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Comment: Expiration dates for laws (Score 1) 446

by GlobalEcho (#48509469) Attached to: 18th Century Law Dredged Up To Force Decryption of Devices

My (probably harebrained) idea of the day:

Some folks have long discussed putting more expiration dates on laws. Situations like this show why.

All existing laws lacking expiration dates should be given one. Perhaps 50 years from now, since politicians like to kick the can down the road. New laws without expiration dates should then only be permitted when passed by a supermajority.

Unfortunately, even if this works in theory, it would require a constitutional amendment to have any teeth. Good luck with that.

Comment: Re:The Nobel Prize Committee blew it (Score 2) 276

by GlobalEcho (#48105569) Attached to: No Nobel For Nick Holonyak Jr, Father of the LED

I happen to know someone who won the Economics prize, and even ended up going to Sweden for some of the award week. The economics medal is technically different, as you say, but is treated identically in a functional sense. That is to say, the winners all appear together at various ceremonies, are all given the same considerations and support, speak at the same events and so on. Press coverage also often fails to point out the distinction.

(In contrast, the Peace prize is awarded differently, has different event and ceremonies, etc., etc.)

Based on these observations, I've started thinking of economics medal as equivalent to the others in every objective sense that matters.

Comment: Re:Biden is talking coding?? (Score 1) 225

by GlobalEcho (#47522729) Attached to: VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

Al Gore, March 8, 1999, interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, "I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

Al Gore, March 8, 1999, about 0.2 seconds later in the same interview "...I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth, environmental protection, improvements in our educational system." Wired magazine yanked that quote out of context and it has never been the same since.

Absolutely right. I always thought that was a bit unfair, but I didn't mind too much, because I believe Gore has always been insufficiently lambasted for his active advocacy of the Clipper chip

Comment: Listen in (Score 5, Informative) 205

by GlobalEcho (#47501161) Attached to: New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

Among the advantages of owning a minivan is that it becomes easy to carry your own children, plus a few of their friends. You get to know those friends, and listen to your kids' conversations with them. Often, the kids sort of forget you are there and converse "normally". You gain a window into their lives at school you otherwise would never have enjoyed.

Sneaky trick: if you turn on the radio with the fader balanced toward the rear seats, the kids will speak louder without even realizing it.

Comment: Basically a toy (Score 1) 85

by GlobalEcho (#47251607) Attached to: Shawn Raymond's Tandem Bike is Shorter Than Yours (Video)

As a "real" tandem person (see here), I must say this thing looks like a toy to me. Of course, it is also far less expensive than the bikes made by serious tandem bike companies, who often make bikes with derailer and brake systems that alone cost as much as this monstrosity.

We've had our tandem going 60-70mph (down mountain roads). There's no way I would trust this thing for such riding. Maybe it is OK for some gentle cruises, but that's it. And furthermore, there's a far better design for front-stoker visibility.

/snob mode off

Comment: Table salt (Score 1) 82

by GlobalEcho (#47211661) Attached to: Biodegradable Fibers As Strong As Steel Made From Wood Cellulose

replacement for many filament materials made today from imperishable substances such as fiberglass, plastic, and metal. And all this from a substance that requires only water, wood cellulose, and common table salt to create it

I would hate to be the poor bastard in the factory whose job it is to stand there shaking the salt cellar all day.

"Life sucks, but it's better than the alternative." -- Peter da Silva

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