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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

hsthompson69 Re:Chicken (180 comments)

Actually, chickens can fly - just not particularly long distances:

I believe the technical term is "spurt flying".

6 hours ago

Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

hsthompson69 Data. (180 comments)

According to their notes, 6,147 dead birds over the course of a year after the BP spill.

The low estimate is ivanpah is killing 1000 birds per year, upwards of 28,000 birds per year.

6 hours ago

Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

hsthompson69 Yeah, but... (180 comments)

...aren't birds renewable resources too? :) ...and desert tortoises? :)

Frankly, the bigger problem is the possible impact to airplanes:

You scale this stuff up enough, and pretty soon there isn't anywhere to fly planes safely.

6 hours ago

Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

hsthompson69 Combat sim vs. Role Playing (92 comments)

D&D was essentially window dressing to allow for crunchy combat with the same characters over and over again - miniature wargaming linked with a thin story line.

If you're interested in actual role playing, try Fate Core, or Fate Accelerated Edition by Evil Hat ( They got a lot of accolades at the 2014 Ennies (, and frankly, the game system *rocks*. The best part of any D&D I've ever played was when it *wasn't* just a combat sim, and was more about the *story* than the dice. Fate Core essentially takes that truism, and bakes an entire game system around *that*, rather than just hoping it gets tacked on by GMs and players.

9 hours ago

German Intelligence Spying On Allies, Recorded Kerry, Clinton, and Kofi Annan

hsthompson69 Re:Bottom line... (143 comments)

Okay. Doesn't that justify mass surveillance of innocents?

You can ascertain whether or not your citizens are lying, or telling the truth. You can prevent surprise attacks, and you can use it to explain your citizens' behavior.

Would you be willing to expose the data of your life, including your real name, address, tax information, and spending information for the past 5 years, so we can tell if you're lying, telling the truth, planning a surprise attack, or help us explain your behavior?

11 hours ago

German Intelligence Spying On Allies, Recorded Kerry, Clinton, and Kofi Annan

hsthompson69 Re:Oblig. Madison quote: (143 comments)

Nice :)

Although, since men (and women) aren't angels, and government is made up of men (and women), it seems that you could also write it this way:

"If (x) were angels, no (entity to control x) would be necessary"

Eventually, you need a government for the government for the government for the government...etc, etc, etc.

11 hours ago

German Intelligence Spying On Allies, Recorded Kerry, Clinton, and Kofi Annan

hsthompson69 Re:Bottom line... (143 comments)

In democracy they are not meant to rule, they are meant to lead, they are meant represent the voice of the people.

It's funny - proponents of democracy seem to believe that the masses cannot possibly be mistaken in their choices of leaders, but once those leaders are chosen, the masses cannot possibly be trusted to their own devices and must have policies and rules and regulations dictated to them by their infallible leaders.

I guess I've got no problem with the voice of the people as long as it's not imposed on individuals who may dissent.

11 hours ago

German Intelligence Spying On Allies, Recorded Kerry, Clinton, and Kofi Annan

hsthompson69 Bottom line... (143 comments)

...nation states are always a bunch of hypocritical jerks.

Color me incredibly unsurprised here - every nation state is built upon a foundation of distrust. Distrust of other nation states, and distrust of even their own citizens.

Hell, if people could actually trust each other, we wouldn't *need* nation states in the first place.


Selectable Ethics For Robotic Cars and the Possibility of a Robot Car Bomb

hsthompson69 Who needs a bomb? (235 comments)

Frankly, if the terrorists were at all organized, they could shut down traffic in a major city like los angeles just by doing one high speed kamikaze ram into a starbucks every hour for a day.

24 one day rentals, 24 jihadis, and maybe another 48 jihadis to video tape and youtube the carnage, and you'd have a city in utter panic for less than a few thousand bucks.

Terror is *easy*.

2 days ago

Two Years of Data On What Military Equipment the Pentagon Gave To Local Police

hsthompson69 Re:Forget what they got, look what they *DO* (264 comments)

From this year:

"On Friday, Fort, a Wisconsin state senator, a Phonesavanh's family spokesperson and the child's attorney provided an update on the boy's legal fight and condition.
"His face still bares from scars that are going to take a number of reconstructive surgeries," said family spokesman Marcus Coleman.
"We have been informed by the family that every single night, every single night, this child wakes up screaming and holding his face," said Coleman."

All because some hyped up macho SWAT team wanted to bust some low level dealer.

2 days ago

Humans Need Not Apply: a Video About the Robot Revolution and Jobs

hsthompson69 Re:Whores. (303 comments)

It's not about how much people are willing to pay, it's about how cheap a useful sexbot can become - and there's a limit on that. There very well may be a market for sex bots, but so long as a useful sexbot is more expensive than a street whore, street whores will still have a job.

4 days ago

Humans Need Not Apply: a Video About the Robot Revolution and Jobs

hsthompson69 Whores. (303 comments)

No, really, whores. As bad as it might be to stick your pink bits into a complete stranger's body rather than some sex-bot, that'll pretty much be the last profession as well as the oldest.

Now, one might imagine that automation eventually makes sex bots so cheap as to compete with the 20 dollar half and half, but simply on material costs alone I think you hit a constraint.

4 days ago

Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

hsthompson69 First Al Gore... (557 comments)

...and now more politically correct drivel from Tim Cook. I suppose if I just see it as insincere pandering to the elite left wing apple using demographic, it can be forgiven, but this kind of shit that implies that we should discriminate based on race and gender to fill quotas seems diametrically opposed to the good and decent work apple has done for marriage equality and *against* discrimination.

Here's the deal - it shouldn't matter if you're gay or straight, you should get treated the same way. And it shouldn't matter if you're a man, or a woman, or black, or green, or purple, you should be treated the same way.

That *doesn't* mean you're going to end up the same way, especially if you make different choices.

What's next for apple, are they going to insist on quotas for sexual preference? Or quotas for whether or not you like tits, or ass, or legs? Or quotas on lefties and righties?

about a week ago

Chinese Researchers' 'Terror Cam' Could Scan Crowds, Looking for Stress

hsthompson69 Test it first... (146 comments) the National People's Congress (China's parliament).

I wonder how many potential criminals they'll find within the halls of government.

about a week ago

Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

hsthompson69 Jared Diamond has a better hypothesis... (537 comments)

...geographic determinism. The cultural and technological growth of different societies has more to do with the accidents of geography than genetics.

The fact of the matter is that genetic differences *within* so-called "races" are greater than differences *between* so-called "races". Humans don't "breed true", as it were - much like how you can't get more Fuji apples from planting a Fuji apple seed (in fact, all modern marketed varieties of apples are actually cloned through grafting).

Race is an illusion, and for those paying attention, *genotype* is significantly different than *phenotype*. Our phenotypic "races" are poor proxies for actual genetic differences.

about a week ago

Point-and-Shoot: TrackingPoint's New Linux-Controlled AR-15s

hsthompson69 Apply liberal amounts of gloss. (218 comments)

So, okay, rifle, take a picture through a scope, assuming the target doesn't move, it's quite possible to get some fairly nice help on activating the trigger only when your "mark" is in your sights with some hard coded ballistic information to help with ranging.

Throw real world movement of the target, change of the landscape, and now you're talking something freakishly hard.

I might enjoy something like this target shooting, but other than some fairly narrow sniping applications against static targets, this isn't anywhere near ready for primetime.

about two weeks ago

Wiring Programmers To Prevent Buggy Code

hsthompson69 Take it a step further... (116 comments)

...make sure you go back to the business guy who create the requirements being coded at the time, hook him up to an EEG, and see if he wrote a buggy spec :) ...for bonus points, put the EEG on the manager who just said they're going to measure productivity in LOC.

If we could detect stupid with an EEG, programmers would probably be the least useful people to put it on.

about two weeks ago

John McAfee Airs His Beefs About Privacy In Def Con Surprise Talk

hsthompson69 Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (124 comments)

I smell an infinite regress -

Government has power over people to keep them from doing wrong.

Government watchers have power over government to keep them from doing wrong.

Government watcher watchers have power over government watchers to keep them from doing wrong.

So on, and so forth. It's not just a question of making abuses of the surveillance state/corporation illegal, it's having any sort of system in place that can possibly ensure that those abuses are prosecuted.

We've made some progress on this with FOIA and sunshine laws in general, but those systems are still gamed by those willing to destroy evidence and fight transparency.

about two weeks ago

Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

hsthompson69 Re:"Anything more than a runtime and a language" (371 comments)

Exactly this. Frankly, the only thing I expect out of java at this point are security and bug fixes - what more do I need out of the API that I can't just do myself?

about two weeks ago


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