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Comment How to end this (Score 2) 253

This is criminal activity. If the federal government wanted to stop this they CAN trace a call, follow it back to the U.S. call center or credit card billing number. How? Find 100 people willing to have a tap on the phone; tell them to agree to anything and pay with a government credit card they are given; trace the credit card info and land on the U.S. part of the operation HARD using the conspiracy laws.

If you don't think they have the ability to do that do the following though experiment: How fast would it take for the police to arrive at your door if the robo call was saying "I think we should bomb the White House with confetti using toy drones. Would you like to buy one set up to use? If so, press one.

If any of the people running for President made it a campaign promise to shut these people down I'd vote for him or her at the March 1st Texas primary

Comment This is a test of the Slashdot censorship process (Score 1) 668

I've decided to test what I’m fairly sure is the semi-automatic or automatic Slashdot system for identifying and dealing with vulgar and politically incorrect comments. So, with all due respect to those who don't like vulgarity and sexual comments:

1) Am I allowed to say "nigger dick" on Slashdot?
2) What about "I love nigger dick"?
3) Finally what about "I don't like nigger dick'?

If the term "nigger dick" is forbidden, what about "nigger"?, what about "dick"? What about “Negro dick” or Afro-American penis”? Is there any reason why Slashdot should not make public the list of forbidden words or subjects?

One insidious aspect of modern censorship is the secrecy. Traditional western censorship, such as that practiced in the 19th century Catholic and Victorian traditions, created a public record of what was forbidden so that the individual could know what the limits were and the society as a whole could argue about the process and maybe even try to justify or ridicule the results. The last gasp of that wholly honorable and intellectually justifiable system was the federally mandated "seven dirty words" you could not say on broadcast TV, a list ridiculed by Lenny Bruce. In retrospect the seven dirty words system was an attempt to act above-board, the way democracies are supposed to do things.

  The alternative to publicly acknowledged censorship is not no censorship; it is "Night and Fog" censorship, which we associate with the inquisition and the modern fascist and communist states. This form of censorship in essence says "We will not tell you what is allowed or forbidden. But if you cross the line you will find out and be harshly punished. There are no rules we must show you, there are only the results which you will see".

So in an attempt to make censorship decisions a matter of public discussion I put forward for the Slashdot censors and readership the "nigger dick" question. If this post is simply rejected I'll use that truly silly modern invention "the N word" to let the Slashdot community know what's up. If the offending words are simply covered up I'll congratulate Slashdot because publicly announced censorship is far preferable to "We don't censor you. But we strongly encourage you to learn to censor yourself". The capitalization or lack thereof is intentional. And as to my personal position on nigger dick... well we all have a right top our own opinions.

Comment Re:FWP (Score 5, Interesting) 228

I live in an Austin, TX condo and hear the Echo backpack leafblowers every Monday. At 10 feet I measured one at 98 db. The operators are all illegals, 18-20 year-old kids from the hills of Michoacan in Mexico. None of them are given ear protectors by the foodchain of subcontractors-of-subcontractors who are used to provide legal cover for the condo associations (including mine) who hire illegals because they are cheap, obedient and unlikely to complain. Most will be half-deaf at 30. But nobody here cares. No American would put up with the working conditions or they would call OSHA.

Don't kid yourself; illegal immigration and leafblowers are connected. This is both a first and third world problem; a first world problem for the students who would have the jobs and be earning $15/hr if the illegals were not here and a problem for the kids from Mexico who get $7.50/hr and who will go deaf. Talk about a conspiracy of silence...

The situation pisses me off for both reasons.

Comment A guess at the reason for the spinoff (Score 1) 210

IRS has said it will not bless the sale of the Alibaba stock, so any sale would lead to a huge tax bill for Yahoo shareholders. The same rule will apply to the Softbank shares. To avoid the issue the Yahoo Board is apparently doing the following: 1) Spinning off all the operating parts of Yahoo to a new company so the sale of the old Yahoo company (meaning the Alibaba and Softbank shares) can be "clean"- no antitrust or national security objections to a sale; 2) sell "old Yahoo" (the shell company that owns the stock) in a reverse takeover to Alibaba or some Chinese ally (probably a Chinese-based company funded by government-controlled banks). This was the route used by Pfizer in the takeover of Allergan last year; the surviving entity was an Irish company so the tax was low and the foreign cash could be unlocked with no tax consequences. People call it "tax avoidance" but it is legal.

If I'm right expect the sale of "old yahoo" a few months after the spinoff and a huge cry of "this sort of thing must be stopped!' by the NYT editorial page

Comment Just what I've always been afraid of (Score 1) 385

My worst nightmare is coming true, that some morning when I'm 75 (in five years), I'll stumble out of bed, make coffee, turn on my computer and discover there's a cure for aging. So I'll get to spend the next 450 years going to the gym with my 75 year-old body and having to deal with a bunch of forever-40s saying to themselves: "Look at him; I'd rather be dead than 75".

Please Lord, don't make it happen when I'm 85... And I want my erection back! My only consolation is knowing that 20 year-olds will be terrified of being mugged by packs of rich, old bodyswappers. How would you like to be 20 and wake up after a hard night of drinking and flirting with a 75 year-old body? And at least for me this puts a whole new slant on the issue of transgendered rights; after all, I might wind up as a cute, blonde 21 year-old coed... until I get mugged.

Young people in the gig economy are just getting used to the idea that there is no such thing as lifetime employment. Now they may have to get used to the idea that there is no such thing as a lifetime body.

Comment How to stop all Robocalls (Score 5, Interesting) 108

Most Americans hate robocalls. More Americans put themselves on the “Do Not Call” (DNC) list than voted for any presidential candidate. The law does not work for two reasons. First, the federal government refuses to enforce it so none of the robocallers end up in jail. Second, the politicians wrote loopholes for themselves and friends. Political campaigns are allowed to make robocalls as are certain kinds of political non-profits.

The only answer I can see is to create a political non-profit to advocate for the end of all robocals by using.... robocalls. Let’s call it the “ National Association To Stop ALL Robocalls” (NATSAR), and have the organization distribute to its members free software that allows them to randomly robo-call area code 301, 703, 202 and 212 numbers with a message saying “Hi, we are NATSAR and we want your support for legislation to make it a crime to send ANY unwanted /Marketing/Polling/Political message to a person on the DNC list. Would you like to join us?”. When the people in the DC area and NYC who run our government start getting 20 “political”- and thus legal- robocalls every day at dinner they’ll do something about it.

I spend time in the Virginia suburbs of DC and take my word for it they don’t get tons of spam calls like people in the rest of the country. Why? For the same reason that in the 1960s every city in the U.S. except Washington had a Mafia crime family. The deal was “We’ll leave you alone in DC as long as we get a free hand to operate in the rest of the country”.

Submission + - A Debate only for Cable subscribers?

Joe Branya writes: The second Republican debate will begin in less that two hours. This is the first event in U.S. campaign history that is available only for those with a cable subscription. Now this is an extraordinary development- pay to watch a Presidential debate or go without it.

Two questions: First, how did the Republican party allow itself to get in this spot? Were there any objections? Have any of the candidates raised the issue?

Second, is there any way the Slashdot public can force the issue to be addressed during or immediately after the debate? How can we influence the candidates and the press people to raise the issue? Or how can we use social media in the next few hours to raise such a storm that the debaters and the press will have no choice avoid the issue.

Put your thinking cap on and go to work....

Comment The real dirt on the raidioactive dirt (part 2) (Score 1) 216

I accidentally truncated what I wrote by about 50 words. Mia culpa... Here is the last section:

Finally I should say I’m not clear on why the U.S. and NATO have decided to move to Rota although I’ll throw out a few possibilities. First, it may be hard to find places to train in the central Med because of refugee boats. The Navy has not picked up one refugee. The U.S. navy has clearly been told “The President doesn’t want pictures of a hundred Africans on board a U.S. warship with no place to land them except back the U.S.” Second is the Ruskies and ISIS; we may need Marines to land in a hotspot like Syria and for that we need a serious logistical base like Rota. Third, there may be a general NATO realignment in the area. European warships are doing all the refugee rescues. Building “a fence in the Med to stop immigrants” will clearly be a European activity, not an American one.

So we get Rota and the Spaniards get rid of the dirt. The only question is about the 50,000 cubic meter number; is it a firm number or is it guess that might balloon into something much larger.

Comment The real dirt on the radioactive dirt shipment (Score 2) 216

Here is what’s really going on.

For the last fifty years the 6th Fleet has been headquartered near Naples, Italy. There are no shore bases in Italy for the roughly 1,100 Marines assigned to the fleet. The fleet is routinely called the Mediterranean fleet but the area it controls includes most of the eastern Atlantic and south western Indian oceans. (See map at: ). The U.S. has only ten full sized aircraft carriers and none are operating in the Med right now The real action is in the Indian ocean and the western Pacific facing China.

For some reason the U.S. government and NATO have decided to move the Naples headquarters to Rota, Spain, which is potentially a much larger facility that Naples, with room for a few thousand Marines on shore.

Of course Spain wants something in return and we had to get the deal done before the Spanish election, which might bring in a leftist government. The best article on the deal is, as usual, in the British newspaper the Guardian To quote from the article (paragraph brakes removed):

“The Palomares clean-up deal is seen by many as a sweetener in exchange for Spain agreeing to Washington ramping up its military presence in the country. The number of marine personnel at the base in Morón in southern Spain is to be increased from 850 to 2,200, and to 3,000 in the event of a crisis. Meanwhile, the US navy base at Rota, near Cádiz, is set to become the largest in the Mediterranean. Talks with Spain’s right-wing government over the military build-up have intensified in recent months amid fears that a government less sympathetic to Washington’s strategic aims may be elected in December. Barack Obama said during the King of Spain’s visit to Washington in September that a change of government might harm bilateral relations. Kerry refused to comment on the possible outcome of the election but said that the US supports “a strong and united Spain”, a clear reference to the Catalan region’s aspiration to break away and become independent.”

So in the end the U.S. gets roughly 50,000 cubic meters of irradiated soil- how irradiated is still unclear. 50,000 meters equals roughly 80,000 tons. If the dirt is packaged first, it will take two-or-three medium-sized shiploads to get it to the U.S. and the equivalent of roughly 1,000 railroad freight cars or 2,000-3,000 forty-foot containers to move the dirt inside the U.S. My guess is railroad cars.

The present speculation says it will go to Idaho but I’m not sure. There is always the example of the USS Sturgis which had a small reactor that suffered damage during storms in the 1960s and 1970s. The ship had not been designed so the interior of the reactor room could be cleaned by water spray. So for 40 years the ship was stored in Quantico and on the James river, too hot to dismantle and yet not really a danger.

Finally I should say I’m not clear on why the U.S. and NATO have decided to move to Rota although I’ll throw out a few possibilities. First, it may be hard to find places to train in the central Med because

Comment pinned in under 10 seconds (Score 1) 510

Hastard on his own pederasty (I couldn't resist)

If the prosecutors knew what the money was being used for via a wiretap or an investigation before they "interviewed" Hastard then this was the usual setup of an unwary non-lawyer. Since he is not a public official like Spitzer was (and thus potentially subject to blackmail in his official capacity) I'm not sure that the Hastard interview was so routine. There are a lot of structured cash cases out there to investigate. As this continues we will get a timeline from the Court sometime in 2017 and be able to decide if this was a setup.. And why has the ex-student not been charged or has he? In other words, did he contact the prosecutor or did he cooperate and help set up Hastard.

Paraphrasing the head of the Soviet secret police talking to Stalin in the 1930s, "Show me the man and I'll find you the crime". Finally this is a direct outgrowth of the Al Capone tax evasion charge in the U.S. Just remember, whatever they can do to him they can do to you.

Comment Not quite as the poster describes (Score 1) 107

The Japanese did not say what the poster described. They simply said if a missile is aimed at or over Japan they reserve the right to shoot it down. They have posted a destroyer in the sea between Japan and North Korea for the purpose. The Reuters article actually says "a destroyer was dispatched to the Sea of Japan and will fire if North Korea launches a missile that Tokyo deems in danger of striking or falling on Japanese territory, the source said."


Comment The Bruce Cube (Score 1) 330

Finally we have an objective unit to measure paranoia, the Bruce.

The theoretical relationship between a truth function and the belief in the truth of the truth function has never previously been established.

My hypotheses is that each truth table has a paranoia variable located on the Z axis, measured in Bruce Units, which measures the belief in the reliability of the truth table. A positive Bruce value means you are paranoid and probably an idiot; a negative Bruce value means you are not paranoid and everybody else is an idiot.

I propose that the combination of a truth table and an array of associated Bruce values be called the Bruce Cube. Other proposed names such as the Nixon Cube and the Tom/Friedman Cube lead to the incorrect belief that the paranoia vector is associated exclusively with either the left or right spin. The name “Nixon-Friedman Cube” was just too damn long to use.

I'll leave it to other to work out the details of Bruce calculus. I'm too tired


Comment Water intake issue (Score 1) 88

The plant would stay open under normal conditions- it produces a lot of cheap, baseload electricity- but the new fish intake rules from the Obama administration will add almost one billion dollars in costs, and that is what is really forcing the closure.

The San Onofre plant is cooled by ocean water via a 3,000 ft long pipe going into the deep ocean. Some fish get sucked into the pipe. New regulations are designed to reduce fish deaths. The easy solution to the fish problem is to put a big screened enclosure at the end of the pipe so the speed of the water at the screen is low enough to allow fish to simply swim away. The new rules will not allow the simple fix. Instead they require cooling towers and a closed loop cooling system. There is no place on-site to put the towers so a huge earth moving operation will be called for and the towers are expensive to build, thus a billion dollar bill for very little benefit.

This sort of "drive them out of business by regulatory changes" is going on everywhere in the power business. The goals may be laudable but the process is intended to replace public discussion of costs and benefits with a more closed and opaque system based on regulations.

Power Engineering magazine has covered the issue extensively (but behind a password for most web surfers). However if you Google "San Onofre water intake" you can get a pretty good picture of what is going on. Why is the cooling story and the associated cost issue not being covered in the newspaper reports? Anybody's guess.

Comment Silly beyond words (Score 1) 533

So is the St. Patrick's Day corned beef and cabbage I cook in my pressure cooker now a WMD? Or is that WMDP or PWMD? Can I carry an unloaded pressure cooker on a plane? Will DOD, CIA, NPR and CBS drop IED for WMD? Inquiring acronym hunters want to know. He may be guilty as sin but this makes it all sound like the 1938 Moscow show trials meet the Marx brothers doing "who's on first".

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The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan