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Comment: Smokin observation (Score 0) 275

There is not discrimination against smokers. They aren't allowed to smoke anywhere they want to and pollute other people's lungs. They had a century or two to to police themselves, and it seems they couldn't do it, so laws were passed. Is it reasonable to hike Smoker's insurance because they tend to get cancer a lot more than other people and incur more medical bills? Sure, because it is a choice they make. Unlike a genetic condition, they can choose to change their behavior. In the meantime, they are just being asked to pay their share of medical bills being incurred. The flip side would be to boost the rates of non-smokers to subsidize the medical treatment of someone who just felt like taking up smoking.

African-Americans were discriminated against, they couldn't change their skin color. Any time smokers feel picked on, they can stop smoking.

Comment: Generating confusion (Score 1) 204

by TiggertheMad (#47495949) Attached to: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45
To be fair, the 'Great Generation' fought Nazis at age 18. The Internet (really ARPNET at the time) would have been built by young(ish) engineers in the 60s and 70s (Baby Boomers). The current political problems we have are a result of legislation that has been passed for the last 10-15 years (government moves slowly), which would have been passed mostly by the elder politicians of the time (your 50-70 year olds at the peak of their power and careers) who would have basically been Baby boomers. Gen X is only now starting to come into the senior positions of power in government. Obama is youngish and he was born in 1961, which is at the very end of the Baby boom generation and the beginning of the gen X group, so you won't know what the 'current generation' (who ever you consider that to be) leaves as a legacy for quite some time.

Comment: Risky games (Score 1) 117

by TiggertheMad (#47485867) Attached to: Preparing For Satellite Defense
But having assets in place might assist in their defense. If you start attacking us space assets, it is a fair bet that the us will consider that an act of war. I will bet you money there are some military sats in orbit that have offensive capabilities. Start shooting at sats, and you might get a 10 pound tungsten bar de-orbited on your ground based laser or ASAT launcher. Being is space is a POWERFUL position on the military game board.

Comment: Less new code, more refinement (Score 1) 205

Human error may always exist, but I think the point is that people aren't learning from their errors. With software, you can find a problem, fix it, and then iterate until all the problems that can be encountered are handled. if you build in robust modules there is a point where you start to see less and less errors being introduced into the code. That isn't currently happening. If we really want to, we can build truly bullet proof code modules but it would take a substantial change in the way things are done.

Suggesting that human error will always exist that therefore there isn't any point in trying to reduce or remove it is lazy and stupid.

Comment: Punching through ice isn't drilling. (Score 1) 49

by TiggertheMad (#47309467) Attached to: Searching For Ocean Life On Another World
It is incredibly simple to drill through the ice. Bring a long a one pound sphere of depleted uranium. Before you start breaking for obit, release the sphere on an impact trajectory. Without a thick atmosphere to ablate it, I feel fairly confident in saying that the crater will be fairly deep. Repeat as needed. If you want real precision, I'm sure you can get the military to give you one of the cheap laser guidance packs they slap on dumb munitions. Rememeber that the goal here is to get through the ice, not examine the geology, so I think your comparison isn't quite appropriate.

Comment: Big brother needs cash, badly. (Score 1) 164

by TiggertheMad (#47283235) Attached to: US House of Representatives Votes To Cut Funding To NSA
The agency leadership isn't stupid. If they pull funding from other programs, the could get backlash from cutting other (presumably useful) activities, and when the public notices that the spying hasn't stopped, the next cuts will be even deeper. At some point congress would get collectively pissed off defund the agency completely.

Americans tend to be complacent in the face of minor irritations, but when faced with a real threat/outrage they tend to go completely postal. Just ask the Imperial government of Japan or the Taliban about this.

Comment: Privacy for private's privates now! (Score 1) 89

by TiggertheMad (#47252233) Attached to: Help Crowd-FOIA Stingray Usage Across America

I know a lot of people whom like to put on their tinfoil hats and cry about government surveillance at every chance, but the reality is that we have never actually defined what is or isn't private in the digital age.

"Sir, I cannot define private information, but I know it when I see it..."

Ok, I am trolling you with the quote, but your statement is bullshit and I think you know it. Law enforcement agencies shouldn't be collecting ANY information on anyone until they have a crime report in their sweaty little hands or enough evidence to go get a real warrant. Anything more is just the first step on the slippery slope to police state.

Comment: Democracy, agreeing to disagree (Score 1) 139

by TiggertheMad (#47224895) Attached to: Why United States Patent Reform Has Stalled
Very eloquently spoken, sir. Unfortunately I think that the conflict over patent reform is due not to disagreement about what is the best way to govern progress and invention for the good of the inventor and society. It seems to be a debate between people who want a fair system, and people who think that they need to fuck over everyone in order to get a larger share of of profits in return for doing nothing. (I'm looking at you, defensive patent portfolio holders)

1000 years ago, those with the biggest armies ruled. Now those with the most lawyers rule. This is progress.

Comment: We are still stupid monkeys... (Score 2) 686

by TiggertheMad (#47218401) Attached to: Aliens and the Fermi Paradox
this makes a lot of sense to me. Given that EM radiation only travels at the speed of light, and falls of with the square of the distance, it is the cosmic equivalent of writing a letter, stuffing it in a bottle, throwing it in the ocean and hoping that your friend in Japan gets it. We think we are clever monkeys, but we are in effect beating on a log with a stick, when the rest of the universe is likely sending data packets via the cosmic version of fiber optic.

It speaks to our hubris that we assume that we are smart and we use this technology, and that other people will use the same technology. They probably don't even look for 'young civilizations' that use EM for communication, because they blow themselves up half the time before achieving a useful form of communication technology. Would you try to talk to an amoebae on the off chance that it might evolve into something interesting in a few million years?

If there is any way to communicate in a faster than light fashion with others, it will be the standard by which advanced civilizations talk.

Comment: WB just lost $25 (Score 2) 210

by TiggertheMad (#47218215) Attached to: Amazon Dispute Now Making Movies Harder To Order

To be fair, WB is the one who put amazon in a crap situation in this one. They had a pre-order for a blue ray, for like $25....The move did exceptionally better than they anticipated, so WB decided NOT to produce the cheaper blu ray, and then put out a new $40 one. Amazon then had to cancel all the other cheaper pre orders, and deal with the legitimately pissed off customers. Amazon is doing some shady things, but they certainly aren't alone in it.

...Good to know. Hey WB, if you have canceled my Amazon pre order of TLM just to hike the price, I'm not reordering it. I just going to STEAL it online. Fuck you.

Comment: Just stop talking (Score 1) 208

by TiggertheMad (#47182823) Attached to: Lego To Produce Three Box Sets Featuring Female Scientists
You are just....stupid. As an active member of the AFoL community, I suggest you go do a Google image search for 'Lego Convention' or something similar to see all the really amazing stuff you can build with all the 'useless' bricks they make these days before you say anything else on the topic that is just wrong. There is even a subset of the community that deliberately acquires highly specialized bricks to challenge themselves to find creative uses for said pieces.

If you cannot build new models out of modern Lego sets, it is because you have no imagination or creativity.

Comment: Licensed bricks are still bricks (Score 1) 208

by TiggertheMad (#47182727) Attached to: Lego To Produce Three Box Sets Featuring Female Scientists
Actually Lego had already licensed and sold SW products when they were going bankrupt. SW didn't save them from going under, reforming their business practices did. They cut costs by radically reducing their part pallet for example. But, you are completely right about the fact people will bitch about anything. Many people complain about the cost of Lego sets, but the price per brick has stayed at almost .10 since the 1970s.

Comment: Cops aren't supreme court justices (Score 4, Insightful) 272

A majority of people in society aren't deep philosophical thinkers. They want to do their 40 hours, and go have a beer and watch football. Police are a fair cross section of society, so most cops aren't going to stop and ask if what they are doing is a fundamental violation of a person's constitutional rights, unless it is a pretty sever deviation for normal behavior. (Ex: beheading perps caught in the act)

I don't think most cops think too much about it, they have plenty of more immediate problems to keep busy with.

Real Programmers don't write in PL/I. PL/I is for programmers who can't decide whether to write in COBOL or FORTRAN.