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Comment Re:Overstepping Constitutional authority (Score 5, Informative) 169

Do you really think that DHS is supposed to ignore a threat to the US? Space weather is not a new thing: See: . The Department of Commerce (i.e. NOAA) has been working on space weather for a long time. The Air Force has a whole group devoted to it. All these things have gone through the funding cycles and been part of the budget for a while. The executive order tells the different departments to coordinate and who does what to respond; this is all in implementation to a National Space Weather Strategy document which went through the normal cycle of drafting, public comments, and approval.

The idea that this came out of nowhere, is not funded, or is not part of the legally directed activities of the executive branch is just insane.

Comment Re:Overstepping Constitutional authority (Score 4, Interesting) 169

The Department of Homeland Securty is supposed to help protect the US, as funded by Congress. The Department of Commence, of which NOAA is a part, covers space weather, as funded by Congress. There is an office of science and technology policy (funded by Congress) that has the job of advising the government regarding science. They are have been working together to make strategy (see this NATIONAL SPACE WEATHER STRATEGY document.

The executive (i.e. Obama) is telling the different parts of government to implement the strategy. It coordinates the different parts of the government on which parts should do which things. They already have the budget and legal authority to do the things, but it requires coordination. Which is exactly what a chief executive should be doing.

Comment Re:laws huh? (Score 1) 194

The law is void from the day it was passed.

You don't have the court's DECLARATION that is was always void until the court gets around to it (if it ever does - like when you successfully fight it "all the way up to the Supreme Court" AND win there). But it's void, always was, and if the courts agree with you any penalties and such from the period between the passage and the declaration go "poof". (You may even be entitled to some compensation, though you're usually out your costs and suffering.)

That's absurd. That only works if you have a long-range crystal ball.

You have no idea what the Supreme Court is going to do with a law ten years from now. You're trying to run a business and not get screwed by the government and getting fined. Your lawyers look at a law and say 'well.... I think it might be unconstitutional, depending on who gets elected President in the next 3 elections'. You want to bet the company on that?

Lest you think I'm exaggerating about the time, the Voting Rights Act was the law of the land from 1965 to 2013 when big parts of it were declared unconstitutional. In another case, a private party can't get forced off their land via eminent domain to be given to another private party. That's flatly unconstitutional; you'd argue that a company has to fight against that and get their compensation. But in the Kelo decision, the Supreme Court ruled that it was not unconstitutional, so you'd be screwed.

You must live in a fantasy world where business decisions are black and white and the business can reasonably argue that they know what is consitutional and what is not. They don't, and can't afford to take that chance.

Comment Re:Irregularities (Score 2) 500

From what I read, the immunity deals were arranged in order to get their hands on the laptops in question. Why they didn't just use subpoena or search warrants is beyond me - unless the reason is the most obvious, which is a DOJ sponsored cover-up.

The most obvious reason is that they could not get subpoena or search warrants for those laptops. The emails were on a server (which got wiped,etc.). These are laptops and so might not have been covered by any warrants they could get. So the way to get to them was for the owners to agree to give them over with conditions.

Comment Re:Good. Hopefully destruction of evidence will... (Score 1) 500

What happened is not normal (i.e. everyone gets to do this). Real estate developers have a special callout in the tax code (see: because they have paid off the Congress. The result is that qualified "real estate professionals" with certain other qualifications get to take 'net operating losses' that non professionals do not. NOL is not the same as capital loss.

Comment Re:Clinton is above the law (Score 0) 459

As to your conclusion, there are guys in prison today for violations of the exact same laws, and several are now attempting to appeal their sentences. At the time they were convicted, those laws were seen as strict liability, so their trial records do not include proof of intent. If those same laws, which haven't changed, require mens rea now, at the very least they need a retrial to establish intent.

Can you please name a couple of these guys? I don't know who you are referring to.

Also, I'm confused about what you said about 'intent'. Are you saying that these guys did not have intent, or simply that the government did not have prove it? It would seem that the recommendation to prosecute or not (by Comey?) would partly depend on that.

Comment Re:Why would I admit a lie is true? (Score 1) 99

For something more recent, was it Republicans or Democrats that were blocking Zika funding. HMM!

Looks to me like: Republicans put poison pills into the funding bill, and the Democrats therefore blocked it. So, if someone says 'here's a bill that everyone really, really need, but we're going to eviscerate these 3 other things that you like', then you should vote for it? What do you think this shows? To me it shows that the Republicans are holding the Zika funding hostage, but I'd love to hear your explanation for it.

Comment Re:Complete nonsense (Score 2) 400

By 2021, robots will have eliminated 6% of all jobs in the U.S., starting with customer service representatives and eventually truck and taxi drivers.

Bullshit. I work with robots and automation in my day job. This is a complete fabrication. We are not going to eliminate truck drivers within 5 years. End of story. Will not happen. The technology just isn't even close to being there yet.

The summary and article are a poor representation of the Forrester document. Look at the summary of the original here. It focuses primarily on cubicle work, office drones, assistants, etc. And it says 7% by 2025. The self-driving car / truck aspect is further in the future.

Comment Re:Fuzzy math in my opinion (Score 1) 400

I think robots replace jobs for less skilled labor.

There's no reason to think that this will continue into the future, especially since people are trying to replace the more skilled jobs.

More importantly, one of the things that the next generation of robots will do is greatly change the jobs that are not replaced. Robots will make a single worker far more efficient, replace most of the workers. An historical example is that machines have not gotten rid of farmers, they still exist. However, there are far, far fewer of them, as one farmer with machines can do the work of tens or hundreds of others; factory workers still exist too, and will indefinitely, just not very many. The same will happen in the 'skilled' jobs in the future. It's not that there will not be paralegals, doctors and nurses, photo-intepretation analysts, stock traders, programmers, etc,; there will be fewer (and eventually far fewer) of them.

Comment Re:These are decades old computer vision projects (Score 4, Informative) 60

The big change here is that they are releasing marked-up data sets. That makes all the difference. A good chunk of the progress in computer vision (along with better algorithms and processing power / gpus) has been the availability of good data sets, such as ImageNet.

Machine learning algorithms, and deep learning algorithms in particular, require a lot of labeled training data. That has been largely missing from satellite imagery, for two reasons. First, nobody wanted to give up the data itself. Second, nobody wanted to go through the pain of marking up the data (by hand). This means that people that went through the bother of getting the data and labeling it (meaning large defense contractors primarily) have had a lock on wide area search, finding ships at sea, etc.

Since I don't see it, here is the link to the data on AWS:

Comment Re:Subsidizing Businesses.... (Score 3, Interesting) 445

Nobody is throwing you anywhere. Use the computer that you want. Use the phone you want. Use the services that you want. Uber can either support your system or not, as they seem fit, and you can use it or not.

What's your complaint? 'Oh, I can't use this nice service because I've crippled myself, so nobody else should be able to use it either' ?

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