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Comment Re:Yes! (Score 5, Informative) 412

Trump is a totally different matter. Democrats and most of the media will never support anything he proposes even if it was a democrat issue, and many Republicans don't support him either. If he does anything out of the ordinary he will be impeached faster than the news media can say "Trump is Grand Wizard Adolf Stalin."

I've seen that line of thinking before and I think it's wishful thinking. The Republicans that were against Trump did so only because they thought he was damaging their election chances. But Trump won. And now Republicans will line up behind him to support whatever he wants. There might be some intraparty squabbling, but that will only be over the scale of an idea. As for impeachment, that'll never happen. Democrats won't have a majority in the House anytime soon to force the issue and Republicans won't impeach one of their one.

Comment Re:Remember when (Score 2) 139

It seems like nowadays some federal agency steps in and declares that they're the governing authority on something, that their decisions are law, and everyone should obey.

Because it is. Congress delegates authority to executive agencies to handle the pesky details that congress doesn't want to deal with because they have important things to do like raise funds for their election campaigns. The courts have been fine with it so long as Congress spells out the limits and so long as the agency doesn't overstep their bounds. For this case, the NLRB has jurisdiction over private sector labor disputes and so can make a ruling like they did. Still subject to local laws, as pointed out in the summary.

Comment Re:And since our Legilators Rarely Read the Bills. (Score 5, Informative) 166

In this case he really should use the one power left to a lame duck President and use the line item veto. He could strike out the CISA stuff and leave the rest of the funding intact. The question would be if he would actually do it, but we all know the answer to that is most likely no.

Presidents do not have a line-item veto power. Presidents can only veto the entire bill, which is why Congress habitually tries to add contentious items to "must-pass" bills.

Comment Re:Climate has never not been changing. (Score 0) 369

The "Science" of Physics was "settled" back in the time of Issac Newton. Oops, then came Einstein along!

Well, yes and no. Yes in relativistic environments (near light speed) you get a different physics. But this is only applicable to elementary particles and the like.

You were doing ok until the `but'. Relativity applies to everything (matter + energy) in the universe, not just elementary particles. If you were able to move close to the speed of light, you'd see the weird effects of SR. If you were traveling near a massive object, you'd see the effects of GR. You see relativistic effects in measurements made.

For the rest: all the calculations that were done previously using Newton's laws: the force needed to change the speed of an (not relativistic) object (cars, trains, elements of a machine...) are STILL calculated using newtons law.

Because 1) it's way easier and 2) the error isn't large for slow moving (relative to c) objects or objects far away from other massive objects.

I can assure you that whatever new theories there will be found concerning the laws of physics they will have to comply with all known observations and therefore will have to be in compliance with newton's laws for normal day to day objects.

Yes. And that's what gave Einstein his fame. He was able to explain the problems physicist knew about with E&M waves moving at a constant velocity and the precession of Mercury and so on. in the proper limits, relativity reproduces Newtonian mechanics.

BTW talking about Bohr and the theory of quantum mechanics: there is no sane way to apply these to macroscopic objects. For that you NEED newton's laws. So in that sense they are more complementary.

Not quite. Quantum and Newtonian are not complementary. The same rules about relativity reproducing Newtonian effects also apply to quantum. That is, in the limit of large quantum numbers, quantum mechanics is to reproduce Newtonian mechanics (see: Correspondence principle).

Comment Re:Convenience (Score 1) 214

That's because there's close relationships between "free (as in freedom) software" and "open-source." Neither is a proper sub-set of the other though.

Bolded part has me curious. What sort "free software" would not fall under the looser defintion of "open source" at the same time?

My recollection is that there's some edge case non-GPL stuff that FSF is ok with, but OSI had issues with, but I don't recall exact examples, and my google-fu is failing. I did find this from the FSF: The term “open source” software is used by some people to mean more or less the same category as free software. It is not exactly the same class of software: they accept some licenses that we consider too restrictive, and there are free software licenses they have not accepted. However, the differences in extension of the category are small: nearly all free software is open source, and nearly all open source software is free.

So for the most part the free software stuff should fall under open source, but the FSF clearly feel that there's some subtle cases out there.

Comment Re:Convenience (Score 3, Informative) 214

I see very little ever coming from RMS that does not imply or pertain to open-source.

That's because there's close relationships between "free (as in freedom) software" and "open-source." Neither is a proper sub-set of the other though.

If you have certain rights over the software, we're out of the field of proprietary, out of the field of freeware, out of every category EXCEPT open-source. The freedoms he wants are only given by open-source.

NO! The freedoms he wants are not given by open-source. RMS is incredibly consistent about the freedoms he values: he wants to be able to modify any software in any way he sees fit and have those changes made available for others. That implies having access to the source *and* distributing changes to the source. Open source does not guarantee this as you can make changes to the source code and keep the changes to yourself. (This leads into long and drawn out discussions on GPL vs BSD and other licenses.)

If you want to say that RMS's position is pedantic, that's fine. Just understand that RMS has slightly different values than open source advocates and he works to keep those values. RMS views open source as dangerous to the freedom to have all changes made available because open source does not make any guarantee about it. Others, like ESR, aren't quite as concerned about that as long as some version of the source is available. Thus, you get open source. Free and open source software are not exactly the same thing though.

Comment Re:Is it just me... (Score 1) 496

Also, explain to this Canadian why NASA is researching climate. Isn't NOAA supposed to be the agency for that? Isn't it National Aeronautics and Space Administration, responsible for air and space flight, not everything under the sun?

NASA's mission includes increasing our understanding of stuff in space. That includes studying the sun, the planets, moons and anything else in the solar system and beyond it. Not only is NASA responsible for everything under the sun, but everything beyond it as well. This doesn't change just because we happen to live on one planet. Through the EOS program, NASA funds quite a bit of research for better understanding the Earth and the processes occurring here. Climate change would fall under that category and is one of the more high profile areas.

Comment Re:Motivating Joe Shmoe to fight pork (Score 1) 364

A local magazine surveyed dentists, asking "who, besides yourself, is the best dentist in our city?" By not allowing dentists to vote for themselves, the survey produced a much truer guide to where to get quality dental care. Similarly, a constitutional amendment that bars congresscritters from seeking to have money spent in their own districts would boost the overall effectiveness of government. Lockheed would finally be pressured to source its F-35 components from the most efficient suppliers, rather than from the most pork-ified network of suppliers.

I have my doubts that such an amendment would help. Over time, Congress critters would simply enter into quid pro quo relationships with each other. Critter A proposes to spend $$$ in Critter's B district while B proposes to spend $$$ in A's. The net effect would be the same.

Submission + - FreeDOS is 20 years old

Jim Hall writes: In a June 29, 1994 post in comp.os.msdos.apps on USENET, a physics student announced an effort to create a completely free version of DOS that everyone could use. That project turned into FreeDOS, 20 years ago! Originally intended as a free replacement for MS-DOS, FreeDOS has since advanced what DOS could do, adding new functionality and making DOS easier to use. And today in 2014, people continue to use FreeDOS to support embedded systems, to run business software, and to play classic DOS games!

Comment Re:Queue the deniers (Score 1) 387

Furthermore, even if that were true, pre-20th century, there was nearly universal agreement on the validity of classical physics, but then QM and GR came along, so consensus doesn't tell you about truth.

I agree that consensus doesn't necessarily imply truth, but I disagree that there were was near "universal agreement" of the validity of classical physics. By the start of the 20th century, physicists knew there were lots of issues in classical physics. Classical physics could not explain the blackbody spectrum, the precession of Mercury's orbit, the propagation of an E&M wave (at the time waves were only found within a medium that could support it), radiation, and so on. Evidence kept mounting that classical physics could solve a wide array of problems, but there were phenomena that classical physics could not handle. That, in turn, led to new physics being discovered.

Comment Re:Dear Stevens (Score 4, Insightful) 1633

Enact this, and as a former serviceman who swore an oath, I am obligated to stop you at all costs.

An oath that you obviously do not understand. The oath (and I took a similar one) declares that you will support and defend the Constitution, which includes all the articles *and* amendments. If this were to be enacted, it would be done as an amendment, thereby becoming part of the Constitution. Your oath would obligate you to support and defend that amendment as any other. You don't get to pick and choose based on your personal ideologies because doing so makes the oath meaningless. If you like the idea, then fine; work to make it happen. If you don't like the idea, then fine; work to stop it. But leave the solemn oath out of it.

Comment Re:Contradicts current theory? (Score 4, Informative) 156

No it doesn't contradict previous theory. The existence of a magnetic monopole would require adding some extra terms in Maxwell's equations: one for magnetic "charge" (the monopole) and one for magnetic "current" (moving monopole) analogous to electric charge and current. (Adjusting Maxwell's equations this way is a popular exercise in advanced undergrad / grad level E&M courses). If your system happened to have a magnetic monopole in it, then you would need to use the equations with the extra terms. You would see some extra effects due to the monopoles, but they would be accounted for. The extra terms would give a nice symmetry to Maxwell's equations, helping to demonstrate that the electric and magnetic field are manifestations of the same phenomena (which isn't clear until you get to special relativity).

Comment Re:Fascist bloodlust (Score 4, Informative) 380

My feeling is that the US government by consistently refusing to ask for the death penalty in spying cases [...] has encouraged people to continue to try to get away with this.

The US gov't could seek the death penalty for spying cases, but chooses not to. The reason is that a caught spy will eventually talk about why they did it, and who they were working with, if the death penalty isn't an option. That information is far more valuable than naively "trying to send a message". (Whether or not the death penalty is a deterrent is a separate argument. The intelligence officers only care about determining why the spying occurred and who the handlers were.)

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