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Comment 2nd Amendment Issues (Score 3, Insightful) 539

So do you also agree with the Founders that standing armies are inherent threats to liberty? How are you on the Swiss military/militia? How would you feel about disbanding the Army and Navy?

The second Amendment was intended to protect the ability of the People to defend their nation. It can certainly be argued that it also includes a guarantee of personal safety, but if you're going to argue Constitutional integrity, then you should be prepared to reconcile the vast difference between our current society and that document intended. Personally, I see a trained, professional cadre of soldiers as being an absolute necessity, and consequently would look favorably on either some variant of the Swiss system, or a far greater restriction on gun ownership. Either way, I'm fine with taking an empirical approach to the situation, and since this seems to be a national issue the CDC seems well situated to conduct such studies. If you would like to take issue with empirical findings, do your own study. If your position is that this is a moral or rational issue not subject to empirical findings, then again, you are forced to reconcile past intentions with present conditions.

This isn't a huge issue with me. I'm from Alaska and know my way around a hunting rifle, and don't see any reason for those to be particularly restricted. While the military has at times been employed against the People, generally it hasn't been the huge issue that our Founders thought, at least in terms of domestic freedom, and most of the incidents of military violence against citizens have involved the National Guard, which at least approximates a militia. With the current conflict of personal safety versus national safety versus the strict adherence to the Constitution and the Founder's intentions, I think the most likely scenario is that the Constitutional right to bear arms will be further eroded and restricted, or preferably but less likely it will be amended to make explicit that we have turned aside from the path of the citizen soldier.

We as a nation need to have a talk about these issues. We have a lot of dead citizens, a huge standing army, and we are not being true to our founding principles in any sense. Something needs to give. Taking the empirical approach may in fact not be the correct path to a solution, but we do have a problem and we do need to solve it somehow.

Comment Rightsholder responsibilities (Score 1) 246

It is not up to YouTube to police your copyrights. The ad-revenue goes to the content owner — the uploader, until proven otherwise. Feel free to sue them for it.

It was a neat trick whenever the recording industry got the FBI to investigate copyright claims. I understand it's a lot of work to try to insist that a certain set of bits are yours. I even understand that there are valid economic reasons why we try to pretend non-scarce goods are scarce. Trying to alter the law to force private third parties to police your copyrights is an exceptionally stupid move that will either force YouTube to make legal judgments about content ownership, or more likely to destroy user-submitted content entirely. It would also fly in the face of centuries of jurisprudence, which I interpret to mean that it has little chance of happening.

Lawyer up. If you think Google is not responding expeditiously to take down infringing material, sue them. It's your work, and your responsibility. The reason why this petition is not a class action lawsuit is because Google is operating entirely within the law. That the law is inconvenient to you is no one else's problem.

Comment Re:Actually 3rd point was agreement with trial jud (Score 1) 23

Actually whoever the new guy is, I don't find the site to be "improved" at all; seems a little crummy. The story was butchered and incorrectly interpreted, and the all important software for interaction seems less interactive.

But what do I know?

As to my absence I've been a bit overwhelmed by work stuff, sorry about that, it's no excuse :)

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 299

Then lets call it a force, man are you nitpicking.

We are not nitpicking. There has not been any force or thrust detected.

Actually we don't agree :D I'm kind of scientist. At least I had a very scientific school and university education. Error bars were once mentioned in a side note and we certainly understand something different than most on /. do. I'm meanwhile convinced that americans learn something different in school about "error bars" hence the strange posts regarding AGW etc.

Your education was incomplete. Quantification of error is fundamental to science, it's why physicists talk about "five sigma" or "six sigma" results -- there is always the chance that an observation is a measurement error, and unless you take steps to minimize that error, and determine how much error is in your measurement, you do not know whether you have measured anything at all. You may not have read any scientific publication which talked about error bars, but I'm willing to bet you've never read a scientific publication that did not discuss p-values, which is the same subject.

In my eyes it does not violate that law. You throw something out one way and get a reaction the other way. We only need to figure what the "something" is.

In this case it's slightly more subtle in that the claim is more energy (momentum) out than energy in, and no fuel expended. There really isn't any way this could be true without throwing most of physics out the window. I would be just as happy as you I'm sure if there was a halfway plausible theoretical explanation as well as the (very dubious) experimental results. Suffice to say that is not the case. At this point, not only is the evidence pointing the other way, but also if it works, it would be pretty trivial to construct an infinite energy device using the same principles. That unfortunately would cause more problems than it would solve, and not just theoretically. Honestly, it's fairly conclusive, at least until either there's a workable theory or credible experiments.

Comment Actually 3rd point was agreement with trial judge (Score 4, Informative) 23

The story as published implies that the ruling overruled the lower court on the 3 issues. In fact, it was agreeing with the trial court on the third issue -- that the sporadic instances of Vimeo employees making light of copyright law did not amount to adopting a "policy of willful blindness".

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 299

Every /. article about a lab trying this experiments has reported "thrust", and I thought we all agree that this thrust is "unexplainable".

You can't claim to have shown thrust until you rule out other explanations. The experiments have not been able to rule out other explanations. Specifically, they have not been able to show that this was not measurement error. Few of the studies have even attempted to do so.

How can something be outside of an errorbar when the errorbar is not determined?

I think we agree that not attempting to quantify your measurement error is foolish. Perhaps someone can inform the "researchers" about this.

As far as I see no creditable debunk, I consider science reports true, perhaps you should correct your attitude towards them?

There have been no published studies, because none of the "researchers" can pass peer review, because they can't show that their results are not measurement error. All theories attempting to prove the non-impossibility of this device have been thoroughly debunked. Your "creditable debunk" is the normal laws of physics, which do not permit violation of the conservation of energy/momentum. With no empirical evidence, no theory, and a mountain of both theory and evidence pointing the other direction, you are not describing science.

I can only assume that your desire for this to be true has prevented you from actually trying to evaluate whether it is true.

Comment Nope (Score 1) 299

You're usually less credulous than this. No labs have shown "unexplainable thrust", and no explanations have passed peer review. In point of fact, no explanations have been without serious physics errors. No experiment has shown thrust outside of their own error bars, and in most cases those error bars have not even been determined. There is no evidence for this phenomenon just as there is no evidence for over-unity energy devices, despite much sound and fury on the Internet.

What you're saying is completely untrue. Please correct yourself.

Comment Motivated Reasoning (Score 1) 299

McCulloch's paper has been repeatedly torn to pieces on r/EmDrive and this current theory fares no better. No one has measured thrust beyond the error bars, none of the experimental results have passed peer review, and all theories trying to explain the supposed phenomenon have basic physical errors, and just happen to overturn one of the most fundamental and well-tested concepts in science.

I don't know what combination of ignorance, credulity, and motivated reasoning is required to believe in this. I'd suggest you should reexamine your beliefs about this phenomenon, but at the least you should not be promoting a paper which has been so thoroughly discredited.

Submission + - Appeals court slams record companies on DMCA in Vimeo case

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In the long-simmering appeal in Capitol Records v. Vimeo, the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upheld Vimeo's positions on many points regarding the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. In its 55 page decision (PDF) the Court ruled that (a) the Copyright Office was dead wrong in concluding that pre-1972 sound recordings aren't covered by the DMCA, (b) the judge was wrong to think that Vimeo employees' merely viewing infringing videos was sufficient evidence of "red flag knowledge", and (c) a few sporadic instances of employees being cavalier about copyright law did not amount to a "policy of willful blindness" on the part of the company. The Court seemed to take particular pleasure in eviscerating the Copyright Office's rationales. Amicus curiae briefs in support of Vimeo had been submitted by a host of companies and organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, Public Knowledge, Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Microsoft, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter.

Comment Re:Thank you, government, for saving us from Uber (Score 1) 218

Yes, cars. Not just taxis - so the price that is to be increased is that of car operation

Interesting idea. Most cities with severe traffic problems solve them by declaring that, absent emergencies, you're not allowed to drive on certain days. I'm sure your idea would be a welcome source of income if it is feasible.

Your first point addresses parking, not congestion. Your second point refers to sparsely populated areas, which do not typically have congestion issues, absent slow motorhomes or large animals in the road. I'm not entirely sure I'm following what you're suggesting with regards to "smooth[ing] the transition", but alleviating some of the issues associated with congestion is clearly not preferable to preventing congestion.

From my standpoint, it seems impossible to accurately price the space available on city streets, therefore market-based systems will perform poorly. I'd like to be wrong about that. Panama City would probably also appreciate a solution; I believe they have chosen to build light rail instead of implementing a medallion system.

Comment Re:Thank you, government, for saving us from Uber (Score 1) 218

Being inconvenient to your argument is certainly good grounds for declaring something to be off-topic. I apologize for not adapting my argument to a meaner intellect. I see as well as ignoring the question I asked you have ascribed to me an additional set of arguments — I appreciate your efforts and I will try to uphold these arguments to your standard.

I understand now that unrestricted taxi ownership does not produce gridlock, and that any real-world examples to the contrary are liberal lies, or the product of liberal policies. I understand that transportation is not fungible and taxis are the only proper means of transportation in capitalist society, so therefore they cause no problems. The Invisible Hand protects us and would never allow private interests to consume the entirety of a public resource. At the moment I have no idea in what sense computer networks could represent a valid analogy to transportation networks, but I think you mean that it will spur Uber to either build more roads or start killing people. Oh. More people, then.

Comment Re:Thank you, government, for saving us from Uber (Score 1) 218

Huh? It costs two (or more) human's their time â" the most precious resource we have in life... But you must've meant something else here â" just what, I do not know...

"Wha?" is a pretty poor rebuttal. I've actually seen this happening, so I don't know what you think is so crazy about the idea. Panama has very lax requirements for a taxi license and no medallion system; Uber is replaced by word of mouth for the most part. Time is not the "most precious resource we have", it costs a couple dollars per hour for the driver. Market efficiency being what it is, prices are driven down near the cost to provide the service. You can't cut down the cost of gas, but driver wages will tend towards a bare subsistence and maintenance towards a minimum of roadworthiness. And again, market forces begin to correct for congestion when [a] the cost of gas exceeds the driver's profit, or [b] it's so bad people stop taking taxis. Neither of these are particularly efficient mechanisms, particularly the latter as many people may not have access to alternative means of transportation.

Go to Panama City some time and take a taxi. They're dirt cheap, at least for locals. You'll be ludicrously overcharged as a tourist, but that's capitalism too, right? Taxis choke the streets during most afternoons, to the point where they won't even pick you up if you want to go across the city. The vehicles are not necessarily rickety rustbuckets, but generally they are far from new, and I don't think half of them have insurance or working air conditioning.

It's easy to rail against taxi monopolies. You've done so repeatedly. I'm sure it's a good argument. I submit Panama City as an object lesson in giving people incentives to have cars in the streets. I see no value in spreading that problem. How do you imagine that Uber or Lyft will provide a disincentive towards gridlock? How does Panama not become the end game for these services?

Comment Re:Thank you, government, for saving us from Uber (Score 1) 218

The point at which market forces begin to correct for congestion is well after the point of gridlock. It doesn't cost much for the taxi to sit in traffic, especially if they have a fare. There are relatively hard limits to how much we can afford to incentivize cars being on the road. Medallions have been one solution to this. Since I'm sure you have a good handle on the drawbacks of those, perhaps you can give me your thoughts on an alternative solution.

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