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Comment Re:Blame the NSA (Score 1) 392

I disagree with this general idea that the police can go fuck themselves because the NSA were a bunch of assholes. The NSA isn't even a law enforcement organization, it is a code-breaking espionage organization. Do you similarly ignore the FAA rules about smoking on an airplanes because the EPA caused a chemical spill?

That being said, I have no sympathy for the police position. They obviously want all the information they can possibly access. It makes it easier to do their job. Everyone wants their job to be easier and everyone thinks that rules don't really apply to them. Every computer user at a large company thinks the IT rules are bullshit and proves my point. It would be easier if they could backdoor into any cellphone and it would be easier if we left all of the accounting files in dropbox without a password. However, we aren't going to do either of those things because they are insanely reckless.

Comment Re:The future is coming. (Score 1) 214

Well, just to blow your final assumption out of the water.
Pretty much every single person has agreed that the Leaf is a "piece of shit" car from a luxury perspective. That "$15k new car" is probably going to be just as nice as the leaf. You might want to use the Chevy Volt, which people generally like.

Comment Re:Here's a better idea (Score 1) 678

I disagree on a couple of points. Electricity is no more scarce than water. The Earth is being bombarded with 77 Petrawatts of solar energy every moment. We could harvest a great deal of that energy as solar/wind/hydro energy. We are not harvesting it. Electricity is not a "finite resource". We currently use fossil fuels(a finite resource) to create the majority of of electricity, but there is no concrete reason for electricity to be linked with a finite resource.

If we desalinate water, it will be sold by the volumetric unit. This creates a market price for water.This will change the water market. This is what you want to accomplish.It might crash and burn rather quickly, but it would accomplish your goal, so why oppose it?

Comment This all misses the point (Score 1) 113

The GAO report is actually about the cybersecurity of the FAA. The comment about security on the airplane actually starts out by explicitly pointing out that this isn't a problem right now. It MIGHT become one in the future and they aren't satisfied with how the FAA would deal with hybrid system in modern planes. This entire blogpost is a bullshit response to a rather good report.

The GAO simply wants the FAA to increase their cybersecurity. I don't think that is a big problem.

Comment Re:The name (Score 1) 204

I am reminded of something my accountant friend always tells me: I don't do magic.
Lawyers and accountants are highly trained individuals with a great deal of knowledge. They know a lot of things that you don't know.
However, you probably aren't going to fail an audit just because you didn't use an accountant, as long as you have some idea of how finance works.

Similarly, you aren't going to lose a court case because you don't have a lawyer. An entity can sue you for any reason, however if their claim is entirely false you aren't going to get destroyed in court. The entity's lawyer isn't going to magically produce a legal motion in a foreign language that makes it impossible to defend yourself.

In the end, lawyers are just like car mechanics. They are probably going to do a far better job than you, but they aren't doing any magic. Just applying a significant amount of specialized knowledge.

Comment Re:It's getting hotter still! (Score 1) 635

The US Navy has officially made a statement in which they expect "no sea ice". This means that it will be mostly navigable, but may require ice-breakers or similar because of large ice drifts.
This would only occur during the peak of the summer, and not be a year-round phenomenon.

This is a significant event, but it can quickly get tangled. They are not predicting that there will be no ice at all in the arctic sea for the entire year. The prediction makes sense for meteorologists, but it can be confusing for the average person.

Comment We need to fix the common ethical dilemma (Score 1) 239

The common dilemma is mentioned in the wired article. It is known as the "trolley problem". It essentially creates a scenario where you need to make a binary choice: kill 5 people through inaction or kill 1 person through action.

If we are going to discuss autonomous cars, I really think we should expand the scenario:
1. You are driving directly at a large concrete barrier at 70mph.(kills 1 person-YOU)
2. Swerve left and you strike a pedestrian(kills 1 person-OTHER)
3. Swerve right and strike a car head-on(potentially kills >1 person)

Why this alternative? It presents a risk to the occupant, which is always going to be a concern for a driverless car. It it less simple than a binary choice, but it illustrates almost all of the ethical issues. Do you value the occupant over others? Do you take a 50% chance of killing 2 people or a 100% chance of killing 1?

Comment Re:Where do I sign up? (Score 2, Insightful) 327

The CATO Institute reference is laughable.
It is interesting to read their mental masturbation about how multiple cable companies could compete in the same city, each with their copper. While that could technically happen, the diminishing returns of market entry would keep any sane company from entering into the market. Also, since their Utopia would be lacking in ANY government regulation, the larger company would simply purchase the smaller company if it became a threat. Which is EXACTLY what happened.

That paper was written in 1984. Thanks to their argument many places deregulated the cable industry.
Cable prices sky-rocketed. Companies merged. No true competition arrived. Comcast isn't an example of crony-capitalism. Comcast is the result of people like you and the CATO institute blocking government from heavily regulating "natural monopolies".

Why did anyone care in 1984? Because the federal government had just 'regulated' Ma' Bell. They required the company to reduce its sphere of influence and then they required them to allow "virtual competition". Government 'regulation'(in the form of anti-trust rulings) eventually required AT&T to operate as a copper providers, while other companies could operate as service providers. What was the result of all of this government regulation of a natural monopoly? Prices for long-distance calls dropped rapidly. Services were upgraded in many areas that were previously "unprofitable". Technologies that made heavy use of previously existing infrastructure(ADSL) spurred technological advances.

Basically, the best thing for the internet and cable TV would be HEAVY regulation. It might fall under a different name, but it would be regulation because it would be the government imposing its will on the market. If you wanted truly better service you would look to the deregulation of power operators in Texas as a key example. Create 3 specific "tiers": Content providers, network operators, retailers. Require that no company could exist as more than 1. Pay the network operators based on peers and speed. Watch the internet/cable get better rather rapidly.

Comment Re:Where do I sign up? (Score 1) 327

You don't seem to understand the definition of a "Ponzi scheme".

A ponzi scheme is an investment scam where the "investment returns" are actually the investments of other investors. Investors are being tricked because they think they have invested money. There is no actual investment.
Social security is a public welfare program that is paid via tax revenue. It also includes a tax on earnings to offset the tax expenditure. T

Social Security is not an investment, so it cannot be a ponzi scheme.
Do you think the department of transportation is running a ponzi scheme when they collect gas taxes to pay for road work?

Comment Re:Flamebait (Score 2) 149

Bad analogy.

The NSA didn't tell Cerf not to use this cryptography scheme. Cerf didn't even ask. He was working on a classified research project(NSA cryptography) and working on a unclassified academic experiment(TCP/IP).

I keep fish as a hobby. I have a friend who researches new antibiotics. Do you think my friend's employer is "standing in the way" when he doesn't give me the latest and most potent antibiotics which aren't even publicly available to treat my fish?

Luck, that's when preparation and opportunity meet. -- P.E. Trudeau