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Comment Re:Varied opinions (Score 1) 461

First, I feel that Snowden should actually have his day in court and present his case before anything related to a pardon or commutation is discussed. The American people need to see and hear both his and the government's position and evidence in a more balanced, less sensational environment than the MSM gives us.

The only question that would be debated at trial, or on which any evidence could be presented, is whether or not Snowden stole secrets. The government has overwhelming evidence that he did, including his own repeated admission, to many people, in many forums, many of them recorded and nearly all of them perfectly admissible. There would be no arguments presented as to whether his decision was justified because it was in the public interest, because that has absolutely no bearing on his guilt under the Espionage Act. The only place that would be argued is in his lawyers' appellate pleadings.

So, a trial would do nothing to enable the public to hear the sides. The trial would consist of the government submitting into evidence many pieces of proof of Snowden's act, and Snowden's complete inability to disprove any of it. It's more likely he'd just plead guilty to avoid wasting a court's time -- and making a judge who has to sentence him angry.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 2) 461

IWould prefer a trial where he would be allowed to make his case. Manning wasn't afforded that opportunity either.

Huh? Manning was convicted - hence there was a trial. What use would another trial be?

Well for one it would be a trial against Snowden, not against Manning. And the request was for "a trial where [the defendant] would be allowed to make his case", not a secret trial by a Mickey Mouse court with a pre-determined outcome.

Under the offense Snowden has been charged with, they could have a fully public and perfectly fair trial but the outcome would be completely known in advance. The Espionage Act includes no provision for justification as a defense, so the only question to be tried is whether or not Snowden stole secrets, and there's absolutely no question that he did. Snowden's only hopes if he were to be tried are (a) that the trial judge would hand down a very light sentence, (b) to have his conviction appealed to the Supreme Court who might find that the Espionage Act's lack of a public interest defense constitutes an unacceptable infringement of freedom of speech or (c) a presidential pardon. (a) is unlikely because you can be sure the government would pick a "good" judge, and (b) is a crapshoot, and one that would leave him rotting in jail for years until SCOTUS ruled, assuming they ruled in his favor.

Snowden's best move is exactly what he's doing, staying away until some president decides to pre-emptively do (c). His current status likely also positions him better to generate ongoing publicity in opposition to government spying since it makes him a more controversial and/or tragic figure.

Comment Re:Your move, Assange.... (Score 1) 461

I think everyone's missing the major loophole here. I'm not sure there even is an extradition request from the US for Assange, but even if there is one, the laws an Australian citizen can be prosecuted for regarding US secrets are dubious.

The actual extradition request that actually matters, the one the UK has agreed to, is to Sweden. Assange doesn't mention that one.

As you point out, it's not offer for a some future negotiation of a treaty. And as others have pointed out, "Clemency" somehow only meaning "pardoning" isn't Assange's escape route either. But it'd be interesting if he was extradited to the US, and then promptly extradited to Sweden.

Comment Re:Sounds familiar (Score 1) 71

It's hard to charge a user for a back-end system.

Said no bank executive, ever.

FWIW, I've heard bank executives say pretty much exactly that. Typically they don't say "charge a customer", they couch it in other terms like "recoup investment", "generate revenues", etc., but they definitely say it, because it's true.

Comment Re:Infrastructure vs Independence (Score 1) 433

You suck at brain-work. You've forgotten about all of the people who live on the east side of the mountain, but used to live on the west side of the mountain.

You've, instead, re-stated my point. The reason that the mountains aren't full of people is exactly because there was fuel to let them continue on to the other side.

No, he's quite right. Most people don't drive through mountain ranges on a regular basis. I don't, and I live in the mountains. And have an electric car.

Of course, if your lifestyle does include driving hundreds of miles on a regular basis, then EVs aren't for you. Not yet, anyway. But that doesn't change the fact that they work very well for lots of other people.

Comment Re:Potential military applications are really scar (Score 3, Funny) 76

George Washington and his patriot army had mad ninja skillz.

They did. The old story goes that Ethan Allen was brought back to England as a prisoner in the Revolutionary War, he was housed with a English merchant who to goad the patriot put a picture of George Washington up in the outhouse. Much to the merchant's chagrin, Allen approved. "Nothing," Allen said, "will make an Englishman shit faster than the sight of George Washington."

Comment Re:This story sponsored by (Score 1) 88

Well, the answer might be to try a morning cup of decaf coffee. Why? Because caffeine isn't the only active ingredient in coffee; the anti-cancer properties of coffee appear to be in the phenols which are still present in decaf. And you'd still get the stimulant benefits of caffeine because you're more sensitive, although I'd avoid even decaf after noon.

A cup of decaf coffee has between 2-10 mg of caffeine depending on the process; an ounce of dark chocolate has about 20 mg of caffeine; a twelve once coke has 34 mg of caffeine; a cup of regular coffee has 90-200 mg of caffeine.

Movies

Netflix is 'Killing' DVD Sales, Research Finds (torrentfreak.com) 233

Netflix has become the go-to destination for many movie and TV fans. The service is bringing in billions for copyright holders, but it also has a downside. New research shows that the availability of content on Netflix can severely hurt physical disc sales, which traditionally have been the industry's largest revenue source. From a report: A new study published by researchers from Hong Kong universities provides some empirical evidence on this issue. Through a natural experiment, they looked at the interplay between Netflix availability and DVD sales in the United States. The experiment took place when the Epix entertainment network, which distributes movies and TV-shows from major studios including Paramount and Lionsgate, left Netflix for Hulu in 2015. Since Hulu has a much smaller market share, these videos no longer reached a large part of the audience. At least not by default. The researchers used difference to examine the effect on DVD sales, while controlling for various other variables. The results, published in a paper this week, show that DVD sales increased significantly after the content was taken off Netflix, almost by a quarter. "Our difference-in-difference analyses show that the decline in the streaming availability of Epix's content leads to a 24.7% increase in their DVD sales in the three months after the event," the paper reads.

Comment Re:Whoah there (Score 1) 22

Your fake concern is fake noted. That said, the pudge of old would have been able to convey that with one simple sentence and a shrug. This may be relevant to your interests.

Now, in the interest of avoiding your pedantic tendencies as much as possible, I feel we'll have to define "broadly reported unsourced attacks" before I get started.

For example, I doubt you'd approve of me using a site like Newsmax.com, despite its age and traffic. Which is fine, as they don't actually produce much content anyway. Slightly more problematic are Breitbart and The Daily Caller. For both I'd suggest a cutoff date of 2012 (anything before that being invalid as they were both much smaller then than they are now.) National Review Online should be fine, methinks.

Moving on to talk radio, I would doubt you'd have a problem with sourcing anything from the big three: Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck. To make things easier, I won't bother with any of the others, no matter how popular. (They all have shit timeslots in my market anyway, so I don't really get much of a chance to listen to them unless they're filling in for one of the big boys.)

And, of course, the vast "liberal media" is just fine for plundering, right?

Comment Re:Swearing (Score 1) 255

Experiments prove that swearing when in pain reduces the pain.

Google Stephen Fry and Brian Blessed video for a pop-science demonstration of such.

And in such instances, "fake" swear words do not have the same effect, even if you know what they stand for...

So... swear words are magic? I don't buy it. They may have an effect in people who normally think and use them, but that certainly can't be true for those who don't.

Comment Re:This story sponsored by (Score 1) 88

Actually evidence from the 1950s was mixed -- as it still is -- but in fact most of it stands up pretty well. What's a problem is the interpretation of that evidence and its limited nature (e.g. not knowing about different types of cholesterol).

For example it was established in the 50s that high blood cholesterol was a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. This is still believed as true, but what they didn't know at the time is what factors affected blood cholesterol. It was (plausibly although not conclusively) suspected by many that fat consumption would increase it; nobody suspected sugar... why should they?

In complex systems like the body there is usually conflicting evidence early on, which is resolved by further study.

Comment Re:It's about landmass (Score 1) 433

So if you only need a non-EV a dozen times per year, have you considered renting for those trips? You can rent a small (but decent) car for about $30 per day. Assuming each of your long trips was for two days, that would run you about $600 per year in rental fees. Whether or not fuel savings the rest of the year would offset that cost depends on many, many factors. Of course, this assumes that you have a car rental location within driving distance for your EV, but unless you're really out in the sticks, you probably do.

on top of which it's extremely expensive for what it is

Perhaps. I find that I really *like* driving an EV. The relatively high acceleration, especially off the line, plus the silence -- and the ability to warm the car up with the garage door closed on a cold morning -- are nice. I enjoy driving an EV more than I enjoy driving a combustion-powered vehicle, which is worth something to me.

I should mention that I own two vehicles. One is an EV (Nissan LEAF) which we use for running around. We live 20 miles from town, but it has enough range to run into town, do some running around, and get home. If we absolutely need it, there's a quick charger in town that we can use to "top up" to get home. 15 minutes there gives us enough charge to get home, but it's rare that we need it. My other vehicle is a full-sized pickup truck (Ford F350) with a big diesel V8. We use that for hauling stuff, towing stuff (boat, tractor (on flatbed trailer), camp trailer, etc.), tooling around in the mountains, etc. We sometimes use the pickup for long trips, but usually if we don't actually need the pickup we rent a small car. It's cheaper than feeding that big diesel (which gets 15-19 mpg).

My LEAF is leased and the lease expires next month. I normally buy vehicles and drive them until they die, but EVs were new enough that I wanted to be able to walk away. I think we're going to go test drive the Chevy Bolt, and if we like it we'll get one of those. We like EVs, but would appreciate just a little more range than the LEAF gets us -- to ensure we never have to stop at that quick charger.

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