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Comment: Re:Pro-bono? (Score 3, Interesting) 64

by ultranova (#49748255) Attached to: Australian ISP Offers Pro-bono Legal Advice To Accused Pirates

I suspect, based upon their previous legal challenges that the management of iiNet actually think that what is occurring here is wrong and they're putting their money into what they believe which isn't something that you often see in the corporate world.

It also makes them a more attractive choice for an ISP to potential customers. Copyright industry is pretty much an extortion racket at this point, extracting "settlements" from random people.

Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 1) 598

by ultranova (#49736051) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

However, "Thou shall not kill" is definitely wrong. The Hebrew word is "murder", not "kill". There isn't any ambiguity on that one.

I wonder if religious memes are selected for because a religion forces its followers to excersize their mind thinking up ways to get around the religion's commandments?

Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 1) 598

by ultranova (#49735703) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

I think it's a trend that will grow as more and more people realize that both Republicans and Democrats have utter contempt for civil rights and personal choice.

Democrats believe in personal choice, and that the state should decide what options are made available.
Republicans believe in personal choice, and that businessmen and corporations should decide what options are made available.
Libertarians believe in personal choice, and that good options will be available for free.

Frankly, these are all rather unrealistic. Does anyone have better ideas?

Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 1) 598

by ultranova (#49735331) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

How much more would you like them to pay?

The rich need to pay whatever it takes to stop the national debt from growing, both budgetary and in the form of infrastructure maintenance and investment deficit, because nobody else can. If they won't, then the nation will deteriorate and ultimately collapse, clearing the way for another nation to try its luck with history in turn. Perhaps it can inspire some actual loyalty outside of speeches.

Also, the 1% paying 39% of all income taxes when you're getting 34% of all income isn't exactly oppressive, at least not towards them.

Comment: Re:Space Drone (Score 1) 109

by ultranova (#49726581) Attached to: Robotic Space Plane Launches In Mystery Mission This Week

I've always been curious why there haven't been battlefield "disposable" drones that could be launched from a high altitude bomber, controlled by units in the field, fire a couple of guided missiles and then be delivered as a weapon itself on a target.

Because that's basically a missile that launches missiles. You'd just use waste payload capacity for duplicate launch mechanism (one of the bomber, another on the missile). Just launch/drop the missiles/bombs directly from the bomber.

Comment: Re:Why Do We Carry On Pretending? (Score 2) 118

by ultranova (#49709867) Attached to: GCHQ Officials Given Immunity From Hacking Charges

We all know Western Civilization has fallen to Fascism, so why not just come out and announce it?

Because compulsive lying is one of the classic symptoms of sociopathy. Every oppressive regime lies. They don't believe their own lies, and they know nobody else does either. They do so anyway, because getting people to repeat lies makes them their own jailers. The system can't jail or kill everyone, and in fact can't do anything on its own; it must convince someone else - a police, a soldier, whatevever - to deal with threats on its behalf. As soon as those agents lose their loyalty - as soon as they admit to themselves they're only putting up a show to keep from getting killed themselves - the system has already fallen. It has no power anymore, just an empty shell of it.

The scond reason is that fascism is basically reactionary. It originated as an attempt to stop the spread of communism at a time when liberal capitalism seemed to have failed. For any Western nation to openly embrace fascism again would mean admitting the economic policy of the last few decades has been an utter failure. But that policy was not just a pragmatic project but a matter of ideology to a lot of people. And ideology is just secularized religion for the materialistic era. To admit its failure would be apostacy. Just look at McCarthy's witch hunts; anyone can see they're exactly that, even if conducted in the name of a secular ideology and state.

And of course the third is that Western Civilization is not currently fascist. We wouldn't be talking about this openly on a public forum if it was. Increased surveillance by various intelligence agencies is worrisome and could potentially lead us to an unpleasant place once again, but we're nowhere near it yet. Not every political decision you don't like is a sign of fascism any more than every shoulder ache is a sign of a heart attack.

Comment: Re:It's My rant (Score 2) 612

by ultranova (#49706639) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

If we believe in survival of the fit over the weak then what we are seeing is that socialism is fit to survive under conditions that capitalism can not.

We've already seen it. The age of crisis lasting from the start of first to the end of second world war basically brought an end to laissez-faire capitalism. Things we have now - from social security to 40-hour workweek - were all reforms demanded by the labour movement. And attempts to return to the good old Gilded Age are backfiring quite spectacularly upon the economy right now. As they deserve to, since even in the best case they would make most people glorified indentured servants.

All of these problems could be solved quite easily by unconditional citizen pay, since that would guarantee a certain demand and stop the economic downward spiral, as well as kill industries that can't survive without de facto slave labour, but ideology prevents it. I suspect reforms will be impossible until the situation deteriorates to another wave of revolutions. But who knows, maybe our leaders will surprise me and acknowledge reality before it drags them to the guillotine. But, probably not.

Comment: Re:3.5 million truckers (Score 3, Insightful) 612

by ultranova (#49706551) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

Somebody will have to drive it in city traffic and park it at the freight terminal, and take over when the autonomous system doesn't know how to handle a situation. The difference is that in a plane you usually have seconds or minutes to take over the system, whereas on a road with cars mere feet away, a trucker will have fractions of a second to respond and take over to a situation.

Which is why it's an absurd notion. Human beings can't "take over" in a fraction of a second, especially since they're out of practice from not driving the car and daydreaming (at best). An automated car has to handle every situation it encounters on its own, otherwise it's worse than useless.

Comment: Re:Won't save most of the 4000 lives (Score 4, Informative) 612

by ultranova (#49706503) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

What makes you think that the autonomous truck will hit the car just like a manned truck? I'd think that with the sensors on the truck tied directly into the autonomous control systems the autotruck could react thousands of times faster and more effectively than a human being truck driver.

That won't help. The problem with trucks isn't human reaction speed, it's the sheer amount of kinetic energy that needs to be dissipated for one to stop. A 60-ton truck going at 50 mph has 29 MJ of kinetic energy. For it to stop, every single joule needs to go somewhere, and with current technology that means they'll turn to heat. And that means it's going to take a while as that heat dissipates - the brakes will literally melt if you try to brute-force a shorter braking distance, for example by increasing braking system pressure.

Alternatively, just consider how much damage is caused by a truck crash. Physics don't care if it's another car's rear or the truck's own brakes it's pushing against; any object that tries to stop its motion in a hurry is going to be hit by those same forces.

Comment: Re:USA in good company... (Score 1) 648

by ultranova (#49705913) Attached to: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Gets Death Penalty In Boston Marathon Bombing

Not only that... but when I read stories in the media of a tyranical state executing those who they allege have committed crimes against their culture or religion I usually think ISIS and some guy with a sword, gun or flamethrower -- yet once again, this time, it is the good old US of A who plans to engage in such an act of barbarism.

To be fair, Tsarnaev isn't being executed for committing crimes against culture or religion, he's being executed for committing murder.

Comment: Re:USA in good company... (Score 0) 648

by ultranova (#49705851) Attached to: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Gets Death Penalty In Boston Marathon Bombing

Yes, the US is not a civilized country, and it's not like Europe or Russia. We like it that way. Congratulations for realizing that.

No, US is not a civilized country, or rather it's a country where one group after another embraces barbarism. And that is slowly but surely tearing it apart. From various attempts to enforce religious dogma in science class to racially motivated police brutality, the fracture lines of society are getting wider. Your post marks yet anothe phase in this process of disintegration, where the shame of failure is dealt with by reinterpreting said failures as badges of pride. As such attitudes spread, damage becomes chronic and impossible to revert, since that would require admitting it is indeed damage rather than a reasonable choice.

Oh well, Enlightenment will find more clients, and the US will go the way every country that rejects it must, to irrelevance and ruin. World history too has its phases, and it the current one, it's no longer possible to be a major power without. And US is nowhere near stable enough to survive the loss of that status.

Some of my readers ask me what a "Serial Port" is. The answer is: I don't know. Is it some kind of wine you have with breakfast?