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Comment: Re: Camera gun (Score 4, Insightful) 765

by sed quid in infernos (#46981475) Attached to: A Look at Smart Gun Technology

"Handguns" didn't exist in 1789, so if you're holding up a 1789 piece of paper, you should only get to use a 1789 gun! If you accept a gun made in 2014, then you have to accept ALL the technological features required. It's not that complicated.

Handguns existed at the time the Second Amendment was passed. They weren't nearly as good, no question, but they did exist. More importantly, though, I doubt you'd accept that kind of limitation with respect to the First Amendment, which would allow only handwriting, unamplified speech, acoustic megaphones, woodcuts, manual printing presses, and a few other, mostly one-off or impermanent, means of expression. No internet. No microphones. No audio recording and playback. No video or photographs.

Comment: Re:But, it is illegal (Score 1) 166

by sed quid in infernos (#46385167) Attached to: Invention Makes Citibikes Electric

That's why the article says this: "For legal reasons, the ShareRoller won't engage when you're at a standstill, so I had to pedal a couple of times before I could engage the 1.0 horsepower motor with a handlebar-mounted throttle."

The law banning electric bikes does not apply unless the motor "is capable of propelling the device without human power." Here, it's not (although it doesn't sound like it needs much human power).

That still doesn't mean this is legal to use. It's possible the Citibike agreement bans (or will ban) their use. Probably won't result in a fine, but it could result in a ban. And money damages if the device does cause excess tire wear. But the general NYC ban on electric bicycles doesn't apply.

Comment: Re:More likely (Score 2) 625

by sed quid in infernos (#46228621) Attached to: Majority of Young American Adults Think Astrology Is a Science
I tried to find the actual question wording, but didn't have time to do a thorough search. If the question was "Do you think astrology is scientific, sort of scientific, or not scientific?", then this could, as you say, simply be a problem of ignorance about the difference between astrology and astronomy. But if the question included a definition of astrology such as "that the position of the stars and planets have an effect on personality," then the issues raised in the summary come into play.

Comment: Re:Why even publish this study? (Score 1) 668

by sed quid in infernos (#45171739) Attached to: A Ray of Hope For Americans and Scientific Literacy?

The irony of someone accusing the Tea Party of "Almost assassinat[ing] an American congresswoman" in the same post that decries "[d]ivid[ing] America to the worst point since the Civil War" is painful. The former had NOTHING to do with the Tea Party, and the accusations that it did were a prime example of the vitriol that's come to dominate political debate.

I don't support most of the platform that's associated with the Tea Party, but the accusation that they've somehow been more vitriolic is ridiculous (although they haven't been less). A simple scan of the comments here is the perfect counterpoint.

Comment: Re:$3? (Score 1) 458

Ever since I dropped cable and started buying shows individually, I've saved about 80% on my costs of video-viewing (which included cable, netflix, plus buying DVDs). Also, I watch less crap--no couch-surfing with the remote--and am happier for it. Sure, it's artificial willpower. But it works for me.

Basically, if it's not worth $3, then it's not worth an hour of my time.

Comment: Re:Amazon, others doing it too (Score 1) 458

Yeah, but Amazon is really clear when you buy a season pass that you're paying $(n * 2.87) for the n episodes that have already been aired and $2.87 for each future episode as it comes out. It's very clear there's a per-episode price, and splitting it into multiple seasons has no effect on the total price paid.

I have no idea if iTunes is as clear; I don't order from them.


Encrypted Email Provider Lavabit Shuts Down, Blames US Gov't 771

Posted by timothy
from the land-of-the-free dept.
clorkster writes to note the following explanation posted to the front page of encrypted email provider Lavabit: "'I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. I feel you deserve to know what's going on--the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise. As things currently stand, I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests.' No doubt this has much to do with Snowden's use of the provider."

"Indecision is the basis of flexibility" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.