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Comment Re:Just following Apple's lead. (Score 1) 112

I use Little Snitch, and I only notice "pings" by Apple Mail when it boots up. After that -- nothing. Of course so many emails try and phone home, but I deny those requests. Have you actually looked at what data is going to these servers?

I don't care about pings -- I care about data. And other than crash reports, I'm not seeing Apple harvesting any. They are less intrusive than many games in my experience.

Comment Re:EPA MPG != CAGE MPG (Score 1) 136

I think the OP is showing an agenda; "Government can't do anything right." Well, there is a lot of inefficiency at various government agencies, they aren't all the same.

There are sometimes some stupid regulations, but we need SOMETHING to improve gas mileage. The EPA was getting defunded and staffed by hacks during the Bush administration. I'm pretty sure "funding" for regulatory agencies has not been an easy sell since then. But damn, I need the EPA and FDA to function because I need to breathe and I need to trust my food and drugs.

Are we going to let corporations regulate themselves? Oh Hell no. So we need better standards, but good standards to at least push SOME improvements may be good enough. I probably need to read more on the latest EPA tests -- if I wanted to weigh in on this, but if there are new tests, it would kind of invalidate the whole thread of this conversation.

Comment 196 "back doors" (Score 3, Insightful) 202

Every country will eventually NEED to get access to that data. It's far more likely to be used to squash liberty than to solve the cases for 3 or 4 bad guys. If you need to hack a phone to catch someone, you are fishing. The dumb criminals of course will leave the evidence there -- but also everywhere else. The terrorist cell however, will use a burner phone or a damn pigeon.

America will not get more secure by more spying, but by stronger communities and job opportunities. Every one of these attacks is coming from a loner.

Comment Re:Some insurance companies already doing this (Score 1) 188

This is just another conduit to give "probable cause" for insurance companies not to pay up when they should. "No fault" means it doesn't matter the fault UNLESS you were committing a crime or using a cell phone. Someone hits you in the rear, and it's their fault and their insurance has to pay UNLESS you were doing something on their phone -- regardless of whether you were operating the vehicle correctly.

So the "implied consent" becomes an automatic verdict if you don't know EXACTLY what to say at the time of the crash -- and if you are out of sorts, good luck. The police will know your rights and how to gather evidence to make you look bad if they so desire -- and to help pay for their fancy new police station. If you are innocent, it might be years before you get a court hearing to challenge some expensive fine, and if you didn't gather your own electronic evidence, it's your word against a professional witness with a shiny badge.

Comment Re:Now... (Score 1) 412

Ants throwing sand grain sized nukes at us would definitely destroy us and all of humanity as well. There are more termites by weight than humans by weight (unless the McRib sandwich is available year round). If the ants ally with the termites, we'd have no cover from their many-nuke assault.

Your strategy sounds viable, we just send rockets with ants and their nuke sand at the aliens -- they'll never know what hit them. Bonus; if it fails, we got a patsy. No more of those damn red ants biting you at your picknick in Central Florida!

Comment Re:Now... (Score 1) 412

However, even us bumpkins on earth know to throttle down our engines when entering a dock.

The gravitational distortion used to propel the crafts FTL are not likely going to be used -- or at least not at full strength in a confined area as they'd be shifting other ships around as well. Of course any gravity distortion field is likely to have a VERY large area of distortion (like one wave peak to peak the length of a planet) and it would take an order of magnitude less ships to diffuse the light.

HOWEVER, any analysis of the light passing through such a distortion would probably create a very wide gamut of light -- any analysis with a interferometer would show such an anomaly. Since we haven't heard of one - likely no gravity distorting drives.

MY GUESS is that it isn't the star getting dimmer, but an astronomical event that made the star brighter has passed. I'm thinking like the exhaust at the pole of a black hole pointing at the star causing a huge flare. As the orbits of the star to the black hole have passed - it's energetic activity has passed.

I'd look for a black hole above or below the galactic plane of orbit to the West or East of the star for about 20 light years.

Comment Re:The crime of lying to a Federal Agent (Score 1) 81

The sort of people who use "yes I'm a terrorist" as an excuse to remove your civil rights -- or at least load up charges, are the same douche-bags who would falsify evidence because they KNEW you were guilty.

Nobody is convinced by "yes I'm a terrorist" but the dishonest and eager. It seems our local PD mentality runs all the way to our HS. If they can't find real terrorists, they keep lowering the bar to call SOMEONE a terrorist.

I can hear it now; "OK, we didn't find any weapons, but we do know that you lied when you said you packed your own bag. Scum like you will never learn."

Comment Re:Simpler explanation (Score 1) 81

It swells my heart with pride to say that the TSA has caught everyone checking YES on the question; "I am a terrorist and thanks for asking!" And exactly ZERO smart assess who can't help themselves by making fun of Homeland Security have gone unpunished.

To date, they may have saved the planet, or at least dealt with up-armored homeless people before this and the urine smell on subways escalates beyond control. Does all this splendiferous success merit a $1 trillion dollar price tag? Some cynic might say that for $500 billion we could win hearts and minds by building hospitals and schools in the nations that breed terrorism, but those are the same people check "I am a terrorist and thanks for asking!", and we'll take care of them all eventually, as our policies get more invasive and dumber.

Comment Re:The need to fix everyone else (Score 2) 308

I think that if someone brings up "I have a mental illness" that it should be treated like someone broke their leg. You don't have to dance on egg shells to talk about a foot race -- but don't expect the person with the broken leg to keep up. And insulting such a thing, well, then you should be considered an ass, or someone with Asperger or Narcissistic Personality Disorder. That doesn't mean people can't talk about empathy, just that they shouldn't expect you to have any. Maybe everything we find annoying will one day be treatable. It's hard to say what is really in your control or not -- and people without a disorder or who have been around it, won't understand that just a few chemicals can make night and day differences in a person.

If anything, we will find more of us have SOME kind of ailment that has been holding us back. The "self made men" out there will of course, think that we are becoming an "excuse society" urged on by Radio talk show pundits and the like, who make sure any expense that could be borne by big business or government, not take away from paying pundits and billionaires.

We can all sympathize with the cancer patient or the battle scarred warrior with PTSDs (at least we FINALLY call it something beyond Shell Shock). Depression and other ailments can be just as debilitating -- or even more so, yet they don't garner the "respect" of the obvious ailments. "I don't want to" sounds like an excuse, so people without the mental energy to do what they need to be doing, find ways to conceal that they have any problem -- even to themselves.

Comment Re:Good (Score 2) 138

AFAIK, the FBI can't prosecute US citizens for thought crimes.

But how is a website or BBS showing material NOT a thought crime? You might say; the materials are prohibited. But we could outlaw bibles, and then everyone with a bible would be an outlaw. What ABOUT the bible is illegal? Reading the words, of course. They'll say it's possession, but really, it's in what you might learn, think and how it might change your behavior. No clear smoking gun on Pedophilia.

So this is a thought crime. They can see, view and hear but don't DO. Crime is an act that harms people. Until someone actually affects a person or property -- no crime. The only crime is based on prohibited material.

Is the crime in viewing an actual minor, or in viewing someone who LOOKS like a minor -- or a cartoon? What if I'm married to a 26 year old woman who 4 feet tall and looks really cute? Do I go to jail? Sure these people may clearly be looking for kids -- or maybe someone likes tiny women, but how do you define such a thing and does it really matter?

The user in this case is assuming there is privacy. They are viewing material to get stimulated. They didn't touch anyone.

I hate taking the side of Pedos -- but we don't even know if all these people are actual pedophiles. Some of them might just be into extremes and next week they'll be looking at chubby chicks. Some of them may have been abused in the past. If you criminalize this -- you don't have a situation where people can seek help. There are so many cases in our own history where stigmatizing causes MORE of the thing we are trying to reduce.

This is thought crime -- pure and simple. And if the rights of people who have done NO HARM are not considered, as reprehensible as they are, then the long arm of the law might do a reach-around into something else, like colluding with each other to change laws we think are wrong.

Comment Re:Good (Score 2) 138

I agree. While I abhor sexual abuse of children (required statement), it's an easy target of outrage but has far-reaching consequences to charge criminal offenses of people who view such things on the internet. It is a thought crime -- the abuse of the children is the people making the content -- and I think it should end there.

Free access to porn has shown a relative drop in rapes. Violence in games shows a huge drop in violence (relative to the same demographic without video games -- though not sure where they find those anymore).

I think the next battlefield will be on realistic sex robots. People will be morally outraged if they look this way or that. There's no abuse because it's a mechanism. If it stops rapists, sex addicts and molesters from doing damage to real people -- what is the harm?

I think too often we have morals based laws, that don't really meet the public interest of; "what does the most good for the most people?" Sure, we all might be creeped out by someone's preferences, but by not criminalizing the USE of materials, we can better get the CREATORS of harm. And in the future, STDs, Prostitution, and Sexual offenses may take a nose dive as Sexbots hit the scene.

It would be interesting to see the real stats on whether viewing makes someone more or less likely to abuse a kid. Perhaps there's a difference when there is a blog of people reinforcing how "OK" it is. The real question is; what path prevents child abuse?

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