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Comment: Re:Nicatoids and bees (Score 1) 143

by bill_mcgonigle (#47718435) Attached to: China Pulls Plug On Genetically Modified Rice and Corn

That is the reason.

Not every GMO contains nicatoids (engineers would know that). There are still some kids in China who could use yellow rice, and they definitely could export it to their neighbors.

Monsanto deserves a firey death for setting back non-psychopathic GMO's by 30 years or more.

Comment: Re:Off topic (Score 1) 143

by bill_mcgonigle (#47718421) Attached to: China Pulls Plug On Genetically Modified Rice and Corn

I don't want to be another complainer, but this site is begging me to stop visiting. I am not very happy.

There's a town nearby that is behaving similar to Slashdot '14. They have a tax shortfall, so they raise taxes, and people move out. This creates a tax shortfall so, GOTO 1.

The property values have literally fallen in half in the past decade, while other area towns' properties have maintained or slightly increased, and there are many abandoned properties now (with associated problems).

Slashdot will seemingly keep increasing the "revenue enhancers" until everybody has moved out. At that point, I guess they declare victory and go home.

Comment: Re:This is ridiculous. (Score 4, Informative) 143

by bill_mcgonigle (#47715275) Attached to: Researchers Find Security Flaws In Backscatter X-ray Scanners

If you want to get all strict-constructionist on this matter though, planes, cars, buses, and rail didn't even exist when the Constitution was written, so one could argue that there's no Constitutional protection when travelling by anything beyond horseback, carriage, or walking.

No you cannot argue that. The Constitution says nothing about technology and everything about how humans behave.

Then there's the other side, where airlines were allowed to be in charge of their own security, letting "the market" set the balance, but then nineteen men decided to kill about 3500 men, women, and children one day, and our society realized that it wasn't gonna work to let the airlines be in charge of security.

That strategy ceased to be effective at 9:03AM on 9/11/2001 over a field in Shanksville, PA. And you know who figured that out? Ordinary Americans, doing the security calculus themselves, where the government had completely failed to protect them, despite having many opportunities to do so.

To be double-sure the airlines all secured their cockpit doors. That risk no longer exists, which is why the TSA has never caught a terrorist. They do violate the human rights of Americans all day, every day. In an effort to stop the terrorists, they have become the terrorists, all because they consciously choose to violate the highest law of the land.

Comment: Re:This is ridiculous. (Score 1) 143

by bill_mcgonigle (#47715195) Attached to: Researchers Find Security Flaws In Backscatter X-ray Scanners

I'm not sure voluntarily going on a plane is the government violating your right to privacy.

Be sure.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated

Your houses have privacy, and so do your papers, and so do your effects, and so does your person. You do not need to keep all your things, including your body, in your house to keep your privacy. Traveling is *expected* behavior of people - it does not remove your civil rights.

Well, in theory. The Bill of Rights only says what the Government may do and not do - if it behaves otherwise it's behaving illegally, but so what? Complain and get violated some more. Just don't fool yourself into thinking the Constitution is more than a relic of a long-lost Republic. If you don't care about rule-of-law, then just go about your business and submit to virtual strip searches. Just don't act surprised when a right you do care about is violated.

Comment: Re:*sigh* (Score 1) 113

by bill_mcgonigle (#47713087) Attached to: Qt Upgrades From LGPLv2.1 to LGPLv3

Licensing is more complex than program itself. Everybody's getting sucked in to the lawyers' game.

This isn't surprising because one side is working with human nature - the tendency to share whatever makes them happy, and the other side is focused on battling government monopolies called "intellectual property", which is artificial scarcity enforced at the point of a gun.

Copyleft is just a hack to route around copyright damage. Absent governments enforcing it, we'd all just either release code or not release code and the licensing friction would all go away. Some dude would just issue a pull request and move on. There'd be nobody jumping up and down shouting about courts, fines, SWAT raids, caging and sexual torture over duplicating digital data.

But that's the reality we have to face. If more people chose WTFPL we'd get more done as a non-zero-sum group. The trick with the 'rising tide' analogy is that it's the sum that's non-zero; every individual value may or may not be positive, and some of those values that are currently positive might be negative and, man do humans waste time protecting their downside risks to the point of eliminating their upside potential.

Comment: Re:Fusion Has Already Failed (Score 1) 295

by bill_mcgonigle (#47709905) Attached to: If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

It's an engineering problem now, not something that is clearly impossible.

While entirely true, I was visiting the Princeton Plasma Physics lab in 1990 and heard just that. The sad part was I'd have to wait until 2012 for the first commercial fusion reactor to be viable! It was sweet to stand in the control room while they fused a few atoms in the tokamak. And the flywheels they had were the stuff of a steampunk's wet dream!

To be fair, funding did decrease over the same time period and J.H.F.C., if the money spent on screwing up Iraq even more than it was had been spent on fusion research instead, Iraq would be much less relevant today in so many ways.

IMHO, investments in such experiments should be expanded, by both government and industry. Just like getting a man on the moon, We need a JFK'esk commitment to making this work.

We just need "JFK" to get out of the way and stop squashing every attempt commercialize technologies that actually put a huge dent into the carbon energy industry. Big oil plus big taxes on it is the stuff of _DC_ wet dreams.

Comment: Re:Bottom line... (Score 1) 168

How would you replace that? How does anarchy work exactly?

There are entire sections of libraries about how this has worked in the past, works now (every unregulated transaction), and what kinds of improvements could be made in the future, but you can YouTube Bob Murphy for some gentle introductions. Just be careful of the "but who would pick the cotton?" arguments.

Comment: Re:Bottom line... (Score 2) 168

Hell, if people could actually trust each other, we wouldn't *need* nation states in the first place.

Nation states killed 350 million people in the last century alone.

The onus is on nation states' defenders to show that neighborly spats and other small disputes would do worse than that. It's not like private conflict-resolution services don't already exist (and are always preferred in business contracts). Every lack-of-imagination excuse people have for "needing" nation states must be justified vis-a-vis the demonstrated body count (and that's only taking the utilitarian stance, not even the moral one).

If somebody showed up today promising peace in exchange for executing a tenth of the world's population, they'd be locked up in the psychopath ward and the religious people would call him an antichrist.

Comment: Re:Redundant laws weaken the system (Score 2) 195

quadrotor-cowboys that are more interested in whether they CAN obtain footage using their newfangled toys than stopping to think about whether they SHOULD

No doubt when film cameras were first invented people went apeshit about them too. Most aerobot operators are totally responsible, but there are always a few exceptions in every population.

Society will just accept these risks and move on, like in every other situation with new technology. Our problem is we have a caste that calls themselves "lawmakers" and so all they want to do is make new laws.

As the meme goes, "WTF - stop banning shit."

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson