useless. Which means that you can just allow arbitrary exceptions for free speech, or vague blanket categories that are not protected. It has to be very, very narrow for the original right to remain meaningfully protected.

Comment: Re:Fuck so-called religious "freedom" (Score 1) 984

I assume you mean this as a rhetorical question, but the same people who protect the rights we are given are the ones who decide the scope of those rights. How else could it work?

For example, by codifying the eligible exceptions into the same document that enumerates the rights, and asserting that anything that is not so codified is not an exception.

Among people upset enough about immigration to visibly protest it on school grounds, a disdain for anchor babies is quite common. A sizable number of anti-immigration individuals would like to deport anchor babies along with their parents. There are even Congress representatives who have pushed bills to this effect. This is not some extreme opinion. Well it is extreme, just not extreme for the anti-immigration crowd.

You missed my point. It's not at all clear why the display of a US flag in the context of Cinco de Mayo has anything to do with anti-immigration sentiment. I would argue that such interpretation, in the absence of any other context, is in fact rather bigoted itself (because it assumes that flag = hate).

[Crash programs] fail because they are based on the theory that, with nine women pregnant, you can get a baby a month. -- Wernher von Braun