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Administration Ordered To Divulge Legal Basis For Killing Americans With Drones

HighOrbit Confederates (307 comments)

By what right did the US Government kill all those confederates at Antietiam and Gettysburg? The US always maintaned and stills maintains that they were US citizens. What about their due process rights? Shouldn't they have all been served warrants and had their day in court before they were killed? Maybe their families have a right to sue for violation of civil rights.

Oh wait, they were bearing arms in open rebellion and making war on the Republic.

Same deal here. If you openly wage war, even against your own state, you can be killed. I'm not even sure why a "justification" beyond that is required. Why do we let lawyers cloud our minds with nonsense and sophistry?

2 days ago

VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

HighOrbit Public Work should not be "proprietary" (348 comments)

If he works at a state university, he is a public employee. Public employees working for hire on public research paid for by the public should have no "proprietary" exemption to FOIA for papers related to the public work for hire. Asking for their work under FOIA is not an "assault on public universities and their faculty"; it is accountability for public officials.

Another question is about the scientific integrity here. If the data is true and supportive of his assertions, he should WANT to publish it. There is no legitimate reason to want to hide scientific data.

Show the papers and the data, unless of course you have something to hide.

5 days ago

Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

HighOrbit Re:Big Government = rent seeking & crony capit (422 comments)

WTF? For some reason (the Slashdot CSS?), the ordered list tag is not creating numbers in front of the list items. Not even bullets are created; the dashes were added by me.

about a week ago

Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

HighOrbit Big Government = rent seeking & crony capitali (422 comments)

Well just another instance of Big Government and regulations equating to rent seeking & crony capitalism.

  1. - Create Condition - convoluted tax code
  2. - Fix condition you created with Government money- Federal paid assistance to file taxes
  3. - Claim you're helping the little guy
  4. - Profit!

Here is another example - Food Stamps (aka SNAP) and Agriculture policy. You might think food stamps exist to help the poor, but you'd be wrong. Food stamps are part of the AGRICULTURE spending bill, not the health and human services bill. The idea is to stimulate buying of "surplus" agricultural produce by subsidizing poor people who can't aford to buy it. But the dirty secret is that the agrculture policy of price supports both stimulates over-production for some crops and under-production for others while keeping prices high and making food LESS affordable for the poor. With food stamps the agribusinness interests can now sell the 'surplus' created by the price supports (government money) at artificially high prices to the poor (with government money), all the while with the political overhead cover of helping "family-farmers" and the "hungry children".

  1. - Create Condition - Pay yourself Government money to artifically inflate prices (agricultural subsidy)
  2. - Fix condition you created with Government money - Funnel yourself even more Government money by subsidizing purchase of your artificially high priced goods (food stamps)
  3. - Claim you're helping the little guy
  4. - Profit!

about a week ago

GOG.com To Add Linux Support

HighOrbit Kudos to them, but... (55 comments)

The linked announcement was a bit vague on details. Not very hard technologically for them if its only the old dos games which they already distribute with dosbox to run properly even on windows. It would be interesting to see what they can do with the DX based stuff.

about a month ago

New Stanford Institute To Target Bad Science

HighOrbit According to the latest study.... (86 comments)

This link is blatant right-wing propaganda, but funny as hell. Especially the one about fish.


But on a serious note, todays NY Times had an "according to the latest study" acticle about a study that claims that all that stuff we've been told for decades about dietary fat being unhealthly is untrue. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/.... Now since this contradicts several decades of observation, I tend to take "latest study" science with a grain of salt and give more credence to well verified (i.e. long term) science.

The problem with bad science is that it gets reproduced in the popular press (and popular imagination) even if it is later proven false. Case in point: the notorious vacination-autism fiasco. Another example is the "neutrino faster than light" results released a few years back in Italy. As Mark Twain said, "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes."

You can never fully discount the possibility that the guy releasing the results of the latest study is an attention-whore looking to drum up sensationalism to have his 15 minutes of fame. Scientiest are human and subject to the same vanities as everyone else.

Bottom line, never trust preliminary results.

about a month ago

U.S. Aims To Give Up Control Over Internet Administration

HighOrbit Re:Hmm..... (279 comments)

You asked for a specific example and I'll give you one. France prohibited Yahoo from showing pictures of old WW2 nazi uniforms on its auction site. Here's the wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... . Germany also has very strict laws about "neo-nazi" propaganda.

about a month ago

Red Hat Hires CentOS Developers

HighOrbit Hope this is what it seems (91 comments)

and not embrace and extinguish. Kudos to Redhat and CentOS.

about 2 months ago

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Pass 10% Market Share, Windows XP Falls Below 30%

HighOrbit Wierd problems caused by Zombie Apps (470 comments)

So I got my kid a new windows 8 pc last christmas (2012) and since upgraded to 8.1. Its impossible to tell at a glance in Metro which apps are running and invariably there's like 20 or 30 apps and/or browser windows in the background running plugins . You have to take some sort of positive action to see whats running. According to MS, these apps & windows in metro are supposed to auto-magically die after some period of non-use, but I know from experience that they don't die. They just sit there sucking up resources. Its especially bad if they use either flash or java because they will cause conflicts with other flash/java applications. So my kid is always complaining that youtube wont show a video and sure enough I open a new browser window, navigate to youtube, and flash won't play. I have to go to task manager and kill like 20 processes to get IE to properly use flash and play video. Same thing with minecraft; my kid can't get it to run reliabily because there usually something else (like hidden browser windows running java in metro) using up resources. It was so frustrating because he had the newest PC in the house with the best specs in processor and RAM and his damn PC couldn't run minecraft reliably! I mean, really? WTF MS?

about 4 months ago

Coca-Cola Reserves a Massive Range of MAC Addresses

HighOrbit Vending or Inventory Controls (371 comments)

As another commenter noted, vending machines are probably part of it. I was also thinking maybe they have plans for a store-shelf inventory control system to help their distributors know when the local supermarket or convience store needs a delivery.

about 4 months ago

US Customs Destroys Virtuoso's Flutes Because They Were "Agricultural Items"

HighOrbit Bamboo and reeds contains pests (894 comments)

I used to work in a port. We once received an automobile from Thailand in a 20 ft shipping container. The auto was tied down with ropes and the ropes were tightened by twisting with shafts of bamboo (which, by the way, is about the crappiest way to tied down a car and very non-standard). When we opened up container, the bamboo was riddled with holes from some kind of Asian woodborers that had chewed their way out during transit. Anyway, we had to call the Department of Agriculture inspector (this was before the ag inspectors were merged into customs) who had us fumigate the whole container.

So the moral of the story here is, based on experience, if I opened a box with reeds full of holes originating from a foreign land , I'd burn it too.

about 4 months ago

DoD Public Domain Archive To Be Privatized, Locked Up For 10 Years

HighOrbit Indiana Jones Warehouse (183 comments)

Sarten-X discribes exactly what is going on. In fact, the Contracting Officer probably decided it was in the public interest to digitize and get the data public as opposed to it sitting in the bottom of a box in the proverbial Indiana Jones warehouse lost to the public forever. DoD has some boilerplate contract clauses for this, mainly 252.227-7013 Rights in Technical Data--Noncommercial Items. Alternate I, which states:

(l) Publication for sale.

(1) This paragraph only applies to technical data in which the Government has obtained unlimited rights or a license to make an unrestricted release of technical data.

(2) The Government shall not publish a deliverable technical data item or items identified in this contract as being subject to paragraph (l) of this clause or authorize others to publish such data on its behalf if, prior to publication for sale by the Government and within twenty-four (24) months following the date specified in this contract for delivery of such data or the removal of any national security or export control restrictions, whichever is later, the Contractor publishes that item or items for sale and promptly notifies the Contracting Officer of such publication(s). Any such publication shall include a notice identifying the number of this contract and the Government's rights in the published data.

(3) This limitation on the Government's right to publish for sale shall continue as long as the data are reasonably available to the public for purchase.

The point here is that sometimes the Government wants data to become available to the public (as opposed to sitting in a box in the basement) and uses commercial contractors to do it. An example would be something like this: Say somebody discovered several hundred boxes in the basement at Ft. Dix NJ of first-person interviews of soldiers during WWI and the Spanish flu. Now say university historians of WWI want access to these interviews. The historians can fly to NJ, get a hotel room, a rental car, and spend several thousand dollars and weeks digging through, cataloging, and copying the documents or alternately, the DOD can hire a contractor to digitize everything and any historian anywhere in the world can buy it for a few hundred bucks.

about 4 months ago

Company That Made the First 3D Printed Metal Gun Is Selling Them For $11,900

HighOrbit Re:The really exciting thing about this... (182 comments)

IIRC, that was the goal of RepRap: a machine that could replicate itself. That raises some Sci-Fi come true issues. To paraphase an old meme: Image a cluster of self replicating machines :)

I see some safety issues related to the strength of the metals. I would be interested if somebody put the printed metal material through some metalurigal tests to see how strong it is versus traditionally cast/machined parts.

about 4 months ago

Explorer Plans Hunt For Genghis Khan's Long-Lost Tomb

HighOrbit Re:after all these years (243 comments)

Your original point still stands, since it was Philip's son also named Philip. Positivly identified and older than Ghengis Khan to boot by about 1,500 years.

about 5 months ago

NRA Joins ACLU Lawsuit Against NSA

HighOrbit Re:you know hell has frozen over (531 comments)

Then what the hell is a "well regulated militia"? One guy regulating himself?

Not an armed mob. With officers, discipline, and lawful activities.

about 8 months ago

Huge Canyon Discovered Under Greenland Ice

HighOrbit So how would this change GW models? (137 comments)

I've read and heard that the salinity of the ocean drives a large part of the currents. The entire premiss of the over-the-top disater film "Day after Tomorrow" was that warming would dump fresh water into the N. Atlantic shutting down the salinity driven currents (that draw the warm Gulf steam northward and thereby warm the N hemisphere) leading to a deep freeze in the N Hemisphere. Granted that was a bit of far fetched fiction. But does knowing that ice-melt will follow the canyon and dump into the relatively self-contained arctic instead of the N. Atlantic change real-word global-warming models?

about 8 months ago

Court: NRC In Violation For Not Ruling On Yucca Mountain

HighOrbit Re:A track-history of lawlessness (258 comments)

Well, the conversation just slipped into Godwin's Law. But I'll bite anyway, because I'm bored.

I don't know any specific allegation of selling drugs, but I've heard such rumors in the past. However, one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. Backing and conducting assassinations? Don't know of any. I do know we have targeted killing of enemy combatants in the current war, but those are not assassinations. Jailing people without charging or trying them? I don't know of any Americans who have been held without trial by the US Government. I do know we hold foreign combatants and properly so without trial. POWs or internees should not be tried for being soldiers, as that is not a crime. They shall be held, without criminal charges for the duration of the conflict. When they have been suspected for violating the laws of war, they have been charged and brought before military tribunals. Perhaps you should read the applicable parts of the Third Geneva Convention. Coups and fabricating evidence to start wars? Well I know some intelligence information about Iraq was misinterpreted, but I don't know of any that was outright fabricated. And that war was to enforce a UN resolution that Iraq was unwilling to demonstrate compliance with. They had only to demonstrate compliance to defuse the causus belli and they refused.

about 8 months ago

Court: NRC In Violation For Not Ruling On Yucca Mountain

HighOrbit Re:A track-history of lawlessness (258 comments)

Slavery, while unwise and wrong, was legal at the time, which is the test we are applying here. We are discussing lawlessness versus lawfulness, not your or my personal definition of morality.

What you describe as the spanish-american war of aggression was lawfully declared by our Congress under our constitution and the laws of nations at the time. You fail to explain how it exemplifies systemic disregard of constitution or law, merely that you disagree. BTW, we see this as a war against European colonialism and imperialism.

All the other things you mention, which constitutional principle do they violate?

Congratulations to Finland. But with a population (5.4M) smaller than Missouri (6M), only three ethnic groups (Finn, Swede, and Sami), and a completely different culture from us, its easy to see why you have such a peaceful society. I could pick a small American state with a mostly all-white population, Vermont for instance, and also demonstrate low levels of violence and low infant mortality. I not sure what that proves about respect for the constitution though.

about 8 months ago

Court: NRC In Violation For Not Ruling On Yucca Mountain

HighOrbit Re:A track-history of lawlessness (258 comments)

Let me turn the question around; can you name a century during which no systemic corruption, disregard for human rights and life, or unjust violation of national sovereignty of a foreign nation condoned by US government did not happen?

Yes, the entire two centuries have been without systemic constitutional irregularity. There have been anecdotal violations of statutes and constitutional provisions, but never systemic. These other things you seem to being trying to introduce into the conversation do not seem to be related to constitution or statute. Are you trying to say any blemish ruins the entire national project? Or are you saying another world power lasting two centuries has a better track record and therefore the US is lacking in comparison? Name the world power? (Its actually irrelevant to the conversation, because we are talking about US law, not foreign powers) I believe you are simply an anti-american who like to shout "You're not perfect, You're not perfect".

about 8 months ago



E-Cig refills lead to Nicotine Poisonings

HighOrbit HighOrbit writes  |  about 1 month ago

HighOrbit (631451) writes "New York Times has an article about the dangers of e-cig liquid refills. Nicotine is the active ingredient in many powerful pesticides. Now people are managing to poison themselves and their kids by mishandling their e-cig refills. Nicotine can be absorbed through the skin (years ago, my father claimed to have gotten addicted by just handling tobacco leaves when he labored on a tabacco farm). But now there are documented cases of the e-cig liquid sending people to the emergency room with health-threatening doses from simple spills."

Hulu not for sale, Time Warner may join

HighOrbit HighOrbit writes  |  about 9 months ago

HighOrbit (631451) writes "Engadget reports that the consortium behind Hulu have issued a press release and have taken Hulu off the market. The current owners will maintain their joint ownership of the video streaming service. Hulu is currently a joint project of Fox, Disney (ABC), and Comcast (NBC-Universal). Instead of selling off Hulu, the consortium will inject $750 Million to grow the streaming service. Slashdot previously reported possible buyers rumored to be Yahoo, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, and Chernin Group/AT&T. Additionally Bloomberg reports that Time Warner Cable is still interested and seeks to join the current consortium by acquiring a 25% stake."


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