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Comment: Re:Is the US government really so dysfunctional (Score 1) 62

by CrimsonAvenger (#48646203) Attached to: Seattle Police Held Hackathon To Redact Footage From Body Cameras

So I would expect the phrase "US government" to include the government of Washington State, along with all other governments within the US. Do you really use it only to describe the federal government?

Yes. Pretty much, "US government" refers to the Feds.

What do you say instead when you mean the federal government *and* the government of the States and other territories collectively?

We hardly ever talk about that. At levels lower than the Feds, we talk about "State and local governments" from time to time.

But the States are only subordinate to the Feds on Constitutional matters (there are things only allowed to the Feds, and things only forbidden to the Feds), so much of State law is completely orthogonal to Federal law. This is generally not true at State level (cities and towns can pass their own laws with the permission of the State, but only with permission).

But at the State level, that's just not true (an example: Murder is a State-level crime. It's only a Federal crime if it takes place in an area not under jurisdiction of State law (military reservation, for example, which is not subject to State law, even if it sits entirely within a single State)).

So we very seldom clump all law-making bodies from the Feds on down together.

Comment: Re:In case you're wondering (Score 1) 102

If there was some wrong I'd want righted, and I thought that the arm of government responsible for looking into the matter was low on resources, I'd want to be able to "help out".

So would I.

Especially if I were going to be paid millions and millions of dollars for "helping out".

Comment: Re:Yet another clueless story on automation (Score 3, Interesting) 452

by CrimsonAvenger (#48642973) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Because last I looked, most of the developed world continues to struggle with unemployment.

Hmm, the USA considers "full employment" to be roughly equal to 6% unemployment (which we're pretty close to now).

Note that the "workforce" they're talking about is essentially everyone between the ages of 18 and 65.

Now, once upon a time, (immediately post-WW2, for example), the "workforce" did NOT include most of the women of the country. Which means that percentage employment has nearly doubled, using the 1950 definition of employment.

If we applied the modern definition of unemployment to that period, we'd say that during WW2 we were running probably 35-40% unemployment.

In other words, change the definitions, get different results.....

Comment: It's hard to take this article seriously (Score 5, Insightful) 452

by mbone (#48642197) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

The primary problem we have today is not automation, it is over-concentration of wealth. Automation will destroy jobs to the extent that the people running the companies implementing the automation wish it to. If those companies are run by people who are happy to deliver worse service as long as they can pay fewer people, then, yes, we have a problem, but it is not with the technology.

There is no such thing a technological determinism. It's people all the way down.

Comment: Antipodal eruptions (Score 4, Interesting) 57

by mbone (#48641385) Attached to: Massive Volcanic Eruptions Accompanied Dinosaur Extinction

This may revive the theory that the Deccan traps were formed at the antipode of a major eruption - the seismic waves will focus there, and could crack the Earth's crust (for a really big impact).

It seems logical, and the positions more or less fit, but the question was always whether the timing was viable.

Now, where is the crater that formed the Siberian traps. And, did it end the Permian period?

Comment: Re:Supreme Leader (Score 1) 161

by iluvcapra (#48640215) Attached to: Hackers Used Nasty "SMB Worm" Attack Toolkit Against Sony

They don't seriously think it was North Korea. Instead, there is an ulterior motive for blaming North Korea.

I'm totally receptive to the idea that it's not North Korea, but I gotta insist that any "skeptic" provide an alternative positive explanation.

I mean, like, what exactly makes you think "they don't seriously think it was North Korea"?

Comment: Re:Sure... (Score 2) 322

Sony is so inept I don't even get how they are allowed to do business. This is such a lack of security compliance for a for profit that I imagine compliance auditors are drooling by now.

I work at Sony Pictures on and off, ironically about two years ago the studio went through a huge ISO 27001 compliance audit, it was a huge deal at the time. I've worked at all the major Hollywood studios and I'd probably characterize Sony as having the best physical security. I didn't work in IT so I don't know all the ins and outs of the computer system but FWIW only the PCs on the lot were affected by the hack, all the Macs and unix-like machines are still running business-as-usual over there.

"Security compliance" obviously isn't going to be enough because widespread industry standards are woefully inadequate.

56 hacks in 12 years is not a company who understands technology. It's a company with about as much technical knowhow as the musical artists they represent.

That's if you count every company called "Sony." The movie studio, the music label, the games units, the different web and streaming sites, and the different electronics divisions are all basically different companies from an IT perspective (which is fortunate, considering how much damage this hack could have done if they WERE all just one IT establishment.) And this is just speaking of Sony America, which is the parent of Sony Picture Entertainment Group, Sony Music... Sony's a huge international conglomerate, you can't boil it down to some personification that's either stupid or smart.

Comment: Re:Sure... (Score 1) 322

Yes, a consequence of a fucked up health system where your workplace is involved in medical insurance at all - that's why Sony etc shoot a lot of films in Australia, Canada etc where they don't have those expenses from having to worry about employees health other than if they can turn up or not.

Um, just speaking as a habitual freelance Sony Pictures employee...

1) "Sony" doesn't shoot films, it contracts with production companies to distribute the films independent producers produce. People who actually go out and shoot movies are invariably employees of the production company, not the studio: everyone that worked on the production of The Amazing Spiderman was an employee of Laura Siskin Productions, not Sony Pictures Studios. People in post-production are often studio employees but they're freelancers who get their health benefits from...

2) Most of the people that actually work on movies are union, and the American film industry unions operate their own jointly-administtered HMO. The employers (the producers and studios) never have access to heath information.

3) I don't know anyone who handles explosives, but I've never heard of anyone ever getting a drug test on a crew. And I've worked wit pyro guys who I KNEW were perma-stoned.

Comment: Bayesian Response (Score 1) 372

by mbone (#48639225) Attached to: The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

I have come to regard this as basically religious, so this is somewhat like arguing about conservation of mass in transubstantiation, but I have a thick skin.

From what we know, carbon biologies last ~3 billion years or more, silicon biologies have so far 0 years behind them. Bayesians bet on carbon.

By the way, anyone who thinks that robotic / silicon life wouldn't be biological, and wouldn't evolve, doesn't understand evolution. Evolution is like entropy in that you can't get out of the game.

Comment: Re:How about ignoring it? (Score 1) 464

by CrimsonAvenger (#48634621) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

When was the last time anybody got a "felony rap" for a state law?

Umm, you are aware that MURDER is a State crime, not a Federal one, right?

As is kidnapping, assault, robbery, well, pretty much everything not related to taxes or committed on a Federal Reservation (military base, that sort of thing)....

In the sciences, we are now uniquely priviledged to sit side by side with the giants on whose shoulders we stand. -- Gerald Holton