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Comment: Re:It's crap (Score 1) 648

by swillden (#46770231) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Except that's bullshit, because if people really cared about using their guns to defend our freedoms, there would already be a gallows set up on Capitol Hill with half of congress swinging from it.

Utter nonsense.

There are problems -- lots of them -- but peaceful civilian control of our government has not yet failed. Things aren't bad enough to justify civil war, but that doesn't mean it will never get to that point.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 648

by swillden (#46769749) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

And to pretend that the Founders never intended the Constitution to be amended is silly since we have an amendment process.

Of course they intended it to be amended. Which means that if people would like to ban civilian firearm possession, they should amend the constitution. Not that any such amendment would have a prayer of getting ratified.

Comment: Re:Simple problem, simple solution (Score 1) 290

by swillden (#46769687) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

Well, if you want reasonable housing prices in the face of climbing demand, then it's your problem. Without new housing in quantity in Mountain View, existing housing in Mountain View will cost more, and the same effect will ripple out to surrounding communities, including SF. The increased number of commuters will also increase traffic on the roads (though not as much as it could, thanks to the Google buses).

If you don't care about housing costs and traffic in the region, then it's not your problem. I don't live in the area, so it's certainly not my problem.

Comment: Re:Effectiveness of a space elevator. (Score 1) 78

by swillden (#46769609) Attached to: Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

Very good point. I stand corrected.

Putting something into LEO with an elevator would probably require lifting it well beyond LEO to get something close to the right orbital velocity, then applying thrust to fix up the resulting eccentric orbit. It'd still be cheaper than lifting it from the ground into LEO... though it occurs to me that the reason it would be cheaper is that it would get its orbital velocity by taking energy from the elevator. That could be restored by lowering a mass from geostationary orbit.

I hadn't consider it before but it seems like a space elevator would need station-keeping thrusters to maintain its orbital velocity since it would be sapped a bit by every kilogram lifted from the ground. Without thrusters you'd need so send a like amount of mass down, which means for every kilogram you lift up and want to keep in orbit you'd need to find a similar mass to send down. Maybe ore from asteroid mining operations? Of course, then the source of the orbital velocity you're using to restore the elevator's velocity is the thrusters that put the ore into the right orbit to go down the elevator.

Comment: Re:Appeal to authority is not good enough (Score 1) 581

by Belial6 (#46769433) Attached to: Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"
That is a very good post at showing exactly how people who think they are pro-vaccine spend a lot of effort convincing people not to vaccinate. Ignoring data, rationalizing ad hominem, telling people that getting all of their vaccines but in a different order isn't ok because they must mindlessless follow the set script 100%. Hypocritically declaring that when your villian does reasearch for money, it is a sign of corruption, while ignoring the fact that the majority of all drug research is done for money. Ignoring what is said and pulling words randomely from sentences to try and refute them by giving them exactly the opposite meaning than the context of the original statement in strawman arguments.

Supporting your case only through easily refuted arguements does more harm than good. Like I said. People like you do far more harm than good. If you want to know why people who don't vaccinate their children take the route they do, you should look in a mirror, because it is people like you that are convincing them.

Comment: Re:Are you kidding (Score 1) 547

by bill_mcgonigle (#46768487) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

I have no interests in controlling women's reproductive lives, but as a Catholic I believe life begins at conception, and abortion is murder.

I don't disagree with you, but what matters in public policy is actions, not sentiment.

The operative question is whether you believe society is better off by imprisoning mothers who get abortions.

It's possible to both believe it's murder and to believe that imprisonment/prosecution is not the correct response. Don't be fooled into the "insult/vengeance" paradigm that we're told by civil religions to be essential. I'm pretty sure you'll find the opposite recommendations in the Gospels.

And, BTW, this is why "the issue" cannot be resolved by our current system of governance - it's located directly at the insult/vengeance nexus. Until we can get past legislating revenge the "two sides" will never find any common ground.

Comment: Baloney (Score 1) 78

by bill_mcgonigle (#46768339) Attached to: Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

I cannot believe the summary. Thousands of Slashdotters here already knew that elevator cables need to be super strong and that carbon nanotubes are the only calculated material that can do it and that spinning long nanotubes is a technological problem.

The Google research team did not discover these things - they're smart guys, they already knew this.

So, venturing further into the story will be a waste of time. If Googlers did spend time on space elevators, then they probably did learn some new things. But they may well be keeping that knowledge in the "deep freeze"r for when they can make some money at it.

Comment: Re:Polution tax (Score 1) 101

by bill_mcgonigle (#46768213) Attached to: Pollution In China Could Be Driving Freak Weather In US

Hey! That's a good idea. Put a 500% tariff on everything that's not made here. Who care who makes it?

Brazil does this. Since Nikes cost $300 a pair, the local manufacturers can get away with charging $165 for a pair of sneakers. That's just under a week's median wages.

All these policies do is keep the people poor. It's a non-zero-sum game with losses on all sides.

Comment: Re:The Canadian Exodus.... (Score 5, Informative) 648

by bill_mcgonigle (#46768039) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Everyone should be armed.

This is how Switzerland does it. They haven't been in a foreign war in two hundred years. Even Hitler decided not to try it.

Their crime rate is very low and they actually have a civil defense plan that doesn't involve people hiding in closets and hoping somebody shows up to save them. Plus, obviously they don't need to incur all the costs of foreign wars, so they can run data centers, banking platforms, and ski resorts instead.

Comment: Re:Rewarding the bullies... (Score 1) 499

Appropriately, the page with TFA has an ad encouraging me to "Win an AR-15 from Sebastian Ammo". Google is getting scary...

Must not have been a Google ad, Google doesn't allow gun ads. Personally, I think that's stupid, but in the interest of accuracy, your ad couldn't have been from Google.

Comment: Re:Effectiveness of a space elevator. (Score 1) 78

by swillden (#46766213) Attached to: Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

LEO isn't about height though. We can get there pretty easily. X-15s managed to get half way there in the 1960's. You need to get to about 15,000mph to actually do anything useful at that altitude.

Since the space elevator's center of mass is orbiting, climbing the elevator would also get you to orbital speeds. Indeed, one limiting factor on the rate at which you can climb the cable would be the lateral acceleration experienced by the climber and cargo.

Comment: Need for better systems programming languages (Score 1) 465

I suspect you meant that sarcastically, but if system software (meaning OS kernels, network stacks, device drivers, etc.) were written in better languages, our computer systems could be far safer and more robust, quality of life could be better, and the benefit to productivity and the global economy could be substantial.

For the computing industry, it is one of the great tragedies of our time that C and its derivatives have become so entrenched. There is absolutely no reason we can't have a systems programming language that offers the necessary low-level control without the limited programming model, error-prone syntax and weak safety features of C.

Unfortunately, it is momentum and ubiquity that keep most of the industry using C and its brethren, not technical merit. The vast ecosystem surrounding C is hard to beat for scale. There is promising work being done in some places, Rust for example, but I know of no practical alternative that is ready for production use today.

Of course, OpenSSL itself isn't running at the level of an OS kernel, so it doesn't need the same degree of low-level access anyway. But there is a wider point here about much more than just OpenSSL.

Do not use the blue keys on this terminal.