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Comments

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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Firethorn Re:Great one more fail (414 comments)

I'm hesitant about your course of action. One needs to remember that you need fun in there as well for it to really stick, you're both taking too long and inadvertantly teaching the kid that the firearm isn't dangerous.

Cleaning the rifle can wait, depending on parents and selected cleaning chemicals you might not want to expose the sprog to that anyways.

I'd start immediately with full up fire with live ammo(blanks are somewhat hard to get anyways), but with the parent holding the gun. I'll note that the cases of injuries where a child is shooting at a range involved fully automatic weapons - if the gun's single shot, there's nothing else coming out of the firearm if the kid looses control of it, no matter what. Especially if the parent has control of the additional rounds(in a pocket or something).

Gradually ramp up the child's ammo budget as he or she progresses - another dozen rounds for cleaning the rifle, for example.

about half an hour ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Firethorn Re: Great one more fail (414 comments)

Hardly a significant problem.

No, it's not actually a significant problem even for the police, but it's an even less significant problem for private citizens, yet that's who the legislators are pushing to have the systems.

Realistically speaking, it's a backdoor way to ban 'Saturday Night Specials', IE cheap handguns which actually are the prevalent firearm used in crime.

Would YOU want to carry an expensive gun that you might have to ditch on a moments notice?

42 minutes ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Firethorn Re:But what about... (414 comments)

And if gun ban advocates truly want safety, they'd work to repeal that NJ law.

I'm sorry that it lacks citation, but one of the original sponsors of the law actually proposed that. Sort of. She promised to 'Vote to repeal the law if the NRA stops opposing smart guns'.

My thought is that the NRA wants the law GONE before it stops opposing the technology, preferably via a court case that ensures that other states can't do it as well.

10 hours ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Firethorn Re:Great one more fail (414 comments)

Sorry, but i highly doubt that any policemen would enable such a lock on their gun as they would not ever be able to use their gun in the instance where they have gloves on their hands....

Fingerprint locks are not acceptable to me because of this. On the other hand, the already existing 'Magna-Trigger' and 'Maglock'(for 1911's) are semi-widely deployed. They're keyed to universal magnetic rings though, not anything serialized, making them the equivalent of bathroom dispenser locks - they won't stop or slow down anybody that came prepared to defeat them.

RFID is an option, but that would be more vulnerable to EMP*/interference. Also, the one RFID gun I remember has a 20" unlock range with the watch, which would mean that the gun would still fire in the majority of 'just disarmed the officer' cases I've read, many of which had the officer struggling with the perp for the gun when he was shot, which means that the wristwatch would be within 20" when the trigger is pulled.

Really, I think what the legislation is trying to do is make the guns more expensive in the hopes that only rich(safe) people would buy them, same idea with anti-Saturday night special laws back in the '70s. Back then they recognized that criminals overwhelmingly carried cheap small handguns, not expensive and bulky 'assault weapons', so they tried to ban 'cheap'. A 1911 was in no danger, but a .280 was.

*Honestly, I don't think this is that good of an excuse. Good EMP is actually hard to do.

11 hours ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Firethorn Re:Great one more fail (414 comments)

3) Many policemen would far prefer that their gun not be useable if someone takes it away from them.

Honestly, I think that the officers that install 'MagSafe' type safeties on their firearms are being responsible. I posted earlier that ~5% of officers shot are shot with their own weapon taken from them in the same incident. Yet nearly all police departments will campaign long and hard against being included in laws like New Jersey's that would mandate 'smart guns'.

Personally, I think that the requirement to trigger being forced to buy smart guns should be all the police departments in the state going to them voluntarily. If they move away from them, the requirement goes away as well.

'No firearm safety feature that is not present on all police firearms shall be required on a private citizen's' - Something like this.

11 hours ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Firethorn Re: Great one more fail (414 comments)

3) No slower than existing draw-rack-point-click. I would even say, if fingerprint-based, the sensor MUST go on the trigger itself and detect a thin stripe of index fingertop.

As a shooter I have one problem with this: I wear gloves when shooting. How's it working through that?

11 hours ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Firethorn Re: Great one more fail (414 comments)

So, the reason "crazy gun nuts" really oppose letting any of the "identify the owner" technologies into practice and letting the market decide is that the government has already spoken, and it isn't going to let the market decide. I'm a libertarian, and I'd love to see the market decide... but I oppose blanket bans for all sorts of reasons, and think you should too.

This boils down to NJ's law being my ONLY reason for being opposed to the law. Unlike for civilians, there are open statistics for police officers being shot with their own firearms. In fact, the percent is 5% of officers shot are shot with their own weapon. One in twenty.

There exists devices already that can prevent this that use magnetic rings called 'MagSafe' - but anybody with a ring can fire the gun. I read a tragic report where the officer was killed, but the criminal tried taking the cop's gun, but discarded it, unfired, when the system worked to prevent him from using it to shoot at MORE police officers. Obviously you can't deploy the system to EVERY firearm, because then a criminal will know to get the ring(and they'll be all over the place), buy why not for 'all police weapons'?

Yet every police department in a jurisdiction considering laws such as New Jersey's will campaign long and hard to exempt themselves from the requirement, when they're at the highest risk for being shot with their own weapon. Why aren't they clamoring for the technology? It's not reliable enough.

11 hours ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Firethorn Re:Great one more fail (414 comments)

You want a little kid to learn how to use firearms? Use a .22 caliber rifle and have them learn from the prone position. Safest way to keep them unharmed while they learn.

As a responsible gun owner, I have 1 additional modification to make to this statement: Use a single shot .22 caliber rifle for the young and new ones. They can trade up to a pump/bolt type action when they demonstrate that they can handle the single shot smoothly. IE safe operation without hesitation.

11 hours ago
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California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

Firethorn Re:Can we please cann these companies what they ar (273 comments)

Since a commercial vehicle drive many times the miles of a private vehicle it is much more likely to get into an accident based on miles traveled.

How about that there's so many more private vehicles on the road they're still more likely to cause issues? It also depends on the commercial/private vehicle in question. Ever heard about the crazies with a 100+ mile daily commute of several hours?

Also, I did an awful lot of daily inspections on vehicles that averaged about two dozen miles a week. Small densely built bases where we just walked unless we needed the GOV to haul a bunch of stuff, equipment, supplies, whatever.

We're back to my point: I believe that given today's technology and development levels that a mechanical inspection every oil change is 'good enough'. If a cabbie is driving 300 miles a day, that's an inspection around every two weeks. For a private vehicle it'd be about once every four months*. Other than that it's noting down stuff that's not working right and fixing it. Notice that the alignment is off? Note it down and have it fixed during the next maintenance period.

*Keeping in mind that quite a few vehicles today are on 5k oil changes, not 3k.

11 hours ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Firethorn Re:Great one more fail (414 comments)

It doesn't matter how many injuries come from things that are nothing to do with guns. If gun ownership were more tightly controlled, those 14000-19000 nonfatal injuries and the hundreds of fatal injuries from accidental shootings would be reduced by at least an order of magnitude - lives would be saved.

Citizen, please report to the clinic for the mandatory installation of your permanently mounted helmet(it'll save lives!), automatically inflating life vest(it'll save lives!) while our safety inspectors go through your home to remove dangers such as all your knives, the stove(it can cause burns!), bathtubs(big falling AND drowning hazard!), etc...

The problem with your line is that nearly everything is dangerous to some limit or other. If you don't set a downward limit on something and do it for 'just one life!' the result is no freedom. I'll say it outright: Freedom is worth lives.

11 hours ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Firethorn Re:Great one more fail (414 comments)

The real number is closer to 12,000, with only about 200 cases of "justifiable homicide" with a gun. That's fewer than the number of accidental shootings.

That's only true if you include 'fired the gun' in the definition. Most cases merely showing the firearm is enough to convince the criminal to leave.

11 hours ago
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California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

Firethorn Re:Can we please cann these companies what they ar (273 comments)

As uncqual said - most accidents today are caused by driver error, not mechanical malfunction. A pre-trip inspection, unless you're checking the driver, is looking for mechanical issues.

My point is that back when mechanical taxi-cabs started taking over from the horse-drawn ones, a daily detailed inspection of the mechanical parts made perfect sense. The equipment wasn't all that reliable back then.

Get into the '60s and you still had a lot of problems, but you were to the point that doing many inspections was no longer daily for consumer type vehicles, but 'once and oil change'. Today the oil changes have extended to 5k miles.

To make it more clear, I have basically 3 inspection lists. Daily drive in my own vehicle is 'lights work, tires aren't flat'. Each fill up I check the fluids. Every oil change the belts and brakes(among other things) get looked at.

yesterday
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California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

Firethorn Re:Can we please cann these companies what they ar (273 comments)

Considering the only thing you seemed interested in was cleanliness I have a good idea.

Important part here is 'seemed'. I used to have a GOV license, vehicle checks were part of that.

I guess you know better than every transport commission in existence that requires daily inspections(almost all do).

And most of the lists were less stringent than what I do when I take my motorcycle out.

As uncqual said - if the daily checks were so important for the safety of the vehicle they would logically be required for private citizen vehicles as well. Because there are plenty of failures that can cause a vehicle to be hazards for others, and many of the safety checks aren't actually beneficial for the passengers.

yesterday
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CBC Warns Canadians of "US Law Enforcement Money Extortion Program"

Firethorn Re:Never carry lots of Cash (458 comments)

Police officers 'in the line of duty' are heavily shielded by their respective departments, so I doubt that even a small claims court motion would succeed without involving the department.

Still, I'd have them be a named party, thus generally requiring the officer AND police representative to show up to make their case. If it's tossed out(which I figure it will be), then go to a full court.

yesterday
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If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

Firethorn Re:Answer: They mostly can, but is it economical? (429 comments)

I've reviewed the literature and found a much better article going in Dominion Power's hijinks.

Personally, my 'solution' would be simple - disallow them purchasing 'renewable energy credits'. In order for it to count it has to be a renewable energy source IN THE STATE AND ON THE GRID.

Oh, and the charging for solar installs is only for 10kw-20kw systems. Keep it at 10kW and you don't have to pay anything. But yeah, massively stupid.

I mean, I live in Alaska and I keep looking at Solar panels. Really the only thing holding me back is that I'd rather put a new roof on first, and I think that the inverters need to come down in price and up in warranty before I pull the lever. Please note that this is because I can't 'break even' even assuming I do most of the install myself with our crappy isolation levels. Go to a spot further south with equally high electricity costs and it'd be a stupidly easy decision.

2 days ago
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California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

Firethorn Re:Can we please cann these companies what they ar (273 comments)

That just goes to show how ill qualified you are to do a real pre-trip inspection. Do you check your tire wear, belts, fluid levels, lights and signals, fluid leaks, etc. A pre-trip inspection is much more than cleanliness.

You have no clue as to my inspection abilities. Not objecting to doing a pre-trip inspection. Disputing that nowadays you need to do this daily.

Worst case you do what the military does - hand the driver a checklist to go over.

By the way a full time Uber driver can easily log 1K miles in a week.

Which means that rather than having some mostly superficial stuff inspected 'daily' it's inspected once a month(ish). I figure that's a suitable inspection period.

2 days ago
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California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

Firethorn Re:Can we please cann these companies what they ar (273 comments)

Part of the licensing of cabs is the safety of the cabs. For example drivers are required to inspect their vehicles daily and have them inspected by an independent company every six months.

It takes a special license in order to inspect your vehicle?

As for the daily inspection(which I'd do just for cleanliness), it seems to me that the regulation seems old - cars today are more reliable, but the mechanicals should be 'inspected' every 3-5k or so miles when it gets an oil change.

2 days ago
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CBC Warns Canadians of "US Law Enforcement Money Extortion Program"

Firethorn Re:Never carry lots of Cash (458 comments)

They'll just stonewall anything that doesn't come from a court/judge. Or worse, they'll rubberwall it instead (which is kind of like stonewalling, with the addition of making you bounce back, i.e. create more work for you). You'll end up in a game where you'll have to spend more than one dollar for every dollar they spend. And since they have practically unlimited funds, the only thing that will happen is that you will run out of money.

You have to remember that the goal isn't to get my money back, it's to cost them, preferably in a very legal and visible way, more than what they took from me. If I spend $1200 in order to cost them $800 because they 'improperly' confiscated $400 from me, so be it. It's very much a scorched earth policy. Sure, I'll try to be efficient about it, but that's the way it goes.

And since they have practically unlimited funds, the only thing that will happen is that you will run out of money.

It's not without end - I'm not trying to bankrupt them. I'd be satisfied somewhere between costing them 2-10x what they took.

2 days ago
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CBC Warns Canadians of "US Law Enforcement Money Extortion Program"

Firethorn Re:Never carry lots of Cash (458 comments)

They can ask, but they not actually likely to get it. The feds don't compensate state actors for 'legal hurdles' on any sort of regular basis. Even state legislators tend to ask some very pointed questions when you beg for money due to lawsuits, and keep in mind that I'd be writing to them, so they have MY side of the story.

Consider red light cameras - the moment revenue dropped such that the cameras weren't making enough money to cover the hassle(which included lawsuits over them), many local governments started dropping them like hot potatoes.

Make it so that the anticipated butt-hurt from confiscating random cash in the low hundreds without substantial additional evidence is thousands in hassle expenses and they'll stop doing it.

2 days ago
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If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

Firethorn Re:Answer: They mostly can, but is it economical? (429 comments)

Tesla's customers are largely environmentalists, who will be that much more eager to buy due to the factory being greener. For comparison, someone buying a can of pasta sauce won't care about the specifics of the canning factory, so price is the only factor.

It is a factor, but on some level almost all of us are 'environmentalists'. I don't think that the news that the battery factory will be some flavor of 'energy neutral' will actually sell all that many vehicles.

As you say - you can see solar panels because most of the cost is installation. I'll point out that if you design your building to have solar panels on them as part of the initial construction it's much cheaper. Ergo, if it 'barely' makes sense to install panels as aftermarket components to a building, it's a much easier decision to add them from the beginning. Especially if by doing so you can avoid some of the installation charges, gain local, state, and federal rebates, etc...

Note how I mentioned energy usage vs roof area - if you have a roof that's only good for keeping rain off your equipment, it might make sense to dual-purpose that area to also collecting power to run your equipment.

2 days ago

Submissions

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Firethorn Firethorn writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Firethorn (177587) writes "From Decatur Daily
Shut down 22 years ago in 1985, the Tennessee Valley Authority has reactivated Unit 1 at Browns Ferry Nuclear plant in response to rising demand for electricity in North Alabama. It's the first reactor activated since 1996.

It's expected to produce 1,155 megawatts, power 650,000 homes, and employ an extra 100 workers at the plant.

Renovations cost $1.8 Billion, but they expect the payback to be done within 4-5 years, down from the 7-8 years estimated in 2002, mostly because of increased fuel costs for the alternatives."

Journals

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Firethorn Firethorn writes  |  more than 4 years ago

You know, I found a story on fark leading to a postive spin on Walmart. Of course, the thread had all sorts of entries on how bad/evil Walmart is. While I certainly don't agree with everything in the article, neither do I believe that Walmart is worse than the devil. It's of only average evilness for a large corporation.

One points brought up was the 'liveable wage'. While Walmart does indeed have one of the lower wage medians, it's a retail store. It's wages are in line with the other 'mart' stores, grocery stores, and their ilk. If anything, a lower median wage indicates that they aren't top heavy with too many managers. 90% of their workers are covered by health insurance - and not government plans.

Here in the USA we have a messed up view of what a 'liveable wage' is. It's part of why we've lost so much of our manufacturing - cheaper laber outside the USA.

I'd rather have them have a job that might not pay enough for them to get that 60" Plasma, own two cars, not to mention such 'essentials' as cable, high speed internet, a thousand+ computer, etc, than NO JOB.

Essentially, I feel that it'd be a better situation to have welfare set up so that people are always better off working than not working. They're also always better off working the better paid job than the lesser**. As part of that, I'd get rid of the minimum wage.

IE we declare the minimum living income to be X. Really bad standard of living, barely covers the basics. Everybody gets X.
Joe gets a job making Y. His welfare payments are adjusted such that he gets Y + (X-Y/3). I use a divisor of 3 because there are costs associated with working, and a /2 is a bit too quick. Let's say X is the Poverty line. We'll go with a family of 4. $21,200. Ouch. Still, let's say they get job/s earning $30k. They'd 'lose' 10k in benefits, still obtaining $11.2k in benies. They now have an effective income of $41.2k, which while not great, is better than sitting completely on welfare. Meanwhile the single guy would be looking at $10.4k, and that $30k job would leave him with $400 in benefits. He's still better off getting that pay raise, though. I'm firmly of the belief that somebody working and contributing is better than not working.

That would help with our outsourcing problem, while wages would drop, it would help make us competitive on the global workforce market again.

On another topic - U.S. homes lose $2 trillion in value in '08

Is this necessarily a bad thing? For a while there people were treating their homes as investments - well, a home IS an investment, but they were treating theirs like something they could buy then sell when their retired for enough money to retire on. Easy credit allowed people and speculators to buy far more home than they needed, or even could afford, putting a crunch on housing and raising prices to the point of unaffordability. Personally, I'd like to remain able to afford a decent home with a 30 year fixed, on no more than 30% of my income, not some fancy loan that I ultimately can't afford.

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Firethorn Firethorn writes  |  about 9 years ago

What with the flooding, I feel that New Orleans should be renamed to 'New Venice'. I have many thoughts on this.

For one, it's just stupid to build a standard city below sea level, on the coast, especially in an area subject to hurricanes.

My idea, since the area's natural tendency is to be flooded anyways, we go along with it and build like in venice. It'd remain a tourist attraction, and would be far more resistant to hurricanes with proper construction. My idea is floating homes. Tie them in location with rails so they stay level. Give then around 3-4 meters of travel. You could reduce this by actually artificially raising the level of water, then when a hurricane comes, pump the water out to keep it level. It's hard to flood an artificially raised lake. You break a levy, the water level drops.

Then instead of levees, you build tide breakers, to moderate the tide and any breakers. Build 'sacrifice buildings' closest to the gulf, that can be used to break the tide even further. Then large buildings that won't float, but sit on a solid foundation, will use their first floors for nothing critical, and reinforce the ocean side to withstand the hurricanes, at least better. They're also to protect the homes behind.

Great tourist attraction, unique, pretty much floodproof.

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Why do people keep calling me a republican?

Firethorn Firethorn writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Disclaimer: This is intented to be a summery. There are all sorts of jinks and kinks in my beliefs. This is mearly a summery.

People keep calling me a republican on this board. If I am one, I must be an awfully strange one, seeing as how I'm pro choice, pro drug legalization, at least somewhat pro gay rights, and am an agnostic with atheist tendencies.

I believe in seperation of church and state, but I don't think that means that the state can supress people's freedom of religion. As in if a kid wants to read the bible or pray in school, they can (as long as it's not disruptive to class).

I think that school vouchers are a good idea. Private schools and parents have been doing more education with less than public schools for years.

I think that the government should run a balanced budget. I also think that the fairtax guys have a good idea, but that there are a number of kinks to work out.

The war on terror, war in Iraq? I think that we're taking the wrong direction at the airports. I think that all the violations of our rights are wrong. As for the war in Iraq, well, we're committed. We have to finish it, lest it turn into another Afghanistan. I can only hope the upcoming elections go reasonably well.

I am a strong supporter of the first amendment. I feel that if I'm not uncomfortable with at least some of what is being said, speech isn't free enough.

I am also a strong supporter of the second amendment. And yes, I believe that that covers machine guns. NBC weapons are a bit much even for me however. If it's not something that a single soldier can be expected to haul and use somewhat discriminatorily, it's not a personal arm.

I think that it's a major crime that the government can confiscate property without trial.

I think that our government spends too much money on various welfare and pork barrel projects. If we must have welfare, I think that people should have to work for it.

I'm a libertarion, not a republican.

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First Entry...

Firethorn Firethorn writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Well, I usually mess something up in my posts, so if something seems odd, it might just be.

I'm certainly not average.
I'm pro-choice... And Pro-Death penalty
I'm for a strong military...but I'd let gays join
I'm for closing the border...but I'd let legal immigration be easy.
I'm for legalizing drugs...And serious prison time for DUI's.
I consider myself for a clean enviroment...but I'd do this closing all hydrocarbon powerplants and replacing them with nuclear.
I'm a strict constitutionalist.
I believe that if we must engage in war, we should wage it offensivly. Under modern technology, offense is what wins battles.
I'd eliminate welfare and the minimum wage, replacing it with a 'work-fare' program, where you have to work at something for forty hours a week (even if only picking trash up from the side of the road). Benefits would be mostly concrete, not cash. You'd eat at a dining facility, live in a provided apartment, etc...

I certainly have other views, but this should cover most of the issues.

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