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Comment Re:Hillary's a WITCH! Burn her! (Score 1) 526

Yeah, I mentioned the Second Amendment because it's really a question of do the actual words of the Constitution have any actual meaning, or is the Constitution just some Rorschach blot that means whatever five out of nine black-robed oligarchs happen to want it to mean this week? If it needs to be amended or repealed, do so. That's the process.

All the other things... Yeah, Hillary is horrible on them, too, but The Donald isn't any better. ("Boycott Apple if they don't provide a backdoor!") It's flip a coin... or flush the coin down the toilet and look for a better coin.

Comment Re:Hillary's a WITCH! Burn her! (Score 1) 526

Oh, I can readily believe that The Donald's whole campaign has been a sham. With perhaps a dose of narcissistic personality disorder; I think that's the remote diagnosis that I've heard bandied about that doesn't seem entirely unlikely to me. (Please do not confuse me with someone who would ever under any circumstances vote for Trump.)

Comment Re:Too bad they can't use the SS ext. tanks (Score 1) 130

Shuttle ETs never got up to a stable orbit. It would have been possible to use the OMS to take them up there, but then the Shuttle would have had basically no payload capacity on that mission.

On that issue, the shuttle actually used the OMS engines to steer the ET into a quick re-entry, then dropped it and used the OMS engines to get into the orbit they wanted. They used extra fuel to do this. (This doesn't address the other issues with the concept, of course.)

Comment Re:I don't get it (Score 3, Interesting) 130

It's a damn shame they didn't do it with the shuttle external fuel tanks. Those things were huge. How many would we have in use now if that was part of the design?

A lot of people lobbied hard for that. My understanding is that the biggest barrier standing in the way was that the spray-on foam insulation on the external tanks would likely "popcorn" in vacuum, filling LEO with more little bits of debris. (I'm not sure where I read that; it was ages ago.) Junk in LEO is already a big enough problem.

Comment Re:uranium runs out (Score 4, Interesting) 318


Just reprocessing fuel from ordinary reactors and putting the unburnt plutonium and U235 back into new fuel rods greatly increases the years of proven reserves we have of uranium. Breeders ups it another order of magnitude. Beyond that, ion exchange processes have demonstrated extraction of uranium from sea water. This was demonstrated by the Japanese back in 1970something, at a cost of a few hundred dollars per pound. Not economical now, but at some point it would be.

Not to mention thorium. My CRC Handbook says that the available energy in the earth's crust from thorium is greater than uranium and all fossil fuels put together; thorium is about as common as lead.

Comment Re:Hillary's a WITCH! Burn her! (Score 3, Insightful) 526

Yeah, a lot of stuff about Hillary is fabricated. And likewise, a lot of stuff about Trump is fabricated. In both cases, though, what we have video of actually coming out of their mouths is sufficient.

Hillary, I am convinced, is an enemy of the Constitution. There are a lot of anti Second Amendment "quotes" attributed to her which are completely made up. However, her proposal to implement something like Australia's gun laws -- which were, indeed, outright bans and confiscation -- is completely contrary to the to clear and declarative words of the Constitution. If she wants to repeal the Second Amendment, fine, get the votes for it and do it. But if "The Right of the People ... Shall not be infringed" can be abolished without the amendment to make it constitutional, then what possible protection do you imagine might exist for other rights which are the more weakly stated "Congress shall make no law." Not to mention rights that are emanations conjured out of penumbras.

Think about that. "Your Guys" are not forever and always going to be the ones running Washington DC. NEVER advocate giving "your guys" powers that you would be uncomfortable seeing in the hands of the "other guys."

I don't know if Hillary has learned anything from the email server thing. Her response has been one part "I didn't do anything wrong" and one part "I didn't do it nobody saw me do it you can't prove anything." Anybody who has ever held any sort of security clearance knows full well what would have happened to them if they had done what she did. Ask anyone who has ever held a clearance to access TS/SAP stuff what would happen to them. The FBI Director, in declining to recommend prosecution, added a statement that basically said "But nobody else had better try this, because they will suffer consequences, because they are not Hillary Clinton."

I absolutely abhor having anyone in public office who thinks they are above the law. And that goes exponential when the top law enforcement officials of the country agree that, yes, they are above the law.

Comment Re: Elect Trump for Honest Government (Score 5, Interesting) 526

I'm deciding on which of my "A Plague on Both Your Parties" vote I'm going to indulge in this year. Both candidates are absolutely unacceptable in a "I don't care who they're running against" sense.

Of course, since I'm in a state that's going to give all its electoral votes to Hillary no matter what, I can afford to stick to my principles without any consideration of it making any difference in the outcome. I won't judge the decisions of anyone whose situation is different.

One advantage a Trump administration would have over a Clinton administration is that it would be short. Trump does not seem to have any more capacity to understand that laws apply to him than Hillary does... maybe even less. However, Trump is hated by most of the news media, most of the Republicans in the House and Senate, and all of the Democrats. The very first thing he does that can be construed as a "high crime or misdemeanor", and impeachment in the House proceeding to removal from office by the Senate will proceed at Warp Factor 10.

Hillary, by contrast, the Democrats will not vote to remove her even if she's performing daily human sacrifices to Cthulhu on the White House lawn.

Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 308

This. If I had mod points right now, I'd use one instead of replying. I am pretty thoroughly horrified by the Obama presidency (and it's not because of his skin color; there is no white person on the face of the Earth that I would even briefly consider voting for if he or she were running against Thomas Sowell) and find the prospects of either a Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump presidency even more horrifying, which I didn't think was possible.

Too much of the interaction on the Internet has been turned over to not very bright grammar-school ranting.

Comment Terrorists use encryption because of this (Score 1) 446

I mean, terrorists are a pretty stupid and unimaginative bunch, by and large. I can think off the top of my head of a dozen far more terrorizing and destructive (and far easier to accomplish) things they could be doing if they had any brains and imagination. The whole OMG ENCRYPTION OMG OMG BAN IT stuff just manages to get encryption on the terrorists' radar, and "Doh... uncriptun... might wanna use some of that."

Comment SQRL (Score 1) 91

From the limited information, it looks like this is probably dependent on a centralized server somewhere doing the authentication. I would much prefer a system that is entirely between you and whatever sites you log into, with no central server to go down and take all your logins with it. SQRL seems like a pretty good approach. (But we're probably going to get stuck with a hundred different competing incompatible systems.)

Comment The solution to robocalls no matter who's doing it (Score 1) 236

My pipe dream, assuming I ever get around to doing it:

Open-source PBX software running on an AWS or Azure instance, or some such.

Calls from my extensive whitelist, which automatically includes every number I call, ring straight through.

Most others go to a message like this: "Hello?" repeated a few times until voice is heard. When the voice stops, "Who may I say is calling?" Wait until voice stops, then "This is an answering service, do you wish to leave any other message?" The point of all this being to try to get an agent to the phone for the usual predictive dialing, or at least get some information about the caller, without being too grossly annoying to legitimate callers that don't happen to be on the whitelist yet.

The special list. The very special list. This one, as much AI as can be cheaply (i.e. free as in beer) brought to bear on the problem of sounding just like a real person, maybe a bit gullible, and interested in the product, but just ... not ... quite ... convinced to say "Yes". Try to get robots to alert human agents "We've got a live one!" and waste the absolute maximum possible amount of their time that technology can accomplish.

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