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Comment Re:Safety (Score 1) 333

If anything the threat of being purged from existence might be best. You and your property will be burned, people will be asked no to speak of you by name, birth records destroyed, any remains that speak to you ever having existing will be buried deep in an unmarked undiscovered location. That might give some of them pause.

That's an excellent follow on, but also needs this: When such an event occurs, no general publicity at all should be given to it. The police know, the courts know, any surviving victims and the families of the victims know, their friends know, and that is wholly sufficient as far as who actually needs to know. Stop giving these people their ten minutes of fame, their wiki page, their "book / movie / tv show / news report / editorial about the atrocity" publicity. Make sure that one thing they cannot get out of such an act is being splashed all over every headline and public informational venue in existence. That was never a good idea, and with the "fame is good, people who sympathize need to KNOW about my (ideas, problems, open source efforts, ability to juggle, cute ass, victimization, revenge, etc.)!" attitude that pervades our society now, broad publicity stands as a powerful motivating factor. Cut it off for these people. If Joe Smith on the other side of the country does Bad Thing, I don't need to know, and you don't need to know either. So quit it.

Comment The whole issue is being approached the wrong way (Score 1) 333

Here's the thing.

Conspiracy to commit murder is pretty much 99.highNines% a "bad thing" and so if people do that, we have a good reason to drag them into court, and henceforth to prison. The fact that some assholes will do this is true; the fact that we want to then isolate them from everyone is also true. This, then, is a good law, because it does not interfere with everyone else's legitimate goings-on, and it can actually protect us from those assholes -- it's just about a perfect guarantee that if people are engaged in conspiracy to commit murder, it'd be much, much better for everyone else if they are stopped.

Carrying a gun is pretty much a 99.highNines% okay thing, as in, no one is going to get hurt by that, and so if people do that, we do not have a good reason to drag them into court, and henceforth to prison. The fact that very, very rarely, some assholes with bad intent will carry guns is not a good reason to tell everyone else they cannot carry guns. Further, as anything these assholes do that is actually asshole-ish already has a law against it (including conspiracy to commit murder, as above), we already have somewhat working tools to address, punish the actuality of, and in some cases even prevent, the problem. Do we need more tools? Yes, we do, because the problem continues to arise -- we have not solved it.

So, as to appropriate and effective tools: I think it's fair to say that most young who are in a state of mind of "I want to [kill|maim] [person|list]" have been pretty severely mistreated in one way or another. Classing, bullying, shaming, beatings and so on. Reducing that is where the effort should be applied by society. Not only because those things are bad, as they certainly are, but because they are known to be significantly contributing or primarily causal factors in this kind of acting out. Which, by the way, guns are not. The act of keeping and carrying arms is not what makes a person want to use it on other people. It's the wrong behavioral target. The problem is not arms. The problem is our defective culture, specifically in how our people, most definitely including our young people, treat each other due to perceived differences. Schools pretty much ignore this stuff. I remember all of it going on at a pretty good clip in my high school, and also in the high school my kids went to decades later. When they were bullied and shamed and I went in to talk about it with the powers that be at the school, I was told the kids "just have to work it out", which is, in my opinion, the root of the problem. No, the kids don't have to work it out on their own. The authorities should be eliminating the problem in every way possible, root, stem and branch. The entire competitive landscape in schools is wrongheaded, from academia to sports to any other means of holding up A as "better" than B. That's a whole different discussion, but that does provide a good overview of the problem.

Restricting arms won't solve the problem. Two reasons: One, it isn't the problem, and two, once someone is in the state of mind that says "I'm gonna [maim|kill] alla these fuckerz", they're already well past obeying laws, and well past caring about how it is done. So say there are magically no more guns. Does that clear the deck of easy ways to [maim|kill]? No, of course it doesn't. A little sword work, some mace swinging, a well-timed exercise of driving a vehicle into a crowd, home-made explosives, any number of poisoning mechanisms, sabotaging a bus, a well-set fire... it's just not that difficult to create huge amounts of mayhem, specifically or generally, by any number of easy means, even if all guns were magicked away. That is the core matter -- not how the mayhem is created. Guns are simply the preferred tool right now. Take them out of the equation, and it is a certainty that something else will become the preferred tool. Because all such a restriction does is take away that one tool. It doesn't take away either the motivation for mayhem, or clear the field of other tools that will work just as well.

Just as with the drug war, the problem isn't the substance / tool / implementation. It is the attitude that gets the person to the point where they care less about the follow-on consequences than they do about the immediate effects and the relevant act is perceived as an attractive choice. Also just like the drug war, the attack on the tool is wrongheaded, causes completely unnecessary harm to large segments of the population who will not be the source of follow-on consequences as they haven't been driven (or aren't naturally) batshit crazy enough to seriously misuse these things, and doesn't go any distance at all towards actually solving the problem.

Having said all that, I would further say this on guns themselves, in fact on arms of any kind: The constitution, as I read it, very clearly and without equivocation says we, the citizens, are empowered to keep and carry arms without government infringement. That would include, but certainly is not limited to, keeping and carrying guns. We are far better off changing that, if indeed we want to change it, using the constitution's article 5 mechanism, amendment, than we are tossing fiat law at the problem. Because if we (by which I mean the lawmakers, the lower courts, SCOTUS, etc.) can ignore one part of the constitution because we think it's old, or inconvenient, or (cough) is "living", then we can ignore the rest just as easily, and that means we're no longer a constitutional republic, in fact we're no better than any sorry-assed banana republic. Which, yes, I admit up front appears to be an exact description of our current circumstances.

I'm not even against changing our empowerment to keep and carry arms. If no arms is how the nation really wants to roll, then okay, then let's try that and see how it works out. I'll turn in my arms -- swords, guns, slingshots, whatever -- without protest if that becomes the legitimate law of the land (which is to say, there's an amendment to the constitution that says the 2nd is null and void or otherwise no longer clearly says that the government is not allowed to infringe on my right to keep and carry arms. Supporting laws that are clearly unconstitutional is an extremely bad idea, and almost all arms laws are presently unconstitutional when they infringe on the right to keep and carry, as they typically do.)

I'm just saying that (a) forbidding arms (either as infringing, unconstitutional fiat, or as amended, legitimate law) won't solve this particular problem as the act of keeping and/or carrying arms is not the actual problem, nor the cause of the problem, and (b) we're presently going about it in a way that corrupts the link between our constitution and our government, and that has almost uniformly resulted in bad things happening to the population at large, so we shouldn't be doing that.

Comment Re:RISK vs CHANCE (Score 0) 85

See, but here's the thing. While the CHANCE is low, the DEGREE OF BADNESS of an asteroid or comet impact is infinite. As in, extinction.

As CHANCE is non-zero, the RISK is infinite as well.

Therefore, we should be taking steps.

But hey, we have brown people to bomb.

Comment Re:Handled (Score 1) 52

EFTE is considered nonstick, as is common among fluorinated polymers - will ice even bond with it? Plus, "thin plastic membrane" and "unfiltered UV radiation", "ionizing radiation", "blowing perchlorate-rich dust", etc doesn't sound like a good combination. EFTE is considered resistant to UV degradation, but I have to question how long any thin film would last on an environment like Mars.

Not saying it's a bad concept, but it's definitely a concept that's not ready for prime-time as it stands.

Comment Re:Are and storms that fierce on Mars? (Score 1) 102

Are you really incapable of doing the math?

A LED headlight is something like 30W. Times 2 for two of them. Times three for "super ultra powerful Mars headlights even though an actual Mars mission would be about saving power". Times 4 for "all of the other things you mentioned". That's still only 720W, what you might use to light up a single square meter.

Don't you get it yet? You simply don't "scrounge up" enough light bulbs to grow an entire person's diet worth of food. It's an impossibility - unless you happen to be trapped in a grow light warehouse or something of that nature. Nor do you just "scrounge up" 100kW of electricity. Plants take orders of magnitude more energy to grow from lights than Weir pictures, end of story.

Remember, individual care of individual plants, optimal temperature and humidity, exploiting the soil to the max,

Please don't make me get into why indoor growing in these situations, even with a person who knew what they were doing rather than Weir's countless things that would actually have killed his plants, is a recipe for terrible yields even if the light was ample. Because it'd be practically a book on greenhouse plant raising, and I really don't have time for that.

Comment Re:Perhaps... (Score 1) 303

One more thing. Let me put this into a concrete context, perhaps that'll transfer the idea a little better.

I go to the Kindle store. I only like science fiction, books on Python. I can tell them so, or I can let them figure it out. But either way, that's what they'll show me for specials and so forth. If I enter my email, they can email me (see, no way for them to know my email otherwise unless I actually buy.) So, this, for me, would be good. I see books I want, and I never see another stupid vampire book again. They, in turn, have a customer who is more likely to buy, because (shock) they're actually showing me things I want.

But when I leave the site, all knowledge of me, goes with me. Now, when I'm visiting, say,, that crap does not -- can not -- follow me around.

Now, say someone visits the Kindle store using my URL. I thoughtlessly pasted it into an email to them or something, and off they go. One thing will happen, and another might. First, they get Python and science fiction suggestions for the personalized part of their advertising experience. If they buy from those suggestions, no harm done. But second, they may buy something else, such as a stupid vampire book. Later, I come back, a vampire book is presented to me, I hop to my clickable prefs, am hopefully offered the opportunity to unclick "vampire books" or whatever, and off I go.

Is this so bad? Right now, my SO and I use the same Amazon account. I like, as stated, Python and SF. She likes mysteries and cookbooks. So I see those. All the time. It's not the end of the world. What's missing here is the ability to tell Amazon that I am not her, and for our shopping experiences to be differentiated.

I suspect -- I'm just guessing -- that if the limits of how the site knew what you wanted were set the way I suggest, they'd be a lot more careful to show you what you wanted, because it's one of the only avenues left to better the targeting of their advertising.

Anyway, again, just mulling it over. Maybe it truly sucks as an idea. Your thoughts on how to get out our shared cookie/scripting nightmare are?

Comment Re:Perhaps... (Score 1) 303

The point is, it'd be a new way of operating. The site would provide copyable links to share.

No question it's more work.

But OTOH, it gets you a personalized experience.

It's not like most websites are using cookies and scripting responsibly now anyway. Certainly the ad companies aren't. Be a treat to turn all that crap off. But if, and it's a big if, I admit, you wanted the site to know your shopping habits, that's a way for them to do it without your browser having to shovel in a bunch of bandwidth eating, data-stealing crap from WeFuckCustomers, Inc.

As I said, it's just an idea. Seems like we're in need of some ideas, though.

Comment Re:the lard of hosts for fat ads (Score 1) 303

Facebook? You use Facebook and you're concerned about ads?

...problem solved.

Also, from my POV, the only "independent sites" out there don't depend on external ads. The others are, by definition, dependent. Like this one.

Comment Perhaps... (Score 1) 303

Perhaps there is a way to put the load, and the expectations, on the user.

You go to a website. If you desire a personalized experience, "click here" and then bookmark.

Resulting page is site.tld/longRandomGeneratedUniqueThing/restofurl.whatever

All links on the resulting page are set that way now. The site is responsible for keeping that "thing" associated with your preferences and etc., as well as generating the right links on all the pages you visit there. That's doable.

As long as you come and go from such a formatted URL, the site knows it's the same person.

If you don't do this, you get a non-personalized experience.

No cookies required. But it does require the user to be a little bit proactive if they want the experience to span multiple visits, because they'll have to bookmark. Otherwise, this visit will know it's them all the way across the visit, but when they leave... the info is either gone or buried in their history.

It's a bit clumsy, and it certainly isn't secure in the sense of others not being able to appear as that person and so forth, but "secure" surely isn't a word I'd use for cookie technology, either. It does allow for basic identity, and it does put control of it in the hands of the user. So for cases where the limitations are acceptable, seems like a reasonable approach.

If not this, then something else. But cookies and forwarding the browser all over creation should die in a fire. Somehow.

Comment the lard of hosts for fat ads (Score 2) 303

The best option, IMHO, is the hosts file, frankly. Be nice if we could work out some solid collaborative way to make my block discoveries help you with yours, etc., but it's just fraught with too many problems and potential black hat undertakings.

Still, it's pretty easy to just have a little app you can paste domains into that just appends your hosts file with Yet Another Reference to the Black Hole Of Data.

Well, under OS X and Linux it is. Not sure about Windows. But years ago, when I was using Windows, it did have a hosts file you could get at. Still true?

Comment Re:The great nation ... (Score 2) 105

You don't even need a big hammer. The combination of some easily-obtained drugs, any solid surface, the secret-holder's fingers or other body parts, and just a small ball peen hammer will fully suffice to access any data, or the password to get at said data.

XKCD explains it in a nutshell.

Comment Re: Did we learn nothing from Snowden? (Score 1) 105

If you want to keep something private, store it somewhere that isn't connected to a network.

And encrypt it. And prevent others from physically accessing it. And never carry any media or printout from said that machine outside the physically secure area in which it is installed. And never, ever, mention any of this to anyone.

There's no such thing as a "secret" when two or more parties know. When one party knows, that's a secret. When two or more parties know, that's just gossip -- you have completely lost control of the information.

Comment Re:Summary is flat out WRONG (Score 1) 374

Note that under your interpretation, if a police officer sees someone committing a rape he can't arrest the guy until somebody comes down from the station with a warrant because arrests are "seizures."

No, arrests aren't seizures, and no, a police officer doesn't need a warrant to arrest someone. Constitutionally speaking, they do need a warrant to search and/or seize, just as the 4th amendment stipulates. Or else any government actor can do anything they want along these lines, as long as someone, somewhere, is willing to say "Well, hey, Cletus, that seems reasonable to me." In which case, as I have pointed out previously, there is no reason for the 4th amendment to exist, because it it utterly meaningless under such an interpretation.

The Courts actually have a lengthy list of types of search they consider reasonable.

Yes, the copious malfeasance of our many dishonorable, sophist, oath-violating judges has indeed become well entrenched. But as with slavery, women's rights, the drug war, and a huge host of other things, they are, as they very often are, completely, utterly, and without even the slightest shadow of a doubt, wrong.

Keep in mind I am not talking about what the courts say here. I'm talking about the constitution itself. Which is above the courts, because it defines the government, under which the courts operate. No judge can legitimately say "yeah, but I don't think so, so no." Among (the many) other problems with that is that it is an abject violation of their oath, and as such disqualifies them from holding the position. Of course the reality is that the judges and lawyers have captured the system, and whatever they say goes -- but to claim that this is constitutionally valid is just ridiculous. It's simply the usual banana-republic / despotic rule-making: whatever we say, goes.

Never trust an operating system.