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Comment: Re:Good for Disney (Score 1) 412

by crunchygranola (#48888565) Attached to: Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

After seeing a truly execrable trailer for "Strange Magic" (an upcoming animated movie, with the story provided by Lucas), I don't think there's anything JJ Abrams could possibly do worse than George Lucas.

Now you've done! Up until this moment not one person has referenced the infernal pestilence that issues forth from George Lucas's pen when he tackles a fantasy theme.

Now, by mentioning Strange Magic you have awakened my nightmares of Willow also written by George Lucas. The horror! The horror!

Comment: Re:I thought (Score 5, Insightful) 195

by crunchygranola (#48859365) Attached to: The Most Popular Passwords Are Still "123456" and "password"

after reading the article, im still confused as there isnt enough info to really make anything of this

Yep. There is much less to this than meets the eye.

In addition, a list of most common passwords will always have defaults and obvious simple strings as the top candidates, this will never change. What would be more useful to know is whether the relative proportion of passwords fitting this description is declining (I doubt it, but we need to see the data).

Comment: Re:building municipal broadband is prohibited (Score 3, Informative) 158

by crunchygranola (#48852773) Attached to: A State-By-State Guide To Restrictive Community Broadband Laws

So if you support such nonsense, WHERE in the Constitution does it grant the Federal Government the power to regulate internet providers?

Its called the "commerce clause" and even "originalist" extraordinaire Anton Scalia has no problems with that (see his concurrence in Gonzales vs Rauch).

When you can show me an Internet system that only provides service within a state, and does not transmit packets across state lines, I will believe that that one particular system (but not others generally) should be free from Federal regulation. Otherwise the power to regulate interstate commerce in the Constitution provides the authority. This was uncontroversial in the 19th Century when the Interstate Commerce Commission was created (1886) to regulate railways, and did so within states, since they carried interstate commerce.

Comment: Re:Nothing has been lost! (Score 1) 290

by crunchygranola (#48824303) Attached to: Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

Could you imagine being a store that only sold their goods with Bitcoin? They would have to reprice their entire inventory every hour to insure that they are making a profit on what they're selling!

I can see it now. Target prices all of their merchandise in a fictitious store currency called "Target Dollars", and they have big marquee in the front of the store showing the current Target Dollar to Bitcoin exchange rate. And then when you checkout, you find out exactly how want bitcoins are required to walk out of the store with your purchase.

Comment: Re:Power Grab (Score 1) 417

by crunchygranola (#48814427) Attached to: Obama Unveils Plan To Bring About Faster Internet In the US

You can find an even more intrusive example, endorsed by none other than 'Mr. Originalist' Anton Scalia himself in Gonzales v. Raich (2005) in which the Supreme Court held that medical cannabis grown at home by a patient for her own exclusive private use (also at home) was properly regulated by the Federal Government (i.e. prohibition enforced), despite state law to the contrary, due to the interstate commerce provision.

This case was rather similar to the Wickard case, which Scalia also explicitly endorsed in his concurrence.

Comment: Re:Power Grab (Score 1) 417

by crunchygranola (#48813685) Attached to: Obama Unveils Plan To Bring About Faster Internet In the US

The internet, like TV, radio, telephones, telegraphs, etc., is prima facie a medium for interstate commerce,

No, it's not. The wires crossing state lines are "prima facie" a medium for interstate commerce. The wires within a state have nothing to do with interstate commerce because no products or services move across state lines over them.

Wow! Which state is it that has no 'products or services' from other states moving over its wires? That's as bad an Internet connectivity as North Korea, maybe worse!

Or perhaps it is because they reach an asymptotic limit at the state line, and become undefined? And are created ex nihilo upon entering the state? There are no wires that only exist between states but not within any of them.

Of course, logic has been thrown out the window since Wickard v. Filburn. After that, picking your nose in your basement might be considered "interstate commerce".

Based on the above, I would say 'logic' is not your strong suit here. And the bone you have to pick is with the 19th century, during the heyday of laissez faire, not 1942 and the New Deal (Wickard v. Filburn). Regulation of 'local lines' owned by companies that use them for interstate commerce has uncontroversial when the Interstate Commerce Commission was created in 1882 - it did exactly what you claim is illogical.

Comment: Re:Islamists don't need the internet (Score 1) 319

Catholic church went through a reformation otherwise they'd be burning Muslims at the stake.

Know your history before you pass judgement.

Look up the Reconquista. The Catholics drove the muslims out of Spain and through the inquisitional killed all muslims that did not convert to Catholicism on the spot.

You should brush up on your own history. As much as I despise the Inquisition, the Crusades (where massacres were indeed common), and other depravities of Christendom which are real - I must protest when imaginary depravities are added to the list.

The Catholic Church never burned Muslims at the stake. They burned Christian heretics at the stake. Thus self-proclaimed Christians, suspected of being Muslims or Jews in secret, were burned alive (if they confessed to being secret Muslims or Jews, then they received the 'mercy' of being strangled before being burned). But the execution was not for being Muslim or Jew, it was for practicing Christianity in a heretical manner. The Inquisition had no authority over non-Christians.

Also the assertion that "through the inquisitional killed all muslims that did not convert to Catholicism on the spot" is flatly untrue. Muslims were actually permitted to stay for a time after the Reconquista's completion, then once the monarchy (not the church Inquisition) decided that Muslims would no longer be tolerated, they were given the choice of conversions* or expulsion. The mass executions of Muslims you imagine never happened.

*A bad choice as it turned out. Any self-proclaimed Christian in the lands controlled by the Iberian monarchies who had Jewish or Muslim ancestors was perpetually suspected of heresy, and in danger of persecution/prosecution by the Inquisition.

Comment: Re:Umm, no. (Score 5, Interesting) 187

The nice Indian mathematician does bring up some nice cogent and logical things.

But he also leaves out some points which are fairly damning to the argument that the Indians had much to do with this. Many/most non-Indian historians of mathematics seem to believe that the key Indian document here was very likely based on earlier (non-Indian) traditions. In other words, it was just a copy of stuff from Mesopotamia.

I'll quote the wikipedia article on the Theorem (which in turn supplies full quotes from the scholarly document if you hate wikipedia):

"Van der Waerden believed that "it was certainly based on earlier traditions". Boyer (1991) thinks the elements found in the ulba-stram may be of Mesopotamian derivation."

That makes any claims that India "discovered" the theorem really really weak by any definition I would think.

I have actually read Van der Waerden's books on Mespotamian mathematics and astronomy (I have copies of them at hand). His "belief" is not evidence of any kind. He is simply supposing, without any supporting evidence.

And Boyer, who wrote his history of mathematics 50 years ago (1991 is a reprint, he died in 1976), was no expert in ancient mathematics. He has been called the "Gibbon of Mathematics" which is a very good analogy, since Gibbon's work represents a compilation of everything known and believed about the Romans, written from the perspective of an 18th century European, complete with moral interpretations drawn from contemporary cultural viewpoints. It was a work that says at least as much about Gibbon and Europe of the time, as it does about the Romans. Similarly Boyer's beliefs represent the assumptions of a western scholar trained in the 1930s.

No one has yet shown any evidence at all that the suryas actually draw from Mesopotamian sources. Saying it doesn't make it true.

Comment: Re:And (Score 4, Informative) 108

And would they have sent his ashes if Pluto had been demoted already?

You are confused. Pluto was not "demoted". It in its old (inaccurate) classification it was the smallest and last planet to be discovered, a Johnny-Come-Lately.

What Tombaugh really did was discover the first of a whole new class of objects - the Kuiper Belt Objects that extend far past the planets. And Pluto is its king - it is the largest and most prominent of all the KBOs (Eris, is queen, having the exact same diameter as far as we can tell, but is more distant and dimmer).

Discovering a whole new class of objects beats discovering yet another planet.

Comment: Re:If this gathers more press than the science... (Score 2) 108

... It's as scientific as taking another picture of the bottom of the ocean.

"Yup, it's sand."

Who cares?

Says the AC who does not know the Abyssal Plain is covered with clay not sand! Your knowledge of the ocean evidently begins and ends with a day at the beach.

You make a good Exhibit A why scientific study of the Universe is necessary.

Comment: Re:Start with Venus... (Score 2) 319

by crunchygranola (#48770877) Attached to: How Close Are We To Engineering the Climate?

It seems a bit frightening to start out on the planet we actually have to live on. This is not good engineering practice. If we make mistakes, it would be nice to do it on a planet where the consequences aren't quite as critical

My proposal is that we should start out by gaining experience by modifying another planet. Let's work on terraforming Venus.

While I agree that it is a bit frightening to start with Earth - we are already doing it in a vast unplanned, unregulated experiment.. The purpose of these proposals is to evaluate techniques to offset the world-wide climate modification experiment already in progress. Not doing anything about that current experiment that is still accelerating as releases of the the major climate modification chemical increases year after year is a lot more frightening.

Comment: Re:Start with Venus... (Score 2) 319

by crunchygranola (#48770829) Attached to: How Close Are We To Engineering the Climate?

The average surface temperature of Venus is 462 degrees C (863 F). That's hotter than Mercury. How long would it take for it to cool down enough to be tolerable for human habitation?

According to this analysis the time could be as short as 200 years, if we cut off all sunlight falling on Venus so that it radiates heat away as fast as possible.

This assumes though that there is no problem with having 460 C rock only 30 m below the surface. The upheavals that will develop as the crust shrinks, creating fissures, may complicate this optimistic scenario.

Comment: Re:The Problem is Monopoly, Not Bundling (Score 1) 448

by crunchygranola (#48759141) Attached to: Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

Keep reading. The local franchising authority is allowed to charge a franchise fee on the GROSS revenue of the cable company for services within the franchise territory. So your local government gets more money the more the cable company charges it customers.

It is our local governments that are screwing us over.

Thanks, you hammer my point home. This is the kind of crony "regulation" when you have local communities regulating a major corporation. And if they try to strike too hard a bargain that might impact profit margins, the cable company will simply give service to that area low priority to teach a lesson to other communities. This actually happened in my town with Verizon which has the cable/broadband monopoly, and which halted FIOS roll-out (never to be resumed) when the city wanted to negotiate a better deal.

You know you've landed gear-up when it takes full power to taxi.