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Comment: Re:Presumably you've never been shot at (Score 1) 400 400

You seem to acknowledge that the good guy with a gun, most likely, cannot kill or fully disable the shooter in this situation. So now you have to calculate, how many people could potentially be saved in that scenario, versus how many people would be killed if handguns are more widespread. If 5% of the populace is armed now, what happens to the death by gun rates when its 10%, 20%, 75%, 100%? What kind of curved graph does it make? I think most people would agree that 0.01% in the hands of criminals only is bad, just as 100% in the hands of everyone is equally bad. Where is the ideal spot? The thing is, that most people who want guns, already have them. Does it help society to force guns into the hands of people who have chosen not to carry them? Will cheaper guns lead to more people being armed and a safer society? Will the number of random shootings go down by allowing anyone, including the mentally ill, to have easier access to guns without waiting periods?

I've never understood this part of the "more guns" argument: Where the hell is this mysterious population of "good guys" that want to carry guns and would be responsible gun owners, but currently can't get a gun?

P.S. Several school shootings (like Columbine) have taken place at schools with an armed police presence.

Comment: Re:bans on knowledge rarely work (Score 1, Insightful) 400 400

ONE gun in the hands of a ordinary citizen in the movie theater, could have prevented many deaths.

Yes, of course, you've figured it all out. Because an asshole who decides exactly when he can spring an ambush on unsuspecting people, hiding behind cover & wearing body armor, can instantly be taken out by an average handgun holder. Seriously?

You are aware that highly trained and experienced soldiers almost always fail and die under those circumstances right? The shooter has more firepower, better armor, better cover, and the advantage of surprise. I would put the odds somewhere in the 1000 to 1 range for the handgun winning in that scenario. Wtf is it with you rambo types thinking one handgun will just magically win in a firefight?

Comment: Re:Responses (Score 1, Insightful) 244 244

For the first example, this will happen anytime a site has to generate a password for you, that is to say, millions of times a day. The site has to get the password to you, and can do so by generally email, sms, telephone call, or an in person visit. The same 3 letter agency is monitoring all of those electronic methods, so it really doesn't matter which you use, but email is the cheapest by far. The local network/pc is always going to be the weakest link, so use https for webmail. Splitting sensitive information into two emails makes it much harder for the bad guys. Enough so that it is standard practice for the banking industry and is part of PCI compliance transmitting credit card numbers.

For the second example- so what? It's a one-time temporary password that you picked yourself. The risk of a compromise is minimal, the reward for a hacker is minimal. Is it poor security practice... maybe? But you have to weigh the cost-benefit ratio.

Comment: Re:Anthrax (Score 1) 500 500

Which anthrax attack are you talking about? The one many years ago, or the attack from a few weeks ago, where our own government sent live anthrax spores through the postal system to unsuspecting labs, exposing dozens of people at minimum, to test if they were ready for just such an attack? (Yes, this really just happened, and it hasn't gotten nearly the airtime it deserves, since it was a terrorist attack perpetrated by the government)

Comment: Re:Does This Make Sense? (Score 1) 318 318

Maybe because its so obvious to everyone else. Since we are talking about cars, lets use a computer analogy- is it easier to update and maintain a software application on a single very large server that serves a lot of people? Or is it easier to update and maintain that same application on 100,000 different computers? If you do decide your application needs an update (or tightening of emissions in this context), you only have to modify one source, rather than 100,000.

Comment: Re:Does This Make Sense? (Score 4, Insightful) 318 318

100% of gasoline powered cars rely on fossil fuels
~66% of electricity in the us is generated using fossil fuels, 39% is from coal

In some sense we are trading the smoke-plumes around, but keep in mind it is vastly more efficient to regulate and control the pollution out of one stack than one million different little stacks.

Comment: Re:Good thing too! (Score 4, Insightful) 225 225

This only means they didn't need to cheat to win that specific game. There is a preponderance of evidence that they were both knowingly and intentionally breaking the rules. This is called cheating to most people who aren't from the New England area. There is an established pattern of cheating through the entire season, which throws into question their "championship".

Comment: Re:A useful link for all of ya ... (Score 1) 1097 1097

So do you think whipping people into a violent frenzy, where attempted murder is the expected outcome and defence with deadly force is a necessity, is a reasonable way to make a persuasive argument?

There is also the "fighting words" legal doctrine:
In 1942, the U.S. Supreme Court established the doctrine by a 9–0 decision in Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire. It held that "insulting or 'fighting words,' those that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace" are among the "well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech the prevention and punishment of [which] have never been thought to raise any constitutional problem."

This event wasn't about showing different artwork, some of which just happened to offend. This event was intended to insult a religion while wearing a mantle of "free speech", and its not unreasonable to assume that they had a specific goal of inciting a breach of the peace. Not everything has one side right and the other side wrong, sometimes both parties are wrong.

Comment: Re:Aspartame not harmful? (Score 1) 630 630

Same here. 1 can of aspartame based diet soda and like clockwork I get a blinding headache which prevents me from doing just about anything.

Funny how the aspartame lobby talks about safe it is, and how only .0001% of people have side effects, but within an hour of the story being posted there are many multiple anecdotes about how this product causes agonizing pain. It is still a small percentage of people, but it is more than the FDA claims.

Comment: Re:Seems to be OK all around then (Score 5, Insightful) 616 616

And what happens when we actually prove that Autism disorder is caused by bad vaccines?

Did you pay any attention to the news this week? The study that took years and years, involving almost 100,000 kids, conclusively showing that there is no link? Even if there is a link, its statistically so tiny as to be irrelevant.

And yes, the state can and does take away children from parents if the state doesn't like how they are being raised. It happens daily. Parenthood isn't some right that supercedes other individuals safety.

The fact is, FORCING vaccines doesn't protect ANYONE from ANYTHING.

I'm going to have to disagree with you on this point, since I didn't catch polio, or measles, or a wide variety of other diseases, and that is almost entirely due to the state forcing vaccinations on other people.

In fact, the Measles outbreak at Disneyland had almost nothing to do with the no-vaccine advocates

So you are saying there is no connection between a low vaccination rate, and outbreaks of disease? You can make that claim, but the CDC, the AMA, and most reputable doctors, strongly disagree with that notion. Not just in general, but in this specific outbreak where a study found that the low vaccination rate was responsible.

Comment: Call a spade a spade (Score 0) 191 191

There is really only one legitimate broad category that would require shutting off cell service: Mass uprising, revolutionary activity, organized protests, and riots. Think of the Ferguson riots, but slightly more extreme, with organized looting and organized attacks against government installations. When tempers flare, just a few hotheads on each side could escalate the situation to full-scale combat. We've seen several examples in Egypt, Turkey, & Syria, along with other countries affected by the Arab spring uprisings. I am absolutely certain the govt had backup plans to shut down cell service in Ferguson if rioting got out of hand and became a broader threat.

The government has a compelling reason to plan for these scenarios where several dozen or perhaps even hundreds of cells of motivated actors coordinate assaults. Do you remember last year when dozens of militia groups decided to converge and "protect the southern border", and brought a shit-ton of assault rifles with them? What if something outrageous happened- imagine if there was a false report of an attack on one of the militia group from the Mexican army. Or hell, imagine a few mexican soldiers did have a shooting confrontation with some of those militia members? The call to arms would be broadcast very quickly via cell phone among the groups there, and that kind of crowd panic could easily turn nasty. Backup could be called from miles away. Scouting missions could be sent against a nominally hostile army and those scouts can communicate back with the main force. If those militias were thrown into a combat situation, what exactly do you think would happen if the govt tried to step in and disarm them? One very real alternative that can save lives and slow down further escalation is to shut down communication.

These are the scenarios the govt is planning against, where thousands of its own citizens might rampage against some percieved threat. These aren't ridiculous what-if scenarios, but real events that happened within the past 12 months, that very easily could have spun into chaos.

Comment: Re:Supply side tomfoolery (Score 1) 477 477

If you were correct, then there would be no taxis. But there are a lot, and theres a lot of new competition in the sector as the internet tightens the margins. There is always the same basic need: lower cost. I drive my car for maybe an hour a day on average. But I pay for it 24 hours a day. Taxis are so much more convenient, but cost a lot because of the human driver.

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.