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Comment Re:Feinstein's not at all "Furthest Left" (Score 1) 510

If by that, you mean that the right wing uses DiFi for posters recruiting for their side, maybe so, but those are cartoon versions of her used for their own side's purposes, and the two aren't really equivalent or parallel. Darth Cheney's evil, and the left wing hates him, but he's a military-industrial-complex radical, not a social-conservative right-winger.

(I'm going to have to deviate from my usual position on Cheney here, which is to grudgingly admit that the man almost certainly doesn't actually eat live puppies for breakfast, but not to say anything more positive than that about him... And I'm a Libertarian, not a leftist or progressive.)

Cheney's not, as far as I know, a racist. He's not a theocrat. He was against gay marriage until his gay daughter forced him to reconsider his position, but he's not one of those people who are hung up about gays or who use homophobia as a way to drum up business with other right-wingers. (He'll happily use Fear of Foreign Terrorists to do that, but the business he's trying to drum up is military business, not Republicans-vs-Democrats; he'd prefer a Republican-controlled big army and intrusive spying system, but a Democrat-controlled one will do, and Feinstein was his type of Democrat.) He's not been part of the Republican War on Women. He was fine with the right-wingers' desires to militarize the border, but that was because he likes militarizing things, not because he wants to stop having cheap immigrant labor available for US businesses.

Cheney's not one of those right-wingers who say that "Government doesn't work" because they want to cut social programs and annoy progressives. He's the type of conservative who likes lots of very big, very intrusive government. The kind the right-wingers pretend they dislike, even as they help elect guys like Cheney.

Comment Also true for the Steve Jackson Games raid (Score 3, Interesting) 179

The Feds really did have to raid Steve Jackson Games, because otherwise dangerous computer hackers might use their site to learn dangerous hacking techniques, like "Roll 3d6. If you get better than 15, your probe breaks through the firewall undetected!".


Confessions Of an Ex-TSA Agent: Secrets Of the I.O. Room 393

Jason Edward Harrington has seen some of the same frustrations, misgivings, and objections that have crossed the mind of probably every commercial airline traveler who's flown over the last decade in the U.S. One difference: Harrington got to see them from the perspective of a TSA agent. His description of the realities of the job (including learning the rote responses that agents are instructed to reassure the public with) is wince-worthy and compelling. A sample makes it clear why the TSA has such famously low morale, even among Federal agencies: "I hated it from the beginning. It was a job that had me patting down the crotches of children, the elderly and even infants as part of the post-9/11 airport security show. I confiscated jars of homemade apple butter on the pretense that they could pose threats to national security. I was even required to confiscate nail clippers from airline pilots—the implied logic being that pilots could use the nail clippers to hijack the very planes they were flying." It only gets worse from there.

Comment Organic food (Score 2) 197

Organic food is not about your health, it's about the health of the farm on which it is grown

No, it's about marketing high priced consumables to people scared to death of chemical names and with absolutely no sense of how much of what is a problem, or not.

but we *need* to change the exploitative way of creating our food to make it sustainable in the long run.

Again, no we don't. What we need is either more ag production, or (lots) better distribution, or (lots) less population. Going back to pre-industrial farming methods is (a), a pipe dream, (b), not called for in any way, shape or form, or (c) even on the trend line, which is steadily going precisely the other way.

Let me just point something out. In countries with highly industrialized ag, life spans are significantly longer than in the past. This is not just a consequence of more food, it is also a consequence of the quality of the food. It is also a consequence of our learning how to use preservatives, pesticides, and manipulate genetics. These are all good things, and the proof is in the burgeoning, aging populations that consume ag products that arise from these technologies.

"Organic food" is mostly marketing scam, with the remaining value just... food. You want something to be concerned about? There's plenty to go around. From our deteriorating political situation to the various wars of aggression and the witch hunts -- drugs, sexuality, etc. -- I'm sure you can find something of actual merit where applying your shoulder to the wheel doesn't simply prop up a useless industry.

Comment Go Alan Grayson! (Score 1) 383

Alan Grayson's a loudmouth Democrat from Florida, and if either the Obama or Bush administrations had anything on him, they'd have used it long ago. I think he's wrong about a lot of things, but it's sure fun to watch him.

Grayson was the Congresscritter who proposed a "War Makes You Poor" Act, which would have required the Bush Administration to do an actual accounting of the costs for the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, and pay for them either by raising taxes or naming specific programs they were going to cut, not just silently running up debt while pretending to be fiscally responsible. Yeah, sure, it got about as far as you'd expect (:-), but it was entirely appropriate. I'm surprised he's been able to stay in Congress, since part of his mission there has been to piss off people who richly deserve it.

Comment Multiple Choice's Apostrophe abuse's (Score 1) 476

It could be Mr. Tesla who's having problems charging in the cold, probably because he's dead.

It could be Tesla the company which is having problems charging in the cold. (Tesla's an American company, and American English treats a company name as a singular noun, unlike British English which treats it as a plural noun.)

It could be that the author meant that Tesla Cars are having issues charging in the cold, and mistakenly pluralized them as "Tesla's" instead of "Teslas".

It could be that the author meant that the Tesla S is having issues charging in the cold, or that Tesla S Cars are, and really mistakenly punctuated it.

I'm guessing the third was most likely.

Comment Spare access point on another channel (Score 1) 254

My HP Laser Printer is running just fine after a decade. It doesn't have wifi, just ethernet and USB, though I think there was a wifi printer of the same generation. It usually sits in the same room as the wifi router. But Wifi uses channels, so if you've got an old 802.11b-only printer and want to keep it on the air instead of hanging it on an ethernet, you've probably got an old wifi router sitting around by now, so put it and the printer on one channel and your fast gear on another channel (or on 5 GHz, where fast stuff belongs.) If you can get your printer and router to use Channel 14, that's probably best, because it's not officially supported in the US so there's usually nothing else on it.

And there's nothing wrong with 802.11g, though yeah, any 802.11b is worth retiring.

Comment Old protocols even without old devices (Score 1) 254

I can see a dozen or so of my neighbors' wifi networks. About 2/3 are running N, 1/3 running G, no B. I have a couple of 802.11b devices in my "old electronic junk" bin, but it's not like they're powered up. And unless you're somewhere that has smart-meters running 802.11b, or some other antique or retro gear, you probably won't have 802.11b running either.

But all of the devices know how to fall back to that protocol, and maybe some of them will, at least with weak signals over long distances.

Comment My neighbors' .11n networks forced me to upgrade (Score 1) 254

I can typically see a dozen or so neighbors' wifi networks at 2.4GHz. Probably 2/3 are 802.11n, the rest g, no b. I used to run on g, and it worked ok except for the far edges of my house, but when my neighbors started upgrading from g to n (or maybe b to n:-), the airwaves were getting too crowded and I kept getting knocked off the network when I was in the room I usually used my laptop in. Eventually I bit the bullet and got an 802.11n router to get a bit more power and range, as well as switching channels, though there were almost as many people on 6 and 11 as on 1. Now my connections are pretty reliable, except for one tablet that has a wimpy radio.

The one other thing that's changed is that almost all the nearby wifi want authentication (even if it's only WEP.) Almost none of the b access points used it, many of the g versions did, and all of the n access points have authentication enabled on them. It's kind of frustrating, because every couple of years my DSL has a problem, and in the past I could borrow a neighbor's wifi until I got it fixed.


Tesla's Having Issues Charging In the Cold 476

cartechboy writes "It's winter, and apparently meteorologists have just discovered the term Polar Vortex, as that seems to be the only thing they can talk about these days. But seriously, it's cold, and apparently the darling child of the automotive industry, the new Tesla Model S electric car, is having issues charging in the cold weather. It's being reported that the charging cables that come with the car are unable to provide a charge when the temperature dips below zero. As you can imagine, this is an issue in a country like Norway where the Model S is one of the most popular cars. In fact, it seems this issue has already left one Model S owner stranded with a dead battery nearly 100 miles from the nearest charging station. Other owners are reporting issues charging. Tesla's European sales chief Peter Bardenfleth-Hansen apologized for he inconvenience owners are facing, and said it's 'trying hard to resolve' the issue. Apparently the issues are simply down to the differences in the Norwegian network as Norway uses a slightly different charging adapter than other countries in Europe."

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