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Comment: Re:A problem of trust (Score 1) 280

by shutdown -p now (#48172875) Attached to: FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

In an ideal world, individuals would use encryption that would protect their privacy from the run-of-the-mill attacker but not from the government.

Even setting the balance of government powers vs individual rights aside, the problem is that there's no such encryption. If it has a backdoor, it's vulnerable. For example, if it has an extra "NSA key" that can be used to decrypt it, then that key will be leaked eventually (Snowden is a living proof of that0, and at that point all existing data is vulnerable.

What he is asking is to compromise security below any acceptable standard for the sake of his convenience. The only correct answer here is, "fuck off". There's no balance to discuss.

Comment: Re:(Re:The Children!) Why? I'm not a pedophile! (Score 1) 280

by shutdown -p now (#48172819) Attached to: FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

Can you quote that right? Because all I see in the 4th Amendment is that they're not allowed to arrest or search unless it is reasonable; it doesn't say anything about being granted a right to search things successfully.

So far as I can see, 4A is not relevant to this discussion at all. It does not grant people the right to be completely secure from any search (as it specifically excludes reasonable ones), nor does it grant the government the right to force people to make said search easier.

Comment: Re:This looks like a nasty trick. (Score 1) 826

by shutdown -p now (#48166361) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Why not just tax capital gains at a flat rate (higher than what it is today, that is)? It's inherently progressive at the lower scale of the spectrum (generally, the higher up you go, the more income people derive from capital gains, and the less from employment and other income), and then eventually flatline somewhere in the "insanely rich" territory. And by its nature, it's much easier to track than regular income or sales.

Comment: Re:This looks like a nasty trick. (Score 1) 826

by shutdown -p now (#48165669) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

I would argue that it is, actually, an inherent flaw in the concept, because the spending/income ratio tends to diminish as income increases. In other words, no matter where you draw the line, it'll always be regressive (in terms of both income and wealth) for people above that line.

Comment: Re:This looks like a nasty trick. (Score 1) 826

by shutdown -p now (#48164353) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Why wouldn't he, with the proposed scheme? Proportional to income, his consumption is significantly less than mine - most of his income is immediately invested into stocks and such. On the other hand, I'm earning (and spending) too much to significantly benefit from the "consumption allowance". The end result is that he is paying less, but because the money has to come from somewhere, this means that I'm paying more.

Comment: Re:This looks like a nasty trick. (Score 1) 826

by shutdown -p now (#48162761) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

There's one simple and obvious problem with FairTax: it results in a progressive taxation system, true, but it rebalances it in favor of the rich by offloading some of what they are currently paying to the middle class (and especially high middle class) - this is evident from the graphs in their FAQ when they explain how it is progressive.

Now tell me - why, as someone who is middle class, should I support it if it means I'll be paying more, and my boss' boss' boss will be paying less?

Comment: Re:No mention on capacity though (Score 1) 395

I don't know what they teach in US classes. The one that was taught to me talked about SI units, and specifically explained things such as derived units, and how to properly keep track of units when doing calculations, and use that to catch mistakes when e.g. things that are not supposed to be added or multiplied together would be combined by mistake. Using a wrong unit like that in your homework (be it kW/h or just plain kW to refer to energy) would earn an immediate fail grade.

Comment: Re:Designed in US, Built in EU, Filled in Iraq (Score 1) 376

by shutdown -p now (#48157293) Attached to: Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq

He did? Like what, overthrowing a secular dictator in Iraq so that a religious government could take its place? Or "liberating" Afghanistan and installing a new government, which promptly put in place a constitution declaring Sharia the supreme law of the land?

Comment: Re:Also if accurate its a big slap in the face (Score 1) 564

by shutdown -p now (#48157229) Attached to: Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

Hindsight comes into play when people promise to deliver something for 50 YEARS !!! and fail to deliver but keep saying they just need more money to git er done.

They promised to deliver said something in 50 years given increased funding. Instead, the funding steadily decreased. Well guess what, if you keep giving them less money, the schedule is going to stretch out further and further. So that's your "it's always in 20 years" effect, completely self-fulfilled.

Not to mention that theoretical science and advanced engineering like this is very hard to estimate accurately - you can't really estimate how long it'll take for the breakthroughs necessary, you can only roughly gauge the amount of experiments you might need to run. This isn't Starcraft where you click on a button to research something and get a progress bar.

If it were that easy, then everyone in the field would have been expecting Skunkworks people to come up with the first working thing. But few people bet on them, even despite the fact that the details behind this project were available for quite a while. To me, this indicates that the subject is much less obvious than you make it be.

Comment: Re:No mention on capacity though (Score 1) 395

Convenience often beats efficiency. If I can just park my car and walk away, and know that it's charged enough to compensate those 10 miles that it took me to drive there, I'm happy. And hey, if we also get fusion working anytime soon? I don't think we'll care much about that 30% waste then.

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