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Comment: Steampunk it! (Score 1) 67 67

I'd love to see a city/neighborhood install pnumantic tubes for instant delivery. Its a 19th century technology that is proven and feasable but is strangely seldom used. Just laydown 1/3m (12 in) plastic piping, have machine addressable containers, and install electric-mechanical sorters/routers at each node that can read the addresses and kick the container into the correct junction. One the receving end, the receiver would put the empty container back into the system and it would be routed back to the origin or next node calling for an empty. You could have a payment system for container rental/transport.

There would be an inital install cost, but that would be recouped by the cheap operation.

Order milk and a loaf of bread from the grocery and have it delivered to your door in 10 minutes. Mail could be put into the system at the post office and be delivered to the door without a carrier.

Comment: Re:Is banishment legal? (Score 3, Informative) 271 271

Are you jesting? A judge can ban you from everyplace excepting a 5x8 concrete pad enclosed with iron bars (commonly referred to as a "cell").

In reallity, the Gov't rarely punishes non-violent acts of civil disobediance/protest with anything more than a fine and time served while awaiting trial (days to a few months). For history, look at all the anti-nuke demonstrators who regularly chain themselves to the fences at air force bases. The key here is non-violance. As long as nobody got hurt and there wasn't any real possibility of anybody getting hurt, they will give the guy a small to moderate fine.

If he is not close to retirement, he might get fired from the postal service.

Comment: Not in the senario given (Score 1) 365 365

The article gives a post-apocalyptic senario. Most of the high-techy alternatives like solar and nuclear require an establish industrial infrastructure to produce. You will not bootstrap to building a solar panel outside your mud-hut by rubbing two sticks together to melt sand into silicon. You will build a solar panel by producing refined copper and silicon in factories running on coal-generated electricity until you have enough capacity to replace the coal. So no, there is no realistic senario in which you just skip burning fossil fues and go straight to high-tech (unless you want to run the plant by chopping down and burning all the forests, which is probably a worse solution than fossil fuels). Even something like hydro-power requires industrial infrastructure to build large scale. Otherwise how will you get the steel and cement to build the dam? Or the steel and copper for the turbines and windings?

Comment: Why not hire in "Flyover Land" before India? (Score 5, Insightful) 442 442

Serously, I find it amazing that these companies would pay to move a worker from Calcutta but not from Omaha. "Oh we looked in Silicon Valley's and Seattle's rarified labor markets and couldn't find anyone... so now we must look overseas!" Why don't they hire from Nebraska or Kentucky? Why?....because it never even enters their minds.

Next, H1-Bs don't create jobs because they are not allowed to start a company. The system is designed that way. (OK, legally they can create a corporation on paper, but the condition of their visia is that they are only allowed to be employed by their sponsor and aren't allowed to be employed by or draw salary from their own company, so the practial effect is they can't work for their own start-up). If they are creating companies and they or their famlies are working for the start-up, it's a violation of their visa.

Here's how to quash this BS. Create a national registry of unemployeed STEM workers and make them offer to pay the moving costs to move the employee from whereever to the job site. NATIONAL, not just Seattle and San Jose. Make them hire off that list before they can go overseas. If they can show they offered a job and offered a move to somebody in the US and got turned down six times, then they can do the H1-B thing. Next, if they do hire a H1-B because there is no "qualified" american worker, make them sponsor a scholarship in that field and train somebody until they are qualified. If they hire an engineer on a H1-B, then they must pay the scholorship and internship for an american to make him qualified. That newly minted engineer now goes into the job pool.

Comment: Civilization IV had a quote... (Score 1) 299 299

Soon it will be a sin for parents to have a child which carries the heavy burden of genetic disease.

But not yet please. I have two issues: First, We still don't know enough to prevent unintended consquences or complications. We could edit-out one problem and accidently edit-in another.But one day, in the not-so-distant future, perhaps another generation or two, yes - definately. We should erradicate all heritable diseases.

The second thing, I would draw the line between correcting errors/curing diseases and between creating eugenic supermen. Please no Gattica-style selection of socially prefered traits to create a dis/u/topia of ubermenchen and untermenchen.

The quote was from Bob Edwards who until a few years ago was host of NPR Morning Edition. (BTW, the quotes in the game were all narrated by Leonard Nimoy, which was super cool)

Comment: Major Version == Major Changes (Score 5, Informative) 199 199

I thought the point of a major version (not necessarily in the Linux kernel, but software generally), was to signal a major change that either:
  • includes ground-breaking new features
  • includes serious archtectural reworking
  • breaks backwards compatibility

If the changes are merely incremental bug-fixes and minor feature additions, stay with minor versioning. Otherwise, you are not versioning; you are branding (viz: Windows 8... which IIRC is version 6.2)

Comment: Probably China (Score 4, Interesting) 412 412

I RTFA and the links and I didn't see any mention of the source manufacturor, but If I had to guess, I would guess they were made under contract in China and labelled with whichever distributor was buying today's production run.

US FDA/USDA-style regulatory enforcement and quality controls are practically non-existant in China. Just look at the great melamine scare a few years ago where they where bumping up the "protein" level of ingrediants by adding toxic melamine (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2... and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2...).

All imports of food/drug or ingrediants from china should be banned out-right.

Comment: Red Cross is the Responsible Party (Score 1) 300 300

The Red Cross is the international organization responsible for monitoring conduct of belligerents, documenting ,and reporting war crimes and atrocities. The ICRC ought to be publizing this far and wide as an example of the shameful savagery it is.

From Wikipedia: "The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland and a three-time Nobel Prize Laureate. State parties (signatories) to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 (Protocol I, Protocol II) and 2005 have given the ICRC a mandate to protect victims of international and internal armed conflicts. Such victims include war wounded, prisoners, refugees, civilians, and other non-combatants."

Comment: eliminate subluminal classic channel (Score 1) 202 202

Perhaps I'm missing something here, but I really want my Ansible. So the classic channel is required to report observed measurements at the origin to compare against, but they say they can deterministically set the state? Sooo..... why not do this to eliminate the need for the sub-luminal classic channel, if they can deterministically set the state at the origin. Operate on a clock cycle and deterministically set the state to an expected ground state at a certain point in the cycle. When a read operation measures something other than the expected value, that counts as an information transmission. In otherwords anything not 0/blue is read as a 1/red. Say 4 ticks per cycle. First tick, zero state/0/blue. Second Tick, origin flips a bit (or not). Third Tick, destination reads the bit knowing anything not 0/blue is a bit flip. Fourth Tick both sites reset to zero. The key is that on the third tick, the destination will always expect to read 0/blue, so anything else is a transmission.

Comment: Re:Very Bad Precedent (Score 3, Interesting) 225 225

That opens the door to politically motivated prosecutions of civil servants who carried out a policy you just disagree with. Again, there are special crimes against humanity that everybody gets held responsible for, but do you really want to prosecute a worker-bee at the IRS because you disagree with an 'unjust' tax policy?

Comment: Very Bad Precedent (Score 4, Insightful) 225 225

Except for the special cases of crimes against humanity and "non official cover" spies, soldiers and civil servents should not be held criminally liable for doing their jobs or executing policy set by their superiors. Since we don't want our own military and government employees charged with 'crimes' for carrying out their duties, this is a very bad idea because it sets the precedent.

Comment: Confederates (Score 1) 310 310

By what right did the US Government kill all those confederates at Antietiam and Gettysburg? The US always maintaned and stills maintains that they were US citizens. What about their due process rights? Shouldn't they have all been served warrants and had their day in court before they were killed? Maybe their families have a right to sue for violation of civil rights.

Oh wait, they were bearing arms in open rebellion and making war on the Republic.

Same deal here. If you openly wage war, even against your own state, you can be killed. I'm not even sure why a "justification" beyond that is required. Why do we let lawyers cloud our minds with nonsense and sophistry?

"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so." -- Ford Prefect, _Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy_

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