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Comment: Re:You should title this "Patriot act to be repeal (Score 4, Insightful) 185

by rock_climbing_guy (#49335781) Attached to: New Bill Would Repeal Patriot Act
Perhaps there is "no chance in hell" right now, but if the proponents of change just give up, then there will never be a chance in hell.

I know it's a worn-out analogy, but look at the fight to decriminalize cannabis. One activist told a reporter in an interview that years ago, one could not even discuss the issue in polite company, and now it's been taken to its logical conclusion in a handful of states. If these people had just given up and said "no chance in hell", we would still have the status quo from years ago.

Therefore, I'm glad that *someone* in the halls of power is standing up for the little man, even if things look extremely bleak for his cause today.

Comment: Re:Ship of Theseus (Score 1) 291

by rock_climbing_guy (#49330009) Attached to: Steve Wozniak Now Afraid of AI Too, Just Like Elon Musk
Your analogy is very similar to another one I once read.

Suppose that a scientist "copies" Alex's mind to a robot, destroying Alex's body in the process. Most people say that the scientist murdered Alex and the robot is just a simulation of Alex.

Suppose that the same scientist invents a new therapy for brain injury where a very small part of the brain is replaced with a prosthesis. A man named Bob receives this therapy. Most people call the scientist a hero and a pioneer in medical technology. They credit him with saving Bob's life.

Now, suppose that Bob suffers injury after injury after injury with each injury requiring small parts of his body (including the brain) to be replaced with prostheses. At the end, Bob is just like Alex, having essentially been turned into a robot, destroying his body in the process; only most people would more readily accept Bob's humanity while regarding Alex as a mere simulation.

Comment: Re:WTF AM I DOING HERE! (Score 2) 109

The parent poster is right. I watched a grandmother in my family slowly fade away with Alzheimer's Disease, eventually succumbing to kidney disease. (Oftentimes, Alzheimer's doesn't kill the patient directly, but something else does.) I don't know how much her medication costed, but she required increasing human supervision as the illness progressed. When they could no longer care for her at home, they institutionalized her at great cost. I think that financial assistance is available to those who qualify, but the full price is greater than most people's salary.

Comment: Re:Get a Pilot's License! (Score 1) 110

I attended a demo of the Microsoft Kinect 2 at the Denver Visual Studio Users Group. It was pretty awesome, and the presenter said that he expects that this technology will one day allow people to make 3D models of their living spaces. For example, you could make a 3D model of your closet and then get a preview of what a new shelf system might look like. It sounds like this "porch mapping" problem is not unsurmountable. Plus, if they are going to do your package from a drone, how about placing it in the back yard or other designated place so that it isn't visible from the road?

Comment: Re:to read it another way (Score 1) 337

by rock_climbing_guy (#49303149) Attached to: German Vice Chancellor: the US Threatened Us Over Snowden

The "shutdown" was just a political stunt. The US government can never actually run out of money, because they can simply create more of it out of thin air. That is the entire purpose of fiat currency -- to fund the business of government through inflation, particularly the aspects of it that benefit nobody. They can wring their hands, puff up their feathers, and throw a tantrum as if the fate of their business is in jeopardy, but in the end, all they have to do is push the proverbial button. Poof -- the government is funded again and puttering along as smoothly as a racket possibly can.

A million times this. ^^^^^^

I wish everyone understood.

All you need to know is that among other stupid things, they "closed" the national World War 2 memorial to the public as part of the "shutdown". The WW2 memorial is basically an open park, so they actually spent money erecting temporary fences and posting security guards who actually arrested elderly veterans who occupied the park to protest this action. See here: http://dailycaller.com/2013/10...

Comment: A band-aid on a festering wound (Score 1) 296

by rock_climbing_guy (#49293145) Attached to: To Avoid NSA Interception, Cisco Will Ship To Decoy Addresses
This is, at best, like putting a band-aid on a festering, infected wound. This will change nothing. At best, they might stop a few interceptions, after which they will be served with a "national security letter" or something along those lines telling them to cooperate with the three letter agencies or else.

The only way to fix this problem is to go to the source and reform our three letter agencies, and the ho-hum reaction to the Snowden revelations suggests that it won't happen anytime soon.

Think about it, we live in the country where the FDA raids Amish farmers, and you expect that the NSA will just sit back and let a multinational company with everything to lose interfere with their intentions. If you think that, you're hopelessly naive!

Comment: Re:Corporations never pay tax (Score 1) 342

by rock_climbing_guy (#49287493) Attached to: UK Chancellor Confirms Introduction of 'Google Tax'
This is why the so-called "Value Added Tax" actually ends up being more equitable. Money collected in a country stays in that country, and the corporation has no additional cost to pass on to the consumer, beyond that tax on the value they add.

Except for the fact that they re-impose the damn VAT on the full amount every time we "little people" sell something amongst ourselves. I understand the concept of value-added, but I've read that in many countries, a used car is taxed at the full VAT amount every time it is sold from one private citizen to another, even tho a used car diminishes in value over time. Where is the value added?

Comment: Re:Issue will be resolved... (Score 2) 347

by rock_climbing_guy (#49245409) Attached to: FCC Posts Its 400-Page Net Neutrality Order
Exactly this!

Comcast, et al complaining about this is like a bank complaining that their workers unionized because they had a reputation for firing workers the day before their pensions became fully vested.

Had Comcast not screwed their customers so hard, this wouldn't be happening. I am no fan of Obama, but he was clever to announce his intention to implement this regulation using a video that regularly paused with a buffering icon.

Comment: Re:How about this? (Score 1) 498

by rock_climbing_guy (#49226923) Attached to: Mental Health Experts Seek To Block the Paths To Suicide
I think that generally speaking, it's a bad idea to have laws prohibiting the mere possession of common things in your house for a variety of reasons.

First, it gives the state reason to forcibly enter your home searching for these things. This is dangerous practice that has resulted in many lost lives, injuries, and extensive property damage, even when it is ultimately found that no law was broken.

Second, it is generally very difficult to prove in court that something was or was not found in your home. If the powers that be don't like you, they could simply haul you into court and show some prohibited item (unlicensed firearm, cocaine, child pornography, etc) to the jury, and say that they found it in your home.

I know, freedom is a scary concept. It means that other people will do things you don't like.

Comment: Re:Cost of making the entire world 'safe'? (Score 1) 498

by rock_climbing_guy (#49226279) Attached to: Mental Health Experts Seek To Block the Paths To Suicide
You might be joking about the cliffs, but there was a bit SNAFU in Hawaii several years ago. As I like climbing, I'm glad it happened after I moved away from that state.

A young teenage was critically injured when a climber kicked a rock down from a cliff onto her while she was on a climbing tour with the YMCA. (As an aside, this likely would have been prevented had the YMCA put a helmet on her) In response, the state declared that the cliff was closed to public access, put up signs declaring it off-limits, and actually sent out officers to summon violators to court to be punished.

So you may jest, but denying public access to a cliff is not without precedent.

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