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Comment Re:Hats off, Amazon (Score 1) 198 198

On the connection issues, I wonder why these streaming services don't allow more caching of content. I'd expect that you could flag a movie that you want to watch and the player would download the whole thing for me in the background. I could either attempt to watch in real time or catch it much later, or anywhere in between.

But they don't work that way, which means that I have problems with amazon streaming from time to time. (I have Comcast Cable internet, and I have my suspicions as to the source of those streaming problems)

Comment Re:Disbar the Lawyers Involved (Score 1) 256 256

BTW - I relied on memory for the original post. It has been a few years. I should not have used the word "murdered", as the evidence seems to point to accidental drowning due to possible negligence by the defendant who was convicted of capital murder. There were other cases from the same time period that involved completely false allegations against two separate men (again, involving death row appeals) using the same expert witnesses. The murders were later tied to a different man who went on to kill again while innocent men languished in jail due to the absolute certain testimony of these forensic "experts".

Comment Re:Disbar the Lawyers Involved (Score 2) 256 256

Here is where I first read about the case with video of the expert witness creating false evidence. It references the video links but no longer seems to be hosting the video. HuffPo has a clip from the video still up.

This was a death penalty case, and the video of the examination was not unearthed until after the defendant was sentenced to death.

Comment Re:Disbar the Lawyers Involved (Score 1) 256 256

Perhaps if their behavior crosses legal lines, they will be disbarred.


Ha, ha..... but no, not so much. Since they have pretty much unlimited protection from any consequences of their actions in office, they don't really face any consequences. Thanks to Harry Connick Jr's dad and the US Supreme Court, we know that a prosecutor's entire office can even conspire to railroad innocent people and never be held accountable.

In the case of Mississippi's Hood, not only did he not back down in the face of overwhelming evidence that the "experts" he was using were fraudulent, he even got re-elected after people got to see one of his office's star expert witnesses on video tape manufacturing evidence to frame a defendant by creating bite marks in a murdered 2 year old's face using a dental mold of the defendant's teeth. Did they all go to jail? No. Did they all get disbarred? No. Did anybody get in any sort of trouble at all? Well, after a couple of years they quit using the guy caught on tape for any new cases. They still defend the old ones in court though.

Comment Re:Welcome to America (Score 4, Insightful) 256 256

Even more interesting to me than the collusion of the AG with an industry group is the willing participation of the media. News shows like 'Today" are not podunk operations, yet they play along with these sorts of things continuously without anyone really making mention of it.

It is more obvious when it is the political parties pulling the strings, but the same dynamic is at play. When the White House wants to focus on a topic for the week - let's say they are making a big push on immigration or defense - they'll arrange for all of the major news outlets to run parallel stories supporting their push. Or when one of the political parties has a message they want out, they run to the press and magically their message gets passed along as if it were original thought.

I understand the pressures to get stories out there, particularly with dwindling resources, but you'd think that a reporter worth his salt would be extremely skeptical when a PR guy comes around with a story that is obviously shilling for some company, industry, political party or candidate. With some of the political hit pieces over the years you might suspect that the reporter's political leanings are at play, but that doesn't really explain all of the corporate shilling. And it isn't just folks like the MPAA - we've seen a blizzard of these kinds of campaigns - either supporting a company or tearing them down. Like the coverage of Uber. They got tons of positive coverage early on, and then there's been a concerted effort to get stories out there that make them look bad. Things like "woman mugged by Uber driver" as a headline.

At least in this day and age we have the internet to help us get around the media filter presenting the preferred narrative, for good or ill. I guess this sort of thing has been going on forever, we just finally have a way to see it for ourselves with the immediacy of the internet. With the internet I get to see the representatives of the Taxi and Limousine industry out their pushing the anti-Uber angles and then watch the stories miraculously pop up on the Today show a week later.

Comment Can't be true (Score 4, Interesting) 174 174

The New York Times told me that a A Sharp Spike in Honeybee Deaths Deepens a Worrisome Trend only two months ago.

So we have the Globe and Mail along with the UN and Stats Canada up against the NYT and the "Bee Informed Partnership". Meaning the old "consider the source" adage isn't really up to the challenge....

Comment Re:Two caveats (Score 1) 248 248

That isn't just idle speculation either. In the last week or two I was listening to an astronomy podcast about the future of space science. They featured an ethicist who brought up just these points when talking about the proposed asteroid mining companies. He posited as a-priori truth that all of the asteroids belonged to all mankind and no country or company could claim any property rights in space. He had worked out an outline of a licensing scheme to allow some limited exploitation of resources - with compensation going to the countries that don't have space programs and cannot exploit the riches of space. Because their humanity gives them ownership of everything in space and their disadvantage gives them claim over any money being spent on space, or somesuch.

It was more than a little odd, as a statement of moral principle. But the base concept was that resources are finite, therefore the only ethical thing to do is only exploit them minimally and then compensate people who have no involvement whatever, be it by geographic proximity, forcible control of the resource, financial contribution to the endeavor.... I can't pretend I really followed his logic. But they seemed pretty convinced that it was the only reasonable course.

Comment Re:Supercomputers are very workload specific (Score 1) 150 150

I don't work in this area, so I wouldn't know..... but are the different grid sizes significantly different? I would assume that going from 175^3 to 200^3 could be a major jump - the sort of thing that imposes big costs for handling exponentially increasing amounts of data.

Comment Re:Before and after (Score 1) 132 132

They also don't want power-generating windmills near their homes. Is that because they cause cancer? And water treatment plants are generally not built in wealthy neighborhoods. Is this due to leukemia clusters? And they don't want adult video stores near their homes. Because of increased risk of polio?

Perhaps the NIMBY effect is slipshod and broad brushed against any disruption of the neighborhood, whether rationional or not.

Comment Re:What's a Tufte test? (Score 1) 132 132

This is not a "correlation is causation" scam. This is a "researcher degrees of freedom" scam. If you look at enough different variables you'll get a statistically significant result by chance.

The summary and title are not entirely honest. They looked not at "hospital admissions" but at "hospital admissions by discharge code. From all of this they found statistically significant correlations with cardiology and neurology inpatient rates being deemed significant. What does this mean?

The only thing it can mean is "further study is needed". Instead of looking at everything under the sun, researchers will need to look specifically at these variables and control for potentially confounding factors, such as a set of doctors or a hospital that begins admitting cardiology patients that they ordinarily would have discharged for home monitoring.

When you look at this many potential variables and sift out any hits the opportunity for false positives is large. This sort of preliminary study can be an important first step in epidemiology. It can also be an important step in pseudo-scientific scams. This kind of study gives us "super-foods" that everybody has to have because of their supposed health benefits. The differentiating factor is the follow-up studies that are done. Standing on its own, this study is meaningless with regard to fracking causing anything.

Comment Re: Above Congress? (Score 1) 161 161

Interestingly, HOAs do have the most scope and reach over your life (if you choose to live there). At least as pertains to your home life. The control how long your grass is, where you can park your car on your own property, what kind of toys you can put up for you kids in the yard, who can come over to your house, when and for how long.... they can be very intrusive. They can even have approval over the sale of the house when you decide to leave.

Pretty much just about anything they'd like can be in the HOA contract you agree to when you buy in. I live in HOA central down in south Florida. They are so pervasive that several of those weekend radio shows that are mostly advertisements for professional services are dedicated to HOA legal advice (both for homeowners and for HOA boards). I've not seen that elsewhere, but it seems to be a pretty hot topic around these parts. They have full slates of callers looking for solutions to perceived HOA abuses or homeowners who are resisting HOA mandates. On the few occasions that I've caught a few minutes, the legal experts seem to advise that "the HOA is going to win so just pay up" most of the time.

Comment Re:Looks like the second stage ruptured (Score 1) 316 316

True. But you do have to not watch such videos to downplay the significance of such atrocities and leave it all as background noise. The same goes for famine in Africa, police abuses here, water contamination in India, AIDS in Africa, etc, etc...

If the ISIL videos were shown on the US and European TV news in heavy rotation, would the pressure on western governments be different?

If the death of Kelly Thomas had been covered by the national news in the same manner as more recent and famous police abuse cases, might the issues at hand be getting a different hearing at the national level? (or Lloyd Smalley and Lillian Weiss, killed in their sleep in a wrong-house drug raid - or any number of others)

The information you take in shapes your opinions and the priorities you set. Living in Greece, only a few hundred miles away from these atrocities and presumably being a Christian - one of the groups targeted by these atrocities - one could see how keeping tabs on the actions of these people would have some personal interest to our Greek Nationalist compatriot.

Comment Re:Good. However.... (Score 1) 132 132

I have a Samsung S6. It will charge from 10% to fully charged in a little over an hour on a car fast charger while navigating and playing podcasts. I learned this while driving cross-country last week, sharing a charger with 2 other s6 users. 30 hours each way - might not have survived without the podcasts!

That being said, there's no reason that I can see for keeping the batteries so small. Doubling or even tripling the size of the battery wouldn't seriously impact it's ergonomics, and it would allow you to candy crush your way from NY to LA.

Economists state their GNP growth projections to the nearest tenth of a percentage point to prove they have a sense of humor. -- Edgar R. Fiedler