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Comment On the futility of banning guns (Score 1) 1144

Here's the thing: guns are REALLY SIMPLE MACHINES. A gun can have fewer moving parts than a ballpoint pen. You can make a lethal (though inefficient and awkward) gun in the plumbing department of Home Depot. Any competent machine shop or home hobby machinist can make a basic gun with tools they already own. Even a more sophisticated automatic or semi-automatic gun can be made with relative ease; it's only things like superb accuracy or high reliability that are harder to engineer. Which means that guns ARE NOT GOING AWAY, EVER. They may be harder to buy legally, but we've seen how well that keeps people from drugs. Add to that the fact that if you're hellbent on killing folks, there are other ways to do it. Pipe bombs, poison koolaid, even just plowing a truck through a crowd... there will never be a shortage of ways to kill people.

Comment Radio is the best option for disaster preparedness (Score 1) 582

Eh. POTS may be slightly less vulnerable to system failure than cellular, but not much. And you're depending on physical wire which is more susceptible to damage. If you're really concerned about emergency communication capability, radio is the only way to go. No centralized ANYTHING, no infrastructure of any kind, and (with a bit of forethought) can work indefinitely, entirely off the grid. Go get your ham radio license.

Comment Re:Shot (Score 1) 793

My fiancee's family tells the story of her great-grandfather, who died of pneumonia. He caught the pneumonia from spending the night in a water-filled ditch. He was hiding in the ditch after being shot by a jealous husband. He was 78.

My hero.

Earth

Breaking the Squid Barrier 126

An anonymous reader writes "Dr. Steve O'Shea of Auckland, New Zealand is attempting to break the record for keeping deep sea squid alive in captivity, with the goal of being able to raise a giant squid one day. Right now, he's raising the broad squid, sepioteuthis australis, from egg masses found in seaweed. This is a lot harder than it sounds, because the squid he's studying grow rapidly and eat only live prey, making it hard for them to keep the squid from becoming prey themselves. If his research works out, you might one day be able to visit an aquarium and see giant squid."

Comment It's not a question of open or closed. (Score 1) 123

The critical moment is when something is offered for sale. If I build an open design car for my own use, and it fails miserably, it's my own dumb fault. However, as soon as I sell that car to someone else, I am warranting it to be a saleable product, which carries a number of legal implications. To a greater or lesser degree, I am liable for its performance.

The underlying problem isn't "open" or "closed" design, it's that when you sell something you're liable for it. To be willing to sell something, companies need to do a lot of work to ensure that the product is safe, in many cases far more work than creating the product in the first place. That being the case, there is little financial motive for openness and a large financial motive for keeping it proprietary.

Books

Submission + - Web-based eBook reader?

Eosha writes: "I have a massive collection of eBook files, but I don't have a portable reader. I can read the text files on my website, but that doesn't provide the features of a reader, such as bookmarking and indexing. I want to be able to access the eBook from home and work, so a desktop app doesn't work either. Do you know of:

1) A website where I can upload a eBook file and read it (with bookmarks, etc.)?
or
2) A server I can host on my own website to accomplish the same thing?"
User Journal

Journal SPAM: Group that advocated "President-for-Life" linked to Bush 15

Group that advocated Bush become "President-for-Life" linked to Bush Administration itself

Posted by ck4829 on Mon Aug-13-07 01:38 AM

You can't find the story now, they removed it after DU'ers, and other people possibly, exposed the story a little group called Family Security Matters was running.

But, just because they removed it, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist anymore.

Security

Submission + - Secret Chinese Nuclear Sub. Images found on Google (fas.org)

another tom writes: The first public images of a new Chinese nuclear-powered submarine has been found on Google Maps. From site:
"A commercial satellite image appears to have captured China's new nuclear ballistic missile submarine. The new class, known as the Jin-class or Type 094, is expected to replace the unsuccessful Xia-class (Type 092) of a single boat built in the early 1980s.
The new submarine was photographed by the commercial Quickbird satellite in late 2006 and the image is freely available on the Google Earth web site."

Interesting that Google continues to do its own thing without oversight or censorship from government authorities. Will it ever be legislated that they will have to censor or pass through governments content gathered for things such as Google maps? What other interesting things would you like to see found?

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