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Comment: Re:Scrap them all (Score 1) 378

by Noren (#39959183) Attached to: Overheated Voting Machine Cast Its Own Votes
So, your proposed system includes a paper validation system that would validate every vote cast and would therefore generate full election results independent of the electronic results? (If the paper validation system isn't doing that, we would not be addressing the problems associated with unvalidated e-voting.)

Therefore you're proposing that an electronic tally system be run in parallel with a paper vote tally system, where the paper vote will override any discrepancies found in the electronic system. Why bother running the electronic voting part of such a system? Such a parallel system is trivially inferior to a system that skips the electronic voting parts entirely and simply does the paper validation to tally the votes in the first place.

The only possible legitimate advantage I see in running an electronic voting system in parallel with a paper validation system is speed in the reporting of preliminary results, which in my opinion should be of minimal importance. I suppose voters might want to spend extra money on elections in order to be informed of a preliminary and non-validated electronic result faster. I sure wouldn't vote to spend my tax dollars on that, though.

Comment: Re:Stop Being Pedantic (again) (Score 1) 463

by Noren (#39946643) Attached to: The Rise of Chemophobia In the News
The problem is that a lot of people seem to think that if a substance is created in a test tube is different and worse than the exact same substance created as a 'natural' product. Fundamentally, the same stuff is the same stuff, regardless of the source. To think that the history of a substance is the important part, rather than what it actually is composed of, is essentially a kind of primitive mysticism. This nonsensical belief system is distressingly common.

What do you really mean by "in nature" and why do you think it's superior to whatever else it is that you've arbitrarily defined not to have the status "in nature"? It sure seems to me that the "nature" is used here as some sort of magical/mystical distinction rather than anything real and tangible.

Comment: Re:Time delay - info from the future? (Score 1) 465

by Noren (#39788397) Attached to: Quantum Experiment Shows Effect Before Cause
The major part of the error of the measurement of the time delay would presumably arise from the accuracy of their measurement of the length of the cable. I would also expect that the signal travels at a speed very slightly less than c in the cable. I would expect that both these sources of error would be far larger than the miniscule error bars in our measurement of the value of c. Of course, two significant figures appears to be a quite achievable amount of precision for such a measurement.

Comment: Re:SciFi don't dictate what I love, or dis-love (Score 5, Informative) 448

by Noren (#39742811) Attached to: Neal Stephenson Takes Blame For Innovation Failure
Yeah, because science fiction in the sixties certainly didn't have any of that. The future would be a bright place, and they certainly never wrote back then about pandemics, genetic engineering, or overpopulation. And certainly no science fiction of the 60s had some elements of all of that. (I admit that I couldn't think of good examples of 'pure' energy crisis memes in 60's SF, though it was an element in the above works that dealt with overpopulation.)

Comment: Re:Am I really evil? (Score 4, Insightful) 1007

by Noren (#39662443) Attached to: Lack of Vaccination Sends Babies In Oregon To the Hospital
Spreading misinformation like this is another reason why you're evil.

The general category of all kinds of Pertussis is independent of humans, so your claim is technically correct for the all of Pertussis but entirely misleading for the subject of infectious diseases.

The specific strain of Pertussis bacteria that infects humans is only known to live in humans, see this previous post in this very page.

Comment: Re:Culmination of a dream (Score 2) 372

by Noren (#39589837) Attached to: The Supreme Court To Rule On Monsanto Seed Patents
I know of at least one case where it's not even an additive to livestock feed - it's a pesticide used on hay fields. It will kill many kinds of complicated plants, as it basically acts as a plant hormone to make cell walls stack incorrectly... but hay and grasses aren't affected, and it's believed safe for animals as we don't have any cell walls at all. It passes right on through a cow or horse without harming the animal.

The livestock producer may not have added anything to his feed. All he needed to do was to feed his cows hay from a farm that used this pesticide. This problem goes several levels deep.

Comment: Re:What's really going on (Score 1) 229

by Noren (#39576489) Attached to: Federal Court Tosses Colorado's Amazon Tax
This is obvious nonsense, why on earth was it modded up? Amazon correctly assesses and collects every dime of the Washington State sales tax owing on every purchase that I, a Washington State resident, make from them over the internet. They have always done so.

Amazon is in full, voluntary compliance with all Washington state laws regarding collection of sales tax, and always has been.

To use your format:
State of Colorado: hey you, out of state corporations, we claim that you are required to act as our agent to collect taxes on our behalf. You all have to serve as our tax collectors, and we're not even going to pay you to do so.
Amazon: We have no opinion whatsoever concerning your state's tax structure. That's your business. However, we aren't going to serve as your unpaid tax collector.

Comment: Re:Why Ask Them To Vote On What To Archive? (Score 4, Insightful) 153

sorry, but they're not in the same league as their '60s foregenderneutralpersons

I have to call bullshit here... but I'm not saying that as a defense of the current movement, but rather I'm objecting to your idealization of the 60's. All too many baby boomers seem to have a fuzzy, romanticized version of what happened in the 60's.

There was no shortage of bad actors mixed in with more idealistic folks then, just as is the case today. We have, with varying degrees of success, already sugar coated a lot of 60's history. All of the negative aspects you point out in the current movement have analogous issues in the 60's movement.

Of course, there were a lot of good things that happened as a result of the counterculture movements of the 60's. If we pretend there were no such negative aspects to these movements, and then use this optimistic but false dream of the past to condemn modern movements via a flawed comparison to an idealized version of the 60s that never actually existed... then it seems we have missed the entire point of these counterculture movements.

Comment: Re:Simple, really (Score 1) 516

by Noren (#39530625) Attached to: Why Are Fantasy World Accents British?
If Chevron employs more than 50 employees within 75 miles of your wife's workplace, and if your wife has worked for them for at least 12 months, including at least 1250 hours in the previous 12 months, then she should be covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

She would be entitled to take up to 12 weeks off. It's unpaid, though they would be required to continue to pay for her medical insurance. Afterwards, she would have the right to her job back, or an equivalent position in certain cases if her former position was no longer available. IANAL, but apparently she is :) However, it's possible that this may not have been brought to her attention.

Comment: Re:The "Mid-West" accent? (Score 1) 516

by Noren (#39528415) Attached to: Why Are Fantasy World Accents British?
There's no obvious way to know now what spoken English actually sounded like back in, say, the 1600s.

However, we do know that on average accents will change faster the more crowded and interconnected the people speaking it are.

Therefore, it's quite likely that the accent in the historically more densely populated British Isles has diverged farther from the common ancestor accent than did the accent in the relatively sparsely populated Americas.

A back-country Appalachian accent is probably the closest modern approximation to a Shakespearian accent.

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