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Comment Re:Patriot (Score 2) 174

Some would argue that the US Government is bound by the Constitution, wherever the US Government acts, and thus agents of the US Government are either subject to prosecution by the US courts whenever they violate the Constitution wherever they may be in the world, or else they are not acting on behalf of the US Government and are therefore bound by local law and subject to local prosecution.

After all, we already have rules of war that our military is supposed to follow when deployed overseas, and there have been plenty of cases when military personnel have been prosecuted for violating those rules. Why should civilian government actors be any different?

Comment Re: Patriot (Score 1) 174

The military-industrial complex is a lot like Congress. Everyone agrees there's a problem, but no one is willing to acknowledge that their personal bit of it has a problem or that they bear any responsibility for it, and many think that despite the problem, their little piece is good.

Comment Re:Logic and Reason, or lack thereof (Score 2) 174

That's because when it comes down to it, everyone wants their own agenda, and simply makes claims about what they are to pander to who will enable them to make their agenda happen. This is why you have to look at the records of actions that people have taken in the past when evaluating the words that they say to you now. This is why it's probably a good idea for Federal office holders to have previous government experience, so that one can see how they've decided on matters in the past, as that will be the best indicator of how they'll decide in the future.

Comment Re:No Secret (Score 1) 98

At home the solution is to buy a computer monitor, not a TV, and to track down one of those old early HDTV standalone tuners. Not the DTV converter boxes, but the high def output models that were required for early HD tube TVs that lacked ATSC tuners.

Or, at home, similar to above, to use a video projector as your TV and again, to get a separate tuner for it.

Comment Re:Duh (Score 1) 145

In my experience and of what I have observed with others, those who talk with their bosses or otherwise keep them informed about what they do at work often have more opportunity for advancement at work. Two people can do the exact same thing, but the one that talks about the process and the milestones and keeps the boss informed of these will get recognition, the other one will not.

You can call that shitty management if you want, but you are responsible for protecting your own interest, and arguably you are responsible for helping foster good communication with your employer. Besides, employees complain about the exact opposite, when the boss continually sticks his nose into the employee's business. At a minimum this means having to explain one's self on the boss's schedule to the detriment of the employee's productivity, and at worst it means a horrible micromanager of a boss that increases the stress level with the employees and harms productivity.

I would much rather work where the boss trusts me to make my reports, than to work where the boss interrupts my train of thought to extract reports on his schedule.

Comment Re:Lights on vs someone being home (Score 1) 287

Plants make fruit so birds and deer will eat it, spreading the seeds to far-off places. Cooperation emerges.

By a long and complex series of accidents plants make fruit. By a long and complex series of accidents intertwined with the previous, birds and deer eat fruit and spread seeds to far-off places.

The mistake is assuming that there's some intelligence behind it, that there's some reason. That's the whole point, there is no reason, there is no design behind it. The only point at which design or intent comes to pass is when a brain attempts to reason its own circumstances and starts making personal choices where those limited opportunities for choice exist.

Comment Lights on vs someone being home (Score 3, Interesting) 287

So what I'm curious about is if the extra activity is productive, or if it's just the firing of synapses without purpose.

As an analogy, consider electrical short-circuits in a ball of unshielded wires with various currents applied, versus a properly laid-out circuit. Depending on how the various short-circuits in the ball line up one might see patterns, but those patterns do not accomplish anything. One might even see heat and light that are absent on the properly laid-out circuit, and one might see more power draw, but again, that might not mean anything advantageous is occurring.

Last time I looked at the subject, oxygen supply and the ability to exchange oxygen between blood vessels and the brain was the limiting factor, more than any other factor. I'm curious if there are any other factors since found.

Comment Good luck with that! (Score 5, Insightful) 132

Good luck with this policy. At best a few sailors or marines will be busted each year for their stupidity, but the vast majority of incidents will never see any enforcement.

I've never been in the armed services but I was under the impression that one of the most important rules for those in authority was do not give orders that one knows will not be followed. Issuing orders that won't be followed helps destroy one's own authority.

Comment Re:A start but no more (Score 3, Informative) 121

I'm more concerned that everything entered has to be relayed to a central processing center in order to figure out what's said.

Dammit I want my device to be able to determine what I'm saying locally. I mean, is this too much to ask? We had text-to-speech software that ran semi-successfully on Apple Macintosh LC computers with 16-bit, 16-MHz 68020 processors with no floating-point coprocessors and only 4MB RAM. Why haven't we seen any substantial improvement in literally twenty-five years and several orders of magnitude in computing power?

Comment Re:Where is the complaint argument office? (Score 1) 121

I'd say Majel Barrett, not Nurse Chapel, mainly because in-canon you can hear distinct improvements in both vocal quality and capability between TOS and TNG and the spinoffs in the same era. It was always amusing when she was interacting with the computer, as she managed to speak as Lwaxana Troi just differently enough that it wasn't bloody obvious she was handling both parts.

As much as I would've loved for Majel Barrett's voice to be that of a personal assistant, I first heard William Daniels as K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider before I knew Star Trek.

John Forsythe also deserves honorable mention; it would have been interesting if it turned out that Charles Townsend didn't actually exist, which was why the Angels always talked with a Western Electric Speakerphone, and his voice cut-through despite bad reception and poor audio quality on older television sets, it would make a good computer voice.

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