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Submission + - Air Force hires civilian drone pilots for combat patrols - legality questioned (

schwit1 writes: For the first time, civilian pilots and crews now operate what the Air Force calls "combat air patrols," daily round-the-clock flights above areas of military operations to provide video and collect other sensitive intelligence.

Civilians are not allowed to pinpoint targets with lasers or fire missiles. They operate only Reapers that provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, known as ISR, said Air Force Gen. Herbert "Hawk" Carlisle, head of Air Combat Command.

Submission + - We Need a New Atomic Age writes: Peter Thiel writes in the NYT that what’s especially strange about the failed push for renewables is that we already had a practical plan back in the 1960s to become fully carbon-free without any need of wind or solar: nuclear power. "But after years of cost overruns, technical challenges and the bizarre coincidence of an accident at Three Mile Island and the 1979 release of the Hollywood horror movie “The China Syndrome,” about a hundred proposed reactors were canceled," says Thiel. "If we had kept building, our power grid could have been carbon-free years ago. Instead, we went in reverse."

According to Thiel, a new generation of American nuclear scientists has produced designs for better reactors. Crucially, these new designs may finally overcome the most fundamental obstacle to the success of nuclear power: high cost. Designs using molten salt, alternative fuels and small modular reactors have all attracted interest not just from academics but also from entrepreneurs and venture capitalists like me ready to put money behind nuclear power. However, none of these new designs can benefit the real world without a path to regulatory approval, and today’s regulations are tailored for traditional reactors, making it almost impossible to commercialize new ones. "Both the right’s fear of government and the left’s fear of technology have jointly stunted our nuclear energy policy," concludes Thiel. "supporting nuclear power with more than words is the litmus test for seriousness about climate change. Like Nixon’s going to China, this is something only Mr. Obama can do. If this president clears the path for a new atomic age, American scientists are ready to build it."

Comment Let freedoms ring (Score 1) 364

Self destructive actions of an individual negatively affect society


your freedom ends when it negatively affects others.

False. My calling you names or otherwise being offensive (including, gasp, making racist and sexist statements), for example, however negatively it might affect you and millions of others, does not end my freedom of speech.

Comment Re:Important to note (Score 2) 364

Let's have a little equality.

Absolutely. Maybe, LSD should not be prohibited to begin with. Maybe, nothing should be prohibited at all — citizens of a free country ought to have the right to kill themselves in any way they wish. But the rules must be the same for everyone.

On that note, I argue for automated law-enforcement wherever practical — such as with traffic-cameras, which would fine an upstanding resident of the same town just as much as passer-by from 2 states away.

Submission + - Anonymous defaces an ISIS web-site with a Viagra ad (

mi writes: Anonymous hackers have taken over an Islamic State-supporting website and replaced it with an advert for Viagra: " Please gaze upon this lovely ad so we can upgrade our infrastructure to give you ISIS content you all so desperately crave. "

The message — from a hacking group calling itself Ghost Sec — also said: " Enhance your calm. Too many people are into this ISIS-stuff ".

Is this the strongest reaction to the massacre, that the Western World can muster?

Submission + - Japanese company makes low calorie noodles out of wood

AmiMoJo writes: Omikenshi Co, an Osaka based cloth manufacturer best known for rayon, a fibre made from tree pulp, is expanding into the health food business. Using a similar process, Omikenshi is turning the indigestible cellulose into a pulp that’s mixed with konjac, a yam-like plant grown in Japan. The resulting fibre-rich flour, which the company calls “cell-eat,” contains no gluten, no fat and almost no carbohydrate. It has just 60 calories a kilogram, compared with 3,680 for wheat.

Submission + - Will you be able to run a modern desktop environment in 2016 without systemd?

yeupou writes: Early this year, David Edmundson from KDE, concluded that "In many cases [systemd] allows us to throw away large amounts of code whilst at the same time providing a better user experience. Adding it [systemd] as an optional extra defeats the main benefit". A perfectly sensible explanation. But, then, one might wonder to which point KDE would remain usable without systemd?

Recently, on one Devuan box, I noticed that KDE power management (Powerdevil) no longer supported suspend and hibernate. Since pm-utils was still there, for a while, I resorted to call pm-suspend directly, hoping it would get fixed at some point. But it did not. So I wrote a report myself. I was not expecting much. But neither was I expecting it to be immediately marked as RESOLVED and DOWNSTREAM, with a comment accusing the "Debian fork" I'm using to "ripe out" systemd without "coming with any of the supported solutions Plasma provides". I searched beforehand about the issue so I knew that the problem also occurred on some other Debian-based systems and that the bug seemed entirely tied to upower, an upstream software used by Powerdevil. So if anything, at least this bug should have been marked as UPSTREAM.

While no one dares (yet) to claim to write software only for systemd based operating system, it is obvious that it is now getting quite hard to get support otherwise. At the same time, bricks that worked for years without now just get ruined, since, as pointed out by Edmunson, adding systemd as "optional extra defeats its main benefit". So, is it likely that we'll still have in 2016 a modern desktop environment, without recent regressions, running without systemd?

Submission + - Why Car Salesmen Don't Want to Sell Electric Cars writes: Matt Richtel writes in the NYT that one big reason there are only about 330,000 electric vehicles on the road is that car dealers show little enthusiasm for putting consumers into electric cars. Industry insiders say that electric vehicles do not offer dealers the same profits as gas-powered cars, they take more time to sell because of the explaining required, and electric vehicles may require less maintenance, undermining the biggest source of dealer profits — their service departments. Some electric car buyers have said they felt as if they were the ones doing the selling. Chelsea Dell made an appointment to test-drive a used Volt but when she arrived, she said, a salesman told her that the car hadn’t been washed, and that he had instead readied a less expensive, gas-powered car. “I was ready to pull the trigger, and they were trying to muscle me into a Chevy Sonic,” says Dell. “The thing I was baffled at was that the Volt was a lot more expensive.” Marc Deutsch, Nissan’s business development manager for electric vehicles says some salespeople just can’t rationalize the time it takes to sell the cars. A salesperson “can sell two gas burners in less than it takes to sell a Leaf,” Deutsch says. “It’s a lot of work for a little pay.”

Jared Allen says that service is crucial to dealer profits and that dealers didn’t want to push consumers into electric cars that might make them less inclined to return for service. Maybe that helps explains the experience of Robert Kast, who last year leased a Volkswagen e-Golf from a local dealer. He said the salesman offered him a $15-per-month maintenance package that included service for oil changes, belt repair and water pumps. “I said: ‘You know it doesn’t have any of those things,’” Mr. Kast recalled. He said the salesman excused himself to go confirm this with his manager. Of the whole experience, Mr. Kast, 61, said: “I knew a whole lot more about the car than anyone in the building.” "Until selling a plug-in electric car is as quick and easy as selling any other vehicle that nets the dealer the same profit, many dealers will avoid them, for very logical and understandable reasons," says John Voelker. "That means that the appropriate question should be directed to makers of electric cars: What are you doing to make selling electric cars as profitable and painless for your dealers as selling gasoline or diesel vehicles?"

Comment Re:Fail. (Score 0) 240

He doesn't have to suggest an alternative - he was just making an observation.

His argument — or the "observation" — implied a need for some force to come in and fix the "problem". Because his "observation" applies equally to our entire political system, the same argument would advocate the overthrow of our representative government. Therefore, inquiring, what he would like to replace it with is perfectly legitimate.

But if he is not prepared to dispense with the democracy — same way you aren't — maybe, he ought to keep his hands off the free market as well.

the western world has a problem with obesity, but the #1 leader is the US.

Because the US is the wealthiest and has the most food to both overeat and waste...

If one doesn't understand the market they might assume all phones are built to the same standards

Yeah, and he may also not know, how to put shoes on. Ridiculous. Phone-makers advertise their models all the time — outlining, the differences between them and the competition.

Either way, if the manufacturers aren't seeing much of a backlash over the practices, then it is not a big deal. A self-solving problem — mind your own business.

Comment Re:Wait, they shipped the private key? (Score 1) 65

you generate a new cert based on the content of the one you got and sign it with the private key

If that's, what it is, why would you permanently store the private key on the machine? You can generate a new one at will — because the browser is configured to trust your CA...

Neah, I tend to go with the Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Comment Re:Fail. (Score 1) 240

these are not rational actors

That's an argument against representative government too, you know. Which alternative do you prefer?

They can't even manage their own waistline.

No one can. The problem is the sudden abundance of food in the Western World — our bodies have evolved in a completely different environment. These days we can afford to eat everyday, what would've qualified as a feast only a few generations ago.

You think they can understand a market?

One does not need to understand the market to be annoyed with a particular manufacturer. And if not enough people get annoyed over unfixable electronics, then it must not be a big enough problem. Case closed.

Comment Re:I want quality, not politics (Score 1) 176

Corporate Charter which is to be approved by the State Government

False. Registering a corporation is not a privilege — it is a right. I don't need your approval to create one. My registration merely informs you, that I intend to do business as a corporation.

everybody having their damn about what a corporation does and how from its very inception

False. The only legal mechanism, through which our nosy government pretending to serve the busybody you can justify its interest in the corporation's internal practices, is through non-discrimination and workplace safety regulations.

but others may expect corporations also to support their local societies and to promote their local values

And my point is, such expectations are stupid, misplaced, and counterproductive.

When choosing a new TV-set, are you going to say: sure, Foo's TVs suck and are more expensive than Bar's, but I'm going to buy one anyway, because Foo, Inc. is hiring more women than Bar, Inc.? Seriously?

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome. -- Dr. Johnson