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Comment Re:The judge issued a verdict ahead of trial? (Score 1) 148

There are three parties in the US now:
* The Left, not materially represented in Congress, but Bernie Sanders is an example of a Left politician.
* The Right, not materially represented in Congress, but Ben Carson is an example of a Right politician.
* The Donor Party, which includes the vast majority of Democrats and Republicans in government (at least at the federal level), and which gets great and responsive representation.

Our government is very attentive and responsive to the best interest of the constituents who sent them to office. The problem is those constituents are the big money donors, not the people who are voting Democrat or Republican.

It's structurally possible to fix this though primary elections, and by "primary-ing out" incumbents. But we, the voters, need to start caring more about evicting the Donor Party guys than about whether Left or Right win. The Donor Party games us every year by calling the non-Donor Party guys "extremists" for daring to represent what the people actually want. Can we stop caring about how the mainstream media describes candidates? I'm doubtful, but it's possible.

Comment Re:What purpose does registration serve? (Score 1) 183

It was established legal tradition in Britain for some time before the US war for independence that people were allowed to own guns because, even though hunting was illegal, guns weren't only for hunting, they could be used to defend one's home. It was common in the colonies (where everyone had guns, and hunting was legal) that every man was required to bring his gun to church on Sunday, in case a group of men with guns was required for any purpose. These guns were expected to be serviceable military weapons - a tradition going back to the late medieval period, where every man was required to own a weapon of war in case that was needed (and swords were very cheaply available after the plague, so real military weapons, not farm implements, were expected).

There are still several modern nations in which every man of age is required to own a modern military rifle (issued by the government). This idea that somehow the "right to keep and bear arms" excludes modern military small arms is a very modern contrivance, and not at all the intent of the Second Amendment. Heck, not just small arms - even 100 years ago cannon were typically bought for the town by the wealthy, and taken off to war when needed.

It's a very simple idea with centuries of legal tradition behind it: a free man has the right to own a gun, and not just for hunting, but actual military small arms. Totalitarian states disarm their subjects to prevent uprisings. Free societies have an armed populace to keep the government nervous about uprisings. It really is that fundamental.

Comment Re:What purpose does registration serve? (Score 2) 183

You have to get licensed to own a gun, drive a car, and you have to register to vote.

You do not have to get licensed to own a gun, at least in states that show the slightest respect for the US Constitution. You do not have to get licensed to drive a car, unless you want to drive it in public places (and even then, driving farm equipment on farm-to-market roads doesn't require a license, as that was seen as an undue burden). You don't, in practice, have to register to vote, unless you live somewhere that requires an ID to vote - and most states see an ID as an undue burden.

You don't need a pilots license to fly a plane (well, most planes), if you stay at low altitude and away form airports. You shouldn't need to register to own a drone, or to fly one as long as you stay at low altitude and away from airports.

Comment Re:The real worry should be Kessler Syndrome (Score 1) 98

There's a serious risk that in low-Earth orbit if one has enough debris it could cause a cascade of destruction where debris hits satellites breaking them up into more debris which hits more satellites and so on. Such a cascade is called Kessler Syndrome . If this happens it could render many orbits unusable for years.

It would be a pain, but there is some drag in LEO and small debris won't last forever. Also, you almost never get a stable orbit from a random trajectory. If you actually start blowing shit up in space, most of the shrapnel is going to be in an obit that intersects the Earth, or dense atmosphere (or even possibly escapes, if you're blowing shit up real good).

deliberately destroying satellites should maybe be considered a war crime

The winners decide what's a war crime, and that mostly consists of "being needlessly dickish to the winner". It's rather fundamental that the group with a monopoly on force decides what constitutes a crime. Treaties and tradition about what's allowed in war are mostly about winners swearing off stuff that didn't work well anyhow. (BTW, the last enemy the US fought that agreed to the Geneva Convention was the Nazis - none of our enemies for the past 70 years gave a shit about Western ideals and "war crimes".)

Comment Re:it was just too long (Score 4, Insightful) 173

3 movies for such a short story was what killed it. I mean did it have to take 1 whole movie just reach the damn mountain?

That's key, but they also failed because the tone was wrong (and inconsistent). The Hobbit was a kids book back when those were allow to get scary - a fun adventure story with some dark moments for our hero. Our hero was clearly Bilbo: it was his narrative, and his character arc. The places where the tone got dark were specifically the places where he needed to grow, and find to courage to overcome the new difficulty. The mix of fun adventure and dark moments made perfect sense.

This was a very different tone than LOTR, which was fundamentally a war story for adults. The Hobbit film just didn't understand that, and rushed production is no excuse. The film never really felt like Bilbo's journey "there and back again." Almost all the filler was dark and dramatic, so much so that the original fun parts of the book were now jarring and inconsistent in the movie. The inclusion of a kooky Radagast could have worked with the original story, but felt completely out of place in the film.

But dammit, lose the cartoon rabbits. From the SW prequel trilogy and Jar Jar to the Hobbit and the rabbit sled, I support a Constitutional Amendment banning cartoon rabbits in prequel movies!

Comment Re:Apple Music (Score 2) 460

It's totally intuitive to discover new commands! Just type "man -k <keyword>"

CLIs will never be discoverable. UIs with menus and especially context (right-click) menus were great for discoverability. A UI where there's no menus, no confirmation that a change took effect, and no universal way to undo? No thanks.

Comment Re:Let me get this right. (Score 1) 150

Regardless, having to install an old operating system is not what I'd call backwards compatibility.

Whatever the game is, Good Old Games will have it eventually. They have lots of very early games with goofy requirements, that run effortlessly in my 64-bit Win7 gaming machine.

Games written for 10-years-ago Windows tend to run fine with the emulation built into Win7. Games that actually followed the MS rules to ensure compatibility (rare, but they exist) from last millennium work. Starcraft released 17 years ago and still works. I'm not sure if I can drop in my Diablo CD from 19 years ago (haven't tried it), but the download I bought from Blizzard works fine. I think I've run Warcraft 1, from 21 years ago, straight from the CD on my current PC, but I could be thinking of the previous one.

That all sounds like amazing backwards compatibility to me.

Comment Re:Because of the endless whiners (Score 1) 150

I suspect you might well be surprised at the hardware used by people who use Slashdot. With a few exceptions, I think the majority of people here seem quite intelligent and logical but have somewhat of an aversion to change and unnecessary innovations.

Speaking purely for myself, I built my computer in 2011 with a i5 2500k and maxed out the RAM. Then I spent £60 on a low end graphics card because - why spend more when I have a console for gaming and a media player (WDTV at the time) for watching downloaded shows and movies?

I might be in the minority, but I don't think it will be a tiny minority.

What kind of geek builds a low-power PC? The only acceptable answer is "a broke geek"; otherwise turn in your geek card.

When I built my computer in 2011, I built a tiny god. It had all the fast, and 12 cooling fans. This summer I dropped in a new graphics card and it's still in the top 10% of benchmarks (and has half as many fans, a single new card was faster than my old SLI setup). I'm thinking about liquid cooling for my next build, not because extreme overclocking is the best way to get a fast system, but because I'm a geek, dammit.

Comment Re:Looking forwards (Score 1) 179

"don't see a meaningful difference between steroid-use and nutritionally-balanced breakfasts"

There is. A balanced diet doesn't provide abnormal body mass.

It can also be somewhat quantified with statistical analysis of MLB.

Among pro athletes who are training as much as a human can:
* If you ban steroids, then whoever's body naturally produces the most wins
* If you don't ban steroids, then almost everyone must take them to complete

Either way there are problems, but banning steroids actually makes for a less even playing field. There are still sport like power lifting where steroid use is normal (and yet some winners don't use them, as their body naturally produces enough: they're in the top 0.1% or whatever of natural production.) OTOH, to the extent that steroids can cause medical issues, banning them also makes sense.

There really are arguments to be made either way, and sports that work both ways to research for how things are turning out.

Comment Re:Children or not (Score 1) 200

I would like to suggest that our right to face our accuser is being usurped . Some things just shouldn't be automated, even if we are able to.

"No, it's a tax." - Roberts

Because you have the constitutional right to trial for both criminal and non-trivial civil cases, the government just invented a third category. These tickets are in the "look at what we made up" category, which isn't mentioned in the Constitution, so it's fine. Just fine. Just a fine.

Once the government decides it doesn't care to be limited by the Constitution in principle, the actual wording of the document becomes sadly unimportant. And that ship sailed decades ago.

Comment Re:What about... (Score 1) 387

For safety reasons, never. F1 has been increasingly limited because the cars had reached speeds that no driver could successfully manage (but some, tragically, tried). Pretty much every element of racing has been successfully optimized tot he point where the human is the limit.

If you want the most ridiculous engines, within the realm of reciprocating pistons, look no farther than top fuel dragsters. They run at the limits of the laws of physics these days, and they shortened the track from 1/4 mile because the cars were just too damn fast for safety, rather than reducing power.

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