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Bill Gates Sponsoring Palladium-Based LENR Technology

scotts13 The Palladium bit did me in (183 comments)

The stopped just short of saying he was going to imbed an arc reactor in his chest. A superhero, he ain't.

3 days ago

New Record Set For Deepest Dwelling Fish

scotts13 Re:Do they float? (33 comments)

I think one way to fish is to drop a grenade or TNT stick into a body of water. Then, at least some of the fish float to the surface.

Is it realistic to think we could explore life in the depths of the ocean by dropping depth charges and waiting to see what comes up?

In the same way we could learn about the culture of foreign countries by nuking them and examining the radiated spectrum. The search for knowlege only occasionally involves explosives.

about a week ago

Apple DRM Lawsuit Might Be Dismissed: Plaintiffs Didn't Own Affected iPods

scotts13 Re:Not unexpected. (141 comments)

Ultimately, I value my time enough that I will generally not purchase things I think will break and require fixing or taking to a repair shop. I'll spend extra on a dependable product. Apple computers have shown to not be dependable, despite being more expensive...

Yeah, factually untrue. Industry statistics show Apple products to be consistently the most dependable you can buy. If that's not good enough to meet your standards for reliability, what does?

about three weeks ago

UK MP Says ISPs Must Take Responsibility For Movie Leaks, Sony Eyes North Korea

scotts13 Re:chain of evidence (216 comments)

See, all that would be hard, and could take a while. Also, "criminals" tend to be mobile and surreptitious. An ISP, on the other hand, is visible and stationary. If you can just shift the blame to someone you can actually reach, "doing something" becomes much easier.

about three weeks ago

US Gov't Seeks To Keep Megaupload Assets Because Kim Dotcom Is a Fugitive

scotts13 Save us some time (173 comments)

Might as well stop fooling ourselves that we're a nation of laws. The actions of the US government are indistinguishable from those of an unlimited monarchy; they take what they want. Soon the burden of writing, re-writing, and re-interpreting little laws to justify it will be onerous, and they'll stop.

Then we won't have to (and indeed won't be allowed to) waste time talking about it.

about a month ago

Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

scotts13 Re:there is a solution to law enforement for profi (398 comments)

it will require a constitutional amendment

1. no government entity (fees, fines, tolls, tariffs, settlements, and seizures) may use non-tax monies for any of its operating expenses
2. all non-tax revenue are distributed evenly amongst the citizens of the collecting jurisdiction on an annual basis

People who break the law or use limited government services still pay. People who don't break the law and don't use services are rewarded with an extra tax refund. And politicians can't be sneaky about the amount of money they spend since 100% of it will have to come directly from taxes.

Of course this will never happen because of entrenched power and the 1% benefiting from the current system fleecing the general public.

This. PLEASE! I've been saying it for years.

about 2 months ago

Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

scotts13 Re:Really? This is a problem! (398 comments)

You can't count on law-breaking as an income model, or you by definition automatically have no moral right to claim it's for safety. The ultimate goal of whatever system you put in place is to put itself out of business. Instead, the system is put in place to serve itself and NEVER accomplish it's goal of stopping people from breaking the law.

But it's the system we HAVE. It's not called the corrections industry for nothing; one of the largest businesses in the country is catching people and punishing them. There's a reason we have the largest per-capita incarceration rate in the world. If there were no crime... the cops, lawyers, prison guards, surveillance equipment company employees, would all be out of work. For heavens sake, if you're a patriot and love your country, support it by breaking the law today!

about 2 months ago

Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

scotts13 Re:The problem with this is where to stop (366 comments)

Also, how is wholesale genetic engineering for positive traits like this really different from eugenics? I don't get it.

Largely in that "eugenics" is a word associated with a Very Bad Politician and therefore cannot be said in polite company. All it really means is "The practice of improving the genetic quality of the human population." A noble goal, to be sure. Like many things, however, eugenics can be practiced the innocuous way or the horrifying way.

about 2 months ago

Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

scotts13 Re:Changing the system? (366 comments)

Wouldn't the embryos change by the simple action of observing it?

For obvious reasons, you want to do your culling before fertilization occurs. In Heinlein's story, they examined the otherwise-wasted polar body thrown off during the development of the cell. The genetic content of the final cell can be inferred from that. Not sure how well that would work out, real-world; but the story was written in 1942, and the idea hasn't been discredited yet (that I could find).

about 2 months ago

Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

scotts13 Science fiction has solutions for this (366 comments)

Positive side: Heinlein's "Beyond this Horizon"
Negative side: Kornbluth's "The Marching Morons"

If we don't do the first, we get the second. There's a reasonable argument that natural selection isn't working anymore, and in fact may have been reversed. At one point, poor eyesight or ADD meant the sabre-tooth edited you out of the gene pool. So, we'll have to add the chlorine ourselves. I'm not sure we should be editing genes directly, but selecting the best gametes from the available pool (for a given set of parents) à la Heinlein almost HAS to be done at some point.

about 2 months ago

Is an Octopus Too Smart For Us To Eat?

scotts13 Re:For me? yes. (481 comments)

They're one of the few species i dont eat on purely ethical grounds. Cats and dogs I wouldn't eat on nutritional grounds, or other higher-order predators for that matter, but I guess that could be argued to be another sort of ethical reasoning.

A few years ago I saw a YouTube clip of a scuba diver whose camera was literally stolen by the octopus he was filming, who then proceeded to taunt the diver and make him give chase to wrest it back from the cephalopod. Holy shit! I thought, that sea creature is trolling this guy! And with that i decided i would no longer eat them. "Ability to troll" may not be a very scientific (or very high for that matter) bar I guess, but it apparently is mine. YMMV. Damn shame too, as i used to love eating them.

Agreed. While I've never easten octopus, I have previously enjoyed squid, something I may re-consider. Arbitrary, perhaps - but they're personal standards.

about 3 months ago

NASA Eyes Crew Deep Sleep Option For Mars Mission

scotts13 Re:well who's (236 comments)

going to watch the kettle? so to speak.

I imagine they would have to have one hell of an upgrade in remote control or assisted
intelligence to handle any emergencies.


One just has to be careful of the acronym used for the computers name, and assiduously avoid omnipresent red-glowing video eyes. Then you'll be fine.

about 3 months ago

Are the World's Religions Ready For ET?

scotts13 What difference does it make? (534 comments)

When they land, they'll be a demonstrated fact. Religious faith deals with the invisible and unprovable; it's not involved in observable ET's. The alien's beliefs? We'll ask them. Only problem is, if they ry to convert us.

about 3 months ago

Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

scotts13 Re:Let me tell you (408 comments)

Those white plastic laptops of Apples got quite a few calls into their support center.
#1: yellowing and cracking of plastic.
#2: Hard drive failure
#3: Battery failure

I think with the 3 items combined, the failure rate must have been in the high %30 mark.

Anyone that owned one shoudl be able to verify that.

Hmm, I was service manager at an Apple authorized computer store. Fixed hundreds of white plastic MacBooks. I would think that, given a long enough timespan, you could get to 30% failure on those three items, collectively. But certainly not within warranty, and generally not due to manufacturing defects.

I never saw any yellowing that wasn't caused by abuse. And I mean cigarette burns, being left on top of a radiator, etc. Cracks on the keyboard bezel, sure. That WAS a design flaw. Cosmetic only, BTW - didn't affect function. Apple fixed them all, in or out of warranty.

Hard drives fail. Apple doesn't make them. Look up the manufacturers specs for G's of impact in operation, and compare that to the way MacBooks are used. Mostly by students... We had one guy who was using his laptop on the seat of a moving, off-road truck. Apple replaced that hard drive, four times that I know of, in and out of warranty - at no charge. Eventually he got a free upgrade to an Air, with SSD. Solved.

Battery failure. Well, batteries are expendable items. I would say 95% of the batteries replaced were over their rated lifetime cycles; usually WAY over. The few that weren't, were also replaced free, in or out of warranty.

about 3 months ago

U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

scotts13 Re:Yahoo knew fine was a bluff (223 comments)

How can you fine someone for not cooperating in activities that the government refused to even admit existed?

...by having lots of people with guns on hand. They can do whatever they want, ESPECIALLY if the programs are covert.

about 4 months ago

Researchers Working On Crystallizing Light

scotts13 Science fiction comes true (129 comments)

Back in the mid-40's, John W Campbell wrote a series of science fiction stories featuring "lux metal" which was basically matter composed of photons instead of electrons, protons, and neutrons. It had, shall we say, "interesting" properties. Wasn't easy to manufacture, either.

about 4 months ago

3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

scotts13 So, they've reached the limits of human endurance (819 comments)

You can't physically cram people any tighter, and fights are breaking out. Good. When they discover they're losing more on bad PR and flight diversions than they're gaining, they'll put back the inch or two - for a while. Now that they've reached bottom, the floor will just bounce from now on; the came couple of inches continually added and subtracted subtracted every 2-3 years, forever.

As far as blaming people for not buying an upgrade, has anyone saying this actually looked at prices? Last couple of times I flew, I looked into it; a little more room doesn't cost you 10% or 20%, it's more like double or triple the ticket price. Actually habitable travel accommodations are only for the wealthy.

about 4 months ago

California Blue Whales Rebound From Whaling

scotts13 Just by coincidence (91 comments)

Japan has just now announced they're resuming whaling for "scientific research" in defiance of a UN ban. They're after minke whales, and a smaller number of fin and humpback whales, not blues... but the timing is odd. Maybe they think Sea Shepherd will be confused, and think they don't have to show up?

about 4 months ago

In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

scotts13 Re:Or he was actually crazy (441 comments)

We still don't have any facts, other than public officials covering their posteriors. We "know" he wrote a letter someone didn't like. Only that. You go to psych lockup for writing one letter these days?

"McLaw's letter was of primary concern to healthcare officials, Maciarello says. It, combined with complaints of alleged harassment and an alleged possible crime from various jurisdictions led to his suspension. Maciarello cautions that these allegations are still being investigated; authorities, he says, "proceeded with great restraint."

Alleged possible crime? As in, we don't know if it happened, and we're not sure it was a crime?

about 4 months ago

Feds Want Nuclear Waste Train, But Don't Know Where It Would Go

scotts13 2048? (258 comments)

What makes them think there will be safe rail lines or functioning trains in 2048? Let alone going to whatever god-forsaken place they decide to store the stuff.

about 4 months ago


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