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Comment: World's highest dick-waving contest (Score 3, Funny) 243

by localroger (#48920637) Attached to: Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator
Highest skyscraper is a hell of an expensive way to show your ability to get an erection. How much of the Burj Dubai is even occupied? Or for that matter even the *cough* whatever they're calling it now in NYC which gets a third of its patriotic 1776 feet from a totally nonfuctional dick-waving spire.

Comment: The drugs are probable cause of a crime (Score 1) 316

by localroger (#48835793) Attached to: Eric Holder Severely Limits Civil Forfeiture
Nobody is disputing that forfeiture should be an option when there is actual evidence of a crime. The problem is when all they find is the $20,000 and without any other evidence -- no secret compartments, no X, and no gun -- they decide the cash is "drug money," take it, and it's up to you to prove otherwise, which is very difficult and you have a very short time and poorly documented process to make the appeal.

Comment: There are shades of crazy within the RCC (Score 4, Informative) 289

by localroger (#48486753) Attached to: Gilbert, AZ Censors Biology Books the Old-Fashioned Way
Catholics range from fundamentalist jerks like this woman to those like the Jesuits who are quite sophisticated philosophers and fully aware of the difficulties which arise aligning faith with reality. Unlike Protestants who are prone to start a new denomination when they have a disagreement, all Catholics tend to continue considering themselves Catholic but they build up cliques which can barely tolerate each other under the common umbrella of the main organization. I attended a Catholic high school even though my parents were Southern Baptist; this is not unusual in New Orleans where the Catholic schools have an excellent reputation for their secular education. They had a standard procedure for non-Catholics to opt-out of rituals like the Mass when those arose, although we did have to learn the major points of Catholic doctrine (which has turned out to be useful) and we also got a whole year of comparative religion hitting the main points of other world religions. I have to give it to the CSC that they weren't afraid to hold their own beliefs up for comparison with their competitors.

Comment: Pelican Case + Thermostatic Heater (Score 4, Interesting) 202

by localroger (#48231453) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Make a High-Spec PC Waterproof?
Double enclosed is best, but you probably don't have room for that. I've been putting stuff in food processing plants for 20+ years though where the conditions (especially during cleanup) are comparable. Find the smallest Pelican case (there are generic knockoffs, if you go with one check it thoroughly before trusting it) and equip it with a thermostatic heater to keep the temperature above 70F or so all the time to limit condensation. Pack in a big bag of dessicant because without double enclosure that still won't be perfect.

Comment: The word is "neutrons." (Score 1) 305

by localroger (#47707925) Attached to: If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly
Although there is some lip service to seeking "aneutronic" fusion the truth is that fusion is so hard to achieve that we don't have the luxury of being picky about the reactions we aim for, and all the practical ones generate a metric fuckton of neutrons, enough to be lethal even on the other side of thick shielding, enough to induce dangerous secondary radioactivity in many elements, and enough to knock enough atoms out of their place in metal crystalline lattices to seroiusly weaken structures made from elements that dont' become radioactive too. It's a serious enough problem that the first and most important clue that Pons and Fleischmann had not achieved cold fusion was that they were still alive.

Comment: In the US, insurance is a racket (Score 1) 1330

by localroger (#47364591) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception
Nearly everything is much cheaper to an insurance company than it is for you if you walk in the pharmacy and pay for it out of pocket. By not being able to get it on insurance, you lose that discount. Not that it should be that way, but that's how it is, and often that discount is 70% or more because of some foolishness called "differential pricing" instead of by its proper name, "theft."

Comment: Not in the US. (Score 1) 1330

by localroger (#47364563) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception
The most common birth control pill in use in the US costs USD$50 a month not counting the mandatory prescriptions. Many countries do sell them cheaper -- but not in the US, and they are never OTC here. Although free clinics do sometimes hand out Plan B I have never heard of one that dispenses regular non-emergency contraception. And this is where the ruling in question applies.

Comment: Lots of people can't afford a movie a week (Score 2) 1330

Particularly a $12 movie, which is what they would have to cost to equal the cost of the Pill. (Not counting the mandatory biannual medical exams, without which you can't get a prescription.) Ginsberg noted in her dissent that the cost of an IUD is comparable to a month's salary for a person making minimum wage. Then again, I'm sure you'll also agree that the cost of your own vaccines and blood transfusions are also reasonable when those folks start claiming their exemption under this stupid ruling.

Comment: An old neighbor said 5 = bad cop (Score 4, Interesting) 272

He himself retired from the redacted state police after 12 years, some spent undercover. He said that for the most part the idealists who want to save the world get washed out by the corruption by 5 years and anyone who's stayed longer than that is getting more out of it than their salary.

Comment: This has nothing to do with Snowden etc. (Score 1) 134

I'm fully with the "buck stops here" theory of governance. The problem is that this isn't even a buck. How, exactly, do you think that the information that an exploit like Heartbleed exists migrates in a compartmentalized agency like the NSA from the group that identifies it to use in spying to the group that perhaps looks to protect us from foreign spies? How does it migrate to top administration? The answer is that it doesn't. It can't. Maybe it should, but as the NSA (and probably any practially workable version of it) exists there simply is no channel for that information to move from those who are using it to others who might have a need, on wholly different merits, to know it.

It is very unlikely that the guys who discovered Heartbleed as a SIGINT opportunity had any channels at all to warn other arms of the agency that it might be a vulnerability on our side; consider how such channels could and would be misused in so many other situations. The spooks would never implement such a thing. From the SIGINT side Heartbleed is a low-level technical detail, hardly worth the attention of a Civil Service level adminstrator except for the ops that it makes possible.

A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems. -- P. Erdos