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Comment Re:Rent-a-Cop (Score 2) 330

All they do is call the real police, the ones that we are already paying for with our property taxes.

It seems like a better solution would be to make the real police answerable to the will of the people. Perhaps these neighborhoods should focus on fixing their political processes rather than building a parallel police dept.

Last October my neighbor invited both our city councilwoman, and her opponent, to a neighborhood meeting at his house. About 80 people showed up. We grilled both of them on what they were going to do about recent burglaries. The result was the councilwoman was re-elected and we got a specific cop assigned to our area. He is "our cop" and works with our neighborhood watch group, personally follows up every crime report, and attends our periodic neighborhood BBQs to give pointers on crime prevention. If you pay taxes, the police work for you, and you (collectively) have the power to make them do their jobs.

Comment Re:Evidently not that vulnerable (Score 2, Insightful) 190

Ideally you have no unexpected failures, and at least one redundant backup.

In this case, they did have redundant backups. The first backup plan was the one that automatically kicked in. The second backup plan, is that sometime over the next few minutes, hours, or days, but long before it was actually a problem, someone would have noticed that no water was being pumped, and would have turned the pumps back on. It would have only been a problem if left long enough for the cooling water to boil off, and that would have taken awhile. TEPCO has made a lot of big mistakes, but this isn't one of them. This is being blown out of proportion ... and I say that as a tree-hugging environmentalist who thinks that nukes are a bad idea.

Comment Re:A computer that works like the human brain? (Score 3, Funny) 251

It'll take at least 3 decades before their artificial human brain is cost competitive with a human brain.

Except that the billion euros is the development cost, not the unit production cost. The development of the human brain took 4.5 billion years, and the resources of an entire planetary system, although there were some inefficiencies in the process.

Comment Re:Importation (Score 2) 416

1) Import as much as possible

Amazing that this was even up-voted. Slashdot users suck at logistics.

They also suck at geology. The US is at the leading edge of the fracking revolution, but Russia, China, Europe, Argentina, Africa, etc. also have enormous amounts of shale gas and oil. Far more than all the conventional reserves combined. All they need is the right technology and economic incentives to start extracting. The presumption that there is a coming supply shortage is ridiculous.

Comment Re:Aw (Score 1) 193

... even though most folks do.

Actually, most folks don't. About 34% of American households have a gun.

There was a bump in ownership after Sandy Hook, when gun control proposals were in the news. About three million additional guns were sold. If those guns have the same rate of fatalities as existing guns, it will be equivalent to another Sandy Hook every two months. I suppose that counts as an unintended consequence.

Comment Re: Holy stupid ideas, batman (Score 1) 189

Holy stupid comments batman.... That is true in every state.

No it isn't. How can every state be "one of the worst"?

California has earthquakes and Montana doesn't. But if you look at your probability of dying in an accident in California and Montana, Montana is worse. The chance of dying in an earthquake in Montana is zero, but the vehicle accident rate is higher than California's and that makes a much bigger difference. So moving to Montana because it is "safer" is silly, because it isn't.

Comment Re:Hiring and admission decisions (Score 5, Insightful) 195

Ford and Edison were normal people with lots of resources ...

Neither Ford nor Edison were born rich. Both endured hardship. The "lots of resources" came from their early individual successes.

... who were very successful at getting people to produce results.

Except that "normal" people are rarely successful at that.

Comment Re:Weaponized keynesianism (Score 3, Insightful) 341

for what it's worth, a large part of what our defense industry does is pry money out of the hands of the super wealthy and spread it around the economy.

The decision to pry money from the super wealthy, and the decision of what to spend that money on are two disjoint decisions. For instance, we could still tax the rich, and then instead of spending a billion dollars on a single B-2 bomber, we could spend $11,000 each to improve every single one of the 88,000 elementary schools in America. Which of those two expenditures would be more likely to improve the long term strength and security of our country?

Comment Re:The government wants you to hurt. (Score 0, Troll) 341

They want to make you think that if you don't give them what they want then you'll suffer for it. Legal extortion from the ring masters.

Most of what I have heard about is crap the government should have never been funding in the first place. So what if some beltway bandits get furloughed? So instead of spending as much on weapons as the next thirty countries, we may slip to only the next twenty countries. Even the closing of the national parks has an obvious solution: raise the entrance fees to cover the operating expenses, so no funding is needed.

Comment Re:"Domestic"? (Score 4, Insightful) 190

I'm pretty sure if it's a good idea to have regulations on drones in one single country in the world, they're a good idea everywhere.

We already have regulations. It says so right in the summary: the FAA forbids the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles over crowded areas such as Manhattan. That fact that operators are violating existing regulations is in no way evidence that we need more regulations (that will presumably also be violated).

This is just an attempted power grab by authoritarians. They want government drones to spy on us, but they don't the people to be able to look back at them.

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