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Comment Re:Adding a reference to that (Score 1) 398

I looked up some information about your statement. Having never used it myself, I speak only from talking to others and from research. Found some interesting facts to support your text:

Why is marijuana illegal

From reading a couple articles (including the linked one above, it appears that there was a perfect storm of 'enemies' to the use of the plant including:

  • -Incidents of poisoning from individuals that laced the drug with other substances
  • -North / South rivalry (Prohibition hurt the south and forced other alternatives)
  • -Competition and propoganda by Alcohol industry
  • -Prejudice against certain groups who were more frequent users (Mexican and African Americans)
  • -Overall "prohibition" attitude that believed society could be whitewashed by laws to fix various societal issues.

Not only did opinion turn against the plant in the early 20th century, but it actually turned opposite of the historical stance. There was a point in certain colonies that people were punished if they did not grow the plant.

Most people would agree that this is not a "poison" as some see it. They would also acknowledge that classifying meth as less dangerous than pot can't be attributed to science in any way. Clearly, the schedule system imposed by the FDA and DEA is flawed and influenced by politics. Even for someone who feels it should be banned, they could at least be intellectually honest enough to say their ranking of pot as more dangerous than meth is flawed.

But on the other hand, the drug war is big business right now. According to the Bureau of Justice, drug offenses account for about a quarter of all reasons for incarceration. Not only that, but 1 in 8 state employees in the country are employees of a corrections agency.

It seems to me that there are a lot of people with a vested interest in not reexamining the issue and in keeping the status quo. Obviously, people have important concerns about health and what you put in your body. I just wish we could focus on more facts and less politics so people could make the decisions based on more than just waves of political opinion.

Comment How about adapting? (Score 4, Interesting) 319

Without getting in on either side of the "climate change" debate...

How about we spend that time and energy adapting to any changes that do occur and stop worrying so much about it. Humans adapt tremendously well. If you fear extreme weather, design better living spaces, build tunnels, etc. Here in Minnesota, some of our major cities are connected by skyways between buildings throughout the downtown. Why? Because the climate is not so pleasant for half the year. We engineered solutions to our issues without deciding to solve everybody else's perceived issues.

We should take a lesson from Australia. They introduced Cane toads to solve beetle problems. It was not the savior they hoped for and ended up being a bigger problem then they sought to solve. Too many well meaning and intelligent people think that their engineering of a problem will work, so they propose a huge experiment the size of a region or planet. I think one of our greatest weaknesses as humans is that we refuse to say no. It can be a strength in the right context, but it can be a means of unintended destruction as well.

A famous quote of CS Lewis was "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive... those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." I tend to agree. If we engineer climate and hurt people in the process, the powers that be are hardly likely to stop because they will think the overall good will even out in the end.

Besides the "do-gooders" who genuinely care, there will be others involved in the process. The people who make these decisions (politicians) want results to show off come election time. The engineers who execute the decisions want to get paid. Nobody will be there to stop a "botched climate experiment" until it is too late. Once that ball is in motion, it is not likely to stop. We cannot assume everything will always be the same. In fact, trying to change the weather for everybody is probably one great way to start a world war. Instead, focus on adapting. Focus on using technology, common sense, and natural abilities to adapt into whatever climate may exist.

Comment Re: Federal Funding is not contingent on speed lim (Score 1) 525

But the seconds before you hit, the difference is huge. Anyone care to do the math? That little two above the v kills...

It might matter, but in reality there are a lot of places in Montana where nothing is going to sneak up on you. Once you get up on the high altitude plateau, you can see for miles. That, coupled with the lack of incidents currently make it unlikely that it will get worse at 85mph.

I drove in Montana back when there was no speed limit. There were times where you would drive 90 and times when 65 was in order. The nice thing was that you did not have to watch your speedometer as much and could instead focus on what felt safe at the current time. There are a lot of places around the world where speed limits might aid in safety, but there are places (like vast expanses of Montana) where there is little need for such limits.

Comment Re:key words (Score 1) 54

Yeah there's no UI to configure "known sources".

It'd be nice to trust a certain repository only. For example, I replaced the old 2.3.x stock rom with CM11. Google Play is too heavy for the device but f-droid runs fine. But you need to check the unknown sources option.

(Google have no interest in encouraging users to go outside the play store, naturally. The checkbox is mainly there so developers can load an apk via adb over USB)

You are absolutely correct.

In many Linux distributions, we are allowed to import a key and to add specific trusted software sources. Android, on the other hand has a "trusted source" (i.e. the play store) and everything else is untrusted. It would make sense to update this model in the future to allow additional trusted sources (of course with warnings explaining this is not for the faint of heart). That way, one might add an f-droid repository, but forgo installing from other outside sources.

This would work a lot like Yum or Apt on modern Linux platforms. Most users would never see it, but it would give a degree of security to those looking to trust only a small subset of outside sources.

Comment Federal Laws (Score 3, Interesting) 202

People always say this, but they neglect to mention WHICH FEDERAL LAWS are being broken daily by everybody.

I suppose people either just assume it is true, or they know details but do not want to get too sidetracked... This video may help explain which laws we break daily:

On a more on topic note, StingRay devices cover a broad range of uses. Some simply harvest unique cellular IDs, while others do much more to intercept communication and emulate legitimate towers. See

Comment Manufacturers can help make this better (Score 3, Informative) 321

This is because of people who are too lazy or too intimidated by technology to understand it. You buy the camera, many times you open a port on a router, but you fail to change the password. I am not going to blame the manufacturer for that.

However, manufacturers could make the default a lot more secure by using methods to randomize the default passwords of the cameras. I've setup routers where the default password is printed on a plate on the bottom (next to the mac address and default IP). This gives you a degree of randomness and makes brute force near impossible without physical access to the device. This way, the user still has the freedom to change to a blank password, 'password' as password etc. if they choose to unprotect themselves. But the default becomes reasonably secure.

This is mostly a problem with users, but sometimes the manufacturer needs to adjust the process to help the intimidated, ignorant, or lazy user along.

Comment Adoption by large organizations limits extinction (Score 5, Insightful) 547

Once a language is adopted by a large organization, it is almost impossible for it to go extinct. Just the way that larger companies tend to work, means that the language will exist in some form for decades. If I were to predict a language to go extinct, I would say that it has to be one that has not been widely adopted already, has not made its way to mainstream organizations, and basically reproduces what is already done by another, more popular, language.

Comment Re:Perjury (Score 2) 191

It is part of a larger problem with law enforcement lately where police can bring charges against the assets themselves and keep them...

Just to add to your statement to help clarify what is happening... I believe the RICO laws passed many years ago (1960's) were basically designed to drain the funds of mobsters so they could not higher big name lawyers to defend themselves. The promise at the time was that this would only be used for mafia like criminals. People agreed because the mafia was the "bad guy" and needed to be stopped at all costs.

The statutes use some legal tricks to define an inanimate object (currency) as a "person" or entity. Then they charge the entity with a crime. The targeted mobster, smuggler, etc. would then not be able to sue because they lack "standing". This basically means that they cannot sue to receive their money back because the money is the victim (because it was redefined as a person) instead of the accused being the victim. A person cannot sue if they do not have an interest in the offense (i.e. being a victim). Therefore, they have created a wall of red tape and legal definitions that allow them to take the resources from the accused and deny recourse to get them back.

Police departments got greedy and prosecutors wanted a shortcut to get tough on crime, so they started doing the same to those with drug offenses and other crimes. It is much easier to prosecute when the defendant is stripped of methods of defending themselves.

As a side benefit, that dealer's Ferrari looks pretty good parked next to the other squad cars.

Comment Re: Forest Circus. (Score 1) 299

Possibly, I was under the impression that Ansel Adams took most of his photos of national parks and not wilderness areas. This fine is levied by the US Forest Service which does not manage or have jurisdiction over national parks which the US National Park Service has jurisdiction. The US Forest Service is the same bunch of fools that thought bring what qualifies as essentially SWAT teams to the Bundy standoff was a brilliant idea. This fine, I have no doubt, is directly related to their bungling of how to handle that situation and the media circus that was created. This way they can greatly clamp down on any coverage of similar future standoffs.

Wasn't the forest service the ones that instituted a "free speech zone" during the Bundy incident last year? Not only that, but those taking pictures of the forest service harming animals were beaten and had their camera equipment confiscated. It seems to me that this may have more to do with silencing whistle blowers than it does with photographing nature on public lands.

I think this is a sad course of events. U.S. Forest service land should be open to the public to enjoy nature, take pictures, and more. It should not be hidden behind a locked gate, where nobody but the forest service can see it.

Comment Re:Unintended consequences? (Score 3, Insightful) 455

If it is routinely inappropriate to enforce the law, they ought to change the law, not make exceptions for whoever they like.

I like the way you think, penguinoid! If the inappropriate law was equally applied, the law would likely be changed or discarded.

As an aside to this, I think we need to put sunset clauses on existing laws anyway. Every ten years or so, the law must be re-approved in order to stay on the books. Anything uncontroversial would just be passed easily. The other stuff would be rejected and we would move on. I think cameras on cops would hasten the need for cleaning the books of archaic laws that are not needed or equally enforceable.

Comment Re:Is this actually a question (Score 1) 226

... taking somebody else's content and reposting is l...

Your premise is wrong here. "Taking" is not the right word when the other still has their original. "Copying" may be the correct term, but "taking" implies the other party no longer has possession of something.

I know you were not trying to be a copyright troll, but it is the language they use. We must be careful to use the correct language because "taking" has much different historical implications than "copying".

Submission + - The Internet Of Things Comes to Your Garden (

Iddo Genuth writes: Connected devices are becoming ubiquitous — a number of new companies are now offering WIFI and BT enabled devices that can let you control almost all aspects of your garden from your smartphone or tablet, save you money on water and allow you to monitor your plants health from a distance.

In the past few months we are seeing an expulsion of new companies and products belonging to the "Internet Of Things" (IOT) and this trend isn't skipping the garden. For years irrigation controllers were amongst the most hated non intuitive devices around but a new generation of small start-up companies such as Rachio, GreenIQ and GreenBox are looking to change that and create a completely new was of interaction with our garden which will be more wireless and more connected (with lots of smart sensors that will tell us what is going on with our plants before its too late).

Submission + - California Legalizes Bitcoin (

jfruh writes: California governor Jerry Brown has signed a law repealing Section 107 of California's Corporations Code, which prohibited companies or individuals from issuing money other than U.S. dollars. Before the law was repealed, not only bitcoin but everything from Amazon Coin to Starbucks Stars were techinically illegal, the law was generally not enforced.

Submission + - Netflix Could Be Classified As a 'Cybersecurity Threat' Under New CISPA Rules

Jason Koebler writes: The cybersecurity bill making its way through the Senate right now is so broad that it could allow ISPs to classify Netflix as a "cyber threat," which would allow them to throttle the streaming service's delivery to customers.
"A 'threat,' according to the bill, is anything that makes information unavailable or less available. So, high-bandwidth uses of some types of information make other types of information that go along the same pipe less available," Greg Nojeim, a lawyer with the Center for Democracy and Technology, said. "A company could, as a cybersecurity countermeasure, slow down Netflix in order to make other data going across its pipes more available to users."

Submission + - Swedish Farmers Have Doubts About Climatologists And Climate Change (

cold fjord writes: ScienceNordic reports, "Researchers the world over almost unanimously agree that our climate is changing ... But many farmers – at least Swedish ones – have experienced mild winters and shifting weather before and are hesitant about trusting the scientists. The researcher who discovered the degree of scepticism among farmers was surprised by her findings. Therese Asplund ... was initially looking into how agricultural magazines covered climate change. Asplund found after studying ten years of issues of the two agricultural sector periodicals ATL and Land Lantbruk that they present climate change as scientifically confirmed, a real problem. But her research took an unexpected direction when she started interviewing farmers in focus groups about climate issues. Asplund had prepared a long list of questions about how the farmers live with the threat of climate change and what they plan to do to cope with the subsequent climate challenges. The conversations took a different course: “They explained that they didn’t quite believe in climate changes,” she says. “Or at least that these are not triggered by human activities.” "

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