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Comment: Re:I think its gonna be a long long time (Score 1) 77

The only alternative is to have enough fuel in Mars orbit to do a retro-burn that virtually zeros the orbital velocity before you enter the atmosphere. And, by definition, that takes as much fuel as it does to launch from the surface into orbit.

No. There is no "definition" here, unless you ASSUME you are beginning from an orbit in the first place. But why should that be necessary?

Tricky, I admit, to do it differently, but that doesn't violate any laws of physics.

Plus all the infrastructure necessary to refuel and launch that vehicle.

You are fixated on Earth gravity. It is vasly easier from Mars, and again there is no law that requires "refueling". Lower gravity gives enormous advantages. Look at the size of the engine of the old lunar lander vs. the size of the Saturn V, for example.

Granted, doing it different ways might be harder, in some ways. But you seem to be locked in to one mindset, which isn't even necessarily valid to start with.

Comment: Re: How about mandatory felony sentences instead? (Score 1, Interesting) 329

by Jane Q. Public (#48687583) Attached to: Drunk Drivers in California May Get Mandated Interlock Devices

I work with an asshole driving with an interlock. They don't work well in anyones case, from reports I've heard over the years.

That's because, like breathalyzers, they DON'T actually measure blood alcohol, but exhaled alcohol. Not the same thing.

And in order for them to be sensitive enough to detect actual alcohol, they must be calibrated such that they tend toward false positives.

They're a STUPID FUCKING IDEA. Worthy of a police state, not America.

So I guess next thing is you'll have to prove you aren't driving with a cell phone, eh?

They drive drunk endangering ME and MINE and suddenly I'm the insensitive one, LOL!!

NO! According to independent studies, 0.08% blood alcohol is well BEFORE the driving of most people is affected. So you're sending innocent people to jail, fining them, putting fucking Big Brother machines in their cars, and otherwise making their lives hell for years on end... all because you want Big Brother to make your world safe for you.

And yes, in my book, that makes you not just the insensitive one, but also a disgusting, ignorant, cowardly human being.

Comment: Re:Culture and information matter. (Score 1) 269

by Jane Q. Public (#48682541) Attached to: The Interview Bombs In US, Kills In China, Threatens N. Korea
A swing and a miss? More like knocking himself out with the follow-through.

Anybody who honestly thinks Libertarians are tools of the Right is too ignorant to be dangerous.

And anyone who thinks Ted Cruz is a Libertarian could probably learn a lot from a school of those trout.

Comment: Re:Motion blur is temporal AA (Score 1) 186

by Jane Q. Public (#48672239) Attached to: Human Eye's Oscillation Rate Determines Smooth Frame Rate
You ALL seem to be forgetting interleave, which is the one motion-enabling technology most responsible for reasonable motion effects on television. (NTSC TV of course also has a higher frame rate: 29.97 fps.)

1080p (p for progressive, i.e. one full frame at a time like film) became the norm because of its higher pixel-per-second count. But let's not forget about 1080i, where the i is for interleave. 1080i shows motion much better.

Comment: Re:And how many were terrorists? Oh, right, zero. (Score 1) 276

by Jane Q. Public (#48653757) Attached to: TSA Has Record-Breaking Haul In 2014: Guns, Cannons, and Swords

People who need to transport their legally owned firearms can do so through the simple act of checking them.


That was GP's whole point: anybody stupid enough (or forgetful enough) to try to carry something like this onto a plane just isn't much of a threat.

Comment: Re:Crime Lords (Score 5, Insightful) 225

by Jane Q. Public (#48653647) Attached to: GCHQ Warns It Is Losing Track of Serious Criminals

I'd say that the abuse of methods used by the authorities against normal citizens was revealed and that has also caused some trouble for the authorities when trying to monitor criminals.

This is a common syndrome in erstwhile free societies: the police are always complaining that they can't catch criminals, that they need more leeway and exemptions from the law themselves in order to do so.

And when people believe them, the inevitable result is less freedom and more Big Brother.

Anybody who thinks Snowden did not ultimately do us all a huge favor isn't seeing straight.

Comment: Re:Not seeing the issue here (Score 1) 206

by Jane Q. Public (#48649359) Attached to: Judge: It's OK For Cops To Create Fake Instagram Accounts

Actually, there is.

There are exceptions, but in most states they are few and specific.

They can and have broken into buildings and houses in pursuit of suspects/criminals fleeing.


There is actually a long list of things- some of which even cause people to lose their life that the police seem to be absolved from which if you or I had done would be instant jail time.

"Seem to be absolved from" is not the same as legal. That's a straw-man argument. I wrote "they're not allowed". The dog is not allowed on the bed. That doesn't mean the dog doesn't get up there sometimes. Only that it isn't supposed to.

Having said that, again yes there are exceptions. But those exceptions are very specific and we know what they are.

Though they sometimes might not get prosecuted for breaking the rules, they sure as hell should. That's a genuine societal problem, not how things are "supposed to" be.

Comment: Re:And on the plus side... (Score 1) 330

by Jane Q. Public (#48649329) Attached to: 11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

I don't think that these two assertions are simultaneously possible. If "they" corralled the snow melt - all of it - then where did they put it?

"They" put it in huge reservoirs. I used to live there, and I know them well. Also the Central Valley, where a close relative owned a farm / ranch. I am intimately familiar with these things.

And don't ben an ass. "All"? Of course not. Being deliberately literal when I was not doesn't make for compelling arguments. It's pretty obvious that I was oversimplifying.

Still, the basic point remains. Stand at the mouth of the San Joaquin "river" most of the year and see how much water comes out. I have pictures of my grandfather with strings of large salmon caught in that river, back before it was being mostly used up. Now, it's not very common to see more than a trickle most of the year. And ask residents of L.A. about their "river". You've probably seen it in movie "chase scenes"... a vast concrete canal with seldom more than puddles at the bottom of it.

And don't forget groundwater: they've been gradually depleting the aquifers for generations, and they were aware of it.

Comment: Re:And on the plus side... (Score 1) 330

by Jane Q. Public (#48649271) Attached to: 11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

Can you figure out the rest?

Yes, I certainly can, and the answer is no.

Guess what? Oregon and Washington make use of that water. Shipping it down to California seriously diminishes quality of life for those who live there, not to mention the environmental destruction that would ensue.

Let California go broke. Hell, it is anyway. People can buy their food from elsewhere.

Comment: Re:I.D. Please (Score 1) 206

by Jane Q. Public (#48649229) Attached to: Judge: It's OK For Cops To Create Fake Instagram Accounts

And if so, what is the liability for the company if they do or don't make the account viable again.

IANAL, but my understanding is that you are not generally required to go out of your way to assist the police. You are not a policeman, you aren't being paid to be one.

Even phone companies insist on payment for allowing wiretaps, or government requests for information. And even those are only mandatory because there are specific laws that say so (such as CALEA).

Comment: Re:here's a real-life case to explain criminal int (Score 1) 206

by Jane Q. Public (#48649209) Attached to: Judge: It's OK For Cops To Create Fake Instagram Accounts

Ignorance of the LAW generally isn't an excuse, but mistake of FACT IS an excuse.

Unfortunately, though, we now have far too many laws, including contradictory laws. Even if somebody had their own legal library, every year some things change. A hypothetical typical, reasonable citizen could not possibly know them all, much less be reasonably expected to. They wouldn't have time to do anything else.

So here's my question: since our common law system is supposed to be based on the reasonable man principle, and it is provably not reasonable to expect the average citizen to know most laws, much less all, how could ignorance of the law NOT be a valid excuse?

The first time, it's a KLUDGE! The second, a trick. Later, it's a well-established technique! -- Mike Broido, Intermetrics