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Comment Re:root cause hasn't been found (Score 1) 32

Expensive isn't the word for it. Changing the battery technology would require months of re-engineering work and months more of certification, possibly grounding the plane for a year, and that doesn't factor in the performance loss from the extra weight. The result could cripple Boeing, possibly fatally, to implement a solution that probably is not required.

They performed a great deal of testing on the new architecture including setting off a propane explosion. The containment system held and vented properly. The FAA is satisfied with the solution, and they're the ones who are going to get blamed if it fails catastrophically. It's good enough for me. You're welcome to check the planes in use on your flights and avoid the 787.

Comment Re:So WHY have there been so few bombs? (Score 2) 317

Poor or sloppy tradecraft is the reason that more don't pull it off. Odds are that we'll learn that these guys made some mistakes that should have been discovered earlier. Perfect tradecraft almost never happens. It's the reason that so many are found so early. They reach out to the wrong people who turn out to be either informants, undercover law enforcement, or just criminals who still harbor a sense of patriotism. They buy unusual items and act suspiciously while doing so, like buying black powder (legal) while trying to hide their faces (also legal, but likely to set the clerk to wondering). They wire the bomb incorrectly. Far more are caught than manage to pull something off, in large part because they try to do something outside of their abilities. That may be the difference here: the brothers may have known their capabilities were limited and so didn't try to kill hundreds, settling for spreading fear while killing a few and injuring many.

Comment Re:What kind of moronic "defense" lawyer... (Score 1) 170

The presence of an election does not remove the circumstances of a dictatorship. Dictators often "win" elections with 75% or more of the vote (IIRC, Saddam Hussein won his last election with 99% of the vote). The presence of free and clear elections makes for a democracy. That country's government was not.

Comment Re:What kind of moronic "defense" lawyer... (Score 1) 170

While I don't argue that what's happening at Gitmo is a serious problem, I often wonder how many people who label the US a dictatorship have actually lived under one.

Forgive me if you are one, but I've read that people who have lived in real dictatorships scoff at the accusations of dictatorship in the US. These are people who have come from places where speaking out against the regime results in prison time if not outright execution or disappearance; where entire families of criminals--sometimes crossing generations--are punished for one person's wrongdoing; where trials are conducted in closed court and often without the benefit of a defense attorney; where the military takes a position equal to or higher than the civilian government; and/or where a cult of personality that dwarfs the Obama followers ensures that the people not only obey but worship the current leader, sometimes under formal links to the national deity.

There are certainly issues with the US (and a lot of Western countries), but most of them are a long way from being true dictatorships.

Comment Re:Oy. (Score 1) 408

For the most part, they don't do things half-way, especially if a significant capital outlay is required. The money required to get the roll-out started was significant, so they weren't going to do something slip-shod.

I won't be surprised if this ends up getting spun off into a separate ISP company with the majority ownership maintained by Google itself and a handful of Google principals (Larry, Sergei, etc.) to keep the vision going.

Comment Re:Oy. (Score 5, Interesting) 408

What I'm hoping for are some other upstart competitiors to Google Fiber.

Google has said several times that this is exactly what they're trying to foster. Google gets an advantage from deploying fiber aside from the privacy issues that most people consider. They get loyalty. When one of their features is to "[r]ecord up to eight programs simultaneously, just because you can," it engenders a loyalty that the others can't touch.

From what they've said, I expect they don't really want to be in the ISP business, but as their core business depends in large part on growing bandwidth, they felt they had to do something to push the boundary. I would gladly pay $300 (or even more) for gigabit service. I moved to my current location specifically for FiOS availability and pay $105/month for 150/65 service. I am considering moving from Dallas to Austin in the near term mostly because I like the community, but also now in large part due to Google Fiber coming to the area. Everybody (Austin, Google, and me) wins then.

Comment Re:Bullshit! (Score 1) 433

Paying attention to something doesn't necessarily mean looking at it. When I want to figure out what the traffic guy is saying, I have to pay attention to it even if I'm not staring at the radio. I don't pull over to the side of the road to do it. Likewise, I can converse with a passenger, paying attention to what is being said without staring at them.

Comment Re:Bad Ruling (Score 1) 433

Actually, judges usually don't ignore the intent of the law. I've read many decisions at all levels, and where there is an assertion of vagueness or ambiguity, the courts almost always look to debate, statute prefaces, and even public statements to determine what was expected. Lower courts do this because higher courts do, and judges don't like to get overturned on that point.

Comment Re:Bullshit! (Score 2) 433

You must be a lot of fun on road trips. By your words, there should be no talking with passengers, no radio, nothing at all.

You can actually get people killed that way because something to engage the brain to some degree aside from driving, people tend to zone out or fall asleep. There's been some research on this and it's been found that zero distractions from the road turns out to be as dangerous as driving while using a cell phone or being mildly drunk. Those minor distractions keep the brain engaged, particularly on road segments that don't change much.

Comment Re:n omore widescreen (Score 3, Insightful) 591

I have no problem with widescreen if there's a decent resolution. It makes putting two pages of document up (or two documents up) easier. I'm pretty satisfied with battery life, speed, and so on, but the screen resolutions seem stuck. I'm hoping that we'll see a good step up from 1920 resolutions this year when the Haswell notebooks arrive.

Comment Re:The Supreme Court poses a great threat to the U (Score 2) 173

Corporations are treated as groups of citizens, not as citizens themselves. It's hard, perhaps impossible to separate the right of people to assemble and to speak freely (which may require money) without overriding the First Amendment.

That's not to say I agree with the outcome. I think the "super-PACs" have proven to be an enormously corrupting influence on the electoral system much faster than the Court thought would happen. At this point, I wouldn't mind restricting the ability for all groups, whether corporations, unions, or other political interests to participate in the campaigns. This may require a new amendment, though.

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