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Comment Re:No no no no no! (Score 1) 313

Since when did one relinquish their rights at the airport? -it wasn't always that way.

According to Originalists like Scalia and Thomas (who have been reliably most protective of 4th Amendment rights) , it has always been that way in the sense that persons have always had less of an expectation of privacy at ports.

Comment Re:Dumb to use away from points of entry (Score 1) 313

Ahh, yes. Kyllo v. U.S. - one of my favorite cases.

To the extent that these devices were being used to observe individuals without a search warrant, any evidence discovered would not be admissible in court. The general rule (though IANAC[riminal]L) is that unless the technology is generally available to the public, then a search warrant is necessary to use it for evidence gathering purposes.

That doesn't negate the general invasion of privacy this technology poses, and each technology must be evaluated on its impact.

Comment Re:Easy solution (Score 1) 738

Deflation can certainly be attributed to the factors you have noted. There is no doubt that the drop in domestic demand is causing deflation, and giving the Fed and Treasury cover to inflate. The velocity of money is low. However, inflation will eventually come when Treasuries lose value, as they must when the Fed is buying them by the hundreds of billions worth. (Buying our own debt? What could go wrong there?) When our overseas lenders stop buying Treasuries, and start selling them, inflationary pressures will come from outside the US.

Comment Re:Change we can believe in (Score 1) 569

Not every aspect, but look at the U.S. real estate market where the free market is bordering on non-existent. Tax policy, government "foreclosure prevention" programs, the fact that GSEs like Freddie and Fannie own upwards of 90% of the secondary mortgage market and, most of all, the artificially low interest rates created by the Fed, mean that nobody knows what the real, free market price of real estate is.

I call it corporatism.

The Internet

The 'Net Generation' Isn't 435

Kanel introduces this lengthy review in Spiegel Online this way: "Kids that grew up with the Internet are not 'digital natives' as consultants have led us to believe. They're OK with the Net but they don't care much about Web 2.0 and find plenty of other things more important than the Internet. Consultants and authors, mostly old guys, have called for the education system to be reworked to suit this new generation, but they never conducted surveys to see if the members of 'generation @' were anything like what they had envisioned. Turns out, children who have known the Net their whole lives are not particularly skilled at it, nor do they live their lives online." "Young people have now reached this turning point. The Internet is no longer something they are willing to waste time thinking about. It seems that the excitement about cyberspace was a phenomenon peculiar to their predecessors, the technology-obsessed first generation of Web users. ...they certainly no longer understand it when older generations speak of 'going online.' ... Tom and his friends just describe themselves as being 'on' or 'off,' using the English terms. What they mean is: contactable or not."

Google Testing an Airborne Camera Drone 182

mbone writes "The Blogoscoped site carries news that Google has purchased a German 'Microdrone' for evaluation (here is the original German version). These devices can take off, fly a mission, and land automatically using GPS. They can carry night-vision cameras or even 'see-through-walls' Far IR cameras. Of course, the maker of these drones assures us that they cannot be a 'Big Brother in the sky' because that is 'verboten.' Is it just me, or is Google entering dangerous airspace here? It seems like the ruckus from a backyard-after-dark addition to Street View could completely overshadow the legal tussles Google has already encountered with its street-level photography." Reader Jaymi clues us to another airborne effort a couple of Google employees are mounting with some help from NASA Ames: the NexusOne PhoneSat project — to determine if low-cost mobile phone components can withstand space travel.

Submission + - Electric Car Subsidies Are Handouts for the Rich (

Atypical Geek writes: Charles Lane, writing for Slate, argues that subsidies for electric cars are an example of 'limousine liberalism'; a lavish gift for well-off Americans to buy expensive cars for the sake of appearing green. From the article:

How rarefied is the electric-car demographic? When Deloitte Consulting interviewed industry experts and 2,000 potential buyers, it found that from now until 2020, only "young, very high income individuals" — from households making more than $200,000 a year — would even be interested in plug-in hybrids or all-electric cars.

Lane also takes issue with the billions of dollars in subsidies offered to automakers for the manufacture of batteries, arguing that research (warning, PDF) concludes that the money will not help in jump-starting the economies of scale that will drive down prices. At least, not as much or as quickly as the President has argued.

The Obama administration claims that offering subsidies for early adopters will open a wider market for electric vehicles, bringing costs down to mass-market levels. Lane counters that such a market does not exist because the majority of Americans have no interest in purchasing electric cars.

Of all the findings in Deloitte's market research, the most poignant was its profile of electric car "non-adopters." They have average household incomes of $54,000, live in the suburbs and rural areas, and depend heavily on their cars. There are millions and millions of non-adopters all across America. They are the middle class.

Comment Re:Science or Religion? (Score 1) 1136

Thank you for the correction. I may have been thinking of centripetal forces - it seems that as the earth revolves around the earth/moon barycenter that the bulge in the ocean on the side of the earth opposite the moon would be due partially from centripetal forces. But I guess I am wrong.

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