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Comment: Re:Interstate Water Sharing system (Score 1) 678

How about, instead of massive engineering projects, we just don't build cities where there aren't enough natural resources to sustain them?

Cities are, by their very definition, massive engineering projects that do not have sufficient natural resources to sustain themselves. Name one city that could function on a daily basis without regular imports from hundreds of miles away.

Comment: Re:Long View (Score 3, Insightful) 482

No, the argument is that people will do what people do, which is increase their expenses as their income increases.

When they have to cut back, they won't, and instead end up on the six o'clock news whining that it's so unfair and that they should get to keep the house they can no longer afford. We've seen this before.

We're both saying the same thing. You trust the wisdom of the market over your own judgement. Your core argument is that you should stay where the market says you belong, because you really can't be trusted to know how to handle more than what the market says you deserve.

Comment: Re:Long View (Score 5, Insightful) 482

Your argument boils down to:

"if you get paid more than you're worth, you might someday find yourself in a situation where that well-paying job goes away, and you'll need to re-adjust your standard of living back down to where you 'should' be. Wouldn't it be better for you to simply keep making less money and remain at that lower standard of living in the first place? You'd avoid all kinds of uncertainty and potential upheaval!"

Compensation is whatever your employer wants to give you. If you find what this guy is doing to be grating and wrong, that says a lot more about you than it does him.

Comment: Re:ResearchKit! ResearchKit! That's The Big Story! (Score 2) 529

I'm more worried about the invalid correlations that will result from this data, given that the users will be self-selected, upper-class individuals.

Participants in research studies are already stupidly self-selected, and many drop out (and are thus invalidated) because it can be incredibly challenging for people to continue to routinely report over a period of time, especially if the participant has to deal with periods of instability in their lives..

Seeing as you can get an iPhone that supports ResearchKit included with a phone contract, I'm having trouble buying the "upper-class" angle here. The iPhone may have started its life as a Toy For The Rich, but today, it's just another "free phone with contract!", side by side with the likes of the HTC One, the Galaxy S4, and the Droid MAXX.

Medical research (especially meta-studies) are already rife with invalid statistics. This can only exacerbate it.

ResearchKit will provide sensor-driven data to researchers, in a readily-used format, on a far denser timescale than is currently practical, via a familiar user interface, across a considerably wider and more engaged sample. If you genuinely believe that the only outcome of this scenario is that it will degrade the quality of data in medical research, then I'm genuinely interested to hear your recommendations for improving the quality of said dataset. Given, of course, the same temporal and financial constraints as exist today.

Comment: Re:ResearchKit! ResearchKit! That's The Big Story! (Score 1) 529

Where exactly do they say it's open source?

The CEO of the company utters those very words, with his own mouth, in front of a live audience full of journalists. As part of a major marketing presentation. That is also being simultaneously watched by FSM knows how many random people and media organizations via webcast.

I'd be a lot happier with an open, semantic tool for storing and cataloguing medical data vs. some proprietary solution that only works with certain brands of devices.

Or, to put it another way, you'd be a lot happier if they did exactly what they said they were doing.

Comment: ResearchKit! ResearchKit! That's The Big Story! (Score 5, Interesting) 529

The single biggest thing to come out of this was the announcement of ResearchKit. I don't think people fully appreciate just how...sparse and brittle medical research data can be, even today.

Even in situations where there do exist tracking devices, they tend to be clunky, cobbed-together, user-unfriendly things that are built using generations-old, heavily-used devices--generally by dint of the fact that researchers have so little money to spend on this sort of thing.

Having an open-source platform that'll open the data floodgates? THAT is going to have some real and lasting consequences for medical research.

Comment: Re: Not surprised (Score 1) 311

by American AC in Paris (#49134515) Attached to: Reddit Imposes Ban On Sexual Content Posted Without Permission

When a forum starts to limit legal speech a slowly growing cancer of censorship is inevitable.

1. Reddit cannot, in any way, stop you from expressing your opinion. The most they can do is refuse to facilitate said expression.

2. I find it amusing that such a staunch, unyielding proponent of True Free Speech would use such a tremendously wiggly, pro-oversight qualifier as legal In defining what they consider acceptable. Legal implies a level of trust in the state that is entirely at odds with the rest of your post.

Comment: Re: Not surprised (Score 5, Interesting) 311

by American AC in Paris (#49134509) Attached to: Reddit Imposes Ban On Sexual Content Posted Without Permission

When a forum starts to limit legal speech a slowly growing cancer of censorship is inevitable.

1. Reddit cannot, in any way, stop you from expressing your opinion. The most they can do is refuse to facilitate said expression.

2. I find it amusing that such a staunch proponent of True Free Speech would use such a tremendously wiggly, pro-oversight qualifier as legal In defining what they consider acceptable. Legal implies a level of trust in the state that is entirely at odds with the rest of your post.

Comment: Just Remember (Score 5, Insightful) 188

by American AC in Paris (#49130461) Attached to: Google Now Automatically Converts Flash Ads To HTML5

I cannot even begin to count the number of commenters here who pushed HTML5 as the best way to end, once and for all, those incredibly invasive and annoying Flash ads.

You got exactly what you were asking for.

So long as business is on the web, there will never, ever, ever be a technological "solution" to online advertising. There's simply too much money at stake for that to happen.

Comment: Re:Seriously, an Apple car? (Score 4, Funny) 196

by American AC in Paris (#49095365) Attached to: A123 Sues Apple For Poaching Employees

I can see it now:

Apple announces the Apple Car. It only comes in three styles (coupe, sedan, and light SUV), three colors each. It has no steering wheel, no pedals, and no user-maintainable parts. They are shiny, closed systems, are well-marketed, and work well, with some quirks here and there.

Naturally, serious gearheads, tinkers, and the automotive industry chuckle at Apple's folly, as they know nothing about what cars are supposed to be.

Naturally, it turns out that Apple knows a good deal about what the typical person would actually like in a car, and they sell millions of 'em.

Naturally, this leads to gearheads clawing their eyes out with rage at the sheer stupidity and worthlessness of the ordinary driver. Quirks are held up as fatal flaws, a sign that Apple exists solely because of slick commercials and glitzy designs.

Naturally, this leads to the auto industry spending the next five to seven years trying to play catch-up to Apple. Each automaker ends up changing pretty much their entire fleet to match the Apple Car's functionality and style.

Naturally, the auto industry eventually catches up to Apple Cars--and eclipses them, in some ways.

Naturally, the gearheads all roll their eyes at the morons who are still buying and driving Apple Cars, when the cars made by the industry are so clearly superior.

Rumors begin to circulate that Apple is designing a spacecraft.

Comment: Future Support Call (Score 1) 168

"...OK, sir, I've found the problem. Your order was not delivered because we have your address listed as a no-fly zone."

"...that's right, sir."

"...all you need to do is go to 'no fly zone dot org' and click the large 'unregister' button at the top of the page. Once the change goes through, your order will be on its way."

"...it should only take about fifteen minutes to process the change, sir."

"I understand your frustration with the delay, sir, but unfortunately, noflyzone.org is a third party website, and there's nothing we can do to accelerate the process."

"All right, then, sir, your pizza will on its way just as soon as that is resolved. Thank you again for your order. Is there anything else I can help you with today?"

"You too, sir. Goodbye."

If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders. -- Hal Abelson

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