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Comment Predictable (Score 1) 484

However judges take into account the 'spirt' of the law, and are often interested in how something behaves or what it actually does as opposed to the technological implementation

While that does make sense, by the same logic wouldn't anyone who has an antenna connected to a computer/DVR and then connected that to their TV be doing the same thing and also be illegal?

Comment Re:Wrong decision (Score 1) 484

But essentially all that Aereo is doing is providing a "cloud" (or "remote") version of the DVR box that many people have in their homes.

I have a computer in my apartment that I have set up as a dedicated DVR with a TV tuner card and a digital antenna connected to it. I use that to record the shows I am interested in from the broadcast channels, and watch them at a later date. I also use the network cables in my apartment to "stream" that video to my xbox and watch the show on my TV in the living room (the DVR and antenna are in the bedroom).

Is my setup illegal too? Am I required to license the ability to "re-transmit" the content to myself? The only functional difference is that Aereo is providing the same thing as a service so that people don't have to setup their own antennas and computers.

Comment Re:Serously? (Score 1) 398

There were many factors that went into the decision to drop the bombs, but the main reason was to end the war quickly (again for several reasons). Sure, the Japanese were essentially defeated already and many of them wanted to surrender, but all indications were that the emperor was unwilling to surrender and that they would fight until the last man. The projected casualties for the planned invasion of the Japanese mainland were around 1.5 million when counting both Japanese and Allied forces (which is more than what the bombs killed, even including the lasting effects), so it may have actually ended up saving lives. However, the primary motivation for using the bombs was to get Japan to surrender before the Russians got involved, because Truman didn't want to have to split up Japan like what happened to Germany after the war.

In retrospect (as was also pointed out by others below), it was also the right decision because it showed the world what the weapons were actually capable of, and how horrible they are (a science experiment as you called it), which has resulted in us not using them again since. Had that not happened, we likely would have used them in the next major conflict and made things much worse. There had been people pushing to drop the first bomb on an uninhabited island near Japan as a demonstration, but that likely wouldn't have had quite the same effect.

Comment Re:Or Maybe (Score 1) 686

Or maybe all the other advanced civilizations are also worrying about sports playoffs and celebrity gossip and can't be bothered to worry about going to other planets. If we're willing to spend more money on sports (or basically anything) than funding NASA, is it so hard to believe that other civilizations wouldn't be doing the same?

Comment Re:Progenitors? (Score 1) 686

What we don't know is what happens to it - what's the "main sequence" behavior of technological civilizations like ours? What do they become?

Maybe they all end up occupying themselves with reality TV shows and video games that they can't be bothered to worry about leaving their planet or exploring the universe...

Comment Re:Progenitors? (Score 1) 686

But why? That's the question you need to answer. Why would any civilization advanced enough for true interstellar travel even be slightly interested in smashing the Earth with a relativistic weapon, or any other kind of weapon?

That's simple: to eliminate us before we could become a threat to them, because why take any chances.

Comment This seems pointless. (Score 2) 138

Since they're not (and can not) delete the actual information itself being stored on the 3rd party website, there are 2 major problems:

1. They will need to keep track of each deletion request indefinitely to prevent the information from being re-indexed on the next crawl.

2. Google is only one search engine; there are many others.

Comment Re:Oh god (Score 1) 311

Actually, the phone is cheaper buying it unlocked. I got mine the first day it was available.

Unlocked Nexus One: $529
T-mobile 500 Talk + Text + Web: $59.99/mo (without contract)
T-mobile setup fee: $30 (they charge a one time fee for new accounts without a contract)
Total price over 2 years: $529 + $59.99/mo * 24mo + $30 = $1998.76

Nexus One with T-mobile contract: $179
T-mobile 500 Talk + Text + Web: $79.99/mo (with contract)
Total price over 2 years: $179 + 79.99/mo * 24mo = $2098.76

So, over the entire two year period, I saved (will save): $2098.76 - $1998.79 = $100

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..." -- Isaac Asimov