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Comment If they're so smart... (Score 1) 169

An alien race with only OUR level of intelligence/development, upon receiving broadcasts from Earth, would recognize them almost immediately as not being from natural phenomena and would have them decoded in a fairly short time. Maybe the signals would make sense, maybe not, but we would surely have their attention. The hard part would be a 2-way communication, as there might be significant cognitive/sensory/cultural differences to overcome.

Comment Re:Gun-free zone? (Score 1) 1163

Perhaps it means that the law says "no guns allowed, unless you're a criminal and don't care about the law".

Of all the rules at the university where I work, no-guns is among the most sensible. The campus has its own police force who have guns and are trained to use them. I wouldn't want to work where any yahoo could wander in packing and I'd have to worry about whether they had any screws loose. On the other hand, a prominent sticker on the door isn't much of a deterrent.

Submission + - Fukushima: 1,600 Dead from Evacuation Stress (

seven of five writes: The NYT reports that radiation-related hysteria and mistakes have cost the lives of nearly 1,600 Japanese since the Fukushima disaster. The panic to evacuate, not the radiation itself, led to poor choices such as moving hospital intensive care patients from hospitals to emergency quarters. The government's perception of radiation exposure risk, rather than the actual risk itself, may have caused far more harm than it prevented.

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 2) 956

Apparently being a nerdy brown kid is now illegal in America. If this was a white Christian kid, he'd be a national fucking hero.

White kids've gotten nailed for this kind of thing in the past. The issue is he did something that confused the adults in power, who panicked in the name of "responsibility." Learning while brown/Muslim sure didn't help though.

Maybe there should be a legal defense org for kids like this along the lines of EFF, but for the makers and tinkerers out there...

Comment Hysterical Title? (Score 4, Insightful) 214

AVs might make it a little easier to do terrorism, but I'm not seeing order-of-magnitude change. Islamist radicals already have AVs in the form of suicide drivers. They go where they want and ram the gates down. McVeigh and Nichols were nowhere near the truck when it went off; the FBI figured everything out from serial numbers on the truck parts in a few hours.

To communicate is the beginning of understanding. -- AT&T