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Comment: Re:We can do that thing you like (Score 1) 229

by shutdown -p now (#48275349) Attached to: Windows 10 Gets a Package Manager For the Command Line

Kinda. Thing is, the trend lately has been to decouple stuff. So for example, where Entity Framework used to be shipped in box with .NET (which in turn ships in box with Windows), it is now a NuGet package - and open source; but it doesn't ship with Windows anymore. In a similar vein, ASP.NET is a part of .NET Framework, and hence also ships in the box - but ASP.NET MVC, its replacement, is, again, an independent NuGet package. And .NET itself is moving into the same direction in general, being detangled from the OS and becoming more like Mono, a separate redistributable runtime that you can just put alongside the app.

I don't know if the same is going to happen with C# and VB command line compilers. Today, they also ship as part of .NET, so any Windows install since Vista comes with those compilers. The new ones were rewritten from scratch as part of the Roslyn project, and that is open source, but they might also want to stop shipping them as OS components.

I admit that I don't know much about the F/OSS MS story outside of development and admin stack, but there it's very heavy - VS does ship with a bunch of F/OSS stuff in the box, including some of its own components, and more so as time goes by. A bunch of Azure stuff, SDKs and admin tools, is also open sourced.

By the way, most new MS open source projects (and some of the older ones) have moved to GitHub, so that's the latest and greatest, not so much CodePlex anymore.

Comment: Re:Why not the Golden Age? (Score 1) 472

by shutdown -p now (#48274991) Attached to: Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

Furthermore, the areas that will benefit the most from continued warming are in places like Canada and Siberia where there the population isn't gonna increase (due to societal habits) no matter how much food you can grow there.

I assure you, should Siberia really warm up and open large swaths of arable land, China will have a couple hundred million people to resettle in short order. Russia might object, but I doubt that will matter much.

Comment: Re:Gay? (Score 0) 735

by shutdown -p now (#48274137) Attached to: Tim Cook: "I'm Proud To Be Gay"

The problem is that there are still a lot of people who do care. In fact, they were the majority in this country until very recently, judging by public opinion polls on gay marriage.

Saying "I'm proud to be X" in the face of that is defiance of bigotry, not a statement of one's superiority.

Let me try to give an analogous example. In Turkey, they persecute everything Kurdish, to the point where Kurds often can't speak their own language or even publicly self-identify as Kurds. In the face of that, saying "I'm proud to be a Kurd" is an acceptable and understandable declaration of non-submission. On the other hand, in the same country, someone saying "I'm proud to be a Turk" would be more likely to be taken as an expression of nationalist supremacist sentiment - because there's no discrimination against Turks on account of being Turks.

Context matters.

Comment: Re:Shot in the back (Score 1) 307

How much of the distinction in those cases is based on ease of conversion to full-auto? That puts me far outside of my knowledge space.

I'm not a gunsmith so I can only go based on hearsay, but I don't see any particular correlation with ease of conversion on the lists. For the most part, the items on the prohibited list are those firearms which have been "widely recognized" (for some definition of "widely") as military firearms at the time that list was originally drafted. Hence it has e.g. AK, FAL, G3 and such, but not Vz 58. It also seems to be specifically excluding firearms of American origin, such as M14 and Garand (for Garand, the law even allows it to have a the original 8-round magazine). It seems that updates have been rather ad hoc, and my understanding is that those updates (as opposed to the original list) have been driven largely by full auto convertibility, as shown in the past scandals with acceptance followed by recall of QBZ 95 and SIG SG55x. It largely ignores new firearms that have been designed since the list was originally drawn up - XCR, ACR, Tavor, most Kel-Tec offerings etc are all notably missing, and the corresponding manufacturers have seized the opportunity to grab the market in the absence of competition.

Regarding the "moot" between semi-auto hunting & military, I largely agree as well, though I see the five round (or some other small number with slowish reload) restriction as critical to the point of the civilian safety

The effective limit in Canada is more than 5 right now due to that silliness with the distinction of "pistol" and "rifle" magazines, and the fact that they're restricted based solely on that distinction, rather than actual use in a firearm. In particular, Rock River Arms manufactures an AR magazine for their LAR-15 "pistol" (which is a pistol according to the law because it lacks a stock). That one is therefore 10-round. But it is perfectly legal according to the law to load all 10 rounds and then stick it into any rifle that will accept it - and because it is basically just an AR mag with "for LAR-15 pistol" stamped on it, it will go into any AR (restricted), as well as XCR, Tavor, or SU-16 (all unrestricted).

For another example, consider pistol-caliber carbines, such as Beretta CX4 Storm, or Kel-Tec Sub-2000. Those are usually designed to accept some existing popular handgun magazine - Beretta 92 for Storm, Glock or Beretta for Sub-2000 etc. Again, because the mags are considered as designed for use in a handgun, it is perfectly legal to obtain a 10-round one and then use it in a carbine.

But wait, it gets better. The law furthermore restricts the amount of rounds in the specific caliber for which the magazine was designed. But in many cases, new calibers designed in the past 30 years were intentionally made to reuse existing magazines - especially AR ones. In that case, the capacity of the magazine actually depends on which rounds you load into it, and it can be used with weapons of different calibers without any modifications (other than swapping the rounds). The most extreme case in point is .50 Beowulf - it uses the standard AR-15 magazines, but the round itself is ~1.5x thicker. Consequently, a Beowulf magazine that holds 5 rounds - and therefore legal, on the assumption that it would be used with a rifle chambered in Beowulf - also happens to double as a 15-round 5.56 magazine that works in any AR or compatible rifle (i.e. the same list as above). So long as the mag itself is stamped ".50 Beowulf", it is considered designed for that round, and hence legal to use for any purpose, including loading 15 rounds of 5.56 in it and using it with an AR.

So, in effect, someone who is reasonably well versed in gun laws in Canada today can have a military-like semi-automatic rifle chambered in 5.56, with 15-round detachable magazines, and all this is classified as "unrestricted" - meaning it only requires a PAL, and it can be freely transported subject only to basic safety restrictions (i.e. requires a secure enclosure, a trigger lock, or a detached bolt; with an AR, reinserting a detached bolt is a matter of 2-3 seconds), so you can legally drive around with it in the trunk of your car.

For comparison, this is actually roughly equal to the restrictions currently in place in Colorado, and more liberal than either New York or California.

As to how much it actually helps... I don't think it does, to be honest. On one hand, reloading a semi-auto rifle is a very fast thing, especially if it uses drop-free mags (like AR), and has a bolt hold open and bolt release (again, like AR). Search for "AR speed reload" on YouTube and watch a couple of videos to get an idea. It's even faster with pistol-caliber carbines that have magazine in the pistol grip, Uzi-style, because there the movement is a natural "hand finds hand".

On the other hand, frankly, events involving those rifles are extremely rare. It's kinda like airplane crashes - they get a lot of publicity in the press because of that rarity, and because seemingly many people die at once at the same time from the same cause, and of course there's usually a drama involved ("why did poor Tommy decide that he wants to shoot all his friends? he was such a nice boy!" etc), all of which sells. But if you look at raw numbers, the chances of being shot by an "assault weapon", with or without a hi-cap magazine, are somewhere in the ballpark of being struck by lightning on the porch of your house. Most people killed by guns, including in US, are shot by handguns (and usually it's actually .22 LR handguns), and the shooter usually makes just a single shot, sometimes 2-3. So I don't see mag size restrictions as been "critical to the point of civilian safety" at all. Background checks make a far bigger difference.

Comment: Re:Shot in the back (Score 1) 307

Well, except that that's not how the separation works in practice, at all. For example, Saiga is a hunting weapon by design, but it's on the prohibited list as "AK variant" (while Valmet, another AK hunting variant, is explicitly excluded for some mysterious reason). On the other hand, Vz 58 is not a hunting weapon in any way, shape or form, but it has been on the unrestricted list for ages and is likely to remain there. And, again, why AK is prohibited? Note that we're talking strictly about semi-autos here, so there's no principal difference between Vz, AK and AR at all. Or, for another example, between Saiga 308 (prohibited - AK variant), and M14 (unrestricted) - both are military rifles, chambered in the same caliber, with the same type of furniture etc.

Beside which, the whole division into "hunting" and "non-hunting" weapons is rather moot with a semi-auto. Consider Saiga again. It is a hunting weapon in a sense that it is promoted as one. But, in truth, it's just an AK with different furniture and magazines, not in any way less deadly. Or take Mini-14 - is it a hunting weapon? Most of its users would probably agree, yet its full auto variant, AC-556, has seen military use. And why not? In the end, there is no fundamental difference between a hunting weapon and a military one. A semi-auto rifle is a semi-auto rifle, that's all there is to it. If you already have limits on barrel length and magazine capacity, I fail to see what any further distinctions - particularly ones as arbitrary as specific models of firearms - are adding to the picture.

Comment: Re:Shot in the back (Score 1) 307

Well, there's that whole separation into unrestricted / restricted / prohibited which has no rhyme or reason to it whatsoever. Why is any AK variant (including hunting Saigas, but not Valmets) prohibited, but Vz 58, in pretty much its original configuration sans full auto, unrestricted? Why is AR restricted regardless of barrel length, while e.g. SU-16 or XCR are not? What's the point of restricting magazine sizes differently from handguns and rifles, if you can take a 10-round AR "handgun" magazine and stick it into a rifle?

Comment: Re:Shot in the back (Score 1) 307

Incorrect. The restriction to 5 rounds is for semi-automatic center-fire rifles or handguns.

The restriction is 5 rounds for rifles, 10 rounds for pistols. And to be specific, the restriction is on the magazine, not on the firearm. If a magazine is "designed" for a handgun, it's perfectly legal to fill it up with 10 rounds and attach it to a rifle that it happens to fit.

My only conclusion from looking at Canadian gun laws is that they're written by clueless idiots. Then again, it's also my takeaway from US gun laws. It's like they're trying to regulate something, but don't know what it is.

Comment: Re:Shot in the back (Score 1) 307

The reason why police carry handguns is because it's inconvenient to carry a long gun all the time in a manner that makes it readily accessible on short notice (a regular sling means it's behind your back and takes some time and effort to get into the proper position, and 1-point sling keeps it accessible but not very convenient to carry, esp. if you're running around). A handgun, OTOH, can be holstered, after which it doesn't get in the way.

But as far as actually shooting it goes, a rifle is virtually always better than a pistol - it's faster and easier to aim (because you have two hands at two different points on it), sights are further apart permitting fast-acquisition yet accurate ones like ghost rings, and recoil is much easier to control. Then there's the whole aspect of having a much powerful round compared to a handgun, all other things being equal.

Oh, and regarding it being "too long". This is a lever action, and those exist in versions with barrels as short as 16" - which is what you get on a typical military rifle - except here the rifle will be even shorter with the same barrel because of how the action works. Winchester 1894, specifically, has a 20" barrel as standard, and an overall length of 38 inches, which actually makes it an inch shorter than M16A2 (or Diemaco C7, the standard assault rifle of Canadian armed forces).

Comment: Re:Shot in the back (Score 1) 307

Notice how this idiot shooter was using a shotgun? That's a shit weapon for a shooting spree like this. THAT is the consequence of our gun control. Hunting weapons are fine and widespread. Human killing weapons are restricted.

What's funny is that you've just demonstrated how clueless you are about gun laws in your own country.

There are many "human killing weapons" (by which I assume you mean magazine-fed semi-auto rifles) that are perfectly legal for civilian ownership in Canada, and are just as easy to obtain as this shotgun. For example, Vz 58, M14, SVT, SKS, XCR, SU-16, RFB...

The reason for that is that your law is written by idiots, and basically consists of a blacklist of "bad" firearms. Because said blacklist is updated very rarely, and because it enumerates things by name, it does not include many modern rifles that are just as efficient, and in many cases more efficient, than many firearms not on the list. For example, Vz 58 is basically an AK competitor, and can do everything that an AK does, in some cases better. Similarly, XCR can do anything an AR-15 can do.

So the reason why this guy had a shotgun is likely because that's what he had at the time he decided it's time to become a shahid, not because he couldn't obtain anything better,

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