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Comment: Re:"Bad company corrupts good character" (Score 1) 139

by swb (#49754867) Attached to: 'Prisonized' Neighborhoods Make Recidivism More Likely

This makes complete sense.

I also wonder if gang affiliation in prison has a lot to do with it. I don't claim to be an expert, but from what I've read it's difficult to survive in a lot of prisons without some kind of gang affiliation. Even if you're not a full-on blood-in member, a lot of time people end up owing favors to whatever gang they were involved in and they're expected to pay those back and most prison gangs easily can reach out beyond the walls and coerce poeple back into criminal behavior.

Comment: Re:Exotic (Score 1) 219

by swb (#49752321) Attached to: Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone

Most "lethal injections" imply a drug with some sedative/hypnotic properties that renders you unconscious, not much different than being administered anesthesia where you just "fall asleep" quickly.

Beheading? A very effective beheading (guillotine) sounds like there's at least a chance of some very terrifying moments of consciousness of your head separated from your body.

Worst is one of the Islamic terrorist beheadings where they just kind of saw your head off with a knife, which sounds like a mixture of extreme pain and extreme agony for several minutes.

Comment: Re:Contingency plans for the contingency planners (Score 1) 214

by swb (#49743825) Attached to: Secret Files Reveal UK Police Feared That Trekkies Could Turn On Society

Given the potential universe of wacky cults, from Scientology to the Heaven's Gate to Aum Shinrikyo to Jim Jones' People's Temple, it might make sense to think about the risks associated with cults.

Especially if you factor in that Heavens Gate attracted a lot of people with IT smarts and Aum Shinrikyo tried to sarin gas the subway. Even if they don't become mass phenomenons there's some risk that bizarre millennial thought coupled with above average intelligence could lead to some bad outcomes.

Comment: Re:I expect that gasoline is probably even better. (Score 1) 115

by swb (#49742489) Attached to: Hydrogen-Powered Drone Can Fly For 4 Hours at a Time

Why not one of those hobby turbines used as a generator?

This one: ...has a gearbox for driving the driveshaft of a boat, but maybe it could be adapted to run a generator. The specs show 8kw of power output and I think this is the smallest one they sell. Some of the others have power output in excess of 10kw.

Comment: Contingency plans for the contingency planners (Score 1) 214

by swb (#49742411) Attached to: Secret Files Reveal UK Police Feared That Trekkies Could Turn On Society

Given the vast weirdness of the government bureaucracy and its penchant for contingency plans for all kinds of events, I wonder if contingency plans for some branch of the government trying to take over based on paranoid contingency plans has ever happened.

Comment: Byproduct of a patent-and-monopoly mindset? (Score 4, Interesting) 100

by swb (#49735153) Attached to: US Levels Espionage Charges Against 6 Chinese Nationals

I wonder if this is a byproduct of the general corporate tendency to look at "innovation" as a way to get a patent which is then used to enforce a monopoly and collect rents. Collecting rents is a disincentive towards more innovation, product improvements and other business efficiencies. Why compete when you can just charge rents?

If there wasn't a patent-and-monopoly mindset, perhaps there would be greater effort put into innovation as a means to more rapidly improve products (as well as a focus on other business efficiencies). If somebody "stole" your IP in this model, it would matter less because your pace of innovation may render the stolen IP retrograde by the time it was turned into useful products, and your sales would be driven by the strength of your products not because you had a legalized monopoly.

Comment: Re:In other news... (Score 2) 255

by Bongo (#49733827) Attached to: Energy Dept. Wants Big Wind Energy Technology In All 50 US States

It is weird, you know, if this was about specifying some IT gadget, people would be all over the hard numbers and data and adding stuff up.

But as soon as it gets onto energy and climate, it becomes this, oh, we can just consume less, and keep building green energy, and it'll all work out.

It'll be fun when you're getting up in the middle of the night to bathe and shower the family, because that's when the hot water is affordable.

People who talk like this have never, I would guess, lived in a 3rd world country.

Comment: Re:In other news... (Score 1) 255

by Bongo (#49733795) Attached to: Energy Dept. Wants Big Wind Energy Technology In All 50 US States

"good motivator"

No, that is a bad motivator. It is like, the slave owner motivating the slave with a beating. Yeah, we are all "motivated" to survive.

Making life harder for people is not "good" motivation, that's just called "survival".

Hey, if you make the electricity even more expensive, maybe the women will be "motivated" to going back to spending all day washing the clothes by hand.
You're welcome to try doing that yourself.

Comment: Re:Minimum Wage (Score 1) 1074

by Bongo (#49733741) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

Yes, indeed. Unfair.

Also, I could spend all day making a better hunting spear, only for others to come steal it from me by force.
It is because life is unfair, that we are all having to try to find better systems that work better for everyone.
Like the guys who go round killing rhinos to sell the horns, they just say, "life is unfair, I have nothing, why shouldn't I get something for myself?"

Minimum wage may or may not be a good idea (my guess is it isn't), but "life is unfair" is a moot point, because every human is every other human's problem, one way or another.

Comment: Re:We need a VESA standard for accessory brackets (Score 1) 243

by swb (#49732173) Attached to: Why Apple Ditched Its Plan To Build a Television

That kind of thing has always been an option, but the glue from Velcro tape is a mess.

I'd rather see slots of a standard dimension molded into the TV enclosure. STB makers could either mold in matching rails or supply a bracket that would mate with them. Third parties could make accessory rails that would adapt the little keyhole openings so that legacy devices could use the molded in slots.

Comment: We need a VESA standard for accessory brackets (Score 2) 243

by swb (#49730299) Attached to: Why Apple Ditched Its Plan To Build a Television

Most TVs are so big these days that there's a ton of real estate on the back of them for hanging accessories, but other than the VESA mounting bracket standard(s) there isn't a standard for mounting STBs.

Some of the larger STBs (like DVRs with spinning rust) maybe wouldn't be practical rear mounted due to weight, but the smaller boxes like Apple TV or Roku would.

IR transmission for remotes might be an issue, but so many of these boxes can be controlled via wifi that it wouldn't be an issue.

It would also be useful for NUC type PCs where in many use cases IR isn't even a factor.

Comment: Re:Republicans could... (Score 1) 606

by swb (#49730153) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

Since I didn't use the phrase "war on women" in my post, I've got an inclination you know what I'm talking about.

Republicans have a huge problem with human sexuality. They don't appear to like it much, whether it's teaching sex ed or making contraception easy to get. They don't like the HPV vaccine given to teen age girls (because obviously it turns them into insatiable sex maniacs).

With abortion, they've been opposed to even exceptions in the case of rape, including Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin's quote: âoeIt seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, itâ(TM)s really rare. If itâ(TM)s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.â

I think that quote kind of neatly describes the fairly ridiculous attitude toward's women's sexual health.

Look, I get it. If somebody is a religious person and they don't want to have an abortion, that's great, don't have one. You don't want to use contraception for the same reasons -- be my guest, don't use it. But where do you get off trying to restrict access to everyone?

He who has but four and spends five has no need for a wallet.