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Comment: Re:We are surprised because... (Score 2) 58

A phrase you might be searching for (or not) is "national technical means".

It's the enforcement mechanism in a great many treaties involving things like, oh, nuclear weapons development, for instance.

In case it's not obvious, "national technical means" is more or less synonymous with "spying". Yes, we can't actually count on people we make treaties with abiding by the treaties absent some enforcement mechanism. So we spy on them to make sure they do.

And yes, this may involve spying on perfectly innocent civilians in the process. It's not like the other fellow's secret projects are going to be marked secret_nuclear_project.gov after all....

Comment: Re:Proves their stupidity (Score 2) 39

by CrimsonAvenger (#47676179) Attached to: How Drones Entered the FBI's Spying Toolkit

Because using a small, cheap, high-velocity, can-move-in-3D, expendable drone is more expensive than using more agents?

Federal agencies don't get a budget that consists of "here's a pile of money, have fun spending it".

They get a budget with line items for specific things. Like agent payroll. Or drone aircraft.

Congress drawing a line through the "drone aircraft" line item is a budget cut....

Though it's more likely that they asked for $XXX extra to pay for some drones plus staff to operate same, were told "No, we can't give you that much extra", and described it as a "budget cut" (or do you not remember the period of "budget cutting" a couple decades back which consisted of not giving various agencies as much MORE money this year as they had expected to get, but still giving them more than last year (and more than inflation)? Those were "budget cuts" as defined in Washington....

Comment: Re:meh (Score 1) 164

by CrimsonAvenger (#47672537) Attached to: Giant Greek Tomb Discovered

For that you need to know how big an acre is :) or what it actually is, certainly it is not 'similarà to a german 'Ar' even if the name is similar.

True. Fortunately, I do know what an acre is - 1/640th of a square mile. If it helps, a mile is 1609 meters (approximately).

To figure if your proclaimed 2% is correct I need a calculator.

I used a calculator to verify the accuracy of the numbers. Feel free to check me - it's always possible I mistyped something.

Comment: Re:meh (Score 1) 164

by CrimsonAvenger (#47672087) Attached to: Giant Greek Tomb Discovered

The problem are square feet versus square meters or acres versus hectar (german measure, 100 ars, where an ar is 100 square meters [10x10] ... or square miles versus square kilometers ... )

About ten square feet per square meter is a pretty good approximation.

And 2.5 acres per hectare, as I recall.

Note that both of those estimates are within 2%.

Comment: Re:The elephant in the room. (Score 1) 227

by CrimsonAvenger (#47651295) Attached to: About Half of Kids' Learning Ability Is In Their DNA

BLOCKQUOTE>but I think we need to argue what he said and not how he said it.

We should argue about both.

How he said it affects whether people even finish reading what he said.

I think he was trying to make complex points.

You can make complex points using paragraphs, rather than just stringing ideas together with commas till your readers can no longer follow your points.

In my case, I hit that sentence I quoted, and by the time I figured out what he was saying, I was no longer interested in continuing to read his comment.

So, even if his ideas were enough to revolutionize several sciences, they're not presented clearly enough that people will work their way through even the three paragraph summary.

Comment: Re:Where do I sign up? (Score 1) 326

Second, I am not adding to a fund that Congress can "borrow from" whenever they want.

Actually, they've always borrowed against it. The "Social Security Trust Fund" consists of a bunch of intra-governmental (zero interest) T-Bills (essentially IOU's) because any income surplus to actual needs is automatically lent to the General Fund.

Comment: Re:The elephant in the room. (Score 1) 227

by CrimsonAvenger (#47647511) Attached to: About Half of Kids' Learning Ability Is In Their DNA

There are massive differences in biochemistry, physiology and neurology in almost every area between racial groups, including brain size, skeletal structure, biochemistry, genetics, eye color, skin color, and so on, for instance Caucasians are the only racial group where most adults can digest Lactose, and this is clearly due to tens of thousands of years of divergent evolution that caused some races in cold climates to develop higher IQ and larger brain capacity.

So, are run-on sentences a racially based thing, or is that just you?

IOW, try to avoid big blocks of text - shorter sentences and paragraph structures make things easier to read, and more likely to be read.

Comment: Re:Synthetic Grass (Score 1) 99

by CrimsonAvenger (#47646147) Attached to: Toxic Algae Threatens Florida's Gulf Coast

Be even more interesting to find out how many people don't bother fertilizing their lawns.

Me for instance.

I can think of one of my neighbors who fertilize their flower beds (not their whole lawns), but the rest of us might toss in some weedkiller every few years (or not), and otherwise let it grow...

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce

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