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Comment: Re:The good news? (Score 1) 104

Without being in favor of the death penalty it sounds like it may well have a silver lining in this case.

No, the murder of two people does not have a silver lining, especially mentally ill people.

Why didn't they sell these kids to adoption agencies? The kids would have been better off. Is there some law that prevents the sale of children to adoption agencies such that they turned to slavers instead?

Comment: Get rid of them all (Score 4, Informative) 113

by bill_mcgonigle (#47443473) Attached to: Fighting Climate Change With Trade

If people really care about global warming and economic activity, they should read the latest IPCC report. It says that the best way to avoid warming is economic development. If the economy freezes in place (something a high carbon tax could do) then the warming will be about 4C by the end of the century. If the economy in all the "third world" countries develops into something like first-world conditions by the continued march of progress, then the warming will be closer to 1C.

Anything that stands in the way of that development is going to contribute to the warming. Removing these tariffs is a good thing, but to get maximum environmental benefit they need to get rid of the rest.

I know, Overton's Window and all.

Comment: Unsafe Advice (Score 4, Informative) 72

Any marginal blocks mapped out before you encrypt will remain unencrypted and may be available to a determined attacker. Same goes for hard drives, and SATA secure erase is not provably trustworthy. Always encrypt your storage before you put any data on it. If you do not trust your hardware AES to not be backdoored then use software crypto.

Comment: Re:Movies (Score 1) 189

I know its a fun conspiracy theory and all but I don't think the double standard is deliberate, even if it does exist.

The only real double standard is that the government is rapidly advancing its UAV technology while keeping private industry from doing so. Notice how Greenpeace floated a blimp over the NSA data center? Good for publicity but not the most efficient way to gather the photos they did.

Amazon shouldn't be calling them drones, though - drones kill Pakistani children, aerobots save puppies.

Comment: Re:Need fast-acting yeast (Score 4, Insightful) 150

by bill_mcgonigle (#47438251) Attached to: Biohackers Are Engineering Yeast To Make THC

They better act fast if they want to skirt the law with yeast, while there's still a law to break.

It's still a good idea if you want pure chemicals - yeast can produce chemicals faster (to both grow and purify) than plants. Companies like the one Gov. Johnson is heading up would probably be very interested as a supply source for their refined products.

The trick is medicinal cannabis has something like 250 active compounds. A few years ago everybody assumed that it was only THC that did anything (marinol, for instance). Now they know that CBD is the most active medicinally and Johnson is now talking about CBG as well. There's still more unknown about the others than there is known, so focusing on just a couple pure chemicals might miss out on benefits. Human bodies do a lot of signalling with various cannabinoids and here's this one plant that happens to also grow most of them. It should be a biotech bonanza, except for the crapitalistic reasons politicians try to keep it off the market.

But, um, yeah, get high on THC beer if you want. It would actually probably be a net-benefit for society since people will be satisfied with being less drunk. As a user of the road monopoly, I'd strongly support THC beer on the market.

Comment: Re: I hate quantum computers. (Score 1) 55

by bill_mcgonigle (#47435963) Attached to: A Peek Inside D-Wave's Quantum Computing Hardware

And supposedly it is no faster than a real computer. What gives?

It's hard to say because it's all "secret sauce" (so everybody just plunks their heels down on some position rather than admit "I don't know") but one thing that's interesting to me is that a handful of blokes out of Canada appear to have built a computer that's about as fast as a Xeon that Intel needed a few billion dollars, thousands of people, and forty years experience to create.

And that was their first commercial version. Maybe somebody will rip one apart and find out it says "Xeon 2650" on the inside, but until that happens I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt because they seem to have at least one fairly remarkable accomplishment under their belts.

If the Google guys buy the upgrade, I'd be willing to bet five bucks that it's real, just very early in the development cycle still.

Comment: Re:Why is the FCC involved? (Score 1) 54

Every bureaucracy tries to expand itself, you know that. Rather than actually get the bandwidth to schools that they need (200Kbps per student or so, ballpark) to support real telelearning, which is hard to do (but arguably within FCC purview), especially given the extensive number of rural schools, they lean towards something easy - buying access points, to hook up to their too-slow Internet link because every agency has to be seen "doing something".

Comment: Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (Score 1) 200

At the time of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution [wikipedia.org], 90% of American's supported deeper involvement.

At the time, the American people were being lied into supporting a war, so it's hard to take that number seriously as an indication of truth.

The Maddox fired on ghost ships (RADAR errors) and the Johnson administration explained it as "another attack", insisted the NVA fired first, and sold this as evidence of a pattern of aggressive behavior that had to be dealt with.

50,000 Americans died fighting a boogey man, and killed many more innocents than that. But the MIC profited handsomely, just as Eisenhower had predicted.

The NSA's report was only declassified after the Bush Administration lied Americans into war in 2003, but now we have two documented examples of being lied into war by the USG. It's no wonder that they didn't bother seeking any authorizations for any of the subsequent wars in the Middle East or Africa.

Gosh that takes me back... or is it forward? That's the trouble with time travel, you never can tell." -- Doctor Who, "Androids of Tara"

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