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Comment FedEx and UPS manage it with no problem... (Score 1) 192

FedEx and UPS manage to deliver packages to me by truck without driving over any property without permission. Why is it supposedly so hard for drones to do so without flying over property without permission? Just follow the same route UPS or FedEx would use.

In fact, it should be easier for the drones since they will be allowed over property without permission if they are 350 feet up. FedEx and UPS trucks do not have that option.

Comment Re:This legislation brought to you by.. (Score 5, Insightful) 446

I have no objection to the science of GMO. It is the business of GMO that I do not trust.

The difference between conventional hybrids and GMOs is that the the set of plants and animals that can be obtained by the former over any given time frame is a tiny subset of those that can be obtained by the latter. GMO gives food producers a great increase in power, and as a great philosopher once observed, "With great power comes great responsibility". I don't think the current food companies have the necessary responsibility.

With conventional hybrids, they are more limited in what they can do, and it can take longer to achieve a given desired organism. These limitations give us a chance to make sure that they are not misusing their power.

Comment The minor pentatonic scale changed my life. (Score 2) 111

I'm serious about the subject line.

The notes in the minor pentatonic scale go so well with blues and most rock music that any idiot (such as me) can produce a musical-sounding improvisation. Just randomly picking out notes in the scale, or going up and down parts of the scale, sounds great on top of the I/IV/V-based progressions that make up so much of modern music. And let me tell you, when you're an at-best "advanced beginner" musician, and you solo for the very first time and something that sounds like music comes out, it feels as good as any sex ever did. My interest in the guitar had been flagging a bit, until a teacher taught me the minor pentatonic scale and gave me the opportunity to play some solos on top of his chords; since then, I've wanted to learn guitar, play guitar, etc. pretty much non-stop.

Comment Re:lol, Rand sucking up to the dorks (Score 1) 206

He was charged with 35 years, so you don't know what he would have received. That's what the prosecutor wanted.

The prosecutor wanted somewhere between a couple months or so (the amount they offered for a plea bargain) and a few years (the amount they were going to ask for if it went to trial).

Comment Re:lol, Rand sucking up to the dorks (Score 3, Informative) 206

You're a fucking moron. How does "access without authorization" warrant a 35 year sentence?

I can't believe that after all these years there are still people who believe that Swartz faced a 35 year sentence. He did not. The algorithm the DoJ uses to get a number to trumpet in a press release ignores the rules of sentencing, and in all but the simplest of cases gives a wildly inflated number. There are two main factors that the press release algorithm ignores.

First, there is a range of possible sentences for a given crime. Where a particular instance falls on that range depends on the severity of that instance. To get the maximum, you have to have done a lot of damage, be a repeat offender, and so on. The prosecutors in the indictment were not alleging the various factors necessary to push Swartz up to the high end on any of the counts.

For the press release, they do not consider this. So if a crime might result in 1 year for someone who caused under $5k damages, and 10 years for someone who caused over $100k in damages, they will count it as 10 years in the press release, even if they are only alleging that the defendant caused $1k damages.

Second, federal crimes are divided into groups, and when one particular act leads to multiple charges from the same group, you will only be sentenced for one crime from the group even if convicted for all of them.

In the press release, they just add up the maximum sentences for each charge, completely ignoring the grouping.

Comment Article author is confused (Score 1) 385

The author is confused. See this discussion on HN where a lawyer or two explain what is actually going on.

Basically, nothing is changing concerning the substantive requirements for a warrant. All that is changing is which judges can issue a warrant after the police have satisfied all the requirements of the Constitution and of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Suppose a crime took place in district X, using a computer in district Y. Before, the police would have to go to a judge in district Y. After the change, they will be able to go to a judge in district X if and only if something like TOR or VPN was used that prevents them from determining Y.

Submission + - Cygnus ISS Resupply Vehicle Explodes on Lift Off

An anonymous reader writes: Several seconds after lifting off on schedule at 6:22PM, and clearing its tower, the Cygnus Antares rocket slipped back, crashing into the launch facility and exploding. A large fireball consumed the vehicle and caused apparently significant damage to the facility.

Comment Re:Contract issue (Score 1) 153

There are substitutes for consideration. The magic words used to hand wave away a need for traditional consideration are "promissory estoppel" or "detrimental reliance".

I think a bigger problem for the $1000 trick would be that a court might see that as effectively a liquidated damages clause, and find it invalid because it was not chosen as a rough approximation of the actual damages likely to befall the user if Ello started running ads.

Comment Re:Nonsense. Again. (Score 1) 432

What is the difference between selective breeding and genetic modification?... nothing.

Wrong. Genetic modification allows for a greater range of modification in a shorter time than can be achieved with selective breeding.

As Ben Parker wisely noted many years ago, "With great power comes great responsibility". Does our current food industry collectively have the great responsibility to wisely handle the great power of GMO? They have pretty clearly demonstrated that they do not.

The gent who wakes up and finds himself a success hasn't been asleep.