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Comment: Re:Waiting for Republicans to come in and defend t (Score 1) 316

by Midnight_Falcon (#48839145) Attached to: Eric Holder Severely Limits Civil Forfeiture
Can you support your claims about the French "6th Republic" with any sources citing movements for creating a new constitution or dissolving the French state in favor of a new republic? Really, the DeGaulle Constitution is a staple of comparative politics and is the foundation of much of what Samuel Huntington terms the "Third Wave of Democratization."

Comment: Re:Waiting for Republicans to come in and defend t (Score 1) 316

by Midnight_Falcon (#48839115) Attached to: Eric Holder Severely Limits Civil Forfeiture
The subject as to whether the U.S. is a democracy has also been beaten to death in every university in the nation, however, it tends to be more of a bar conversation than a serious conversation in political theory.

Sure, U.S. democracy became more democratic over the time, starting with the expansion of the franchise to non-land owning males under Andrew Jackson. However, to say it was never a "democracy" is really a semantic question where you redefine democracy to be "direct democracy;" or have to include institutions which are uncommonly present in the world's democracies.

This redefinition of democracy really falls apart when you look at literature using democracy in a scientific sense, e.g. Democratic Peace Theory, "the closest thing we have to a law in political science."

Comment: Re:Waiting for Republicans to come in and defend t (Score 4, Insightful) 316

by Midnight_Falcon (#48836305) Attached to: Eric Holder Severely Limits Civil Forfeiture
Your sentiment has already been beaten to death in pretty much every collegiate Comparative Politics class in the USA. Of course, we can blame folks like Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Bush/Cheney for expanding the powers of the presidency; but really the system in and of itself is flawed.

There is a school of thought in comparative politics called "American Exceptionalism" -- in this case, meaning that the U.S. Constitution is exceptional in that it only works in the US -- other places that have tried using the American model, with the strong executive; end up devolving into dictatorships. See Dahl, Robert Polyarchy .

Believe it or not, is it actually the 5th Republic French Constitution (the DeGaulle constitution) that has proven the most successful in bringing democracy to democratizing nations.

Reforms like proportional representation, abolishment of the electoral college, and institutions to do away with the two-party system have been long in coming to the American political system to keep it in line with the modern conception of democracy. Instead, it keeps slipping into this vaguely democratic polyarchy.

Comment: Re:They said that about cell phones (Score 2) 386

by Midnight_Falcon (#48699303) Attached to: The One Mistake Google Keeps Making
Limit of 20 years in the United States -- notably, Chinese patents are issued for 13 years (apparently, 13 is a "Lucky number" in Chinese culture). Patents are usually filed with WIPO with priority dates (meaning, date the clock started ticking) dating to the original patent application in the U.S. (or the provisional patent application). This gives them 7 years of a headstart to legally, under Chinese law, start making knockoffs and selling them in states where either the patent hasn't been registered through WIPO, or within China.

Comment: Subaru Impreza (Score 1) 195

by Midnight_Falcon (#48435823) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Hackable Car?
I'm biased here because I drive one, but, Subarus are known for being "lego cars." They are ridiculously easy to take apart and put parts in, everything is setup very logically, and parts are interchangeable within a few years of the model. Also, there's a huge community at NASIOC that will give you lots of information and people to ask about whatever you'd like to do.

So far, I have (previously having no experience doing work on cars):
Installed Pioneer head unit w/ DVD player + ebrake bypass (no I do not watch DVDs while driving, it's just easier to bypass than connect the ebrake :) )
Replaced speakers with SEAS Lotus
Replaced battery with an optima yellowtop for the soundsystem (stock 90A alternator works great though)
Installed subwoofer in custom enclosure (easy to find custom fiberglass for these cars)
Installed remote starter
Disabled the blasted beeping when a passenger doesn't put on their seatbelt

I'm sure you could do a lot more with one of these, but that's just what I've been able to do in a year or two of playing around with it. I am no longer at all intimidated by opening my car up and doing work on it, if you can put together a PC and do legos, you can work on a Subaru.

Comment: The bike riding is less than impressive.. (Score 4, Informative) 136

by Midnight_Falcon (#48372771) Attached to: Study Shows How Humans Can Echolocate
If you'e seen videos of him doing the supposed "riding bike down the street," he only gets a handful of meters, slowly, and it is a very painstaking bike ride. They even edit his video to show the more successful parts. I looked into this after seeing his TED talk -- while echolocation seemed pretty neat, it definitely seems like his foundation is exaggerating its efficacy. It definitely does something, his bike riding is awkward at best but I think it's talked up in an effort to encourage others to learn it as well.

Comment: Re:Finally.. (Score 0) 130

by Midnight_Falcon (#48313247) Attached to: American Express Seeks To Swap Card Numbers For Secure Tokens
I'm pretty sure I'm not the "asshole" here...in that, well, you chime in on a conversation just to call someone an expletive, or insult them..without even bothering to google OTP first. Notice in all my posts in my post history I don't resort to name calling like you have done here -- it's a clear sign logic has failed, and all you have is nonsense rhetoric and insult to offer.

Comment: Re:Finally.. (Score 1) 130

by Midnight_Falcon (#48313191) Attached to: American Express Seeks To Swap Card Numbers For Secure Tokens
Clearly I should've spelt out OTP to avoid confusion in this context..except, yes, I do PCI compliance audits for a living, and this acronym seems very second-nature at this point. However though, I wasn't the one confusing OTP..it was the readers applying their own cognitive bias to apply the "one time pad" meaning here, even though the context clearly pointed away from that.

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