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Comment Re:and if I shoplift a rack full of CD's it's just (Score 3, Insightful) 69

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 Re:Feeding the trolls (Score 1) 829

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) 70

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:Coal's not cheap (Score 1) 261

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) 261

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) 70

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 Re:Tzar Bomba (Score 3, Informative) 829

Actually... This thing can potentially deliver up to 15 separate warheads, which could in aggregate sum up to 50 MT, which coincidentally was the approximate yield of the Tsar Bomba. However those warheads would have immensely more destructive capacity than the Tsar Bomba.

The reason is simple geometry: the energy of an explosion is dissipated in three dimension, but people live on an approximately two dimensional surface; all that energy which goes down and up is wasted. To do more destruction, you need to find a way of distributing the energy of the attack across the surface of the Earth, which can easily be done by delivering two warheads of half the size, or even better ten warheads of 1/10 the size.

This is what is behind the whole "area the size of France" thing. You couldn't do that with a single massive bomb, but ten smaller bombs might do the trick. Also note that terrain makes a difference -- as it did in the Nagasaki bombing, which missed its mark, causing the blast to be contained by the Urakami Valley. Southern France is extremely rugged, so it is unlikely that all of France could be destroyed by one of these things; however, there's no question that France as a country would be destroyed.

Comment Re:Paranoid Russia (Score 1) 829

Actually, my question is, what do any of these three nations have to gain by invading any of one another? We all have the same stuff, which is to say that we all have land, water, oil, and mineral resources. Even in that case, where they have a shared border so it's relatively convenient, what is there to gain? Certainly nothing that couldn't be had cheaper at home.

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He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.