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Comment Re:Will Any Effort Be Made To Validate The Report? (Score 1) 399

No - according to the CDC, 18.3% of women and 1.4% of men experience rape.


The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey -- source of the CDC numbers, according to your linked PDF -- doesn't include prisons. It also does not count the 4.8% of men who reported being "made to penetrate someone else" as rape victims; a definition of rape that's dependent on the topology of someone's genitals rather than issues of bodily agency is highly problematic.

If we include prison rape, evidence suggests that more men are raped than women, though we're dealing with numbers with large error bars.

(None of this is intended to downplay the seriousness of sexual assault.)

Comment Re:Data data everywhere and not a drop to think (Score 2) 366

Interestingly enough, most commercial planes can't measure how much fuel they're carrying

Of course they can. Here are some examples of the gauges on a 737 -

The Gimli Glider ran out of fuel because the gauges weren't working and they messed up the manual calculations.

Comment Re:under budget, about same $ as environmental (Score 1) 305

I am surprised they don't just put another pipe right next to the existing one, but I guess it is a waste of materials due to the longer path.

They have. There are dozens of much more low-key pipelines. The difference is, they're not transporting bitumen, which is particularly noxious stuff - terrible if it leaks into the water supply.

But mostly, have you seen the price of gas lately? Frankly, at this point, it's more a point of conservative political pride to whine about Keystone-XL, than it has anything to do with economics. The numbers simply don't justify it. And that's not even pointing out that abusing eminent domain to force US land owners to sell, almost purely for the benefit of a foreign corporation and foreign customers (TransCanada and Canada respectively) - is absolutely odious. And frankly should be ruled unconstitutional, because that is not "private property taken for public use", it's private property taken for private use.

Comment Ummmm... about that linux "ransomware" (Score 4, Funny) 128

Now that we've decided to help bug-fix ransomware, anyone consider its usability?

"Once launched with administrator privileges, the Trojan loads into the memory of its process files containing cybercriminals' demands:"

In other words, it probably goes something like this:

% tar -xf "ransomware-dontrunme-whatareyouanidiot?.tar"
% cd ransomware-dontrunme
% ./configure > /dev/null 2>&1
% make > /dev/null 2>&1
% make install > /dev/null 2>&1
Error: Permission denied. Please run as root.
% sudo ./runransomware
Segfault in Please reinstall.

Followed by much sighing, and trying to google what the problem is.

See, this is the problem with the Linux desktop. Even installing malware is just too darned complicated.

Comment This is the threat...? (Score 5, Insightful) 213

"Well if you're not going to take this seriously, we'll have to start using another project."

I've never exactly gotten this. Why does anyone who is giving something away particularly care if someone who is getting it for free uses it or not?

This guy clearly doesn't understand that Open Source means "Free to Use" not "Free Beer", and that most corporations (the executives, not the software engineers or managers) are plenty happy to pay for support from the subject matter experts in it, so long as it saves them overall money. In fact, many corporation's resistance to OSS is due to the lack of such support - because their customers aren't so understanding..

This is the very business model that Red Hat uses. All this guy needs to do is put up a "priority payment" system for bug fixes, and post it publicly. Done and done.

Comment Re:Tradition (Score 2) 284

If its not mandatory, its a survey.

So gather data via surveys.

Requiring residents to complete a census of their households is hardly onerous.

Disclosing private information to the state is onerous. Especially when that data may later be misused if a later government decides to change policy. (Japanese Americans who told the feds their details in the 1940s thought their data was protected by law. Then the feds changed the law. Haw haw.)

At no time has anyone ever faced a fine or spent time in jail for failing to complete the census. There is a penalty, because under law you cannot have an action declared mandatory without a statement of penalty for failing to comply.

So it's not actually mandatory. So people who don't want to complete it can trash it with no consequences. So it's a volunatry survey. You support the state lying? Saying "we'll put you in jail if you don't fill out this paperwork!" and then not doing it?

Your position seems self-contradictory. "We have to compel people to give us their data or else we won't have accurate data![*] But if we put people in jail for not giving us their data people will get upset and overturn that law. So we can't really compel people to give us their data. Se we can't get accurate data. And that's a return to rational, science and evidence based decision making." ([*] I don'r accept that, I'm trying to summarize what I read your position to be.)

Comment Re:Tradition (Score 1) 284

.., census takers are not babykillers

No, but they are assistants to concentration camp operators. That happened in the U.S. within living memory, it's not ancient history or something that can only happen in so-called "backwards" countries. It is established historical fact that census data can be used against people.

Comment Re:Open and (Score 2) 284

No, their plan actually calls for making evidence based policy instead of simply deciding what they want the facts to be.

Evidence would be good. Compelling people by threat of force to give evidence is not.

And it degrades the quality of the evidence. "I'm from the government. How often do you use illegal drugs? If you don't answer you're going to jail. If you say yes it goes on a permanent record that the next administration might use against you. Ah, you never use them? Thanks for the valuable sociological data, citizen.

There are ways to gather sociological data that don't involve threatening people. Give me an anonymous survey, maybe a cash incentive for filling it out.

Don't know Canada's laws but the U.S. census gets nothing from me but a number; the feds are constitutionally empowered to conduct an enumeration for purposes of allocating representatives, not to forcibly pry into my life to evaluate the effectiveness of their policies.

If you don't think this is important, ask a Japanese-American who was put in a concentration camp in the 1940s. Once the state has your data, it is not private; it can always change the rules.

Comment Re:Science journals have done this as well (Score 2) 135

There is no longer any need to filter prior to publishing - filtering can happen after. Researchers should just "publish" their papers on their own or school's website.

There is a need. Look at it from the readers' side. You are asking me to trawl the websites of tens of thousands of labs and researchers in order to keep up with events. And we'd all have to individually act as gatekeepers, sifting out the good stuff from the bad, the deliberately fake and the crap put out by people with mental health problems.

I already spend far too much of my time just trying to stay on top of what happens; without aggregators - places to collect papers in one place - and gatekeepers - people that do the filtering so we don't all have to - I could spend 100% of my time on this and still fail.

I absolutely agree that we don't need the classic limited-space, expensive paper journal. PLoS and the like, along with Arxiv for preprints, are good replacements for that. Especially as they're pushing for applying metrics on a per-paper basis, not journal.

The problem is the editing/gatekeeping/evaluation. Peer review sucks. Problem is, I have yet to hear of another system that would both suck less and actually work in a real-world setting. And we do need it. We need to share the job of filtering out the valid science from the invalid crap, the pranks and the religious rants.

Comment Re:Please, no. (Score 1) 438

Last night I saw a Maybelline commercial, advertising Star Wars-themed makeup. Note that this was aimed at adult women, not little girls or teenage girls. That by itself was the Writing On The Wall, telling the story of what's become of the entire Star Wars franchise: It's turned into some sort of a joke.

Meh. Is that any more ridiculous than the Burger King Star Wars glasses that were out in the 70s?

I agree that the ST reboot movies were bad (the first could just be taken as fun, but Into Darkness was awful) and I've got a bad feeling about Abrams and Lucas and Disney and taking a crap on the corpse of the original SW trilogy, but I'm not seeing that merchandizing deals tell us anything about the movie.

Every cloud has a silver lining; you should have sold it, and bought titanium.