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Republican Bill Aims To Thwart the FCC's Leaning Towards Title II

ChromaticDragon Re:Explain this to a non-Americal please.. (182 comments)

> did Republicans manage to keep being the ruling party somehow?

For most of Obama's years, yes.

> it seems even with a Democrat president Obama can't pass any law without going through them

No President can pass any law - wrong branch of government. And when the Legislative branch is indeed "controlled" (majority) by the opposing party, the President and the President's party would indeed have to "go through" the other party. But it's even worse. Although, in theory any Congress critter can start a Bill, bills usually must pass through a small committee first. And these committees are controlled by the majority party.

> is all this democrat/republican thing just theater

Maybe so. But you shouldn't come to this conclusion based on a lack of understanding of how the US system works.

Your questions suggest you're more familiar with a parliamentary system of government where (per Wikipedia) "the executive branch derives its democratic legitimacy from, and is held accountable to, the legislature (parliament); the executive and legislative branches are thus interconnected." In such systems, a majority party (or a coalition) forms a government and from this selects/appoints a top executive (Prime Minister) almost certainly from that party.

In the US, it's theoretically possible for the President to have no party affliliation whatsoever or to be a member of a party which ends up with none of the seats in Congress. In practice, this is very, very unlikely. But there's nothing tying these things together as in Parliamentary systems. The only real power the President has with regards to law making is the Veto. Once Congress finally gets their act together and passes something, it goes to the President who then either signs it or kills it (veto). And even then, the vetoed bill (usually) just goes back to Congress to give them one more chance. If Congress can vote again and pass it with a super-majority, it overrides the veto and the law goes into effect despite the wishes of the President.

about two weeks ago

Sony Accused of Pirating Music In "The Interview"

ChromaticDragon Re:Hmmm ... (180 comments)

Rightly or wrongly, and setting legal issues aside for the moment, the general populations around the world seem quite able to draw a rather clear distinction between the two cases you'e seemed to conflate.

If I partake of the "sharing" of song by listening to it this is one thing. Folk merge together the acts of listening to it on the radio, listening to it via Internet radio, listening to it by downloading and using favorite player, downloading it and putting it onto favorite device and listening to it, etc., etc. You can argue all day long about lost sales, but by and large those arguments are unpersuasive.

However, if I copy the song in any way and then sell it in any way, people see this differently. I'm selling something that isn't mine to sell. Sure, people may love to buy pirated DVDs on the streets at a tenth of the price. But far fewer people would rise to defend the black marketeers here.

Sony execs listening to these songs in their office wouldn't bother most. But clearly and unambiguously using material in the production of a movie without permission of the artist is a different matter. It is indeed hypocritical of Sony to champion copyright issues while blantantly violating such concerns.

about a month ago

Terrestrial Gamma Ray Bursts Very Common

ChromaticDragon Re:So, why aren't we all dead? (70 comments)

Size matters. Length matters.

Or more appropriately, what matters here is the overall energy from the sum of all the photons involved in the dicsussion which are being called gamma rays here.

If I shine a flashlight on you, you may barely, barely feel a bit of extra warmth from the photons hitting your body. If somehow I am able to shine a million such flashlights from the same distance simultaneously, you'll get a million more photons and you'll feel quite a bit warmer.

What is disturbing about these DISTANT gamma-ray bursts is that the energy from so far away follows an inverse-square law as it travels to us. Essentially it spreads out. If you measured the energy hitting a sheet of paper 1 light-year away, you'd find it to be roughly 4 times as much as the energy when you measure at 2 light-years away.

These gamma-ray bursts appear to be from so far away that when we work backwards to calculate what the energy would be like if you were "near" it is mind-boggling.

about a month and a half ago

North Korea Denies Involvement In "Righteous" Sony Hack

ChromaticDragon Re:I'd be curious about the consequences. (85 comments)

Regardless of "good-guy-bad-guy" propaganda, the remark that the South could clean up the North before the allies even got their act together is interesting - even more so with your comment about Northern infantry.

It really doesn't take that much effort to do a quick web search of relatively recent discussions on the matter.

There are likely many reasons the South doesn't want to start a war. But the threat of waves of infantry almost certainly is not one of them. The troop strength disparity simply isn't that strong. The active ground strength isn't more than 2x. Pulling in the reserves drops the advantage of the north to less than 50%. And here's the thing. The South can FEED and supply their troops. If it was Infantry alone, my money would be on the South.

about 2 months ago

Physicist Kip Thorne On the Physics of "Interstellar"

ChromaticDragon Re:gravity fields will rip you to shreds (289 comments)

My intepretation of their comment is that you point directly towards the center of mass and then ACCELERATE (not "drop") "down". Then there is the two-fold assumption that #1 there is an accretion disk and #2 for some odd reason you've decided to go through it. The idea is that it would be rather difficult to maintain your orientation with the accretion disk material pressing against you laterally (not "outwards"... but "sideways" - the gas is orbiting and you're trying not to).

First, I'm curious about the math here. The "intuition" here seems to be that you can push down on your head hard enough so that force downwards on your head matches the mass pulling on your feet and therefore you don't get ripped apart. Even if this works, wouldn't you have to have constantly increasing acceleration/thrust to maintain this balance?

Second, if you've decided to plow through an accretion disk, I'd be more worried about burning up. In any case, if you've got the ability/power to maintain infinitely increasing thrust downwards, I imagine a bit of control laterally would be trivial.

about 2 months ago

The Strangeness of the Mars One Project

ChromaticDragon Re:Yes and no (246 comments)

The analogy to Columbus is rather interesting.

Columbus was essentially a dead man walking. Most learned folk knew rather well that his calculations were messed up. Essentially he was significantly off regarding his calculations of the circumference of the globe. People knew this. This is why he had such difficulties getting funded. It wasn't that he was trying to convince people the world was round - he was trying to convince people the world was small enough to sail to India.

And he would absolutely, certainly have died in the open sea had he not lucked out in an incredible way.

Maybe, just maybe, Mars One people will stumble across a fully viable, relatively hospitable, alien population which will save them and propel us into a VERY "New World".

about 3 months ago

CHP Officers Steal, Forward Nude Pictures From Arrestee Smartphones

ChromaticDragon Options... (275 comments)

Could some kind folk expound a bit on the likely details of how these things transpire? I think folk are getting far too wrapped up in the sordid details here. I don't care if all that was stolen was a simple 2-byte text file. I'd like a better idea of WHEN this happens.

Apparently, if this is/was a "game", then there must be some common reason officers have access to phones. What IS this?!? It certainly isn't your routine traffic stop. What are the likely situations which would make phones available to officers for an extended period of time? When phones are taken as "evidence"? When phones have to be put in a locker or held whenever anyone enters a court?

The article(s) seemed not to go into details here.

Next, the article mentions this was discovered by noticing a few photos were synced. I realize it's a bit harder for iPhones vs. Android, but isn't it still easy enough to transfer files in such a way that essentially leaves no significant record of having done such?

What PREVANTIVE options exist here? I realize without user-controlled encryption, not much is going to prevent the 3-letter folk, but surely Officer Friendly can be thwarted more readily? Again I don't care what kind of file/picture/music/etc. Since the article(s) didn't go into depth, I cannot easily tell whether there was an expectation that the police have access (as in evidence).

about 3 months ago

Universal Big Bang Lithium Deficit Confirmed

ChromaticDragon Re:another one of these, huh? (171 comments)

You have to keep in mind that planets are pretty much negligible from a mass balance sheet of anything larger than a stellar system. In our solar system, the Sun makes up between 99.8% and 99.9% of the mass in our solar system.

I imagine you could pretty much presume all planets to be solid lithium and it wouldn't change much with regards to a 3-fold discrepancy.

about 5 months ago

Google Hangouts Gets Google Voice Integration And Free VoIP Calls

ChromaticDragon Re:Deprecating the telephone system (162 comments)

That's not entirely correct. Pretty close though...

There's a significant difference between Mobile Backhaul and bona fide VoIP.

Otherwise stated, when you choose a "no-data" plan you're still getting GSM or CDMA from phone to tower. They almost certainly are amalgating things for their purposes to connect things from tower to switch and through their network. That is essentially "data". And it most likely is cheaper. It's certainly more flexible. But that's not quite the same as "over the data service".

about 5 months ago

Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration of Damaged, Old Immune System

ChromaticDragon Re:Bodybuilding (148 comments)

Would you be so kind as to comment a bit on your methodology?

There seems to be no small confusion over terms such as "intermittent fasting". I've seen lots of folk use this to mean essentially 16 hours from after an early dinner to a late breakfast. But some of the earlier studies used this term to mean fasting 1 day out of 4 or something like that. A quasi-periodic approach yet indeed fasting for 24 hours (or more) at a time.

I'm curious how you manage your macro-nutrients overall? Do you eat fairly regularly the 11 days? Do you increase protein or caloric intake in general on the eating days? Anything special on the day after the fast? Anything special the day before?

Next, what about your workout regimen? Do you avoid workouts on fasting days? Or specific kids of workouts?

about 8 months ago

Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration of Damaged, Old Immune System

ChromaticDragon Re:And low-cal? (148 comments)

But what would be intrinsically different between fasting for a few days so the body says "hey I gotta metabolize some stuff so let's burn up the deadwood" and going low-cal for a longer period of time where the body essentially has to do the same thing?

As long as you follow this with a period of maintenance or balanced intake so the body can then rebuild said immune system stuff, why would fasting be so different from caloric deficit?

about 8 months ago

Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration of Damaged, Old Immune System

ChromaticDragon And low-cal? (148 comments)

Does anyone have any idea whether the same effect has been observed for long-term calorie deficit, or low-calorie diets?

about 8 months ago

Russia Bans US Use of Its Rocket Engines For Military Launches

ChromaticDragon Re:suspend GPS? (522 comments)

Ah crud.

Posting to remove a mistaken moderation.

about 9 months ago

Waste Management: The Critical Element For Nuclear Energy Expansion

ChromaticDragon Re:Nuclear waste (281 comments)

This would entail the risk of failure in the launch phase which could rain down a nasty amount of stuff anywhere on Earth.

MAYBE when we have a viable Space Elevator would folk give careful consideration to this. Until then, forget about it.

But even then, you'd still have the expense of the Delta-V to get it to fall into the Sun. It almost certainly would be cheaper to send the stuff to Alpha Centuari than to the Sun.

about 9 months ago

Student Records Kids Who Bully Him, Then Gets Threatened With Wiretapping Charge

ChromaticDragon Re:WTF?? (798 comments)

Your interpretation of the actions of the police as incompetent are probably mistaken because of a failure to appreciate the true goals and motives of the police here.

This story makes me pause and consider cui bono.

It appears the mother went directly to the principal rather than the teacher. The recording and transcription also seems to cast the teacher in a poor light. So it would seem the initial complaint was as much against the ineffectiveness of the teacher as it was against the bullying itself. It seems the mother had discussed this issue with the teacher previously... repeatedly.

Next, why in the world would the school administration involve the police at all? Do they truly have no ability to manage things at this school without this? No, it seems blatantly clear the goals and motives of the school administration immediately shifted to DAMAGE CONTROL. They never had any concern over the bullying issue itself. The teacher had a reputation to defend. The school was in an adversarial role from the beginning - fighting the complaint, not addressing it.

So... why would the police allow themselves to be used in such a fashion? Because using antiquated wiretapping laws to prevent citizens from recording the actions of police is a rather favorite interest of the police these days. The police had no intention whatsoever from the very beginning to "address the problem" if by that you meant the bullying. They eagerly jumped on board here because they were handed, on a silver platter, a wonderful opportunity to make a loud example of someone to remind everyone they shouldn't DARE record the police. Failing back to disorderly conduct wasn't inept. It was entirely in line with their goals.

Soo... what SHOULD they have done? I am sympathetic with the idea of tossing the video immediately into the Net. But other than the PR or novelty impact, how would this have changed anything vis-a-vis the Wiretapping charge or the actions of the school? I wonder what would have happened if instead, the mother asked for a meeting with the teacher and principal and sat down to discuss these issues, alluding to the transcript only if necessary. At the very least she might have gotten the principal to consider addressing the bullying issue by properly managing the teacher rather than running straight to the school's attorney.

about 9 months ago

Pluto May Have Deep Seas and Ancient Tectonic Faults

ChromaticDragon Re:It's a Planet (47 comments)

It's all somewhat arbitrary in any case.

It's all just a matter of what we choose to call things and how we choose to categorize things. Lumping things into categories based on similar characteristics is helpful for a number of reasons.

If you go back and look at the history of when and why Ceres (and Vista, and Pallas, etc.) was demoted from planetary status, you'll see all sorts of similarities. The continued discovery of Kupier bodies shows Pluto was part of a larger community, just like Ceres.

What folk mean when they say defining things such that you keep Pluto in and leave Ceres out is that they're looking for a consistent pattern of categorization and nomenclature which minimizes changes. It's simply easier to drop the ninth to to squeeze back in a fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth.

These continued discoveries create the need for updating our categorizations because they highlight the problem of HAVING ALREADY demoted Ceres, Vista, Pallas, etc. It makes no sense to call these new things planets unless we also do this for the bodies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

about 10 months ago

Navy Debuts New Railgun That Launches Shells at Mach 7

ChromaticDragon Longevity of the guns (630 comments)

I'm curious how they've addressed the issues of these sorts of things tearing themselves apart. The article doesn't go into details. One has to assume since the overall price per projective was determine that this was factored into things. And the video seems to show something rather purposely placed there that gets destroyed in the launch process.

Anyone find further details?

about 10 months ago

Small World Discovered Far Beyond Pluto

ChromaticDragon Re:Dwarf-like? (63 comments)

What will be LOADS OF FUN is the hilarity which will ensue if their hunch is correct that the orbit of this new dwarf planet and Sedna hint at the existence of a planet further out which is several times the mass of Earth.

Are dwarf planets supposed to be BIG?

about 10 months ago

IPCC's "Darkest Yet" Climate Report Warns of Food, Water Shortages

ChromaticDragon Re:Credibility (703 comments)

Please pick up "Six Degrees" and read it.

You are woefully ill-informed if you believe 5C simply "sounds like a lot" but "local variations are far greater". The effects of Climate Change due to Global Warming are not limited to it being just a little warmer. 5C will make things very difficult.

To your point, you need to separate the purported propaganda of us reaching a 5C increase by 2100 vs. the effects of a 5C increase. Yes indeed it is one thing to go on and on about the effects of full scale nuclear war (or a catastrophic asteroid strike, Yellowstone erupting, or whatever) while ignoring the related probability of such an event. But it's foolish to debate the effect rather than said likelihood. These are separate issues/debates. Documenting what has happened in the past at certain temps is probably quite a bit more "settled" than predicting things for the rest of the century.

about 10 months ago

Back To the Moon — In Four Years

ChromaticDragon Re:Yeah, too bad there's no real reason to do so.. (292 comments)

I agree with you on the most part as long as we are thinking of things in the sense of economic/investment value.

Think of anything really and ask yourself whether it makes more sense to build/do such in space or down in another gravity well.

But for raw science, I would hope that we start deploying (very) large telescopes on the far side of the moon.

about 10 months ago



Diet Soda Makes Lab Rats Fat

ChromaticDragon ChromaticDragon writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ChromaticDragon (1034458) writes "Purdue University researchers have determined that artificial sweeteners seem to make lab rats fat . If you haven't been able to get your rats to shed those grams after switching them to Diet Mountain Dew, know you know why. Apparently, they still think they're hungry. Saccharin just isn't satisfying. Silly rats.

Of course, some people also think this sheds some light on why there is somewhat of a correlation between diet soda consumption and obesity in humans. I imagine things are quite a bit more complicated with humans."

Galaxy sans Dark Matter

ChromaticDragon ChromaticDragon writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ChromaticDragon (1034458) writes "Apparently some astronomers have crunched some numbers on a galaxy to discover that its rotation can be fully explained by the gravity of the observable matter — in effect, this galaxy seems to lack dark matter.

It would seem that this shouldn't necessarily come as a total surprise given that supposedly one of stronger observations of Dark Matter was the Bullet Cluster where supposedly a good deal of Dark Matter and good old fashion regular matter had separated."

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