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Comment Re:No jurisdiction (Score 1) 354

Since eliminating Obama's rules results in the cessation of Title II and since Congress has decreed Title II be administered, if the FCC won't then it is entirely legal for others to.

Since State Rights apply to all things the Federal government refuses to assume authority over, State Rights apply here. These override the FCC concerns because the FCC has decided it has no authority and is therefore not a concerned party.

Comment Re:Grrr. (Score 1) 138

I'm just suggesting that it might be a good sort term solution as a viable motor fuel that would give us better emissions for the same work with a minimum of fuss and trouble.

Existing refineries can be jiggered to make green diesel out of algal lipids, butanol can be made fairly cheaply to replace gasoline, and we should simply proceed with electrification if we want to improve emissions. (In the short term, we can also add heated catalysts, which drastically improve cold-start emissions; these go hand in hand with hybrid systems, which provide the power to heat the catalyst.) Fracking is bad for water supplies, and increasing natgas production means doing more fracking, so it's not a good plan on any time scale.

Comment Re:Speed wasn't SR-71's problem. (Score 2) 299

Hopefully, if such satellite killers exist, they capture and drag their targets out of orbit instead of blowing them up, that would be truly irresponsible.

Why go to all that trouble? Just burn their sensors and communications equipment, and let their orbit decay. Actually blowing them up would take more energy, so it would cost more.

Comment Re:It's Global Warming's fault! (Score 1) 326

What does global warming have to do with anything?

It's affecting the natural fiber crops, like cotton. If I didn't wear them until they were holey, the third world would be happy to have my castoffs because they are overwhelmingly made of natural fibers. I'm happy wearing secondhand clothing, but that's difficult for me because I'm two meters tall and there's not that much of it available to me compared to what's out there for others. Still, almost everything I own is made out of cotton, rayon, linen, or silk. I have a few poly blend overgarments, but I prefer to keep that stuff away from my skin.

Comment Re:Speed wasn't SR-71's problem. (Score 3, Interesting) 299

Satellites were also hard to detect and shoot down. ASAT weapons are relatively expensive.

Now that the work on satellite-to-satellite communications has been done, that's not true any more, since the difference between a satellite with that technology and a satellite-killing satellite is one of laser power. Now it's relatively inexpensive to kill satellites, as long as you can afford to launch satellites. I'd bet money that at least the US and Russia already have satellite-killing satellites in orbit, masquerading as something else. It would be frankly irresponsible not to.

Comment Re:No need for it any more (Score 1) 299

Moreover this was when the space program was in its infancy, satellite photography was unreliable and took a long time from photo to print. There's simply no need today for a spy plane like this.

What good is your satellite ground station, mister anderson, without any satellites? Nations have been developing satellite-to-satellite weapons. If your spy satellites are getting taken out, then it's back to drones and planes.

Comment Re:They're seeing what happens (Score 1) 67

I believe these false alerts are deliberate, and are being used to see what happens when people think there's an attack.

When people said that after the Hawaii alert, I thought it was unfounded. Now that it's happened again so rapidly, I think that's a credible idea. These could also be political acts, however, being done to make a point about NK.

Comment Re:States rights is racist? (Score 1) 354

I am shocked and appalled [...] States rights is also racist. Why are all these [...]

Oh racism - is there nothing it can't be applied to?

In this case, you can't unapply racism. The original rallying cry about states' rights was explicitly about racism. In fact, it was about slavery, and southern states' rights to force northern states to not just accept it, but actually protect it.

Comment Multiple problems require multiple fixes. (Score 1) 498

1. Gerrymandering.

I'd not use a computer for this. I'd double the number of people elected and divide the seat between the first and second place person in each election in accordance with their percentage of the vote. So someone with 80% of the vote gets 80% of the seat and represents 80% of the people. Since the first two places generally represent 96-99% of the voters, virtually all voters get represented. Fairly. Unlike the present system, when it's quite possible that 45% get represented.

I'd probably also switch to a system where you have ten points and divide those between the candidates, no more than 7 points on any one candidate.

2. Location of voting.

You vote in the election in the State you are registered in, no matter what voting station you are at. That increases accessibility. I'd also allow for mobile voting stations, so people out in the middle of nowhere can vote.

The price for that is that I'd make voting mandatory for anyone in the continental US, optional for any eligible voter elsewhere. Overseas voters would not be using forms, they'd use the same voting system as everyone else and their votes would be counted at the same time. That way, there are no "accidents".

3. Eligibility.

Anyone who is alive and was born in, was naturalized in, or is living in, the US should have the right to vote. The incompetence of State authorities, the destruction of records, etc, are not my concern. If States cannot be trusted to know who is eligible, then make everyone eligible. It is better that ten guilty go free than to have one innocent person suffer.

This makes computer voting essential because the only way to get secure voting stations everywhere is to not rely on heavy physical security.

4. Proof that one person got one vote

Use voting registration cards to hold a 4096-bit "public" key. A central voting computer carries the corresponding private key. A SHA-3 hash is used to identify which vote goes with which decryption key. A second SHA-3 hash of the vote, with a digital signature for the combined whole, will prove the vote has not been tampered with.

Votes would be transmitted in encrypted form from the voting station to a proxy server at the polling station. It cannot be decrypted there, as there's no decryption key present. It is then reliably multicast to the central computer and to independent observers. The reason for the proxy is to break any timing attack that could be used to identify who cast which encrypted vote. Reliable multicast, such as NORM, guarantees all observers and the central machine received the vote.

The voting computers, proxy and central computer would need to be open source software and open source hardware, with the software proven correct in both source and binary form. All would need to be Trusted Computers (A1+) and tamper-proof. The central computer should also be physically inaccessible.

The central computer would generate the cards, retaining the private keys and issuing only the public keys with hash. These would be fed directly into a second computer with the voter details. This would simply print the details onto the card and seal it. This way, the central computer doesn't know who the private key is associated with and the secondary computer doesn't know the private key.

(The decryption key should be printed onto parchment paper using indelible ink, together with the hash. Printouts should be fed directly into a storage bin capable of holding around 500 million pages. This should be in a distinct room that cleared individuals can enter in pairs, for maintenance. Ideally, the server room should not be entered at all, ever, once the machine is running.)

The second computer would have the name and address of every person over the age of 16 (which I'd make the new voting age) either resident in the US or born in the US regardless of where they were resident.

This sealed card would be handed off to the voting officials to mail off. They would need to certify whose card had been sent, so that discrepancies could be flagged immediately.

The voter puts the card in the machine and the vote is recorded. A physical copy should be printed out on indelible ink on parchment paper (paper with a mean time between failures of around 1,000 years) together with the hash. The physical copy should be in ASCII armoured form.

Since the voting machine is tamper-proof, uses strong encryption, prevents access to the memory being used by the software and prevents access to any privileged function by any introduced software, you can pack a bunch in an old van and take them to absolutely anywhere. It wouldn't impact the security of the system in the slightest.

So you massively increase the accessibility of the voting system, massively increase the relevance of a vote and massively expand the voices you hear.

Comment Re:Too harsh IMHO. (Score 1) 422

Say I was legally carrying a gun at that 7-11, and the clerk said "help this robber is going to shoot me!". If he was actually holding a gun on the clerk at that point and I shot him, I wouldn't get charged.

That would depend very much on where you were. By one estimate I am far too lazy to track down just now, it costs an average of $10,000 in court for every bullet fired in anger by a civilian. (when coupled with magazine limits, this really promotes the ownership of high-caliber firearms in certain states, but that's another discussion.)

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