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Comment Re:Bad choice (Score 1) 145

And looking at its direction in the past couple of years, it seems that it's falling back into its old ways (or rather an incoherent mix of old and even older, from Soviet and Imperial times both), which makes me question just where the problem has really been all this time.

Comment Re:This is why ISIS wins (Score 1) 568

The surviving Russian pilot stated that they had zero warnings and zero indications that anything is going wrong right up until the point a missile blew off their tail.

(Of course, this may well be cooked to corroborate the whole "there was no warning" take that has been the official Russian position on this so far.)

Comment Re:Soft Power (Score 2) 359

And when Europe decides to ignore a whole lot of American drug patents in return?

The reason the WTO exists is to try and avoid tit-for-tat trade wars like what you're suggesting. Ultimately they make everyone poorer.

The US has an uncompetitive tax system for corporations. It's not even about the rate, it's about the fact that they're double taxed on worldwide income, something no other country does. Instead of coming up with creative ways to try and "punish" people who develop life saving drugs for getting sick of American tax exceptionalism, why not find ways to make them want to stay?

Comment Re:Torrent (Score 1) 308

Thing is, this law will do nothing about making 3D-printed guns less accessible to be used for criminal purposes. It's still trivial to go and download the schematics and feed them into the printer. Sure, you'd be committing a crime merely by doing so now, but if you're 3D-printing it specifically to go and shoot one, I don't think that you actually care.

In any case, home-made AKs are probably not a good baseline. They still require a reasonably well stocked workbench, and some machinery for things like the barrel. But a single-shot shotgun can literally be made out of two pieces of pipe and a screw, all readily available in any hardware store - and is still more deadly than any of these 3D-printed plastic toys (and for bonus points, no-one is likely to recognize it as a shotgun, especially when it's disassembled).

Comment Re: Torrent (Score 1) 308

I thought silencers were a hollywood invention

In USA, at least, "silencer" is the legal term for the device, as used in the National Firearms Act that sets up the regulatory framework.

As to how much relation the Hollywood type has to the real thing, it depends on the specific depiction and the specific real thing. Modern efficient suppressor designs combined with subsonic ammunition that is specifically designed to be suppressed can be pretty damn quiet, especially out of longer barrels where pressure is lower at the muzzle, and in bolt-action or other manual action firearms where the action itself doesn't make any noise during firing.

visible laser beams

You can actually kinda sorta get that IRL sometimes, with a sufficiently powerful laser (which rifle laser sights often are), because it will light up the dust in the air, or particles of water when it's humid (esp. outside).

Comment Re: Torrent (Score 1) 308

The problem is that you still have to pay $200 and wait for several months to get one (and it's not a permit, by the way - it's a tax stamp; it does nothing other than produce some revenue for the state). And if it breaks or wears out, you have to pay the same for the next one. And the prices on them are very high largely because of the regulatory environment. And all of this is has no rational basis whatsoever.

Also, while it's legal on federal level, some states specifically ban silencers.

Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously. -- Booth Tarkington