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Comment: Re:Pay to Play (Score 1) 118

FYI, Mr. Backer's background:

"Does Backer know what he's talking about? Besides being the lead attorney for Shaun McCutcheon, over the last three election cycles he has overseen a proliferation of new PACs and helped organize what may be the largest-ever joint fundraising committee, in terms of the number of participants. " -- ibid

Comment: Re:Pay to Play (Score 1) 118

From an article on a new shell organization, the JFC, enabled by a recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon vs. FEC:

"Backer added that the biggest reason he thinks super JFCs won't take off is that, while they may be an efficient way to extract money from a single donor, from the donor's perspective, they are impersonal and don't offer any advantages -- an assertion that has many skeptics.

"For the donors, they really prefer to cut the vast number of checks," he said. "For them, it's not about giving money, it's about building a relationship. You're not going to get any face time, they're not going to hear your story." Individual donors want to feel gratitude from the candidate -- legal, "completely non-corrupting gratitude," Backer hastened to note." --

Comment: So you're telling me there's a chance (Score 1) 854

"Lloyd Christmas: What do you think the chances are of a guy like you and a girl like me... ending up together?
Mary Swanson: Well, Lloyd, that's difficult to say. I mean, we don't really...
Lloyd Christmas: Hit me with it! Just give it to me straight! I came a long way just to see you, Mary. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?
Mary Swanson: Not good.
Lloyd Christmas: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?
Mary Swanson: I'd say more like one out of a million.


Lloyd Christmas: So you're telling me there's a chance... YEAH!"

-- Dumb and Dumber, 1994

Comment: Comcast consolidates control of marketplace (Score 1) 133

It already owns a sizable chunk of the broadcast medium. Now it and other big companies want to own the politicians too. With of course, the full acquiescence and enthusiasm of those politicians.

We wonder why it costs money to reach people. It's because the marketplace is tightly controlled.

+ - 200 million social security numbers possibly stolen in Experian breach->

Submitted by Beeftopia
Beeftopia (1846720) writes "A 2012 breach at credit reporting company Experian may be much larger than first reported. The article states, "In what could be one of the biggest data breaches in history, the federal government and authorities in several states are investigating the criminal sale of Social Security numbers, bank account data and other personal information for up to 200 million U.S. citizens."

The investigations stem from the 2012 case of Hieu Minh Ngo, who sold names, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, places of work, duration of work, dates of employment, state driver's license numbers, mother's maiden names, bank account numbers, bank routing numbers, email account names and addresses and other account passwords, court records show."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Regulatory capture kills (Score 2) 230

by Beeftopia (#46609985) Attached to: Geologists Warned of Washington State Mudslides For Decades

Whether it's the regulators overseeing the Deepwater Horizon being captured by the oil and gas industry, or whether it's local politicians being captured by the Finance/Real Estate sector, the results are usually bad for the society. And occasionally, they becomes spectacularly lethal.

To overcome the persistent regulatory capture of the US government, two things must occur:

1) Overhaul of the campaign finance system (so politiicians will be more inclined to work for their constituents not their highest bidder).
2) Term limits (because power corrupts).

+ - Traumatically injured patients to be put in suspended animation->

Submitted by Beeftopia
Beeftopia (1846720) writes "A new procedure will be tested on traumatically injured patients by doctors at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh. The patient's blood will be replaced with cold saline solution, dropping body temperature to 10 C. Brain activity and respiration will cease, indicating the patient is clinically dead. Surgeons will repair the damage then slowly refill them with warm blood at which point vital signs will reappear.

"Every day at work I declare people dead. They have no signs of life, no heartbeat, no brain activity. I sign a piece of paper knowing in my heart that they are not actually dead. I could, right then and there, suspend them. But I have to put them in a body bag. It's frustrating to know there's a solution," says surgeon Peter Rhee. "[After our animal experiments] the definition of 'dead' changed," he said."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Surely you jest ... (Score 1) 870

by Beeftopia (#46580901) Attached to: Job Automation and the Minimum Wage Debate

And --- even if it did, look at what people with too much time on hands do to this world: crime, gangs, terrorists, cults, drug users --- most of societies ills are AVOIDED by making these people have jobs so they don't have free time.

"Idle hands are the devil's workshop." -- Proverbs 16:27

Don't be put off because of its religious origin - it's the demonstration of a point that has been known for thousands of years.

+ - IBM's Watson to be used for cancer treatment->

Submitted by Beeftopia
Beeftopia (1846720) writes "The New York Genome Center and IBM will investigate whether Watson can be used to parse cancer genome data and then recommend treatments. The trial involves 20 to 25 glioblastoma patients with poor prognoses. The article states, "It should theoretically be possible to analyze [genomic] data and use it to customize a treatment that targets the specific mutations present in tumor cells. But right now, doing so requires a squad of highly trained geneticists, genomics experts, and clinicians. It's a situation that can't scale to handle the [number of] patients with glioblastoma, much less other cancers. Instead, that gusher of information is going to be pointed at Watson... Watson will figure out which mutations are distinct to the tumor, what protein networks they effect, and which drugs target proteins that are part of those networks. The net result will be a picture of the biochemical landscape inside the tumor cells, along with some suggestions on how clinicians might consider intervening to change the landscape."
Link to Original Source

Comment: ABC News: Comm systems shut down separately (Score 4, Interesting) 382

"Two U.S. officials tell ABC News the U.S. believes that the shutdown of two communication systems happened separately on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. One source said this indicates the plane did not come out of the sky because of a catastrophic failure.

The data reporting system, they believe, was shut down at 1:07 a.m. The transponder -- which transmits location and altitude -- shut down at 1:21 a.m."

-- ABC News, Thursday March 13, 2014

Curiouser and curiouser.

Comment: The Web is a big prize (Score 1) 80

by Beeftopia (#46466389) Attached to: As the Web Turns 25, Sir Tim Berners-Lee Calls For A Web Magna Carta

The Web (and Internet) enable the free flow of information. Up till recently, the way to distribute information was radio, television and print. There is huge money and power in controlling the flow of information. Frankly, I'm surprised the Internet has not been more locked down and controlled yet.

Rest assured that it is in the sights of politicians and big business. So, something like a Web Magna Carta would be quite a useful document. At least talking about the concept of trying to keep the Internet unfettered is a starting point. Because an unfettered Internet will go away otherwise. There's just too much money and power in it.

Comment: Re:There's no installation charge for other softwa (Score 1) 306

by Beeftopia (#46419821) Attached to: Mozilla Is Investigating Why Dell Is Charging To Install Firefox

OK, so what evidence do you have that Dell doesn't mark that as $150 for software and $29 for installation, on their accounting system?

1) There is no evidence that they internally account for software as you say. It's speculation.
2) There IS evidence that they are charging for free software.
3) There IS evidence that they actually give a discount for installing software versus buying it from them separately: You can actually buy Office Home and Business directly from Dell for 219 USD. So they're actually giving a discount when they install it, as they only charge 179 USD in that scenario.

What does the evidence show? Seems clear to me.

Contemptuous lights flashed flashed across the computer's console. -- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy