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Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts

Dereck1701 Carma is a beautiful thing (148 comments)

The big car manufacturers have been trying to use the dealership laws to prevent a competitor from bring a product to market, dealerships have been trying to use the laws to force Tesla to cut them in on their sales. This court ruling bloodies both of their noses for their foolishness, now if only more courts follow in this ones footsteps. I wonder how these laws even came into being in a society that claims to embrace free market mentality in the first place. I realize that Ford once tried to bypass the franchise model, but if they were able to provide their product to customers cheaper then what was the issue? Replace "car manufacturer" with any number of other products (corn, light bulb, TV, desk) in these laws and it becomes quite clear how foolish the whole thing is.

2 days ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Dereck1701 Electronics? In a gun? (583 comments)

I don't think this individual has much of any real experience with firearms. I've seen flashlights and lasers, basically a light source with a battery and a switch, literally shake themselves apart after a few dozen rounds. While I am sure that you could harden the electronics to survive the beating, oil, water, etc that your average firearm has to deal with getting all manufacturers to follow the stringent manufacturing levels that would be required is unlikely. That and it would add at least $50, possibly a couple hundred dollars to the price of each gun (tens of millions of dollars per year). All to stop incidents barely show as a rounding error in the overall child mortality statistics (less than 100 accidental child deaths or about 0.3%). When we've fixed all of the other preventable causes of child death that are orders of magnitude more hazardous to their health (falls, pools, buckets, infections, allergic reactions, etc) maybe we can focus on accidental firearms discharge.

4 days ago
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DARPA Funds Harvard's Soft Exoskeletal Suit

Dereck1701 First? (29 comments)

They may be the first to actually begin development of such a exosuit but this kind of application has been imagined in multiple fictional accounts(Spriggan movie & Crisis game series off the top of my head). It'll be interesting to see a full fledged pro-type (most of the stuff in the videos looked like non functional demo gear) but last I heard our artificial muscle tech was pretty pitiful. There was a big claim a while back that a breakthrough had been made using modified sewing thread and fishing line that was actually more efficient/powerful than natural muscle but I don't know if anything came of it. Also their designs seem to put the full brunt of the load on a persons own skeletal/joint system, possibly resulting in injury. While I am sure there is a way to add in some kind of exterior joints/"bones" to take some of the load off the wearer that technology and the muscle technology will take a LOT of advanced research to make a reality.

4 days ago
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Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

Dereck1701 Written in stone no doubt (213 comments)

And treaties are written in stone? History is repeat with treaties that are no longer enforced or even acknowledged by any current country. The day someone starts shipping down millions of dollars in precious metals from an asteroid is the day that either countries simply start ignoring the Outer Space Treaty en mass or the day it is "reinterpreted" to allow such pursuits.

5 days ago
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FAA Scans the Internet For Drone Users; Sends Cease and Desist Letters

Dereck1701 Legal basis? (222 comments)

And what exactly is the legal basis for the FAA's denying commercial operation of "drones"? I don't mean the arbitrarily created regulations that they're quoting but the actual LAW passed by congress and the president? I have a sneaking suspicion that its some vague "ensuring public/air safety" law that they are stretching WAY past its original intent. Something on the order of a hypothetical USDA law to "ensure commercial food safety" being used outlaw all roadside vegetable stands.

about two weeks ago
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Intellectual Ventures Sheds At Least Part of Its "Patent Troll" Reputation

Dereck1701 Re:In defense of Patent Trolls (75 comments)

Theres no one source for the information, but below are a few links to some of it. They have apparently made about $6 Billion in revenue since their inception and in 2010 at least they made $700 Million in licensing fees. I did include their "investments" along with what I could call "licensing fees" because they seem to be effectively the same thing. A good chunk of their revenue is via "Patent Funds" where they offer companies a chance to join in to buy a block of patents, apparently with a thinly veiled threat that if they don't buy in IV will sue them if any of the patents in the block apply to prospective investors.

http://www.businessinsider.com...
http://www.businessweek.com/ar...
http://www.cnet.com/news/insid...
https://news.yahoo.com/exclusi...

about two weeks ago
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Intellectual Ventures Sheds At Least Part of Its "Patent Troll" Reputation

Dereck1701 Re:In defense of Patent Trolls (75 comments)

It should be noted that, at least from what I can gather, most of IV's revenue isn't from actual lawsuits. A vast bulk of it is from "license fees" (in the billions of dollars apparently) they grant to companies for using "their technology". Given, they probably illicit those fees via threats of lawsuits. The company had a peak of 700 employees (I think its down into the 500 range now) with revenues close to a $1 Billion a year, and few if any real products to show for it.

about two weeks ago
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Invasion of Ukraine Continues As Russia Begins Nuclear Weapons Sabre Rattling

Dereck1701 Facebook? (789 comments)

Oh my, a member of a recently created government (appointed by coup), who is facing unrest from their own citizens, and is upset about outside assistance by another power (And US, Europe, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel don't?) is posting to his Facebook page that said outside force is planning mass murder. Stop the presses! This "story" has all of the validity of a small time drug dealer scrawling a message on a bathroom wall about the cities drug kingpin planning to release a plague in the city because..... well..... he can?

about two weeks ago
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The Passenger Pigeon: A Century of Extinction

Dereck1701 Initiated by humans, finished by the birds (108 comments)

The species seems to have been susceptible to extinction from the get-go. Its not like humans wiped them out down to a last few flocks. People did over hunt them to be sure, but a species that required flock groups of tens to hundreds of thousands to propagate would seem to me to be living on borrowed time. Attempts to breed them in captivity failed because of the massive numbers that seem to be required. So this effort to reintroduce the population will require quite an effort, they will need a first generation in the tens of thousands at a minimum.

about two weeks ago
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Deputy Who Fatally Struck Cyclist While Answering Email Will Face No Charges

Dereck1701 Re:yet if we did it (463 comments)

Your sarcasm tag makes things obvious so don't take this the wrong way, but that is one of the things that general society needs to realize, police work IS NOT very dangerous. There are I believe well over a dozen professions that make police work look safe (farmer, lumberjack, fisherman, etc.). It is a complete fallacy that police officers are in constant danger, most never have to even draw their gun. I think last year there were something like 100 on duty officer fatalities, 47 of those were accidental deaths (car/motorcycle/aircraft accidents, falls, etc).

about two weeks ago
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Judge Allows L.A. Cops To Keep License Plate Reader Data Secret

Dereck1701 Investigateive tool (108 comments)

"its value as an investigative tool would be severely compromised."

I'd be interested to see how these same police departments would respond if identical ALPRs were placed near police stations, government buildings & affluent neighborhoods by private individuals. I imagine it ending quite quickly in threats, arrests & even possibly injuries. Its funny how a surveillance tool is so great until the general public turns it on those in authority (tape recorders, video cameras, cell phone cameras, drones), then it miraculously needs "common sense" restrictions that those in authority are almost always exempt from.

about three weeks ago
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Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

Dereck1701 Re:"Accidentally" (455 comments)

I'm not suggesting that requiring officers/their vehicles/their guns having cameras is a bad idea, but just because you do it doesn't mean that you've gotten any closer to solving the problem of abuse of authority. Its going to take a whole lot more, streaming offsite backup to an independent party at the very least, probably an entire legal framework as well (or perhaps enforcement of the current framework).

about three weeks ago
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Islamic State "Laptop of Doom" Hints At Plots Including Bubonic Plague

Dereck1701 Re: But is it reaslistic? (369 comments)

Sadly you're completely right, a bag of flour thrown off a building or put a few Lite-Brite signs out and you throw a city into chaos. All at the cost of a few bucks and one or two nuts willing to do it. You don't have to look far to see how crazy things have gotten, there have been what, two aircraft diverted in the past week because of minor incidents on-board at least one of which "required" a fighter escort because of a few drunk women having a fight? I can't recall where it came from but there is one statement that pretty well sums it up "the terrorists said "boo" and our reaction was to shoot ourselves in the head". We simply can't sustain this idiocy, eventually we'll end up like Russia at the end of the Cold War, throwing so much money into buying bullets (security) that we can't afford bread (the economy).

about three weeks ago
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Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

Dereck1701 Re:"Accidentally" (455 comments)

While Texas is the most blatant example it is far from the only one, officers in Hollywood Florida willfully altered footage sent to a defense attorney to remove a plot by officers to frame a woman for vehicular assault of a police officer, no one was charged. CCTV operators in Denver Colorado willfully shifted a CCTV camera away from a police beating, no one charged. Half of the vehicle camera/mic equipment of the LAPD (installed BECAUSE of abuse) was found to be inoperable due to officer sabotage, no one charged. I could go on for quite some time but I trust my point is made.

about three weeks ago
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Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

Dereck1701 Re:"Accidentally" (455 comments)

"Every officer will be required to explain every missing second of video and audio."

Why? It doesn't happen now. In fact I think in Texas not long ago an appellate court ruled that police could destroy dash cam video footage despite specific requests from the defense that they preserve the footage. I agree wholeheartedly that officers SHOULD have to explain any missing footage, but every instance that I can think of suggests that the current justice system does have any perception that missing footage reflects poorly on law enforcement even when the officers go out of their way to destroy it.

about three weeks ago
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U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

Dereck1701 Re:Will the cameras work? (643 comments)

We don't have to wait for "one day", it happens quite often right now. I can recall at least a dozen cases off the top of my head where footage from dash cams, personal phones/computers/cameras & CCTV systems was deleted, obscured, modified or "failed to record". Unfortunately I can't recall a single case of an officer being meaningfully punished for destruction of evidence, at most a few were fired.

http://www.today.com/id/322668...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
http://www.dailytech.com/Cops+...

about three weeks ago
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NASA's Space Launch System Searches For a Mission

Dereck1701 If it even gets off the ground (53 comments)

So far SLS isn't setting itself far enough apart from the boondoggle which was Constellation for my tastes. Its budget has grown from 10 Billion to, by many estimates, $41 Billion by the time it has actually launched a few prototypes. And its per launch estimates are up in the air at the moment, NASA's "$500 Million" per launch is laughable. For the money we're burning on the development of SLS alone we could launch the mass of a Naval frigate into orbit on commercial launchers. Just think of what could be done with that kind of payload capacity.

about a month ago
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Smartphone Kill Switch, Consumer Boon Or Way For Government To Brick Your Phone?

Dereck1701 Re:Bricking or Tracking? (299 comments)

Why would they want to brick your phone? For the same reason they'll hold you for a few hours and then release you without charge, for the same reason they will confiscate your property without arrest, for the same reason they'll rough you up and then not charge you with anything. They are ways to punish people who come into their field of view for real or perceived transgressions without going through that pesky process of proving that something illegal actually happened. If this capability is realized I wouldn't be surprised if phones within a block or so of a protest are bricked, if phones that were near a case of police misconduct suddenly don't work, all of course "for the safety of the public".

about a month ago
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Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

Dereck1701 Insanity (442 comments)

He's insane. Choreographing that kind of balance across a national power network would be prone to instability and likely vulnerable to attack/accidental cascade failures. Virtually every heavy load device and a lot of lower load devices would need to be remotely controllable, that communications system would need to be highly secure, extremely reliable and not too imposing on customers. Load balancing definitely has a place in both residential & industrial areas, but there needs to be a significant storage/load redundancy built into the system as well to handle unexpected peaks and valleys in demand inherent to a real world electrical grid.

about 1 month ago
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Two Years of Data On What Military Equipment the Pentagon Gave To Local Police

Dereck1701 Re:Well let's temper our anger a bit (264 comments)

No one with half a brain is suggesting that police shouldn't have a few high powered rifles, body armor and other items for dealing with extreme situations. But 99.9999% of police work involves minor theft, non violent drug use, traffic violations, domestic violence & scuffles. Most departments probably only need a few officers equipped and trained for use of such equipment, maybe 2% of on duty officers for large departments and 3 or 4 people for smaller departments. What we're seeing today however are entire police departments being outfitted with military gear. Departments with only a dozen or so officers are getting their own Armored personnel carriers, every squad car has ARs in the trunk, etc. It doesn't make any sense when most departments maybe have a single incident in a generation where those tools/tactics would be significantly needed (barricaded hostage situation, heavily armed bank robbery, sniper, etc) and even then you're likely only going to need a small tactical team with regular officers as support. It makes even less sense when you consider that the standard tactic these days is to "surround and hold" until a SWAT team is brought in.

about a month ago

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