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Comment Re:and if I shoplift a rack full of CD's it's just (Score 1) 38

Because copyright law is bunch of crude analogies hacked together that used the physical encodings of information as a proxy for a creator's financial interests in a work. It worked great in the age of print when mainly you were talking about books which were cheap to mass produce but expensive to copy.

But today, conceptualizing an author's rights to a work as a monopoly on copying leads to nonsensical results. Suppose I download a song to the same computer twice, as can easily happen. Technically because the thing I did wrong was copying, I infringed *twice*; however it hardly does twice the harm to the author's interests. On the other hand if I copy that song once but listen to it a thousand times, you could reasonably argue I'm doing more harm to the author's interest than if I downloaded it a thousand times but *never* listened to it.

It's all just a way to get content creators paid; a ridiculously complex and arcane way, but it's familiar because it's traditional. You can't expect it to make sense, especially by trying to draw subtly different analogies.

Comment 6 minute Abs and Ludicrous Speed. (Score 1) 113

And so begins the pixel war of 2016. I'm just waiting for someone to invent non-pixelated screen which just uses continuous orthogonal functions to paint the screen. Ironically, Back in the electron gun days one could actually have done that. I suspect that it might be possible to do this with e-ink eventually.

And in the end the appearance will not be better. All that will happen is some fool will think that since every resolution enhancement should mean a thinner non-serif font, that in the limit of continuous resolution one should go to zero width fonts. Logical?

What should be happening is the resolution enhancement should strive for better legibility using serif fonts. These actually were a little tricky to use at 72 DPI. at 200DPI they make total sense and now were getting to Ludicrous-DPI

Comment Re:Feeding the trolls (Score 1) 748

Automobile manufacturers, and others who compete against imports would benefit, at least for a little while.

The automobile manufacturers are all international corporations now. I don't think they would benefit. Probably some home-grown industry would benefit from protectionism if he actually managed to get any enacted, which is unlikely to actually be his goal given his current use of cheap overseas labor, his importation of immigrant labor, etc.

Comment Re:A well-written headline (Score 1) 67

Getting killed falling off a roof while installing solar panels is a more common way of dying than from a nuclear accident

That's true! Being a handyman is much more dangerous than being a cop. Handyman lives matter!

On the other hand, if we embrace more large-scale solar, the deaths will go down, because those deaths are primarily from small-scale installations.

Comment Re:Laying cable (Score 4, Informative) 177

Great! Can you please elaborate? Particularly about equipment costs and stuff?

Cost is a complicated and depends on the situation but a very simple case probably would be somewhere between $5000-20000 per user for data cable for a simple run presuming there were multiple users along the route. High power lines can be far more expensive. Underground cable is somewhere between 4-8X as expensive to lay as overhead cable. The biggest costs are typically the civil engineering involved. Especially if you have to dig up or work around any existing infrastructure.

Equipment? Depends on what you are doing and where you are doing it. Ignoring the equipment to hook into existing infrastructure you're looking at trenching equipment, cable feeding equipment, and a variety of other goodies. You also have to watch for buried power, data, gas, water, and sewer lines which aren't always well documented. Dig by hand? Don't make me laugh. To do it right you have to lay the cable below the frost line in most cases which can be several feet deep in many places. I know code near me for a simple drop requires a minimum depth for cable TV cable of 18 inches.

Comment Laying cable (Score 2) 177

Dammit! How hard is it to dig a trench and lay a cable in it?

It's challenging. Not in the sense that they don't know how to do it but rather that it's expensive and unless you already have customers it's financially risky. To build a whole network is enormously expensive.

I know the trench-digging part at least is easy, because where I live they manage to knock out at least one vital utility a year digging around at random.

Umm, that would be evidence that it is NOT easy.

Do I have to do it myself? Because me and at least 20 people I know would gladly volunteer to buy a spool of fiber and dig a mile of trench each with hand shovels if we knew for sure they wouldn't arrest us for it.

I don't think you have the foggiest idea what you are proposing. I have immediate family that has been in the business of laying underground cable. There is a lot more to it than digging a trench and dropping a cable to the bottom of it.

Comment Re:Coal's not cheap (Score 1) 234

You can talk about that when wind and solar no longer need endless, catastrophically-indebting levels of State subsidies.

But fossil fuels are already getting endless state aid in the form of tax breaks and access to public lands. If you want to set the bar there, I'm all for ending that aid as well.

Comment Re:Let me know when ... (Score 1) 234

The football analogy is stupid. Reaching the 35 yard line has no value in itself, indeed neither does reaching the 0 yard line. The only thing that goes up on the score board is getting into the end zone.

Generating, say, half of your energy from renewables is more like reaching the half-way point in your quest to earn a million dollars; the half-mil in your pocket has utility right now. What's more since non-renewables aren't going away overnight, reducing their use is immediately useful in reducing carbon emissions and other pollution.

The economics of renewables are considerably different than non-renewables, which means we have to adjust our thinking (and engineering). To maximize the impact of renewables, we need a much better electricity grid, which will help us smooth over local variations in supply. We'll also need to work on storage at some point. Storage for renewables doesn't have to be as physically efficient as it would be for non-renewables, but it has to be cheap to build and operate.

Comment A well-written headline (Score 1) 67

Army Vehicle Disappears (after being camouflaged)

Porn Star Sues over Rear End Collision

Oh Hail No

There Will Be Hell Toupee

The whole point of a headline is to be attention-getting. If you can make it clever, all the better. Nuclear Plants Leak is pure gold. Don't pretend people don't make jokes about how wind farms are hot air yuk yuk yuk. On the other hand, if you're a bit sensitive about jokes about nuclear plants leaking, well... u mad, bro?

Comment Least worst (Score 1) 748

If you want your voice heard, you should probably vote for the person who you align with best.

I think people should vote for the person who most closely fits their worldview who actually has a prayer of getting into office. Voting for a third party candidate who might get 2% of the vote is a waste of time. It just is. If it makes you feel good I won't quibble as long as you understand that it will accomplish nothing of value. If you actually want your voice heard then you should actually get involved in politics directly. There are far better ways to make yourself heard than through a protest vote for a fringe candidate.

The two-party lock-in is pure rhetorical garbage. I can't in good conscience vote for a completely unqualified demagogue or someone who is the closest thing to a living embodiment of the establishment.

I'll agree that the two party thing is annoying but it definitely is not "rhetorical" in nature. It's an inevitable function of how our voting system is set up.

I take a more realpolitik view of who I vote for. I rarely have warm feelings for either of the major party candidates and this election is no exception. I basically am trying to pick what I think is the least worst option among the available candidates that have a real shot at office. In this election Hillary is clearly the least worst option when the alternative is Trump so that is how I'm voting. It's not that I think she's amazing but she fits my worldview far better than Trump and I she is clearly far more competent to hold public office. Donald Trump is easily the worst presidential candidate I've seen in my lifetime.

Comment Nothing to gain (Score 1) 748

Actually, my question is, what do any of these three nations have to gain by invading any of one another?

Nothing. Which is why it hasn't happened. The advantages of working together actually hugely outweigh any conceivable benefits of going to war. The only reason countries like Germany ever invaded Russia is that they elected a psychotic person with aspirations of conquering an empire.

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