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Comment: Re:So much for Net Neutrality. (Score 1) 44

by CRCulver (#46781991) Attached to: Tor Blacklisting Exit Nodes Vulnerable To Heartbleed

Russia has just admitted that it really did move members of its armed forces into Crimea prior to the annexation. How do you think they managed that without people catching on?

Could you cite this please? It was my understanding that the "little green men" were simply Russian servicemen already stationed there because the peninsula has long served mainly as a large military installation that Russia leased from Ukraine. These servicemen just put on new uniforms without insignia and drove off their bases to seize the surrounding area. I'd be interested in any publication you might point to that claimed that the "little green men" were secretly moved there from Russia proper. (And even if they were, considering the normal flow of personnel between Russia and Russia's base on the peninsula, it probably could have been kept low-key regardless of the actions of a Snowden.)

Comment: Re:People getting wierd about liquid water (Score 1) 176

by CRCulver (#46781871) Attached to: Kepler-186f: Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered

Because the future of humanity depends on getting off of this rock eventually.

Using a phrase like "the future of humanity" suggests that humanity as it currently exists has a future. As technology progresses and the merging of man and machine becomes a possibility, who knows that future inhabitants of this planet will want or need. In his novel Marooned in Realtime , which deals with a technological singularity, Vernor Vinge speculated that an advanced race might decide to just burrow deep underground and live in a virtual reality there instead of expanding out into the cosmos. Sure, you could argue that billions of years from now civilization would be threatened by the sun expanding into a red giant, but that's hardly a case for the need for human beings to get off Earth now or anytime soon.

Comment: Re:Kim Philby II (Score 2) 337

If he were a whistleblower, we would have seen revelations in the press, not a document dump to the public.

The "document dump" to the public wasn't from Snowden, it was from Greenwald and Poitras. Like a number of whistleblowers who Americans have come to praise in respect, Snowden gave these documents to journalists and asked them to redact them before release to the public. If you have any issues with how that played out, Greenwald, Poitras and other news figures involved are the ones to blame.

Not to mention a lack of taking several hard drives full of data to the Russians

Rumours circulate that most if not all of the hard drives that Snowden had with him upon his flight to Hong Kong were decoys.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1455

by hey! (#46772927) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

It's not a "re-examination". It's a butchering.

You say that like it's necessarily a bad thing.

We've got to stop acting as if the Founding Fathers were like Moses descending from Mount Sinai with the Constitution chiseled on a couple of stone tablets. They were brilliant, enlightened men for their day, but the Constitution is not a document of divine inerrancy.

The US Constitution is the COBOL of constitutions. Yes, it was a tremendous intellectual innovation for its time. Yes, it is still being used successfully today. But nobody *today* would write a constitution that way, *even if their intent was exactly the same* as the founders.

For one thing it's full of confusingly pointless ("To promote the Progress of Science") and hoplessly vague ("securing for *limited times*") phraseology that leaves courts wondering exactly what the framers meant, or whether they were just pointlessly editorializing ("A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State").

It's also helplessly out of date. The Constitution was drafted before the existence of mass media and advertising; before photography even. It was the appearance of photography in newspapers that woke people up to the idea that they might have privacy rights that were being threatened. A Constitution written in 1900 would almost certainly have clauses explicitly recognizing a right to individual privacy and empowering the government to protect that right. A Constitution written in 2000 would almost certainly have clauses restricting the government from violating individual privacy.

And then there is slavery, an outright *evil* which is enshrined in the founder's version of the Constitution. That alone should disqualify any claim they may have had to superhuman morality.

So if we take it as given that the US Constitution is not divinely ordained, it's not necessarily a bad thing that the current generation should choose to butcher what the founders established. Would you re-institute slavery? Allow *states* to deprive citizens of liberty and property without due process? Eliminate direct election of senators?

So it's perfectly reasonable to butcher anything in the Constitution when you're proposing an *amendment* to the Constitution. That's the whole point. We should think for ourselves. In doing so, we're actually carrying on the work the framers themselves were doing. Every generation should learn from its predecessors, but think for itself.

Comment: 13 years ago, eh? (Score 1) 236

by CRCulver (#46771757) Attached to: Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago

That would be 2001. I had a PDA (Pocket PC) at that time that was internet-capable. However, when wi-fi was not yet widespread, the only way you could get on the internet with the thing was a complicated modem setup, plugging a cable into an extension card. Getting data over a mobile phone link still involved the horribly primitive technology WAP. So, a fat lot of good your portable device did you. The smartphone and the tablet could not really take off until wi-fi and cheap 3G did.

Comment: Another way to look at "rich" (Score 1) 764

by fyngyrz (#46770359) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

This study defines "rich people" as those making around $146000/year.

If you think about it, there's no control for expenses there, so it's not a very effective definition (I'm always kind of a amazed at the mindset in the US that tries to simplify things by drawing a numeric line in the sand, as if there were no other issues. And people put up with it. We need better schools.

I define "rich" as: wealthy enough to be living in a manner comfortable in every material way to the individual or family, and able to survive indefinitely in that state, or in an increasingly wealthy state without relying on income from, or charity of, others. Regardless of if one actually chooses to exist in that state, or not.

Not trying to force that definition on anyone else, but that's how I see it personally.

Comment: TFS (and perhaps TFA) has it wrong (Score 1) 764

by fyngyrz (#46770173) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

The transition was from a flawed, but still readily identifiable constitutional republic (not a democracy), to a corporate oligarchy.

This has never been a democracy, and furthermore, the constitution insists that the federal government guarantee each state a republican form of government, as in, a republic -- not a democracy. That's in article 4, section 4.

This is why representatives decide the actual matters, and voters don't, in the basic design.

Of course, now even the representatives don't decide -- nor judges -- if the legislation deals in any significant way with business interests. The only way the old system still operates even remotely the way it was designed to is when the issue(s) at hand a purely social ones. Even then, the bill of rights seems to be at the very bottom of any legislator's or judge's list of concerns.

Can't see any of this changing, though. The public is too uninformed, and short of completely revamping the school curriculums, they're going to remain that way.

A LISP programmer knows the value of everything, but the cost of nothing. -- Alan Perlis

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