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Comment Re: Weep for humanity. (Score 1) 353

If this is the case, (economics being religious in nature) then the government would have no business setting rules and regulations that impact the US economy. Church and state first amendment issues aside, if the economy is really so unpredictable, then nothing they do can reliably influence it in the ways that they intend.

Religion is the belief in pixies, unicorns, zombie Jews, and other insane delusions. The only business the government has to be involved with religion is to insure that anybody can practice any idiotic belief they choose without censure, so long as it doesn't interfere with others.

Economics is the imperfect and messy business of observing how goods and services are exchanged, and manipulating the system to improve things for the greater good of society. While the government screws it up from time to time, the net result is much better than doing nothing at all. An analogy: You cannot reliably 100% cure cancer in a patient (now), but you get much better results by trying rather than sitting back and doing nothing.

Economics is better compared to psychology, which seems like pseudo-science at best. Both deal with unimaginably complex systems that would seem to be deterministic, but yet can be very unpredictable. Economics doesn't deserve to be called a science (in a strict dictionary sense of the word), but that doesn't mean that it isn't worth of serious study.

Your comment smacks of tea-bagger dogma, believing that no government regulation of the economy would be a good thing. We tried that in various fashions over the last oh, ten thousand years or so, and the outcome was generally bad. People make rules not because they like making rules, but to avoid repeats of disastrous events.

Comment Fuses? (Score 1) 303

Seems like a simple problem to fix.

In audio gear, you will occasional find hardware with built in fuses to protect against surges and/or incorrect input current. It is much cheaper to replace a 79 cent fuse than a thousand dollar PA speaker. You could probably slap a set of fuses on each input port to protect against this, although, to support something like cat6 (6 wires) you would need 6 fuses. This would get bulky and expensive if you put it in something like a 128 port switch, but it would probably work just fine.

Comment Will it stick? seems unlikely.... (Score 1) 737

You make good points, but isn't the question here: Is there a organized business lobby here that is working to suppress accurate science for personal gain? Seems likely, but unless just plain old lying is a federal offense, it seem unlikely that this will actually stick. Is there any law that says mass media actually has to tell the truth?

I suspect that Global Warming will get very bad, very fast, when we cross some level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere since nature is rarely a linear system. When it does, and we have a few massive crop failures (what happens to US wheat belt at +5 degrees? Nothing good I suspect), people will get serious pretty fast. When this happens, anyone who was a climate denier might find themselves on the wrong side of a starving mob.

Comment What other choice is there? (Score 2, Insightful) 344

A lot of people are going to vote for her because she seems to be the only Democrat that is going to have a chance of winning, and sweet Jesus, the candidates that the Republicans are putting up are terrifying. I don't even like her, but I will vote for her just to keep a Republican out of the white house. Some of those people make George Bush Jr. look like a genius.

Sanders is interesting, but I doubt he is going to get national traction. What other realistic choice do you have?

Comment billionaire is a hard set of shoes to fill (Score 1) 842

No, he doesn't. When you are a billionaire, you are not free to do whatever you want to. You cannot travel freely, you need an armed security detail EVERYWHERE you go. You need to live in a secured house/building/whatever. You are very limited in who you can meet and hang out with as most people will freak out and start acting differently when they find out who you are. Your prospects for love and dating are very limited unless you just want a gold digging trophy wife.

Also, there is a real question about your life motivation, when you are a coder with a lot of money. Presumably, he enjoys coding, but why would he do it now that he can hire 100 better coders to do anything he can think of? It makes it hard to want to get out of bed in the morning when you simply don't have any reason to.

Notch, if you are listening, figure out what give you joy in life, and then use the money you have to create and influence things in a good direction. Also, go talk to Bill and Warren about joining their charity or found your own to do some real good for people who have nothing. There are a lot of them in the world.

Comment you rebel scum... (Score 1) 303

I suspect that some of her technical staff members have broken federal laws in setting up and managing this e-mail system. It seems unlikely that she would have made an decisions about this directly. (Or at least I hope not. A Senator has a lot more important things to worry about than what mail server is being used)

Comment legislation, why? (Score 1) 706

I am not sure that the Execs are the ones to blame here. If you are a CEO, you probably know shit about crypto and security, and if you hire a 'Expert' security coder you don't really have any way of evaluating if they are good or bad short of waiting to see if they fail to secure your data. I'm not sure that it sets a good president to allow people to be jailed based off their hiring capability.

Anti-hacking laws aren't going to help much, as a lot of hacking crosses borders. It is already a federal crime, what are you going to do, make it a double federal crime? That would totally stop all the black hats.

Perhaps it is on the consumer to ask critical questions of companies that you are giving your personal data to, and be more selective about who you do business to.

Comment It'll never happen - TOO LATE! (Score 1) 280

Quite simply, it's not going to happen. Lol, it has already happened. You already have multiple car companies that will lease you cars for short periods of time, and the only difference is that they get parked at a drop point between customers. If the economics of owning your own car in a dense city prohibits people from owning their own cars, this will become one of the transportation models that will be widely used. Also, if you are speaking toward this never working for the public transportation, you are also wrong, since this is just basically a city bus that you don't have to share with other people. People have been using public buses for a long time.

Comment No thinking needed, actually. This is just stupid. (Score 2) 220

If I have a company accidentally misidentify my network as an attacker, and 'bathack' me, vigilante style, am I allowed to then counter attack and destroy their customer database? are they then allowed to drive over and cut my fiber? Can I then drive to the home of their CEO and execute him in retaliation?

No this is an unbelievably stupid idea, presented by an unbelievably stupid person (Juan Zarate, who is this ass clown?)

Comment Putin, director of Immigration affairs (Score 1) 608

Or perhaps Putin will have him killed is some spectacular false flag operation to make the US government look like total tools.

However, it is quite unlikely Putin cares or is in any way involved in the Snowden case. He is the chief executive of Russia, and has a lot more important things to do than decide if a low level whistle blower gets asylum in Russia or not.

Comment Not enough, more time needed. (Score 5, Insightful) 331

SWATTING isn't a light offence. When you do this there is a very real possibility that someone will end up dead because a cop gets excited, or a homeowner is armed and decides to start shooting. This should be treated as a very serious crime, and if anyone is killed, the person doing the swatting needs to get a murder one charge slapped on them.

Moreover, this kid didn't do this once, but many times, demonstrating that this isn't a spur of the moment 'crime of passion', but that he possess a consistent and dangerous disregard for life. I am all for lighter sentencing for a lot of things, but this is something that you need to come down heavy on people for. Grafitti is stupid teenage hyjinx. SWATTING is really dangerous behavior.

Comment Q: What are your thoughts on Venus? A: hot. (Score 1) 99

the surface temperature is high enough that you aren't going to do much there until you stop the greenhouse effect and cool down the planet quite a bit. It might be a great Terraforming project, though.

One of the speculated effects of a large meteor striking earth is throwing large amounts of dust into the atmosphere, and cooling the planet by blocking incoming solar radiation. We can land on comets and such, so it is probably possible to land an engine or solar sail on a large meteor, and steer it into Venus's gravity well. It would give us some good (real) data on the effect of a large strike on Earth, and would be a fast and relatively cheap way to take a stab at terraforming a nearby planet. More cooling == more space rocks slammed into Venus at 17k MPH....

The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.