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Comment: Re:McGuffey's 4th New Eclectic Reader:"The Colonis (Score 1) 733

by CaptQuark (#46738435) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?
Obviously, you are not a farmer. Modern farming equipment and chemical fertilizers are helpful in multiplying the quantity of crops that can be grown, but are not necessary to grow enough to feed your own family.

How much food do you need to grow? For your own family, you can till and prepare enough soil with a pick and shovel. If you plan on sharing your harvest with multiple families, you probably need a horse or ox to pull a larger plow. Depending on the crop you select, you can probably plant enough seed or starter plants by hand. Harvesting is another time when you will need to some help to get all the crops in. If you grow grains, you will have to cut, stack, dry, thresh, and store the grain. This can be done by hand, or with hand tools (a flail to thresh grains) without needing powered equipment.

As a mental exercise, pick a 20' x 20' section of your lawn and imagine what you would need to do to turn it into farmable land. Dig up all the grass or till it under, test the soil for acidity and add lime or sulfur to balance the Ph, fertilize with animal manure, plant something (example wheat), irrigate it, harvest it with a scythe or sickle, thresh the grain, then store it. No modern equipment is indispensable, but it still takes a LOT of hard work.

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Comment: Re:A new law in not what is needed (Score 1) 519

by CaptQuark (#46426097) Attached to: Massachusetts Court Says 'Upskirt' Photos Are Legal
No, the fact she is wearing a skirt means she not nude or partially nude. The fact she might or might not be wearing panties is not relevant.

A female passenger on a MBTA trolley who is wearing a skirt, dress, or the like covering these parts of her body is not a person who is 'partially nude,' no matter what is or is not underneath the skirt by way of underwear or other clothing," wrote Justice Margot Botsford of the state Supreme Judicial Court.

The previous law was written to stop people taking surreptitious photos of nude or partially nude people in settings where they reasonably expect privacy. It was never written to prevent someone shoving a camera up or down their clothing to take pictures. The state attorney's office is currently drafting new laws to make that action illegal, but currently it is not because nobody thought a specific law against it was needed. Obviously, now there is.

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Comment: Re:The SS hires intelligence people??? (Score 1) 137

by CaptQuark (#46379899) Attached to: Using Google Maps To Intercept FBI and Secret Service Calls
No it isn't. The SS was named for the Schutzstaffel which in German roughly translates into Protection Squadron or defense corps. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...

The fact that Secret Service (in English) has the same alliterative letters, SS, is purely coincidental.

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Comment: Re:Sure (Score 1) 500

by CaptQuark (#46355023) Attached to: Supreme Court Ruling Relaxes Warrant Requirements For Home Searches
What concerns me more is the statement in the majority ruling:

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., said "Even with modern technological advances, the warrant procedure imposes burdens on the officers who wish to search [and] the magistrate who must review the warrant application." http://www.latimes.com/nation/...

So we are now losing more of our constitutionally protected rights because getting a warrant "imposes burdens" on the police and magistrates? Their wish to search now trumps our right to protection from unreasonable searches? I think the SCOTUS got this ruling very wrong.

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Comment: Re:Enough with the security theater! (Score 5, Interesting) 289

This has been an option since 2003. The TSA was put into place after 9/11 but airports were supposed to be allowed to return to private screening after two years. New legislation passed last year supposedly makes it easier to replace TSA agents with private contractors although few airports have done so.

Currently sixteen airports use private contractors instead of TSA agents. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03...

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Comment: Re:Tesla not involved [Re:Not from the car?] (Score 1) 329

by CaptQuark (#46253829) Attached to: Tesla Model S Caught Fire While Parked and Unplugged
You probably haven't worked with horses before. You don't just tie all the horses in one line and allow the hard workers and slackers to pull as they want. This is a problem that has had a solution for thousands of years. Anytime you connect a horse or horses to a load you use a wippletree (sometimes called a doubletree) to balance the load. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W...

You see similar arrangements when applying force to uneven points. Your windshield wiper has a whippletree arrangement to balance the force as the contour of the glass changes. Also look at singletree for more information about how horses are connected to pulling loads.

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Comment: Re:nobodies phone is banned (Score 1) 366

by CaptQuark (#46226785) Attached to: House Committee Approves Bill Banning In-Flight Phone Calls
I assume it is the same authority that gives them the right to ban smoking, restrict knives and guns, and force you to obey any order from a flight attendant.

The national airspace is regulated by the FAA, just like the national electromagnetic spectrum is regulated by the FCC. Since both are a national trust, regulated by the federal government, they get to make all the rules, with very little input by the masses.

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Comment: Re:To require? (Score 1) 390

by CaptQuark (#46159911) Attached to: Government To Require Vehicle-to-vehicle Communication
The first thing that came to mind was "What a great way to track any car, anywhere." Simply query the system for any car in communication with car VIN 5N4SK8B987123. By not communicating with the target car directly, surveillance could claim they are only doing what a police officer could do by examining a license plate. Or asking the public to watch for a specific car like during an Amber Alert.

The fact that the query spreads out across the whole city and 30 miles down every freeway until an equipped car responds "Hey, that car is in the lane next to me." greatly exceeds what the hypothetical police officer could monitor would be lost in the strict interpretation of tracking laws. I can see the excuse "We are not tracking YOUR car. We are just asking other people to reply if they notice you nearby.."

Our streets and freeways become a huge distributed network where any information can flow to those who know how to ask the system for information.

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Comment: Re:Target just couldn't handle this any worse (Score 0) 115

by CaptQuark (#46043459) Attached to: Security Vendors Self-Censor Target Breach Details

I know my card was hit, since I have friends who shop at the same store using non-Target cards that got notified...

No, you are assuming your information was taken because other people had their information taken at the same store.

  • Perhaps if Target was able to identify which POS terminals were compromised and determine your information was never processed by one of them, you don't need to be notified.
  • Perhaps the terminals encrypt the Target card information and only transmit outside card info in the clear. Your information was never in jeopardy.
  • Perhaps Target has programmed their POS terminals to automatically re-write new card numbers onto their cards the next time you use it in Target so the stolen info would be useless.
  • Perhaps they have decided the cost of notifying all the Target card holders is more than the anticipated losses and they will just eat the small cost of fraudulent use. As you said, Target cards can only be used in Target stores.

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There are many reasons why you might not need to be notified.

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Comment: Re:I have zero problems with BU's patents (Score 1) 129

There are other companies that did the same thing. Look at the patent on the LZW compression technique in the .GIF format. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphics_Interchange_Format

Unisys waited almost 10 years until .GIF files were the ubiquitous picture format on the web, THEN they started suing for patent infringement. The led to the .PNG file format being developed, but everyone was still mad at Unisys for waiting so long.

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