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Comment Re:I agree with the shooter (Score 1) 1165 1165

Well, go ahead and fly your Chessna at head-level over somebodies backyard while they stand there and see if you violate any laws...

What an idiotic nonsequitor. I didn't claim it wasn't against the law to fly a manned aircraft at head level near people, I responded to your incorrect statement:

According to TFA it was flying well below any level ever though of as "airspace"

You made a patently absurd claim about what is considered "airspace", and I corrected you on it. The fact that some "airspace" extends to the surface (below "head level") doesn't make it legal for everyone to fly anything they want there. IN FACT, the fact that airspace extends to the surface is what gives the FAA the authority to regulate it, and to make flight within certain distances of people or structures illegal.

I'm sorry, but your claim that toy drones fly below any level that anyone ever thought of as airspace is just absurd.

Comment Re:Biohacking? (Score 1) 65 65

I bet you didn't know that the GMO industry sued to prevent people from labeling their food "GMO free".

And they apparently lost since I see such labels on products currently for sale.

When I walk into the grocery, why doesn't the sign above the corn say, "Roundup Corn 3 for $1"?

Ask the grocery. It's their sign. Maybe they don't want to needlessly scare ignorant people?

I want to know if the basic foodstuffs I buy are patented.

Because, of course, it makes one single bit of difference in the safety or taste of the product if it is covered by a patent or not. Sure.

Or is that also information I should not be allowed to have?

What other useless information should be mandated for food labels just because you want to know it? Isn't it good enough that any company that wants to create a market advantage for itself can do so by displaying the patent information? Maybe that's a clue that it isn't really that important to anyone else.

Comment Re:Biohacking? (Score 1) 65 65

The argument is likely if everyone is eating non-gmo food then as a whole society would be healthier,

I'm so glad you can tell me what the real argument they were making is, because they said nothing like that at any time. They bandied about phrases like "food justice" and other fictional rights. They said nothing about what people could EAT, only what they could grow or use in their work.

Half of those ingredients are preservatives that I really do not need to be eating anyway.

Hmmm. Let's see. Here's a solution to your problem: pass a law that says that nobody can grow or use any GMO product, and that every farmer who is doing so will have 90 days to rip his GMO crops out of the ground without any compensation from anyone for the loss. Who cares if your law forces diabetics to drive to the next county over to get the insulin they need to survive, more people driving more cars on the road is a good thing, right? Who cares if such a law would have nothing to do with how many ingredients your spaghetti sauce has?

Or you could just buy the food you want to eat and let others do the same. Hmmm. Which is a better, more rational way to proceed?

Comment Typically (Score 1) 154 154

Autonomous rates will be $400 cheaper when you first get it. And after a few years it will be the same price unless you change companies.

I'm changing back to allstate from 21st century this year. Allstate wanted to charge me $1200 a year-- 21st century was $700. Now 21st century is closing on $1000 and allstate has offered me $1000, $900, $800,and now $700 to switch back over the last 4 years.

Comment Re:Sudden outbreak of common sense. (Score 0) 163 163

If I see a coin come up heads nine out of ten times, I'm expecting it to come up heads on the eleventh toss.

You exactly demonstrated the problem with common sense reasoning. People assume that because they have what feels like to them (and may actually be) extensive experience with something they automatically understand it. But most people who haven't been trained in mathematics have plenty of misconceptions about what mathematicians call the "Bernoulli Process" (coin flipping).

Comment Re:Sudden outbreak of common sense. (Score 2) 163 163

Not really. The judge simply ruled she was bound by precedent that her court did not have sufficient authority to overturn. That's actually a good call, but it has nothing to do with the issue or arguments.

In any case appeals to "common sense" aren't worth squat when that common sense is based on ignorance or inexperience. It's common sense to talk about "the dark side of the Moon" or to think that the next flip of a coin is affected by prior flips.

For 80% of the existence of our species we coexisted with at least one other species that would pass any reasonable philosophical criteria for "person": the Neanderthals. If we were able to use biotechnology to recreate Neanderthals, Jurassic park style, there's no question that if successful the experiment would create people. But would they be legal persons?

It's an important philosophical question because it potentially colors a lot of mundane ethical questions. Do we recognize the rights of others as a kind of tribal convention? Or are we compelled to do so because of something in human nature? If the latter presumably non-human entities would have an equal ethical claim to personhood.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 858 858

Rents have risen by 400% in Texas (and similar top states) in the last 15 years.

Housing has risen by 500% during the same period. But... if you owned your house, your value rose but your payments increased only by the tax increase. My house payment before i paid the house off in 2012, was $700 a month. Total- including taxes. Now, it's $330 a month.

Once your house is paid off, property taxes, insurance, and repairs are approximately 1/3 of rental costs or new home costs.

I totally agree- it's right for you right now. But it's a terrible option for anyone who ever hopes to retire unless they are earning in the top 10% of all citizens.

Comment Re:Biohacking? (Score 1) 65 65

Basically. The food religion says GMO is bad until one of them happens to need insulin and also happens to be allergic to "natural" cow insulin, then GMO produced humulin (secreted by a genetically modified e. coli bacterium to be chemically similar to human insulin) is a miracle.

We recently locally went through a very acrimonious ballot measure campaign where the food police wanted a complete ban on GMO production or products in our county. They couldn't understand that this would impact diabetics in a serious way, or that it would stop the local university from doing ANY research on GMO foods, or research using GMO products (like lab mice with special genes, etc.) As a major employer, the loss of grant money being spent for this research wouldn't cost any jobs, the people would just do something else. At least that was what the proponents claimed.

Fortunately it failed by a very large margin, but the nuts are still roasting and have promised we'll see it again. After all, the farms that are growing GMO crops are "our farms" and it is "our food", even though they don't own the farms and won't buy the food they produce because it is GMO. And there is no other impact to the local economy or lives that a complete ban would create, no sir.

Comment Re:not there yet (Score 1) 65 65

I'd guess it because of patents and greedy pharmaceutical companies. Plus, manufacturing your own drugs and giving them to other people probably runs afoul of a few laws.

I'm going to guess that it has a lot to do with liability. If some hacker makes a bad batch of insulin and the people he sells it to die or go into comas, there's going to be a lot of lawsuits. What hacker is going to have the money to pay off, or the money to buy malpractice-style insurance to cover the awards? This is where the costs of the pharma companies come in, besides recouping development and research. Every time someone sues a pharma company for something like Celebrex side-effects, someone has to pay the award.

It's a fucking crime that pharmaceuticals have jacked up the price of the only types of insulin that can be bought over-the-counter.

You're kidding, right? You can buy and give yourself insulin without a prescription or any doctor's supervision? Wow. I need to find a supplier! I can keep my A1C down below 6% and not be on record as taking any meds that can cause hypoglycemic reactions and the FAA will never know. Cool.

But that explains the price increase. DIY medication that can kill you if you take too much is a prime candidate for a lawsuit when someone does that. You're paying for all the other people who screwed up their dosages and sued the pharma company.

Comment Re:Airspace rights (Score 1) 1165 1165

The FAA already defines this: 500 feet in a rural area and 1000 feet in an urban area. He was well within his rights.

Citation required. The rules for minimum altitudes (which do not mention "urban" or "rural", btw) are not rules that define the upper extent of "private property", they define the lower extent of flight operations. And the rules for helicopters are much different.

Even so, please also cite a reference that says you have the right to shoot an aircraft out of the sky just because you believe it is flying too low.

... when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. -- Fred Brooks