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Comment Re:Nukes are safer than coal. (Score 4, Insightful) 242

Oh, you mean versus all that pristine land that coal mines leave behind? Or if you step slightly to the side and consider the tar sands, the utterly blighted landscape left by that mining operation. The tailings ponds leak into the ground water, poisoning everything. Both Chernobyl and Fukushima have things living in their exclusion zones. There aren't any exclusion zones for the tar sands, and nothing can live there. If birds land in the tailings ponds--and they do--they pretty much immediately die.

The tar sands are considered a SAFE operation, one that's operating within the bounds of the law. This is what happens when there are NO accidents. With operations like these, who needs meltdowns?

Comment At the University of Alberta (Score 2) 255

(...as of about 8-9 years ago) The psych department had its own stats class, taught by a psych professor. You couldn't get an exemption if you had a high-level statistics course under your belt already, they insisted that psych stats were 'special' somehow, and needed to be taught differently.

If by 'special', you mean 'less rigorous' and 'taught by people that literally don't understand the definition of a function', then yes, the classes were special, and failed to prepare the students in any significant way for good statistical analysis.

I'm sure the story is the same at many universities.

Comment Re:At least a call girl is honest (Score 5, Insightful) 449

Let me tell you a true story of a guy I know.

He and his wife had a child, and afterwards, she lost interest in sex. Her desire never came back, and that was it. He still loved her and she still loved him, but he wanted to have sex. So he did the 'right thing' and divorced her. Now, their story isn't so bad. He divorced her and it was amicable enough, he still visits almost every day (they live down the street from one another) but they live in different homes.

My first advice to that guy would've been to have a consensual open relationship, but absent that possibility, I think that maybe having 'an affair' would've been a better solution than divorce. The result would've been nearly exactly the same (he doesn't even want a relationship with the women he sleeps with), but they wouldn't have had to live in different locations.

Your view of infidelity and relationships isn't wrong, but it's somewhat incomplete. I can easily come up with a slightly worse case for this--they could've been living in the USA, for instance (they're in the UK). That would've meant that she would've lost any health coverage that he brought to the family through his employment. You can modify this scenario subtly in a lot of ways to make it worse, and sometimes the least bad option is going to be cheating on your partner so you can stay married and in the same house and sane so you can raise your kids properly.

As someone that's consensually non-monogamous, this is all just abstract philosophy to me--I think there's too much emphasis put on sexual fidelity in the first place, and not enough on emotional support and availability. You can be monogamous with someone and still be a wholly shitty partner to them.

So don't be too quick to judge the people that were paying for memberships on the site. Some portion of them are CPOS (cheating pieces of shit, in Savage Love parlance), but some of them are almost certainly people (and, according to the analysis, almost certainly men) that want to stay married but can't live in a sexless marriage anymore, or want to explore other parts of their sexuality that their partner can't provide. You don't know the story.

Comment Re:4/5 in favor (Score 3, Interesting) 755

You know, I keep hearing this and it keeps boggling my mind.

It would never occur to me to stop doing things if I had free money. I'd do MORE things. I have a good job right now, but I'd really like to go back to school and study something else. If the government were supporting me and tuition were free, I'd definitely do that right away.

So why do so many people say that everyone would stop working? Is it because THEY'D stop working?

And have you noticed that the incredibly wealthy still work? I mean, Jeff Bezos has a whole lot of personal wealth. He could've quit ages ago. Half of silicon valley could retire somewhere slightly cheaper and never work another day in their lives? Why do they even bother to work? Is it because there's more to life than being the idle rich?

The people that seem to do the least are the ones raised in moneyed privilege. Trust fund kids. They want for nothing, so they do nothing. They've got nothing to strive for.

But someone on a guaranteed income--man, they're just paying the rent and affording groceries. It's hardly the high life. Based on my own life experience, they'd be happy to find something better.

So I have to wonder at the internal process of people that say, "Gosh, everyone would stop working." I don't meant to cast aspersions, but are you projecting? Is the reason why you say that about other people because you know that for yourself, you'd rather just sit on the couch and play console games all day? I actually won't judge you if that's what you DO want to do, but stop telling the rest of us that we have no work ethic independent of money.

Comment Re:Don't use this stuff ... (Score 4, Insightful) 66

I haven't heard of anyone cracking it yet, and that's the sort of thing you'd hear about immediately if it happened. Breaking into an Apple device comes with a lot of press and noise. It's something we'd all know about if it'd happened. We immediately heard about how the security of the device was 'compromised' if you had access to a lab, a really incredibly clear picture of a finger print, and more time on your hands than your average criminal would be willing to expend.

Based on that, I feel reasonably confident that there's been no breach of security of the secure enclave.

But even if there were, this theoretical setup of Apple's is an indication that someone that thinks about security was involved in the development. There's no image. There's not really even useful data being stored, per se. You put your finger on the sensor and it creates a cryptographic hash from your fingerprint data, and every time you want to unlock the phone, it goes through the process again and compares it against the data it has stored. It's not even clear to me that if you had what was in the enclave that you could unlock the phone with it. (Someone that understands the tech better than me can correct me.)

Comment Re:Google did it (Score 1) 70

I've heard that despite Google's usually excellent voice recognition, there are complaints about the quality of Google's transcription service. I don't have it or use it myself.

But it sounds like this is more than just transcription, though that's the main crux of it. If Siri is answering for you, you can have her filter calls, transcribe voicemail, reject calls, etc. It's like a spam filter for your phone. (Not that I give my number out to people so they can phone much anymore. It's mostly just the bank or callbacks for appointments.)

Comment Re:Why solar? (Score 1) 528

In a word: China.

China installed 12GW of solar in 2013. That's with current technology and production. From what I've heard (that I have no links to, sorry--this may actually be hearsay, but from what I know of the Chinese, it's certainly plausible), China basically cribbed the notes of companies from other countries that were manufacturing solar panels in Chinese factories. They turned around and started using all that tech to build their own stuff, and in one year installed more solar than anyone.

But China being able bring that manufacturing capacity to bear, regardless of how they did it, means that prices are going to plummet. The cost for solar comes down steadily every year and the efficiency keeps creeping up. Because China is already behind it, that makes it a reasonable proposition for building out more capacity in other countries. We've already dammed up a lot of rivers (and there's a lot of environmental concerns about that already) and wind has problems with killing migratory birds and bats (can be mitigated, but takes some extra planning; people seem to hate windmills, too). We know that you can generate a fair amount of power through solar, even in countries where there's a lot of cloud cover (see: Germany).

It's the most scalable, and the production is the most scalable as well. I think that's "why solar?".

Comment Re:Can't be true (Score 2) 174

Well, particularly because beekeepers are fighting actively to keep their hives alive. Hives that collapse are gone, but the hives that remain are, unsurprisingly, very well tended to. Then the hives that collapsed are replaced by getting a new queen from somewhere else and starting over.

In the wild, I could see aggressive parasites (and combinations of parasites) wiping out much greater swathes of the population, but in this case, human intervention is providing an additional buffer.

I'm still more worried about wild bees. They don't have anyone looking after them, but they're still important.

Comment Re:Ad blocking? (Score 1) 132

Yes, it's important that the ads be clearly labelled as ads, and not as editorial content. The brilliance of the Digg model is that everything is basically just a link, a picture, and a small bit of explanatory context. Even if you were to mistake it as a real story, it would become obvious instantly that you weren't getting any news from the site you went to.

And since the advertisers are curated, you're also not going to have any trouble where going to the site is going to be some sort of miserable spam-fest with popups and terrible auto-play videos. The Digg model is currently the best one. Unobtrusive, but obvious. It's good brand advertising, and it keeps their lights on. It's a really good compromise.

Comment It's easily explained: beekeepers are doing it (Score 1) 174

First, Wente is the least believable so-called journalist at the G&M. I ignore her articles out of hand because she's usually so wrong that the articles are hard to read without getting angry.

But published in the Washington Post yesterday is similar information about US hives: http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

The conclusion? Beekeepers are working hard to keep hives alive and keep populations up. Their livelihood is at stake here, after all.

Interestingly, I think this might serve as a long-term selection for more robust bees. Bees that are just strong enough to survive under ideal circumstances probably will, since the beekeepers will be trying to make sure that the conditions are right for their bees to last to another season. If a hive collapses, they buy a queen and replace the hive. (This is my hypothesis; it isn't backed by anything other than my intuition.)

So while we're probably having a massive impact on honeybee survival, it probably swings both ways.

The REAL issue is how populations of non-cultivated bees are doing. Bumblebees and all the other sorts of bees that we don't use to commercially produce honey or pollinate farms are also important, even if no human is directly making a dollar from the bees' work.

Comment Re:Ad blocking? (Score 1) 132

I think the best ads are the native ads--that is, ads that resemble content, but are clearly marked as ads. Digg is currently the best example of this. There's one story box dedicated to an ad. It's easy to find, so it's easy to ignore. But because the advertisers aren't just some random weight loss spammer, the advertising box is actually something that I look at every day, just in case. I've clicked on more than one of those 'stories', but I NEVER click on standard banner ads.

Curation makes for better ads than trying to pin-point what I want through tracking, it turns out. Ads need to be for things that I didn't know that I needed, not things that I've previously searched for. I get ads for things that I've ALREADY BOUGHT all the time. Yeah, I searched for that thing yesterday. Then I found it. And bought it. Your ads are useless now, stop showing them to me. But if I didn't know about your product before (like KeySmart!), and a site that I visit every day has a little space dedicated to it, I'm a lot more likely to check it out.

Comment Re:No nuance allowed. You're for us or against us. (Score 1) 557

That's not what she's saying; that's a gross misrepresentation.

The fact of the matter is that Gamergate, from its inception, was largely a misogynistic endeavour that wildly eclipsed anything legitimate buried way underneath. It started with an insane screed by a jilted ex-boyfriend and continued on as an excuse for hundreds of people to harass women. It MAY be possible to feel that Gamergate had legitimate points, but there's so much hate swirling around it that it was hard to get down to those points.

It is undeniable that many women (and some anti-GG men) were doxxed, threatened physically and sexually and were basically forced off the internet all together. You can't be neutral on GG, honestly. Even if you ultimately feel like maybe someone in there had a point about money and corruption in game reviews, the overall context of the whole thing was just awful. There are many reasonable ways to have a conversation about a contentious point, and GG was precisely zero of them.

Comment Re:Is it 64-bit yet? (Score 1) 132

It's certainly the case that they're taking up memory, but it's hard to help that. The tools teams are constantly working to make that stuff better, but sometimes you just need more memory. Even without visual assist running (I don't like it as much as my colleagues), VS has a 1.5GB memory footprint.

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard