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Comment Re:Tax avoidance (Score 3, Insightful) 592

It is a fact of law in the US that the police are not required to protect you or your property (at least in most jurisdictions).

In its landmark decision of DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services,” Stevens writes, “the U.S. Supreme Court declared that the Constitution does not impose a duty on the state and local governments to protect the citizens from criminal harm.

In Warren v. District of Columbia, it is a "fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen."

In Castle Rock v. Gonzales, "the police have no duty under federal law to protect the citizens."

There are other cases that more or less have the same result.

When seconds matter, the police are only minutes away. Maybe.

Comment Re:For me, I do a hell of a lot of FOSS code (Score 1) 224

If you are involved in your church or some other NPO that reflects something you actually care about - you will find it much more motivational for "free" programming than something you don't care about. If you don't care about the NPO, it will not be motivational. If working for "free" is not motiviational, you can try something like freelancer.com or rent-acoder.com -- you won't make much money, but it is easy to find work and your commitment to deliver something is more motivational than no commitment at all. You could also call some local business with crummy websites and offer them to write something better for low-money until you get your chops. These business can also be references and contacts to find a real job. Mostly, you need to do some coding. I have over 30 years experience as a programmer, I am not hiring you unless you without some experience unless you are fresh out of school -- in which case I will interview you very carefully to determine if you have strong potential as a developer.

Comment Re:The Maths (Score 1) 328

If you are in a cold climate and you don't have something cheaper than electric resistance heating you are doing it wrong. I know that in the case of running a heat pump it defaults to resistance heating as a backup mode when it is very cold outside. But you are really paying too much if you do this all the time (and my grandmother's house has resistance heating and she keeps it about 80 degrees)

Comment Re:Controversial paper published? (Score 4, Insightful) 41

There is a significant difference between an article that leaves the basis premise alone but changes some of the details compared to an article that attacks the core of the theory.

Even in the recent case where someone suggested that the speed of light was slightly exceeded by neutrinos the results were broadly assumed to be experimental error because the theory of special relativity is widely considered proven fact. Perhaps a small refinement to SR would accommodate FTL neutrinos -- this would not necessarily destroy the basic theory. Einstein did not destroy Newton, he improved the model.

If I invented a time machine and go back in time to interview Adam & Eve it would be very difficult for a science journal to accept this evidence as scientific because it violates the very concept of scientific study -- natural causes are always assumed as anything else is not science (this assumption is reasonable). Short of time travel, I would say it is impossible for any theory to replace modern evolutionary theory unless it also has a naturalistic explanation. If I found a complete set of mammal fossils in pre-Cambrian rock it would be publishable in Nature, etc. but this does not mean that most evolutionists would suddenly embrace special creation. Evolutionists would simply modify their their to accommodate new data -- they have modified it a number of times in the past to accommodate new data.

In the case of global warming the full-blown time-to-panic theory is not well established as a scientific fact, so it is relatively easy to publish against that oppose this -- if you attempt to say that there is no anthropogenic global warning due to industrial greenhouse gases you will find it much more difficult to get it published -- this is how science works.

Comment Re:Film at 11 ... (Score 1) 375

But they can play angry birds on the RT device, the space and star wars edition at least. There are many many other games that they won't be able to play though. If you want to use your tablet at work, you will also need an IPad if you want to be "da bomb" when chillin' with your buds. Android users at least get pity for not being able to afford an IPad -- but paying more? Must be a nerd. Surprisingly, that is not enough to guarantee success with the Slashdot crowd.

Comment Re:Congress Sucks (Score 1) 858

A significant factor in US avg. lifespan is that the US has a larger black population. Blacks don't live as long as whites even when controlling for other factors. Some factors are understood such as genetic diseases like sickle cell anemia that kills off blacks much more than whites, or diabetes (which includes a genetic component). This does not explain all of the difference, neither does behavioral differences such as twinkies and crack babies.

Comment Re:U.S.A. (Score 1) 94

Most people in the US would not notice if 90% of these countries simply disappeared either. Seriously, next Slashdot poll could be how many of these countries could you identify on a map that does not show the country names. My guess is that 10% would be about typical, maybe even optimistic.

Comment Re:If they want to stop the copper thieves... (Score 3, Informative) 363

They passed this in Indiana some years ago, the newspaper generally endorsed it, and the public mostly thought it was a good idea (after all they were not recycling copper frequently, nor were they in the salvage business). I think it is pretty much "sign here" and snap a picture. This did not stop copper theft either.

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