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Comment: Regulation (Score 3, Informative) 367

by watermark (#49200731) Attached to: Come and Take It, Texas Gun Enthusiasts (Video)

Even if you wanted to, how could you possibly regulate this? Once items get to the point of being able to be easily manufactured in your own house, in mass, relatively cheaply, it's nearly impossible to regulate this away.

Think of prohibition. People can/could easily make their own alcohol in their own house by just leaving grapes in a barrel. It was next to impossible to regulate and required substantial man power to prevent the little they did. Grape juice in the era actually said on the label "Do not leave in a jug for 20 days as it might turn into wine." CNC mills are not illegal, just as grape juice wasn't illegal during prohibition. You're likely to start seeing CNC mills with warnings like "do not use to make firearms."

If you try to regulate schematics, people can just download plans from some P2P service. Now you guns that are made from lower grade materials AND questionable designs.

Yesterday it was alcohol prohibition. Today it is drug prohibition. Tomorrow it will be homemade gun parts. You can try to regulate away these things, but once you can easily make them in your own home, it's a losing battle. Attempting to regulate these impossible to regulate things leads to no-knock raids, death, and more criminals. Nobody is safer and I'd argue we're all less safe. Even if they are illegal tomorrow, 20 years and 1 million no-knock raids later, they will be legal again. Prohibition never lasts.

If more guns on the street is creating a problem, then you need to start thinking about different solutions. Making it illegal to possess a firearm isn't going to fix anything.

Comment: why are we still doing this (Score 4, Informative) 332

by watermark (#48893981) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

And again, my media PC combined with torrents is still better. It can already play 4k videos. Don't have to buy any new hardware, don't have to re-buy movies I've already bought. Don't have to worry about the kids breaking the disk. Don't have to worry if that disk you bought in Europe will work back in the States. DVDs were a large upgrade from VHS, the next step is better digital distribution. Blue-ray and UHD are just stepping stones to them realizing physical media is dead.

Give me a digital distribution system that will work even if the company goes out of business. One that I allows me to backup the media. One that allows for offline storage so I can watch when I don't have internet. One that works on all platforms. One that I can re-download the file if I do lose it. The only thing that satisfies all of that is DRM free files. Until they provide that, torrents will still win.

Comment: Keep the kids longer and don't send homework (Score 5, Insightful) 161

by watermark (#48679387) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

Keep the kids longer and don't send homework.

For many children, success in school depend on 1-on-1 help with homework. In many households, parents are not able to provide that help due to work schedule or their own lack of education. Depending on homework seems to disproportionally affect children living in poor, uneducated households. Those children grow up less educated and end up with a lower paying job, so when they have children of their own, the cycle continues.

A great example of this is the very debate over "the core curriculum". The debate's loudest voices are from parents that just don't understand what the new methods are trying to accomplish. The parents all agree their child should be taught math, so the debate should be between educators on *how* to do it. I guarantee you that there would be next to no debate if parents were not asked to help with homework. If we limit what we teach to what all parents understand, then we're done. Turn the lights off and crawl back into our caves.

Comment: Re:Doing Google Wallet quietly? Shocker... (Score 2, Interesting) 105

by watermark (#48386961) Attached to: Google Wallet API For Digital Goods Will Be Retired On March 2, 2015

Google Wallet still has limited usefulness. NFC payments are still only supported on a tiny fraction of Android users, using a custom build of the wallet app not available in the Google play store. Only some phone distributors are given access to this custom build. My phone has android 4.4, NFC support, and Google wallet installed, but I can't do NFC payments. How do they expect to compete like that?

Comment: Comcast tried to bill me for my own modem (Score 1, Interesting) 223

by watermark (#48378111) Attached to: Overbilled Customer Sues Time Warner Cable For False Advertising

Canceled Comcast internet and got a letter in the mail a few weeks later saying they were withholding my prorated refund check until I returned their modem. I have never own one of their modems and have never been billed for one of their modems. That took 2 hours on the phone to get straight.

A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems. -- P. Erdos

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