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Comment Re:corruption, not victim compensation (Score 1) 49

From what I see on the Marshals' listings, the items being sold are forfeited pursuant to a final judgement from a suitable court. The proceeds are indeed listed as part of the judgement, and would therefore be distributed among the victims (possibly including the government itself) as any similar fine would.

Some jurisdictions may be abusing forfeiture for profit - and that's bad - but it's quite a leap to extrapolate that to all law enforcement agencies in the country, as some Slashdotters are quick to do.

It doesn't matter how or for what reason(s) the property was seized or what legal/procedural mechanism was involved.

Government should not profit. Proceeds from any and all seized property should go to non-governmental/non-government-affiliated charities.

Having judges/courts seize the property being sold, even upon a criminal conviction, rather than some street cop deciding that your money/house/car/etc broke the law simply moves the corruption up the ladder and further institutionalizes the problem.


Comment Easy (Score 1) 333

It's the victim culture don't you know, so everyone cares. This kid should get what he wants just because he cried "FOUL" at someone. I think the song said "Money for nothing and your chicks for free!" right?

The kid might have been smarter to break^Winvent, a clock and get invited to the White House and Google before the lawsuit... but hey, that ship may have already sailed... to Qatar that is.

Is my cynicism showing?

Comment Re:How does space elevator save energy? (Score 1) 140

People claim all sorts of things. While there are lots of problems with a space elevator on a world as large as Earth, energy efficiency isn't one of them.

Personally, I doubt that a space elevator will ever be practical on Earth, but it should be on Mars, and it definitely would be on the Moon. For Earth I'd favor something like the pinwheel. You can think of the pinwheel as a rotating space elevator that doesn't reach as far down as the ground. (You'd probably want to not reach further down than the upper stratosphere to minimize frictional losses.) You fly up to meet the descending arm at the bottom, and unload cargo onto it. Descending cargo can be handled the same way, or you could use a combination of parachutes and lifting bodies. You need to balance freight going up and coming down or you get orbital decay...either it lifts too high or comes down too far, but this can be handled by a station keeping ion rocket, possibly of Vasimir design. Reaching a height is a lot cheaper than going into orbit. This does require a large orbital mass.

Comment Yes, and are you sure it's not intended? (Score 2) 144

We know it encourages trolls, just like media advertising people and their manifestos who commit horrible crimes encourages more crimes. This is such basic psychology that people in junior high get it (and used to be taught it). When you claim that the effect will not be what they intend, make sure you know the real intentions (not always the published one). I see this as a larger push to block free speech. More CISPA/SOPA dialogue will follow, and of course be hammered in to place because *insert appeal to emotion* trumps sanity when it's pushed enough.

Comment Re:Free Publicity For Amazon! Yay! (Score 1) 261

I'm guessing that Amazon plans to mail these out to customers when they sign up to a premium delivery service.

Or you could just print a QR code and staple or tape it down someplace. Maybe slip it into a plastic envelope. Then you could have one-time-markers that would help prevent spoofing.

Comment Re:Noise pollution (Score 1) 261

They may not even be using LiPos. The energy density of Li-Ions is very good these days. Lots of people are apparently powering their 250-size quads with LiIons, and maybe even some 450s. I aim to try powering my 450 with a 3S2P Li-Ion pack, but I haven't come up with a replacement for my USB power bank yet and there's where all my 18650s are right now. The ESCs will support it, and I think I can get enough current out of it. If I can come up with three more cells and two more servos I'll have everything I need to build another foam plane, too... save for the $11 motor/esc/prop combo

Comment Re:You are all hypocrites (Score 1) 122

when Uber greatly improves the taxi industry

For who? Certainly not the owner-drivers, for them it is an uninsured race to the bottom.

That is a problem that should be fixed. Insurance companies should not be able to deny you coverage while you are on your way to pick up a fare. Uber provides additional insurance while you are transporting them.

As for customers - Uber do not have any "taxis", they are a plain old (illegal) limo company "on a computer".

Oh, so it's better than taxis?

Taxi's can be hailed on the street,

Not in most cities.

taxi's have ranks and other infrastructure to manage street queues at popular locations,

Not in most cities, or at least, they don't function.

you can talk to a human to book a taxi or use an uber style booking app,

Most companies don't have a booking app, and it is not uber style in any case. It's just like making a phone call. It doesn't do any of the things that the Uber app does.

taxi's have appropriate insurance,

You said that already. Having trouble following your own conversation? Are you new?

taxis have regular mechanical inspections,

A problem best solved by demanding mechanical inspections at mileage checkpoints for all vehicles, taxis or not.

and yes, you can legally negotiate an up front price with a taxi driver.

In my experience, they always tell you that they can't do that in the USA. In other countries, I've had more luck.

Uber brings absolutely nothing to the taxi/limo industry that wasn't already illegal 30yrs ago.

having failed to make a valid logical argument you resort to the false idea that legality equals morality

Comment Re:Yep, Unions do nothing (Score 1) 122

The Unions did a lot for the average worker. But now they've stopped doing that, and only serve their own ends. Since union workers get paid multiples of the minimum wage, they do campaign to raise it occasionally, but never enough to actually help anyone who is not in a union.

Unions have done a great deal for the average worker. But now we have reached a point where it is difficult to unionize the rest of the workers, yet they still need rights. It is time to move beyond the trade union, and work again to secure rights for all workers.

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig