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Comment: Re:Where does the Fed claim to get power to ban th (Score 1, Flamebait) 222

by ScentCone (#49802885) Attached to: Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht Sentenced To Life In Prison

Since you're apparently an expert in the colloquial interpretation of 18th century American English, could you please explain what this part of the 2nd amendment means?

You're looking at the language and purpose of the amendment incorrectly. To translate its essence into more modern parlance, if would go something like: "Because it's always going to be necessary to have a trained and equipped military organization ready to defend the country, the government - in the interests of not allowing the government to have a monopoly on the tools of defense - shall not prevent citizens who are not in the military from having arms."

The people who wrote that amendment still had a very bad taste in their mouths from living under a monarchy that DID reserve the power to capriciously allow only the military to keep and bear arms. Knowing that a military/militia is necessary, they used the second amendment to be VERY clear that they considered the fundamental right to keep and bear arms to be NOT exclusive to the military. Just like the considered the freedom to speak to be not under the control of the government.

Comment: Re:Unclear who this hurts (Score 1) 86

by ScentCone (#49800331) Attached to: Feds Bust a Dark-Web Counterfeit Coupon Kingpin

Bullshit. Unless you can point to real evidence this is true, you're just guessing.

What? How do you think that coupons actually work, anyway?

1) You present a coupon, and you pay less cash at the point of sale than you otherwise would have. This is not a mystery. It's the whole point. If it's the retailer's own coupon, then they are basically putting the item on sale in exchange for having a trackable form of marketing. If it's a manufacturer's coupon, then the retailer is participating in a mechanism wherein the manufacturer and retailer have worked out a back-channel compensation scheme for the retailer having collected less cash during the transaction. This is also not a mystery.

2) When you present the retailer with a bogus retailer coupon, you're getting a discount that's disconnected from one of the key reasons they issued the coupon in the first place: to understand which marketing methods are the most constructive. When you present the retailer with a bogus manufacturer's coupon, one of two things happens: the retailer eats the loss, or the manufacturer does. Again, why are you acting like this is some strange unknown? Or, are you just hoping that someone there's a third magical possibility that makes it just fine to rip off businesses with fake coupons? Yeah, I thought so.

Comment: Re:Unclear who this hurts (Score 1) 86

by ScentCone (#49800287) Attached to: Feds Bust a Dark-Web Counterfeit Coupon Kingpin

Is short, this "informative" post is nothing but a guess.

What you mean is that you have no idea how retail operations and promotional marketing work, but you vaguely want it to be true that ripping off stuff through the use of bogus discount coupons is a "victimless crime" blah blah blah, so you're going to pretend that basic information is unknowable, as moral cover. Hint: you're not as clever as you think you are.

Comment: Re:The things pump out plenty of RF. (Score 1) 222

by ScentCone (#49798591) Attached to: Why Detecting Drones Is a Tough Gig

I think there should be a no carrier in there somewhere.

Which wouldn't matter a bit if the machine is flying waypoints using its own internal flight controller. That's how mine work: you inform the machine of the flight plan using a ground station, and then it does off and does its thing, whether or not you can talk to it along the way. Loss of, say, Verizon's signal wouldn't make a bit of difference.

Comment: Re:Unclear who this hurts (Score 4, Informative) 86

by ScentCone (#49798125) Attached to: Feds Bust a Dark-Web Counterfeit Coupon Kingpin
Both. The retailer takes on the overhead costs of handling the coupon. They are then collecting less money at the register, but never seeing the expected promotional kick-in from the defrauded manufacturer ... unless the manufacturer wants to continue to provide the retailer with promotional money for fake promos that never actually happened. All sorts of back-and-forth with the accounting, tax implications, distorted reporting - just bad for everyone all the way around.

Comment: Re:Seeking Technical Solution to Social Problem? (Score 1) 222

by ScentCone (#49795655) Attached to: Why Detecting Drones Is a Tough Gig

Meanwhile, in ten years, every tourist in DC will have a selfie drone

Which would be fine, except the DC FRZ (flight restriction zone) is a 30-mile circle around the Capital within which it is illegal to fly ANY remote control device of any kind. Includes "drones" as well as those toy RC helicopters at the mall kiosks, and the sort of RC planes that people have been flying around for many decades. Some tourist flying a quad in DC is in for a very rude awakening, as has already happened.

Comment: Re:The things pump out plenty of RF. (Score 1) 222

by ScentCone (#49795617) Attached to: Why Detecting Drones Is a Tough Gig

Yea, but a cell phone signal flying over the south lawn is a pretty clear indicator that you have an issue

Wouldn't matter. Do you understand how small the White House grounds are, and how fast even a modest quad can fly when it means business? I've got one that can do over 40mph. That would cover the distance from the sidewalk in front of the White House to the middle of the typical speech-giving area of the Rose Garden in well under 8 seconds. A drone flying waypoints - with no need for a human controller nearby or watching - could be moving that fast well before it gets to the White House fence, and be coming in 200' overhead, be above a high-profile press event in seconds, cut power and drop like a stone spewing a mist of cesium or a nice cloud of serin or laden with a nice little brick of C4, and it would be on the ground in the middle of that speech/ceremony so fast you'd have no ability to do something about it. Except maybe light it up with some sort of automated buckshot gatling gun, right in the middle of a busy urban area.

This is going to result in a lot more events being held indoors.

Comment: Re:Not Surprising (Score 0) 742

by ScentCone (#49767307) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment
Yeah. Except, it's the EU countries that went the austerity route that are now in the best shape, financially. And their people see that, and vote to reinforce the politicians that made that wise choice. Government largess can't make the economy grow when the government is too corrupt, and the people too indifferent (or too used to getting away with) to pay the taxes that will let the government throw around huge sums of money. "Stimulus" spending with borrowed money is right up there with sacrificing chickens or doing a magical dance when it comes to fixing what's actually wrong with places like Greece. The problem is cultural, and has been that way for decades. The Nanny State mentality is bad enough, but trying to keep it going when at the same time the entire nation plays games with tax collection so they can all lie to themselves about it is a recipe for ... contemporary Greece.

Comment: Re:Oversimplification ... (Score 1) 241

by ScentCone (#49764461) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

Does the average worker have a retirement investment account?

I suppose that depends on how you define "average." In the US, over 52 million people participate in 401k plans. That's in addition to those who have other retirement vehicles (like IRAs, etc). Almost all of those funds are tied up at least in part in mutual funds. Probably most people who aren't working aren't contributing to such a plan, though many who are out of work still have money sitting in them. Alas, we have over 90 million people who aren't participating in the labor force - the highest number since the 1970's. In more recent times, when more people had jobs, there was a much more common interest in how one's mutual funds were performing, because more people were actively slicing off a piece of each paycheck to invest therein. That tended to make more people aware of, and interested in how it all works.

Comment: Re:Fear of Driving (Score 2) 176

by ScentCone (#49764435) Attached to: <em>A Beautiful Mind</em> Mathematician John F. Nash Jr. Dies

It amazes me how nutty people get over "terrorists" when the roads are like a civilized version of Mad Max. People constantly die every day. Tens of thousands of lives unnecessarily lost every year just to automobile accidents. I feel like I'm the only rational person when I experience a certain apprehension every time I get behind a wheel, knowing that while racing through space in a multi ton coffin, even a small mistake could send me careening to my death.

The difference is that while you are indeed taking a small risk every time you get on the road, you have the luke-warm comfort of knowing that just like, you the vast majority of other people on the road don't want to die themselves, or see you die. Doesn't mean they're all as careful as they should be, and some are indeed belligerent and dangerous on the road, though they are the minuscule exceptions. Most accidents are the result of inattentiveness in one form or another, or poor judgment.

People, on the other hand, who do things like blow up train loads of passengers in London or Madrid, or who try to blow up an aircraft on final approach over Detroit, or who park a car bomb in Time Square ... they're trying to kill you. It feels different because it is different. We all internalize certain risks, but bristle - very reasonably - when we learn of someone who, out of malice, wants to kill you and everyone else nearby. A dead kid is awful. But there's something substantially different between a kid on a sidewalk getting killed by an out of control car, and a kid like the one in Boston, who had his guts blown out by someone who stood there, looked right at him, and decided to set his IED down on the sidewalk right next to him.

Comment: Re:Wouldn't the new cells have the same diseases? (Score 1) 40

by ScentCone (#49763059) Attached to: Nerve Cells Made From Blood Cells

which perhaps others would do if grants were fairly distributed

Translation: everybody who wants grant money should get it. There should be an infinite supply of other people's money so that everyone engaged in their own pet field of research should be able to do whatever they want, indefinitely, without worrying about demonstrating to anyone else that what they're working on is more interesting, more useful, or even sane, compared to the next guy's project. That would be truly fair. The guy looking to synthesize unicorn DNA from horses and narwhals should definitely get some funds diverted his way from that jerk across the hall in the other lab who's working on that stupid HIV vaccine. Because otherwise it's NOT FAIR.

Comment: Re:America needs to change as well (Score 1) 241

by ScentCone (#49762765) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

And it is LONG past time for America to tax delivered items.

You mean, increase the taxes on delivered items, right? Because most states already have sales and use taxes, some of them quite high. We'll ignore for the moment those states that have decided they'd rather cover their overhead through things like property taxes or other income taxes, forgoing sales taxes.

If you order a new computer display from an out-of-state vendor, your state's taxes are still owed. Think that just because a business located in some other tax jurisdiction isn't working on behalf of your state to collect and remit your state's taxes on your purchase that somehow you're off the hook? Just wait until you're audited by your state, and you'll find yourself paying those taxes and substantial penalties.

It's not "long past time" for a change, because the situation you want is already in place. If you have a complaint, it should be about your fellow local state citizens who are cheating on their sales and use tax obligations. That's between them and their state government, not between your state government and a business that's located and chartered (and paying taxes) in another state entirely.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang

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