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Comment Re:welcome to *public* utilities (Score 1) 478

Unless you have the time and skill to generate your own utilities (water, electricity, telephone, internet) – and to home-school your children, then you NEED to have a governing power of some kind.

That "governing power" can be a simple private corporation or association. That means that the people making the decisions are the owners on the one hand, and the customers on the other.

HOA's have plenty of politics going on in them. . . to the point of some individuals trying to exert monopoly-like influence to their own personal ends. Strong President + weak res-of-board invites abuse. It happens all the time.

Give anyone or any sub-group power, and they will be in a position to abuse it – unless a system of checks and balances are put in place.

It is basic human nature. If you learn how to escape the effects of being an individual among a group of co-equals, then I and many philosophers, political scientists, and people in general will be delighted to hear it.

Comment Re:welcome to *public* utilities (Score 1) 478

If you transfer functions to government, they become subject to politics. So, public utilities may be forced to use coal, public schools may be forced to teach creationism, etc. You don't like that? Don't transfer these functions to the government.

Please read a high-school level Civics book, Tea Party troll.

Unless you have the time and skill to generate your own utilities (water, electricity, telephone, internet) – and to home-school your children, then you NEED to have a governing power of some kind. There is your traditional "Government," but alternatively also a private provider (profit-motivated), or a neighborhood association (AKA government). Unless you are the king and own everything, that is how it is everywhere on this planet.

Comment Re:Electrons (Score 1) 478

So how does this work? Is a domestic consumer is given an electron which has passed through a wind generator, there is going to be hell to pay, but a different pool of electrons must be used to export power from the state.

And sure, with a mix of energy sources, local consumption can be less than generation from coal.

True, electrons are not fungible in the sense that money is – at least according to quantum mechanics. But in this application, the energy transmitted by the AC current of electrons in the power lines makes the point moot.

And anyways, selling energy to another state at location B, but that was generated at location A, is not technologically feasible. And so, we are back to treating things in the aggregate if this bill passes. It won't.

Comment Re:Wind and Solar are Environmental Disasters (Score 0, Troll) 478

It's not "Countless". Wind turbines kill between 214,000 and 368,000 birds annually - a small fraction compared with the estimated 6.8 million fatalities from collisions with cell and radio towers and the 1.4 billion to 3.7 billion deaths from cats. So if it's really migratory birds you're so worried about, you'd better ditch your cellphone. And/or kill your cat.

Weak-sauce FUD, bro.

The national power distribution grid (lines, etc.) kills far more, but we don't tend to see those as critters eat them up.

Local solar and wind power do not require massive distribution networks.

And you cat citation doesn't help your case. 10,000x more birds are killed by cats than by solar (?!?) and wind? Can you provide a citation for that? I'd like to use it in shutting-up idiots in the future (if true).

Comment Re:I signed the petition. (Score 1) 273

That is, respectfully and in no insult to you, a bullshit policy. Following that logic a Police department could hire contract security and then disclaim any liability for brutality they inflict.

I'm afraid I misspoke. I agree with you completely, but was vague RE type of "duty". I meant only the legal one, and really should have prefaced the Comment with "By the laws of the US, ..." ("it was his duty to..."). My mistake. And it's not my policy; it's the Government's. All employees of the US Government must swear an oath of duty to protect the Nation, to uphold the Constitution, and so on."

Civic Duty? Moral Duty as a citizen of a society? Yes! Snowden (and co-workers) had moral and civic duties to blow the whistle, as several Replies have noted. Ed fulfilled those duties. I absolutely agree.

More clearly, my point was to highlight the distinction. Because Snowden didn't have to swear "The Oath" as a condition of employment, he was therefore not shielded by Federal Whistle-blower Protections, which apply to Federal employees, but not to Contractors. If a contractor rightly blows the whistle, he gets no special protections from retaliation by the malfeasors. Trust me––I've been there––no one cares––it's quite the opposite. (I know thanks to FOIA.) Snowden is a hero for what he did – and he is paying the price for it in his exile, rather than getting a Nobel Peace Prize.

(And yes, NSA folks were violating their Oath of duty as Federal Employees all over the place. Like, uh, when they were wire-tapping the personal cell phone of the leader of a close ally nation, Angele Merkel of Germany, and lied about this fact to their overseers in Congress. That caused a lot of damage to the nation when the news came out.)

Comment Re: Will this be unique to India? (Score 1) 296

Not bashing the ACA, but the pill popping medical culture that preceded the ACA. The ACA basically threw fuel (tax money) on that fire instead of fixing it to be more affordable.

A single-payer system, the solution to the problem you note, would have never made it through congress, unfortunately.

Comment Re:Will this be unique to India? (Score 1) 296

The U.S's continuing failure to provide affordable healthcare to a growing portion of it's population will turn our cities into breeding grounds for all manner of new and exciting infectious bacteria.

If "affordable" healthcare includes distributing antibiotics like tic-tacs to people whenever they whine about an infection, maybe we are avoiding the creation of new and exciting infectious bacteria by continuing to fail to provide access to anti-biotics...

It doesn't. It means access to the same health care providers that those insured through their workplace get.

And in any case, save your ACA-bashing for a week or two, which is when the widespread FUD attacks like yours will really come pouring out.

Comment Re:I signed the petition. (Score 5, Insightful) 273

I signed the petition. An agency of my government was breaking the public trust, lying to legislators, and breaking the law. It was Mr. Snowden's duty to report this, and it is a travesty to take away his life for defending his country against itself.

It wasn't his duty, as he was a contractor. Contractors do not swear the Oath of Service to the US Government, although all of its direct employees are required to. That difference means that he is not shielded by whistle-blower laws.

But the numerous Federal employees in the know – I agree – had a duty to report on the illegal activities, but chose not to. None of them are in exile, nor hanging from the end of a rope, nor even had a finger shaken at them. Instead, they have been protected by their organization. Not a good precedent, but look at history and you'll see that it rhymes.

Comment Re:Pardon is only the fist step. (Score 4, Insightful) 273

The guy deserves an apology.

And the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Yes, but note that Obama said, "... for the last time in my term as President ...", when honoring Joe Biden for a lifetime of public service.

I'd be happy with just a pardon for Snowden, as he deserves it, and that would allow him freedom to travel home. Withholding a pardon only prevents him from returning to the country whose citizens he was trying to protect, and forces him to remain living in a "non-ally" foreign nation.

A pardon is the only logical resolution––a lifetime of exile could alter the allegiance of any human.

Comment Re:Best News = No News (Score 1) 145

I don't use Adobe anymore, PERIOD.

I kind of have to, using the CS6 Master Suite (about 1/2 of them – the heavies). I am stuck with my current-generation Mac, and will not upgrade past OS X 10.10.5 Yosemite.

Yes, Apple bought in to this forced upgrade cycle, and is in cahoots with Adobe to make everyone migrate to renting software, which I will not do.

A program is analogous to a recipe (for a computer). It is a set of instructions == a recipe. Come to my kitchen––I'll bake you some bread. Here, it will not cost me a membership fee to use the bread recipe I bought a copy of long ago. I paid for it already, and can use it forever without further charges. I have to use my kitchen, just like any program uses my computer to execute its instructions (recipe).

Best analogy describing software "subscriptions" that I've heard. AVOID.

Comment Re:Whither privacy? (Score 1) 305

Is this how far we've fallen? No more are we concerned with violations of an individual's privacy. Now we are more concerned with the rights of the violators.

Yes, we have fallen this far – especially judging from the responses to your Comment.

There are still droolers that don't get it, and they never will. Even if they are framed – through no fault of their own – for someone else's misdeeds. Nor even if they make a sarcastic remark that is misinterpreted by MS's spies (or the NSA) as somehow law-breaking, and they end up tangled in our lovely criminal court or even penal system.

Comment Re:What? (Score 3, Informative) 305

"They "could literally view any customer's communications at any time.""

Wait. What?

It's always been that way. The deal is free email, etc. accounts for you, and in return the service provider spies on you, selling the details of your personal life to whoever it is that thinks they can profit from having or using it.

It's sold mostly to aggregators – who operate like the credit bureaus – but have few, if any, of those pesky regulations to rein them in when people apply their reports as if they were 100% accurate. You have no recourse if you find an error. Hundreds of companies have a "profile" on you. You have no means to discover who they are. . . or why you didn't get that job promotion that you were in line for. HR bought a copy of your profile from, which is rife with errors, but HR people are stupid, and will read it as truth. Perhaps someone with a similar name has a felony, or worse the report incorrectly states it.

Why Microsoft does not make their spying abundantly clear will hopefully come back to bite them in the ass.

Comment Re:Slow day on slashdot? (Score 1) 73

A memory chip is not a processor.
The *summary of* the article didn't say what the article did.
Nothing the summary says is close to what is true.

NO MEMORY UNIT WILL PERFORM CPU FUNCTIONS at less than 2 orders of magnitude worse (that's 1/100 performance/power) today.

There's no "discovery" here.

You're right. It was an ACHIEVEMENT, not a DISCOVERY.

Isn't this a 4-state memristor? Memristors can do computing, just as OR, NOR, and NOT gate circuits hard-wired can do computing. I am in the industry, but on the materials not device side, so feel free to correct me.

BTW, memristors were postulated in the 1950's. It completes the group of computing elements: resistor, capacitor, inductor, and then memristor. The last had not been demonstrated until a very few years ago.

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