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The First Amendment and Software Speech

sourcery Freedom of the press (194 comments)

The First Amendment also prohibits violation of the freedom of the press--which when written, referred to the technology of publishing, and not just to the profession of journalism.

A computer is a press in the sense meant by the First Amendment.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What To Do When the Rapture Comes?

sourcery So God now uses human-defined time zones? (673 comments)

Instead of the solar time he created (which varies continuously with longitude)?

And why wouldn't it happen at the same absolute time everywhere?

more than 3 years ago

Newspaper Plagiarizes Blog, Taunts Real Author

sourcery Newspapers don't understand the internet? (301 comments)

How could you expect journalists (newspapers, TV, magazines,..) to understand how the internet works, when they lack any substantive understanding of how just about anything works?

more than 3 years ago

Obama's Space Plan — a Conservative Argument

sourcery Re:libertarian (433 comments)


1) Scientific/technical research in general, and the exploration of space in particular, not only aren't the core responsibility (or competence, for that matter) of government, they aren't a legitimate government function. Government has only one purpose, one motivation for its existence, and one moral justification for its operation: Defending the rights of individuals against those who would violate them, whether foreign or domestic. So, unless such activities can be justified on that basis (and that can be done in some cases!) it is morally evil to use money extracted from taxpayers by force of law for any such purpose.

2) At this point in time, it would be a far better use of available funds to do research and development work in the domains of nanotechnology and biotechnology. With a mature nanotechnology, space exploration can be accomplished far more effectively, and at far less cost (relative to world income/wealth.) And there are many fundamental issues affecting manned space travel that await advances in biotechnology for acceptable solutions.

more than 4 years ago

The Low-Intensity, Brute-Force Zombies Are Back

sourcery Really?! (203 comments)

Will they be in town all week? Can we still get tickets?

more than 5 years ago

Juror From RIAA Trial Speaks

sourcery Re:So did the jury ... (918 comments)

Sorry, but you're quite wrong. The main purpose of a jury is to decide whether the law is just. Deciding whether the law has been broken is only a secondary responsibility:

"I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution." --Thomas Jefferson

more than 7 years ago



sourcery sourcery writes  |  more than 8 years ago

sourcery (87455) writes "At noon of 21 September 2006 begins Julian Day Number 2,454,000. A day and a half later, the Autumnal Equinox will occur (2006-09-23T04:03 Universal Time.)

The Hebrew New Year starts at sundown on 22 September (a.k.a Rosh Hoshana.) Note that the first month of the Hebrew year is traditionally known as the seventh month, not the first month.

Julian Day Numbers are an integer count of days since a specific epoch date. Julian Day Zero begins at Noon on 14 November 4714 BC, according to the proleptic Gregorian Calendar — or at Noon on 1 January 4713 BC, according to the proleptic Julian Calendar. Julian Day Zero was a Monday.

A Julian Date is a count of days, including any fractional part of the day, since -4713-11-24T12:00:00+0000 (24 Nov -4713 12:00:00 Universal Time, using Astronomical year numbering, where the year prior to the year 0001 is the year 0000, and not the year 1 BC, as would be traditional.)

It is common, but nevertheless technically incorrect, to refer to an ordinal date (Year-DayOfYear) as a "Julian Date."

Using a Julian Day Number to specify a date, or a Julian Date to specify a precise point in time, is useful for two reasons:

1) It permits dates to specified without reference to any particular calendrical system; and

2) It vastly simplifies astronomical calculations, and other computations where the amount of time between two dates needs to be computed.

The Julian Day system of specifying dates was invented by the astronomer Joseph Scaliger in 1583 (the year after the Gregorian Calendar Reform was put into effect in the Catholic countries of Europe.)

The epoch day of the Julian Day system was chosen to be the most recent day on which three calendrical cycles all were at their respective zero points. The three cycles are the 15-year Indiction Cycle (important in Roman tax law,) the 19-year Metonic Cycle (important for obtaining approximate synchronization of lunar and solar calendars,) and the 28-year Solar Cycle (all possible patterns of Julian Calendar dates and days-of-the-week recur once every 28 years.)

The "Julian" in "Julian Day" refers to Scaliger's father, and not to either Julius Caesar or to the Julian Calendar."


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