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Comment: Re:My opinion on the matter. (Score 1) 780

by Mr. Slippery (#47756277) Attached to: Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

According to the market...

...which is a completely irrelevant way to measure quality of tech. The success or failure of a company has more to do with its ability to manipulate markets than with the quality of its products. MS got its market dominance by making a deal with IBM, not by creating a great product. Apple got its market dominance by cultivating an image, not by creating a great product.

Comment: Re:I wish we didn't need something like this (Score 3, Insightful) 579

by hey! (#47749109) Attached to: New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs

No need to paint the male gender as a whole as being filled with sociopaths. It's just the law of large numbers at work. There's maybe 30 million American men in the age rage that are likely to pick up srange women; if just 1/10 % of them are sociopathic predators that's 30,000 predators; and since they *are* predators they'll be overrepresented in young women's encounters with men in pick-up scenarios. Small numbers can produce disproportionate problems. In this case it represents numbers the actions of such a small proportion of men that our ideas about how normal people act aren't a reliable guide.

Drink spiking is a very rare crime. Most studies that look for evidence of it find very little. The highest I found was a government study which found date rape drugs in 4.5% of the cases from four sexual assault clinics. Note this is 4.5% of the cases where the assault occurred, so we're not talking about 4.5% of encounters, we're talking 4.5% of rapes. 4.5% is certainly high enough to be a concern in certain situations, like residential parties at a college. In such a situation a date rape drug detector might actually have some utility, even though it addresses relatively rare actions by a tiny proportion of men.

A bigger concern than what we think of as a "date rape drug" is alcohol itself. The same study that found date rape drugs in 4.5% of sexual assault samples found alcohol in 55%. This result is consistently found across studies: alcohol is very frequently associated with sexual assault -- around half of the time. This is especially concerning because some people (men and women both) don't believe that surreptitiously incapacitating someone with alcohol in order to have sex is rape. They don't distinguish ethically between two people getting drunk and having sex and one of them slipping extra alcohol into a drink.

But the fact remains most men wouldn't do something like that. But that doesn't preclude the possibility that a woman might often encounter the few remaining men who would. A typical man has sex with a small number of women many times; a man who has sex with a large number of women only once is bound to be encountered by women disproportionately often.

Comment: Re:A stupid consideration (Score 2) 500

by hey! (#47744757) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

Exactly. If you want to regard yourself as an engineer, you have to start by accepting you are working to serve the interests of the client, not your career. I've seen so many problems occur because programmers want to have a certain technology on their resume. And the sad thing is that it works to get them through the HR filter. If HR is told to look for experience with a particular technology, it doesn't seem to matter whether the candidate's experience with that technology is failure.

Comment: Re:Jeff, the trip you've been waiting for is ON SA (Score 1) 83

I really don't understand why people hate targeted ads so much. Sure they might miss the mark.

I care about the covert surveillance which enables targeted ads.

I care about powerful corporate and political interests attempting to manipulate my decisions. That's nothing less than mind control, black magic.

The ads themselves? Adblock Plus removes them from my sight anyway.

Comment: Re:NOT CONFIDENTIAL!! YAY!! (Score 1) 231

by Mr. Slippery (#47708741) Attached to: $125,000 Settlement Given To Man Arrested for Photographing NYPD

You do realize that settlements are basically private contracts right?

There is no such thing as a "private contract". A contract, by nature, is an agreement that the state will enforce. State actions are not private. If two people make an agreement and will never disclose that agreement to anyone else under any circumstances, then a court will never see it, and it is in no meaningful way a contract.

Of course that only goes double when one of the parties is a government agency. Nothing a government agency does is private.

Comment: Re:This actually makes perfect sense. (Score 3, Informative) 116

by hey! (#47708377) Attached to: Scientists Find Traces of Sea Plankton On ISS Surface

Except water vapor is the gaseous form of water; the plankton would have to be transported on individual molecules of water to reach the ionosphere.

If plankton were transportable in microscopic *droplets* in the troposphere as you suggest, a more plausible explanation is that the equipment was contaminated -- both the station itself and the gear used to test it.

Comment: Re:Trust, but verify (Score 1) 170

I disagree. It means trust but don't rely entirely on trust when you have other means at your disposal.

Consider a business deal. You take the contract to your lawyer and he puts all kinds of CYA stuff that supposedly protects you against bad faith. But let me tell you: if the other guy is dealing in bad faith you're going to regret getting mixed up with him, even if you've got the best lawyer in the world working on the contract. So you should only do critical deals with parties you trust.

But if the deal is critical, you should still bring the lawyer in. Why? Because situtations change. Ownership and management change. Stuff can look different when stuff doesn't go the way everyone hoped. People can act differently under pressure. Other people working at the other company might not be as trustworthy as the folks sitting across the table from you. All kinds of reasons.

So you trust, but verify that the other party can't stab you in the back, because neither method is 100% effective. It's common sense in business, and people usually don't take it personally. When they *do*, then that's kind of fishy in my opinion.

Comment: Re:Did I miss the breakthrough? (Score 1) 305

by sphealey (#47707837) Attached to: If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

" If JET can reach break-even point, there’s a very good chance that the massive ITER reactor currently being built in France will be able to obtain the holy grail of everlasting green power generation: self-sustaining fusion.

Dozens and dozens of journal summaries with that miraculous word 'if'

sPh

Comment: Did I miss the breakthrough? (Score 4, Interesting) 305

by sphealey (#47707771) Attached to: If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

Did I miss the part where the human race had a miraculous breakthrough in fusion technology? Even setting aside the expected issues with neutron radiation (sorry, no Mr. Fusion Home Energy Kit) there isn't any fusion technology today that is even close to breakeven on an experimental basis. As for commercial operations...

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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