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Comment Different answer if that weren't the intent (Score 4, Interesting) 186

Is a gun responsible for a shooting? If I build a Rube-Goldberg machine to drop a rock on your head, is the machine responsible?

In this case, doing harm was the intent of the machine and/or it's programming. As such, the maker is clearly responsible. If the harm was unintended/unexpected and there were no clear negligence, then I'd have a completely different conversation on this.

Things get more difficult as you get further away from the original source, but -- generally speaking -- if the result is generally what you intended from an action (or series of actions), then it's pretty clear that you're responsible. This is even true where there is a human intermediary. If I pay a hitman to kill my ex wife, I can still be arrested for first degree murder -- even if he kills the wrong person by mistake.

Comment Re:But they do, so do you (Score 4, Insightful) 113

While I have no problem with Google nailing pedos on the net, the problem I have with them searching through private images to do so is that it opens up a slippery slope for searching for other content that certain people might find 'subversive'... like being a Bernie supporter, or wanting to turn in certain kinds of corruption.

The privacy of private information that Google has access to needs to remain sacrosanct or there will be a huge pile of people walking away from Google.

Comment Re:Could Extend to Bernie Sanders, too. (Score 1) 416

That's interesting because you haven't provided any details about the subjects for which he is supposedly spreading ignorance. It looks to me like a symptom of you, yourself, being a victim of ignorance spreading about Sanders.

Have you been to his site to examine what his actual principles and platforms are?

That's because Sanders is spreading ignorance.

Submission + - Gene Spafford Spanks Prospective Obama Refuge.

darkonc writes: A (presumed) Republican posted a question on Quora.com asking:

Which Western democracy should an American conservative move to if they are afraid of Obama's policies and want to move somewhere more in line with Republican ideals?

The most popular answer to his question was from Gene Spafford (apparently a frequent contributor), who pretty much ripped the presumptions of the question apart. His final suggestions: Yemen and Afghanistan. Of course, you'd probably have to convert to Islam to take full advantage of the religious orientation of the governments there, bug beggars can't be choosers.

Comment Re:Yes but not at any cost (Score 1) 485

It looks to me like the main reason why the DOE turned sour on Thorium was that it was essentially useless for weapons production. As we've backed away from Uranium plants as seeds for the weapons industry, thorium should have looked better. Unfortunately we now have all of the sunk investment in Uranium technology. The MBAs like to chase their sunk investments.

From a financial prospective, it's also harder to lock in LFTR plants to your fuel source. The fuel for Uranium plants is very specific, so you can say "buy your fuel from us, or your plants go BOOM." Thorium plants, on the other hand, can (and should) reprocess their fuel on site, and just need to replenish the spent thorium to keep going... Not a good source of continuous high-margin sales for a plant manufacturer like Uranium plants are.

Comment Re:Pumped Storage, not Hydro (Score 1) 485

..... There is no point in backing wind/solar with ordinary hydro because you might as well just use the ordinary hydro and forget the wind/solar.

No. You use the wind/solar instead of hydro when they're available. This preserves the Hydro as on-demand for peak times and/or when wind/solar are unavailable. If wind/solar are ever more than enough to handle the region's power, then you can look at pumping storage, but we're nowhere near that point right now.

Comment Calls to Brussels are cheap, anyways. (Score 1) 58

Calls to Belgian ground lines are $0.02/min for VOIP retail users.. but calls to cell phones are about $0.20/min. .. unless the cell providers in Belgium are also giving users a discount. Given the number of Americans likely in Belgium right now, this is probably not going to cost these cell providers more than a couple of thousand dollars a day, for a log of good publicity.

Not that I think it's a bad idea, or anything -- It's just not as big a deal as it might seem, unless you compare this to their normal prices to call Belgium.

Comment Re:Replaced by a foreign is not a valid reason (Score 1) 605

It really does have to do with being foreign. If those workers had landed immigrant status, were expecting to raise a family in the US, and had the freedom to quit and go work for another employer at fair market value, they wouldn't accept the pay (or working conditions) that they get with an H1B visa that locks them into a single employer while they're in the US.

H1Bs for third-world workers are sometimes just a step above indentured servitude.

Comment One argument: "How bad is the threat - REALLY?" (Score 1) 129

Terrorism is spectacular and newsworthy -- but it's spectacular and newsworthy because it's so rare.

Since 9/11, American deaths by terror have averaged about 12 per year worldwide. That puts terrorism right up there with lightning strikes.

Even if there were a 9/11 class attack in the US every year, it wouldn't hold a candle to drunk driving deaths. -- but drunk driving deaths don't make the news because they're so common. It's the fallacy of the news cycle -- to be national news it has to be rare. More common threats of tragic death don't make the news because they've become so blase.

If we're going to have our civil rights watered down, it should, at the very least, be because of a real threat. The courts should be asked to set aside the news reports and demand that the FBI quantify the reality of the threat compared to normal everyday issues. If apple is forced to create this app, the app and it's ilk are going to creep into everyday use by law enforcement and other entities -- here, Russia, China, Iran, Syria and pretty much every dictatorship you can think of.

Would you consider it justified to force Apple to create this app and set this precedent to investigate a drunk driver?? Even though a drunk driver is far more of a threat to you and your family? It's time to put this whole terrorism hysteria into proper perspective. We shouldn't continue to allow it to be used to nibble away at our freedoms until there is nothing left -- especially for a 'threat' that is more of a PR issue than a statistical reality.

Comment Is "terrorism" even worth this fight? (Score 0) 301

Lets face it- Terrorists don't kill Americans. Americans kill Americans. In the last ten years Terrorists have killed on American Soil ... what? 20 Americans a year? If that? (actually, it turns out to be 11/year, worldwide from 2005-2014 )

Drunk drivers kill about 10,000/year (200/year of that kids).
The Tobacco industry kills almost half a million people a year -- and that's for profit. Eve second hand smoke kills about 40,000 people per year. ... That's more per month than died in 9/11 -- and you can argue that those 40,000 are innocent lives. They never made a choice to smoke. Many of them made a conscious decision to avoid smoking.
about 50,000/year die from concussion related injuries.

Even if you include 9/11, over the 20 years from 1995 to 2014 terrorism only accounts for 175 deaths per year. That's not even a BLIP compared to gun deaths. I'll bet you can find more Americans killed per year by NRA members involved in mass shootings (too esoteric to be able to find stats on that one) than you have terror deaths including 9/11.

My point is that the courts should be asked to ignore the media hype, and decide this issue based on the REAL, factual threat that terrorism poses to the average American (roughly none ) when deciding how important it is for Apple to break protection of every I-Phone in America.

The FBI accuses Apple of playing the PR game. Apple should turn that gun on the FBI and ask them to prove the actual threat that they claim to be mitigating. -- ignoring the Media hype over 'Terrorism'.

Comment Caribou as well. (Score 3, Interesting) 123

Native communities in Northern Saskatchewan are dealing with the problem of caribou herds moving north. Their ranges are no longer within range of hunters from the communities. I theory, the climate change would have probably cause buffalo to move north to replace them, but the buffalo are mostly extinct, now.

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