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Comment Re:DEA already has rescheduled and overruled itsel (Score 1) 145

Actually, their constitutional authority to exist is that the Executive Branch calls them into existence to execute the provisions of laws passed by the Legislative branch.

It took a constitutional amendment to ban alcohol, and that amendment has been repealed. This leaves no authority for any branch of the government to prohibit the manufacture, sale, or use of any drug. Any act of the congress that purports to do so is not a law at all, it is as James Madison would describe it, a usurpation.


Comment Re:Apple bears some responsibility here. (Score 1) 109

The G3 series had a ferrite choke a quarter inch from the plug, and that quarter inch of wire constantly broke, causing fires, so they recalled the entire lot of them and replaced them with the yo-yo power supply.

Slight correction. I'm not sure if they actually caused fires; they were recalled because they considered them to be a fire risk from overheating, which presumably was caused by shorting caused by the cable failures.

Comment Re:Why not just use Splenda? (Score 1) 311

How about artificial sweeteners (stevia isn't artificial to my knowledge, it comes from some plant in South America I think)? Saccharin, aspartame, sucralose?

I think I might have that gene too; cilantro seems to taste a little soapy, and I really have stevia. I like broccoli though, but only steamed like in Chinese food.

Comment Re:Define "fit for business" (Score 1) 117

Ok, that makes sense, but I'm not proposing that MS push these shenanigans any time too soon. What if they wait until everyone's finally moved to Win10 Enterprise, perhaps in 3-5 years, and *then* they start tightening the screws on their corporate customers, mis-feature by mis-feature? Remember the old tale about the frog in boiling water.

Comment Re:or how about less sugar anyways? (Score 1) 311

I don't see how that would prevent what Germany does. If a State wanted to withhold tithes from people's paychecks in that State, the 1A doesn't prevent it, as long as the government doesn't favor any one religion. As long as any religion could apply for this service, it should be legal. The problem is that it'd probably be an administrative nightmare. As I understand it, over in Germany, most Christians still fall into a handful of denominations, which are all probably organized at the national level (i.e., the Catholics have organizations at the diocesan levels, and probably one country-wide level above those, which reports to the Vatican; the Lutherans have one organization, the Anglicans too, etc.). Over here in the US, things aren't that simple. While the Catholics are of course well-organized, the other mainstream Protestant denomations are less so: there's mainstream groups for the Epsicopals, Lutherans, etc., but all these also have renegade divisions where some chuches at some point rebelled against the heirarchy and split off into their own sect. The Lutherans, for instance, have the Wisconin and Missouri Synods which are ultra-conservative, unlike the regular sect. The Presbyterians have PC-USA which most churches are part of, but a bunch are either independent or part of some other ultra-conservative group (lately in response to the Presbyterians' acceptance of homosexuals and of homosexual preachers even). There's a zillion different Baptist groups out there dating from the 1800s. And these days half the Protestants are Evangelicals, and frequently part of some Prosperity Gospel megachurch, which is totally independent. All in all, there's probably tens if not hundreds of thousands of "organizations" around the nation, just for Christianity, though most of these are independent churches both large and small (some of them in peoples' basements even). So keeping track of all these entities and giving them access to the government-tithe-withholding system would end up costing an absolute fortune. In Germany, they probably don't have this problem because 1) I'm pretty sure they don't have remotely as many independent churches and 2) they don't have our 1A, so they can probably safely ignore smaller religious organizations and just do this for large, established ones.

Honestly, I'm not sure why Germany still does this at all. Much of their population isn't religious any more, and if people want to give money to a church, they can do it themselves without the government's help. It's probably some silly holdover from previous generations when churches were a stronger part of civic life, but for an advanced and secular western nation, it's really an embarrassment IMO.

Comment Re:Milton Frieldman? (Score 1) 365

So.......we just had an article on Slashdot that showed there are more jobs in America now, at the end of the Obama administration, than there ever have been in the entire history of the US. More people working.

First, I'm not about to claim that Trump is going to improve anything for the common man. Having a populist revolt that emplaces a Billionare cabinet...

Yes, Obama got more people to work than anyone else ever. However, middle-class well-being has not correspondingly increased (meaning wages aren't great for a lot of those jobs) and the disparity between the most rich and everyone else has become much larger.

I haven't researched AI job reduction, but I think we could be no more than two decades away from the point where much menial labor is robotic and where professional drivers are for the most part replaced with machines.

Comment Milton Frieldman? (Score 4, Interesting) 365

Both Brexit and Trump can be seen as the final stage of neoliberal economics: it ends in a populist revolt.

It's not as if labor is just now facing the threat of automation. But nobody in the US - not the unions, not the companies, not the government - is solving the education gap that might help future workers.

Comment Re:Apple bears some responsibility here. (Score 1) 109

Insulation plastic falls apart after a year? Hm, tell that to the PSU for my Macbook Pro bought in 2012... Still in perfect condition. But then, I never wind the cable using the ears, I always just wrap it around the PSU itself while leaving a generous loop from where the cable exits the PSU.

It has nothing to do with how you wind it. I've seen Apple power supplies that were never wound up at all where the outer insulation became brittle and flaked off in large chunks. I'm not sure if it was sun exposure or heat exposure, but something causes the jackets on the early MagSafe cables to chemically break down.

Comment Re:Mozilla's 990 Form (Score 1) 104

MoCo could have paid as little as $1 for the license, along with an agreement to return profits, and that would be fair value. There's no question that the profits were returned.

However, there was never any possibility that any other entity would have been offered the license regardless of what they offered, and IMO had they considered that transaction based on the amount returned rather than achieving their purpose of a free internet, they would have disqualified themselves as a 501(c)3.

Comment Re:Apple bears some responsibility here. (Score 2) 109

Case in point: Mac laptop chargers have been known to suffer from frayed cables due to Apple's insistence on a design that lacks adequate strain relief. This has been a known engineering defect in their chargers since the PowerBook G3 series design almost two decades ago ...


As far as I'm aware, Apple has never in its entire history built a good laptop power supply:

  • The original PowerBook 1xx series had connectors that kept breaking. IIRC, the 5xx series was similar.
  • The G3 series had a ferrite choke a quarter inch from the plug, and that quarter inch of wire constantly broke, causing fires, so they recalled the entire lot of them and replaced them with the yo-yo power supply.
  • The yo-yo design had no real strain relief, and even better, had thinly insulated wires inside a steel-braided shield that over time wore through the insulation, resulting in cables that sparked internally. In a dark room, you could see little blue electrical arcs in the middle of the wires.
  • The iBook power supplies had inadequate strain relief and broke right at the plug end.
  • The T-shaped MagSafe connectors had the same problem.
  • The L-shaped MagSafe connectors were usually more reliable, though they still eventually fail at one end of the wire or the other, but the MacBook Air version was notoriously bad.
  • And MagSafe 2 is a disaster of failed strain relief.

So saying that third-party Mac laptop supplies are worse than the real thing might be true, but it is like saying that a Pinto is worse than a Corvair. They do, however, build reliable USB power supplies... but their cell phone power cords are even worse than their laptop power cords. Fortunately, there are many third-party manufacturers building Lightning cables that are actually built to last.

Comment Re: Apple problem mostl or platform-independent is (Score 2) 109

Part of what makes these problematic is largely that they're trying to look like Apple products. Apple makes really small power supplies, which makes it much harder to create knock-offs that work. Nobody makes knock-offs of Android supplies; they just make cheap USB power supplies. Because they aren't trying to hit an absurdly small form factor, they don't cut corners to the same degree, and the supplies tend to be more reliable at a given price point. That said, the Apple USB supplies cost $19, and the usable third-party branded supplies usually start at about $12, so there's not a lot of savings to be gained even when you take away the form factor.

More significantly, because they're trying to look like Apple products (and often pretending to be Apple products), they can't be branded. If they were, Apple would go after them for violating their design patents (and trademark violations if they use the Apple logo). That entire selling model is incompatible with branding. As a result, there's no hit to their reputation if the product doesn't work. They just change the name on their Amazon or eBay account and go right back to fooling people. So there's also no incentive to make a quality product.

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