I'm sure for a $500,000,000 dollar donation, they'll launch a custom built rocket with warhead, and let you choose where to place the crater as well as name it.
If you are not a member of one of various elites, you have no expectation of privacy, protection under the law, or economic security.
I feel quite dirty even thinking about defending Senator Feinstein... but she has a point... though I don't know if she's making it as she could.
In the US we are taught that we have three co-equal branches (it's really two with a lessor third, but I digress)... so one branch secretly spying on/impeding a second... is not quite kosher... at least with the FBI raid on the congressional offices of William "Cold Cash" Jefferson... a claim could at least be made that it was two branches acting together to target a member of the third and through normal legal practices ( ie checks and balances)... even that was attacked by virtually all in congress.
if you want to see tyranny, nothing beats homeowners' associations.
You went in knowing you'd be part of an HOA (unless you were rather ignorant and didn't read through the covenants of the property you moved to/purchased (alas, I cannot erect an oil derrick on my property which was the major takeaway of reading through all of the paperwork when closing on my house (an no HOA!!! (which I already knew))... in the end you agreed to live under that tyranny... I on the other hand did not vote for a single person who voted for and ultimately forced Obamacare down the thought of the American people... so I'd argue that my tyranny beats your tyranny.
What does it matter, on a plane like the 777 that costs $260 to $377 *million* dollars to acquire? That's less than 4 hundreths of a percent of the acquisition cost. 100K$ is peanuts on the scale of costs it takes to acquire and operate a large airliner.
And since it is not, strictly speaking, a piece of *safety* equipment, there's no need to take planes out of service to install it. Just require it on new planes, and maybe retrofit existing large airliners when they're down for major maintenance.
It seems likely to me that the probably reason this device isn't required is engineering conservatism. Before something like this is required, you have to convince people that (a) it's a good idea, and (b) this is a good implementation of that good idea.
It scares me too - I'd imagine local shop owners would just love to send junk mail out to every driver that passed their store. Not forgetting the privacy loss due to anything with a microphone, camera and wireless connection.
The concept of the Internet of Things thrives on the fact that there will be literally "billions and billions" of embedded devices with internet connectivity, sensors, all sending back to servers, which then use Big Data processing methods to discover hidden information.
Knowing the traction on car wheels and vibration on suspension systems will allow councils to determine which segments of road need resurfacing.
Knowing the speed of cars will tell them which areas of freeways are starting to clog up (before they gridlock).
Knowing the usage pattern of roads allows them to adjust traffic lights accordingly.
Maybe traffic light systems could be made smarter by dynamically adjusting the timing due to motion on the roads.
The document in question was an internal CIA investigation that concluded that the CIA's post 9/11 extraordinary rendition and torture program had not produced any useful intelligence. That contradicts the CIAs reporting to congress on the program.
That assumes you put much trust in Google vs your ISP... I do not trust either.
There are over six million people in US prisons, only a small minority of which are in there for violent crimes. You're 8.5x more likely to go to prison for a non-violent drug offense such as possessing a trivial amount of drugs or even living in the same home as a drug dealer and being charged as an accessory. Your are 6x more likely to be in prison for a public order or "victimless" crime such as prostitution than a violent crime. You are 2.5x more likely to be in prison for a "weapons violation" in which nobody was hurt than you are for a violent crime.
So why is it OK to be happy about the prospect of people in prison being killed in a fire?
One solution to many of the technical, administrative and financial problems of running prisons would be to imprison fewer people. Canada imprisons less than 1/6 the fraction of its population than the US, and it's not a crime-ridden hell hole; Germany 1/9th and Denmark 1/10th the US incarceration rate. We could half our prison spending and spend the money on education (or give people a tax break if you prefer), and still have one of the highest incarceration rates in the world.
Why do we have so many people in prisons? Well, putting people behind bars is good for a prosecutor's career, especially if he has political ambitions. Also in states with privatized prisons the taxpayers are financially penalized for having occupancy rates less than 95 or even 100%. Think about that. Your prisons are overcrowded, so you hire a politically contractor and build a virtual guarantee into the contract that prisons will remain overcrowded.
Anyhow, a coarse net wouldn't rain fire down on prisoners. Stretch a piece nylon (very flammable) rope and try to ignite it by throwing burning stuff onto it. Even if it does catch it will only smolder. So net would be cheap and practical, which is precisely why it would never be used in the US: not enough profits to prison operators.
Unfortunately, that means they have to be several kilometers in width...
If it crashed into the water, it breaks up and stuff floats to the surface. If it glides to the water, it might break up into a couple of pieces:
If you draw a graph of brain size vs. number of words an animal can learn (parrot = 200, cat = 50, dog = 1000), an elephant should be able to learn hundreds of words. A wild animal like an elephant is going to have to be aware of every possible sound from every possible creature (crocodiles snapping, toads croaking, hyenas fighting, vultures crying, lions fighting, as well as watery sounds like thunderstorms, rain, waterfalls and rivers. Then they can also hear infra-sound as they communicate using low frequency.
Some brain scans were done of elephants and it seemed they had larger brain regions related to hearing.
It's not that it can't do useful things for everyone; it's that you have to balance that against things like time wasted. For the head of a major agency with private secretaries and aids at her call, checking and sending emails might not be the best use of her time.
Robin Hood. Dick Turpin. Butch Cassidy. Bonnie and Clyde. Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán.
People who break the law have always been the subject of fascination, and for a certain subset of the fascinated, glorification. We still enjoy caper movies about criminals pulling off complicated heists, movies which gloss over the innocent victims of crime or even depict the criminal as an instrument of poetic justice. For the vast majority of people fascination with criminals is harmless. Living in a civilized society requires restraint that makes fantasies of anarchic behavior attractive. In moderation, some measure of admiration of rule breakers probably helps keep the people who run things in check (e.g. the Edward Snowden case).
The problem is that some people have difficulty separating fantasy from reality, keeping to moderation, or understanding how complex or ambiguous people can be. Julian Assange is neither an angel nor a devil, but a flawed, complicated person who did something that needed doing. George Washington wasn't the childhood paragon of the cherry tree legend, but an ambitious, rash, somewhat dishonest social climber who achieved greatness under the pressure of circumstance.
94% of all financial transactions in the world are made using existing electronic currency. Only 6% is actually done using real cash. That doesn't include barter payments or the black market which is as much as 50% of GDP in many problem countries.