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Comment: Re:Gun control however... (Score 4, Informative) 856

by the_raptor (#43699883) Attached to: California Lawmaker Wants 3-D Printers To Be Regulated

I am Australian, and our criminals have guns. Banning guns won't stop criminals or terrorists getting or making them. A full automatic sub-machine gun can be made in any basic machine shop.

Banning guns will massively reduce their use in domestic disputes and suicide, but it won't stop criminals.

Comment: Re:One Suspect Dead (Score 5, Informative) 1109

That is really a movie thing, in real life giving the patient enough morphine to shut them up is also a good way to kill them. In WWII medics were very careful about morphine use (eg pinning used syrettes to the soldiers collar so field hospitals would know morphine had been administered).

Comment: Re:So would an analogue be the steering wheel? (Score 1) 347

You are assuming that a fly-by-wire system is more failure prone then the standard mechanical linkages, it is possible that a fly-by-wire system could be simpler and less failure prone then the current systems. And even "basic" models of cars these days have so many electronic extras that fly-by-wire is likely to be a minor additional cost if any at all.

Fly-by-wire has been done in the past, people just prefer having a steering wheel because they are used to it. I think that as more cars transition to be being capable of autonomous driving then people will drop the huge bulky wheel in favour of a small joystick that can be used when needed.

Comment: Re:How about removing the faux caps? (Score 4, Informative) 66

by the_raptor (#40723067) Attached to: Aussie Network Engineers Form Members-Only ISP

>There is little excuse for it

Yeah there is, most traffic is to American sites and we have a limited international cable infrastructure which mostly relies on 2nd and 3rd parties in the link. On my last ISP I had connection problems on occasion because either SingTel or the US ISP at the landing in America would fuck with some settings. With the NBN I believe most of the international links and peering will be handled by NBNCo which should have more bargaining power then the small ISP's currently do (the big ISP's in Australia generally prefer fucking customers over).

Comment: Re:So update the scan with renewal (Score 2) 59

by the_raptor (#40118947) Attached to: A Wrinkle For Biometric Systems: Irises Change Over Time

For the simple reason that many people might find that sort of thing stinks of Big Brother. People are used to official photographs now but generally find other forms of identification such as fingerprinting to be too associated with law enforcement to be acceptable. The appeal of Iris scans would be to do them when children are born and can't protest, meanwhile the parents are probably too overjoyed and tired to protest either.

Also I suspect the authorities don't like biometrics which change because they like to push through cases on forensic identification and so don't like the public thinking about the false positive rate.

Comment: Re:Correlation is not causation (Score 1) 684

by the_raptor (#39884827) Attached to: Growing Evidence of Football Causing Brain Damage

AFAIK rugby players, who play without helmets or padding, show similar injuries but not to the same degree as American Football players. And some countries where rugby is popular are already talking about multi-match or even season medical "bans" for concussed players (concussion is somewhat cumulative, every one you get makes it more likely you will be concussed in future).

But at least football players get better compensated than soldiers with IED caused traumatic brain injuries.

Comment: Re:Reason for burial (Score 4, Interesting) 142

by the_raptor (#39831037) Attached to: Squadron of Lost WWII Spitfires To Be Exhumed In Burma

My favourite example of this kind of stuff is the reefs in the pacific made from dumped US and Japanese war surplus. Even though much of that equipment remained in US arsenals through the 1950's and was used by US allies well into the 70's it was cheapest to dump brand new tanks and use the space to ship soldiers home.

Comment: Re:Killed by miniaturization, I assume? (Score 1) 134

by the_raptor (#39625979) Attached to: America's Secret Underground Ice Fortresses

[quote]Seems to me like even with the advent of missile subs those tunnels could still have served as a hideout for World Leaders (tm) from our side of the political spectrum if the worst had happened...[/quote]

Not if you RTFA. The camp was abandoned because they had to trim and remove 120 tons of ice a month to maintain the tunnels because of the ice sheets movement. The tunnels themselves also weren't nearly deep enough to shield from "nearby" nuclear explosions or conventional bombings, which would be inevitable as its location was no secret.

Facilities like Raven Rock were far more secure and easier to maintain, not to mention reachable before the bombs fell.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raven_Rock,_Pennsylvania

Comment: Re:Hmm (Score 2) 295

by the_raptor (#39605171) Attached to: F-18 Fighter Jet Crashes Into Virginia Apartment Complex

From what I have been told by the knowledgeable in previous discussions is that civilian twin engine aircraft are designed to function on one engine, so it is a sure bet that military ones are as well. The only case I can think where this mightn't apply is if the aircraft had a full combat load, but this was a training flight.

From the fact that people could hear a failing engine it is likely that both engines failed one after the other (eg catastrophic turbine failure leading to the other engine being damaged by fragments), or this was something like a fuel pump failure.

Comment: Re:I agree: nothing here in the Wikileaks Stratfor (Score 1) 211

by the_raptor (#39217361) Attached to: Is Stratfor a "Joke"?

A spy operation would imply that a certain amount of deception (or at least extreme covertness) was used to secure information that is considered proprietary to an organization

No it doesn't. The KGB used to count the cars in the Pentagon car park, the NSA/DIA used to listen for encrypted military radio traffic to gauge readiness levels. Everyone knew they did this, and there was only the most cursory attempts to conceal it.

Intelligence gathering is mostly far more prosaic than people assume. The real covert stuff, like using submarines to attach listening devices to Soviet undersea cables, is only a tiny part of what is going on. Mostly it is gathering a whole bunch of "newspaper clippings" and attempting to create an overall impression of what the enemy is up to (and this is why it was easy to "spice up" the Iraq and WMD intel to support an invasion).

And yes this is incredibly dangerous (as Iraq found out) and almost lead to Nuclear War in the 1980's when the Soviets relied on it to figure out if the US was going to pull a first strike.

Comment: Re:Wealth is Not Produced by Excess of Charity... (Score 1) 1040

by the_raptor (#39180155) Attached to: Are Rich People Less Moral?

What I don't understand is why some OTHER definition is required

In the original analogy rich people getting into heaven is virtually impossible (ie actually squeezing through a needle). The gate interpretation lowers the eligibility bar to just rich people giving away their wealth.

Of course this usually gets further re-defined to something like "just giving away their wealth when they die" or "just giving away a lot of wealth".

The only thing cheaper than hardware is talk.

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