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Comment: Re:Can u say bubble? (Score 2) 58

I love all you Americans crowing about the uselessness of the coming distributed energy age. Y'all might be correct as far as the US goes (and for now), but for billions of us in the rest of the world, shit like this has either been cost-effective for years or one of the few methods to get any kind of electricity when you don't the massive capital for the old-school way.

Comment: PROTECTED speech (Score 1) 144

Fundamentally, not all communications are speech, because some communications have explicit direct non-speech results.

According to the Supreme Court, not all communications are PROTECTED speech. (They're still speech. They just don't enjoy the First Amendment protections because they're ALSO parts of crimes for which one can be punished - and in some cases (such as threats or criminal conspiracy) the speech is all it takes to commit or be a participant in the crime.)

Because speech is explicitly mentioned as protected in the First Amendment (and anti-government speech is also specifically a necessary part of another protected right - petitioning the government for redress of grievances), the court sets a very high standard for laws making some kind of speech a crime: Such laws may be overturned just because they have "a chilling effect" on protected speech, by making people avoid such protected speech out of concern that it might be prosecuted.

Regardless, Congress doesn't get to pass laws that preemptively muzzle people or block publication. They just get to pass laws to punish them AFTER they speak (or print, ...) some explicitly illegal content.

Yelling "fire" in a crowded theater isn't speech.

Funny you should mention that. The phrase "FALSELY shouting fire in a crowded theatre" originated in a WWI Supreme Court decision declaring that distributing anti-draft leaflets to people of draft age was not protected speech.

My favorite approach to "Fire in a Crowded Theatre" was Abbie Hoffman's (when being interviewed in a crowded theatre):
    Interviewer: "But surely you don't advocate shouting fire in a crowded theatre?"
    Abbie: "FIRE!"

Comment: Not remarkable at all. (Score 1) 81

Anti-malware companies try to appear as experts.

Malware authors try to be anonymous, leaving minimal personal signature in the malware. Malware authors also share code and reverse-engineer each other's code and use the result, so even style may be misleading. So even experts would have difficulty attributing it to any particular person,

That means any attempt to identify the author - as a real person, an alias, or a label under which to group multiple products of the same author, will be very error prone. With law-enforcement and other security types attempting to defend against and/or apprehend the authors, and the authors trying to hamper the anti-malware people and companies some of these errors would come to light. This would reduce the reputation of the anti-malware workers and companies, without regard to their success at malware defence.

So it is no surprise to me that andi-malware people and companies don't publish the results of any attempts they may make to identify the authors in the course of their work. Why should they take a risk like that for no perceivable gain? The risk/benefit ratio says don't even speculate.

Comment: Re:A lot of what he's talking about aren't subsidi (Score 1) 349

Most of the other clean tax subsidies are given to the clients (e.g. SolarCity, Tesla) not to Musk's companies directly.

On the contrary - SolarCity retains the tax breaks and the subsidies. They even counsel against the "buy it outright" option because "you'll need an accountant specializing in energy credits and taxes". (Read "our business model is based on being an unregulated utility and utterly depends on monthly cashflow from leases".)

Comment: Re:I'll pay for subsidies here any day. (Score 1, Informative) 349

They forgot the benefit that it gets us out of the Middle East. That sandtrap is a massive waste of resources that I hate is being subsidized.

If only the Middle East were our main source of oil... it isn't.* And even with the shift to electric vehicles and solar power, petrochemicals are still vitally important industrial feedstocks, and thus a stable Middle East is still of prime economic interest to the West.

Comment: Re:Missing the 'why' of it. (Score 1) 149

by DerekLyons (#49808845) Attached to: Let's Take This Open Floor Plan To the Next Level

A police bullpen or typing pool may be fine in a big open area. The same goes for sales and marketing types. However, if you're talking about any work which requires stretches of concentrated effort then it's just a Bad Idea. Engineers? No. Programmers? No. Accountants? No. Any kind of researcher? No.

Have you ever seen a picture of an engineering/drafting office from say... anywhere between the late 1800's and the mid/late 1980's (when draftsmen started to be replaced by computers and the size of said offices began to shrink dramatically)? Big ass open plan offices - sometimes thousands of square feet of big ass open plan offices. The same goes for accounting departments. One of Frank Lloyd Wright's most celebrated designs (from 1936) had a big ass open plan office as it's centerpiece.
We went to the bloody moon in vehicles designed in big ass open plan offices.
Somewhere in my book collection, I have a book intended for professional engineers and engineering managers from the 1950's... which devotes three whole chapters to the knotty problem of laying out (invariably open plan) engineering offices and drafting rooms - mapping a 3d object onto a 2d arrangement of desks and drafting tables.

This is the only real reason they're pushing this model. It's a clear terminus of the erosion that's led us from offices, to cubicles, to the little half walls, to just acres of desks.

I don't know where this idea came from that "everyone had a private office until Evil Management latched onto the open plan" comes from, but it's complete bull. Private offices have long been the exception, proof that one was senior enough to rate one and to have Made It, not the rule.

Comment: Re: Yes more reliable (Score 2) 100

by metamatic (#49807483) Attached to: Google Calendar Ends SMS Notifications

Not to mention SMS is not reliable. SMS messages are not guaranteed, they are delivered on a "best effort" basis. Your mobile network is free to drop them on the floor and not retry if your phone moves out of signal range, the network is congested, or any other reason they feel like. This is particularly prone to happening when messages have to go across network boundaries.

Obviously the person who wrote the summary was under the mistaken belief that SMS is designed to be reliable, just like lots of people believe that email is designed to be instant...

Comment: Re:Where does the Fed claim to get power to ban th (Score 4, Informative) 361

Yes it can. [Gonzales v. Raich]

The issue was not in dispute in that case:

Respondents in this case do not dispute that passage of the CSA, as part of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, was well within Congress' commerce power

In my opinion, by the way, Wickard v. Filburn, the New Deal era decision that says making something for yourself (i.e. growing wheat to feed your own chickens, or growing marijuana to use yourself) affects interstate commerce (because you otherwise might have bought it instead, affecting the price) and can thus be regulated, is a travesty that is long overdue for the Supremes to revisit and reverse, as they sometimes do when a previous court broke something substantial.

But even if you agree that feeding your own wheat to your own chickens is a suitable subject for federal regulation under the commerce clause, don't you think it's a stretch to say that affecting the price of a banned substance by NOT buying it on the illegal market is a legitimate reason for the Federal Government to ban your growing and consuming your own plants? Either way you don't buy in interstate commerce, so how can the difference in your behavior affect it? (Or was it Congress' intent for you to buy illegal drugs?)

Sometimes more than half the Supreme Court justices follow some argument to a point beyond sanity.

Comment: Re:Where does the Fed claim to get power to ban th (Score 3, Insightful) 361

The Commerce Clause?

Nope. (The powers it DOES confer were already alluded to in my posting.)

[The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

"Regulating" = making regular, setting standards, etc. It does NOT include banning whole classes of trade entirely.

If they want to PROMOTE drug and gun sales, that's fine. B-)

Comment: Where does the Fed claim to get power to ban that? (Score 5, Insightful) 361

Selling drugs and weapons are serious crimes and should be justly punished. Propz to GNAA

Let's devil's advocate a bit...

The Second Amendment clearly (to anyone who understands how English was used at the time) forbids the Federal Government from interfering, in any way, with obtaining and carrying weapons. (infringe ~ "even meddle with the fringes of") That includes gun trafficing, because stopping gun sales makes it harder to exercise the right.

The Tenth Amendment explicitly, and the Ninth Amendment implicitly, ban the Federal Government from use of any power not explicitly specified in the Constitution as amended. I don't see anything in there that explicitly gives the Federal Government to ban any drugs or traffic in them, or in any way regulate such traffic (beyond forbidding false advertising claims, setting standards for labeling, and the like). (Do YOU find any such power in there? If so, please point it out to us.)

So it could be argued that, by the Federal Government's own basic laws, these were NOT crimes and the "Dread Pirate" was a freedom fighter.

(I won't even get into the issue of the Anarchist claims that ANY government is necessarily illegitimate, coercively imposing its will on people who did not pre-approve this and are not attempting, themselves, to coerce others. The people who promulgated the Constitution were doing their best to get governments off people's backs.)

Comment: Re:Maybe this will end "extreme" couponing (Score 1) 88

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49801753) Attached to: Feds Bust a Dark-Web Counterfeit Coupon Kingpin

The store doesn't need these people. Why not just fix the policies to ban them without affecting regular coupon users?

Because the coupons are legitimate offers of a reduced price on a limited number of purchases of an item. An "extreme couponer" just happens to be accepting a larger number of them than a more typical shopper.

To reject a person who uses "too many" of them (while not rejecting ALL coupon use by ALL customers) may constitute consumer fraud on the store's part and get them into serious hot water.

Comment: Pretty much (Score 1) 272

Citation please?

An informed expert opinion based on thirty years of studying the Apollo program. (Actual studying, not just reading pop histories or getting my urban legends from other equally ignorant people on the 'net.)

Hmm, let's see. The Soviet programs were cancelled in '72 according to you (actually that's not quite right but it's close enough). When was the last mission to the Moon? Oh that's right, December 1972. Quite a coincidence that...

Pretty much, yeah it's a coincidence. Either way, your original claim as to the order and connection of events is incorrect.

Comment: It's already a problem (Score 2) 684

by endus (#49798273) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?

So many of our modern problems come down to the fact that we mitigate our expanding ability to provide food and other resources by reproducing at faster and faster rates. Solving world hunger would be trivial at this point, if we could slow the growth of our population. You see declining birth rates in developed countries, but it's not even close to enough.

We also actively exacerbate these problems with aid. The standard of living in parts of Africa has been an ongoing tragedy, but rather than finding a sustainable way to provide resources for a population that is stabilized, we just keep putting more and more bandaids on the problem that, in the end, just make the situation worse. This is another area where we've made some progress, with better charities popping up, but it's not even close to enough.

Humans just have this sense of entitlement when it comes to breeding and the consumption of resources. It's a primal urge that we just don't seem to be able to manage/overcome. Add in longer lifespans and, oh my god...age reversal...and you have a recipe for disaster. We need our social norms to start catching up with the technology we have.

Repel them. Repel them. Induce them to relinquish the spheroid. - Indiana University fans' chant for their perennially bad football team