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Comment that's what a proxy is for, not a VPN (Score 1) 61

If that's your goal, you should be using a SOCKS proxy. VPNs are designed for an entirely different purpose.

So while there is some truth to your statement, some people do that, their actions make about as much sense as:

Inserting a screw is often the entire purpose of a hammer, at least from a clueless standpoint.

You CAN hammer a screw in, and many people have done it. I have, once. Sometimes it works. But it would be stupid to say that a hammer is broken because it's not very good for inserting screws. It's the wrong tool for the job. If you want to install screws, use a screwdriver. If you want to have traffic for a particular application (such as browsing or BitTorrent) come through a different IP, use a proxy. If you want to securely access a LAN remotely, use a VPN.

Comment which is how it was, billing data & subpoena (Score 4, Insightful) 104

Which is going back to how it used it used to be. The phone company had records of who called who for billing purposes. The government could subpoena that information, with a court order.

Recently, when the government had all the information, that actually skipped the subpoena part - they already HAD the data, so they didn't need a court order to get it.

Now the thing is to watch that they don't get 10,000 subpoenas per day, each covering a million people, from a secret court.

Comment wish? How about a pony? (Score 1) 146

If we're wishing, I'll wish it were powered by a spell cast by talking ponies.

If we want to talk about steady, reliable, sources of electricity that actually work and I can afford, that's entirely different. That's done with a mix of:
Geothermal in northern California (2%)
Hydro-electric at a few places where there are huge lakes with giant waterfalls (1%)
Solar-electric in some places, for several hours per day, on sunny days (4%)
Wind in certain places, during an hour when it's windy, but not too windy (2%)
Either fossil fuels (natural gas) or nuclear (91%)

If you're willing to pay a lot more, several hundred dollars per month for each household, you can get the steady energy from nuclear or natural gas down to about 85%.

Comment actually works well, in a few places (Score 1) 146

Geothermal actually works very well, where it works. Roughly the same ring of places that have volcanos and earthquakes, minus the areas where near-surface conditions make it infeasible. In the US, geothermal is at a depth where it can be reached in California, but not really any other state. Minus the mountains and the cities. So you end up with a few places in California where it works well, and that's about it for the US.

In -theory- if you went deep enough, you could maybe tap geothermal in a lot of places, but that's VERY much theory, not at all practical. One problem is that you don't know what's under th ground beyond a very short distance. You can very easily hit water, an underground river of sorts. When your hole is constantly filled with water that causes problems. You can easily hit a section of very hard rock, including basically solid iron, and that layer may be interspersed with soft mud. The hole can easily collapse completely after you've already spent a million dollars. Anyway, the point is drilling deep is difficult and unpredictable. Drilling REALLY deep just doesn't work.

Works great in the California fields where the energy source is predictably close to the surface, though. Just like the volcanos which naturally vent this energy, it releases a not insignificant amount of CO2, but nothing's perfect.

Comment Let freedoms ring (Score 1) 364

Self destructive actions of an individual negatively affect society


your freedom ends when it negatively affects others.

False. My calling you names or otherwise being offensive (including, gasp, making racist and sexist statements), for example, however negatively it might affect you and millions of others, does not end my freedom of speech.

Comment Re:Most of the above (Score 2) 146

"And preferably with the waste heat being put to productive use"

How about extracting CO2 from the atmosphere. It doesn't have to be cost efficient if it's part of the cooling design.

The biggest pain in the ass about nuclear is turning it up and turning it down. Not only does it take hours and days, it can't be at peak efficiency both ways. If your reaction is optimized for a certain heat, rate, fuel consumption; whatever; and you 'turn that down'; something is getting more radioactive absorbing those neutrons, and you're making radioactive waste. The best reactor is the one that can operate for 20 years without touching it. Unless something goes wrong, in which case it can still be turned down, and then off.

What if the whole power of the reactor went towards atmospheric CO2 extraction? I would say convert it to gasoline and industrial oxygen (by using local water), but anything made out of carbon and oxygen is on the table. There is as little waste heat as possible here, as it is stored in the output that is trucked away. You will never make money on this scheme, rather; your intermediate waste products are valuable items that society will happily absorb, and they'll even tip you for it. That's a good place for a nuclear plant operator to be, but the real money, obviously, is in selling electricity to utilities.

Now, if you want some heat for your electric generator turbines, you simply turn down that CO2 process, and leave the reactor alone, and you've got excess heat.

Seems like an easy sell to me.

Comment Re:Important to note (Score 2) 364

Let's have a little equality.

Absolutely. Maybe, LSD should not be prohibited to begin with. Maybe, nothing should be prohibited at all — citizens of a free country ought to have the right to kill themselves in any way they wish. But the rules must be the same for everyone.

On that note, I argue for automated law-enforcement wherever practical — such as with traffic-cameras, which would fine an upstanding resident of the same town just as much as passer-by from 2 states away.

Comment Increase productivity?? (Score 0) 364

I don't think so. A small increase in creativity for a short period of time maybe. Though quite possibly it makes you *think* you're being more productive, just like people who take concaine *think* they're being incredibly interesting when they chat, whereas usually the complete opposite is the case.

If you're not careful, you're going to catch something.