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Comment Re:The judge issued a verdict ahead of trial? (Score 2) 191

There are three parties in the US now:
* The Left, not materially represented in Congress, but Bernie Sanders is an example of a Left politician.
* The Right, not materially represented in Congress, but Ben Carson is an example of a Right politician.
* The Donor Party, which includes the vast majority of Democrats and Republicans in government (at least at the federal level), and which gets great and responsive representation.

Our government is very attentive and responsive to the best interest of the constituents who sent them to office. The problem is those constituents are the big money donors, not the people who are voting Democrat or Republican.

It's structurally possible to fix this though primary elections, and by "primary-ing out" incumbents. But we, the voters, need to start caring more about evicting the Donor Party guys than about whether Left or Right win. The Donor Party games us every year by calling the non-Donor Party guys "extremists" for daring to represent what the people actually want. Can we stop caring about how the mainstream media describes candidates? I'm doubtful, but it's possible.

Comment Re:What purpose does registration serve? (Score 1) 191

It was established legal tradition in Britain for some time before the US war for independence that people were allowed to own guns because, even though hunting was illegal, guns weren't only for hunting, they could be used to defend one's home. It was common in the colonies (where everyone had guns, and hunting was legal) that every man was required to bring his gun to church on Sunday, in case a group of men with guns was required for any purpose. These guns were expected to be serviceable military weapons - a tradition going back to the late medieval period, where every man was required to own a weapon of war in case that was needed (and swords were very cheaply available after the plague, so real military weapons, not farm implements, were expected).

There are still several modern nations in which every man of age is required to own a modern military rifle (issued by the government). This idea that somehow the "right to keep and bear arms" excludes modern military small arms is a very modern contrivance, and not at all the intent of the Second Amendment. Heck, not just small arms - even 100 years ago cannon were typically bought for the town by the wealthy, and taken off to war when needed.

It's a very simple idea with centuries of legal tradition behind it: a free man has the right to own a gun, and not just for hunting, but actual military small arms. Totalitarian states disarm their subjects to prevent uprisings. Free societies have an armed populace to keep the government nervous about uprisings. It really is that fundamental.

Comment Re:What purpose does registration serve? (Score 2) 191

You have to get licensed to own a gun, drive a car, and you have to register to vote.

You do not have to get licensed to own a gun, at least in states that show the slightest respect for the US Constitution. You do not have to get licensed to drive a car, unless you want to drive it in public places (and even then, driving farm equipment on farm-to-market roads doesn't require a license, as that was seen as an undue burden). You don't, in practice, have to register to vote, unless you live somewhere that requires an ID to vote - and most states see an ID as an undue burden.

You don't need a pilots license to fly a plane (well, most planes), if you stay at low altitude and away form airports. You shouldn't need to register to own a drone, or to fly one as long as you stay at low altitude and away from airports.

Comment Re:Litigious Much (Score 2) 743

You could also say "The big bang theory began with the Belgian Army", because he was also in that.

Which would only be relevant if people were complaining that the Belgian Army was an enemy of science. However given that at the moment they seem to be deployed on the streets of Brussels trying to keep religious fanatics from killing people I don't think this is something we need to worry about.

Comment Re: ...and the Science would have been Better (Score 1) 93

Did I claim that it meant that anywhere? In the simplest possible way it is wrong because the physics involved is at a minimum 13.8 billion years old since it has at least existed since the Big Bang. While you might regard this as pedantic in science details matter especially when communicating it. It's one thing to sacrifice accuracy for simplicity when communicating with the public but doing it unnecessarily like this is just sloppy and unscientific...and sadly something this writer who shamelessly self-promotes on Slashdot does far too often.

Comment Re: Already solved (Score 1) 107

I bought a new fridge about 5 years ago. I moved house and worked out that the difference in power consumption between the old fridge I had and the new one that I bought meant that the new fridge paid for itself in 2-3 years. Newer utilities are significantly lower power than ones from even the '80s and '90s. I bet that the next set of low-operating-cost white goods will all have some kind of Internet-related insecurity as standard.

Comment ...and the Science would have been Better (Score 0) 93

Plus had that been the case we would not have a stupid title referring to "4.5 billion year old physics" which "StartsWithABang" would have known if he had any decent knowledge of physics, is a silly thing to say because the laws of physics are invariant with time. This is actually an incredibly fundamental point of physics since this symmetry with respect to time gives us conservation of energy.

Comment Re:The real worry should be Kessler Syndrome (Score 1) 98

There's a serious risk that in low-Earth orbit if one has enough debris it could cause a cascade of destruction where debris hits satellites breaking them up into more debris which hits more satellites and so on. Such a cascade is called Kessler Syndrome . If this happens it could render many orbits unusable for years.

It would be a pain, but there is some drag in LEO and small debris won't last forever. Also, you almost never get a stable orbit from a random trajectory. If you actually start blowing shit up in space, most of the shrapnel is going to be in an obit that intersects the Earth, or dense atmosphere (or even possibly escapes, if you're blowing shit up real good).

deliberately destroying satellites should maybe be considered a war crime

The winners decide what's a war crime, and that mostly consists of "being needlessly dickish to the winner". It's rather fundamental that the group with a monopoly on force decides what constitutes a crime. Treaties and tradition about what's allowed in war are mostly about winners swearing off stuff that didn't work well anyhow. (BTW, the last enemy the US fought that agreed to the Geneva Convention was the Nazis - none of our enemies for the past 70 years gave a shit about Western ideals and "war crimes".)

Comment Re:it was just too long (Score 4, Insightful) 174

3 movies for such a short story was what killed it. I mean did it have to take 1 whole movie just reach the damn mountain?

That's key, but they also failed because the tone was wrong (and inconsistent). The Hobbit was a kids book back when those were allow to get scary - a fun adventure story with some dark moments for our hero. Our hero was clearly Bilbo: it was his narrative, and his character arc. The places where the tone got dark were specifically the places where he needed to grow, and find to courage to overcome the new difficulty. The mix of fun adventure and dark moments made perfect sense.

This was a very different tone than LOTR, which was fundamentally a war story for adults. The Hobbit film just didn't understand that, and rushed production is no excuse. The film never really felt like Bilbo's journey "there and back again." Almost all the filler was dark and dramatic, so much so that the original fun parts of the book were now jarring and inconsistent in the movie. The inclusion of a kooky Radagast could have worked with the original story, but felt completely out of place in the film.

But dammit, lose the cartoon rabbits. From the SW prequel trilogy and Jar Jar to the Hobbit and the rabbit sled, I support a Constitutional Amendment banning cartoon rabbits in prequel movies!

Comment Re:Apple Music (Score 2) 460

It's totally intuitive to discover new commands! Just type "man -k <keyword>"

CLIs will never be discoverable. UIs with menus and especially context (right-click) menus were great for discoverability. A UI where there's no menus, no confirmation that a change took effect, and no universal way to undo? No thanks.

"Love your country but never trust its government." -- from a hand-painted road sign in central Pennsylvania