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Comment: Re:Wait, what? (Score 1) 181

The rights granted by the act would be effective only between US companies, which the lawmakers do have jurisdiction over. So two different US companies go to the same asteroid, whoever gets there first gets extraction rights. Any non-US entity goes to that asteroid later, they can do what they want regardless of this law. When that starts becoming an issue then we'll see work start on a treaty (or amendment to OST) to govern this sort of thing internationally.

This bill is the first word in the process, not the last. You have to start somewhere.

Comment: Re:Life on Mars? (Score 1) 265

by ZenMonk (#47424637) Attached to: Dubai's Climate-Controlled Dome City Is a Dystopia Waiting To Happen

Because I can't imagine most people are going to lift a finger to help build the escape module for a bunch of rich assholes. :-P

Not a problem, you just offer anyone who works on the project a ticket to ride when it's done. It doesn't even have to be every one, you could make it a lottery where some portion of the workforce (and their families), randomly selected at the end, gets to go. Trust me, you would have no shortage of labor for the project.

Comment: Re:You know ... (Score 2) 358

by ZenMonk (#47306083) Attached to: Florida Man Faces $48k Fine For Jamming Drivers' Cellphones

I also agree with the guy in principle, but there are two big problems with how he went about it:

  1. The signal strength on the jammer was obviously way too high. It's one thing to fuzz-out the obnoxious talk&text drivers in your general vicinity, but he was also apparently jamming the cell tower itself, which could affect everyone in that cell -- albeit just while he's driving by -- not just the drivers around him.
  2. Maybe related to the first, but more serious, his jammer hit the police radio too. Mucking up the comms of public safety workers who rely on it to do their jobs is potentially very dangerous.

When it comes down to it, this is tantamount to shooting out the back tire of the slowpoke in front of you to make him/her get off the road. Something we all fantasize about, but it's dangerous and illegal and we wouldn't actually do it.

Comment: Re:Calm down - it's not a real prohibition (Score 5, Insightful) 164

by ZenMonk (#47280969) Attached to: US House of Representatives Votes To Cut Funding To NSA

Bah. Congress can prohibit ACTIONS until they're blue in the face, but those prohibitions rely on an executive branch that is willing to enforce them. This executive in particular has a history of declining to enforce laws that it doesn't like. (Yes, Bush did it too with his "signing statements". Two wrongs don't make a right.)

The true power of Congress is the power of the purse. If they don't want the executive doing something, the surest way to prevent it is to deny them the money to do it. This amendment is about the strongest form of prohibition they can make, short of cutting funding for NSA entirely (which would be pretty stupid).

Agreed it doesn't prevent them from doing it anyway with money from other sources, but then that money can't be used for whatever they were planning to do with it before. At least Congress is trying to do something about it.

Comment: Re:Selection bias (Score 1) 90

Maybe so, but I was born with neuroblastoma in my chest -- not a "birth defect" in the usual sense, and nothing to do with my brain. I had surgery to remove the tumor at 10 days old (based on the scar, safe to say general anasthesia was used), followed by radiation and chemo. I've also been plagued with a crappy short-term memory my whole life (like, going downstairs for a drink, getting there, and not remembering why I went to the kitchen). If anything I always thought maybe it was the radiation, which stunted my growth in the affected areas, but this study fits me to a 'T'.

Comment: Re:Apple (Score 1) 345

by ZenMonk (#36850354) Attached to: Netflix Killing DVDs Like Apple Killed Floppies?
I used to feel the same way... then I got an Internet-enabled TV for the bedroom. Streaming content from Netflix is about 90-95% of what we watch now (since we dropped cable a couple years ago). The content is far superior to just about everything broadcast over commercial TV, and being a relatively small TV, the quality difference is not noticeable. That's why we'll be keeping streaming once they split it off.

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