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Comment Re:MaBell (Score 1) 82

I think the entire phone system could merge back into one company, and no one important will blink an eye. It's a different world. We now have various cellular companies offering phone service, not to mention hundreds (thousands?) of various sized VOIP internet companies.

For instance, in my household alone I use a cell phone and MagicJack each tied to a Google Voice number. We use Spectrum/TWC here. Landline company mergers won't even affect many of us.

While mergers could be a big problem for communities that are far from being served by cable or good cell service, it could be a nice incentive to start local internet co-ops.

Comment Re:Ding ding ding. (Score 1) 532

Even if it is a real effect, I can't see a real use for it. For instance, someone said in another comment something to the effect that satellites could use it to maintain their orbits... except that the amount of thrust I see being mentioned likely wouldn't overcome atmospheric drag or solar wind. However, it is science worth exploring. Either the thrust is eventually found to be some unaccounted for noise, or we eventually figure out the science behind it. If it's real, the new ideas could be expanded to become something useful, or the ideas could find a use in another area.

Comment Solar wind interactions (Score 2) 26

If I remember correctly, auroras here on Earth are produced by charged particles being funneled into the atmosphere by our magnetic field, and the lights are produced by ionization of various elements in the process. However, I can't help but wonder if there would be any observable effects of a strong planetary magnetic field so close to the sun? In other words, would Mercury appear any different than it does now in our sky, viewed either against black space or as it traverses across the Sun?

Comment Re: $5k??? Really, NASA? (Score 1) 156

If most of the ideas in the proposal pan out, you make it into the history books for all time. Most likely, the final plan would barely resemble anything that comes out of this, so it seems like more than a fair deal to me. This is just an example of a public private partnership in its simplest form. It'll save the government some time and money by jumpstarting the initial phase of designing a colony. And who better to lay out initial requirements than potential future colonists?

Comment Government websites (Score 1) 46

When is the government going to learn to fully test their sites before going public? I heard the user side of is operational, so I went to check it out this morning. I create an account, get sent a verification email. I open the email using SeaMonkey's email client, and it's blank. I look at the raw source of the email, and the message content has a "Base64 decode error". Nowhere on the site is an option to resend, only a phone number to call (f*ck that). On a hunch, I do something I shouldn't be able to do, and create a second account with the same email address. It works (?!), and I receive a second email...with the same issue. Anyhow... I bring it up, because I go to check out this hot new site, and it's down with an internal server error. LOL

Comment Re:Waiver of rights (Score 1) 249

Rights can neither be granted, nor taken away. Basic rights are something that no one can give or take; they're more like ideas than actual things. Privileges are what most people think of today when they talk about rights. Guns are a good example: Let's say the Government finally decides citizens can't own pistols (for whatever reason). What's to stop me from owning one? I could own an unregistered pistol the rest of my life. Now, if I get caught with it, all kinds of nasty things may happen to me. Technically, my right to bear arms wouldn't have been infringed... I acted on my right. However, all sorts of other privileges may be taken away. But my basic human rights would still be there. If I wanted to arm myself, I could probably think of something to grab or use for protection, even if it's not a projectile weapon; I'd still be free to speak my mind however I choose; the list goes on. I may be doing all that from a jail cell, having lost most of my privileges of citizenship, but there's really not a lot government can do to actually "take away" rights except to make laws that scare you enough to not *exercise* those rights.

Comment Re:Remember Silk Road? (Score 1) 144

I believe the wallet itself was encrypted. I could be wrong -- I didn't pay much attention to the story at the time (Silk Road busted -- surprise, and Yet Another BitCoin Story), but I'm fairly certain I remember something about the founder having encrypted his wallet file. I'll go back and re-read the stories later, but my main point was that I find it interesting the government confiscates a bunch of bitcoins that are worth a decent penny, and now suddenly they're thinking of allowing bitcoin donations.

Comment Remember Silk Road? (Score 1) 144

I find it very interesting that this news comes after the FBI shut down Silk Road, and obtained a rather large wallet. Anyone hear any news of that wallet being decrypted? If not, anyone know who's working on it? In any case, I'll be watching to see who ends up with a rather large amount of bitcoin donations...

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