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Comment: Re:How is this illegal? (Score 2) 95 95

No one is harmed. If I drive down an empty freeway at 110 MPH, I'm not harming anyone, either. But that's not what this is about, much like your example.

This is about Apple basically contacting all the publishers and having all of them and Apple collude together to set up prices in such a way that screws a competitor. Sorry--can't do that.

Since you seem to like conspiracies, though, it's kind of like how the oil companies get together to set the price of gasoline...

Comment: Re:Funding (Score 1) 167 167

Anything useful a human can do on Mars can be done by a robot for much less money and loss of life.

Citation, please.

I have a somewhat different opinion. I agree with you regarding the much less money. If your goal is to see the view from the top of Mons Olympus, a probe is the obviously far less expensive than sending a man to climb it. If your goal is to study the rocks along the way, though, a robot probe is a bit more limited than a human being and quite a bit less efficient. As others have pointed out, Opportunity has spent 11 years to go 26 miles. Apollo 17 astronauts covered nearly the same distance (22 miles) in less than 22 hours.

In other words, if you're seeking knowledge, I think a human being is the most efficient. The problem is a human being is really expensive. And, let's face it, Mars isn't going anywhere. While it would be awesome to know the composition of Martian soil, we don't need to know it right now.

Comment: Re:serving subpoenas on an Internet company? (Score 1) 26 26

I gotta admit, I thought that was funny...

'we have received an e-mail asking us how to submit a subpoena to us which we haven’t received yet.

"Oh...you want to subpoena me and you don't know where to send it? Sure, I'll help. My address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC..."

They're an intelligence agency and they don't know where to send the subpoena?

Comment: Re:Desalination (Score 1) 599 599

Here's sort of the problem with that...

Israel and Saudi Arabia have no water. They haven't had water for the past couple thousand years. Therefore, they need desalination plants.

Is this drought going to be the new norm for California? Or are we in a cycle?

So we build desalination plants. And then it rains. Then what? Do you pay to keep those plants running--remember that those plants cost money to run. They also cost money to be maintained so that they can be used when a drought comes. Are you willing to pay money for the land, pay money to build them, and pay money for the maintenance for when we don't need them? Or will you begin whining about all this useless infrastructure at that point?

Comment: Re:What is being missed... is the $2 million part. (Score 1) 456 456

In my opinion, what's being missed is the opportunity to have a "teachable moment."

30 years ago, some kid wrote this. I'll bet you could find a few kids at each school who would be interested in this from the software side. So figure out and install the hardware, sure, but how about having a contest to come up with the software? Let any school that is interested come up with software to handle it. Let professionals QA the software to make sure it works. Anything that doesn't work loses. If they all lose, send it all back with a list of found bugs and let everybody try again. Establish appropriate criteria in the event that there's more than one that does the job correctly.

The school might save a little money, but they've actually educated some kids in the process. Sounds win-win to me,

Comment: Re:You can get by with: (Score 1) 263 263

Holy Grail is an absolute requirement. I'll ask about that in interviews. If you can't come up with at least one line from the film, you're definitely not getting the job. I'm not sure Ministry of Silly Walks is necessary, though. It's more of a sight gag and actually requires skill to perform, so it might be a bit much to expect from someone. I might add in "Cheese Shop" and "Bruce"--especially The Philosophers Song.

Without life, Biology itself would be impossible.