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Comment Is SETI wasting its time? (Score 5, Interesting) 90

Is SETI wasting its time listening for radio signals? Just how powerful would a stable radio signal (such as a television type of transmitter)have to be at the source from a "nearby" star-system (say 20 light years) in order to be detected here on Earth, and as a corollary to that question, how powerful would an inadvertent stable signal on Earth have to be in order to be be detected at the same distance using similar equipment as that used by the SETI program? Do we even transmit anything strong and long enough that it could be detected at such a distance? I would imagine that the signal-strength would drop off too quickly to be detectable.

Comment Whacking Moles (Score 1) 198

Why won't the government realize that it is wasting its time and our money? Many of the sites are probably not even located in the US and will continue to operate even after their domains are seized. (You gotta the word "seized") And tools like Mafiaafire http://mafiaafire.com/ render their efforts increasingly pointless. The whole ordeal reminds of the Princess Leia quote from Star Wars "The tighter you clinch your fist, the more systems will slip through your fingers." When will they ever learn?

Comment Re:Taking this a a logical (I hope) conclusion... (Score 1) 332

"I suppose this means that now I will need FDA approval before inserting sperm into a womans body?"
It certainly wouldn't hurt and neither would a signed letter-of-consent.
http://articles.cnn.com/2012-01-06/justice/justice_rape-definition-revised_1_definition-oral-penetration-sexual-abuse?_s=PM:JUSTICE

Comment Commerce Clause Applies to Everything (Score 1) 332

The Commerce Clause seems to be the wild card of the Constitution which allows the government to justify any law it pleases regardless of the tenuous relationship to actual interstate commerce. I'm surprised that the Commerce Clause has not yet been used to justify the Patriot Act in some twisted way.

Comment Could this document be a hoax? (Score 2) 720

I dislike the erosion of our civil rights just as much as anyone else, but I really have to wonder if the PDF that TFA links to is genuine? For starters looking at the PDF's properties it seems to have last been edited on March 16, 2011 and we are only now seeing it. The PDF file also has no Author or Title information and no security. Additionally the PDF is being hosted on a website with a clear agenda and hidden whois information. What is the original source of this "flyer"? Can it be downloaded from the FBI or DOJ's websites? I call BS

Comment Re:I am not worried about it (Score 1) 1367

I can hardly believe you folks are still seriously using Farhenheit.
I mean, the power of social norm and all, but really, Farhenheit? What's next, miles? Stones?

Perhaps we traditionally just don't appreciate having social norms dictated to us by the government? (Which admittingly seems have changed in recent years)

Comment How Much CO2 is in the atmosphere? (Score 1) 1367

https://autonomousmind.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/co2_ppm.jpg
A useful graphic showing the proportion of naturally-occurring and manmade
Co2 in the atmosphere.
The green dots represent naturally-occurring Co2.
The red dots represent mandmade Co2.
The black dots are other gases and particles.
You may need to expand the image to see everything

Comment Re:WRITE your Congressman (Score 1) 1002

We are all taught that this is the best way to let our voices be heard by government, but unfortunately unless your name happens to be listed on a major stock exchange your voice will just be ignored. It's naive to think that writing your congress(wo)man or senator will have any affect and it hasn't for decades. If your write to one of these people your letter will be processed by an intern and if you are lucky you will receive a form letter reply after having your name and address entered into a database associated with the issue at hand. Here is an interesting take on the issue from the inside: Write your congressman? Don't even bother / His signature is phony, so is his interest
http://articles.sfgate.com/2004-01-11/opinion/17406204_1_beltway-signature-smudge
Here is an excerpt from the above link:
Letters written by people who will vote for or against the congressman in the next election receive the following treatment: 1. The letter is scanned by an intern for the central issue. 2. The letter is labeled with the issue. 3. The writer's address is entered into a database. 4. The address is married to the issue's form response found in another database. 5. The response is printed and fed into the signature machine (when it's working). 6. The response is stuffed into the envelope printed with the matching address. 7. The response is mailed. If this sounds like a worthwhile process, then you should go ahead and send that letter on solar energy you've been working on so hard. I
It's sad that that's what things have come to.

Comment A Work-Around for this exists (Score 1) 343

Geeks worldwide seem to manage two steps forward for every step "forward" that governments make. Hopefully the trend will continue. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/mafiaafire-gee-no-evil/

This Firefox addon re-enables censored "suggestion" content from Google.

It's a great plugin, but I'm curious as to how it actually works.

Comment Re:Space X (Score 1) 40

And why would you think Russians are any less capable of building space vehicles than Americans?

I was not implying that they are less capable (In spite of a recent string of bad luck) but the media frenzy that would follow such an unfortunate event would presumably have such an effect and force congress to react to angry demands that they should "do something about it" and it may even lead to "serious" studies as to why America may be starting to fall behind in such endeavors. "If 'merican astronauts are gonna get killed being launched into space, then gosh darnit' it should be 'merican rockets that they get killed in!"

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