Very prudent. By the way, it's a slim possibility that he's the NSA's Emmanuel Goldstein (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmanuel_Goldstein). Not necessarily likely, but the point should be that rather than trusting a person it's better to trust the process of critical examination of all aspects of the crypto. That's not a task any one individual (even the most honest, most intelligent human alive) can do by themselves. In short, we need a large organization of dedicated folks operating transparently, who understand that they may make mistakes (or deliberate, covert sabotage) yet set up their organization in such a way that these mistakes don't result in security breaches. One person can't do that alone.
Is there any other career where brainpower is rewarded less?
Maybe. The doctors however learn about what works from clinical trials, or rather that's what they should be doing when the system works "properly," so big pharma has it good either way.
The test is cheap and hopefully will become a standard part of a routine examination
I admire your optimism. However, preventing cancer cheaply is not in the interests of medical research companies: it shrinks the size of one of their most profitable markets. Although medical corporations are not evil, they are amoral, and it would be a bad business decision for any of them to front the big bucks needed to fund enough clinical trials to make anything this cheap and useful part of the standard medical examination. It would be shooting themselves in the foot, and we can't expect companies to act grossly altruistically.
I think the incentive system is to blame: medical patents should get the boot and in their place there should be a whole lot more money directed through the NIH to fund the types of clinical studies that are now mostly only funded by drug companies. NIH has a lot more freedom to align its interests with the public than private companies. However, we might need to tame the knee-jerk "socialism is bad" reflex in the USA before this kind of change can happen.
Let me play devil's advocate.
Ideally, the legal system works best if you have optimal lawyers on both sides. The difference between the legal arguing and reasoning ability of a superstar lawyer and a merely competent lawyer is probably less than the difference between the legal abilities of randomly-selected folks, so the system in practice isn't grievously broken.
The weird part is that for the system to work, a lawyer has to contractually agree to represent a client's interest as well as possible before knowing all the facts from both sides of the case. The practical consequence of this is that lawyers end up having a duty to promote the interests of even rotten and nasty clients to the best of their ability. For all the lawyer knows, the other side's client may be secretly even worse. Lawyers are able to sleep well at night knowing that they are not in the business of deciding what's right for themselves, and so long as they obey the law and do everything legally possible to promote their client's interests, overall the system will work out better than if people had to advocate for themselves.
Comparing a lawyer to a concentration camp guard is merely inflammatory. A better analogy might be comparing a lawyer with a soldier conducting symmetric warfare, since ideally both sides are roughly equally-equipped, but still the lawyers use words and not guns, which in my view puts them ahead.
The big difference is that biology isn't concerned with finding the optimal solution to problems; any very good solution (optimal or not) will let you live to see another day. A lot of math and computer science is dedicated to finding ironclad proofs that under every circumstance, a particular algorithm will deliver he optimal solution. While that's great when it's feasible, sometimes it's OK to go with something that works well even if it isn't optimal.
The set of good heuristics is a strict superset of the set of provably good heuristics. Nature can discover the former, but academics (largely) get paid only for the latter.
If smart = fit and fit = more kids, any gene that makes you smart will propagate exponentially. Changes giving a 1% boost will become dominant in a population after a few hundred generations.
"Cognition-enhancing" drugs have rather simple effects on the brain. It's almost certain that there's some genetic diversity that twiddles with the concentration of or sensitivity to any specific neurochemical - essentially you can be pretty sure that evolution has the tools to be able to mimic anything that a simple neurochemical intervention could also do.
Thus performance-enhancing drugs probably won't increase the overall evolutionary fitness of typical humans, because if improvement were that easy then evolution would already have made the same change the drugs make.
These drugs probably can increase your ability to focus, and that might be a good thing to be able to do now that we're not preyed upon so often. However, the idea that a simple drug could make average humans smarter in every way doesn't stand up to our knowledge about how evolution propagates good genetics. We can modify our moods, and the best mood for a hunter-gatherer might be different than for a PHP programmer, but that's it - there's no across-the-board upgrade to be had from a simple drug.
Old SSDs never die. They just lose their bits.
I think it's a bad move that they chose X rays instead of THz for this generation. THz rays can't hurt you, while the TSA has been preventing independent safety analyses of the backscatter X ray machines.
The total dose of backscatter X rays is low, but it's so concentrated that it might still be a problem. Cancer risk grows superlinearly with exposure, so concentrating exposure to skin effectively amplifies the effects of the small dose. Independent medical researchers are not permitted to investigate these machines, so we don't actually know if they present a problem. We're not all going to die, but it could be that choosing X rays over microwaves will result in a few dozen extra cancer deaths per year, in which case it's a bad move.
In any case, microwave scanners are probably just as effective (read that how you will), so I'm surprised the TSA doubled down on the potentially risky bet that X ray backscatter technology is going to remain legal.
I am on Slashdot and I do not hate Unity as of 12.04.
I could not stand the Unity that came with 11.10 - I run a lot of MATLAB, and there was no functional way to switch between multiple figures. People would moan and complain about Unity taking a few more clicks or whatever; for me it was actually impossible for me to switch between windows as needed on 11.10, try as I might. I was fearing a forced switch to Unity, since Ubuntu wouldn't be an option for me anymore.
Unity on 12.04 is a completely different story. While I still don't love its window-switching behavior, the super-W feature of displaying all windows is wonderful.
Unity might not be as polished as KDE 3.5 yet, but 12.04 was so much better than 11.10 that I'm willing to see where Canonical's headed.
If Jobs did the presentation it would be amazing.
On the contrary. If they reanimated Steve for this presentation, I would be very impressed.
I cycle too when I can. However, I read a study that shows that a cyclist's life expectancy is so much longer than a car commuter that any fossil fuel reductions gained by cycling are almost cancelled out by the extra years of non-transportation-related consumption. I wish I had the reference handy...
So, does that mean the jury for Apple vs. Samsung should have consisted of 12 corporations? What about having corps sit on criminal case juries?
Do you use Bayesian inference to combine positional information from many sources, some of which might be sorrily mistaken? I'd be interested in hearing more about the algorithms used to stitch this data together, and if there are any heuristics or approximations that help.
On the other hand, the Pi might just hit a sweet spot in the market. Aside from serving files it can run a webserver easily, yet it can also talk to raw electronic peripherals. I plan to buy one to start automating the household: silly things like having garden watering controlled by soil moisture (GPIO comes in handy), thermostats made more sane (programmable thermostats are more opaque to me than cron), controlling the color of lights in my baby daughter's room so she knows when to try to go back to sleep in the early morning, etc. The low power consumption means I'll keep it on 24/7 (good thing too since it has no internal clock: NTP at boot plus a cron job to refresh it).
I've done a lot of work with circuit boards, and a bit of web design. In general, the fact that the Pi does a reasonable job in both worlds means it could be the glue for a lot of fun hobby projects.
You might be right that while the Pi is an excellent tool for a lot of makers, it won't find a place (at least branded as a Pi) in every household. As long as us geeks use it in interesting ways, I'm not sure that I care.