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Comment: Re:CFL's lasting almost 30 years (Score 1) 210

by NicBenjamin (#47436721) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

Commercial Electric is still around. They just don't make standard light bulbs anymore. They still make specialist fluorescent bulbs, but not the kind you screw into an ordinary fixture.They also make a lot of fixtures of their own, most of which seem to come with an LED bulb already installed.

Comment: Re:LEDs (Score 1) 210

by NicBenjamin (#47436661) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

A side story on unintended consequences...

The meddlers in Congress wanted to stop the serfs from using inefficient incandescent lights. So they passed (and W signed) a bill in 2007 that, besides the phaseout we all enjoyed, required that all CEILING FANS, of all things, include an energy-saving bulb. However, they included an exemption for ones with candelabra sockets. Naturally, to save the $1-2 per unit, the manufacturers started putting candelabra sockets in every ceiling fan, even when there was plenty of room in the design for a standard socket. So now, where I would have easily swapped out the bulb for a medium-base CFL or LED myself, now instead I use the inefficient cheap incandescent they included, or I pay 2-3 times as much for an LED that actually fits the socket, or I have to buy a replacement socket and wire it in myself. Socialism FAIL.

If it's a "fail," it's a fail of the US Government to do something pretty much every other government does: tweak laws that have already been passed as assholes figure out ways to abuse them.

To a large extent this is designed into the system. passing laws is really hard when you have 435 independent members of the US House, who all have the ability to act independently of each-other, a US Senate with another 100 members who can screw things up, and an independent Executive branch. Since many of these people equate amending a law they opposed so that it works better, with flip-flopping and supporting said law, it's very very difficult to go back and fix controversial laws. And, since the partisan divide between the House and the rest of the government encourages BS infighting, almost everything becomes controversial very quickly.

OTOH, if in Canada nobody gives a shit about the Senate. Their Senate has no power to veto anything. The Prime Minister is, by definition, the guy who can get things through the House of Commons. If Members of the Commons decide that a) they love the PM so much they want him to have vast political power, but b) he's wrong on this relatively trivial issue and must be voted against, the Prime Minister can simply do c) and refuse to sign the re-election appears of anyone who defies him. Since all Parliamentary candidates need their party leaders signature to run for office, and the PM is (again, by definition) party leader of the most important party in the Commons, this means even the weakest Canadian Prime Minister has a level of power no US politician could ever hope to achieve.

Which means that if Steven Harper passed a law mandating energy-efficient bulbs, and ceiling fan manufacturers used a loophole to get around him, it would take about two weeks for the loophole to close.

Comment: Re:self-correcting (Score 1) 23

by Arker (#47436585) Attached to: These secular priests just keep slicing on the drive
Sure.

Which is why I do not in any way defer to their judgements, but make my own.

"To draw truths from reading for yourself."

Drawing truths from the book with the longest continuous editorial history known to man, one that warns you it has been tampered with by scribes with lying pens (Jeremiah 8:8) is not an easy thing, it is a puzzle. But our creator gave us rational minds to solve puzzles with.

Comment: Re:Hi speed chase, hum? (Score 1) 356

by Teancum (#47436307) Attached to: The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

> When the police called off the chase (for other
> reasons) and he kept going at 100+mph...

Just to play devil's advocate here, it's not like they informed the guy via their loudspeakers that they were calling off the chase.

I presume that the guy had a rear view mirror to look at. Then again, when you are traveling at 100+ mph through urban streets with cross traffic and parked cars, you likely aren't spending much time looking at what is going on behind you.

Comment: Re:self-correcting (Score 1) 23

by Arker (#47434269) Attached to: These secular priests just keep slicing on the drive
No, I am sorry but you are wrong. They were certainly not part of the original Bible. They were *added* to some Greek translations of the Scripture, somewhere around 100bc, but no one considered them Canonical until centuries later. We are talking the 4th century AD on the "Christian" side and perhaps a couple of centuries earlier on the Rabbinate side, but in each case it was a multi-generational project to ultimately *add* these books, to elevate the works of men to the status of scripture.

Comment: Re:self-correcting (Score 1) 23

by Arker (#47431411) Attached to: These secular priests just keep slicing on the drive

That may be a matter of opinion and perspective as well.

Those are late compositions in Greek and clearly not part of the original Hebrew Bible (properly called the Tanakh.)

The books you mention, along with the so-called New Testament books, both those declared 'canonical' by the Imperial Roman authorities and the other books that were banned instead, along with the Talmud, are all in my mind defensible and even in cases valuable, as Midrash, as Commentary, as a record of what men at the time thought on some important subjects - but NOT as scripture to be elevated to stand with the Tanakh, let alone to actually be set ON TOP of the Bible proper as so many do.

Comment: Re:self-correcting (Score 1) 23

by Arker (#47430995) Attached to: These secular priests just keep slicing on the drive
"What was the last time there was a retraction of inaccurate or harmful material from the Bible?"

It's actually a good question if refined a bit.

I would propose to you that what you see as 'inaccurate or harmful material from the Bible' is better defined as 'inaccurate or harmful interpretations of the Bible' and while retractions of those are not unheard of, they are certainly relatively rare.

I think the deeper point here is simply that the theoretical bright-line between science and religion has a worrying tendency to evaporate in practice, and simply pointing out that tel-evangelists are even worse is not much of a defense.

There's a huge difference between appreciating the scientific method and having faith in whatever the 'scientist' says - in fact they are mutually incompatible.

Comment: Re:Idiots (Score 4, Insightful) 133

What the hell they are complaining about now? If court ruled that how Aereo previously defined itself was illegal, then obviously it has to change it. First they win now they complain about it?

As best I can tell, they are whining because they preferred the imaginary world where the lawsuit against Aereo was actually over whether the filthy, disruptive, upstarts shoudl be burned to the ground and have the earth beneath them salted, rather than whether they were more like an antenna rental service or more like a cable company.

Aereo obviously didn't want to be a cable company, hence its ongoing defense; but the tone of the rhetoric against them was never "Yeah, because of a raft of tedious reasons, Aereo ought to be classified as a cable company for regulatory purposes"; but rather a bunch of fire and brimstone nonsense about the signal-stealing piratepocalypse.

Comment: Re: How about (Score 1) 374

Note that this is not a blind endorsement of government power. The number one tool my neighbors could use to oppress me (or I could use to oppress them), is the state government.

The federal government is the tool of choice these days. I don't go off of history when federal government power is at unprecedented levels of power and degree of intrusiveness. After all, it's not the state of California which is running the NSA (my example from before) or taking your coworker's money.

Really?

Ever tried fighting a ticket issued by another state? Or looked at the size of the Federal prison population vs. state populations? Most drug war victims are in state pens, not Federal Prison.

Or hell, look at the Fourth Amendment. You're concerned about a program that could (theoretically) be used to abuse millions of Americans. When asked to provide evidence that anyone has actualy been hurt you respond with a) abstract compalints about how bad you feel that the government knows whom you've been emailing, and b) claims that of course nobody has evidence of more then a handful of people being oppressed via NSA information because it's secret.

OTOH under Michael Bloomberg the NYPD actually oppressed the city's entire African-American male population via stop-and-frisk.

State cops kill a lot more people then federal cops, and in turn local cops kill more then state cops. Thousands of Americans' right to vote is questionable because of Voter ID laws.

So basically what's actually going on is the states are oppressing the hell out of everyone, but you don't give a shit because you prefer actually being oppressed by the states to having a Federal government which could theoretically oppress you at some point in the future.

So you're arguing that, under a pro-corporate Constitutional reform, private for-profit corporations would be able to get police into using their powers to advance the interests of said private, for-profit corporations, and that this would be a good thing, because at least it wouldn;t be the FEDERAL government harassing people?

No. You made a claim about the Pinkertons. I showed how that claim was incorrect.

Either increasing corporate power relative to the Feds is pro-freedom or it isn't.

If I was right and they went off on their own investigations regardless of the Fourth Amendment then it clearly isn't pro-freedom. If you;re right and they had local police help to massacre unions then it logically follows that increasing corporate power relative to the Feds is a bad thing because that would allow private corporations to massacre recalcitrant employees. Again.

And how often have you heard of a Congressperson actually winning a dispute like that?

Not very much either way.

They do quite well against the Feds. The whole Lois Lerner thing started as a Congressman's letter.

They have trouble with disputes with corporations because a) they don;t have a guy on-staff who instinctively understands all paperwork every corporation in the country issues, and b) very few private companies have a boss who fears Congressional hearings.

Your ignorance of how tax refunds work is showing.

The IRS won't send you your refund if any agency from a fairly long list (child support, Social Security, student loans, some state tax agencies, etc.) claims you owe them money. Disputing the matter with the IRS doesn't help because the IRS can't order these other agencies around.

I guess you just don't get it. Why should anything be on that list? I don't get to take your money in that way, why should anyone else get to via the agency of the IRS? As a US citizen, the federal government is in a unique position to control and seize your wealth.

Why should anything be on that list? Because Congress said so, and in a free country governed by the US Constitution Congress gets to say things like that.

As for the Federal government's unique position, I don't think you understand how powerful states are. They actually have more legal powers then the Feds. And as I pointed out above, they use their powers a hell of a lot more.

I actually tend to agree with you that they shouldn't take people's tax refunds, but I am a bit biased because one of my jobs is getting people those refunds.

Comment: Re:To what end? (Score 1) 206

by Arker (#47427281) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart
"My impression, also from German newspapers etc., is that most germans including politicians are truely mad and are seriously considering to cool down relations with the USA."

As they should be, frankly the reaction seems inexplicably mild.

Can you imagine the reaction if the shoe was on the other foot? If this was a BD spy caught infiltrating the CIA?

A 'cool down' in relations would be a serious understatement.

Comment: Re: haven't we learned from the last 25 exploits? (Score 1) 68

by Arker (#47426261) Attached to: 'Rosetta Flash' Attack Leverages JSONP Callbacks To Steal Credentials
"Over the years, I've done a lot of work with games and simulations for training."

OK. That really doesnt have anything to do with the web, however. Sure, the web can be used to deliver the project - that doesnt mean it has to actually run inside the browser. There is a HUGE difference.

"We could not have produced this educational game with just HTML."

I get where you are coming from but I still think it's far off the mark. The web is not a game platform, that is not it's purpose, so 'we could not do games this way' is not a very telling criticism.

You can use better tools to make the games, and use the web merely to deliver the game. Where is the problem with that?

It would NOT be slower, clunkier, or more prone to error. It could be done using exactly the same technologies in virtually exactly the same way - the only difference would be very slightly less easy to get it started, and in return for that, your browser is no longer a malware vector.

Or, it could be done using technologies better suited for the purpose, in which case I would expect the results to be less clunky, faster, and more stable - but the development process would be more expensive as well.

I get why you would want to use RAD to lower costs, just not why you see the tiny convenience of running in the browser automatically as worth the cost of turning the web into a malware distribution network.

Comment: Re: How about (Score 1) 374

You do realize we tried the stronger corporations/weaker government model during the late 19th/early 20th centuries, and the result was not an absolute utopia of freedom.

Yes. It wasn't that bad. It amazes me how much power people are willing to hand governments to avoid the possibility of "sweat shops", "child labor", and other obsolete 19th century dangers.

I'm a US Citizen, not a German or Russian citizen.

Historically the only threat to my freedom has been my fellow Americans, therefore to CXheck and Balance the power of my neighbors I strongly prefer stronger Federal powers.

Note that this is not a blind endorsement of government power. The number one tool my neighbors could use to oppress me (or I could use to oppress them), is the state government. They have most of the jail-space, virtually unlimited authority (they can do almost anything save violate the Bill of Rights, and they're very good at weaseling their way around the Bill of Rights), etc.

Corporations are a potential threat, because they'll do anything to screw their business partners, and as a relatively poor person I can;t fight back very effectively when they screw me. Moreover their nearly unlimited resources mean they can generally buy state governments if they want.

Government contracts for the Pinkertons dries up after the Civil War, but private contracts made up for it. They had more agents then the Army had troops in the 1890s. You're just making shit up on their relationship with law enforcement.

Read some history on how Pinkerton operated. They didn't go after outlaws or bush unions without law enforcement support. It might just be a token deputy riding with a bunch of Pinkertons, but they had their backside covered.

So you're arguing that, under a pro-corporate Constitutional reform, private for-profit corporations would be able to get police into using their powers to advance the interests of said private, for-profit corporations, and that this would be a good thing, because at least it wouldn;t be the FEDERAL government harassing people?

You must be really fucking rich mas'r Khallow, if you're sure that everyone you love is rich enough to out-bid Bill Gates when he decides to send them to jail.

As I said she is fighting the Social Security Administration (not the IRS) through her Congressperson. That does not require money up-front, which means she can actually do it; whereas in any dispute with a private corporation she only has a theoretical right to fight.

But at least in the latter case, she can get her money back. She could also beg that congressperson for any private disputes as well. That option doesn't vanish merely because the problem is private.

And how often have you heard of a Congressperson actually winning a dispute like that?

At best you get a letter saying :"this is what their lawyers will say when you decide to sue them, here is a list of charities that might help you sue."

OTOH the entire dispute with Lois lerner and the IRS started with a Congressman asking questions.

And as to my "reading comprehension", I guess you should have written something other than:

Back in the real world, the IRS ruling hurts my poor coworker, but she wasn't depending on that money to pay her bills because you can't depend on tax refund money to do that. The Feds refuse to finalize the tax Code until the very last minute, so you never know what your refund is going to be until you do your return.

and

and the IRS took her whole refund because Social Security had changed it's mind

Your story completely undermines your claim that it was just a dispute with Social Security.

Your ignorance of how tax refunds work is showing.

The IRS won't send you your refund if any agency from a fairly long list (child support, Social Security, student loans, some state tax agencies, etc.) claims you owe them money. Disputing the matter with the IRS doesn't help because the IRS can't order these other agencies around.

So her dispute is with Social Security, but it is the IRS who is refusing to send her her refund.

Comment: Re:haven't we learned from the last 25 exploits? (Score 1) 68

by Arker (#47420705) Attached to: 'Rosetta Flash' Attack Leverages JSONP Callbacks To Steal Credentials
"An HTML-only web is great for relatively static content, but not so great for anything much beyond that. "

This sounds like nonsense to me, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt and ask you for *concrete* examples of what you are talking about. I have yet to be cited a single good example here - very often what is being done would work just fine in HTML, with less overhead, but the 'designers' just do not understand HTML, or have any desire to learn it, so they do things this way instead.

Certainly javascript can produce a slicker appearance and make certain things a bit smoother - but to do so it sacrifices device-independence and browser agnosticism - critical advantages that underlie the success of the web and whose loss can only undermine it.

Now if you build a proper web page, and then *enhance* it with javascript sanely, preserving graceful fallbacks, that would be fine. You can have your slick interface without sacrificing the web. And I can choose to avoid your slick interface so as not to sacrifice my security.

The 'designers' that cant be bothered to do that, and the suits that keep them employed, are the reason we cant have nice things. In this case, javascript.

"Is it so difficult to grok why you might want content to change on the client?"

Not difficult to understand why it was desired.

The point is it's harmful and been proven harmful, and far too harmful for the small advantages it brings to outweigh that.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Homestar Runner To Return Soon 57

Posted by samzenpus
from the back-soon dept.
An anonymous reader writes with good news for everyone who loves Strong Bad.Back in April, Homestar Runner got its first content update in over four years. It was the tiniest of updates and the site went quiet again shortly thereafter, but the Internet's collective 90s kid heart still jumped for joy...The site's co-creator, Matt Chapman, popped into an episode of The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show to chat about the history of Homestar — but in the last 15 minutes or so, they get to talking about its future. The too-long-didn't-listen version: both of the brothers behind the show really really want to bring it back. The traffic they saw from their itty-bitty April update suggests people want it — but they know that may very well be a fluke. So they're taking it slow.

news: gotcha

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