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Comment Re:Toilet paper and timber? (Score 2) 138

Thanks yeah I came here to post this. Not only are trees farm-grown for paper/wood products, but importantly there are more trees now in North America than in 1850 thanks to more efficent planting and better resource planning.
 
It's very likely that due to deforestation for agricultural purposes, there are fewer trees. But paper products are a 100% renewable resource and the wood products industry is actually on top of keeping things replanted etc for a long term crop/resource point of view. So the western world need not worry, it's all the literal dirt-poor farmers in the Amazon who are burning up forest land to plant crops and graze cattle on notoriously nutrient-poor soil. You can help with this by stop eating McDonald's beef products most of which come from that region. The box and bag your Big Mac came in however, were probably made in the USA with renewable materials.

Comment What About Nutrition? (Score 5, Insightful) 101

The article (or shall I say shameless advertisement) goes out of its way to talk about how much they shower the growing plants with "nutrients," but says not one iota about the nutritional content of the final product and how it compares to organic or conventionally grown produce.

Comment Re:Business and Bitcoin? What could go wrong? (Score 1) 67

If I wanted to hold [$100,000] in Bitcoins, what is the recommended way? ... How do I prove that a virus in a flash add on a website doesn't break in and start reading local data looking for a bitcoin wallet?

Get a TREZOR hardware wallet. During setup be sure to write the seed down on the included paper and store it in a secure place (a safe or deposit box). For extra peace-of-mind, combine this with a multi-signature address.

Comment Re: Fascist bastards ... (Score 1) 184

However, anytime someone faces consequences for their speech, whether from the government or private parties, it interferes with their freedom of speech, primarily through self-censorship.

The term "consequences" is too vague to be useful in this context. Every action has consequences in some form or another. Your freedom is not impacted unless those consequences include a change in your legal status, e.g. loss of property, or restrictions on your (non-aggressive) behavior or movement. In particular, your freedom does not extend to how others choose to think of you (reputation) or voluntarily interact with you. The freedom of speech is not infringed simply because someone else does not choose to help you distribute your message. Neither is it infringed by your own choice to impose self-censorship. It would be infringed by a threat of involuntary fines or imprisonment based in any way on the content of your speech.

Comment Porable Laptop Solar Panels are a thing, now (Score 3, Informative) 145

There's an outfit on amazon/ebay that sells 18v "Allpower" solar panels with an array of adapters to use with whatever brand laptop you have for reasonable prices. They just unfold, and then plug right in to your laptop. On a modern laptop, you could probably get away with running/charging a laptop on a 21w array for $90, but they make up to a 28w array for $130. Modern Haswell/Broadwell laptops run at about 15w with the display at full brightness. There's a 14w array too for $60, but if you're seriously considering buying a device like this you probably want the ability to run and charge at the same time, and it's unlikely you'll find a place that allows you to put the panel in full sun and comfortably work on the laptop. With 18v, you'll never fully charge the battery (you need 19-19.5v to do that) but it'll satisfactorily charge your laptop to about 93% very reliably.

Of course, if you're stuck in a rainstorm for three or four days and you wear down your laptop battery, you might have trouble getting it charged back up until the sun comes back out. But with modern 15 hour batteries in laptops you should be able to squeak by for a day or two of normal office work.

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 693

Except "being necessary ... militia ..." is not an operative clause, it is a prefatory clause. The operative clause is "the right of the people ... shall not be infringed."

Prefatory clauses are used to give some reasoning or approach, but not a binding condition.

You could rearrange the second amendment in today's parlance as such:

"The Right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed for reasons including, but not limited to, that a functioning and ready militia is necessary to the security of a free state."

Comment Re:Copyright in game streams (Score 1) 94

It's free advertising that has amazing marketing data generation, and customer interaction levels on par with the Victoria's Secret fashion show they televise every year. If they don't already directly address copyright issues in their EULA now, they will soon. All of the major publishing houses have been promoting e-sports for a while and there have been close to zero takedowns based on game streaming.
 
I see the potential for conflict here, but in the last four years it has been a non-issue, and Google's army of lawyers have vetted the project so I'm reasonably sure they're in the clear here for all but the smallest/out of touch developers.

Comment Re:Easy, Less Corporate Greed (Score 1) 250

It's not a black market because the dominant gang which maintains control by threatening violence has not outlawed sale or resale or those particular items. Perhaps a gray market. Regardless, these secondary markets primarily appear where prohibition or price controls exist, but also where items are priced well below market value such as when demand rapidly increases and/or supply rapidly decreases. Without prices reaching equilibrium as they naturally do in a free market, you just have long lines, shortages, and what amounts to a lottery as to who gets what.

Sounds like those "rednecks" are bringing in supplies from farther away and selling at market prices... Creating an overall increase in supply of items which are scarce and in high demand. Moving supplies which may only be scarce in a given area costs money, doing so in a dangerous area generally requires greater incentive for those transporting and selling them. You are free to not pay the temporarily inflated prices, the more people who choose to do without the more downward pressure on prices.

Comment Re:Surge Pricing - Why The Hate? (Score 1) 250

The point of the government (in the US, originally) was to regulate interstate, international trade and provide a common defense. At some point along the lines, states lost a lot of their power to the federal government and we've moved in to a welfare state model (i.e. socialism). That's not a bad thing, especially as manufacturing is increasingly automated, and computers replace white collar jobs at an alarming rate, we're probably going to need some sort of guaranteed minimum income, but to answer your question, the primary purpose of government is/was to protect businesses and enforce trade agreements and defend against invasion/pirates. Neat stuff like guaranteed vacation, maternity leave, social security, health care etc are luxury items, like leather interior or power windows over the standard package.

Comment Re:Just call a taxi... (Score 1) 250

It's near impossible to get a taxi to pick you up during peak hours from your house to go to a bar. The taxi drivers just plain won't do it for the $6 or so they get, plus time/gas lost going to pick you up, it's not worth risking missing an airport ride.
 
With Uber though, the invisible hand of the market selects them, and they must respond. I get rides to work on time, nearly every day. You can't reliably use taxis as transportation in my town, sadly.

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