Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Jail them for contempt (Score 1) 210

by HiThere (#47786673) Attached to: US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

Your mistake is assuming monolithic intent. Even a single judge has intentions that vary from minute to minute...just as yours do. When you factor in a large number of judges you get a large variation in intent. Sometimes they are even worse than you are currently imagining. Sometimes they are focused on the rule of law. Sometimes they are of some idealistic bent or other.

So the kind of result that you are expecting is possible, but not inevitable, even with a judge that usually bends to the wind. And some judges rarely do that.

Even so, I figure that the trend toward centralized authoritarianism is designed into they sysstem, given the greatly improved speed of communication and transportation. And, of course, the closing of the frontier. There's now nowhere to go to escape them. This makes designs that were only a bit authoritarian at the start ("I smell a rat. It squints towards monarchy."--Patrick Henry on the US Constitution) much more authoritarian now. The British system, with all its faults, is a lot better, but then it *evolved* under tyranny. (Unfortunately, they've been disabling their safeguards over the recent decades. Now Lords can be members of the House of Commons, IIUC, and that's totally insecure. The change they *should* have made would be to continue the separation, but so automatically promote into the aristocracy anyone who is sufficiently rich and powerful. Possibly also a provision to demote from the aristocracy the heirs of anyone who loses their wealth and power...but with a time lag to allow them to recover without loss of "status".)

Comment: Re:THIS (Score 1) 210

by HiThere (#47786551) Attached to: US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

There really *is* a difference. It rarely translates into action, but it infuses the rhetoric used. The Democrats want more people to like them, and the Republicans want more powerful people to like them. So they say the things they think will cause that to happe, while acting as self-serving greedy immoral power-seeking proto-despots (who are trying to lose the "proto-").

Comment: Re:It'd be nice... (Score 1) 210

by HiThere (#47786507) Attached to: US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

I take it you haven't known many. I'll agree that many of them believe that "all rights belong to the proprietor", and many of them don't stop to think that the title to the property is given by the state.

Or maybe the people I knew were just anarchists who called themselves libertarians.

Comment: Re:It'd be nice... (Score 1) 210

by HiThere (#47786435) Attached to: US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

Depends on your metric, and not everyone uses the same one.

Example: Do you count Snowden's revelations as a part of Obama's transparency? Some do. Some don't. You can argue either way. Arguments over "sound bite" ideas aren't worth much. And quantity isn't as important as quality, but how do you measure quality?

FWIW, I could Bush's Iranian missles as a strong and important example of lack of transparency. (Most people couldn't see through it...even years later many people still believed it.) It's hard to think of anything quite as "qualitatively important" that Obama has hidden...though we may find out one in a few years, or decades.

Comment: Re:Take 'em to small claims court. (Score 1) 349

This is going to go no where unless he can get an independent expert to certify that his measuring technique is accurate.

We're talking small claims court here (where proceures are much more relaxed due to the small amount of the dispute) and civil procedure (where the standard of proof is "preponderance of evidence", not "beyond a reasonable doubt".

Also: A suitable expert shouldn't be THAT hard to find, and (with open source and things like the Raspbery Pi and Beagle Bone available for platforms), independently engineering a meter to check the first one should be quick work - and something a customer of another ISP might want to do, as well.

Heh. Once it's done it could be published open-source, bringing the tool into the hands of the technically-literate masses. A couple thousand small claims cases a month might be more effective than a class action suit for getting their act cleaned up.

Comment: Re:That almost happened a while back. (Score 1) 140

by Ungrounded Lightning (#47774975) Attached to: Underground Experiment Confirms Fusion Powers the Sun

A pitty, thugh. By the time this was discovered I had done an outline for a five-volume fiction cycle, working through at least four genres, based on the sun going "putt" from time to time. B-b

The Arthur C. Clarke sci-fi novel "The Songs Of Distant Earth" (1986) used the Case Of The Missing Neutrinos as the opening premise [followed by "the sun is about to nova" and humanity having] a few hundred years to develop interstellar-travel technology before the Sun went nova. 'Twas a good story.

Indeed it was.

In mine, though, there was nothing wrong with the sun at all. It's just that the high neutrino flux makes other physical phenomena more apparent and (by book three) usable at a practical level. FTL interstellar travel IS developed by the fifth book (when things are fully sorted out), which is in hard science fiction space-opera form.

Of course, by that time "magic" is hard science (though its engineering is more like animal husbandry), religion has merged with psychology, and one of the crew members (or is he the FTL engine?) is (and must be) a literal god. (For the engineering crew chief think "Scotty in Druidic Robes"...) Using a god plus a nuclear reactor for the engine leads to complications (but not the ones you're probably thinking of right now).

No, not like Clarke's story at all. More like Keith Laumer collaborates with Larry Niven. B-)

Comment: I don't know if misogeny is entirely a lie (Score 1) 1168

But I do know that the way most SJWs wield it would, in a civilized society, result in civil and criminal action for defamation. Most of it is just a way of saying "you disagree with me, therefore you are a bigot." That isn't harmless speech. You are attempting to destroy someone's stance for the non-crime of a disagreement.

Comment: Take 'em to small claims court. (Score 1) 349

Take them to small claims court.

Ask for the difference between the billing tier your meter says you should be in and the one they charged you for. Dump your data in a reasonably clear format and show and explain it to the judge. Be prepared to swear that it is correct.

If they overcharge you next month, do it again.

Keep it up until they fix the meter so the agreement is close enough for you to be happy with it (or until the judge gets tired of it and issues an order - either to you or them - to make the cases stop.) It's not barratry - no matter how vexing to the utility - if the suits are legitimate, with real grounds asking for restitution for real damages, nor if the the suits are repeated because there are new instances of the tort.

First time through, ask for all the months for which you have data that shows overcharging. (If you can demonstrate a rule for the systematic overcharging, ask for the overcharges back to the instalation of the system, but be prepared for the judge to reject that.) Up to the small claims price and time limits, of course.

Be polite to the judge. Assume he's smart enough to understand this if you explain it clearly. (Judges don't get to be judges without being smart and good at figuring these things out.)

Comment: That almost happened a while back. (Score 2) 140

by Ungrounded Lightning (#47772063) Attached to: Underground Experiment Confirms Fusion Powers the Sun

The other interesting result would be if the expected neutrino type was not detected by this experiment, invalidating the hypothesis. This would raise further questions such as: is there some other mechanism powering the Sun? Is there something deficient in our understanding of neutrinos that prevented us from detecting them despite them being there?

That almost happened, in the early days of neutrino dectection - before things like old mines full of purified water and 3-D arrays of photodetectors running for months at a time, and you could count the number of detected neutrinos on two hands (in bi-quinary so you could go a bit higher than ten). This was when the detectors could only detect the type of neutrino directly generated by fusion reactions, and before the discovery of neutrino oscillation, when it wasn't yet clear whether neutrinos had no, or very very little, rest mass.

Early numbers, and their error bounds, made it clear that there weren't enough neutrinos being detected. (This was known for years as the "missing neutrino problem".) But the earliest ones WERE about right for a situation where all the stars EXCEPT the sun were running by fusion and the sun was out.

That may sound odd. But there was a very cute explanation that made it plausible:

The gradual gravitatonal collapse of the sun, as heat is radiated away, could power it for millenia. It's nowhere near enough to power it long enough to explain the fossil record, but it IS enough to have kept it running for historic time. Meanwhile, if a fusion reaction were to start up near the center of such a ball of collapsing gas, it would also take many years for the heat to make it to the surface. Neutrinos (which go through the sun like marbles through a light mist) are about the only signature of what's going on in there NOW.

But suppose, instead of fusing continuously, stars were reciprocating engines. They might run without fusion for centuries, or millenia, until they were compressed enough to "light up" at the center. Then the fusion heat and reaction products might make the reaction ramp up. They'd burn for a little while (which would heat them up and expand them mabye a few inches), until the decreased density and/or reduction in fuel and/or accumulation of reaction products "put the fire out" again. Repeat for the life of the star.

In this scenario, if our sun happened to be between "putts (and the very nearest stars didn't happen to have an unusual distribution of where they were in their cycles), you'd see the same neutrio flux from the rest of the sky as if all the rest of the stars were running continuous fusion. That's because it's the average of stars that are "on" and "off", and comes out to the same amount of total fusion and neutrinos.

Of course later data, both larger samples and detectors that could "see" the other neutrino types, put the kibosh on that model. A big part of it was the discovery of neutrino oscillations, allowing a stream of neutrinos that started out as one type in the sun to arrive as a mix of the three types. (This means that neutrinos have a non-zero rest mass, fly slightly slower than light, and thus experience time and are ABLE to change from one type to another.)

A pitty, thugh. By the time this was discovered I had done an outline for a five-volume fiction cycle, working through at least four genres, based on the sun going "putt" from time to time. B-b

Comment: Re:And there is the matter of (Score 1) 140

by Ungrounded Lightning (#47771985) Attached to: Underground Experiment Confirms Fusion Powers the Sun

But, again, neutrino oscillation can't nullify these results, because oscillation only makes neutrinos harder to detect (by changing their "flavor"). It doesn't create neutrino signals where none originally existed (at least not in this sense).

Sure it can: By "oscillating" other flavors of neutrino into the type they're looking for, when they weren't there in the first place (or not in sufficient number).

They'll need to look at the ratio of the various types and back-calculate to eliminate other possible signals, or combinations of them, to see if there is a way for other (possibly unexpected) reactions to produce a signal that looks like the ones expected and/or observed.

We will have solar energy as soon as the utility companies solve one technical problem -- how to run a sunbeam through a meter.