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Comment: Re:Good luck with that - it's Italy (Score 2) 69

by ShanghaiBill (#49775289) Attached to: Court Orders UberPop Use To Be Banned In All of Italy

The Western European champion for having the largest part of GDP as undeclared "underground" economy.

Also the only first world nation with a brain drain, of more educated people leaving than arriving, mostly because of lack of opportunity in a corrupt and over regulated economy. In the ease of doing business rankings, Italy is below Mexico and Colombia, and only a few notches above Russia.

Comment: Re:Well there's the problem... (Score 4, Insightful) 69

by ShanghaiBill (#49775201) Attached to: Court Orders UberPop Use To Be Banned In All of Italy

As if there's no public interest in limiting the number of taxis on the road.

No, there is no public interest in inhibiting fair competition. This is about protecting vested private interests, not the public interest.

If licenses weren't numbered, the proliferation of taxis would render city streets unnavigable.

Hogwash. The supply would only be high if the demand was high. If there were too many taxis and not enough passengers, then some drivers would go home and take the day off. Free markets don't solve every problem, but they can solve this one.

Comment: Re:Is a reduction (Score 4, Insightful) 66

by ShanghaiBill (#49772973) Attached to: Bats' White-Nose Syndrome May Be Cured

don't underestimate the value of a successful lobbying campaign.

For every lobbying campaign, there is an equal and opposite lobbying campaign. So a lot of money is spent to accomplish nothing. Why should I donate to an organization that is then going to lobby the government to raise my taxes so I can pay again? Instead of lobbying or lawsuits, the NC worked with the Forest Service, and a state university, provided funding to pull together experts with complementary skills, and solved a real problem. I consider that a much better use of my money that donating to the Sierra Club, so they can lobby the government to shut down nukes, so we can burn more coal, or sue power companies for building windmills that might kill a few birds.

Comment: Re:Is a reduction (Score 4, Interesting) 66

by ShanghaiBill (#49772749) Attached to: Bats' White-Nose Syndrome May Be Cured

I just wanted to add, that I am a donor to the Nature Conservancy. They do a lot of good work, and I am happy to see that my money is helping to save these little critters. If you are looking for a worthy cause, you should check them out. Unlike some other environmental organizations (Sierra Club, Greenpeace, NRDC, etc.) they focus on pragmatic solutions rather than political lobbying, advertising, and public relations.

Comment: Re:Is a reduction (Score 5, Informative) 66

by ShanghaiBill (#49772715) Attached to: Bats' White-Nose Syndrome May Be Cured

of 10% really that significant? Bats are rodents, they breed prodigiously.

1. Bats are not rodents.
2. They don't breed prodigiously, often having on one offspring per year.

The big problem with the white fungus is that it keeps the bats awake, and makes it so they can't hibernate properly. So their body temperature stays high, which means they burn calories, which means they starve to death before springtime.

Comment: Re:We are not amused (Score 0) 195

Someone should gently remind the prime minister that the Victorian era is over.

Yes, someone should. But I don't see why that someone should be an EU bureaucrat. Why should the EU be telling the British how to run Britain? If they want porn to be opt-in, that is their own business.

Comment: Re:China already selectively eliminates females (Score 2) 126

by ShanghaiBill (#49772247) Attached to: Sex-Switched Mosquitoes May Help In Fight Against Diseases

SEX RATIO (MALE(S)/FEMALE) - at birth:
India: 1.12
China: 1.11

I am skeptical about these figures. Many people have an interest in covering up this problem. In China, there is also a lot of cover up in the other direction, from parents that had a daughter, and didn't report the birth, so they could later have a son as their "one child". Often times these girls are raised in the countryside by their grandparents, and kept out of school, so the government doesn't know about them.

Comment: Re:Why not just kill them all? (Score 1) 126

by ShanghaiBill (#49772197) Attached to: Sex-Switched Mosquitoes May Help In Fight Against Diseases

Eradicating mosquitoes would undoubtedly have some unforeseen negative ecological dislocations.

We don't need to eradicate all mosquitoes. Just the anopheles mosquitoes that transmit malaria. There are plenty of other mosquito species that would be happy to fill their niche.

Comment: Re:How is this tech related? (Score 1) 147

by ShanghaiBill (#49770495) Attached to: EU Drops Plans For Safer Pesticides After Pressure From US

So you are advocating allowing untested chemicals in our food, and only ban it once people are dying?

Of course not. These chemicals have been extensively tested. There is no question that they cause some harm, but it is not clear how much harm, or if they cause more harm than alternative chemicals, or the economic costs of using no chemicals. Many factors should be considered, in a deliberative scientific process, rather than just caving in to some green pressure group out of political convenience.

Comment: Re:females operate on emotion, not logic (Score 4, Funny) 361

The spokesperson at Google making these claims, is not a tech. She is a lawyer. So there is likely no connection between what she says, and what she actually believes. Anyway, since she is a lawyer, her parents clearly didn't raise her right, so she may just be projecting the failure of her own parents onto others.

Comment: Re:females operate on emotion, not logic (Score 4, Insightful) 361

Really? And that must be why there are more battered husbands shelters than battered wives shelters ...

60-70% of domestic violence is initiated by women. The reason we don't have "battered men" shelters is that it is socially acceptable for women to be violent, and that any man that "can't handle it" isn't a real man, and should be ashamed of himself. In the media, when women are depicted as violent toward their partners, it is almost always supposed to be funny.

Comment: Re:And I'm the feminist deity (Score 5, Informative) 361

This tenet is absurd and provably false.

I coach an after school program in robotics and programming at my local elementary school, and I agree that this is baloney. The parents are pushing hard for their girls to pursue tech, and it is the girls themselves that are disinterested. We have tried many things to keep girls in the program. I recruited an engineer mom as a co-coach to provide a role model. We let the girls form "all-girl" teams, so they can use more collaborative teamwork, and consensus decision making, which they feel more comfortable with, rather than the hierarchical teams that is natural to boys. But we still got only a few girls to sign up this year, and most of those only signed up because of parental pressure, and half of them dropped out when the try-outs for the school play were announced. It is very frustrating, and I don't know what the solution is, but blaming the parents is hogwash. I don't see that at all.

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