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Comment: Re:Cockroach rights? (Score 1) 512

by vlpronj (#45069653) Attached to: Cyborg Cockroach Sparks Ethics Debate
FWIW, when shock collars are used properly, they are used to train a dog to avoid a behavior or area. The dog has the opportunity to avoid the shocks by behaving properly. There is no such option for the cockroach (or the rat, pig or cat in future kits?) if someone is using a remote control to turn it left and right. It simply endures. I don't think shock collars for dogs would be looked at the same way, if people used them to steer the dog through an obstacle course.

Comment: Re:I monitor the space fence (Score 2) 86

by vlpronj (#44530841) Attached to: Air Force Space Fence Being Shut Down
I'm glad you monitor it. But that reveals it's true nature: not a fence, but a "webcam". Anything we see on it, that will affect a large number of people, we have little to no options. Calling it a fence is a feel-good tactic, implying it will keep the space debris, UFOs, and illegal green aliens out. It, on it's own, just lets us know when something is coming to our door. The big fear that would have many people clamoring to keep it, a large asteroid heading for earth, has no viable plans ready to go. A warning from the space fence, a dire warning of imminent strike, would only incite panic.

Comment: Re:Gun Makers (Score 4, Interesting) 1111

by vlpronj (#43336917) Attached to: Build a Secret Compartment, Go To Jail
There is what's right, and then there's what's true. The accounting saying you should or shouldn't have $800k is how they determine if it's their business. It is right that the money you have is yours, and yours to do anything legal with (and illegal, if you accept those consequences). It is true that you cannot simply walk into most U.S. banks, auto dealers, etc, plop down $10k or more, and have a normal transaction. In fact, making multiple /perfectly legal/ transactions, totalling $10k or more in a short span of time, can get you arrested for evading the laws covering transactions over $10k, because by making transaction below what the law sets as a limit, you are, in the eyes of the law, /evading/ the limit. And that's... not right.

Comment: Re:Oblig. XKCD (Score 1) 91

by vlpronj (#43048265) Attached to: BigDog Robot Grabs, Lifts, and Throws Cinder Blocks With Its New Arm
"Even if they're guarding all of the power stations and somehow manage to operate them without humans (which is currently impossible), there's absolutely no way to guard all of the power distribution." Even Stephen King could figure out a problem there ( "In the storm of bullets, Hendershot, Wanda June, and three of the truck drivers are fatally gunned down. Then the military vehicle begins beeping its horn in a morse code message which Deke translates as "Someone must pump fuel. Someone will not be harmed. All fuel must be pumped." When the power for the building comes on again, Bill decides to turn on the pumps, despite Brett's protests not to trust the trucks. Bill points out that they have to with the military vehicle's presence. Over most of the day, in 100F degree heat, Bill, Brett, Deke, Curtis, and a few others take turns venturing outside and refuling all the trucks, plus hundreds more trucks that arrive at the Dixie Boy to refuel. When the fuel runs out, a driverless tanker truck appears and beckons Bill to refill the truck stop's fuel tanks to continue the refueling."

Comment: Re:I must be getting old (Score 1) 281

by vlpronj (#42868449) Attached to: Of the Love of Oldtimers - Dusting Off a Sun Fire V1280 Server
Nice to find a laptop line that's dead simple to work on and stick with it, isn't? I happened to settle on the D510, just by chance, but I've often bought a lot of 3 for one spare part, and sold 1-2 of them for a little profit, either fixed up or as discrete parts. My desktop PC at home - I just bought a 2nd Xeon 5050 processor for it. If I ever find a cooler in my bare-budget price range, it'll be a happy day. that's a Dell XPS 690 I picked up off the side of the road.

Comment: Re:Two potential problems (Score 1) 223

1) DeBeers, according to some, manages the first problem with moderate discretion. Assuring certain investors that you have income into perpetuity can get you large cash investments upfront. 2) Depending on the size of the asteroid, it might not be out of line to plan for a sudden stop at the moon. Close to home, not overcrowded yet.

Comment: Re:I don't understand the "high cap" magazine ban (Score 1) 1862

by vlpronj (#42593897) Attached to: 3D Printable Ammo Clip Skirts New Proposed Gun Laws
It's not as simple as that. In certain (many?) states, they are illegal. On a federal basis, it's (in theory) a simple matter of taxation. Apply for, and pay, the tax stamp fee, and you're good to go. Just as the American Revolutionary War was really "just" a matter of taxes.

Comment: Re:Good Advice (Score 1) 316

by vlpronj (#42546011) Attached to: Boston Declares Health Emergency Due To Massive Flu Outbreak
No surprise that Red Lobster and Olive Garden don't offer it, at least to hourly restaurant staff. When companies make prominent lists because of being lousy employers, there's probably more than one reason. Low pay, lousy benefits, the-employee-is-always-wrong mentality, etc.

Comment: Video Standards (Score 2) 150

by vlpronj (#42544919) Attached to: College CIO Predicts Tablets Will Kill Smart Boards
I think "standardization of video standards" would be the biggest bugbear here - which college student will want to avoid a device that uses the latest Retina display or equivalent, if it means the 640x480, or equivalent "low-end" spec of the time will look either tiny or crappy on their screen? Look back a few years - we had the VGA "standard", XGA, WGA, etc., then the whole 4:3, 16:9, or 16:10 aspect ratio shift.

The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky