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Comment Re:Wow what a biased and apples-feelings compariso (Score 1) 1030

coal or natural gas (which market forces are decreasing the cost of sans government interference)

The cost of those is not decreasing sans government interference, it's just being passed onto you and me and everyone else, since environmental effects of those go unaccounted for. It's a classic example of privatizing the profits and socializing the losses.

Comment Re:Way to twist things... (Score 1) 1030

The thing about China is that it's a country run by engineers. If you look at high-ranked party figures, most of them have engineering degrees. They can be very ruthless in achieving their goals, and perfectly willing to sacrifice their population short-term, but they do actually have meaningful goals.

Comment Re:Very little to do with the GOP - look at German (Score 1) 1030

There are some obvious differences between Germany and US. US actually has huge swaths of land that are almost perfect for solar - New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, southern California, Nevada.

Also, no-one is talking about switching to solar completely. But why not develop it in regions where it makes sense, like we did with hydro?

Comment Re:Drones for Defense (Score 1) 211

flying bombs are called cruise missiles, they've been around for ages and they aren't cheap.

If you need a cruise missile that can fly through a meter square window after flying 1,500 miles, sure, they aren't cheap. But the only thing stopping a hobbyist from turning a model rocket into a cruise missile besides being sensible enough to want to avoid visits from the men in black is that the GPS units refuse to play that game.

Comment Re:Or Bazookas. Or Flamethrowers. Or Grenades... (Score 1) 211

The main difference is that drones are an incredibly expensive and complex way to kill a dozen people, as compared to, say, goons with machetes.

Drones do not yet compete with goons with machetes, but that day will come sooner that you like. However, they are highly competitive with actual trained soldiers already. And if you just throw any and all ethics over the shoulder and go ahead and use chemical weapons and so on, one teensy tiny little plastic piece of shit can kill a whole bunch of people.

Comment Re:satellite or other craft or combination thereof (Score 1) 211

our 'total battlefield awareness' means we use multiple data feeds integrated into a 3D battlefield rendering, with all assests renedered in real time as best as possible...

first, we use satellites for what you describe...or high altitude aircraft networked with the battlefield assests...

The drones we are discussing are aircraft. Some of them were designed first and foremost for surveillance, and most of those were designed specifically with long loiter time in mind specifically for that mission. HTH, HAND.

Comment Re:Not the same... (Score 1) 211

Sure, there's plenty of automatic cameras, snapping away every few seconds for surveillance, but there's no decision-making process there.

That is false not only at first brush, but also when considered in depth. Intelligent cameras have been a thing for years now. The cameras themselves are gaining the ability to determine when there's something worth shooting, with algorithms beyond simple motion detection.

Comment Re:Geothermal power (Score 1) 78

Any needless consumption of energy whose results are unknown should be abhorred. The endless cycle of having to buy new crap because the old crap failed (as opposed to the endless cycle of buying new crap because the old crap is outdated, which we could at least debate) is really an insufferable lot of shit. And there's just a lot of energy going to waste when it would cost very little to retain more of it. And then of course there's war, which these days is a horrible consumer of energy and producer of pollution. War's always had significant environmental impact, but it's well off the charts now by ancient standards. To deforestation you can add all kinds of fun goodies like depleted uranium.

You're right about the lack of sense of scale, though.

Comment Re:BART (Score 1) 125

It wasn't built to supplement the transportation needs of carless San Francisco residents. It was built to shuttle people around the Bay Area. If you needed to get to the airport, you got there like everybody else--you drove your car.

But this just comes right back to how BART is stupid. Because when you build public transportation, it's going to be used by people who don't have cars, and to not take them into account is fucking stupid. Also, it's just stupid not to have the rail be able to take commuters from an airport to downtown no matter how you slice it. That should have been an initial design goal.

Comment Re:spam wonderful spam (Score 2) 209

unless you are the president of a large company or a politician, nobody cares about you ...

We were thinking you could fire 500,000, from one of the smaller companies?

Fire one million.

and if you were, they wouldn't have to break into google to steal your data.

Nobody has to break into Google to get your data, Google will hand it over to the government on request. Is it Evil to comply with an Evil order?

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