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Comment Re:Yeah, but where does this get ME? (Score 1) 973

Northern Europe is MUCH more like the plains of Africa than any other planet we have ever observed. Our species evolved over millions of years and is finely tuned and adapted to living in a very narrow temperature range, a specific day length, with access to liquid water and air composed of gases in a specific ratio, eating foods of specific composition that we can chew and digest it, etc. I cannot imagine another world harboring any more than a token human outpost, and that outpost would likely need resupply from Earth from time to time. I think it best for our species if we just stay here and ride out the considerable time old Earth has left.

Comment Re:Yeah, but where does this get ME? (Score 0) 973

The sun is going to explode five billion years from now, and then having "colonized the solar system" will have been pointless. Eventually, all stars will burn out and everything in the universe will freeze, so moving off the Earth to preserve our species is really just postponing the inevitable, not preventing it.

I think we should accept that our species evolved on Earth and is therefore only really fit (in the Darwinian sense of that word) to live on this planet. All species, planets, and suns have finite lifetimes. We should acknowledge that our species will have an end just as it had a beginning, and try to make the most of life here on Earth while we're still here.

Comment Re:Funny you should mention that... (Score 1) 341

Now that's one of the few arguments I've read in this thread that makes sense. If the ISP's really want to argue that net neutrality represents a violation of their rights under the Fifth Amendment, then they should compensate the owners of private property whose ground they dug up to lay cable and fiber.

Comment Re:Publicly owned Internet? (Score 1) 341

So, allowing the government to control all of my data is the "only answer"?

In order for there to be a proper free-market in web-delivered services, the web itself has to be freely accessible and not subject to the whim of huge corporations.

Really? Have you ever visited a mall or shopping center? How many government-owned malls or shopping centers have you ever seen? Does the lack of government-owned shopping centers prevent free markets? Of course it doesn't. Have you taken a look at lately? Have you noticed how many separate, individual suppliers of goods manage to sell their wares through Amazon's privately-controlled market? Do you see them complaining that they would prefer a government-controlled market in which to vend their goods? The entire world is filled with privately-owned markets through which third parties sell goods and services to consumers. Government-supplied markets, whether online or offline, are most definitely NOT the "only answer" to ensuring neutrality.

Comment Re:Standard Political Boilerplate (Score 1) 341

According to Conservative/Libtardian dogma ANY regulation of any sort is a government "taking".

Would you mind citing a source of this "dogma" you accuse others of believing? Your statement is uninformed, wrong, prejudicial, divisive, and inflammatory. Speaking for myself as a Libertarian, I welcome government regulation if it exists to prevent people from trampling on the fundamental rights of others. For example, regulation that punishes fraud does not represent for form of "taking" as far as I am concerned.

Comment Re:Well, that was stupid. (Score 1) 341

How are web sites public places? Aren't the site content, hosting software, host computers, and the buildings that house the host computers all privately owned by individuals or private companies (except for sites owned by the government)? As a web site owner, do I not have the right to permit access to my site and its content only by people who have paid me the required registration fee, and to block all other users from accessing the site? If individual site owners may block certain classes of users (i.e., those who don't pay the access fee,) why can't the owners of the ISP's computers and cables and routers do the same thing?

Comment Re:No ability to regulate? (Score 1) 341

It's not about quality, it's about access. If the government required a water company to allow people to send their own, private water through the water company's pipes, then that would constitute a taking requiring just compensation. Similarly, if the government required the electric utility company to permit you to transmit power that you generated at home over the utility's infrastructure, that would constitute a taking. Apparently, TFA puts forth the theory that net neutrality constitutes a taking because it requires the owner of the network infrastructure to allow anyone to use it for anything they want.

Comment Re:"Just compensation" (Score 1) 341

Also, lack of Net Neutrality is a first amendment violation.

The First Amendment does not apply to private companies or individuals. It only applies to the federal government. Companies and individuals may block or suppress your right to free speech on property they own any time they want to, and to whatever extent they please. The Fifth Amendment would only apply if the government passed a law limiting some individuals from using the Internet.

Comment Re:I don't like ads BUT (Score 4, Interesting) 260

Great questions. I'm having a hard time deciding how to form an opinion on this issue because I can't seem to come up with the right analogy to map this over to other real-world scenarios with similar questions.

I mean, if you consider Apple a "publisher", in this case a publisher of applications, why can they not control how ads get delivered? If they published books, for example, could they not make publication of an author's book contingent on the author NOT selling advertising space inside it? The author, after all, can self-publish his work and include any content he wants, whether advertisements or something else, so he still has choices. He can also seek out other publishers who might have publication rules that allow him to sell ads within his book.

The creator of an application has many other platforms and devices on which he can publish his application, if he feels that Apple's advertising rules are too restrictive. So he, too, has choices.

If we look at Apple as a merchant rather than a publisher (in this case, a merchant running an App Store,) can we not make comparisons to merchants in brick and mortar stores? Wouldn't a clothing store owner be within her rights to decree that any shirt sold in her store must not advertise competitor's stores? The creator of the shirt can still go to other outlets to sell his shirt, and doesn't the proprietor of a store have a right to control the merchandise sold through that store?

In every analogous situation I can think of, I come down on the side of Apple -- having the right to decree what can and cannot be published/sold through their storefront.


Google Researcher Issues How-To On Attacking XP 348

theodp writes "A Google engineer Thursday published attack code that exploits a zero-day vulnerability in Windows XP, giving hackers a new way to hijack and infect systems with malware. But other security experts objected to the way the Google engineer disclosed the bug — just five days after it was reported to Microsoft — and said the move is more evidence of the ongoing, and increasingly public, war between the two giants."

Comment Re:Protect Those Morons ... for some reason (Score 1) 362

in the extreme long term (5 billion years or so), this most certainly represents an evolutionary advantage over any other species living today.

I only quibble with your use of the word "certainly." We won't know whether human intelligence represents an evolutionary advantage over other Earth species until (and if) our species manages to successfully relocate to another planet.

Comment Re:Protect Those Morons ... for some reason (Score 1) 362

Your comment assumes that stupidity is the lesser-fit adaptation compared with intelligence. I'm not sure nature supports that assumption. Cockroaches are significantly stupider than humans, and yet they are clearly the more successful species, at least in terms of numbers and longevity, from a Darwinian point of view. Have you noticed that "stupid" people seem to reproduce faster and in greater numbers than "intelligent" people? Personally, I think the jury remains out on whether intelligence of the kind humans possess represents an evolutionary advantage in the long term.

Submission + - California Voting System Code Reviews Released (

zestyping writes: "Today, the California Secretary of State released the reports from what is probably the most comprehensive analysis of voting system source code to date. The reports cover optical scan and touchscreen voting systems by Diebold, Hart, and Sequoia that are used in many California counties.

Whereas the "red team" reports released last Friday described specific attack scenarios, these reports offer a detailed analysis of the software architecture and source code. All three reports identify significant security weaknesses in the respective systems, including susceptibility to tampering of voting machine firmware, the possibility of viral propagation, and vulnerabilities in the central election management software.

The Secretary of State has until tomorrow, August 3, to decide whether to decertify any voting systems, because she is required to give six months' notice of decertification before the California primary election next February."

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"There is no statute of limitations on stupidity." -- Randomly produced by a computer program called Markov3.