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Comment Re:Democrats (Score 1) 147

We had a Republican president when the Patriot act was passed to take away all our rights. But to be fair, the Democrats certainly deserve a fair share of the blame. It's not just one party doing it.

However, keep in mind that in reality, President Obama never met an invasive secret domestic spying program he didn't like. As well, he was exceptionally vicious in pursuing heavy criminal penalties for whistle blowers. I find it difficult to believe he was seriously interested in repealing the Patriot Act, except for "public relations" with his constituency of Democrats like me.

Comment Re:Ouch... (Score 2) 147

This "one side is as bad as the other" bullshit is what got Trump elected in the first place.

I would like to take this moment to remind everyone that there is this thing called a primary election. During the primary election, you can vote for who you want to see in the general election. Traditionally, primary elections have low turnout, so your vote will have more influence.

Even if you don't identify with a political party, vote in the primary. I even suggest voting in the primary of the party you identify with the least. Perhaps that would result in some moderate candidates in the general election.

Comment Re:"Shows Why We Can't Have Nice Things For Cheap" (Score 1) 236

In any given 2-3 year time span, there's like what, maybe a dozen professional golfers so skilled that they are able to hit the ball on a predictable basis? The remaining pros vary wildly and the amateurs are all over the map, so assessing the claims and technology of golf balls is pretty difficult.

Robots are regularly used to compare golf equipment for that reason. Google "Iron Byron" for details.

Comment Re:Private sector will increase costs. (Score 1) 152

If it costs money to do something and you hand it over to the private sector it will cost money plus profit to make it therefore more. If the argument is that somehow the private sector magically has better management then improve the management and reduce the costs but that simply is not true. Better management always equals higher cost as they always charge more than they earn.

Costs are lower in the private sector due to competition in the marketplace. If there is a monopoly on any item or service, you better believe the costs will be astronomical.

What we have seen in the past 5-10 years is the end of a monopoly by ULA as a result of Space X and others. While ULA had a monopoly in the private sector, the SLS made sense. Now that there is competition, that is no longer the case.

Comment Re:Ulterior motive (Score 1) 56

And if Facebook knows what issues you care about and what parties/politicians you support, they can easily put all that together in order to sell political advertising campaigns targeting you to specific politicians and give them the specific issues to put in the campaign.

Yes, that's obvious. Would you not expect they to leverage that data point? I don't think there is anything "ulterior" about it...

I don't really see anything nefarious, other than the well known MO of Facebook. People use Facebook and know or should know that Facebook collects data on what goes on at Facebook... I mean "who knew!" ...

Taking the standard "I can't believe [insert huge faceless corporation here] is spying on my yadda yadda yadda" out of the equation, like you suggest, I think anything to get people more involved in governance is not a bad thing.

Comment Re:Just needs a little nudge. (Score 5, Interesting) 228

I am not an expert on orbital mechanics, but I recall hearing the major problem with re-purposing the ISS is its orbit. In order for it to be served by all of the international partners, it has to be on an orbit with a funky inclination. Changing the inclination of an object already in orbit requires a lot of energy. It's usually easier to just send up a new one.

I suspect this inclination issue would still be a concern for a trip to the moon.

Comment Is it news? (Score 2, Informative) 228

That's the arbitrary deadline that Congress imposed back in 2014, at which point they'll have to decide whether or not to keep funding the ISS.

In all likelyhood we will continue to use it beyond 2024, that's not a "hard" retirement date, it's a "let's look at the program and funding" date. Case in point: the B-52 is well past its original retirement date.

The better question is if the money spent to continue ISS is money well spent.

Submission + - Drupal Fires Top Contributor for Practicing BDSM

Frosty Piss writes: Drupal founder Dries Buytaert expelled Larry "Crell" Garfield from the Drupal community for his involvement in the BDSM community. Garfield claims this was done at the demand of Drupal Security team member Klaus "klausi" Purer and unknown others secretly pressuring Drupal leadership to have him removed for his private sex life. Responding to his firing, Garfield said "I am involved in two such communities, specifically the BDSM community and the Gorean (Gor) community. The former is by far the larger of the two and more varied, although I spend more of my time and activity in the Gorean community. It's a small community, and sadly much of what is found online about it is utter crap, just as most in the BDSM community find the "50 Shades" representation of BDSM to be harmfully misleading. The Gorean subculture is inspired by a science-fiction book series written from the 1960s onward to today, and predicated on a strong sense of personal honor, integrity, and community. It also practices consensual Master/slave relationships, and has a strong gender bias toward male-Dom/female-sub relationships, but that is not the cornerstone of Gorean culture. There are other groups that are biased the other way, or have no gender bias. There are even groups in Chicago (where I live) that have regular "fem-dom" parties. To each their own."

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