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Comment: Re:A sane supreme court decision? (Score 1) 247

Agreed that nobody should be operating a motor vehicle under the influence of illegal or even some prescription drugs. And if you read between the lines, then swerving out of the lane was what got the attention of the police officer. Which could indicate he was driving impaired. But the legal issue at hand seems to be about the possession to which the search is irrelevant if the law itself is found to be unconstitutional.

Comment: Re:A sane supreme court decision? (Score 1) 247

If the right to privacy in ones own body which the Supreme Court found in the constitution guarantees the right to choose an abortion then yes I think a rationally consistent and sane Supreme Court would find the same applies to the right to smoke a little weed or do whatever you want to your own body.

Comment: Re:the endgame is ironic here (Score 1) 234

by bigpat (#49521669) Attached to: Robot Workers' Real Draw: Reducing Dependence on Human Workers
Partisanship is not about ideological right versus left. It is about two factions fighting over turf and control. There are plenty of people on every side on every issue willing to have intellectual debates on issues, but try doing so in the halls of power and you will quickly find yourself preyed upon.

Comment: Re:Antarctica (Score 1) 137

by bigpat (#49485143) Attached to: Road To Mars: Solving the Isolation Problem

Maybe there is a better alternative than a test colony in Antarctica if the real problem is being able to mine and process small quantities of rocks for necessary materials. Just set up in a barren area with access to a variety of minerals and see if you can bootstrap a small mining operation utilizing solar for power and small/micro scale industrial facilities that rely on minimal oxygen (ie no combustion).

The problem statement is: Find the least amount of equipment you need to transport to the site in order to be able to utilize local resources to supply a human colony with the necessary materials it needs to become established and grow. Even better if you can establish and grow the colony so that people can arrive later to an already established infrastructure.

Comment: Re:Antarctica (Score 1) 137

by bigpat (#49478341) Attached to: Road To Mars: Solving the Isolation Problem

I would like to see one or more antarctic bases become more self sufficient as a way of moving us towards an understanding of what it would take to sustain a human colony using local natural resources in a completely inhospitable environment. Basically, Antarctica just has air, ice and some rocks once you get away from the coast. What would it take to create a self sustainable human settlement there and could those lessons be applied more generally to the moon, Mars or Venus?

Comment: Re:One highly-publicized case is all it took (Score 1) 489

by bigpat (#49440717) Attached to: Reason: How To Break the Internet (in a Bad Way)

The Federal Government already had control of the Internet (in the US) ... net neutrality (real net neutrality) would be just a way to get better service.

I share your skepticism on what the FCC is actually doing though. I don't think for one minute that this has been a victory for Net neutrality in anything but name. Specifically excluded from regulation, in first reports about the new regulation, are the types of methods that Comcast used against Netflix to throttle performance. Peering.

If the FCC is not going to regulate peering to promote peering to satisfy the demand of customers for content, then really Net Neutrality is going to hasten the fragmentation of the "Internet" into broadband content silos and not prevent it.

Comment: Re:Need a standards based Facebook replacement (Score 1) 165

by bigpat (#49322765) Attached to: RMS Talks Net Neutrality, Patents, and More

> I remember the days of sending mass emails

So Facebook solves the "problem" of spamming your friends. NICE.

In other words, it doesn't solve any real problem at all and if anything just enables those that abuse the shared infastructure.

It isn't an abuse of shared infrastructure to send multiple people emails. Facebook is just a different type of social contract. You put something out there and you know it isn't certain anyone will see it, but there is feedback "like" when they do. With emails you expected people to read them, although with some possible delay. versus Texts or IMs which usually you expect an immediate read/response.

Comment: Need a standards based Facebook replacement (Score 1) 165

by bigpat (#49321915) Attached to: RMS Talks Net Neutrality, Patents, and More

Facebook solved the problem of contact management very nicely. I remember the days of sending mass emails to all your contacts with new contact information... unless you manually updated your contact database then it was over and you didn't have great control over who's emails you would see and you couldn't discover old friends online...

To retain some small semblance of our privacy though we really need a set of Internet communications protocols for updating and managing address books and some sort of open directory infrastructure where people could register and look up and discover friends. But keep the information about who is connected to who private and not mediated by an all knowing third party who is selling that data to the highest bidder where it is really being used against our interests.

All it would really take is some protocol for sending or attaching updated contact info in an email or over any other protocol that a client would then use to automatically update a local/server copy of your friends list. People still rely on web mail primarily so the data would likely remain vulnerable to snooping, but at least people would have the option of keeping their data on privately owned hardware.

Comment: Re:LiDAR solves for vegetation (Score 1) 31

by bigpat (#49268521) Attached to: Laser Imaging Drone To Hunt Out Unexploded Bombs In War-Torn Nations
I was wondering what was meant by the incorrect statement: "The sensor technology LIDAR is a crucial system in the design as it can easily see through vegetation and creates detailed maps of the terrain" I think 'flying under the canopy to map the ground' is probably what they should have written. LIDAR itself doesn't penetrate or "see through" foliage, but could allow the operator to "see through" foliage simply because the robot was flying below it.

Comment: Re:Politicians will be stupid but scientists/techn (Score 1) 356

by bigpat (#49250221) Attached to: New Solar Capacity Beats Coal and Wind, Again

The issue is not that Solar isn't useful in helping cut CO2 emissions and mitigating Global Climate Change. Solar is a useful part of the technology mix and can help. The problem is that activists and environmentalists are content that Solar is going to give us the technology we need or as you essentially say it will allow us to kick the can down the road and wait for better technology to provide a real longer term solution.

I believe based on the projections and climate modeling that the threat is more urgent than waiting a decade or two before actively pursuing contingencies based on existing technology. We need to cut CO2 emissions now. Not merely cut the growth of CO2 emissions.

I see it as incredibly dangerous for the world to tinker and hope that new technology will provide a real solution down the road when we have no idea when it could be available or how long it could take to implement.

We have a real solution that is low risk with minimal environmental impact right now in nuclear power which would give us hundreds of years to figure out longer term solutions with new technology before fuel sources became more scarce. And we are literally risking the fate of civilization because on one side people can't figure out how to make enough money from it like they do selling oil and gas and on the other side people have been fooled into thinking it is more dangerous than it really is.

I don't see much difference between denying the science of greenhouse gases causing climate change and denying the science that we need to cut our CO2 emissions significantly more than Solar alone can reasonably expected to do. Unless you cut CO2 emissions by a sufficient amount to really begin to stabilize CO2 levels in the next 20 to 30 years and forestall Global climate change then policy simply does not matter and you might as well just focus on shorter term issues and adapt as best you can when climate change occurs as it will inevitably.

At this point the easy, cheap solar is what we are doing first. The adoption curve isn't going to get easier. Solar alone just can't get us where we need to be and we can't just hope it will give us time to come up with something better when the science and economics says otherwise.

Saying Solar adoption will let us kick the can down the road makes you just as much of a climate denier as those chanting "drill baby drill". We can't afford to just let the next generation figure it out or die trying. There is nothing good about that level of ignorance. Great Solar, now how do we actually save civilization?

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig