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Comment Re:Not as big as... (Score 1) 70

And besides which, the H-4 was a one-off prototype that made one mile long flight at an altitude of just 20m. It's not clear if it would operate well higher up where there was no ground effect

Some of the Ekranoplan ground effect vehicles can fly that high and they are probably larger. Not exactly aircraft though.

I'm 90% convinced that the spruce goose was mostly war profiteering like a few other useless things at the time that we like to forget. Hughes was a "sharp businessman" after all.

Comment Re:Free time (Score 2) 264

was old enough to know that their degree in Religious Studies and Art History was not going to pay the bills

To a lot of employers a degree was proof that you would be able to get up in the morning, turn up for work and be able to figure out what to do with simple paperwork. The actual content didn't matter a lot for non-technical jobs until there were so many unemployed around that recent graduates had a lot of competition.
Some people who did those degrees you are contemptuous of some years ago see those of us who completed degrees based on science and technology as "the little people" who were "not taught people skills" and are working as management. So while it may seem a stupid idea to do such courses now it was not in the past, may not be in the future and possibly isn't really that much of a stupid idea now. What was stupid in hindsight was what I did - an engineering degree with a tight focus on manufacturing inspired by an approaching obvious manufacturing boom. It was stupid because the boom happened in China while engineers were laid off elsewhere.

Comment Really bad timing for flat earther shit (Score 1) 200

A century ago, there would be a battle that wiped out the next village, you'd never even hear about it

Considering that exactly a century ago those battles were actually happening (Poziers etc) and were reported on the opposite side of the world on the same day it's really bad and insensitive timing for that "grandpa was a flat earther" shit.

Other things - "99% of the land" - the guy may have stuff worth listening to but he's wrapping it up in utterly ridiculous bullshit.

Genes are software programs. It's not a metaphor

Yes it fucking is you tool. The PopSci-lite dumbed down suggestion that all you need is genes to entirely describe an organism is a metaphor and not reality.

Comment Getting it backwards (Score 2) 171

The U.S. says there's no legal basis for the government to be required to tell Microsoft customers when it intercepts their e-mail

Not really the problem, which is the legal basis of forbidding Microsoft from telling their customers that their email has been intercepted by a third party despite what agreements were in place between Microsoft and their customers.

Comment Re:A journalist does not know what is going on? (Score 1) 313

A journalist (of the WSJ no less) has no idea what is going on in their country?

The readers may not, hence the story.
Also knowing in general doesn't mean knowing the details like having the phone being taken away to be cloned/bugged/address book checked or whatever it was taken away for. That's a detail I didn't expect. Did you already know about that detail? If not, why so critical?

Comment Re: Don't take anything electronic into the USA (Score 1) 313

They can't even comprehend our Republicans

You mean you can?
Explain The Donald. I'll even settle for explaining Cruz who seems to be something from beyond the far side of crazy.

It's rhetorical, I expect we'd need a long chain of people with slightly different mindsets to pass a message on or a head trauma specialist to get anything more precise than "they tell lies that sell".

Comment Re:Don't take anything electronic into the USA (Score 1) 313

Why do you think there are Libertarians in North America and practically nowhere else?

Because they call themselves anarchists elsewhere :)
Yes, I know, there are so many "isms" who like the word "Libertarian" that the word is effectively meaningless and people from anarchists to authoritarians who want the rich to rule like ancient Kings stick that label on themselves. It's a US label because the word "liberty" has been dumbed down to mean "good" and not anything that will stop you treating people that depend upon you as slaves.

Comment How to act tough and get locked up (Score 1) 313

Maybe if they see that they can't force you to supply a password, they won't "keep in you jail for a while."

Wishful thinking.
Those days have passed and things are being run differently now.
Treat it like a third world military checkpoint where those you are facing have both sticky fingers and power of life and death over you with little consequence to themselves and it won't be all that far from reality.
If you don't want someone to see it or can't afford to lose the device it is on don't take it.
Do you really want to be locked up for so long that the business trip is meaningless, or even get deported, or the non-zero risk of being injured while being detained just to show how tough you are to a guard?
There is a long list of people being locked up for no reason, stuff being stolen and various other problems so the "it won't happen to me" factor reduces drastically once you go around deliberately acting in a way they see as suspicious.

Comment Re:Encryption (Score 1) 313

"No thank you officer. I am not required to do so, and will not. Am I being detained?"

While not having a dark skin may save you from a beating and imprisonment if you say that on the street where you live to a cop it's not likely to work with the TSA. Isn't equality wonderful? You get treated as if you are black in the wrong place even with white skin if you piss off those ball squeezers.

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