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Comment: Re: they will defeat themselves (Score 1) 952

by PraiseBob (#47931983) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children
It must be some magical coincidence that civilizations with better mineral resources, better weather patterns and better access to domesticated animals & crops for centuries of development time, are now in a better position globally. Or you could falsely attribute it to "cultural superiority", and assume that you are by extension, racially superior. However, please note that a lot of people will call you a racist. You are essentially saying there are no geographic differences between different places in the world, that thousands of years of history are meaningless, and that everything boils down to the type of music you listen to. I suspect you've been called racist many many times.

Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 4, Interesting) 848

by PraiseBob (#47776311) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine
Would Russia invade if Ukraine still had their nukes? Will any other nuclear country disarm in the future given this scenario?
In the end, a treaty is just words on paper. Russia clearly isn't honoring the treaty so it goes to line 6:

"The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will consult in the event a situation arises which raises a question concerning these commitments."

Comment: Re:let me correct that for you. (Score 1) 619

[citation needed]

Here you go: http://media.wix.com/ugd/80ea2... - Academic journal with the title "Higher social class predicts increased unethical behavior"

This shows some of the other social experiments conducted on the topic of wealth and entitlement: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb...

It appears to be using rigorous methodology along with peer review to reach what could be considered the scientific conclusion: in a capitalist society, the rich are more likely to cheat.

Comment: Re:the joker in the formula (Score 1) 686

by PraiseBob (#47267433) Attached to: Aliens and the Fermi Paradox
Another way of looking at it, is to use aggregate outcomes, rather than a raw species count. We have one planet with life, and have thus far evolved one lifeform capable of spaceflight. Our knowledge thus far is to say that 100% of planets with life on them have produced space travel. And of course you can't forget that humans are very aggressive. We've exterminated thousands of other species, why would you assume that we didn't eliminate intelligent competitors in pre-history? There is quite a bit of discussion over the idea of humans destroying neanderthals, a different intelligent species that even had a larger brain than humans, and perhaps could have evolved into space travel themselves.

Ultimately, life keeps evolving. We are fairly certain that dolphins & whales were originally born from the ocean... then they evolved to live on land... and then evolved back to living in the water. They evolved to filled a gap, a habitable environment in the ocean, while other species evolved to fill the gaps on the land, and use the available resources on land. Tool & fire use opens up more environments to live in. We have multiple examples of species that use tools to a lesser degree, such as chimpanzees. It seems inevitable, given the right environment, that eventually a species will branch off and master tools.

Life is life is life. It evolves. We won't get SETI signals from an ocean planet, almost certainly. But all the evidence shows that life will evolve into tool-makers given the right land-water ratio.

As for dolphin speech, pods use about 50 different whistles to communicate with each other identifying both their surroundings and themselves, and to coordinate pack hunting in some instances. There is definitely some level of content. Does that count as complex information, and intelligence? Thats why I said it's open to debate.

Comment: Re: on behalf of america (Score 1) 625

by PraiseBob (#47232735) Attached to: EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability
He had weapons inspectors in his country from 1991 onwards, for the express purpose of finding and removing said WMD's. In 1995 he acknowledged hiding some manufacturing that happened before 1990. While he may have acted in various ways to obstruct the weapons inspectors mission, at no point after 1991 did he claim to still have those weapons.

According to this story, you have fallen victim to govt propaganda and are blindly believing the politicians:
http://fair.org/extra-online-articles/saddams-secret/

Comment: Re:This will hugely backfire... (Score 1) 422

by PraiseBob (#47232023) Attached to: FWD.us: GOP Voters To Be Targeted By Data Scientists
However, the disenfranchising of African Americans by creating another protected political class is going to hurt the DNC in the long run.

Huh? How do immigrants take away black votes? A larger voting population reduces everyone elses voting power equally.

And how on earth do you figure that immigrants, legal or otherwise, are part of a "protected" class? Are you saying the group that is nearly always defined by referencing lower than minimum wages and rampant victimization from fear of calling the police will be treated like bankers and the very wealthy in the future? Or am I using a different definition of "protected political class"?

The new influx of workers that will compete for low paying jobs is really going to hurt the African American community pretty hard.

Did you forget something- those workers are already here, and sometimes get paid less than minimum wage. Giving immigrants the same wage protections means that citizens will be able to compete on equal footing without being undercut. This helps low wage workers. If you were talking about H1-B's, that would be a different story.

Comment: Re:the joker in the formula (Score 1) 686

by PraiseBob (#47226041) Attached to: Aliens and the Fermi Paradox
See, the fact that we are highly mutated primates does not imply that all primates would eventually get there, unless the mutation is *required* for survival. And clearly, it hasn't been. For any species. Even our own. We were just lucky.

That's not really an accurate portrayal of evolution. Homo sapiens are the "most fit to survive" in a huge variety of environments on the planet, entirely because of our intelligence and tools that we've created. Dolphins and elephants are very intelligent, demonstrating a number of traits that we once thought were exclusive to humans, such as speech, future planning, and mourning the dead. Living in the ocean is a big handicap for dolphins when it comes to tool use and fire, yet they have evolved intelligence and (arguably) speech as a way to enhance their survival rate.

Opposable thumbs gave us a gigantic head-start in tool creation, and environmental control. But its really just a head-start, nothing more than that.

Comment: Parallel Construction (Score 5, Insightful) 148

by PraiseBob (#46371671) Attached to: The Spy In Our Living Room
This is the entire point of parallel construction. They can't or won't reveal how they are monitoring you secretly. Instead they can claim that you were acting suspicious based on something else you've done which has nominally taken place in some kind of public space. Then they get a warrant based on that, and "find" the threats you are making, and charge you with that too.

Comment: Re:Not everything observed... (Score 4, Insightful) 266

by PraiseBob (#46364051) Attached to: 3D Maps Reveal a Lead-Laced Ocean
If you read the article, you might see this paragraph: "Still, the maps show there are places where lead contamination is a continuing problem. Off the southern tip of Africa, surface waters with relatively high traces of lead are flowing into the South Atlantic from the Indian Ocean. That’s probably due to the continuing use of leaded gasoline in parts of Africa and Asia"

There appears to be a direct correlation... Guess it wasn't so difficult after all?

Comment: Re:Paul Krugman, 1998 (Score 1) 187

by PraiseBob (#46272369) Attached to: Krugman: Say No To Comcast Acquisition of Time Warner
What can be known is that the company tried to stay in business and it died, but not before government prevented it from trying to change its business model.

Did you know that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings TRIED to sell Netflix to Blockbuster? Blockbuster turned him down.

Blockbuster instead wanted to buy more brick and mortar stores, and continue their existing dying business model rather than invest (very cheaply), in a new distribution model. How is Hollywood Video a new model?? Its the literal exact same model! Both companies went out of business! So you can blame the government all you want for killing Blockbuster, but that's complete nonsense. If neither one can survive as a small company, why on earth do you think they could survive as a giant company? Go ahead and say the magic words "economies of scale", as if Netflix and Redbox and On-Demand, and Hulu, and Amazon, and DVD's at Walmart for the same price as a rental and a million other efficient ways to get your movie don't exist...

Honest question: Are there ANY video rental chains still in existence?

Comment: Re:Misleading liability claim (Score 1) 731

by PraiseBob (#46222321) Attached to: Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards
Lol, fair enough. Always nice to get different perspectives. But... your compliance officer is wrong. They are side by side technologies, EMV is intended to complement rather than replace.

PCI is still required. You just won't have to pass that fun annual review to prove you are PCI compliant. You still MUST be compliant to avoid major fines in the event of a breach. This only applies to certain size merchants, AFAIK, but this article doesn't go into detail: http://www.pcidssguru.com/comp...

Comment: Re:Misleading liability claim (Score 1) 731

by PraiseBob (#46222009) Attached to: Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards
GP is actually correct. I have handled hundreds of chargebacks for a brick & mortar store...

Here is the exact process:
1) Consumer goes to B&M store, makes purchase, signs receipt.
2) Consumer issues chargeback.
3) Bank sends notice to merchant.
4) IF Merchant fails to respond in 30 days, judgement is automatic against Merchant and the charge is reversed
5) IF Merchant responds with signed reciept, video footage, testimony from the cashier, or other evidence that the consumer DID make that transaction, then there is a small chance that the bank will let the charge stand. Most of the time, the charges are reversed anyways. But, most of the time it is fraud, and most people are honest about chargebacks.

The burden is absolutely on the merchant to prove the identity of the customer. Checking an ID doesn't mean squat to the bank. Making a physical imprint doesn't mean anything. Physical imprints are considered Keyed rather than Swiped, so you get charged a higher fee per transaction (because of higher fraud costs). There are no sure-fire methods to protect the merchant.

My company processes millions of card transactions per year. We ignore most chargebacks, because it is a waste of time to fight the bank, and probably was a cashier that didn't check ID. 2% of the time, they will let the charge stand as is and charge the consumer. 98% of the time they take the money from the merchant and give it back to the consumer. The bank does not ever eat that cost. PCI has nothing to do with it. Despite all this, it isn't cost effective to upgrade equipment outside of our normal cycle. We could potentially save 100% of chargeback fees, but that would still take years to pay for the hardware, since we have an overall low fraud rate.

One more aside, EMV is not required to be PCI compliant, and isn't part of the future standard. PCI compliance WILL still be necessary in the future, because card information WILL still be stored locally by the merchant.

Comment: Re:Do they need it? (Score 1) 212

So now the Democrats get the credit if a Republican plan succeeds? If I vote for a Democrat, they are willing to implement the best ideas of either party. If I vote for a Republican, they won't even support Republican plans to do "important things" and accomplish goals.

The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives. -- Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project

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