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Comment Re:Human Rights voliations (Score 1) 98

Depends on what he's done in the past. I can think of a few things I've done that would be mildly embarrassing if they were published, but nothing that would really work as blackmail. For one thing, because enough people saw the various embarrassing things I did that there wouldn't really be any sense of revelation. Most people are in a similar situation.

Comment Re:Human Rights voliations (Score 1) 98

It is not "retarded" to limit the government's power

No, it's retarded to believe that the constitution magically does limit the government's power.

or ask that it obey the very document that grants it any power to begin with

The constitution doesn't grant the government any power. Governments exist solely at sufferance of the governed. If the people wish to limit the power of the government (and are willing to accept the costs of doing so) then they can. If they wish to grant the government total authority, then they can. The constitution simply enumerates the compromise that a group of people a couple of hundred years ago were willing to agree to on what that limit should be. There is very little evidence that the population of the USA over the subsequent two centuries has been willing to enforce those limits.

The alternative is the government doing whatever it pleases, and while the current situation is bad, it isn't that bad.

The belief that the alternatives are belief in the mythical power of a piece of paper and a government doing whatever it wishes (or even the idea that these are mutually exclusive) is exactly what the grandparent was referring to.

Comment Re:Where I'm from..... (Score 1) 227

Good requirement. When I'm paying a premium rate billed per minute, I really want to have to spend 20-30 seconds listening to a recorded message telling me how much I'm paying...

In the UK, the 0845, 0870 and 0871 prefixes all have fixed costs. The exact cost of calling them depends on your phone company - it does me absolutely no good to be told how much it would cost me to call the number from a BT landline, because I have never had a BT landline.

Comment Re:You take my time (Score 1) 227

It's a bit of an odd requirement, because all 0871 numbers are premium-rate lines that cost 10p/minute. Simply advertising the prefix is enough. It's even more silly, because the rate that you're supposed to advertise is the rate of calling from a BT landline, the cost of calling from a mobile or a non-BT landline may be very different.

Comment Re:Useless academic is useless. (Score 2) 462

Good point. If you have cheap energy then mining the moon for other raw materials is possible and so is putting much manufacturing either on the moon or in Earth orbit. Unlike travel in the opposite direction, you don't need large amounts of energy to get things from orbit back to Earth (you do need a lot of cooling / heat shielding). I wonder what the impact on the environment would be if we moved all manufacturing off Earth...

Comment Re:Human Rights voliations (Score 4, Interesting) 98

They most likely won't go after the USA, but after corporations that cooperated with the NSA. Given that these are lots of big companies and very few of them are paying much (if any) tax in Europe, there's likely to be little public opposition to very large fines on such entities and hopefully it will mean that companies like Google can then go to members of the US government and say 'this NSA activity is costing the US economy billions of dollars a year and we'll be reminding your constituents of this and the fact that you supported it at the next election'.

Comment Good decision (Score 5, Insightful) 535

It highlights the idiocy in having special laws for religious beliefs. If something should be illegal, it should be illegal for everyone. If something should be legal, it should be legal for everyone. You shouldn't get special privileges for holding certain beliefs. If it's fine for some people to wear hats or other head coverings in official photographs then it should be legal for everyone.

Comment Re:the upgrade myth (Score 1) 413

I got a Voodoo2 when they were new and very expensive (after much pleading and agreeing for it to be counted as a combined Christmas and birthday present). It lasted 3-4 years, until I replaced it with a low-end GeForce 2MX (which was much cheaper). At the time, I was playing a lot of FPS games and so on. Many of my friends had cheaper cards than the Voodoo2. You could always get better graphics by spending more, but most games were quite playable with cheaper cards. Games like Quake 1 and 2 and Half Life even had software renderers that worked fine, albeit at a lower resolution.

Comment Re:What cool stuff do you do with 15Mbps ? (Score 1) 290

The BBC's HD (720p) streams are 3.6Mb/s, so your link would be too slow. You really need at least 5Mb/s if you're not going to have streaming interrupted when another machine on the network starts doing something. I have 30Mb/s that drops to a quarter that speed if I go over some complicated limits, which I've hit once in the last year that I've noticed. Possibly more, but 7.5Mb/s is typically fast enough so I may have gone over without noticing. It used to be 10Mb/s, and I did notice when I went over that cap because HD iPlayer streams stopped working.

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