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Comment Re:And any idiot with a soldering iron can bypass (Score 2) 765

I never said bludgeoning a person was easy.

. I said that someone who can and will disarm a person with a gun probably has the skills to then beat the crap out of you with your gun if it for some reason does not fire.

Although it is not "easy" to bludgeon someone to death, it only takes the right kind of strike to knock a person unconscious, at which point the perpetrator can take their time pistol whipping the limp body.

Comment Re:And any idiot with a soldering iron can bypass (Score 4, Interesting) 765

If you are defending yourself with your smart gun and the person takes it away from you, I'm pretty sure that if they can't shoot you with it that they will still be able to beat you to death with it. And if they are the kind of person who can and will disarm someone then they probably can beat you up, too. Either way, I'll take my chances that someone else might get my gun over my gun not firing when I really need it to. I can train to deal with misfires, not with electronic malfunctions.

Comment Re:Our patent system is totally broken (Score 1) 152

Well, professionals who take these types of photos care, outsiders don't care. Maybe you should at least skim through all the patent claims before saying it's just a camera in front of a white sheet.

I wasn't responding directly to the details of this patent application; rather, the notion that such a thing can be patented (and yes, I did read the claims). Presumably, if one can patent the white sheet with a specific lighting pattern, then previously one would have been able to patent just the white sheet, and that is ridiculous.

Consider it another way: I am a photographer using a white sheet as a backdrop. As I take a series of photos, thanks to digital photography I can immediately look at the results and move my lights around to remove shadows. At some point I happen to hit Amazon's patented light configuration, and I am now violating their patent. Dumb. Maybe they should also patent looking at the digital output and adjusting lighting? After all, that is part of the process for which they applied for the patent currently in question.

Comment Re:"There is a problem with the law, so ban scient (Score 1) 180

The scientific progress lies in the identification of targets for energy transfer. That they can or will be used to kill people is completely irrelevant because pretty much every scientific advancement of the last hundred years can be used to kill people, whether that means flying a plane into a skyscraper or dying from chemo therapy and radiation before the cancer kills you.

Don't forget, "or taking Cialis and dying from (complications due to) a 6 hour erection."

Comment Re:Ban them all you want (Score 1) 180

So no, contrary to the common opinion on Slashdot, I think collectively agreeing to not use a certain, dangerous technology can be useful, and is also enforceable.

Last I checked, the Slashdot community was more likely to be on the side of supporting a ban. Regardless, how enforceable is such a ban? We can look for signs that a country is developing nuclear capability because of the unique nature of the technology involved. Autonomous, lethal robots, however, are made up of relatively benign or not suspicious parts, so we would have to rely on direct observation to determine if a country were developing such technology.

Comment Re:Luddites on slashdot? (Score 1) 291

How much did we (humans) make the Sahara Desert expand? Could it be that our planet is slowly dying on its own? Either way, I don't care. I believe we should be good stewards of the planet. I believe in conservation. But I don't believe in government doing things on our behalf. (And I also don't believe in the benevolence or objectivity of scientists. They aren't. I know plenty.)

Comment Re:no Ghost_no "singularity"_only sci-fi (Score 2) 426

We'll never make a truly human computer (or maybe "natural computer" is a better term) because we can't make it first and foremost desire self-preservation. We can build a robot that plays catch, but we can't make it want to play catch. Do we even know why we want to play catch (deep down I think it is motivated by the desire to procreate)? And thank FSM we can't build and evolving machines, because computers are logical and not forgetful, and would very likely enslave us first change they got.

Comment Re:Luddites on slashdot? (Score 1) 291

A passenger jet is a relatively finite system compared to a climate model which purports to accurately predict what will happen in 100 years based on (let's assume) reliable measurements over the last 200 years and data based on not directly testable phenomenon over the last 10000 to millions of years. My faith in that modeling will increase when I can get an accurate weather forecast more than 24 hours in advance. Hell, at this point I'd take 12 hours.

Comment Re:are you kidding? (Score 1) 291

Just playing devil's advocate here, but if there is so little CO2 in the atmosphere and changing it's level can change how the atmosphere affects us, isn't that basically showing how delicate our environment can be?

Perhaps, but the important thing to understand is that when we use science for "good" we know that it can't possibly be bad for the environment. Only Big Corporations can do stuff that is bad for the environment.

Comment Re:Gun nuts (Score 1) 1374

"nothing restricts a locality/city/region from banning the things of their own initiative"

McDonald v. Chicago applies the second amendment to the states. A city can no more ban firearms within the city limits than it could prohibit freedom of speech.

Firstly, who cares what a cheeseburger-wielding clown thinks? Secondly, places like Chicago and Manhattan, while not able to make it explicitly illegal to own a handgun, have made it practically near-impossible.

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