Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Bad dog! No biscuit! (Score 1) 37

I'm just waiting for drones that will simultaneously cut my lawn and deter burglars.

According to Gary Larson, that would be robodog Ginger featured in "You call that mowing the lawn? Bad dog! No biscuit!" Well, you might have to put a beanie prop-hat on the dog, but it would be pretty close...

Comment: Re:Popular support (Score 2) 133

by hey! (#49604091) Attached to: NASA Gets Its Marching Orders: Look Up! Look Out!

I was eight years old when Neil Armstrong stepped off the LEM onto the Moon. It was an overcast day but the thing I remember vividly was how quiet the city was; aside from a few trucks in the distance and the wind blowing between the buildings there was simply nothing to be heard. The street was utterly deserted, more deserted than it would have been in the middle of the night. I'd gone out to find someone to play with, but gave it up for a bad job. I came in just in time to watch Armstrong step off the LEM. Cronkite couldn't make out what Armstrong said -- later it turned out Armstrong had bungled his line.

The only thing since then that has come close for shared amazement was 9/11.

The thing is there will never be another moment like that, not for manned space exploration. For those of us too young to remember WW2, the Apollo program was the biggest, most exciting thing that had happened in our lifetime. Older people had grown up with the Moon as the very symbol of something that was impossible to obtain. Every human being who'd ever lived and who wasn't blind had looked up in the sky and seen that big fat Moon hanging up there looking so close you could touch it.

Mars isn't like that. For most people it's just a name. More people have seen fake Mars in movies than have seen the real thing. So I'm guessing that few people will interrupt their lives to watch the first step on Mars. Maybe some of us will, but there won't be the same amazement, that sense of witnessing a once-in-a-species event.

Speaking of movies, one of the things that happened after 1970 is that production values on sci-fi movies went way, way up. Most people today have grown up watching representations of humans traveling to the stars; that's the new milestone for the human imagination. So I don't think there will ever be the kind of adulation for real astronauts that we had in the 60s. Actors are more photogenic than real astronauts and they don't spend their time doing tedious and inexplicable things.

But I don't think it's impossible to get people interested in space exploration; only that it's folly to put men up there and expect the public to automatically get excited. Henceforth space exploration is only going to matter to people who've been educated enough to find science interesting. That in itself is a worthwhile goal.

Comment: There are two issues here that are being balanced (Score 1) 222

On the one hand you have an indigenous population that basically had their land stolen from them and their country coopted by the US.

Nothing new for the US only it happened a good deal later than usual. But most Americans believe we should be respectful of these people and do our level best to see that we do what we can to make the nastiness of whole situation more bearable. To that end, they were given exclusive control over one of the smaller Islands along with a lot of rights and subsidies etc. Does that make up for what happened? Nope. Nothing short of leaving the islands and making restitution can really make up for it. But that isn't going to happen.

Then you have the issue of how the islands are used now that they are a US state? The natives are blocking a lot of stuff that makes things difficult. They have some sort of religious connection to the volcano and that makes using it for anything difficult. Geothermal power for example could power all the islands. Instead we tank in diesel fuel to run diesel generators. Some sort of compromise needs to be worked out there. Maybe let the natives help design and then operate the power plants and telescopes? I think the power companies and scientists would be happy to make them administrators of these facilities etc so long as they took up the positions in good faith.

It just seems like these things are hitting impasses for no good reason. The natives aren't getting their islands back. But they can take a leadership role in various controversial projects if they are worried about their sacred spaces being desecrated. No one wants to offend them. Help us not do that and offer a more constructive solution besides banning vital technology.

Comment: Re:Our democracy is broken (Score 1) 162

by Karmashock (#49604029) Attached to: Think Tanks: How a Bill [Gates Agenda] Becomes a Law

As to the distinction between legal and ethical corruption, I am referring to ethical corruption which stands indifferent to the law. One can be both legal and unethical.

As to strawmen, my unwillingness to take the 180 degrees opposition to your position is not a sign of intellectual dishonesty on my part. My argument is my argument. You can't define my argument. You can define your own and I am able to define mine. You do not get to say "you're not taking the 180 degree opposition to my position so you're breaking some rule"... that's just stupidity.

I am talking about corruption and you are talking about influence. So be it. However, our issues intersect at several key points and on those issues we're talking about the same thing in that context.

You say the Canadian system has fewer legal opportunities to apply influence? That may be but I'd need to do an in-depth analysis of the system. A would not expect a foreigner to understand the US political and legal system in detail and I am a foreigner to Canada. So I can't speak to their corruption or influence peddling. I am cynical on the subject and unless I have evidence to the contrary, I will assume they have lots of issues.

That is my bias and I am entitled to them.

As to the meaning of republic... How can someone have so much education and be so fucking silly? I am literally giggling now.

Explain what is a "public thing"... what does that mean. Process "public thing" into a contextually coherent concept.

You're going to come up with law. And then I'm going to laugh at you because you apparently took a big course in latin and some jackass on the internet... which is me... was able to process the meaning more clearly.

I know I know... you're full of lots of retard rage. I get that. The spittle flowing over your lips is apparent and does not impress me. Please... tell me what public thing mean, little one.

And while you're doing that, lets look at the definition of the word Republic:

"A republic (from Latin: res publica) is a form of government in which power resides in elected individuals representing the citizen body[1][2] and government leaders exercise power according to the rule of law. "

So, the first part of the definition is the same as a democracy where in everything happens by some sort of majority vote, but what is this thing we find at the end? Law? what the fuck!

Go through some other definitions of governmental models and you'll find that they stress something else with "law" often not even being mentioned prominently.

As to your final statement that you'd prefer daughter slaying and dictators... I gathered that from your previous praising of centralized power.

You're a funny little monkey. :D

*gives cupcakes*

Run along and play nice. :)

Comment: Re:Did a paid shill write this summary? (Score 2, Interesting) 133

by hey! (#49603913) Attached to: NASA Gets Its Marching Orders: Look Up! Look Out!

I've been a Democrat since 1979. I'd vote for Bernie Sanders if he weren't an abrasive, self-righteous prig who'd inevitably do more damage to his allies than to his enemies. But despite that I'm almost 100% in agreement with the man. And I haven't seen any rampant Republican agenda here. More like rampant laziness, if there were such a thing.

If the editors spent a whole minute between the moment they opened the story and the moment they hit "post" I'd be flabbergasted.

Comment: Re:Bernie Sanders (any real shot at winning?) (Score 1) 265

by hey! (#49603861) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

When hardline socialist parties gain power they tend to become more pragmatic. Such parties usually still consider themselves socialist and think of themselves as working toward eventual socialism.

The Socialist Party in France is a good illustration of this. Go back and look at the history of the Mitterrand presidency. In 1984 he abandoned nationalization of industry so that France would qualify for the European Monetary System. The subsequent collapse of the leftist coalition forced him to "cohabit" with Chirac's conservative RPR. Since then it'd be fair to characterize PS as a center-left party.

Comment: Re:Bernie Sanders (any real shot at winning?) (Score 1) 265

by hey! (#49603755) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

Technically a "socialist" is anyone who believes in "social ownership" of the means of production. A "communist" is someone who believes in the common ownership of the means of production. This may sound like a distinction without a difference, but "social ownership" is a broader concept than common ownership. Common ownership is just one form of "social ownership". Worker cooperatives are another form of social ownership.

Logically then, all communists are socialists, and not all socialists are communists. Some communists see non-communist socialism as a desirable intermediate step toward communism, others do not. Some communist and socialist ideologies fit within the umbrella of "social democracy", others do not.

Socialists and especially communists tend to be idea-fetishists, and so often display a peculiar mania for mutual ideological excommunication.

Comment: Re: Sanders amazes me (Score 1, Troll) 265

by Karmashock (#49603735) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

I'm sorry, I can't hear you with my dick you mouth. It sounded like you wanted to have a point but couldn't stop commenting on the salty goodness.

If you'd like to make a rational comment, first take my dick out of your mouth and try again.

We're not going to get anywhere with your tongue wrapped around my member. :D

Look, shithead... I'd honestly like to have a reasonable discussion about this. But the problem is that the progressives see this as a quasi religious issue. It is their fucking faith. And anyone that doesn't bow down to their pathetic failed god is an infidel.

Well, guess what... that means I don't have to treat you as anything more than a religious fanatic. And that's how you'll be treated unless you back off that bullshit and make a coherent rational argument.

Just saying "tax the rich" is stupid. That's like saying "if we need money we should get more money" and you don't understand that your problem is not a lack of money.

We have literally infinite amounts of money. Money is an artificial construct used to measure value. What you want is STUFF not money. If I put you on a deserted island with big bags full of money, what would you do with it? You'd probably burn the crap to start fires because it has no inherent value. Even gold is totally fucking useless in nearly all contexts.

What you ACTUALLY want is stuff. You want food, housing, medicine, various services, etc. And all those things are not something you can just add more of with the press of a button.

And that means those goods and services have to be rationed. And how do you want to ration them, comrade? Possibly the way the Venezuelans do it or the soviets? Because that's looking really fucking effective isn't it? That's sarcasm. I'm explaining that because you're stupid.

So you're going to have to ration anything that is in anyway scarce. Food, water, electricity, housing, medical care... all them are scarce. Its sad and it would be awesome if there were enough to go around but there isn't.

The genius of capitalism is that it encourages production when people consume. This causes supply to increase which brings down prices which means more people can get more stuff.

It really isn't that complicated but the people that think "doh, lets just tax people more, durrr" are the sorts that think "money" is actually what anyone actually wants.

It isn't. Money's value is that you can use it as a medium of exchange for what you ACTUALLY want. Hookers and cocaine... submarines and skyscrappers. It doesn't really matter.

But you do not improve the lots of the common people by inflating currencies or taxing the wealthy because your real issue is a lack of supply.

I could give everyone on earth 1 billion dollars and they couldn't all have a Lamborghini because there aren't 5 billion Lamborghini on the planet. They literally do not exist at ANY price. You could offer 1 trillion dollars per car and you still wouldn't get one for every person on earth.

Which means giving people money is not the problem.

The first issue asshats like you have to grasp is that this is a production crisis. All the capital and labor markets are completely fucked up mostly because of people like you and it causes imbalances in the production system.

Companies are cutting back production and cutting back hiring and that means stuff is going to cost more because there is less of it and everyone in the middle of the economy is going to have less money to buy stuff which is going make money more expensive. But then the government is going to come in and inflate the currency which causes the value of savings to go down... and it is an endless cluster fuck of stupidity.

But by all means, presume to not be an empty vessel for whatever bullshit your likely marxist teachers dumped into your fucking head. *yawn*

Comment: Re:Bernie Sanders (any real shot at winning?) (Score 1) 265

by hey! (#49603657) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

Most "democratic socialist" parties are socialist (like the DSP in the US), or have at some point in their history been socialist, or at least see socialism as a desirable long-term goal. But I'm sure there are exceptions. What you really have to do is ask what someone *believes*, not what they call themselves.

Sanders has never run away from the word "socialist", but what he seems to believe in is a strong welfare safety net, labor unions operating in a market economy which allows private profit but with regulatory restrictions on the ability of private entities to externalize costs like pollution. There are plenty of people who would call that "socialist", but most people who just plain call themselves "socialist" wouldn't. What he wants is for the US to be more like "Nordic model" country such as Sweden or Denmark. Maybe that's not your personal idea of political paradise, but it's a hell of a long way from North Korea.

As to why Sanders would call himself a socialist, it may be that's what he calls "socialism", but I think it's because he's a contrarian and gadfly who likes to rile people up but excels at retail politics in a tiny, tiny state. I'm all for his preferred policies, but personally I think he'd be terrible president because he's a self-righteous political prig who'd alienate and undermine any of his allies that didn't toe the line.

Comment: Re:Sanders amazes me (Score 2, Funny) 265

by Karmashock (#49603403) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

You can see examples of that not working in practice.

The French just tried your little theory and it caused a capital flight of investment out of France while at the same time elite interests were able to exempt themselves for most of it. Which meant the bulk of the costs would land on the middle class pushing them into the lower class thus expanding the lower class thus increasing the money needed to subsidize the lower class thus putting more pressure on what remains of the middle class, etc...

It doesn't work.

You people are like that monkey that keeps pressing the red button that causes him to get an electrical shock. Press the green peannut button, you fucking retards.

There is no easy answer to these problems. This notion of just tax the rich fails to keep in mind that it isn't money people want anyway.

People want food, housing, various goods, various services... and all those things are in limited supply and cost X because they are in Y supply. If you give everyone more money to buy Y it just causes X to increase proportionally because Y is a finite thing. The money we can just make by pressing buttons on a computer. Everyone want 100 trillion dollars? we could do that tomorrow no problem.

That would not change Y however. All you would have done is inflate the currency by changing the ratio between the money supply and Y.

If you want to help poor people, then you need to improve supply of good. That is you need to make more stuff. That means more housing, more factories, more farms, etc. And all of that will increase the supply of Y while reducing the cost per unit of Y which in this example is X.

How then do we increase production? Well, you need to encourage people to make stuff... that means business. And encouraging business to be make stuff means encouraging business in general.

And guess what one of the dumbest things you can do if you want to increase business is? Raise taxes. Because businesses generally do not expand in hostile tax environments.

The core misunderstanding you have is that you think "money" is actually a real thing. It isn't. It is a measure of value. It is like saying I have a 12 inch penis. The inches are the money but they're just numbers you write down on a piece of paper. They're not the throbbing dick.

What you want is that dick. And just redefining "inches" to mean something different doesn't actually get you any more dick when it comes to your turn. Lets say we redefine miles to mean inches such that I now say my dick is 12 miles long. Are you getting any more dick then you were getting before? Nope. Dick is the same length. You've just changed the unit of measurement.

So no, you cannot just raise taxes on the rich, you fucking ignorant peasant.

Comment: Re:Why is is the material support provision bad? (Score 1) 116

First off, any objection you can't explain has no business being in a court of law or a legislature.

So either be able to explain it or shut the fuck up because you literally nothing to contribute.

Second off, you did actually explain your problem... you just were so busy trying to claim superiority that you didn't realize you contradicted yourself. You say the term is nebulous. THAT is a relevant complaint. You want a more specific definition for the offense. That is ENTIRELY reasonable.

Can you give me an example of material support being used inappropriately so I can understand your complaint?

I would further agree that the capture should be defined as read rather than read only being cited when the data is examined by a human being. I agree with you.

Don't assume people are your blood enemy and start mouthing off at them, please. And also grasp that being able to explain yourself is a prerequisite to even having a discussion. If you can't explain yourself... then you're making animal noises.

Comment: Re:Its about child support (Score 1) 367

by Karmashock (#49603207) Attached to: Who Owns Pre-Embryos?

You've cited no material point to the doctor visit. Absent that the requirement is arbitrary.

Your reason boils down to "the state has deemed this to be the right way to do it"... that doesn't answer my question. I asked for a material difference. I have further cited you for tautology several times and I don't think you know what that means:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

You're basically saying "this is justified because the government deemed it to be justified.

That is textbook tautology.

As to napkins lacking the agency, they are perfectly valid for legal wills, perfectly valid for legal contracts of pretty much any nature, and perfectly valid therefore as legal documents.

I have personally won small court cases in my own favor on such documents. You can write whatever you want on any bit of paper or even a fucking clay tablet. It doesn't matter and you don't need a lawyer. The document just has to show intent. And if the document backs up intent then we can assume intent as of that point.

Now excluding intent, as intent is handled by the napkin, what is your doctor visit accomplishing? I argue - nothing. Contradict me with something that isn't more tautology. I fucking dare you.

Comment: Re:He's a socialist (Score 1) 265

by hey! (#49603151) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

Well to be fair the man calls himself a socialist; he's just wrong about that. You're spot on about the bailout though. It's like my Bolshie Uncle Ivan used to say. "Kid," he'd say, "nobody really believes in socialism. Nobody believes in capitalism either. It's 'socialism for me, capitalism for you!'"

As the trials of life continue to take their toll, remember that there is always a future in Computer Maintenance. -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"

Working...