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Comment Re:So? (Score 1) 313

Sure, people kill people. But it's a lot easier and quicker to do so with a tool designed for the job.

The evidence from the natural experiment that the United States has conducted vis-a-vis the rest of the developed world is stark: having large numbers of firearms, particularly handguns, in civilian hands results in far higher murder rates than would otherwise be the case. And yes, we have murders here in Australia where I live (you have four times as many per capita than we do), but we haven't a mass shooting since 1996 when we banned semi-automatic weapons and made it harder to get pistols. So, frankly, it's you who are living in a fantasyland if you think every Tom, Dick, and Harry having a gun makes you safer.

Comment So? (Score 1) 313

Sure, they may only promote the responsible use of firearms, but in practice that's not what the legal landscape they support results in.

The historical evidence is overwhelming; large numbers of handguns distributed among a civilian population leads to lots of murders; automatic pistols and/or semi-automatic rifles with large magazines lead to occasional mass shootings. Getting rid of large numbers of guns also has the effect of considerably reducing suicide levels.

If you're prepared to live large numbers of unnecessary, painful, premature deaths as a society, well, that's your choice. But no amount of "but we only support the responsible use of firearms" puffery should disguise the fact that the NRA's lobbying maintains a legislative framework that virtually ensures those premature deaths will continue.

Submission + - Rumblefish claims it owns "America the Beautiful" by United States Navy Band->

ptorrone writes: Adafruit is now shipping the USA made open-source Arduinos, in celebration Ladyada the engineer posted a Arduino rotating in front of an American flag with the public domain “America the Beautiful” by United States Navy Band as the music. Adafruit immediately received notice from from YouTube stating that the song is owned by Rumblefish. Rumblefish previously claimed to own copyright to ambient birdsongs too.
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Comment Conclusions are important here, not reasoning (Score 1) 305

I am not a Catholic. I find its central tenets nonsensical. As an organization, I find the way it has systematically protected pedophiles within its ranks disgusting. I hope that, over time, it attracts fewer followers.

However, if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride. The church has existed for longer than essentially any other human institution, and it will outlive all of us. Hundreds of millions of people take what its leader says seriously, for good and ill. Therefore, I don't think it's particularly important what the basis of the Pope's reasoning in his encyclical is except as that reasoning is persuasive amongst those who take Catholicism seriously.

What is important is that the Pope is saying "act on climate change", which might help to push some Catholics to do so.

Submission + - Open source hardware pioneer Ladyada interviews the new MakerBot CEO->

ptorrone writes: Open source hardware pioneer and founder of Adafruit, Limor "Ladyada" Fried sat down and interviewed the new CEO of MakerBot, Jonathan Jaglom. She asked some really tough questions had some suggestions for them too if they're going to turn things around. Discussed: Is there a desire for MakerBot to patch things up with the open source community? Assuring the 3D community there was not any plans to DRM filament and specifically hearing "patents are not the way to win" from the new CEO. Lastly, she suggest the open-sourcing of some specific elements of the MakerBot to get back to its open-source hardware roots — Full overview here.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Arduino announces NYC, USA based Adafruit will manufacture Arduino

ptorrone writes: At Maker Faire Bay Area on Saturday it was announced that Limor Fried "Ladyada" and Adafruit, who have appeared on /. many times over the last 10 years are now going to be the USA manufacturer of the open-source Arduino. Adafruit has grown from a 1 person company out Ladyada's apartment to over 50+ employees and a 50,000 sq. foot factory in Manhattan. Adafruit is currently shipping the Arduino GEMMA, a wearable open-source micro-controller platform.

Comment Concorde MKII (Score 4, Insightful) 179

Republicans hate big government, except when it comes to a) building big machines designed to kill people, and b) firing rockets into space.

Republicans have been the primary Congressional force running interference for the old space industry, either by throwing money at the likes of ATK to build rockets that will never fly, or actively blocking SpaceX from competing with the established players on contracts.

While the big government contracting model can get crews into space, it does so at such an exorbitant price it's simply not worth it. SpaceX, or more precisely the discarding of legacy design and especially legacy contracting models that SpaceX represents, at least gives us a chance of a sustainable space program because it is far, far better value for money. It's also far more in alignment with professed Republican principles, as distinct from revealed preferences from observed behaviour.

A revived crewed space program under the old model will result in bugger-all flying, lots of money wasted, and will get cancelled soon enough. Why bother?

Comment Very old debate (Score 1) 628

For what it's worth, this has been discussed for many years, and these researchers have a rather humorous partial solution.

My take: it's not the world's biggest problem, but if it's necessary to provide comparisons with earlier papers go ahead and use Lenna, go right ahead. If you just need to illustrate a technique on human skin tones, pick something else and stop needlessly pissing people off.

Submission + - Royal Mail pilots 3D printing service

MRothenberg writes: Just in time for the holidays, the UK's postal service is testing out a 3D printing service at its central London delivery center. Customers can order "ready-to-print" objects (including shoes, soap dishes and phone cases) or bring in their own originals to duplicate and send via Royal Mail. The postal company's COO predicts consumer demand for 3D printing will grow 95 percent by 2017.

Comment This is a misunderstanding of Agile IMO (Score 1) 186

Not every Agile process recommends that kind of approach. I teach Agile development, and I certainly don't. When you see a lot of final year student projects, you see all sorts of interpretations of "Agile" methodology, from utter adhockery to an approach that's waterfall in all but name. The more successful students, and successful projects, will take the time to carefully design the parts of the system which are a) high-risk, and b) difficult to change, and don't bother with trivial design for simple, easily modified parts of the system.

Comment Re:Moat? Electric fence? (Score 2) 213

That has to be the stupidest accusation of hypocrisy I've heard in a long time. Apples and fucking oranges.

The White House is a (relatively) small building which faces a real, live, no-shit security threat for which armed guards and big fences are a rational, effective, and cost-effective response.

Big fences along the entirety of the United States land border and random citizens arming themselves to the teeth, by contrast, are dumb responses to the threats which the country, as a whole, faces - not least, shooting each other with guns at a rate that far exceeds any other developed country.

You scratch my tape, and I'll scratch yours.