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Comment Re:The Million Regulators March on Washington (Score 1) 117

Put another way, even Google with their near-bottomless buckets of money has said it's too hard for them.

Exactly the example I wanted to cite. Google can count. They know, what cables cost and how hard it is to run it. But the costs and, more importantly, the intangible difficulties of obtaining the permits can not be estimated in advance.

And so it follows, that it were these government-imposed costs and difficulties, that scuttled Google Fiber — because, had it been anything else, they wouldn't have even attempted. Indeed, we already know it quite well, that the real barrier for having nice Internet-connectivity is not the ISPs, who want your money, but the local mayors and city councils, who want free stuff and favors.

And you would notice too, that where they started (and continue to operate) is not exactly the thickly settled — and thus Illiberal-dominated — coastal city... Even though "thickly settled" is the most attractive part for an ISP.

As long as the government can throttle an upstart ISPs — such as by holding them to the letter of some regulation, however imprecise and unclear — the incumbent, who can take the President for a round of golf, will thrive. Thrive without improving service and lower prices.

Comment Re:Ukraine to the rescue (Score 1) 159

It's worth noting that both the AN124 and 225 are operating in a market completely separated from Airbus and Boeing.

There is a different meaning to the word "separation". Firms like FedEx and UPS may be happy to use a giant plane like Mria for their own busy routes — still need the same crew, but can take a lot more load. A single such AN can replace a number of Boeings and/or Airbuses, which could be used for human travelers.

If only Antonov actually managed to move to actually building those planes, rather than merely designing them. Hopefully, the Saudi and the Chinese investments — as well as the reduced/eliminated Russian influence — will help.

Comment Re:Change the laws together with English (Score 1) 845

I'm merely informing you that the definition of race has improved since the 19th century when everyone was either Caucasian, Negroid or Mongoloid

I don't believe in either of your claims: neither that the definition has actually changed, nor that the change you assert would've been for the better, had it actually happened.

Race is most certainly not a "social construct" — the very reason, discrimination based on it is wrong (and illegal) is that it is immutable. A human being does not choose to be of particular race.

Now, there has always been the other meaning for the same word — a homonym, really — which would, indeed, make any grouping of people, including fans of a particular sports team, or cat-lovers, or Emacs-users a "race". That meaning is not at all new — it certainly existed in the 19th century — but it, quite clearly and self-evidently, is not what the anti-discrimination laws mean. A FreeBSD-bigot like myself can not claim "racial discrimination" after being turned away from an all-Windows shop, for example.

I'm not too familiar with the case [of Rachel Dolezal -mi]

Of course, you aren't — Blacks are given a pass by all your news-sources, when they discriminate or even murder based on race.

she resigned from her job because she had been caught lying about her background

Obviously, had she not lied, they would not have hired her in the first place — even though she was, obviously, qualified — it is Ok, for some reason, for Blacks to discriminate against Whites.

We try to fix this over time, but some people think that going back to the 'good old days , whenever they were supposed to be, will solve all of this.

What? Does this, somehow, justify the discrimination against Whites and Asians manifested by NAACP?

Comment Re:Too good to be true. (Score 1) 117

Cool solar cells.... by blocking the sunlight *facepalm*.

No. It seems you missed the part in the article where they said you'd first need to remove the mirror backing in order to use it with solar cells. I.e. It would let (nearly) all of the light through while still providing the heat dissipation properties.

Also I'm thinking how big a deal is the "not blocked by the atmosphere" really, I mean it's not like heat reflected of a little building significantly changes the ambient temperature.

I take it you're unaware of urban heat islands?

Controlling how light and heat get reflected from buildings is of growing importance to architects and engineers. Unfortunately, buildings melting cars is a thing that has happened, and urban heat islands are a contributing factor to global warming. Plus, if you can reduce the ambient temperature by pushing the energy out into space, you've effectively reduced your cooling needs, which is a double win.

Comment Re:Are our lawyers really this clueless? (Score 1) 28

I'm willing to accept that it probably can't be copyrighted.

That doesn't mean you can't put a license on it. And there are plenty of licenses to choose from. One must be pretty close to suitable.

There's neither a need for a license, nor would a license have any meaning in this context. The whole purpose of a license is to disclaim or enumerate the rights being retained by the copyright holder. If the works belongs to the public domain, a license has no meaning and any attempt to attach a license would be an attempt to (fraudulently) assert rights that only belong to the owner of the material, of which there is none.

Setting those concerns aside, there are a few licenses that approximate to varying degrees the rights provided by public domain works (e.g. MIT or BSD), but attaching them to these documents to describe the rights of users would be like saying that the UN charter is the official document Americans should use to understand their right to free speech, rather than the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. The laws regarding works in the public domain would still be the governing rules here, rather than whatever license they attached, so it makes no sense to attach a license in the first place.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 197

So the same thing goes for a DVD, since you own it, after you purchased it?

It does, hence the First-sale doctrine, which is the foundation on which things like the video rental industry are built. Now, your rights do have limits, of course, among them being that you can't infringe on their right of ownership by copying the DVDs as much as you want and selling the copies for a profit, given that they still own the rights to the content on that DVD, but you own the DVD itself, so you can do with it as you please.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 197

It's not, or this wouldn't be a story.

You've got that backwards: it is, which is why there is a story. Lawmakers regularly pass new laws to make it explicitly clear that rights do, in fact, extend to particular areas. Our rights already exist there, but our ability to exercise them has been obstructed, and lawmakers are pushing back.

Manufacturers have gone to great lengths to prevent people from exercising their rights (e.g. licensing instead of selling, adding terms of usage that limit rights, etc., most of which have yet to be challenged heavily in court since the manufacturers are trying to avoid setting a precedent they don't like), and states are starting to push back, saying that those rights cannot be given up as a condition of sale or use.

Comment Finally a man to hate (Score 1, Troll) 845

Having screamed for anti-immigrant violence and sexual assault becoming common place because of Trump, Illiberals could never offer any actual evidence. Maybe, this guy is what they need. Finally...

Meanwhile the number of victims of the "Black Lives Matter" assholes — the very foundation of their movement based on a lieuncounted scores.

Comment Change the laws together with English (Score 1) 845

Only if your definition of race comes from the 19th century, which in itself is a little racist.

If you wish to redefine the meaning of "race" (or "sex" for that matter), you need to change the law that bans discrimination based on it.

Because, unless the law has explicitly changed in between — as in, passed by Legislature and signed by the Executive — what was legal at one point shall remain legal at another.

These days race is a social or cultural construct

Funny, this argument — But I identify as Black! — didn't help certain Ms. Dolezal keep her job at, of all places, NAACP... Evidently, some races — whatever the term means — are more equal than others. Had she been fired for being Black while masquerading as White, she and her team of lawyers would've all been millionaires by now.

Comment Re:CRISPR for the masses (Score 1) 168

Then what is the advantage over living in an artificial environment in space?

Creating such an artificial environment in space "from scratch" may be much harder, than using the readily-made planet. The colonists may need to adapt it, but they may also find it easier to make some adaptations to themselves — meeting the planet half-way, as it were.

If Escimo and Inuit and related peoples adapted to the environment unlivable for their African predecessors naturally — even if they still can not live there naked, we may be able to make similar adaptations faster (in fewer generations) to make Martian environment suck less. But, as often point out, Antarctica ought to be first — much closer and much cosier for humans than Mars.

But, hey, adapting to life in space (low-to-no gravity, low air pressure) may take place in parallel. Stephenson — in SevenEves — explores this subject in some detail.

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