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Comment Re: "Of course it can," says government (Score 1) 145

What we're actually talking about is cosmic rays, which are matter particles (mostly protons), not any kind of electromagnetic radiation. Those generally slam into something in the atmosphere, producing showers of secondary particles. Occasionally some of these make it to the ground. The article mentions neutrons, but these seem to be mostly muons.

Of course Bruce Perens, to whom you replied, was talking about the radio waves from HAARP, which was mentioned by the OP.

Comment Re:Only a penny a page, duplex? (Score 1) 3

I based the estimate on $5o for a cartridge that prints an average of 3,000 pages. A color laser would be nice, but as you say, far more expensive both in up-front costs and toner. And changing toner in a color printer is a PITA, at least the ones at work were.

Comment Re:Linus is a dumb ditch digger (Score 1) 356

Mmmm... Ajax is a pretty standard client request to a server for information. The "innovation" is cramming it into the framework of javascript and a web browser.

I finished my CS degree a long time before Ajax existed and we certainly did a lot of asynchronous communication with other computers. Except we used sockets and threads and everything was pretty obvious.

Comment Re:Finally (Score 2) 356

Funny, I think you hit the nail on the head, except used it to support entirely the wrong conclusion. All those useless app companies tout their "innovation." They have some mediocre idea and flog it to death.

The real innovators are the ones who have an idea then go and execute it really, really well. Linus didn't say innovation was worthless, he said it was a minor part of the whole; just the starting point.

Comment Re:Finally (Score 2) 356

No. Good. Linus is competent. It's a shame when competent people get wasted in management. If more of them were loudmouths the world would be a better place. Perhaps a good enough place that we'd view managers as low level employees whose job is to take care of the mundane crap so the competent people weren't bothered by it.

Yes, I am also disqualified from management or public office.

Comment Re:Not likely to help diagnosis (Score 1) 118

It doesn't usually work like that. The FDA is (quite rightly) suspicious of putative surrogate measures in clinical trials. It takes a lot of work to actually get something like an imaging metric accepted as a surrogate and validated as a primary outcome, and very few have been.

This study provides clues about what exactly autism is and when it starts. Its interesting scientifically, and having something you can image will help immensely for scientific studies, just as you describe.

Comment Re:The US failed to ratify the Geneva Conventions. (Score 3, Informative) 142

The Geneva convention and it's relatives and predecessors have been enforced. Yes, it tends to be after the fact, but the war crimes tribunal hasn't had a lack of work. The international community does tend to enforce the rules, either directly or via sanctions, and it appears to have had a major effect in the world.

It's really only a big problem with the offenders are Russia, the US or China. Even then, those powers are hesitant to break international law directly: see for example the US dissembling over the use of torture.

Comment Re:Not insignificant (Score 2) 267

When the program was started, the minimum salary was set at $60,000. Adjusted for inflation, it would be $110,000 today.

Not many bachelor's degree programmers with less than 7 year experience make $110,000.

Any fixed value we set it too would quickly become cheap again due to inflation.

So we need to set it at a quintile. If we said that H1B's had to be paid a minimum of top 10% income, then companies would only import workers they really needed (as was intended).

However, the cow is out of the barn. If wages go up in the U.S., many companies will simply offshore the work. Try to ban it, and they'll set up "separate" companies under the corporate umbrella offshore which do the work.

 

Comment Re:Another breakthrough! News at 11! (Score 1) 217

The number of charge cycles and the capacity of batteries has been improving by 5-8 percent per year for a while.
That's slow enough that you don't notice it but 2016 batteries last 2 to 3 times as many charge cycles as 2008 batteries lasted.

For example:
300 cycles MacBook (Mid 2007)

500 cycles MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008)

1000 cycles MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2016)

Capacities of the batteries have also increased similarly (if not even more). Some laptops ran off of batteries with the capacity in milliamp hours that we now run our smartphones with.

And the cost of the batteries has dropped by over 75% during the same time period.

Comment Re:Theoretically (Score 2) 171

I hope you don't count "You can't dump toxic sludge from your factory into the local river" as "ridiculous."

The enforcement of property rights is not regulation. You have every right to use your own property as you please, but others have exactly the same right—implying that you do not have the right to use their property without their permission. If you dispose of your pollutants in such a way that they end up harming others' property, including but not limited to their bodies, then you have infringed on their property rights and owe the victims redress. This is not some arbitrary regulation regarding how you may use your own property, but rather the natural consequence of others' rights to determine the use of their property.

As a term of art in political discussions, the term "regulation" refers to a restriction above and beyond simply respecting the property rights of others. Some regulations are indeed "ridiculous", but most are simply wrong, a product of politicians making a nuisance of themselves in situations where they have no standing to interfere.

Comment Re:I don't mean to go all 'Papierin, mein herr,' b (Score 2) 626

The Fourth Amendment bans only "unreasonable searches and seizures". The exception considers searches at the border to be "reasonable".

That's only half of the story. The 4th Amendment also says that no warrants shall be issued (in plain language: no permission shall be granted to perform a search or seizure) "but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." The so-called "Border Search Exception" manufactured by the courts out of thin air is an unconstitutional warrant. There is no probable cause, no supporting Oath or affirmation, and no particular description of the place to be searched or the person or things to be seized. Ergo, there is no constitutional authority to issue a warrant, which would be the only legal basis to perform any search or to seize any property.

Probable cause—or in other words a reasonable, and evidence-based, expectation that a particular search will turn up evidence of illegal activity sufficient to retroactively justify the search—is the only thing that makes a search "reasonable". If the majority of these searches do not uncover evidence of illegal activity then there is no probable cause and they are de facto unreasonable.

Comment Re:What could possibly go wrong? Pick a number! (Score 1) 110

Just FYI, the officer may need to be in a position where they can see the light turn red so they can testify the person definitely ran the red light. The person running the red may literally honestly believe it was green by the time trial arrives or there could be some mechanical fluke or these days even hackers messing with the light.

I was on a jury for a red light case and the map showed us the officer set up to where he could see the light and the people running the light.

I have seen some horrific red light accidents. I'm extra wary at feeder road intersections because I've seen so many people run red lights seconds after the light changed at speeds well over 50 mph. In the closest accident the people ahead of me started to cross the intersection and a pickup truck coming from the left took out 3 cars including a suburban hard enough to push it sideways and break the light poll on the corner.

And the driver of the pickup truck wasn't killed either.

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