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Comment Re:Where are the diesel *hybrids*? (Score 1) 496

Near as I can tell the reason is economic. Diesel engines cost more. Hybrids cost more. So Diesel hybrids would cost more + more, and manufacturers don't think enough people would pay that much up front. In theory, series hybrids (like the trains) could be modular, with a provision to swap the generator set, and customers could buy what they want (diesel, gasoline, gas turbine, fuel cell), but actual cars aren't yet built that way. I think modular costs more.

Comment Browser Sharing? (Score 1) 192

Could you use a browser plugin that acts a little bit like a distributed version of TOR by having your requests reach the internet via other browsers running the plugin? The idea wouldn't be to make your browsing untraceable, but rather to make the sort of metadata that ISPs are forced to collect unuseful for monitoring the browsers running the plugin. The big problem would be adoption. Each individual running the plugin would have legal vulnerability similar to that of someone running a TOR exit node. If you had a popular news story about someone abusing the collected metadata, that would be a good time to announce a free browser plugin that protects people from that sort of abuse. If the adoption is sufficiently widespread, action by the government to imprison lots of people who see their actions as protecting themselves from metadata abuse would be deeply unpopular.

Alternatively, why not just move? Why support with the taxes on your labour a government that does that to its citizens?

Comment Re:Anonymous travel (Score 1) 428

I've only ever owned 5 vehicles. I still have #1, #3, & #5. I bought #2 for $200 as a way to get from point A to point B after I fell asleep & rolled #1, and I sold it a few years later for that same price to someone with a similar need. #4 was just a mistake. I need to build myself a house (that has a garage) before I even consider becoming anything like an auto aficionado.

Comment Re:Anonymous travel (Score 1) 428

Yeah, I grew up in rural WV, mostly. There's lots of logging roads on private property, and my understanding was and is that unless someone else owns a right of way, the owner of the property can deny access to other vehicles, and that people too young to have a driver's license (or otherwise not in possession of one) can drive (usually farm tractors and little ATVs) on these roads with the owner's permission, whereas it's illegal (although some people in WV would say "technically illegal" and try to do so anyways) for those people to be driving anything on public roads.

Thanks for telling me about the Golden Road. That was new to me, and I'm glad to hear of it. I take it that no one gets tickets for impromptu races on that road, even as there's no trouble with the planned events. My dad once told me that California has a law against maintaining a feature on your property that makes it attractive for people to behave in a hazardous fashion, but I don't know that Maine has any similar sort of law.

I have to agree with you that hiring work done by auto mechanics is often worthwhile, but I think you'd agree, that understanding what's going on well enough to do some basic rudimentary quality control can often be beneficial. Having done a fair amount of mechanical work in the past, I do feel obliged to mention that if you're regularly smacking your knuckles, you want different wrenches, although, certainly the different wrenches being ones in someone else's hand does the job just fine.

Comment I doubt a state could do it, (Score 1) 428

but if a well funded group of Native Americans took no money from the Federal government and wanted to build and maintain an airport on their land, they could probably tell the TSA to take a flying fuck. In fact, if an airplane departing from their airport spent some time flying over international waters, they might be able to charge members of the TSA for having just that experience.

Comment Re:Anonymous travel (Score 1) 428

You don't need a license from the government if you're driving on private property with permission of the owner. It's just that private property owners have never banded together to build and maintain their own alternate set of highways. You need a license from the government to use their roads, because it's their roads - built and maintained by them on land they have acquired. You could campaign for a ballot initiative to eliminate the need for driver's licenses. Note, however, that whereas airlines don't own airports, the railroads do own their own property, and Amtrak has thrown the TSA off it in the past.

Comment Re:Anonymous travel (Score 1) 428

If someone is driving to where you want to go and you arrange with them to ride along, (not hitch hiking, something arranged in advance of their trip) there's no legal requirement for that person to check your ID. With 350 million Americans, there's bound to be someone willing to trust a stranger (eg, all the people that used to pick up hitch hikers).

Comment "up to" $650 paid to your previous carrier (Score 1) 83

Not in your pocket. That's what I think is the case from reading Verizon's actual announcement. If you have a huge outstanding balance with your old carrier (but you also pass Verizon's credit check), and you hanker to trade in your current smartphone and buy a 4g smartphone from Verizon and use their service for 6 months or more, then it might be a good deal.

Comment Re:Unicode characters in code (Score 1) 145

For the small number of such symbols I use regularly, I make up a text file (called "insert symbols") that has these symbols so I can copy & paste them where I need them. I wouldn't use them to replace **2, but I use the little circle to replace "Degrees" when talking about temperatures very regularly.

Comment Re:Expect lower quality hardware. (Score 1) 100

I have to agree with you that the attractiveness of an item to a thief relates to the reliability of the market for what has been stolen. However, keep in mind that thieves will happily target 6 figure industrial equipment if they can easily pull 4 figures worth of copper out of it, because there's a reliable market for that copper.

Comment Re:In Engrish, please. (Score 1) 28

So whoever owns a federal judge claims someone has their secret code (without revealing the code they claim is being infringed, because it's secret) and so gets the judge to seize the contents of the other person's computer. Then the judge owner's employee points at some of the seized code and says "See right here - that's not his idea. That's our secret."

Comment Re:Civil Asset Forfeiture (Score 2) 210

So, what I read here is that "the best lawyers" can make violating the law not matter and that this is fine for hereditary wealth but not for mafia wealth. How about we ditch CAF and go to single payer for lawyers? This would also greatly level the legal playing field between individuals and corporate entities.

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