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Comment Re:What?? I thought Republicans hated handouts (Score 2) 522

So why are they helping companies get corporate welfare?

*checks calendar* oh wait, they must need donations for their upcoming election. Nevermind.

The core Republican political philosophy (before the insane took over the nut house) is that the proper role of government is to make sure the rich get richer quicker.

Of course they would never win elections if they ran on that platform, so they pretend they're actually about anything and everything else, in order sucker people into voting against their own self interests. But you see it in almost everything they do.

Comment public information (Score 1) 131

a bad actor was able to use Amazon's online chat support and a fake address to get the rep to tell him Springer's real address and phone number. That was enough to commit fraud with a couple of unrelated online services

Wait what?

Public information, stuff that shows up in phone directories ("white pages" as we used to call 'em) was enough to commit fraud with some online services?

Amazon may have a problem here -- there are many reasons that company should be burned down and the ground salted -- but thinking that your address or phone number are ever private information that can be used to authenticate you is a much deeper problem.

Comment Re:How smart? (Score 1) 464

Google for news articles about the Armatix IP1 smart gun. It's a "smart gun" that requires the user to wear a watch with an authorized RFID chip in order to fire.

Unless the watch somehow can't be worn by a child, this is not a "childproof gun".

Perhaps you're unaware of the facts about the iP1 protests? It's not the availability of misdesigned guns that got people (pardon the pun) up in arms about it, it's the fact that such availability triggers (again, pardon) yet another pointless bit of firearm criminalization in the name of the culture-war push to scapegoat guns for violent crime.

No one who owns a firearm for self-defense wants a firearm that has an additional failure mode. But those unable to see that violence is a problem rooted in people rather than things have already managed to pass a law mandating that that once such unreliable guns are available, they will be the only legally available ones in one state. (For ordinary citizens, at least. I'm sure cop privilege will apply as usual.)

A rule of thumb for evaluating this study, or any one about guns, BTW: anything coming from an institute of public health rather than an institute of criminology is not credible. Crime and violence are not diseases. We have scientific discipline that studies crime; but for prohibitionists, it keeps coming up with the "wrong" answer regarding gun control.


Comment Re:Seems really stupid (Score 1) 208

Purposeful violence against civilians is a breaking of the basic social contract and deserves a forfeiture of rights.

Yes, a forfeiture of rights...after a trial. And based on individual charges, not guilt by association.

If you think that ISIS and "Martin Luthor King, Jr" (sic) are "the same general concept, then you don't really know anything about either.

The freedom of speech of DAESH/ISIS supporters and the freedom of speech of Martin Luther King are the same general concept: the state has no right to use force to silence people, and a communications company should be required to carry all communications regardless of content. (Otherwise it's not a communications company, it's an advocacy group of some sort.)

ISIS is a bad bunch of people. I don't support them. But censorship is strategically counter-productive in the short term, and corrosive to liberty in the long term. Trying to silence a group is an admission that their message is attractive and important. It only lends them credibility, the old "forbidden fruit" syndrome.

Comment Re:If it can be proven.... (Score 1) 225

.... that there exist things that unknowable, then would that proof constitute proof of the nonexistence of an omniscient god? If an omniscient being knows it, then it seems to follow that whatever "it" is cannot be unknowable, and if "it" is truly not known, then the alleged being is not omniscient.

Knowability probably needs to be defined in terms of the characteristics of the know-er. Presumably humans can know things that our smaller-brained ancestors couldn't know, and presumably also some creature with a larger brain might be able to know something that wouldn't "fit" into the human brain.

Similarly, their might be things that are just too complex for us to wrap our brains around, whereas some superintelligent aliens might be able to.

As for omniscience, it would presumably take unbounded storage capacity, plus omnipresence and omnichronicity to be able to acquire knowledge that otherwise would not be reachable or storable. OTOH, if there are only a finite number and size of things to know, and if is possible for some being to know stuff without having to acquire the knowledge, then such a being with finite storage capacity might suffice.

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Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb