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Comment: Nukes good theoretically; practically, not so much (Score 0) 345

by kevin lyda (#45634829) Attached to: Climatologist James Hansen Defends Nuclear Energy

Nukes are theoretically safe and efficient. As I understand it, there's not enough known uranium sources on Earth to power the world, but in conjunction with solar, wind, hydro and bio-fuels (preferably from waste) there's enough.

Unfortunately, theories don't build nuke plants. Corporations do. And we can't manage to regulate large retail stores to make them behave in a socially responsible way, why do we think we can regulate a giant power company? Japan generally comes across as a competent, long-term thinking country. And yet even their political culture couldn't prevent fraud and corruption in the building of their nuke plants.

Until our political systems can effectively regulate large corporations, I'm opposed to nuclear power. The theory's great, but so far I don't see designs that can survive large-scale corruption.

Comment: Re:Could this story please die (Score 1) 130

by kevin lyda (#45384857) Attached to: Brazil Orders Google To Hand Over Street View Data

MAC addresses are useless for tracking pretty much anything except on a LAN (and even then they're pretty useless - particularly with virtual machines becoming more prevalent). In addition MAC address info ages out insanely quickly. Half the MAC addresses in my house post-date the street view car passing. And in fact several others aren't here.

ESSID info is useful for geolocation, but even it rapidly ages. And Google is hardly the only company that sniffs that.

And Microsoft applications bleed private info far more sensitive than MAC addresses. I once got a job offer as a Word document which also contained job offers for four other people. Some versions of Word and Excel save random bits of RAM into docs. Honestly if you're using Microsoft products and expect to have any privacy you're an idiot.

Comment: Could this story please die (Score 1) 130

by kevin lyda (#45384333) Attached to: Brazil Orders Google To Hand Over Street View Data

We know Google sniffed the data it sniffed because they reported themselves for doing it.

If you think about this technically, there is absolutely zero useful info one could get from such data (other than using it as a source for randomness and even then...).

All these stories do is punish a company for self-reporting a perceived privacy concern - one which they quickly addressed.

Comment: Re:Really?!? (Score 1) 1448

Marriage is a civil institution that relates primarily to property. The US gov't has only been involved in marriage for a few hundred years because the US gov't has only existed for a few hundred years.

Yes churches and religious groups kept marriage records and performed ceremonies. "The state" has evolved over time and for quite a bit of it religious groups were part of the state. That had some flaws - go read some European history.

Marriage as a civil institution serves some very concrete situations. It handles various situations that arise for couples in terms of property rights, inheritance rights, child custody, immigration, criminal law, taxes, pensions, etc. There are problems that crop up for couples that are more complicated than if they came up (if they could come up) for individuals.

Laws relating to marriage are designed to address those situations. To provide couples with reasonable expectations that they can plan on and to simplify people's lives in terms of their interactions with the state.

The laws relating to marriage are generally there to make people's lives run more smoothly and therefore often get overlooked. But at times they crop up and when couples (both or individually) avail of them they understand the benefit those laws provide.

Gay couples can already get married in religious services in all 50 states. The debate about the religious institution of marriage is a debate each religious group can work through. Eventually all of them will recognise same sex marriage but that's up to their individual congregations so generally the point is moot for most of us.

This civil institution of marriage (it's like Java - it's a VM, it's a language, it's a beverage, it's an island!) is the issue that all citizens should be concerned about and it should respect the rights of each citizen and weigh the various concerns. You being "offended" is way lower on the scale than gay citizens having legal protections for their relationships just as straight citizens do.

This is plainly clear. And in the future - the not very distant future I might add - those who don't understand that will be viewed by decent society as hateful, anti-social bigots. Everyone's free to be a hateful, anti-social bigot, but the rest of us are also free to call that out and to shun such people. Everyone has a right to their opinion and to speak their mind. No one has a right to avoid the social consequences of doing so.

Comment: Re:Yeah (Score 0, Flamebait) 186

by kevin lyda (#33628744) Attached to: Capturing Carbon With Garbage Heaps

You're an idiot.

Seriously.

The whole idea of carbon credits and a market for trading various pollution credits is a dumb idea dreamed up by free market sycophants. Sadly some environmentalists in a desire to try and reach out to morons who whine about gov't regulation decided to go with the free market "solution." Once environmentalists got Democrats to go along with the stupid idea that Republicans/conservatives came up with, the Republicans/conservatives immediately turned on the idea and make this utterly predictable complaint.

A holding company is a thing where you hand an accomplice the goods while the policeman searches you.

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