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Comment Re:Double-standard and misunderstanding of politic (Score 1) 422

The party you are referring to exists - it's called the libertarian party - and it is mostly (but not entirely) ex-Republicans who think responsible adults should be treated like responsible adults -- e.g. left alone until they hurt somebody.

There _should_ be more liberals and democrats joining the libertarian cause, because the LP is much better than the dems on key issues dems claim to care about: anti-war, pro-civil liberties, anti-racism in law enforcement (especially the drug war), anti-corporatism..

So, I cannot tell you why there aren't more democrats who break ranks and join the libertarians.

One reason for that, I suspect, is that I simply cannot relate to democrats or understand how they came to be democrats in the first place. There are plenty of intelligent people who are democrats, but I've never been able to figure out how any of them "tick".

In any case, there are principled libertarians -- and that's how they've traditionally billed themselves. Principled in the sense that they think government morally/ethically should not do certain things.

Then there are pragmatic libertarians -- folks who figure government is _ineffective_ or even malicious at doing certain things, and therefore shouldn't do them. An example would be Gary Johnson.

The bottom line is that, if America were actually incredibly hungry for a fiscally conservative, socially permissive party -- that party has existed for decades. It has been getting more popular lately, but it's still basically a rounding error in most elections.

Comment Re:Radio: the first assumption (Score 1) 686

I've often wondered: Would a scientist, or group of scientists, from, say, the 1860s, locked in an RF transparent dome in the middle of a modern city, be able to detect intelligent communication?

Could they detect, receive, and decode 802.11a/b/g/n wifi? Digital television? The various cellular protocols?

The 1880s? The 1900s? 1920s? 1940s? 1960s? Hell, the 1980s?

Comment Re:Inflation (Score 1) 1040

Certainly the rent in "poor neighborhoods" will go up, yes. Not sure the rents in my area will go up, because contrary to popular slashdot belief, almost nobody actually makes minimum wage.

If living at a poor neighborhood costs more, then people will start thinking about moving to better places that are still cheap. And that goes on and on and on. Most systems interact and housing prices are not exempt from that kind of price increase propagation.

In fact, most housing bubbles are created when credit lines are offered for low-income housing, just like the US Housing Bubble was created by subprime lending. People start thinking "If it costs X to live AT THAT UGLY PLACE, then my house is worth X + Y" and then the price goes up everywhere.

Comment Re:Even higher! (Score 1) 1040

You're demonstrably full of shit. McDonalds could DOUBLE their wages and completely pay for it by raising the price of a big mac less than 75 cents. There's also the issue of, yknow, literally every single other first world country on the face of the earth objectively disproving your bullshit claims.

So why they just don't raise their prices right now, without giving any wage increases to their employees? If things are that simple, why are they avoiding an increase in revenue that would double their net income?

Are they stupid? No. Things are not that simple. They can't raise prices because that would lower the sales volume and also their net income. They probably employ dozens of people at their marketing department just to find that sweet spot.

So they could "OMG OMG DOUBLE" their wages and completely not pay for any of it because of simple market dynamics. But what if "OMG MAGIC" and we mandate that every single retailer in the food sector must DOUBLE wages right now? Inflation will be the answer. It's when people earn more money but buy less stuff, even after getting large wage increases.

Comment Re:Some Reasonable Arguments (Score 2, Insightful) 105

There are some great points in there

1) access to data without vendor approval/involvement.

2) interop

3) no "remote killswitch" on software

4) no strange privacy leaks

I think these are all fine requirements.

But it's not clear to me why closed software couldn't meet them.

For instance, how does Windows + Office not meet these requirements?

1) the Office XML formats are documented, open, and have reader/writer libraries on non-Microsoft platforms

2) As a result of the consent decree, and much subsequent engineering and doc work, its quite easy to interop with windows and office.

3) So far as I know, there are editions of Windows and Office that require no internet connection at all, and certainly have no provision for remote-kill.

4) Microsoft is actually pretty good about shutting off telemetry, either on a per user basis, or with centralized management tools -- because enterprise customers want this capability too.

Input Devices

German Scientists Successfully Test Brain-Controlled Flight Simulator 73

New submitter stephendavion (2872091) writes "Scientists from the Institute for Flight System Dynamics at Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany have demonstrated the feasibility of flying a brain-controlled aircraft. Led by professor Florian Holzapfel, the team is researching ways that brain-controlled flight works in the EU-funded project 'Brainflight'. TUM project head Tim Fricke said a long-term vision of the project is to make flying accessible to more people." So far, the tests are only simulator based, but promising.

Comment I don't want any of that. (Score 1) 321

I have one of the older e-Ink, Wi-Fi only Kindles. Still has a physical keyboard, which I rarely use. My wife has the ad-supported one with no keyboard, and she doesn't seem to miss it.

The old e-ink kindle is great. I love it. They nailed the user scenario for me -- it is actually _better_ than a physical book. I can use it anywhere I'd use a physical book, I rarely worry about battery life. It's easier to read than a real book when laying on my side in bed.

I am completely uninterested in a color e-reader until it has the battery life and contrast of the e-ink display. And I don't want music, or apps, or multi-tasking, or anything else, because history tells me that adding them will detract from the basic experience of just reading a fucking book.

Here are the improvements I want out of a new kindle.

1) some kind of magical mystery charging. Maybe there is an inductive mat. Maybe its solar. Who knows. I said I _almost_ never worry about charging it. The next step would be I _NEVER_ worry about charging it -- and, I leave the Wi-Fi enabled and continue to not worry about it.

2) bendable/flexible - within limits. If they could make the thing so that it would reliably survive on the outside of soft-sided luggage; if I could put it in a pocket and not worry about it..that would be amazing. What's interesting about this is that the basic e-ink display technology can be flexible...

3) ability to easily -- and I mean easily -- send a book I've finished to my wife's device. Like, if me and her are in the same room, with both of our devices, I ought to be able to send a book on my device to her device. For free. Without any nonsense/bullshit.

Comment Re:Money quote (Score 1) 688

Sorry, I fell into the trap of using "right and left", but these mean different things to different people.

When I say "right", I mean "laissez-faire", "capitalist", "individualist", "deregulated"

When many people say "right", they mean "authoritarian" and "nationalist"

That's not what I mean at all. I detest authoritarianism.

There are many places that are more authoritarian than the US (but we're working hard to catch up! (grumble))

There are no places that are more pro-individual liberty than the US. There are a few places which have better pro-business environments, and more economic freedom, but they tend to have fewer civil liberties than the US.

fwiw, my ideas about individual rights may also not be what yours are. I think "hate speech" should be legal, and like any other speech, should only be prosecuted when it is threatening or slanderous. And I think individuals ought to be able to keep machine guns without any government knowledge of oversight. Finally, I think homeschooling is a critical way to pre-empt the historical evils of government indoctrination, and so support homeschooling and parental rights to an essentially unlimited degree -- not because I think all parents are good, but because I think most governments are bad :)

I take individual rights _very seriously_, and so for me, a nation that offers a high degree of individual liberty has the following characteristics: few laws restricting the content of speech, few restrictions on private gun ownership, few restrictions on how children are educated outside of state control.

The US ranks quite well on all 3 of these individually, and taken together, far and away better than anywhere else.

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