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Comment: Re:Where does the Fed claim to get power to ban th (Score 1) 276

by ScentCone (#49804199) Attached to: Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht Sentenced To Life In Prison

Given that you clearly do not know what the term "well regulated" meant in 1791

I know exactly what it means. And the authors are clear that having a well regulated militia is necessary. Are you foggy about that, somehow?

They're also very clear, having stipulated that, just like with their British overlords had one, they're going to have a continually armed and well regulated military ... that they're not (UNLIKE their previous British overlords) going to let the necessary existence of that entity be an excuse to deprive the rest of the people from keeping and bearing arms.

telling people what the people who wrote the document *intended* is borderline delusional

What? They authors themselves, in a huge parade of letters, recorded debates, and supporting documents, explain exactly what they were thinking when it comes to the constitution and every one of its amendments. Those amendments didn't just cryptically appear and get signed, they were talked to death in congress and documented personal discussions, mused about in journals and letters, and openly debated. It was very clear they considered the personal right to own firearms to be paramount, and distinctly separate from the collective need to keep a well-regulated militia ready to go. Despite their allergy to a standing army of some flavor (having seen what they'd seen), they knew it was necessary to have that capacity always in place.

The existence of it being necessary, they knew that the temptation was going to be there for someone in military or civilian executive/legislative power to skew towards making that militia/military the only holders of armed power. Remember that the constitution is all about minimizing government power, and the amendments are there to remind everyone that even though they should know well enough from the structure of that charter that personal liberties are a hands-off affair, there are some areas (like political expression, assembly, arms, the sanctity of one's home, etc) that it was worth explicitly laying out as beyond the reach of government control. The linguistic construction of the second amendment may fall oddly on modern earns, but it really is simpler than most people seem to think: "The existence of an armed organization is necessary, but don't assume that the government's power to form and run such an organization gives the government the power to deny the people the right to themselves be armed."

Yes, "militia" had a very specific meaning at the time. Their urge to use that word was a reflection of how distasteful they found the notion of a large standing federal military (that being too close to their experience with British power). And it's precisely BECAUSE the assumed that the states and even more granular local powers would be taking on the responsibility to have armed groups under their control that they made the individual's right to be personally armed a fundamental, nationally protected right - to prevent a local government from becoming locally tyrannical (and likewise federally).

I don't think the early American government believed it could be specific and have these amendments stand the test of time (and they've been proven right over and over.)

Do you foresee a situation where the right to free expression or the right to assemble perhaps should be considered just a little too dangerous, and we should consider taking that away?

If so, you can start the process of putting a new amendment in place, one that kills of the First. While you're at it, you can try the same with the protections proclaimed by the Second (or the Fourth, if you think that's also a "living" amendment that's worth scrapping), but you're not going to get the supermajority and ratification needed to make any of that happen.

Comment: Re:Where does the Fed claim to get power to ban th (Score 3, Insightful) 276

by ScentCone (#49802885) Attached to: Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht Sentenced To Life In Prison

Since you're apparently an expert in the colloquial interpretation of 18th century American English, could you please explain what this part of the 2nd amendment means?

You're looking at the language and purpose of the amendment incorrectly. To translate its essence into more modern parlance, if would go something like: "Because it's always going to be necessary to have a trained and equipped military organization ready to defend the country, the government - in the interests of not allowing the government to have a monopoly on the tools of defense - shall not prevent citizens who are not in the military from having arms."

The people who wrote that amendment still had a very bad taste in their mouths from living under a monarchy that DID reserve the power to capriciously allow only the military to keep and bear arms. Knowing that a military/militia is necessary, they used the second amendment to be VERY clear that they considered the fundamental right to keep and bear arms to be NOT exclusive to the military. Just like the considered the freedom to speak to be not under the control of the government.

Comment: Re:Unclear who this hurts (Score 1) 86

by ScentCone (#49800331) Attached to: Feds Bust a Dark-Web Counterfeit Coupon Kingpin

Bullshit. Unless you can point to real evidence this is true, you're just guessing.

What? How do you think that coupons actually work, anyway?

1) You present a coupon, and you pay less cash at the point of sale than you otherwise would have. This is not a mystery. It's the whole point. If it's the retailer's own coupon, then they are basically putting the item on sale in exchange for having a trackable form of marketing. If it's a manufacturer's coupon, then the retailer is participating in a mechanism wherein the manufacturer and retailer have worked out a back-channel compensation scheme for the retailer having collected less cash during the transaction. This is also not a mystery.

2) When you present the retailer with a bogus retailer coupon, you're getting a discount that's disconnected from one of the key reasons they issued the coupon in the first place: to understand which marketing methods are the most constructive. When you present the retailer with a bogus manufacturer's coupon, one of two things happens: the retailer eats the loss, or the manufacturer does. Again, why are you acting like this is some strange unknown? Or, are you just hoping that someone there's a third magical possibility that makes it just fine to rip off businesses with fake coupons? Yeah, I thought so.

Comment: Re:Unclear who this hurts (Score 1) 86

by ScentCone (#49800287) Attached to: Feds Bust a Dark-Web Counterfeit Coupon Kingpin

Is short, this "informative" post is nothing but a guess.

What you mean is that you have no idea how retail operations and promotional marketing work, but you vaguely want it to be true that ripping off stuff through the use of bogus discount coupons is a "victimless crime" blah blah blah, so you're going to pretend that basic information is unknowable, as moral cover. Hint: you're not as clever as you think you are.

Comment: There are reasons for 12-TET (Score 1) 101

by Sycraft-fu (#49799983) Attached to: Android M To Embrace USB Type-C and MIDI

It is a good balance between getting a good 3rd, 4th and 5th and not getting too complex. You have to go to 29-TET before you get a better perfect 5th and 41-TET to get a better major 3rd. Gets a little complex musically to represent and deal with all that, not to mention design instruments that can play it back.

So remember that ultimately music is all math, and as such some things do end up being "better" than others musically. I'm not saying we shouldn't have the capabilities to use other scales, I mean computers are more or less unbounded in their capabilities and samplers can microtune to any required setup, but 12-TET has a reason for its prevalence.

Comment: Re:The things pump out plenty of RF. (Score 1) 223

by ScentCone (#49798591) Attached to: Why Detecting Drones Is a Tough Gig

I think there should be a no carrier in there somewhere.

Which wouldn't matter a bit if the machine is flying waypoints using its own internal flight controller. That's how mine work: you inform the machine of the flight plan using a ground station, and then it does off and does its thing, whether or not you can talk to it along the way. Loss of, say, Verizon's signal wouldn't make a bit of difference.

Comment: Re:Unclear who this hurts (Score 4, Informative) 86

by ScentCone (#49798125) Attached to: Feds Bust a Dark-Web Counterfeit Coupon Kingpin
Both. The retailer takes on the overhead costs of handling the coupon. They are then collecting less money at the register, but never seeing the expected promotional kick-in from the defrauded manufacturer ... unless the manufacturer wants to continue to provide the retailer with promotional money for fake promos that never actually happened. All sorts of back-and-forth with the accounting, tax implications, distorted reporting - just bad for everyone all the way around.

Comment: Re:Seeking Technical Solution to Social Problem? (Score 1) 223

by ScentCone (#49795655) Attached to: Why Detecting Drones Is a Tough Gig

Meanwhile, in ten years, every tourist in DC will have a selfie drone

Which would be fine, except the DC FRZ (flight restriction zone) is a 30-mile circle around the Capital within which it is illegal to fly ANY remote control device of any kind. Includes "drones" as well as those toy RC helicopters at the mall kiosks, and the sort of RC planes that people have been flying around for many decades. Some tourist flying a quad in DC is in for a very rude awakening, as has already happened.

Comment: Re:The things pump out plenty of RF. (Score 1) 223

by ScentCone (#49795617) Attached to: Why Detecting Drones Is a Tough Gig

Yea, but a cell phone signal flying over the south lawn is a pretty clear indicator that you have an issue

Wouldn't matter. Do you understand how small the White House grounds are, and how fast even a modest quad can fly when it means business? I've got one that can do over 40mph. That would cover the distance from the sidewalk in front of the White House to the middle of the typical speech-giving area of the Rose Garden in well under 8 seconds. A drone flying waypoints - with no need for a human controller nearby or watching - could be moving that fast well before it gets to the White House fence, and be coming in 200' overhead, be above a high-profile press event in seconds, cut power and drop like a stone spewing a mist of cesium or a nice cloud of serin or laden with a nice little brick of C4, and it would be on the ground in the middle of that speech/ceremony so fast you'd have no ability to do something about it. Except maybe light it up with some sort of automated buckshot gatling gun, right in the middle of a busy urban area.

This is going to result in a lot more events being held indoors.

Comment: It is also still what computer music uses (Score 1) 101

by Sycraft-fu (#49794281) Attached to: Android M To Embrace USB Type-C and MIDI

If you compose music on a computer, you almost certainly still do it with MIDI. All the new highly advanced synths and samplers still use MIDI as their input for data. Everything from big dollar stuff like Native Instruments Komplete down to freeware. MIDI goes in, sound comes out.

In some ways it surprises me since you'd think they would get around to improving it (there are some things MIDI leaves to be desired) but on the other hand it does work well for nearly everything and there's something to be said about keeping things standard. You can literally take one of those old General MIDI songs and feed the data in to a modern sampler. I do just that all the time to remake old game soundtracks because I enjoy it.

Comment: All the time (Score 3, Insightful) 742

by Sycraft-fu (#49767733) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

The US always pays its debts when they are due. I think perhaps the problem is you don't understand how US debt works, and why it is a bit special:

So the most important thing to understand is the US doesn't go and beg people to give it money, rather it auctions debt. People come and purchase the debt. You can do it yourself on their Treasury Direct site. The US sells debt instruments to interested buyers. They are bid on, and whoever bids the lowest interest rate wins. The upshot is the US sets the terms of the debt instruments sold. They have a variety, some are as short as 4 weeks, some as long as 30 years. When you buy something, the terms of repayment are stated up front: What it'll pay, and when. There is no provision to cash out early, and you don't get to dictate any terms, you just choose what note you want to buy (if they are available).

This is how public debt works in a lot of countries, but it isn't how things go when you are getting loans from the IMF.

The other important thing is that all US debt is denominated in US dollars. A US debt instrument specifies how many dollars it'll pay out and that number is NOT inflation adjusted, except in a few very special cases. Well the US government also controls the US mint, which makes US dollars. So the US government can literally print money, and inflate its way in to payments. There are negatives to that, of course, but it is perfectly doable. The US controls its fiscal and monetary policy regarding its debt. Since all its debts are in US dollars, and since US dollars are the world's reserve currency, the US cannot face a crisis where it can't pay, unless such a crisis is internally generated (via the debt limit).

Not the case with Greek debt, it is in Euros and Greece doesn't control the Euro.

Finally, there's the fact that the US has great credit. Doesn't matter if you disagree that it should, fact is it does. Investors are willing to loan the US money for extremely low interest rates because they see it as a very safe investment. 4 week T-Bills have been going for between 0%-0.015%. 30-year bonds have been going for 2.5%-3.75%. Investors bid the interest rates very low because they desire it as a safe investment.

Comment: Re:Not Surprising (Score 0) 742

by ScentCone (#49767307) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment
Yeah. Except, it's the EU countries that went the austerity route that are now in the best shape, financially. And their people see that, and vote to reinforce the politicians that made that wise choice. Government largess can't make the economy grow when the government is too corrupt, and the people too indifferent (or too used to getting away with) to pay the taxes that will let the government throw around huge sums of money. "Stimulus" spending with borrowed money is right up there with sacrificing chickens or doing a magical dance when it comes to fixing what's actually wrong with places like Greece. The problem is cultural, and has been that way for decades. The Nanny State mentality is bad enough, but trying to keep it going when at the same time the entire nation plays games with tax collection so they can all lie to themselves about it is a recipe for ... contemporary Greece.

Comment: Re:Oversimplification ... (Score 1) 241

by ScentCone (#49764461) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

Does the average worker have a retirement investment account?

I suppose that depends on how you define "average." In the US, over 52 million people participate in 401k plans. That's in addition to those who have other retirement vehicles (like IRAs, etc). Almost all of those funds are tied up at least in part in mutual funds. Probably most people who aren't working aren't contributing to such a plan, though many who are out of work still have money sitting in them. Alas, we have over 90 million people who aren't participating in the labor force - the highest number since the 1970's. In more recent times, when more people had jobs, there was a much more common interest in how one's mutual funds were performing, because more people were actively slicing off a piece of each paycheck to invest therein. That tended to make more people aware of, and interested in how it all works.

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