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Comment: Re:Jamming unlinced spectrum is illegal? (Score 1) 278

by tragedy (#48061095) Attached to: Marriott Fined $600,000 For Jamming Guest Hotspots

They have the right to tell people who are using the equipment they don't like on their premises to turn it off or leave. But they don't have the right to use illegal means to disrupt that equipment. It's sort of like you have the right to tell people walking across your property to leave or face trespass charges, but you don't have the right to viciously murder them for it... Ok, bad example, you might live in Texas. How about if you own a movie theater and you don't want people talking. You have the right to tell them to shut up or leave or face trespass charges. Walking up to them and spraying chloroform mist into their face to shut them up is beyond your rights.

Comment: Re:Jamming unlinced spectrum is illegal? (Score 1) 278

by tragedy (#48061067) Attached to: Marriott Fined $600,000 For Jamming Guest Hotspots

As much as I dislike Mariott's practice here, this is clearly outside the scope of the FCC's regulatory powers and as far as I know isn't even in violation of their own regulations.

It it's not outside the FCC's powers, then it sounds like it's a violation of the computer fraud and abuse act.

Comment: Re:We care why? (Score 4, Insightful) 50

by tragedy (#47990667) Attached to: Water Discovered In Exoplanet Atmosphere

The problem with assuming that, is that it implies that the limits we have on engineering with real, actual materials will also be the same all across the universe. No dilithium, no unobtainium, no red matter, no warp drives, no magical materials.

The ridiculousness of some of the fictional materials you mention aside, it's looking more and more as if the majority of the mass of the universe is made up of non-baryonic matter that we can't identify. There also may be stable super-heavy elements we might discover some day, as well as non-standard arrangements of baryons that might also be stable. Maybe we'll also be able to make hybrid forms of baryonic/non-baryonic matter or novel arrangements of all sorts of other particle types. Then there's an entire theoretical periodic table of antimatter as well. We've only gotten as far as making anti-helium so far.
So, there are a lot of potential "real, actual" materials we may be able to play with some day, not to mention all kinds of chemical and nuclear tricks we still may have to learn with the materials we already have.
Once, the alchemists were crazy to think that elements could be transmuted. Then we learned more about the nature of matter and about atoms and chemical and nuclear bonds and it became even more obvious that the alchemists were crazy. Then we figured out that you actually can transmute elements. Your attitude that, essentially, everything has been discovered is just as bad as the attitude that anything is possible.

Comment: Re:We care why? (Score 1) 50

by tragedy (#47990561) Attached to: Water Discovered In Exoplanet Atmosphere

Hydrogen is known, to the best that the last 300 years of science can tell us, to be the most common element in the universe and oxygen is the third most common. Oxygen and hydrogen combine through a simple chemical reaction to form water. Hydrogen is hurled energetically outward from stars. For water to _not_ be common in most systems would require extra weirdness. It is true though that various processes might sequester it all in an oort-cloud-like region, but there's no good reason to think that wouldn't be highly unusual.

Comment: Re:Not about ease, about authority (Score 1) 231

by tragedy (#47906707) Attached to: School Installs Biometric Fingerprint System For Cafeteria

As it is, you can't 'forget' to bring your fingerprint with you, or lose it on the bus, or have it stolen.

You can have your fingerprint stolen, although that's unlikely for school lunches. You can also lose your fingerprint from simple mechanical wear or chemicals. You can also simply not have fingerprints to start with.

Comment: Re:LOL (Score 1) 213

by tragedy (#47897707) Attached to: Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

And since nothing bad happened, what exactly is your point?

I think that was exactly the point.

It's sort of like how, when North Korea attempted a satellite launch not too long ago, the news was full of stories about how incredibly irresponsible it was since a satellite breaking up in orbit could turn into a chain reaction that would scour all orbits of all satellites. These stories were coming, of course, from the propaganda machines of countries which have, on more than one occasion, intentionally blown up satellites in orbit to demonstrate military power.

Comment: Re:Batteries? Seriously? (Score 1) 491

by tragedy (#47878057) Attached to: To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars

1. Swappable electric car batteries are the sane solution for fast-charging electric cars. Good to know it's actually on someone's radar. As for the cost, a city bus costs on the order of half a million dollars with operating costs around a quarter of a million dollars a year. With numbers like that, the batteries don't sound all that expensive. How many batteries you would need per bus depends on a number of factors. Charge time is a big one.

2. The trailer would be for mostly highway driving on fixed routes. Not a lot of tight twists and turns. The trailer also wouldn't have to be very long, and it's not as if segmented buses don't already exist. Aside from trailers, there's the possibility of roof mounting, or having some removable seats at the back and putting the extended battery storage inside the bus.

Comment: Re:I really don't my vital body parts to be on wif (Score 1) 183

by tragedy (#47868903) Attached to: In France, a Second Patient Receives Permanent Artificial Heart

Encryption, message signing ... does it ring any bells?

All of which is meaningless if the cell phone is compromised. Most indications are that, these days, even without viruses, most cell phones are already intentionally compromised straight from the factory. This really is a job for a dedicated device.

Comment: Re:Batteries? Seriously? (Score 4, Insightful) 491

by tragedy (#47868811) Attached to: To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars

It's also a question of flexibility. Sure, the bus doesn't need to go down every road, but they more or less can, providing flexibility

A electrically powered bus with overhead wires _and_ a battery could go down every road, more or less. There's still the problem of long haul trips. I'm still a little unclear on why the buses have to have a fixed battery capacity that has to charge in place as opposed to swappable, extendable batteries. Buses travel around on fixed routes with set schedules. Why can't there be multiple batteries for each bus, left charging at swap stations along the route. Make them automated. The driver can drive up, hop out, put a key into the swap station, position some forks onto the battery in the bus, push a button and have the used battery hauled out and a charged one slotted in. The whole thing shouldn't take more than five minutes. For long trips, why can't a bus haul a battery trailer with extra capacity?

Comment: Re:Competition is good. (Score 1) 211

by tragedy (#47859437) Attached to: Battle of the Heavy Lift Rockets

If the Soviet Union had managed LEO or the moon, do you think they would have not used it?

Where you wrote "do you think they would have not used it?", you were referring to your previous sentence, so the meaning was "do you think they would have not used it to gain a huge strategic and tactical advantage?" Which basically means "do you think they would have not used it to gain command of LEO militarily. So, if "managed" means "command of LEO militarily", then the sentence boils down to: "If the Soviet Union had gained command of LEO militarily, then do you think they would have not used it to gain command of LEO militarily. "If X, then do you not think X" is a tautology.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern

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