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Comment Re:11 rear enders (Score 2) 549

The car behind you speeds up, overtakes you, fills up the gap and awaits next opportunity to overtake the car that previously was in front of you. Meanwhile, you slip back to keep your distance, only to have the procedure repeat it self.

The process you are talking about happens to me all the time. Don't really see what the issue is. Let them rear-end somebody if they want to. Getting overtaken by a few people in a hurry never cost me any real time. In fact, I frequently see the overtakers at the same stop light I'm at once we both get off the freeway.

Comment Re:11 rear enders (Score 1) 549

Well said! I think it's a shame they call things "accidents" when it's something like running a red light or speeding. That's just bad driving. But something like falling debris or frolicking wildlife? Pretty fair to call that an accident. In all of the cases I can think of, I would rather have a Google car respond than my own feeble driving abilities. Not to mention, they have superior threat detection.

Comment Re:I believe it was Mark Twain who said... (Score 1) 339

Unfortunately, this is not actually the case. Memories are fallible. You have to remember what you did or said, or what opinions you had at the time. Numerous studies have shown that it is trivial to make people remember details in a different way than what really occurred. How many people have heard stories from their childhood so often that they can't remember what is actual memory, and what is reconstructed from the story? I have a hard time remembering which of my siblings did stuff, or which of my friends told me a story. Hell, I've even forgotten an entire day (no drugs involved, honest).

Once I went on a trip with some friends and was excessively tired due to long work schedules. We had a great time hanging out at the lake and jet-skiing. A few years later, I went jet-skiing with the same friends. They were confused when I said I had never been jet-skiing before, and I had no idea how to operate the thing. They said, not only had I been jet-skiing, but that I was quite good at it. To this day, I have no recollection of the first outing. But I accept it as the truth, because they all said it happened. This was in the days before ubiquitous cell phones and digital cameras, and nobody would have brought a camera jet-skiing. So it's their word against mine, and I have to side with them.

Comment Re:Dramatic much? (Score 1) 339

I say not paying property tax can result in death because it reduces the cash flow to schools, thus reducing the quality of education, thus reducing the number of well-educated doctors, thus reducing people's access to quality healthcare, leading to worse health outcomes, including death. See! That was easy!

Comment Re:And my wife Morgan Fairchild... (Score 2) 339

There have been studies showing that humans are not alone, when it comes to the fine art of deception. Certain birds, mammals, and even fish have been known to use some form of deception to improve their situation. One of my favorites is the cuttlefish, which can show flashy male mating patterns on one side of the body, but leave the other side (facing potential competitors) dull and uninteresting.

As far as humans go, I imagine it's part learned and part innate. I have a four-year-old who lies all the time about stupid things that don't carry a negative consequence. Yet she's perfectly honest when I ask her whether she colored on her wall again.

Submission + - Teachers granted power to 'confiscate and destroy' unhealthy lunch->

schwit1 writes: The British government is urging school leaders to use their "common law powers" to search student lunches and potentially confiscate any items they deem "unhealthy or inappropriate."

Education minister Lord Nash tells Express, "Schools have common law powers to search pupils, with their consent, for items." There is nothing to prevent schools from having a policy of inspecting lunch boxes for food items that are prohibited under their school food policies.

"A member of staff may confiscate, keep or destroy such items found as a result of the search if it is reasonable to do so in the circumstances." The government's foray into lunch inspections began when Cherry Tree Primary School in Colchester banned a Peperami sausage snack and scotch eggs from a six-year-old girl's lunch. Manchester's Manley Park Primary School seized cereal bars from lunches, according to the Huffington Post.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Welcome! (Score 2) 1083

I have read the book. What are you trying to imply? Because if it's a dig against one group or another, I don't understand it.

Of all the futures in all the dystopian novels I've read, Brave New World would be the one I would want to live in most. Unless you consider the Shrodinger's Cat Trilogy to be dystopian, because then I choose the one where John Wayne is president of Hell (Alabama).

Comment Re:...meth (Score 1) 168

Pretty much nothing stops meth head copper thieves.

I don't know about that. 480 volts of AC seems to do the trick around here. We came in one day to find one of our breakers tripped. Go out to check the line, and phase A and B cables got cut. The ground cable was about halfway cut, and the bolt cutters were still laying on the ground. Idiots were right next to the disconnect switch, but weren't sober enough to know to shut it off. Over by the fence was a hand truck, and it looked like something roughly human-sized had been pushed over the barbed wire fence. Of course they were back a few months later... but they never messed with that one line again.

Comment Re:Null hypothesis (Score 1) 444

The null hypothesis is the assumption that things don't have a relationship. That is because far more things are not related than are. The size of my shoes is not related to the velocity of the solar wind. The frequency of web forum posts is not related to the life span of dolphins. Pick any two random measurable things, and they will not be related in any provable fashion most of the time. That's why it's so interesting when things are related. The whole point of any scientific research is to disprove the null hypothesis, i.e. prove correlation, for some set of data. If you want to do away with it, you will send us back to the dark ages, where adultery causes fishing shortages, and Jews cause the plague.

Comment No, they are categorically NOT doing that... (Score -1) 164

...and your comment represents the absolutely fundamental misunderstanding that pervades this discussion.

The truth no one wants to hear:

The distinction is no longer the technology or the place, but the person(s) using a capability: the target. In a free society based on the rule of law, it is not the technological capability to do a thing, but the law, that is paramount.

Gone are the days where the US targeted foreign communications on distant shores, or cracked codes used only by our enemies. No one would have questioned the legitimacy of the US and its allies breaking the German or Japanese codes or exploiting enemy communications equipment during WWII. The difference today is that US adversaries -- from terrorists to nation-states -- use many of the same systems, services, networks, operating systems, devices, software, hardware, cloud services, encryption standards, and so on, as Americans and much of the rest of the world. They use iPhones, Windows, Dell servers, Android tablets, Cisco routers, Netgear wireless access points, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Gmail, and so on.

US adversaries now often use the very same technologies we use. The fact that Americans or others also use them does not suddenly or magically mean that no element of the US Intelligence Community should ever target them. When a terrorist in Somalia is using Hotmail or an iPhone instead of a walkie-talkie, that cannot mean we pack our bags and go home. That means that, within clear and specific legal authorities and duly authorized statutory missions of the Intelligence Community, we aggressively pursue any and all possible avenues, within the law, that allow us to intercept and exploit the communications of foreign intelligence targets.

If they are using hand couriers, we target them. If they are using walkie-talkies, we target them. If they are using their own custom methods for protecting their communications, we target them. If they are using HF radios, VSATs, satellite phones, or smoke signals, we target them. If they are using Gmail, Windows, OS X, Facebook, iPhone, Android, SSL, web forums running on Amazon Web Services, etc., we target them -- within clear and specific legal frameworks that govern the way our intelligence agencies operate, including with regard to US Persons.

That doesn't mean it's always perfect; that doesn't mean things are not up for debate; that doesn't mean everyone will agree with every possible legal interpretation; that doesn't mean that some may not fundamentally disagree with the US approach to, e.g., counterterrorism. But the intelligence agencies do not make the rules, and while they may inform issues, they do not define national policy or priorities.

Without the authorities granted by the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA), the United States cannot target non-US Persons who are foreign intelligence targets if their communications enters, traverses, or otherwise touches the United States, a system within the United States, or, arguably, a system or network operated by a US corporation (i.e., a US Person) anywhere in the world. FAA in particular is almost exclusively focused on non-US Persons outside the US, who now exist in the same global web of digital communications as innocent Americans.

Without FAA, the very same Constitutional protections and warrant requirements reserved for US Persons would extend to foreign nations and foreign terrorists simply by using US networks and services â" whether intentionally or not. Without FAA, an individualized warrant would be required to collect on a foreign intelligence target using, say, Facebook, Gmail, or Yahoo!, or even exclusively foreign providers if their communications happens to enter the United States, as 70% of international internet traffic does. If you do not think there is a problem with this, there might be an even greater and more basic misunderstanding about how foreign SIGINT and cyber activities fundamentally must work.

If you believe NSA should not have these capabilities, what you are saying is that you do not believe the United States should be able to target foreign intelligence targets outside the United States who, by coincidence or by design, ever utilize or enter US systems and services. If you believe the solution is an individualized warrant every time the US wishes to target a foreign adversary using Gmail, then you are advocating the protection of foreign adversaries with the very same legal protections reserved for US citizens -- while turning foreign SIGINT, which is not and never has been subject to those restrictions, on its head.

These are the facts and realities of the situation. Any government capability is imperfect, and any government capability can be abused. But the United States is the only nation on earth which has jammed intelligence capabilities into as sophisticated and extensive a legal framework as we have. When the intelligence committees of both houses of Congress, multiple executive agencies under two diametrically opposite Presidential administrations, armies of lawyers within offices of general counsel and and inspectors general, and federal judges on the very court whose only purpose is to protect the rights of Americans under the law and the Constitution in the context of foreign intelligence collection are all in agreement, then you have the judgment of every mechanism of our free civil society.

Or we could just keep laying our intelligence sources, methods, techniques, and capabilities bare to our enemies.

âMany forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." - Winston Churchill (1874-1965), Speech in the House of Commons, November 11, 1947

"The necessity of procuring good Intelligence is apparent and need not be further urged â" all that remains for me to add, is, that you keep the whole matter as secret as possible. For upon Secrecy, Success depends in most Enterprises of the kind, and for want of it, they are generally defeated, however well planned and promising a favourable issue.â â" George Washington, our nation's first spymaster, in a letter to Colonel Elias Dayton, 26 July 1777

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein