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Comment Re:Yeah, no... (Score 1) 323

"(2) the permission to destroy the originals (you'll always find a few volunteers)" why? So, the send a copy of me, so what? It's Geekoid2. It's not going to come back and claim my social security benefits.

Of course; if we can build people, we would build more optimized people and not copies. Skin color, hair growth, strength, spectrum off vision would all be customized to the unique properties of that planet.

So your proposal is that we build a genetically-engineered race of super men? And then send them off into space in deep freeze so they can return some day and conquer us? What ever will we call the ship? I think S.S. Botany Bay is already taken, but let me check up on that.

Submission + - Councilman/Open Source Developer submits Open Source bill (

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: New York City Council Member Ben Kallos (KallosEsq), who also happens to be a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) developer, just introduced legislation to mandate a government preference for FOSS and creating a Civic Commons website to facilitate collaborative purchasing of software. He argues that NYC could save millions of dollars with the Free and Open Source Software Preferences Act 2014, pointing out that the city currently has a $67 million Microsoft ELA. Kallos said: "It is time for government to modernize and start appreciating the same cost savings as everyone else."

Comment A little late, but welcome (Score 1) 136

A cynic might argue that the key difference in this case was that, for a change, the ISP's, and not merely defendants, were challenging the subpoenas; but of course we all know that justice is 'blind'.

An ingrate might bemoan the Court's failure to address the key underlying fallacy in the "John Doe" cases, that because someone pays the bill for an internet account that automatically makes them a copyright infringer; but who's complaining over that slight omission?

A malcontent like myself might be a little unhappy that it took the courts ten (10) years to finally come to grips with the personal jurisdiction issue, which would have been obvious to 9 out of 10 second year law students from the get go, and I personally have been pointing it out and writing about it since 2005; but at least they finally did get there.

And a philosopher might wonder how much suffering might have been spared had the courts followed the law back in 2004 when the John Doe madness started; but of course I'm a lawyer, not a philosopher. :)

Bottom line, though: this is a good thing, a very good thing. Ten (10) years late in coming, but good nonetheless. - R.B. )

Comment Re:There's a reason books can't be updated (Score 2) 249

I actually thought the same thing, but according to the article, these aren't full of manuals. They've got 300 popular books and literary classics. It's a lightweight, standardized, secure library for sailors who are bored and want to read. While this would be a terrible consumer device, I think it makes sense for the use case. If you're deployed on a ship for six months, having 300 books to choose from is a lot better than having zero books to choose from.

Comment Re:this is reassuring (Score 1) 481

The other good reason I thought of* is the fact that old, analog electronics are more likely to survive the EMP from a nuclear blast than modern, solid-state stuff. To wit, if a well-placed air-burst nuke drops EM radiation across the continental US, my 2009 pickup will be effectively dead, but my 1967 Mustang, with it's points-type ignition and lack of electronics, will fire and run like always.

* of course, this only applies if the systems in use at the missile silos are analog.

Electronics used in missile and launch-critical systems are required to be radiation hardened. That's part of why they are so expensive. These are not basic, off-the-shelf transistors. They are subjected to rigorous radiation tests to verify that they can survive certain attack scenarios. They also have to conform to a specific long-term reliability profile, since they sit doing nothing for decades at a time. Parts selection and qualification is an entire separate branch of engineering for nuclear weapons. (The system designers draw a circuit, and then the parts guys tell them what parts they can put in there.) They are also heavily shielded. EMP survivability is not a matter of serendipity for these systems.

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