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Comment Re:Laws (Score 1) 822

If there were ever a serious threat to the central government they would be pushing a gun into the hand of every citizen capable of carrying one to defend the republic. By and large the threats that many people think would justify having a weapon for protection simply don't exist or are not well-addressed by having a gun.

Comment Re:really? (Score 1) 712

By and large the US can enforce its laws, so can western European countries, so can Australia. There are any number of reasons why we're not Mexico. It's a numbers game. Reducing the numbers and types of problematic guns in problematic places in the hands of problematic people will make things better (not perfect, better). I think there's significant upside to that, it's certainly worth research and trial.

Comment Re:really? (Score 1) 712

It's an arms race. Police in other countries generally don't need to be so heavily armed because the populace is generally less armed, hence only the most serious crimes involve guns.

Whenever I read "if guns are outlawed only criminals will have guns" I think of how successful other countries have been in driving up the bar to there being a gun involved in crime. In places where gun control is enforced a typical 7/11 robbery does not involve a gun, they are reserved for high end bank jobs and the like because they are simply too hard to obtain and the penalty for using them can be made correspondingly high.

Comment Re:Right Of Way (Score 1) 278

When I was last in the UK,
  • When a pedestrian put a foot in a crosswalk the cars really did stop
  • There were no-parking areas either side of all crosswalks
  • There were lights on the crosswalk to mark its location and to make the pedestrians more visible. Crossing places were clearly marked with road paint that's generally not faded out
  • School crosswalks had uniformed crossing attendants with giant "lollipops"
  • There were no clumps of bushes to "decorate" the crosswalks / hide pedestrians
  • Touristy areas had arrows in the road telling pedestrians which way to look for oncoming traffic (easy to forget they drive on the left)
  • Many of the crosswalks are pushbutton operated lights, not some funky flashing yellow light that nobody understands what to do with, but real r/y/g traffic signals that actually do respond to the push button
  • The roads are narrower, so the time given by the lights to allow pedestrians to cross mean that the pedestrians don't need to sprint

If Barcelona is doing better, maybe someone from SFO shoudl go there and find out why.

Comment I call BS (Score 3, Interesting) 279

1. There's lots of light in a cinema, a big bright image lights up the audiences faces. I would have thought ample light to run a regular inexpensive CCTV camera pointed away from the screen toward the audience. That not just locates offenders but provides evidence too. More light can be added in the form of IR as others have noted.

2. NV goggles are expensive and having the staff roam around in them adds even more cost.

3. Once the NV goggles have the sensitivity turned right down to allow for the brightness of the screen, I would have thought that would render them not much better than human eyesight.

I imagine this is a scare tactic and nothing more, maybe there'll be a couple of sets of rented goggles moved from theater to theater and "paraded around" to scare people off.

Comment Re:A discussion of constitutional limits of power? (Score 4, Insightful) 258

I would have said the opposite - I like the idea of each state having substantial differences per the will of the locals. As you say, the travel difficulties of the 18th century are largely eradicated now, people can move to the state they wish to live in fairly easily. The fact that, generally, people tend not to migrate to more up-market areas from within the US is, I think, the best indication that dropping the border restrictions around the world would not result in simply everyone in the world moving to Beverly Hills or wherever all the money is nowadays.

Comment Re: Unfortunately (Score 1) 235

The reason it is wifi linked back to central servers is that when barbie inevitably says something so very stupid that it must never be uttered again all that has to change is the server. No recall, no downloaded updates...

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead