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Comment: Re:why does everyone always want to give... (Score 1) 690

by demonlapin (#49013839) Attached to: Free-As-In-Beer Electricity In Greece?
MGI has a lot going for it. It's efficient as hell - cutting a check to every citizen once a month takes very few government employees. Everyone has free choice about how to spend the money. But there's the problem of assholes: what do you do when someone spends their MGI on crack? Do you let them starve or make them sleep on the streets? No, of course you don't, because we're not barbarians. So you introduce food stamps/EBT and subsidized/free housing. Pretty soon, you've re-created the entire modern welfare system, except that you now have MGI on top of it. Congratulations, you now have the worst of both worlds.

Comment: Re:Uh, don't post... (Score 2) 135

This might be how you think it should work, but that's not actually how it works.

I own a house. Name's on the deed and everything. In my house, I have a "reasonable expectation of privacy". But nobody who visits my house does, even if I'm not there. And in any case, you vacate your "reasonable expectation of privacy" the moment you tell anyone else about your secret.

Comment: Re:Attempted murder by proxy (Score 1) 327

by demonlapin (#49008675) Attached to: Swatting 19-Year-Old Arrested in Las Vegas

The legal definition of murder in most US states requires the intent to kill.

Uh, no, they don't. It does require an intent to harm, but if I pull out a gun and shoot you in the leg, intending to cripple but not kill you, and you die anyway, I will correctly be charged with murder. And in this case, the perp is quite likely guilty of felony murder.

Comment: Re:"...will purchase it and no other" (Score 2) 99

by demonlapin (#49005959) Attached to: The Man Who Invented the Science Fiction Paperback

Pre-internet, that sort of thing happened all the time.

I think this is probably the hardest thing for post-internet people to understand. If you saw or heard someone make a reference to a literary work and didn't recognize it yourself (but could still tell it was referencing something), you had to track down someone who knew where to look. Reference desks at libraries basically existed to fulfill this function.

Comment: Re:Nice in principle but fails at higher temperatu (Score 1) 183

by demonlapin (#48965325) Attached to: The "Cool Brick" Can Cool Off an Entire Room Using Nothing But Water
The problem with a two-stage system is the dew point and the distinction between absolute and relative humidity. There are nice cool springs in northern Florida that pump out water at a brisk 72 degrees F. Jump in them and you will cool off rapidly. But they cannot cool anything below 72 F, and at 100% relative humidity that isn't pleasant. In a dry climate, you can use two-stage coolers to do all the work. In a wetter climate, you can use them to reduce the energy demand of regular air conditioners, but you still can't use them to do all the work of making pleasant indoor air. You have to cut the relative humidity somehow, and that requires lower temperatures.

UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things. -- Doug Gwyn