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Comment: Re:When the cat's absent, the mice rejoice (Score 1) 156

Well, I'd be with you if the government was poking around on the users' computers, but they weren't. The users were hosting the files on a public peer-to-peer network where you essentially advertise to the world you've downloaded the file and are making it available to the world. Since both those acts are illegal, you don't really have an expectation of privacy once you've told *everyone* you've done it. While the broadcasting of the file's availability doesn't prove you have criminal intent, it's certainly probable cause for further investigation.

These guys got off on a narrow technicality. Of course technicalities do matter; a government that isn't restrained by laws is inherently despotic. The agents simply misunderstood the law; they weren't violating anyone's privacy.

Comment: Re:Crude? (Score 2) 74

by hey! (#47904781) Attached to: Original 11' <em>Star Trek Enterprise</em> Model Being Restored Again

Compare that to some of the ST:TNG props that I've seen that look fine on screen, but when examined closely look like someone gave a 5-year old a couple of shots of vodka and turned them loose with a paintbrush.

There's a certain wonder to that too.

I had the same reaction when I saw the ST:TNG props in person. You wouldn't buy a toy that looked that cheesy. The wonder of it is that the prop makers knew this piece of crap would look great onscreen. That's professional skill at work. Amateurs lavish loving care on stuff and overbuild them. Pros make them good enough, and put the extra effort into stuff that matters more.

Comment: Re: Great one more fail (Score 1) 407

by hey! (#47904749) Attached to: High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

These kinds of responses are conditioned on certain assumptions that may not hold for all users.

For example, let's assume that you have no need whatsoever to prevent other users from using your gun. Then any complication you add to the firearm will necessarily make it less suitable, no matter how reliable that addition is. An example of someone on this end of the spectrum might be a big game hunter who carries a backup handgun.

On the other hand suppose you have need of a firearm, but there is so much concern that someone else might use it without authorization that you reasonably decide to do without. In that opposite situation you might well tolerate quite a high failure rate in such a device because it makes it possible to carry a gun. An example of someone on this end of the spectrum might be a prison guard -- prison guards do not carry handguns because of precisely this concern.

This isn't rocket science. It's all subject to a straightforward probabilistic analysis *of a particular scenario*. People who say that guns *always* must have a such a device are only considering one set of scenarios. People who say that guns must *never* have such a device are only considering a different set of scenarios. It's entirely possible that for such a device there are some where it is useful and others where it is not.

Comment: Re:Do We Want Our Gov't to regulate the drones? (Score 1) 94

by ScentCone (#47901651) Attached to: Drone-Based Businesses: Growing In Canada, Grounded In the US

*twirls finger around head* cuckoo cuckoo... looks like the loonies are taking over slashdot lol

So, let's see ... the administration publishes a written interpretation of a law they don't like, and you think it's crazy to report that fact?

Obviously it's nothing new for the Obama administration to simply ignore statutory requirements (see his unilateral re-writing of features of the ACA entirely for political expediency), and this is simply another case of it. But what's interesting is that you are obviously either ignorant of their specific language in the new "interpretation" of the law in question, or you're well aware of the implications and are just doing your best to wish it away through childish ad hominem. Classic lefty sycophantism. Or, I'll just give you the benefit of the doubt, and tell you to go read their published intention to twist the law into an implementation that is 180 degrees opposite to its plain, so you can come back here and argue the details instead of stamping your feet like an eight year old girl.

Comment: Re:Fucking Government doesn't care about US (Score 3, Insightful) 57

by mrchaotica (#47901535) Attached to: NSA Metadata Collection Gets 90-Day Extension

Bullshit. The Supreme Court damn well knows the 4th Amendment (and the rest of the Bill of Rights) should be interpreted broadly, so as to limit the government as much as possible. They just don't give a fuck because they're partisan, totalitarian bastards!

Comment: Re:No, no. Let's not go there. Please. (Score 4, Insightful) 695

by nmb3000 (#47899595) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

Atheism is the lack of belief in a god or god. Nothing else.

Ideally, yes, but we all know that that's not all there is to it these days.

Only because theists have done everything in their power to change the common meaning of the word "atheist". It's so much easier to persecute someone if you can twist their stance into being the exact opposite of your own because this allows you to set up "us versus them" and "attack on our way of life" straw men.

It doesn't help that for many people (in English anyway), the phrase "I do not believe X" has come to be equal to "I believe against X". Declaration of a lack of a thing does not, in any way, declare that you hold to its antithesis. It's this crucial point that theists miss -- some due to ignorance, but most due to an explicit intent to mislead.

Of course, this applies to topics other than (a)theism, and is pretty much the standard MO of most conservative pundits. Why have a rational discussion when you can fabricate a one-sided fight instead?

Comment: Moo (Score 1) 2

by Chacham (#47899487) Attached to: Subscriptions Are Over ~ Busy Penguin

Too bad on the subscriptions. :( I'd be happy to give you a page view--if it were possible--for you to never use, and thus enjoy the subscription.

It's also neat that you just let them have the address. Let's hope they remember you when they become world famous. :)

I also have a few names that i want to use but am too lazy to. Maybe we can get another site: LDNHA (Lazy Domain Name Holders Anonymous). Um, and is HTM really a tag?

Comment: Re:Do We Want Our Gov't to regulate the drones? (Score 1) 94

by ScentCone (#47899113) Attached to: Drone-Based Businesses: Growing In Canada, Grounded In the US

ROFL.
Obama's out to stop the drone entrepenaurs!
ITS ALL A CONSPIRACY!!

It's not a conspiracy, coward. It's published policy. Your decision to trot out ad hominem in place of addressing the basic facts of the matter shows you know I'm right. That you're posting as a coward makes it even more clear. But keep propping up your pet administration, man. The documents they publish - you know, the ones that have been amply covered in both aviation news and general media of all sorts - make this all very clear. The agency has just been sued by multiple parties over the 'interpretation' document and policy position in question. But please, don't trouble yourself to keep up with the news - that would take the fun out of your shrill, drooling Obama fanboyism.

Comment: Re:Do We Want Our Gov't to regulate the drones? (Score 1) 94

by ScentCone (#47899081) Attached to: Drone-Based Businesses: Growing In Canada, Grounded In the US

This is that anti-job anti-business Obama's fault!

To which I respond: [citation needed].

You actually need a citation to believe that the director of the FAA is a political appointee? You are that unaware of how federal agencies are run by the executive branch of the government? You don't need a citation, you need a remedial course in basic civics. Please return to the conversation when you understand the basic structure of the government.

Science

Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk 695

Posted by Soulskill
from the need-a-way-to-cheat-death dept.
New submitter anlashok writes: Atheism and science face a real challenge: To frame an account of science, or nature, that leaves room for meaning. According to this article, atheists have pinned their flag to Mr. Spock's mast. But they need Captain Kirk. Quoting: "I'm pro-science, but I'm against what I'll call "Spock-ism," after the character from the TV show Star Trek. I reject the idea that science is logical, purely rational, that it is detached and value-free, and that it is, for all these reasons, morally superior. Spock-ism gives us a false picture of science. It gives us a false picture of humankind's situation. We are not disinterested knowers. The natural world is not a puzzle. ... The big challenge for atheism is not God; it is that of providing an alternative to Spock-ism. We need an account of our place in the world that leaves room for value."

Comment: Re:Do We Want Our Gov't to regulate the drones? (Score 5, Insightful) 94

by ScentCone (#47896735) Attached to: Drone-Based Businesses: Growing In Canada, Grounded In the US
Yes, and congress passed a law requiring the FAA to produce such regulations in a timely fashion due in this coming year. The administration has said they will not obey that law, and will not have such a framework in anything like the timely fashion required.

In the meantime, the administration has published an "interpretation" of the 2012 law that says they take it to mean more or less the exact opposite of its plain intent, and they are busy getting ready to fine people for doing things like participating in RC competitions (you know, like we've been having for decades) that happen to involve things like $20 cash prizes ... because that's commercial drone use! The employees of US-based companies that have for years stepped out back of their shops to test-fly a new RC airplane or multirotor will, according to the Obama administration's new interpretation, be breaking the law and subject to substantial fines for being paid to fly unmanned aerial systems. We can't have that! Quick! Shut down all of those businesses and jobs! Chase those retailers out of the country!

It's preposterous. We're not just dragging behind the rest of the world, we're actively taking steps backwards. The administration is deliberately, purposefully, putting the brakes on what would otherwise be a multi-billion dollar industry full of innovation and attractive to STEM-types in this country. The left's instinct to Nanny State their way down into every last aspect of what someone might do to conduct some business (hey, kid, quit flying your $250, 2-pound plastic quad-copter with a cheap camera over your neighbor's roof because he asked you to, and said he'd give you $25 to get pictures of his roof gutters for him - if you don't cease and desist such commercial UAV operations, that's going to be a $10,000 fine!) means they can't simply clone the sort of framework that the UK or Canada have long had in place ... no, there's got to be a way to make it all MORE miserable, MORE expensive, MORE punitive, and nearly impossible for small entrepreneurs to get into - because otherwise we might miss out on some more federal fees, and intrusive paperwork.

And as usual, the very idiots that we'd most worry about anyway, who will be getting a drone from Amazon tomorrow and flying it over a park full of kids an hour later without any understanding of safe operations or good manners, will completely ignore the FAA's rules/guidance/regs anyway. The government, which is here to help you, will only be placing the painful burden and expense on the very people who are the most responsible anyway: those with a lot to lose because they're in business to use the technology.

More Hope and Change, hard at work for our economy. Yes, Obama's man Huerta at the FAA is a political appointee and that aspect of the food chain lays the FAA's entire posture on this squarely at the door of the White House.

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