Can the US Still Lead In Space Despite Shuttle's End?
It's underwhelming to slowly, ambiguously plan for maybe going to an unspecified asteroid someday. There won't be much excitement from the general public for such a plan, especially with the way it's been marketed so far. Say "in 10 years we'll have people on the way to Mars [or to a lesser extent, the Moon] to build a permanent base" and it becomes a different story.
We're in a budget crisis right now though, with fundamental moral, legal and philosophical disputes over the proper role of the US government. We already have a majority of the states openly challenging federal authority, and the federal government openly scoffing at the idea that there are limits to its lawful power. (Pelosi: "Are you serious?!") It's hard to justify any new government programs while that dispute is unresolved, even as relatively small as the funding would be. Figure out first whether it's okay to have a self-proclaimed "radical communist" serving as a White House adviser, for instance, before deciding relatively minor things like whether to increase one agency's funding. Otherwise we'll just be arguing past each other from completely different premises.
I'm definitely not taking the common position, "Let's solve our problems on Earth before we go to space." This is more like, "Let's figure out what we're trying to accomplish before we set out."
Australia's 2 Largest ISP's Start Censorsing the Web
Check out the essay "The Doctrine of Fascism", attributed to him. Its roots are really in the philosophy of Hobbes, Rousseau, Hegel, and even Plato. Mussolini's main idea was that fascism is anti-individualist, and that all people should see themselves as incomplete beings whose lives only have meaning and value in service to the all-powerful State. That's not really a corporatist viewpoint.
Re: Net censorship, a fascist viewpoint would be that your individual desire to see porn, bomb-making instructions, copyrighted material, or sites about democracy is absolutely meaningless before the State's collective desire to shut you up and make you obey. Not to say that the ISPs are innocent here, but it's not because they own the government.
New Gasoline Engine Prototype Claims 3X Current Engine Efficiency
Expansion on the parent comment: any claim about "tripling the efficiency of current engines" ought to set off alarm bells, because there are strict theoretical limits on the efficiency of any engine. Yes, switching to a different basic design (such as Diesel vs. the more common Otto cycle) can give you a better possible rating, as can changing the temperatures involved, but you're still likely to hit theoretical limits that are far below what you might think of as "perfect efficiency", ie. pure conversion of the fuel's chemical energy into motion.
The Right's War On Net Neutrality
The entire article is a troll's post. "The Republicans are lying, they're badly misinformed, and we the enlightened have the correct answer and must re-educate them." Then the commenters jump on and say, "Why yes! I understand the Republican position -- it's because they're anarchists who love anything done by a big corporation, and it's on this basis that I judge everything they say!" If you want to have a serious debate about Net neutrality, this kind of article isn't the way to do it. Then again, the actual politicians these days have been dismissing the ruling party's critics as stupid, ignorant, and irrational -- in nearly that exact language -- so it's no surprise that their supporters would also talk that way.
Survey Shows That Fox News Makes You Less Informed
Survey-makers, your groupthink is plusgood! Having already decided that Fox News is a terrible thing (and that that's why people watch it more than rival networks), you made the double error of asking rigged questions and then inferring a cause-and-effect relationship. Good job at reinforcing your own beliefs.
"63 percent of Fox viewers believe Obama was not born in the US (or that it is unclear)." And having decided that there's absolutely no ambiguity (perhaps you've seen the original, more-closely-guarded-than-military-secrets BC rather than the summary?), you decided that anyone who questions the official story is "uninformed". You could probably do the same thing with global warming too, or the assertion that the Constitution's "commerce clause" means Congress can force people to buy things. In other words, your ideal citizen doesn't question the official story of things.
Think that this study will be used to push for forcible shutting down of this opposition network, Chavez-style, as various people on the socialist left have actually grumbled about? Or just used for traditional media to console themselves with?
Hand-Off, Reconnect To Verizon LTE Can Take 2 Minutes
I don't think wireless modem problems in general should surprise anyone. I'm using a Verizon USB device right now, and while it usually works all right, it has random weird misbehavior like claiming to be connected yet being unable to do anything, or claiming an "invalid username and password" when no new user info has been entered. Probably just standard hardware quirkiness.
China Views Internet As "Controllable"
So, you draw no distinction between trying to shut down a site that exists to engage in illegal international espionage, and trying to shut down a site that (say) describes what happened at Tiananmen Square?
Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Makes a First Appearance
I've got an eeePC netbook with WinXP, and am not impressed by this Unity interface being offered. The description of it looks like Ubuntu's trying to be as much like Apple as possible. "We made the desktop look like someone spilled colorful pills all over it and hid everything but your favorite "apps", which we want you to get from our walled garden. We put everything into a "Me Menu" which you probably can't even rename, and you can, like, totally use Twitter and Facebook because everybody who's anybody uses those."
I might try the Aurora version if it ever actually comes out. Since I'd be investigating Ubuntu without a strong reason to do so, I'd need some hand-holding to avoid exhausting my patience. Haven't yet seen an edition that has a big default button saying "click here for a tutorial about where everything is and how to do stuff". And is there a way to dual-install in such a way that I don't need to wait an extra beat or use a menu when turning the computer on, to pick an OS?
US Embassy Categorizes Beijing Air Quality As 'Crazy Bad'
No, you have libertarians and conservatives confused with anarchists. That's typical talk from the socialist/communist faction: "When you guys talk about enforcing the Constitution that means you guys don't want any government at all!"
New Microscope Reveals Ultrastructure of Cells
What about the cells that opt out of this intrusive screening?
TSA Pats Down 3-Year-Old
You're aware that the Democrats are now in office, and extended the USA-PATRIOT Act, and in fact are the ones behind the new obnoxious security that this article is about, right?
Ears Might Be Better Than Fingerprints For ID
This idea of identifying criminals by biometric measurements like facial features goes back to the 19th century; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphonse_Bertillon .
Chip Allows Blind People To See
For comparison, the original Game Boy had a screen resolution of 160x144 in four greenish shades. Still, even 38x40 is an improvement over past retina chips and starts to be useful. I wonder what aspect ratio these things will end up with.
Physicists Say Graphene Could Create Mass
How Google Avoided Paying $60 Billion In Taxes
Actually, the bottom half or so of the US population pays no federal income taxes, and the top 1%, 5% etc. pays a hugely disproportionate share. Want to see the guys dodging taxes relative to the amount of money they make? It's huge corporations like Google that give loads of money to the Democratic Party, as Google did.
Firefighters Let House Burn Because Owner Didn't Pay Fee
I'd rather live there than in the countries that've done the most thorough job of implementing socialism/communism; wouldn't you? Those crazy libertarians you snicker at don't massacre their own people or need to build a wall to keep their citizens from escaping.
Firefighters Let House Burn Because Owner Didn't Pay Fee
That's true, this is like the health care debate. In this case, someone chose not to buy the service, and the public outcry will be, "That's terrible! No one should have that choice!" Also, note that the fire victim was surprised that the FD wouldn't take his $75 while the fire was in progress. If it were health care he needed, he'd complain that his house being currently on fire is a "pre-existing condition" and that an insurer should be legally forced to insure him the moment he feels like paying.
The comparison to national health care doesn't quite fit though, because the question there is whether the US federal government has lawful authority under the Constitution to order people to buy things. It definitely does not, if the Constitution is still a meaningful limit on federal power.
Neurosurgeons Use MRI-Guided Lasers To Destroy Tumors
Cool. This sounds like a variant on the "Gamma Knife" technology I'd heard about years ago, where many beams of some sort (microwaves? x-rays?) are sent through the patients' head from different angles so as to deliver massive harm to one spot only.
Unfortunately, we're seeing an advance in health care just in time for it to be taken over.
Review: Civilization V
I recently bought Civ 3 and 4, and found that in the progression from 2 to 3 to 4 the civ leaders got... excessively cute. It's silly enough to be talking with Abraham Lincoln in 3000 BC, but in Civ 4 I found Caesar blabbing, "Would you like some salad? I made it myself!" That's just not suitable for a serious game. I figure that in 5, Genghis Khan is probably an anime-eyed sparkly thing with cat ears.
Also, am I the only one who loved the UI in games 1 and 2 and Alpha Centauri? I thought the city screen was an excellent piece of UI design that showed a lot of info in an icon format, eg. 2 blue citizens and 3 reds means trouble. Some of the games moved away from that into the realm of percentages and sliders (especially in the "Call To Power" spinoff series), and I miss that. Even the freeware "FreeCiv" goes with a dull UI. How is it in 5?
AT&T Says Net Rules Must Allow 'Paid Prioritization'
It just strikes me that some companies are trying to find new ways to make money from the Internet, and the reaction is "no, you can never deviate from the standards we're used to!". I realize there are arguments for why others can't or shouldn't have to just "build their own roads" to use your analogy. But if we'd had a discussion like this some years ago, wouldn't there have been calls to outlaw e-commerce sites, Flash, or Twitter on the grounds that we must freeze the Net the way it is now? Isn't there some way to let companies experiment with offering non-neutral service in such a way that it's unlikely to Ruin Everything?
Another analogy would be airlines. "Some corporations are proposing to build a network of things called 'airplanes' that'll let people travel without the existing roads. And they'll get to decide what prices to charge and what routes to offer. No fair!"
Garrett Fox has no journal entries.