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Comment: Re:Dang... (Score 1) 109

by jc42 (#47535075) Attached to: Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

Interesting. Science is wrong, and "creationist parks" get the blame.

Hmmm ... This isn't really a case of scientists being wrong. The old images of dinosaurs have generally been "artists' interpretations" of the evidence, and scientists generally agreed that they had little evidence of the outer appearance of dinosaurs. Skin and other soft tissues don't fossilize too well, and we haven't had many samples until recently.

And the idea that birds are close relatives of or descended from dinosaurs isn't new. It was suggested by none other than Charles Darwin himself, based on similarities in the skeletons. Many of his colleagues agreed, but they even more agreed with the reply "Yeah, that's certainly interesting; can you find us some better evidence?" The situation stayed that way until the 1970s or so, because birds don't fossilize well. New fossil discoveries finally supplied enough evidence so that in the 1980s, the birds got officially reclassified as a branch of the dinosaurs.

But it was still well understood that there were a lot of loose ends, and Further Research Is Needed. Were feathers a development of the birds, for flight? Or had their non-flying ancestors had feathers, perhaps for insulation? The evidence wasn't nearly good enough, and it was left as an open question. Over the past decade or so, the evidence has trickled in, and this report seems to be filling in the gap. People who've followed the story aren't surprised; they're just happy to read about the evidence.

In any case, it never was a case of "Scientists thought that dinosaurs didn't have any sort of fur or feathers, but they've been proven wrong". It was more like "We didn't have the evidence, since feathers don't fossilize well, and now we've collected enough evidence that we can be pretty sure that those old artistic interpretations reptilian dinosaurs with bare skin were inaccurate; most of them (except the largest) probably did have feathers." This isn't considered a criticism of the artists, of course, since they didn't have evidence either, and many of them stated repeatedly that most of their drawings included a large shovel-full of conjecture. It was expected that, as evidence trickled in, they'd have to revise their drawings a lot.

But it likely is a good example of non-scientists saying "Scientists proved wrong" when the scientific data goes from "we don't really know ..." to "we've found the evidence ...". This is sorta the flip side of the constant "Those scientists just wasted time and money doing research to prove something that we knew all along" comments from people who have little understanding of what science is all about (and have always "known" things based on no evidence at all).

(Actually, since I first read about this topic back in the 1970s, I've been rooting for the tyrannosaurs having big, colorful cockatoo-like crowns of feathers. But that's just me, and I'm still waiting. But I won't be surprised either way. ;-)

Comment: Re:The finding (Score 1) 96

by TWX (#47533963) Attached to: Google Looking To Define a Healthy Human
Friend of mine did that with a shotgun when he was ten, outermost joint of his index finger one one hand. Several years later when he was in shop class he knicked the nub with the table saw and it started bleeding. The nurse came to the room and passed out when she saw what she thought was a freshly amputated finger...

So the results can be highly entertaining, even if only from time to time.

Comment: Amazon isn't out of expansion area (Score 1) 161

by Animats (#47533631) Attached to: Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell

Amazon isn't out of expansion area. Their target is all of retail, and there's still a lot of non-Amazon retail. Most other big US companies with lots of cash have hit their natural limits.

Trying to go beyond those limits is tough. Google has not been successful in expanding beyond ads. (Android only makes money as an ad platform; Google's phone revenue is small.) Apple has a lot of cash, but can't find any way to use it that will yield the kind of margins Apple is used to. Facebook is still growing, but again, it's all ads.

There's only so much ad spending in the world, and the ad-based companies are all fighting over the same pot. There's more room to grow when your business model is "sell everything".

Comment: Re:But what IS the point they're making? (Score 2) 233

Well, if you look at Africa, which probably has the largest population living in rough conditions, and there's a lot of habitat destruction for firewood for cooking fires and generally any animal that can be caught goes into the pot. Sure, there's poaching for precious material like ivory, but there's also poaching simply to not starve.

This is something to consider with the widespread ranching of cattle- we want our meat, so it's either a matter of raising it ourselves with a few sets of monolithic species where we manage to use the bulk of the carcass for something, or catching wild animals where we don't fully utilize the animal and leave a lot of waste. Right now, by mass, Beef if the dominant life form on the planet.

Comment: Re:Cars are fast enough already (Score 1) 123

by drinkypoo (#47530617) Attached to: Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?

Roads were originally a shared space and the thinking is moving back towards that direction.

It's idiot thinking. Why would you want to share space with the cars? Roads for pedestrians and bicyclists have much lesser requirements than those for cars, so they can be placed not only along much more direct routes, but also along far more pleasant ones because they can run through more environmentally sensitive areas without causing harm. Send the cars out of the way so that they don't bother the bicyclists and pedestrians, and let them have the most desirable and direct routes. The cars are much faster, so they can afford to go around.

Comment: Re:Your next supercar. (Score 1) 123

by drinkypoo (#47530587) Attached to: Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?

Uninformed. Ever hear of Tesla? They are the definition of electric supercars/

A supercar needs to have top speed. It doesn't have to be over 200 mph, but it does need to be up there. Tesla makes zero cars with high top speed. For 5-10k you can buy a used Audi A8 (yes, just the A8 and defeat the limiter to get somewhere between 170 and 180 mph. (All cars not limited to 155 for euro-compliance are limited to 130 mph, for inadequate stock tires, depending on the model.) There are many wonderful things about the Teslas, and how fast do you need to go anyway? But they're not supercars. If I didn't live in the boonies, and range wasn't an issue, I'd like to own one, but they're still not supercars. There's a sports car and a sport tourer without enough range for touring but there's no supercar and no plans to produce one.

Comment: Re:Cars are fast enough already (Score 3, Insightful) 123

by drinkypoo (#47529851) Attached to: Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?

What really needs to be focused on is a method to stop them dead in their tracks whenever they are in striking distance of slower moving objects such as pedestrians and bicyclists.

That's dumb. Pedestrians and bicyclists don't have the same requirements as automobiles, we should focus on keeping them separated. It's not as though they need to share the same space, except where no thought has been given to them.

Comment: Re:Your next supercar. (Score 1) 123

by drinkypoo (#47529837) Attached to: Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?

Let's turn it around - *some* or "a lot* of people who buy super cars (especially of the electric variety) buy cars for their efficiency (speed/mileage).

There are no electric supercars. Audi is about to bring out an electric R8 with a top speed of 124. My 1989 240SX would get there, if you defeated the rev limiter.

Comment: Re:Best Wishes ! (Score 1) 318

by drinkypoo (#47528797) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

Android makes it possible to actually replace the launcher. Windows Mobile didn't do that, and that is where they failed.

I'm calling the shenanigans on this one. There were (are...) plenty of launchers for Windows Mobile.

If you knew enough about Windows Mobile to know whether you had a valid point, you'd know that you don't. Explorer is still lurking in the OS, waiting to pop up and make you fuck around with a start menu when your replacement shell shits itself. This sort of thing used to happen in Android, too... way back in 1.6.

Comment: Re:Customer service? (Score 0) 784

flight attendants are great at finding a place for oversized luggage clogging up the overhead bins.

Bullshit. More than half the time they helped some asshole put it in the bin to begin with. When I show up with my normally-sized piece of carry-on luggage, they'd rather tell me to stow it under the seat in front of me (I'm 6'7" and wear size 16 shoes and that's not fucking happening, bitch) or take it somewhere far away that will make me have to wait much longer to get out of that tiny aluminum can.

Comment: Re:I by no means missed the point (Score 1) 30

by Marxist Hacker 42 (#47526043) Attached to: Funniest /. article in a while

"How many wars have been waged or led by democracies in the past 200 years? Quite nearly all of them. "

Or none of them. The ones democracies participated in, were started by dictatorships invading their neighbors. But even if you add up all the dead in all the wars of the last 200 years- you're still at only a fraction of the 56 million that we've lost to abortion in America alone since 1973.

"How many wars have been waged by actual socialist countries - not just ones who were playing with words - in the past 200 years? Almost none of them."

By playing with words, do you mean the ones who have actually claimed to be socialist? Plus, of course, socialism and democracy does have a rather strong overlap.

"Hell just the number of people that our democracy has killed in war in the past 15 years is likely larger than the total number killed by all the military actions of all actual socialist states in the past 200 years."

Hmm, larger than the 15 million Stalin killed outright? Not in war. But abortions, yes.

Your average modern war kills a few hundred thousand tops.

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg