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Comment: Why? (Score 2) 286

by datsa (#42319409) Attached to: NASA On Full Court Press To Deflate Doomsday Prophecies
NASA already released a statement saying that they don't know of any significant astronomical events on Friday, and as far as they know, there's nothing to worry about. Beyond that, people are going to believe what they want to believe, and a "full court press" is not going to change that. Either that or they're in cahoots with Quetzlcoatl.

Comment: Unintended Consequences (Score 1) 163

by datsa (#40831445) Attached to: Pills With Digestible Microchips Approved By US Drug Agency

Am I the only one here who remembers the scene in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest where the hero pretends to swallow his daily sedative and then slyly spits it out? The movie would have been a lot shorter if this technology was around then...

This idea makes some sense with antibiotics, but once you get into psychiatric medicine it's downright scary.

Comment: Re:expectation of privacy (Score 1) 150

by datsa (#40797037) Attached to: Google Didn't Delete All Street View Wi-Fi Data

Must we design the whole world to protect the least competent people from themselves?

Eh? The "least competent people" did nothing to themselves. Google did it. They went around spying on people who neglected to lock their proverbial doors. The idea that it was the fault of the people who failed to protect themselves is astounding, and flies in the face of the most basic premises of civil society.

This whole argument reeks of "she had it coming, the way she was dressed".

Comment: Re:Next? (Score 2) 253

by datsa (#40688127) Attached to: Google Joining Fight Against Drug Cartels

But cocaine isn't just highly addictive, it also causes direct damage to one's body. There's a reason crackheads have rotten teeth, deviated septums, and emphysema.

What does that have anything to do with it being a crime punishable by jail time? Alcohol causes liver damage, and tobacco causes lung damage. Should possession of those merit jail time as well? Hell, I live in a city whose mayor wants to ban soda.

If cocaine became inexpensive and readily available in the U.S. it would do horrible things to society. The healthcare and prisons systems wouldn't be able to handle the burden.

This reminds me of the equally baseless argument against legalizing prostitution - as if everyone would do it if it became legal, and society would crumble from the new license. This is typical nanny state mentality. Wouldn't legalizing cocaine in fact take a significant burden *off* prisons and law enforcement?

p.s. I agree with everything you say re Google and vigilantism.

Comment: Re:Extremely misleading (Score 1) 513

by datsa (#40604901) Attached to: Executive Order Grants US Gov't New Powers Over Communication Systems

Just like the Emergency Broadcasting System, which was in place for decades, and lets the government take over the airwaves in an emergency. "The Emergency Broadcast System was established to provide the President of the United States with an expeditious method of communicating with the American public in the event of war, threat of war, or grave national crisis. Broadcast stations would have used the two-tone Attention Signal on their assigned broadcast frequency to alert other broadcast stations to stand by for a message from the President."

This seems to be nothing more than an upgrade/extension of that original system, which is honestly pretty important.

Administration: An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president. -- Ambrose Bierce