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Comment: Not if they think they can get more work out of us (Score 1) 62

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49788985) Attached to: Scientists Reverse Aging In Human Cell Lines

If this works, the monied and in-power will make this as illegal as LSD and heroin.

Not necessarily.

If the anti-aging drug(s) make people healthier, reducing the drain on the government pensions and enabling the government to push the retirement age out over the horizon, so the people will be working and taxed, they might prefer to have the drugs put into use.

Heck, they'd probably add them to the water.

Comment: Re:Leaders (Score 0) 70

If they don't know what they are doing, then why are they the leaders?

Because they have access to the biggest club. They claim Earth's resources as their own, and can back that claim with (outsourced) violence, so everyone else either obeys or starves. Actual competence in using those resources is irrelevant.

Besides, it's not like they're actually in charge - market logic or the "Invisible Hand" is. They have some leeway in interpreting its will, and particularly competent ones can sometimes even suggest a course of action, but ultimately they are just pampered slaves.

An executive's job is a purely ritualistic one: they're posing for the public while interpreting orders from high. The only real difference between them and, say, an Aztec high priest is that the Invisible Hand wants its victims starved rather than TempleofDoomed, which is less messy. Well, currently they victims are mostly just made destitute rather than outright killed, but born-again InvisibleHanders are working hard to change that.

Of course, the real problem with this scenario is that the Invisible Hand is not self-aware and can't think ahead, so the end result is that no one is in charge. Explains a lot, eh?

Comment: Re:Let me guess... (Score 1) 70

The solution is to give them more money...

Except that's rapidly becoming non-viable, since over the past few decades, they've succeeding in capturing most of the money that exists and sequestering it so it's out of reach of the other 99% of us. Soon they'll have to find another approach if they want to continue capturing the money supply as they have been doing.

Comment: Re:What else is new... (Score 1) 70

The reason why "global business leaders" don't know about technology is that they are completely divorced from the daily life that normal humans live. They don't have to know shit, so they don't know shit.

And Carly Fiorina, who Portfolio Magazine named as one of the 20 worst American CEOs in history, now wants to be President of the United States. ...

She's just upping her game, trying to become the worst American president in history. But she'll find that there's a lot of fierce competition for that title. Can she make it? Stay tuned ...

+ - Thanks to the Montreal Protocol, we avoided severe ozone depletion->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec writes: Concentrations of ozone depleting chemicals was at its peak in 1993, but over the years they have declined and a new research points out that the Montreal Protocol, which came into force in 1987, has played a major role in not only ensuring that use of these chemicals is reduced, but has also helped us avoid a severe ozone depletion.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:More than PR (Score 1) 381

by khallow (#49787291) Attached to: What Was the Effect of Rand Paul's 10-Hour "Filibuster"?
The real question is did you learn anything from it? I read about Russian nobility decades before I read Atlas Shrugged too.

Just because she lauded a certain, relatively elitist view, a view which is echoed to some degree in actual human endeavor, doesn't mean that she advocated some sort of nobility. Her heroes weren't people who were noble by birth or because they belonged to the right families. They were people who made things or ran enterprises (which incidentally is not a thing the Russian nobility was notable for!). In the end, the protagonists of her book had largely abandoned society and lost the fruits of the labors they had in greater society (gone on "strike").

Further, I find it odd that all you can seem to find in the book is some lame argument for Russian nobility. The most important takeaway is that this novel is about a dystopian future created by people who take from others and society supposedly for the purpose of saving society. The language she uses to describe them, particularly, "looter" indicates why she abhors the foes of the book. It's not because they aren't nobility.

She actually has some good writing in there particularly the story of the end of "20th Century Motors", a business which happened to employ John Galt as an inventor. The only people who could be considered nobility were the ones who inherited and then destroyed the company, causing a great deal of suffering in the process.

My entire point is Rand is pushing a view that the USA finally rejected in 1777 - so both ancient and silly.

Do you really think she would be so popular today, if you were even remotely right? The US is going through the early stages of the Atlas Shrugged nightmare right now. It's a country where higher education costs have tripled over a few short decades (adjusted for inflation) and this increase in cost is due solely to attempts to make college allegedly more affordable (subsidized and government guaranteed student loans). The same has happened for health care and home ownership.

It's a place where one can justify government spending by claiming that they will create one temporary job per few hundred thousand dollars spent. Where economic activity (GDP) is more important than future wealth. Where people can bitterly complain about the lack of jobs while simultaneously advocate for various policies that make it harder and more costly to employ people. Where moving enterprises to the more productive and vigorous societies of the world becomes synonymous with derogatory terms like "race to the bottom".

It's a place where various robin hood and social improvement policies have been in place for generations, yet things are getting worse and more corrupt with chilling signs of tyranny on the horizon. Where governments get creative with interpretation of laws in ways that suit them or their cronies.

Here's the thing. Rand nailed that 50 years ago: the language, the actions, the outcomes. I simply don't care if she actually had unpopular opinions on nobility or whatever. I think she should get considerable credit for calling our present society.

Comment: Re:I am amazed (Score 1) 207

by jc42 (#49787249) Attached to: A Text Message Can Crash An iPhone and Force It To Reboot

People keep arguing that /. doesn't support Unicode, when it really does - it just uses a narrow whitelist of characters. The reason for this is obvious if you think about it - to prevent situations like this from happening.

Heck, there might be strings out there that will crash any Unicode library implementation, just we haven't found them yet because the search space is huge.

Hmmm ... That tempts me to try a test using a couple of file names on this machine that are two of the names for a Mandarin-English dictionary: .html and Ptnghuà.html (and also Pu3Tong1Hua4.html for systems that can only accept ASCII ;-). Those names aren't in any sense obscure or tricky; they're strings you'd expect to see in online discussions of text handling in various languages. If you can't handle at least these trivial Chinese strings, you've failed pretty badly. Of course, they look findin this Comment: panel, and will likely survive the Preview button.

Let's see how /. handles them ...

Nope; the 3 Hanzi characters didn't show at all, and only the à showed correctly in the second name. But both everything looks correct in this second editing widget. This proves that /. hasn't damaged the actual text in the Preview. Let's see what happens when I try to post it ...

I see that the "Comment:" edit widget for this message does have the Hanzi and marked 'u' and 'o' characters missing. So the damage is done after you hit the Submit button. There's no excuse for this. None of those characters have any special meaning to the code, and text containing them can't do any damage to anything. If damage happens, it's the fault of the crappy software handling the text, not the fault of the creator of the text. The right thing to do is to correct the crappy software. Damaging the text is simply idiotic, and interferes with the main reason (communication between literate people) that Unicode was invented.

(And we might note that a significant fraction of the users of the Internet now consists of people who communicate via Hanzi text, or Arabic or any of the hundreds of other character sets that humanity uses to communicate. Damaging those folks' texts to avoid fixing your crappy software is a good way to tell them that you don't want them communicating with other people. This is rapidly becoming a commercially untenable position for people trying to "attract eyes" on the Net. ;-)

Comment: Re:"Deep Learning"...?? (Score 1) 65

Sort of. There is a lot of overlap, such that a deep intellect of, say, IQ 2000 could provide insights that would allow each member of humanity to make better decisions, such that humanity with a collective IQ of 700,000,000,000 + ASI IQ of 2000 is more economically effective than humanity with 14 billion people and 100 IQ average. But for ASI to make better decisions than everyone else put together, you need it to have linear computing power greater than all of humanity combined (where higher IQ scores may require exponential advances in computing power).

Comment: Re:Get rid of it (Score 1) 357

by techno-vampire (#49787079) Attached to: Obama Asks Congress To Renew 'Patriot Act' Snooping
Kids are forced to pay for aged baby boomers who didn't save their money to pay doctors to guess at extending their lives another month or two. Old people are gonna die, don't make kids pay for doctors who can't change that.

I'm a retired boomer, and a 'Nam vet. I get all of my medical care from the VA, meaning that some of what you pay in taxes goes to keeping people like me alive. If you feel so strongly about not paying for other people's medical expenses, I'd be glad to have you exempted from having your taxes used this way, provided only that you also accept the fact that when you retire, you won't be eligible for Medicare, Obamacare or any other government assistance program other than Social Security and that only because you've probably spent your working life paying into the system. And no, I didn't vote for BO, I voted against him; twice.

Comment: Legal failure; politically misguided. (Score 4, Insightful) 47

by mpoulton (#49786343) Attached to: The Marshall Islands, Nuclear Testing, and the NPT
This lawsuit is a legal mess, destined to fail. In fact, it already did fail and they're just trying futilely to revive it. All applicable statutes of limitations passed years ago. You can't wait decades to file a lawsuit. Equally as importantly, "The Marshall Islands" as a political subdivision does not have standing to sue for injuries that occurred to specific people and property there. Those people and property owners would have to sue, not their regional government. Finally, the decisions which were made and the actions taken were political decisions made by the United States in exercise of its sovereign authority - and you can't sue for that. It seems that the plaintiffs know this, which is why they are now trying to frame the lawsuit as a claim to enforce the NPT. The problem with that is, yet again, a lack of standing on several levels, and an inaccurate interpretation of the treaty itself. First, there is no cause of action through which any individual or entity can force the government to comply with or enforce a treaty. International relations are solely the sovereign domain of the federal government, and they can decide to abide by (or disregard) treaties as our elected officials see fit. Second, the treaty is not being violated. It does not require disarmament, nor is there a mandatory timeline for any particular disarmament-related activity. It says the signatories will negotiate towards an agreement regarding disarmament. That's not an enforceable mandate in any meaningful sense. Why? Because the signatories never actually had any intention of disarming, so they made an agreement that didn't require them to disarm. A third party can't come in and force them to abide by a deal they didn't make in the first place. Look, the Marshallese got screwed. There was a discriminatory component to that. It wouldn't happen the same way today. But the bottom line is that we needed a place to test weapons of mass destruction, and the Marshall Islands were the best choice available. So the US did what they had to do to make the program work. They should have provided market-based compensation for the taking of land, and they should have relocated everyone out of the zone of danger, turning the entire area into a restricted military installation before blowing it up repeatedly. There should have been no injuries and no uncompensated loss of property. But the reasonable conclusion to take away from those events is not that nuclear weapons should be eliminated, or that the tests shouldn't have been conducted at that location. They served a critical purpose for national security, and anyone who says otherwise is a revisionist with an agenda.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"