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Comment: Re:Good. (Score 1) 198

But a tax is the people (through their government) setting their price to allow the negative externality. You pay the tax, and you can pollute as much as you want to (until we raise the taxes again).

Of course taxes can be badly designed, but he basic idea is sound.

A tax is a market mechanism, with the people (the government) being the only "seller" of "pollution credits".

Only people who have a very limited (and sometimes deliberately so) understanding of markets deny that taxes are sometimes an essential market correction.

Comment: Re:I read some of the comments to her (Score 1) 467

They are not being punished by law. If they have freedom to be incredibly offensive online, then surely everyone else has freedom to just let others know what sort of people they are.

Freedom of speech is not freedom from the consequences of your speech. It just means the state can't prosecute you for it.

Comment: Re:Quite a weak X3 line ... cost determines succes (Score 1) 112

The long game is that they are not going to bet their whole existence on their being able to keep ahead of the performance curve.

They will be testing the Atoms and if the Atoms happen to produce a better power and performance package, you can bet that they will flip over to Intel.

One of the advantages they have is that they already differentiate the binaries by device, so it's not a stretch for them to recompile all submitted code right away and have it working on an x86 iPhone if they need it to. Seamlessly too as far as customers are concerned.

Comment: Re: About right (Score 1) 246

by vakuona (#49114219) Attached to: In Florida, Secrecy Around Stingray Leads To Plea Bargain For a Robber

Um, no, unless that "kid" uses said sandwich to rob some people who actually believe the sandwich pointed at them is an actual gun! It's quite obvious from the context that we are talking about someone using something that a reasonable person would have no reason to believe wasn't a gun when it was pointed at them.

Comment: Re:Call your congressman (Score 2) 246

by vakuona (#49111789) Attached to: In Florida, Secrecy Around Stingray Leads To Plea Bargain For a Robber

Maybe there is space in the political spectrum for a political party that:
  - Doesn't accept large donations from individuals in return for an inordinate influence (i.e. one greater than their vote share)
  - Doesn't accept corporate donations (large or small)
  - Has strict limits on the amount of contributions from non-corporates (small enough as to not effectively buy influence in the party)
  - Does not endorse or approve or affiliate with any superPACs.
  - Does not allow candidates to fund their own campaigns

Such a party would be funded by its members, and each member would have the right to vote for their candidate in closed primaries (you vote if you are a paid up member to reduce gaming by opponents).

The party would also sign a contract with all representatives that allowed their recall in the event that they decided to not abide by party constitution, although such recall would be subject to an appropriately high threshold - e.g. 80% of eligible primary voters demanding a recall (a high enough bar to prevent frivolous recalls).

Comment: Re: About right (Score 4, Insightful) 246

by vakuona (#49111625) Attached to: In Florida, Secrecy Around Stingray Leads To Plea Bargain For a Robber

You are over-thinking it here.

Threatening someone with a gun-shaped object should carry the same sentence regardless of whether it turned out to be a real gun or not.

Actually shooting someone with a gun should carry an even higher penalty. If you use a fake gun, you obviously don't get to shoot anyone with it, so you will naturally not be charged for shooting anyone, but you don't get to benefit from the fact that you misled your victims as to the ultimate level of violence you were able to commit.

Comment: Re:Submarines are the undisputed... (Score 1) 439

by vakuona (#49061035) Attached to: Will Submarines Soon Become As Obsolete As the Battleship?

Seeing as carrier groups obviously aren't designed to be covert, if I were designing the protection systems around the carrier group, I would literally bathe the surrounding ocean with sonar and every technology I can think of to ensure that nothing approaches without my knowing it. So I might have subs underneath to detect other subs, and they don't have to be silent. In fact, from a Sonar perspective, I would make them as "loud" as I can to make it clear that you cannot approach without giving away your position.

I suspect a carrier group generally represents the greatest concentration of ammunition and firepower on the face of the planet, which is why it is very difficult to attack it nowadays.

Comment: Re:AI is too unreliable (Score 1) 124

by vakuona (#49057187) Attached to: Programming Safety Into Self-Driving Cars

The really really bad idea is designing a system in which a human being who is not really involved in what is going on is asked, at a moment's notice, to take over. If the computer diagnoses a problem big enough, it should stop the car safely and let people out. That's all. No need to ask a person what to do. No need to continue. Computers do what people tell them to do. They don't make completely autonomous decisions.

There is actually a conflict between making the car better at resolving failure, and requiring a human to take over in corner cases. The better the car is at resolving failure, the less likely humans will be required to take over, and the less likely they will know what to do anyway.

"Be *excellent* to each other." -- Bill, or Ted, in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure