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Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 1, Flamebait) 607

by Raul654 (#49726175) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

>NOMINATE scales people based on their choices relative to contemporaries

That's exactly *why* it works across decades. Because it allows a continuous chain of comparison even between people who never served together. (E.g, person A served with person B, person B later served with person C, person C later served with person D, etc)

Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 5, Informative) 607

by Raul654 (#49725605) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

> "JFK was more conservative than most conservatives are today"


Keith T. Poole at the University of Georgia has built his career on quanitfying the liberality/conservativeness of politics.

I couldn't find his numbers for John Kennedy, but he gave John Kennedy a -.318 during the 83rd Congress, making him the 15th most liberal member of that body. By comparison, in today's Senate, he'd rank as the 31st most liberal senator, between Senators Wyden and Murphy, and more liberal than EVERY SINGLE Republican in Congress.

Comment: Re:Firefox Browser (Score 1) 118

I couldn't care less about the TV except that it has to be diverting resources from improving the browser.

Does it? Improvements required to run the browser on a TV will necessarily involve making it more lightweight and portable, i.e. less dependent on the quirks of specific platforms.

Comment: Strange swarm behavior (Score 2) 219

We've seen strange swarm behavior here in Southern California the past two years. Anecdotes follow:

Last year, we had a swarm that probably lost its Queen (or didn't have one to begin with). They maintained a big ball in the tree for nearly four months, gradually all dying off. They made no honeycomb, just a few weird strands of propolis. In the past, when swarms failed to form a new hive, they didn't continue to go and harvest pollen and function like a hive, but all died off much more rapidly.

This year, we had a swarm ball up in a tree mid-afternoon. They hadn't found a hive by the next morning. By the next evening, they were all falling to the ground and writhing as if poisoned or something. By the second day, there were just heaps of dead bees all around the garden.

I don't claim to be any expert (although my Dad kept several hives when I was a kid). Still, I haven't seen this before. I don't know the cause of either phenomenon.

Comment: Cutting their losses (Score 5, Interesting) 99

by Nonesuch (#49644087) Attached to: Amazon's Delivery Drones Will Be Able To Track Your Location

How will Amazon handle the theft problem? Why just steal a package of unknown value when you can stuff the drone into a steel box and get a pile of expensive parts along with whatever bonus you find in the package being delivered.

Will Amazon be forced to redline neighborhoods that have a high attrition rate?

Comment: Re:Android source is a cluster fuck (Score 2) 434

by TuringTest (#49627653) Attached to: Google Can't Ignore the Android Update Problem Any Longer

No one else can because it will cause Google's CTS tool to fail verifying which won't allow you to ship with Google Play.

Conversely, if someone else built such system and it worked to keep all vendors updated, it wouldn't matter much that it failed to validate in Google's CTS. In that situation it would be relatively easy to migrate everyone away from Google Play -developers first, and users would follow- to an alternate app market supported by the maintainer of such successful system.

Now that I think of it, that would be the most likely way a strong contender might use to take control of Android from Google - in fact, that may be precisely what Microsot has in mind for their recent partnership with Cyanogen - the old Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

Comment: Re:The author forgot one other option. (Score 3, Informative) 105

by Nonesuch (#49573415) Attached to: Why Crypto Backdoors Wouldn't Work

I just read the entire article and the author forgot one other solution: the British solution Instead of putting the burden on app developers to include backdoors, or on Google to block apps that don't, put the burden on end users to turn over their keys to police when asked. I'm not saying I like this solution, but it is a solution the author of the article didn't consider. If you make the sentence for non-cooperation long enough, it doesn't really matter if the police find what they're looking for: they can just lock you up for not handing over the keys.

In the USA, this would likely require a constitutional amendment, it is widely held that the Fifth Amendment "Right Against Self-Incrimination" protects the right not to divulge an encryption key.

Comment: Re:Google+ failed becuase it's GOOGLE (Score 1) 359

by TuringTest (#49558483) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed

I don't want a nanny-search moving the things I'm looking for down the page. Just give me what I searched for, nothing more, nothing less, no "judgment" about what I want to see.

So you'd rather have a complete database dump of all the web pages that contain your search terms, in random order, to do your own filtering among petabytes of data each time you look for "what you searched for, nothing less"?

'Cause any time you use a web search engine that provides just a few results, there *is* a judgement involved of which ones should appear at the first page; and Google is in the place it's now because their judgement was much better than any other search engine at the time. Including "mobile friendly" is only adding one more criterion to their ordering that they think will work well for a majority of their users.

Programming is an unnatural act.