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Comment How do you confiscate all the guns? Seriously? (Score 1) 717

Prohibition 1: Liquor. Failed, created criminal sydicates.
Prohibition 2: "Drugs". Failed, etc.
Prohibition 3: "Piracy". Failed, made most people criminals.
Prohibition 4: Guns. But it can't happen, not even massive background checks can't work. There are far more guns than people in the country. How are we going to take them away from the people, now criminal, who own them? Background checks, house checks, trackers, whatever - a massive, guaranteed-to-fail undertaking which will manufacture a lot more criminals.

We can't keep trying to fix everything we don't like by making it illegal. It just won't work.

Guns are bad, yes, because they are designed to kill. Societies like ours like to use them to settle scores, here and abroad. But what possible scenario can one envision that makes them go away? Think! Cure worse than disease. And a lot of gun owners aren't going to cooperate.

Comment Here come the end of unmonitored 3D printing (Score 1) 717

Copyright and patent infringement, combined with people finally realizing that at-home manufacturing can build anything, eventually, will result in Kindle-like DRM - you can put your own e-books on a Kindle, but you have to upload those first to Amazon for conversion to their format, before Amazon lets it display on your Kindle. And then they know what illegal books you might have on your Kindle. No hassle now, but the option to hassle is indefinitely retained.

So it goes with 3D printing, although it will happen much faster than it did with e-books. 3D printer manufacturers will be given de facto ultimatums to install DRM backdoors on all printers, at least, to enable a looksee by whomever to monitor what is being printed. I imagine the next step will be IP examination and of course seeing if you are being naughty and printing something like a gun or a suspicious casing for a bomb or whatever else they would like to stop.

"I can't do that, Dave.", your printer will say. And you get a copyright warning in the mail, or sometimes a visit from men in a black official car who want to take you somewhere while others borrow your hard drives.

Yup, you easily can build your own printer. Which, eventually, will be a crime. How fast did Bittorrent become criminal? And yes, it is considered criminal in most minds now. Ten years. Less. How fast you think they will make printing your own Glock illegal? Or the machine that can.

Comment Re: Good (Score 4, Insightful) 107

Slavery was legal because some states said so; we had to fight a bloody war to make the point that it was not. States are not independent. Get over it. The state's rights thing has been invoked in slavery/gay-sex-crime/keep-the-former-slaves-out-of-our-schools/miscegenation/jesus-is-king/we-can-marry-kids case for over a hundred fifty years. No matter how many times the Confederacy trots this out, we will slap it down.

Marriage was, is, and will be a government-controlled institution. You aren't married by the power of Jesus, but by the power vested by the State in the justice of the peace, or minister, or druid. And there was marriage long before we invented gods.

Comment Re:Playing the race card again (Score 1) 1078

Read it all; well and good. But it strikes me that all who argue the two stories shouldn't be connected are probably 1) white and 2) male. I'd throw in libertarian for fun as number 3.

It is fact, cold, numeric fact, that black teenagers are far more likely to be charged and convicted for crimes that white teenagers skate past.

Comment Computers lie if they are told to lie (Score 1, Offtopic) 156

Point I've made in the computerized voting systems ongoing fiasco: if you are "in" the system, you control the output. This is counter intuitive for geeks and ATM users everywhere. Automated systems aren't automated if the owners of the system output have control at any point. You, as the accused or someone looking at a computerized vote counting system, cannot tell if some man in the middle changed the output.

Sometimes, tho, that isn't true, as in this case. Altering text logs. But after this, be assured that in the future the owners of systems will make sure the carpet matches the drapes.

How many times has this happened? That's the point: if the logs lie, *you can't ever know*. The truth is whatever the system owner, of a logfile or the source code itself, tells you is true.

Altering logs and calculations used to be part of my job. I was that man in the middle.

Comment Not afraid; I *know* what will happen (Score 1) 331

I'm not afraid of what will happen; I know what will happen when surveillance is universal. A quiet settling, as we modify our behavior to be "normal" and inoffensive to whomever and whatever may take an interest in us. And that's just the current generation. The next generation that is born into our worldwide prison will tend to never even think of doing anything remotely offensive to powers seen and unseen. The human race will change into an obedient horde, for good and ill (normal behavior doesn't have to be *moral* behavior). A irrevocable experiment.

And of course the people on the other end of the surveillance will not be under quite the same restrictions. Anyone trying to find out what they are up to with all this knowledge will be Manninged. The Kochs and Cheneys of the world will not allow their activities to be known to us proles. Two worlds; the powerless, under glass, and those on the other end, who only answer to each other, fighting little secret wars unknown to us.

Comment Hippies: join up (Score 1) 312

I see the little slams against RMS "cultists", silly programmer hippies and similar software flower children that the right-wing millennials and Gen-Xers love to dismiss as fools. Because Hippies.

But the reason Stallman and the open software movement despises DRM was shown to you, precisely, when your "rights" disappeared.

So, who's the fool? As usual, as in the support for civil rights, the fight against wars started for lies, the rejection of Victorian sexual repression, the rejection of environmental destruction, and all the other things that Hippies were despised for, the Hippies were god damned right and everyone else was wrong, wrong, wrong. So that's why the hate, really.

If you'd have listened to the hippies, there'd been no Vietnam, no Iraq, no Afghanistan, and computers that would actually do what they are told to do by their, you know, actual owners. Instead of a PC, you now have a set-top DRM box, pretending to be a PC, managed by the powers-that-be, among whose number you will never be counted.

Comment Sigh, my people (Score 1) 96

Americans - their idea of the future is the 1950's, only with smartphones. Like grandpas wearing their fedoras and suit-n-tie, they want to keep on looking like they did when they were young and on top of the world. Cars and freeways, only with faster cars that don't look too silly, that is, that look like something that they grew up with.

A multi-rotor platform, with a little work, *is* a flying car. A flying car will not look like a flying Delorean. It will look like what a flying car will look like. And they'll probably pop up in African countries and Japan first. Cultures that aren't wedded to their own past glories.

Comment Re:tell me again (Score 2) 1105

What happened? Obama "bargained" with the right wing in congress, and half the stimulus went to tax breaks - useless when the problem is unemployment, as no demand = no need to make as much - and the rest of the stimulus was nowhere near enough to jumpstart the economy. So, as Krugman and the other gets-it-right economists predicted, it helped, but fizzled almost immediately.

When money is cheap to borrow, and you need to get people working, you spend, and spend big. And not on contractors in Iraq who pretty much stole the money and walked away (and that was on the credit card to future generations - we never raised taxes to pay for that war). You spend it on poor people who will actually spend their money on the street and generate sufficient electromotive force that will jumpstart the motor of the economy. Instead, the money that is being accumulated is going to the top five percent or so of the population - and it is staying there. So here we are. Dead in the water - plenty of money to borrow at zero interest, and no incentive to spend it on putting people to work. Plenty of incentive to hoard it overseas.

Fix it? Start state banks, like North Dakota's, who will actually lend money to people rather than putting it into derivatives. Make that free-to-get money go to people who need it. Build roads. Replant forests. Build a real seawall for New Orleans. Rebuild Louisiana's wetlands. Build solar power farms in the desert, and build a new transmission grid to move the power to where it is needed. So much to do, but no incentive to give it to workers to do anything when financial instruments make so much more money than lending money to entrepreneurs to open factories.

Comment Re:tell me again (Score 1) 1105

Fox will blame liberals.

MS-NBC will actually hold the line, waiting for actual information to come to light. If, however, as the date suggests, it is the work of Tax Warriors, they, unlike every other news outlet on TV/Cable, WILL talk about the enormous right-wing loony terrorist networks that have been shooting people and planting bombs for years. And the fact that, less than three years ago, the FBI was told to dismantle the domestic right-wing terrorist task group because of enormous pressure from right-wing congressmen and women who felt that their constituents were being persecuted. And that Obama hadn't the balls to fight them. Again.

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Ya'll hear about the geometer who went to the beach to catch some rays and became a tangent ?