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Comment Dear China (Score 4, Insightful) 131

I'm as patriotic as the next guy - "go team USA" and all that - but I'm sad to hear that your rover is lost.

Space is not a zero-sum game. My country has decided that we're more interested in spending the dollars (that we constantly borrow from you) on social welfare programs, caring for old people, and floating eleven carrier groups in a world that doesn't have a single other navy that could fight ONE of them.

I'm looking forward to your next space accomplishment, as I truly believe such things help ALL people, ultimately.

Comment Re:Morons (Score 1) 84

Considering that only mass genocide would return us to the ecological balance we enjoyed* 5k-50k years ago, probably the people who agree with you would be Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot....so no, I'm pretty glad I'm not "with you" on that.

*by "enjoyed" I mean live in starvation/terror most of the time, desperately scrabbling to survive, reproduce fast enough to outpace the constant stream of child deaths, only to die in our mid-30s from some trivial disease or infection. But, it was "better".

Comment Umm, high-beams? (Score 1) 376

My car, with it's thirty-year old headlight system also has the ability to having greater and brighter operation. They are called high-beams, and they are totally useless when there's another car within three kilometres of me. Modern bright low-beams already blind me, forcing me to swerve two-cars back and high-beam the guy who was low-beaming me until he pulls off the road to ask me why.

Putting the sun into a car isn't helpful.

Comment Interpret the results correctly (Score 2) 625

The results are there but the interpretation is flawed.
I'd be FAR more likely to believe US kids are stupid and confused 'astrology' with 'astronomy', than that they believe astrology is a science.

We were being given a college tour for one of our kids at a LEADING institution (retail price north of $50k/year) and the pretty young tour guide was showing us around, and identified one of the science buildings as "...and there's the building with various science classrooms including geology, biology, and astrology...", which prompted a sudden look up* by most of the male parents in the group, eye contact, and a shrug. I didn't notice a single mom or kid react.
*she was wearing yoga pants

Comment Morons (Score 2) 84

So....natural processes occurring pretty much exactly as they have for thousands, if not millions of years. And humans, feeling they know how things "should" be, are going to interfere. Brilliant!

Prediction: we'll cock it up.

Comment Re:Not actually laser beams shooting out (Score 1) 376

From the video I just watched, there's some kind of lens in front of the laser beam that disperses it into a wider light beam. The laser should only be thought of as a bulb, then.

Wrong idea.

The lasers only illuminate a phosphor emitter, which then produces the actual headlight beam. No laser light is emitted at all. It's more akin to the way a CRT works.

A thousand internets to the first one that figures out how to make the lasers scan the phosphors CRT-like to produce projected video. Stuck behind a semi for miles at night and bored? Just project a movie against the rear of the trailer ahead of you with your raster-capable headlights!


Your Rights Online

Blogger Fined €3,000 for 'Publicizing' Files Found Through Google Search 248

mpicpp points out an article detailing the case of French blogger Olivier Laurelli, who had the misfortune to click links from search results. Laurelli stumbled upon a public link leading to documents from the French National Agency for Food Safety, Environment, and Labor. He downloaded them — over 7 Gb worth — and looked through them, eventually publishing a few slides to his website. When one of France's intelligence agencies found out, they took Laurelli into custody and indicted him, referring to him as a 'hacker.' In their own investigation, they said, "we then found that it was sufficient to have the full URL to access to the resource on the extranet in order to bypass the authentication rules on this server." The first court acquitted Laurelli of the charges against him. An appeals court affirmed part of the decision, but convicted him of "theft of documents and fraudulent retention of information." He was fined €3,000 (about $4,000).

Comment No it's not (Score 1) 366

It's not common courtesy and it's not common sense -- now it's the law.

Look, I'm on the side of the commenters too. I don't want to be forced to sit on a plane and hear dozens of phone calls. I'd much prefer the silence.

But there's no way in hell that I want to obligate other people to not doing something just for my own convenience!

Laws weren't ever meant to make life easier or more convenient. Laws were meant to stop people from directly harming each other. I've zero interest in telling people what they should be doing in general. This is very much a generational issue "there must be a law or a rule to tell me how I ought to behave" is something right out of a religious text. I don't need help deciding how to behave. I don't want others to have that help either.

Welcome to today's infinite surveillance. It's the only way to enforce these kinds of behavioural restrictions.

Comment Umm, contractor vs employee, it's not hard (Score 1) 716

This isn't difficult. Employees get paid for their time. Brick-layers and programmers alike. The brick layer doesn't fix the wall for free. The bulider pays the brick layer by the hour to fix the wall. The owner doesn't pay the builder because the builder is contracted by the owner whereas the brick-layer is employed by the builder.

And this all makes sense. Since the choice of brick quality is made by the builder, the builder is accountable for fixing it.

Same goes for the software programmer, whose employer chose the platforms and the deployment schedule. The programmer gets paid to work. The quality of the work doesn't affect the pay at all -- just the odds of future employment.

For the record, I own and operate a web development company, for 21 years now. Bug fixing is always free to the client for the life of the project. I hate it when dumb employees make stupid mistakes. But I don't get to withhold their payment. I do get to fire them though. And I do get to engineer a platform that requires fewer employees. And I do get to choose clients and projects that don't require me to have employees do anything at all.

So, to answer your questions directly, there is no difference between software bugs and wall bricks. The only question is whether or not you contracted the programmer or hired the brick-layer.

Comment Re:Sen. Fair is not the enemy (Score 1) 665

Why would you bash him for what he said? He was absolutely correct, and everyone knows it. It's not a scandal that he said what everyone else was thinking but was too chicken shit to say.

It is a fact that 47% of people do not pay income taxes. It is a fact that these people do not give a shit about how much government spends, because they have no skin in the game, and in fact they know that the more government spends, the more they benefit.

So, fuck everyone who thinks that was some scandalous thought for him to have let out of his head. Everyone knows it is true.

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