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Comment Re:Use a liberal definition of planet (Score 3, Interesting) 149

I actually really like this idea:
Define a Star as a body that has achieved a nuclear fusion reaction.
Define a Planet as a body that has enough mass to be spherical that orbits a star.
Define a Planetoid as a body that has enough mass to be spherical that does not orbit a star.
Define a Moon as a body that has enough mass to be spherical that orbits a planet.
Define an Asteroid as a body that does not have enough mass to be spherical that orbits a star.
Define a Natural Satellite (here's to you, potato shaped Phobos) as a body that does not have enough mass to be spherical that orbits a planet. Maybe call it a Moonoid?


Define Pluto and Charon as a binary planet; since they appear to orbit each other (and binary stars are already defined).
If this means Sedna and a few other bodies become planets -- fine. But at least the definitions are easy.

Comment Re:Self-incriminating password. (Score 1) 516

I believe the legal counter to this which is slowly starting to emerge is 'We're not ordering you to divulge your password. We're ordering you to decrypt the drive. We quite specifically don't want, or need, your password, nor do we care if the drive is encrypted with a passphrase, biometrics, physical token, whatever. We're just ordering you to decrypt it.'

Much like your 'papers' are immune to unreasonable search and seizure, but are subject to reasonable search and seizure, i.e. with a duly sworn out warrant and all that, so are your digital papers. I think this is the correct result.

I believe that, if the cops find a file in a locked file cabinet, said file being labelled 'Plans to murder my wife' and full of, well, plans to murder your wife, you don't get to have them declared inadmissible under the fifth; you get to refuse to answer questions like 'did you create these plans' and 'did you carry out these plans.' Seems to me that a directory full of documents, said directory being labelled 'plans to kill my wife' would be treated the same.

Comment Re:Opposite effect of that intended (Score 1) 319

And part of the modern tribalism problems are because Europeans drew some lines on a map and said 'This is now a country, surely you two tribes that have been in conflict for countless years can now just get along, yeah?'

Note that Europeans have done this to themselves; WW2 was a direct result of this sort of crap after WW1.

Comment Re:But the world is flat isn't it? (Score 1) 319

A few years back, I wrote a letter to a teacher who was teaching my daughter's public school class, I want to say around grade six, the whole Columbus fairy tale.

It was a lovely letter, full of references to Washington Irvine, Ancient Greek origins of geometry 'literally, earth measurement' and experiments demonstrating the globular nature of the Earth, and surprisingly accurate diameter calculations, the Catholic Church fully supporting and backing Columbus's journey, the whole nine yards.

I got back a terse reply that this was the curriculum, so shut it.

Did I mention that I live in Canada?

Comment Re:Plenty of precedent! (Score 1) 101

Well, there's a difference between a system where all the players a) are trained, b) are licensed, c) are insured, and d) are aware that they're assuming risk, and a system where some yahoo goes for a flight, in direct contravention of laws and custom, in a contrivance that is specifically uncontrollable and a hazard to navigation and safety, with the express intent of causing a disturbance.

Comment Re:They'll probably need something like AEGIS (Score 1) 318

The expense of a CRAM can probably be justified. You're probably going to be spending more than the drone is worth shooting it down, but not multiple orders of magnitude more. On the plus side, you get the operation flexibility of the CRAM. If drone approaches are rare, costs can be swallowed.

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