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Comment: Possible related factors (Score 1) 121

by PapayaSF (#47753567) Attached to: Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain

There are other related factors that seem to fit.

  1. Humans also have a lot more to learn than other primates: e.g. language and culture. It makes sense that we evolved with extended childhoods to give us time to learn things.
  2. Neoteny: It's well-known that humans have an innate attraction for the general proportions of children: small, with big eyes and a large head. The longer kids look like kids, the more likely parents and other humans are likely to nuture, protect, and teach them.

Dramatic Shifts In Manufacturing Costs Are Driving Companies To US, Mexico 232

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-debate-onshoring dept.
hackingbear writes: According to a new Cost-Competitiveness Index, the nations often perceived as having low manufacturing costs — such as China, Brazil, Russia, and the Czech Republic — are no longer much cheaper than the U.S. In some cases, they are estimated to be even more expensive. Chinese manufacturing wages have nearly quintupled since 2004, while Mexican wages have risen by less than 50 percent in U.S. dollar terms, contrary to our long-standing misconception that their labors were being slaved. In the same period, the U.S. wage is essentially flat, whereas Mexican wages have risen only 67%. Not all countries are taking full advantage of their low-cost advantages, however. The report found that global competiveness in manufacturing is undermined in nations such as India and Indonesia by several factors, including logistics, the overall ease of doing business, and inflexible labor markets.

Comment: Re:BarbaraHudson is an absolute idiot (Score 2) 89

by PapayaSF (#47700453) Attached to: Blackberry Moves Non-Handset Divisions Into New Business Unit

Time to throw in the towel when it's the first time in years the company is making a profit? Why the fuck would BlackBerry want to do that?

Because it's the first time in years the company is making a profit? Won't that mean they'd get more for it?

Yes, people have been predicting doom for Blackberry for a while, but it's hard to see some big turnaround on the horizon, with millions of people abandoning Apple and Android.

(My, how times change. The first iPhone came out a little over seven years ago, to widespread mockery: "It has no keyboard!" "It's too expensive!" "Businesses and government will never abandon their Blackberries!" And now Blackberry is a shadow of it's former self, and we're arguing whether they're totally doomed or not....)

Comment: Creator vs accident (Score 1) 109

by glitch23 (#47700393) Attached to: Why the Universe Didn't Become a Black Hole

One part in 10^24 is why having a Creator makes a difference. One part in 10^24 is no accident. And some people still don't what to admit what created the Big Bang but there is no other answer. How much faith does it take to believe all this was an accident?

What about the "some 92 billion light-years worth of space contained in a volume of space no bigger than our own Solar System"? That was a miracle. Accidents don't "give rise to all the wondrous diversity of nuclear, atomic, molecular, cellular, geologic, planetary, stellar, galactic and clustering phenomena we have today."

Comment: Re: Motive? (Score 3, Interesting) 359

by PapayaSF (#47696351) Attached to: Ebola Quarantine Center In Liberia Looted

On the bright side (?) they don't likely have the tech to weaponize anything, and will wind up killing a lot of themselves instead.. or so one can hope.

Suicidal fanatics don't need tech to weaponize ebola. They can just infect themselves, hop on a plane, and leave spit and sweat on the bathroom door handles on the plane, plus whatever they can do when they get to their destination. The incubation period is long enough for them to fly to Mexico City, get to the US border, and join a group of illegals heading north, before they become too incapacitated to travel. But they need not bother with entering illegally: they can just fly straight in to a US airport.


Fighting Invasive Fish With Forks and Knives 180

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-forget-the-tartar dept.
An anonymous reader writes NPR commentator Bonny Wolf has a unique solution to battle the threat of invasive fish species in our waterways. She proposes we fight them with a knife, fork, and a few lemon wedges. From the article: "Take the northern snakehead, which has made its way into tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. It competes with native species for food, and then eats the native species, not to mention the odd frog or bird, with its mouthful of sharp teeth. It's been called "Fishzilla." It breeds fast, has no natural predators and can grow to be 4 feet long. The northern snakehead hangs out in grassy shallows, making it hard to catch. But a couple of years ago, Maryland started promoting the snakehead as an eating fish. Its harvest has increased from zero to 5,000 pounds a year."

Berlin Bans Car Service Uber 341

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-here dept.
An anonymous reader is just one of many who have pointed out that things don't look good for Uber in Berlin. Berlin has banned car service Uber, which allows users to summon a ride on their smartphone, for not offering drivers and vehicles licensed to carry passengers, or full insurance cover, the German capital said. The ban takes immediate effect and Uber risks fines of up to 25,000 euros each time it violates the city's Public Transport Act, Berlin authorities said in a statement. Uber said on Thursday it would appeal against the decision, accusing Berlin of denying its people choice and mobility. "As a new entrant we are bringing much-needed competition to a market that hasn't changed in years. Competition is good for everyone and it raises the bar and ultimately it's the consumer who wins," said Fabien Nestmann, German General Manager at Uber. Undaunted by the setback in Berlin, Uber has launched uberTAXI in Hong Kong.

Comment: Re:Are You Kidding? (Score 1) 541

by PapayaSF (#47649931) Attached to: Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

Or it indicates that you or the source of that information is utterly full of shit. Sounds like an urban myth, to me.

Here you go.

Jerry Levey, a 6-foot-6, balding, mustachioed New Jersey volunteer fireman who wears his keys jingling on his belt, drinks Budweiser and crushes the cans when he finishes, stared dumbstruck at Mark Newman.

Mark Newman, a 6-foot-6, balding, mustachioed New Jersey volunteer fireman who wears his keys jingling on his belt, drinks Budweiser and crushes the cans when he finishes, stared dumbstruck at Jerry Levey.

The men were identical in almost every visible respect. [...]

For example, why do Newman and Levey have similar styles of dress, opinions and IQs? Is their shared taste for Budweiser inborn, the result of upbringing or mere coincidence? Was their passion for 3 a.m. takeout Chinese food determined in their childhood homes, or by chromosomes? [...]

Both men remember that, growing up in different households, in towns 65 miles apart, they were fascinated by fire trucks and firefighters.

Both became volunteer firemen but say they still yearn to be full-time firefighters.

When they met, Levey made his living installing fire-suppression equipment, such as sprinklers.

Newman made his living installing fire alarms.

Previously, Levey had worked for a lawn-chemical company; Newman installed lawn sprinklers.

"Before that," Newman said, "we both worked for supermarkets, both worked at gas stations, and he went to college for forestry, and I worked directly in the field, as a tree surgeon." [...]

People are often astonished to hear about the New Jersey twins' almost eerie similarities - and more astonished to learn that such striking similarities are the rule, not the exception, among the 100 sets of twins in the Minnesota study.

Comment: Re:Are You Kidding? (Score 4, Interesting) 541

by PapayaSF (#47649401) Attached to: Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

There is no gene which makes you "good at business".

And how do you know that? Studies of identical twins separated at birth and raised apart have found remarkable things: I remember an account of one case where as adults, both men had (among other similarities) chosen identical belt buckles, smoked the same brand of cigarettes, and held the packs in rolled up sleeves of their T-shirts in the same way. Of course, nobody says that proves there's a "belt-buckle choice gene," but it seems to indicate that genes can influence behavior in complex ways we do not understand. The idea that some genetic patterns might make you (on average) better at business is not outlandish at all.

Remember the good old days, when CPU was singular?