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Comment Re:Constitution-free zone (Score 1) 348

If you're anywhere within 100 miles of a US border, the constitution doesn't apply

I think my Canadian relatives, almost all of whom are within 100 miles of a US border may take serious exception to that.

Your Canadian relatives expected the US constitution to apply to them ? :)

and any US customs agent can do anything they want to you, at any time, for whatever reason.

As long as the Canadian constitution applies to US customs agents on Canadian soil, your Canadian relatives should be fine.

Comment Re:Tech transfer (Score 2) 237

It wouldn't be cheaper. It would be substantially more expensive because the research was undirected. Spinoffs come from solving one problem and finding a use for the technology elsewhere. If you don't solve the original problem you don't develop the technology to spin off. It's not the only way to do things but undirected research is difficult to fund and justify. Engineers don't go around solving problems at random as a general proposition. Students rarely solve serious engineering problems at all.

The proposed alternative to directed engineering for space flight is directed engineering for other stuff, not random engineering. I think space exploration is neat, but I reject the argument that it's uniquely justified because it's hard and creates spin-offs.

Curing cancers is hard. Building fusion reactors is hard. Detecting gravity waves is hard. If those things are more important (and they arguably are), then do those things and hope they accidentally apply to the space program.

What idiot would argue that the trying to cure cancer would be more likely to advance rocket design than trying to design better rockets? Why is the inverse considered a serious argument? It's just propaganda for people who don't think space exploration is neat.

Comment Re:Summary is wrong (Score 1) 95

Even if that is what they said I am 100% certain that they are lying. And how can I be certain? Because it keeps asking me to send friend requests to two different neighbors that I know by name and by sight but have absolutely no electronic contact with whatsoever. I don't have their phone number, they don't have mine. I don't email them, they don't email me, I don't even have their names in any electronic form. I've never typed their names into the computer - how could I? I only know their first names. But Facebook proudly presents them to me.

Do they know your name? I'm nearly certain that if they searched Facebook for you, it would suggest their names to you. (I'm not saying that they don't also use location data, just that there's another path.)

Comment Re:Galactic North... (Score 1) 268

I don't see the approximation I read in an astronomy book and that I still use, so here it is:

Think of the universe as an hyper-sphere. Well, this is actually hard, so remove a dimension: we're left with a sphere in space, like a balloon, and that balloon is inflated (*).
At the time of big-bang, the balloon was a point, and it is expanding.
To be clear, as we removed a dimension, the universe is the balloon surface, not the volume.

Pear-shaped I guess would point to center / past, but I guess they mean pear-shaped in three dimensions, so that could mean the 4th-dimension "inertia" imbalance has effects in three dimensions, but someone more knowledgeable than me would would have to comment if this makes sense.

(*) AFAIK, if universe's curvature is positive, it's actually an accurate representation. But the universe's curvature is as close of 0 as we can currently measure.

Comment Re:Have to give it to Apple..... (Score 1) 771

I wouldn't blame them for not using micro-USB. I would rather blame them for not using USB Type-C (which is also a reversible plug). Lightning has been used since 2012, but Type-C exists only since 2014, so at the time it made sense. Probably they're keeping Lightning as of now because it's more lucrative in licensing fees, their installed base is big enough that they have no pressure to play nice yet, and there's no way to make every one happy as changing would annoy those that already have these Lightning docks and would have to change them (again, if they had 30-pin docks before).

As for the advantages:
- you're not limited to stereo, as you could enjoy 5.1 with the dock,
- less ports to waterproof (if you're going for that feature),
- either more room for something else like battery, or thinner phones (because extra-thin is somehow a selling point),
- they would rather go to 0 connectors, but the performance isn't there yet.

Comment Re:Not Slytherin eh? (Score 1) 117

Of course it's hard to place Donald Trump in one of the buckets. He has no opinion. It's one now, an other the day after and other the day after that.
For Donald Trump winning is more important that anything else, not truth or making clear what his plans are for the country. And some people like what is perceived a strong leader. He's just a bullshitter.

According to Dumbledore, the qualities that Slytherin prized in his handpicked students included his own rare ability to speak Parseltongue, resourcefulness, and determination. He also selected his students according to cunning, ambition, and blood purity.

(Source)

In other words, a perfect match for Slytherin, right ?

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