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Comment NHTSA Officials don't believe pot is a hazard (Score 1) 455

I once had a layover in an airport and ended up having a beer with a random guy at the airport bar. He turned out to be a big shot at the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and he was on his way to Phoenix for a special cop meet up where police from all over the country descend on one city to do a blitz on drunk drivers. I asked him how come there's no such thing as a breathalyzer for marijuana. He was very quick to answer. The NHTSA has of course done plenty of studies on pot-smoking drivers and pot-smokers who have accidents. The fact is: when people smoke pot they drive slower, and usually more cautiously. He said, it's the opposite of alcohol drinkers. The statistics show that very few accidents are caused by pot-smoking. He said that for these reasons they do not focus much attention on pot-smoking drivers.

Comment All of the above plus death (Score 1) 392

All of the above except maybe public flogging, which seems rather archaic. But one option might be the end of Volkswagen. If enough people and countries press fraud charges and impose appropriate fines, and if all these are upheld in court, the massive cost to VW could wipe out the corporation. Would be neat to see a corporation actually die for a change. They ARE supposed to have "human like" rights and qualities, so death is a clear reality if you are human. We humans make mistakes that sometimes result in death. Many thousands of these mistakes are even made in cars. How about a big multinational? Could VW be a company that made such a big mistake that it will cost it its life?

Comment Inherited hand-me-down high end, a missing categor (Score 1) 249

I don't know about everyone else, but I have not one, but two systems I inherited from my dad (may he rest in peace) who was a crazy audiophile. Every 10 years or so he'd buy the latest and greatest system, and then give me the old one as a hand-me-down. One is in our living room, and the other is in the rec room. Both are amazingly good. Recently I had a windfall and went out and bought a brand new high-end system. I set it up right alongside my dad's (now) 40-year-old system in the living room and did an A/B test. There was simply no comparison. THE OLD SYSTEM WAS CLEARLY BETTER. Insanely better. Much has changed in recent years, e.g. smaller speakers with better magnets, complex digital sound processing, etc. But the old system had much better bass and much better treble, clarity, richness, etc. By system I'm including preamps, amps, crossovers, speakers, etc. The source was the exact same digital lossless sound file. Has anyone else had the same experience? I wish this hand-me-down category had been one of the choices in the poll.

Comment Re:It'll never happen (Score 1) 333

Yes. The Fermi Paradox. In reply to others above who seem to feel that intelligent life would only have to be a bit more intelligent than us to be able to get anywhere near us, I say no. Any form of life that is smart enough to go faster than the speed of light would view us something like the way we view bacteria. Or even less. To them we might be more like ghosts. Most people pretty much never think of making contact with ghosts. Or do they?

Comment It'll never happen (Score 2, Insightful) 333

I thought someone had proven, with a good thought experiment, that this will never happen. Has something to do with the size of the universe, time, and other stuff. i..e. Sufficiently intelligent beings who have learned to travel faster than the speed of light would be totally uninterested in visiting low life forms such as humans. Don't have a reference, but hopefully someone else does.

Comment Re: I guess that means ... (Score 1) 340

what is ridiculous is that the so-called "researchers" were on the radio today here in Edmonton, and made the bizarre claim that their system could be converted to deal with terrorism by just programming in terrorist scenarios that their software would then solve...

hello defense spending budget!

Just watched the "Imitation Game" last night, the Alan Turing story and this was basically the fundamental idea of the movie: that Turing would make a machine to foil the Nazis. It worked, and look where we are today.

Submission + - Craigslist down

bshell writes: Surprising that no slashdot news yet of the massive Craigslist shutdown. Various stories online about the apparent DNS attack. Is it down right now? Many pundits suggest that users clear their browser cache, but this doesn't work. The plain IP address for Craigslist is unresponsive, even with a direct link to one of their IP addresses. Ars Technica has a story, but nobody is reporting on the ongoing problems after the attack. With Craigslist being one of the webs major traffic generators it seems odd that there is not more coverage.

Comment Download the pdf of any magazine instantly (Score 1) 285

One thing I've noticed is that any print magazine you may want can be downloaded from your favourite torrent site in just a few seconds. e.g. here are the latest issues of some popular ones... http://kickass.to/national-geo... http://kickass.to/the-economis... http://kickass.to/scientific-a... and of course http://kickass.to/penthouse-us... These are pdf files of only a few tens of megabytes and with hundreds sharing new issues hot off the press, they appear almost instantly on your computer. With this going on, who would buy a paper magazine? NB: these are page for page exact copies of the real print magazine so all the ads are intact. I even wonder if magazine companies are uploading their own publications to sell more ad space based on how many torrented mags are shared. If I was in the magazine business I would do this for sure.

Comment The New Yorker? (Score 2) 285

The New Yorker website is quite good, but many of their articles can only be found in the real print magazine. They don't appear online. Plus, there's something *better* about the print version of the New Yorker with its classic very readable three column layout, its well designed typeface, inimitable New Yorker cartoons sprinkled about each issue, and even the tiny little illustrations that dot the articles and follow some clever theme in each issue. I know there's an iPad/Tablet version of the New Yorker (which I have never read) but the print magazine is still pretty nice. And I have not even mentioned the expensive ads.

Comment Communicare (like Medicare)? (Score 1) 355

Since public health is considered a primary good, virtually all advanced nations have some system of medicare whereby citizens get free health care, paid for by tax dollars. If we can agree that communication is a fundamental basic human need--it's what makes us human--then why not provide Communicare as well? Especially today, in the 21st century when for the first time in history global communication has become incredibly cheap thanks to the Internet and wireless telephone technologies. If you eliminate the profit component, which in some cases is 1000 fold (e.g. for text messages), it probably would cost no more than about $100/person/year to provide free telephone and Internet service to every citizen in a country. In fact you can make a philosophical argument that it is fundamentally immoral to profit from the human need to communicate, just as it is immoral to profit from human illness. What is needed is a politician, a champion, someone like the great Tommy Douglas of Canada who brought medicare to all Canadians in the 1960s. I wonder which country will be first to wrestle communications from the relatively small number of for-profit corporations and give it to its citizens for free, or more accurately, for a tiny fraction of their tax dollars. Think how much cheaper it would be than medicare.

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