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Comment Re:*sigh* (Score 1) 796

The Fifth Amendment is a law like any other.

Hardly. In the first place, the fifth amendment isn't a law at all. It is a declaration of one of the rights enjoyed by all people as believed by the founders. The inclusion of the Bill of Rights into the Constitution was done to EXPLICITLY remind the Federal Government that the people had certain rights that could never be abridged by any law created by the government (the writers of the Bill of Rights did not think the Constitution was clear enough on the rights held by the people, and withheld from the Federal Government, hence their insistence on including the Bill of Rights). So the Bill of Rights are a list of rights that cannot be abridged by any law.

I understand that over the years as a society we have agreed on some very narrow lawful exceptions to the Bill of Rights, but the Bill of Rights amendments are not laws, they are reminders to the Federal Government of the limits to the government's powers.

In addition, one would do well to remember that the Constitution itself is a document that spells out the LIMITS of the powers granted to the Federal Government by the CITIZENS, and not something that governs the citizen. Congress crafts laws, but those laws MUST be allowed by the Constitution, else they are declared unconstitutional. The job of the US Supreme Court is to do just that -- make sure that the government does not exceed it's limited powers.

Comment Re:What other bases does this hold for? (Score 1) 227

Probably. The conjecture needs to be stated more generally and then tested...

Conjecture: For any prime ending in the largest odd digit for the base system, there is a 65% chance that the next prime will end in the first non-zero whole digit for the base (e.g. the number 1).

In other words....
What is the chance that the following holds true?
Base 2: Last prime ends in 1, next prime ends in 1
Base 3: Last prime ends in 2, next prime ends in 1
Base 4: Last prime ends in 3, next prime ends in 1
Base 5: Last prime ends in 4, next prime ends in 1
Base 6: Last prime ends in 5, next prime ends in 1
Base 7: Last prime ends in 6, next prime ends in 1
Base 8: Last prime ends in 7, next prime ends in 1
Base 9: Last prime ends in 8, next prime ends in 1
Base 10: Last prime ends in 9, next prime ends in 1
Base 11: Last prime ends in A, next prime ends in 1
Base 12: Last prime ends in B, next prime ends in 1
Base 13: Last prime ends in C, next prime ends in 1

And so on.

I would not be surprised that the percentage is related to the number of unique symbols used to represent a number in the particular base.

Comment Still waiting for 1080p content (Score 1) 121

Most (easily better than 50%, more probably more than 75%) of the shows I get from Netflix or the Internet or even from Dish Network is transmitted at no more than 720p. While it might be nice to have a 4K screen, there's no reason to have one at the moment. First step is to get rid of the data caps so the higher quality can be enjoyed for longer than a few hours per month. Then we actually need content provided in 4K resolution. Then we need internet speeds that can deliver 4K resolution. Maybe in a year or two.

Comment The issue is transparency (Score 1) 238

To make this an effective counter to intrusive government surveillance, all of the scanned license plate data by private citizens would need to be uploaded to a central, publicly accessible, database. Then the average citizen could assess where their elected representatives were at at given time. Same goes for where law enforcement individuals are.

If we do this enough, maybe "they" will understand why this technology is such a privacy violation.

Comment If it were fair... (Score 1) 239

...then the profits made from mining an asteroid would be split based on who funded the cost of the mining: For example, if public funds accounted for 10% of the funding (such as through government development contracts or subsidized launch costs, to name just a few possibilities), then 10% of the profits should be returned to the taxpayers via payments back to the government (at the state or federal level as appropriate).

Comment There are accounts with unlimited access (Score 4, Insightful) 622

Example, calls within the US. I have not paid "long distance" charges in years. On the other hand, everyone accepts the idea of paying for electricity at different tiers of usage. Of course, (at least where I live) there is a lot of competition between middle men (the actual producers are still heavily regulated). I would predict that there would be a lot less resistance to tiered internet usage IF we had true competition.

Comment Re:And probably infinite (Score 1) 235


My experience with predominately three dimensional entities tells me that when they say that the universe is infinite in size, they are referring to the length, breath, and width of the "normal" dimensions they are used to dealing with. It is quite possible to have a multidimensional universe that is infinite in a few of the dimensions without being infinite in all of them.

You have to look at the big picture (so to speak).

Comment Re:Nothing? (Score 1) 429

And to add ...

At the heart of their thinking is Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. This allows a small empty space to come into existence probabilistically due to fluctuations in what physicists call the metastable false vacuum. When this happens, there are two possibilities. If this bubble of space does not expand rapidly, it disappears again almost instantly.

So, along with quantum fluctuations of "nothing", we also have to include time with this explanation. But, according to Einstein time is an integral part of the space-time know, that stuff that was created by the big bang...

Note to theorists, the cart goes in the back...

Comment Re:Random observation, on Google vs. Apple payment (Score 1) 265

Not to defend CurrentC (I'm not), but I read that in order to be a part of the MCX consortium a retailer had to sign a three year contract not to use any other mobile pay system. I wouldn't be surprised if this played some part in turning off Apple Pay functionality.

Not to say that would also explain why Google Wallet was accepted up until Apple Pay went live...because it doesn't...

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"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers." -- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a particularly vivid fantasy)