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Comment: Re:Interstate Commerce Clause (Score 1) 369

by eric_harris_76 (#46800087) Attached to: Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

The same place most of the federal government's activities are authorized: in the parts written in invisible ink.

You'll need your special government-issue glasses that allow you to see the penumbras and emanations and such -- which you get only if you're an elected or appointed federal official.

Comment: Re:Wait until things are over before you cry wolf (Score 1) 580

by eric_harris_76 (#46775423) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

Sounds like there might be a semester project in there: review the security of such-and-such a portion of this-or-that open source software. Find a security problem that's validated by the project, automatic A.

Document what you did, how you did it, provide adequate proof that you really did it, and have it graded accordingly. If the open source project has standards for security reviews of its work, and they certify you met them completely, also automatic A.

Teensy problems: if the project doesn't reply to the students' efforts quickly enough, finishing well before the end of the semester won't be soon enough. How to confirm the review really was done?

Comment: Re:Recycling Personalities (Score 1) 447

by eric_harris_76 (#46740659) Attached to: Commenters To Dropbox CEO: Houston, We Have a Problem

"Discretionary spending" is a misnomer. Except for the pay of certain few federal officials (federal judges, and perhaps a handful of others), which cannot be decreased during their time in office, it's all discretionary. It's in the Constitution; you can look it up.

When people speak of "non-discretionary" spending, they're referring to the spending done to keep promises of previous generations of politicians, spending which is normally done on auto-pilot. The default is to keep those promises, no matter how outmoded, unwise, unconstitutional or even mathematically impossible.

Everything else is "discretionary spending".

Speaking of all federal spending, not so-called "discretionary spending", is a more useful number, in terms of the future of the republic.

For flinging partisan mud at politicians, past and present, not so much.

Comment: The source of the statistics? (Score 1) 386

by eric_harris_76 (#46733931) Attached to: UN Report Reveals Odds of Being Murdered Country By Country

Last I heard, being shot or beaten by a cop for no good reason, and then dying at the scene or later of your injuries isn't included in the statistics, at least in the US. Not as murder (obviously) nor as suspicious death at the hands of police nor non-suspicious death at the hands of police or anything. Not tracked in the stats, period.

Specifically, not something the FBI keeps track of, last I heard.

Maybe if I had RTFA I would know. And maybe not.

Comment: Re:Modern audiophiles are no different. (Score 1) 469

"There are people who insist that they can hear the difference between [the old good stuff and the new crappy stuff]", and could win a metric crap ton by demonstrating this ability in double-blind tests, in a wagering situation.

But they're just too modest (or it's just too inconvenient) for them to do so.

Comment: Re:Perjury? (Score 1) 306

Maybe the CEO of Sony could get fired after a lone site displays to its visitors a nastygram about Sony's behavior, which produces a media frenzy?

Or is that an inappropriate use of this tactic, since actual people are actually harmed (a little) by what appears to be actual unlawful behavior of the company, in this case?

Comment: Re:The Internet: Where Religions Come To Die (Score 1) 1037

by eric_harris_76 (#46692569) Attached to: How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

One reason Jehovah's Witnesses spend so much time knocking on doors is so they won't spend it on other things that might expose them to ideas and information that could lead them to question their faith.

Or so I've heard.

That may occasionally backfire, if the person on the other side of the door engages them in thoughtful conversation. Or not.

Besides, who has the time? An observant Jew on a Saturday, I suppose.

Come to think of it, the guy who told me he had done that was Jewish.

Comment: Re:And yet they supported Obama (Score 1) 564

by eric_harris_76 (#46679501) Attached to: Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

Did Obama change his mind? Hard to say, given his occupation. Lying and being disingenuous is a normal part of the job. Who knows what he really believes about this, if anything?

Did he change his public position? Yeah.

Is one of those changes more important than the other? I'd have to say, no.

What matters is what a person actually does. IMO. YMMV.

Comment: Not just genetic diversity, but skills (Score 1) 392

by eric_harris_76 (#46670863) Attached to: How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

Depending on the game plan -- bootstrap from 18th century technology, or plant a clone of Earth society hauled out of storage lockers, or something else -- there's also the question of what to pack. And what the ancestors of the eventual colonists are to do while traveling.

Maybe they farm, if they're going to travel awake. And practice identifying and smelting ores, and turning trees into houses and waterwheels. Stuff like that. They'll need a lot of room. (And a way to turn metals into imitation ores.) All the while reminding the next generation that they'll need the knowledge in those books to make telegraphs and dynamos, and to refine silicon spice genes. Stuff like that. (See Heinlein's "Orphans in the Sky"/"Universe", and the New Beginnings chapters of "Time Enough for Love")

Or maybe they do something else while traveling awake.

If they travel asleep or frozen, they just need to know how to operate whatever supplies they bring along, when they come to and unpack: Conestoga wagons full of seeds and surrounded by livestock, city-in-a-box robo-kits, whatever.

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