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Comment: Re:Dinos (Score 1) 298

by Byrel (#49466183) Attached to: Did Natural Selection Make the Dutch the Tallest People On the Planet?

While this may largely be true for the 'Sciences', it's not at ALL true for Engineering or other technical fields.

old fractured system.

You mean the one invented two centuries ago that's commonly applied with at least two fundamentally different sets of units, never consistently, and with continual unit abuse?

Next time some datasheet says the bolt takes 5N of torque, or my pressure gage is reading off in kg/cm^2, I'll throw it at you, mkay? ;)

Comment: Re:Systemic and widespread? (Score 1) 489

by Byrel (#49449229) Attached to: The Courage of Bystanders Who Press "Record"

This is where I disagree. Other countries also see the exact same profit motive but it doesn't result in an arms race

I don't think police officers carrying handguns similar to the ones they've been carrying for a century (with essentially only convenience upgrades as technology progresses) qualifies as an arms race. I don't think criminal organizations using fewer full-auto weapons than 50 years ago counts as an arms race.

What arms race? There's absolutely no escalation!

It's about the fact that in America the gun has become the default option when it should be the last resort.

This is so far from true. It's hard to get solid country-wide stats on officer gun usage, but NYC publicizes their Firearm Discharge rates. Last year, their officers fired 105 shots. Of those, 21 were accidents, and 24 were aimed at attacking animals. So, there were 60 officer shots fired in a city of 8.4 million. That's a damn sight closer to a 'last resort' than a 'default option'

...get past your immense paranoia that makes you believe having a gun somehow makes you safer.

Is it still paranoia when most academic research agrees with you? I mean, it's like saying that people are 'paranoid' about anthropogenic climate change. There's an international correlation between gun ownership rates and violence. A negative correlation. Check out actual statistics and research before you blame America's violence problem on gun ownership. There's a great journal article from the Harvard Journal of Law on this: http://www.law.harvard.edu/stu...

In reality, violence in America isn't driven by gun ownership, any more than violence in Russia is driven by their lack of gun ownership. Violence is driven by socioeconomic factors. People aren't violent because they have guns. People have always been violent, when operating in certain cultures and situations. Guns are a force multiplier for both victims and violent people, and don't end up having a huge impact on violence rates.

Comment: Re:Systemic and widespread? (Score 1) 489

by Byrel (#49449009) Attached to: The Courage of Bystanders Who Press "Record"

This is typical on a lot of US highways. The main highways through Chicago (94, etc.) have a 55 speedlimit, but average speed is 65-70. With quite a handful of 80+ drivers.

Crowd sourced cop-avoidance (like Waze) is part of the reason, but part of it is that that road is really a 65-70 mph road from an engineering perspective, and so cops don't really WANT to fix it.

Comment: Do not want (Score 1) 40

by twebb72 (#48540829) Attached to: Starbucks Testing Mobile Order and Pay In Portland On iOS

Have you tried their app? I happen to live in Portland and work downtown.. the Starbucks at US Banc Corp Tower is probably the busiest in the city -- ordering ahead already saved me about 20 minutes last week.

Doomed to fail.

Its been a massive success for both employees and customers. This IS the way regulars will order for the foreseeable future.

Enjoy your wait in line.

+ - 23andme.com DNA Health Risk Analysis Service Suspended->

Submitted by twebb72
twebb72 (903169) writes "23andme.com DNA health risk interpretation service has been suspended due to an FDA request:

At this time, we have suspended our health-related genetic tests to comply immediately with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s directive to discontinue new consumer access during our regulatory review process.

"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Calories (Score 1) 440

by twebb72 (#45419679) Attached to: Soylent: No Food For 30 Days

EVERYONE'S bodies behaveexactly the same to identical diets (eventually)

Not true. Thyroid, autoimmune issues (certain diseases like Crohn's), gut flora,... can absolutely have a significant impact on metabolism or one's ability to properly digest foods. The body often compensates by either burning/storing more or less depending on certain circumstances. Even environmental conditions contribute to the big picture. Its an oversimplification of the metabolic process to say everyone responds the same to the same diet.

Comment: Re:Nooooooo! Just shut up and buy a dinosaur saddl (Score 1) 278

by Byrel (#43351593) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Explain That Humans Didn't Ride Dinosaurs?

Not if they've been able to find my oil. Earth Science matters to them; not to me. If I have a zillion misconceptions in everything from geology to archaeology it won't objectively influence my life. I don't work in a field influenced by them.

That's not to say I won't be bothered when I find out I was so wrong. It simply means that it doesn't affect my competence in anything I do.

Comment: Re:Nooooooo! Just shut up and buy a dinosaur saddl (Score 1) 278

by Byrel (#43350263) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Explain That Humans Didn't Ride Dinosaurs?

I didn't say that. I was wrong recently when I said here that the PSP had hardware PSX emulation. But that's hardly a consequential fact, unlike basic facts of paleontology. It's possible to have a coherent model of the world where PSX emulation is implemented in hardware. But finding man tracks next to dinosaur tracks would upend entire disciplines of earth science.

And 'entire discliplines of earth science' are important exactly why? Really, the group of people whose lives would be noticeably impacted by an error in ancient history is on the same order of magnitude as the folks impacted by hardware/software emulation on a PSP. A small handful. Everyone else has no real reason to care.

A lot of technical folks, myself included, make a fetish out of factual accuracy in field we find fascinating. A lot of us have very broad interests, so that fetish may well extend into history, philosophy, materials science, rocket engineering, etc. (Actually, that's the first fields that come to mind for my obsession.) But we should try to keep some perspective as well, and admit that we like this accuracy simply because we do. Maybe it's a taste of OCD; maybe it's something else. But no rational argument can justify the amount of time I spend poring over dull tomes of nearly useless data. I just like filling my mind with it, so I do it.

If someone else doesn't care about it, I should probably respect their superior objective function, as it doesn't make them waste time studying the details of minor branches of Austrian economics. Maybe they spend more time on truly useful info.

Comment: Re:Some conversations are for illegal activities (Score 2) 283

by twebb72 (#43289013) Attached to: Real-Time Gmail Spying a 'Top Priority' For FBI This Year

[Privacy] is expected, and protected by the constitution of the United States - you know, that pesky little document you swore to uphold and defend, not mutilate and destroy.

Actually, the constitution doesn't touch on privacy rights, however, the Bill of Rights does reflect some of the spirit of the right to privacy in the sense of freedom of speech (1); privacy of the home (3); privacy from searches and seizure (4); abuse of government authority and due process (V) -- however there is no amendment that specifically states a right to privacy.

I'd agree though that the judicial branch's interpretation of the Bill of Rights is grossly out of whack. While they extend the privacy of the home (3) (specifically worded as 'No Soldier [can] be quartered in any house without consent') as extending to mean 'No agents of the State'; severely restricting law enforcement from entering the home in (nearly) any capacity. Meanwhile they interpret "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law" as 'we can read your emails, personal conversations, and Netflix recommendations on demand, and if you're doing something we don't like, expect us to bust down the door.'

Moreover, the supreme court ruled in Olmstead v. United States (back in good ol' 1928) that a wiretap violated neither the 4th or 5th amendment; this set the precedent that has turned into the status quo for the government law enforcement branches... Bush then passed the Patriot Act to make us safe from the terrorists. Then the Library of Congress gets to decide that unlocking cell phones isn't allow[comment truncated due to anti-American propaganda]

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.

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