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Comment: Re:Elections are Popularity Contests (Score 1) 71

by FooAtWFU (#48416731) Attached to: How Facebook Is Influencing Who Will Win the Next Election

Because different faces, or parties for that matter, tend to pursue similar policies?

Right! If we'd elected McCain instead of Obama in 2008, the Affordable Care Act as we know it today would still be more or less intact, we'd still have withdrawn American forces from Iraq on the same schedule, and we'd still be shaking hands with China over a miniature climate agreement. In smaller matters, the Keystone pipeline would still be in limbo (just because that's easier than killing it explicitly). Et cetera et cetera.

Comment: Re:Uber is a Pump-n-Dump scheme (Score 1, Interesting) 297

by FooAtWFU (#48411799) Attached to: Uber Threatens To Do 'Opposition Research' On Journalists

With all due disrespect to Uber's extant valuation projections, you've used airlines as an example. Besides the fact that people travel on the ground more than they travel through the air, airlines are notorious for having razor-thin margins, spotty track records of profitability and a tendency to go broke on short notice. Their capital stock is a double-edged sword. You may have heard a joke: "How do you become a millionaire in the airline industry? Well, you start out as a billionaire..."

The real questions about Uber are how big the new market they want to build actually is, and why some competitor won't grab substantial portions of that market from them.

Comment: Re:Nothing's gonna change. (Score 2) 224

by FooAtWFU (#48345001) Attached to: Mayday PAC Goes 2 For 8
Another thing about that spending, too -- election advertising this year ran about $3.7 billion overall. This is real cash, but it's about real issues and the future of our nation is at stake and many policy proposals could make a significant impact in the nation's $3 trillion-a-year economy. Proctor and Gamble spends about $5 billion a year advertising for the likes of laundry detergent, Nyquil, and diapers.

Comment: Re:Friendly AI (Score 1) 583

by FooAtWFU (#48240507) Attached to: Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

Why would it be different? I don't know, maybe because mammalian brains' learning mechanisms and the way they react to stimuli are shaped by a series of useful heuristics that arise from the bio-chemical structure of their brains, and it's not at all clear that there would be direct analogues in an artificial brain?

Comment: Re:Bigger fuckup than John Akers (Score 4, Insightful) 84

by FooAtWFU (#48185623) Attached to: IBM Pays GlobalFoundries $1.5 Billion To Shed Its Chip Division

THAT's better than simply taking that money and investing it into the division?

I don't know, that could just be throwing good money after bad. This isn't a software division, it's not even like their server hardware division, it's chipmaking. It's kind of a go-big-or-go-home game where your competitors -- well-funded types like, say, Intel -- can easily pour many billions of dollars into next-generation fabrication processes and equipment which will readily put any half-assed investment to shame. I don't think IBM's chip business has the customer base to make "go big" profitable, or any reasonable plan to acquire new customers, so "go home" makes a lot of sense here.

Now, the wisdom / folly of gutting the rest of IBM's various divisions is left as an exercise to the reader.

Comment: Re:Just tell me (Score 3, Interesting) 463

by daveschroeder (#48152325) Attached to: Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker

No, it didn't. It was "some sort" of droplet transmission by monkeys in adjacent cages.

That is NOT -- repeat, NOT -- "airborne" transmission.

And no, it didn't go through the ventilation system; it was later learned that sick monkeys sneezing while they were being transported past well monkeys did indeed transmit the virus in this case.

It was also a completely different strain than the one we are talking about.

Airborne transmission occurs when an infectious agent is able to cling to particulates in the air and ride air currents for significant amounts of time, over significant distances, through ventilation systems, etc., long after the infected person who expelled the virus is no longer in the area.

Droplet transmission is NOT "airborne" transmission. It is projecting bodily fluids directly onto a well person in close quarters...usually less than 3 feet, but under optimal conditions, perhaps further. That is still not airborne transmission.

Furthermore, coughing/sneezing is probably one of the least effective ways to spread Ebola, even via droplets. Blood, feces, and vomit are the primary ways this will be spread. Yes, virus "could" be in saliva, mucous, semen, etc. But that's not the primary way Ebola spreads.

Airborne transmission would be very bad, but the Ebola virus is too large to spread this way. It would have to shed about 75% of its genome to be small enough for airborne transmission in sub-5um droplet nuclei that could ride on particulates. And if it did that, it wouldn't be "Ebola" anymore -- it would be something very different; perhaps still deadly, perhaps not, and so much different from what we are talking about right now that it is next to meaningless to discuss.

So, in closing: no, Ebola is not airborne.

Chairman of the Bored.