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Comment: Re:Turn it on them (Score 4, Interesting) 127 127

Surely it wouldn't be beyond the collective wit of the internet to set up a parallel surveillance system targeting judges, politicians and others involved in dismantling these freedoms. After a couple of months of having their every private movement made public I suspect they'd change their outlook.

Quite a while back I posted a comment suggesting a smartphone application that allows people to take a snapshot of a government official/bureaucrat/judge/LEO/agent as well as officials/employees of NSA/NRO/CIA/etc private contractors and upload it and location/time and other relevant data to a website in a non-5-eyes nation where facial recognition and data-mining software could analyze it and make that information and analysis publicly available. Track all their travel, associations, purchases, everything possible.


The Military

Test Pilot: the F-35 Can't Dogfight 679 679

schwit1 sends this report from the War Is Boring column: A test pilot has some very, very bad news about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The pricey new stealth jet can't turn or climb fast enough to hit an enemy plane during a dogfight or to dodge the enemy's own gunfire, the pilot reported following a day of mock air battles back in January. And to add insult to injury, the JSF flier discovered he couldn't even comfortably move his head inside the radar-evading jet's cramped cockpit. "The helmet was too large for the space inside the canopy to adequately see behind the aircraft." That allowed the F-16 to sneak up on him. The test pilot's report is the latest evidence of fundamental problems with the design of the F-35 — which, at a total program cost of more than a trillion dollars, is history's most expensive weapon. Your tax dollars at work.

Comment: Re:Uber this! (Score 3, Insightful) 310 310

France can always be counted on to do things in the least logical way possible.

In which alternate universe is arresting the people running an illegal business the "least logical way possible"?

The fact that it's illegal for a private person to accept payment for a car ride principally to protect politically-connected businesses practicing an outdated/obsolete business model is both corrupt and illogical. It's protectionist crony-capitalism. Rather than logically correcting such a corrupt system, they doubled down on it. Just because a government declares something "illegal" does not mean it is morally and/or ethically wrong, or a detriment to society and/or the economy.


Comment: Re:GUNS (Score 1) 262 262

You can get a pretty good gun for $200 and a really good gun for $500 these days. You can get a CNC'd 1911 for that now... or something more modern :) And yet a 3d printed gun will literally never be as good, because it will never output forged stock. (Perhaps one day we will develop a universal assembler, and that will be better than either of course.)

All quite true at this time.

The one thing a 3D printed gun can do that a normal gun cannot: Not yet exist when authorities come to confiscate guns, and then exist once the authorities have departed.

That, more than anything else, is what makes 3D printed guns unique and the ability to produce them attractive, especially to those who live under a government bent on disarming the population.


Comment: Re:GUNS (Score 1) 262 262

No, it's because a 3D printed gun is not anywhere near as good as a gun made by a gunsmith.

Not really so true anymore, currently it's the price per copy.

But as 3D metal printing technology advances (and it won't be long, as it was only a handful of months ago that all there was out there was the Liberator plastic single-shot and now there's metal 1911-style semi-auto pistols being produced.), expect the cost/time required to drop dramatically and for quality to keep pace.

Can you think of a legitimate application for which a 3D-printed gun would be superior to a weapon made by a real gunsmith?

"Superior"? Probably not for a little while yet, but at the same time it will not be long at the rate 3D printing tech advances these days. "Legitimate application"? Depends a lot on what you would consider a "legitimate application", but I get your point and in many cases you would be correct. This will soon not be true as 3D printing technology advances & matures, however.


Comment: Re:Television Stereotypes (Score 3, Interesting) 254 254

Well, it's not like black youth are inundated with the glorification of "thug life" and "gangsta" culture, or that blacks that *do* do well are often labeled by their peers as "actin' like dey white"...

I'm black and I don't know a single person that talks like that. Not among my family, friends, or acquaintances. I do encounter this stereotype quite frequently on television, music and on the internet though.

I'm not saying there aren't people who think like that. But that it's not as common way of think as rap videos and off-hand comments would lead you to believe.

E.g. How many of these people you overheard were actually being serious? And not making fun of the stereotype?

I live a short distance outside Detroit. Come take a drive with me some afternoon and I'll introduce you to countless examples. I'm a professional blues guitarist and regularly live, work, and eat with black people and have for decades, and have dated a number of black women over the years as well, many with children. It's a result of the culmination of decades of cultural and social messages blacks receive their entire lives from government entitlement programs, affirmative action laws & policies, schools/colleges, music/media/mainstream news, and their peers.


Comment: Re:Demographics (Score 5, Insightful) 254 254

Oh, good. I was wondering how long it would take for someone to say "Black people just don't want technology jobs." I suppose they prefer working in fast food and sports?

Well, it's not like black youth are inundated with the glorification of "thug life" and "gangsta" culture, or that blacks that *do* do well are often labeled by their peers as "actin' like dey white", "uncle Toms", "house niggas" (all things I've heard blacks say personally, as well), and any that profess anti-entitlement-society, pro-family views are excoriated by both their peers and "news" media.

I frankly greatly admire minorities in the US that have the courage and determination to run that gauntlet instead of cave to the pressure to "stay on the plantation" and instead go on to use their intelligence, talents, skills, and strong work ethic to do well and become an asset to their communities and to society.


Comment: Heavens Forbid (Score 1) 254 254

Heavens forbid that the best candidates are picked! Oh the horror!

And of course if there's a vastly smaller pool of minority and women applicants, that's the employer's fault as well! Maybe we could force them to pay to educate then train minority/women parolees and force them to hire them! That will assure private data stays private! /s*


*I find it rather tragic that Western culture and society has devolved so far into reactionary mob-rule that a 'sarc' tag is necessary. We used to have these things called Rule of Law and individual liberty coupled with individual responsibility. No more, apparently.

Comment: Re:Great, now how do they get there? (Score 1) 212 212

Got any evidence that the US is after Assange?

Oh please! Really? Of course the US wants him after the huge mess and dog-and-pony show in Congress regarding Assage/Wikileaks, and the repeated attempts by the US to destroy Wikileaks however they can.

Do you have any evidence that I'm wrong? Assange has wasted years of his life for nothing if the US was *not* intent on grabbing him (or having him grabbed by allies to cover involvement). Of course the US will not say anything about wanting him, until they're able to get him back to US territory somehow.

You do not alert a fleeing/hiding subject to your plans to abduct him, particularly when it's highly dubious that said subject is even legally prosecutable, given US law/jurisdiction outside national borders, foreign citizenship, and how/where the actions in question occurred. Of course they'll keep their cards close to their chest.

The US wants Assange, there is no doubt. They just want it all taken care of quietly, as they'd basically be prosecuting him for the same thing the NYT did when it published the Pentagon Papers, and the NYT *is* in US territory and are/were mostly comprised of US citizens. It's just that these days, Rule of Law in the US only exists in textbooks.


God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"