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Comment Well... (Score 2) 144

1. Not surprised
2. How many other marketing agencies are getting away with it?

Seriously, the past couple years it has reached the point where I'm questioning if half the things I'm reading online are even genuine, or just shilled marketing from some PR team to push an agenda or product. It's happened on imgur, on reddit, even 4chan. Nevermind the gawker media rags, gaming media, and even mainstream media. I wouldn't even be surprised if it has happened here. We've all probably seen it - these people we've never heard of who suddenly get mass exposure for no reason, or things that nobody would've given two shits about, but every network carries the story. (Hurr, is the dress black and blue or white and gold!?!)

It's like mass advertising has become mass propaganda, and there's nowhere you can go to escape it.

Comment Re:So then the question becomes (Score 1) 449

I suspect the truth is that whoever did the numbers in the OP article fudged them juuuust a bit.

For example, I see no references made to controlling for fake MALE profiles. Apparently only the female ones can be fake? It almost feels like the point of the article was to say, "Hey look! Men are such cheaters and women hardly cheat at all!"

And if you told me something like this 5 years ago, I'd have scoffed at it, but with identity politics, online hugboxes, a whole slew of rhetoric and half truths about women in anything, and rampant clickbait articles across the web, quite frankly I don't trust any of the "research" cited by these rags anymore. Not until I can actually look at their numbers and methodology myself.

Comment Re:The Sad Puppies won. (Score 0) 1042

Have you seen some of the more recent awards?

Check out this 2013 award: "The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere" by John Chu.

"Some weeks prior to the beginning of the story, an unexplained phenomenon begins worldwide: whenever a person lies, water falls on that person from nowhere. Consequently, Matt decides that the time is right to not only come out to his traditional Chinese family, but to introduce them to his partner."

There was a rather uncouth observation I caught while reading about this:

Another 2013 award: "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love" won the 2013 Nebula Award for Best Short Story, and was nominated for the 2014 Hugo Award for Best Short Story.

"A narrator explains to their love how things would be different if that person were a Tyrannosaurus rex."

How many of the Hugo awards have gone to authors writing stories that, to most people, would never be considered science fiction? These two stories in particular don't stand out as science fiction to me, but rather as social justice pandering - which happens to be exactly the complaint sad puppies have leveled against the awards. There are also accusations that the awards have become nothing more than marketing for Tor Books, and that authors are being selected, not for the content of their works, but the color of their skin.

Frankly, the fact that the community surrounding the Hugo awards voted No Awards as opposed to allowing some of the few sad puppy nominations to potentially win, pretty much stated their case: The awards are being used to push political agendas; only progressive, left-wing stories can be nominated and if you don't match that ideology, then fuck off.

Comment Re:Uber = Public subsidized (Score 1) 204

Uber rates are of course cheaper because the drivers don't carry commercial insurance, paying regular insurance rates, and thus raising the rates for everyone else as consequence.

Now, if the argument is that public subsidized taxi services can reduce drunk driving rates, then by all means, create public subsidies for taxis

Err... what would be the significant difference between a subsidized taxi service, paid into by all taxpayers, and raised insurance rates paid for by everyone driving vehicles?

Comment Re:AT&T had zero choice (Score 4, Informative) 82

Of course AT&T had a choice, they could have gone to court. That would have stopped it right there. What could the NSA do, shut them down?

Well, the NSA/Government could cancel your government contracts, begin investigating you for insider trading, and jail your CEO for 6 years...

Comment Inflammatory headline? (Score 3, Insightful) 307

Okay, so I decided to do a little digging on the actual op-ed piece. It's available here:

Here is a translation of what he said regarding the moon landings, courtesy of washington post:

“No, we are not saying they never flew up there and just filmed a movie instead. But all these scientific, or perhaps even cultural artifacts are part of an international human heritage, and their disappearance is a great loss for all of us. An investigation would reveal [what happened and where they are].”

This is ALL he says about the moon landings. The slashdot post insinuates, "various murky details surrounding the U.S. moon landings between 1969 and 1972." but the actual piece after translation and in context with the corruption tone of the article looks like an accusation of US officials selling off or stealing material recovered from the moon. Not an accusation that the US never went to the moon. He even explicitly says that's not what he's questioning.

But I guess we gotta get our pitchforks and torches out because it's the evil bad Russia.

Comment Re:Free Speech (Score 5, Insightful) 180

...but that what happens when citizens can't be fucking bothered to pay attention and give the goddamn lobbyists free reign to write the laws!

Literally blaming the victim. Heh.

Look, it's not simply a case of "We just weren't prepared enough for this, didn't take any precautions, and did nothing to stop it." this is systematic rot that has been eating away at our rights for decades. We've fought it all over the place. Our method of rooting it out has itself been rotted away. We live in "democracies" where our votes are meaningless now.

There is no internal solution to this anymore. It's more than evident that our votes don't matter, and anyone voted into office will be bribed or worse. This is no longer a matter of voting the right person in. That doesn't mean 'give up'. It means 'start working outside the system'. You'll know it's effective when the government starts banning whatever method it is you've chosen for changing the system, the media starts demonizing you to destroy any popular/public support, and the intelligence agencies infiltrate your group to destroy it from within.

In fact, we have two prime examples already of this taking place: Occupy Wall Street, and the Tea Party movement. Anyone who thinks we haven't been fighting the blatant corruption in our government hasn't been paying attention. We've been fighting plenty; it's just that we've also been losing.

As I mentioned earlier - this is only going to get worse as time goes on. I'd honestly argue that many western nations are practical powderkegs right now. I don't think it's going to take much more for armed rebellion to start taking place. Another 2008 "recession", a sharp rise in the price of food, a couple more serious scandals like snowden, or CIA torture. People are getting fed up. People are noticing that their votes aren't changing anything.

Pretty soon people are going to start changing things in their own ways - and that isn't going to be pretty. It's going to leave many people wondering if we weren't better off just being the cattle we're being treated as.

Comment Re:Politicans who forget who voted for them... (Score 0) 121

We have more than two political parties in Canada. The choice isn't limited to "Conservatives or Liberals". You can vote for NDP, Green Party, etc.

Good joke, I laughed.

The policies of the NDP, Greens, and Liberals are very similar - so much so that the last election which granted a conservative majority in parliament was drummed up to the liberal vote being split between three parties, where the conservative voting bloc had one. The conservatives won a parliamentary majority with a minority of the popular vote.

So when you say "You can vote NDP, Green, Liberal..." all I see is: "You can vote liberal, liberal, liberal..."; it's honestly not a lot different from a 2-party system. If we wanted a better system, we'd use proportional representation, but we don't and probably never will until, and probably well after, our current government collapses at whatever nebulous point in the future. (As government's are wont to do - call it entropy)

If you asked an average Canadian to explain the difference between those three liberal parties you'd get:
NDP - ???
Green - They're environmentalists who want to legalize pot!
Liberal - ???

Or to get to the point: If you think the Canadian version of democracy was an improvement over the American version (or any other) you are sorely mistaken. It's the same thing with different window dressing. I honestly think only the Swiss have an actual functional democratic system of government in today's world, the rest of us are just faking it.

Comment Re:No they don't (Score 1) 226

Maury, the problems with your math are mostly in your base assumptions - that you presume solar cells in space produces the same amount of power as solar cells on Earth. That is not, in fact, correct. Also incorrect is your Ts value, ("Ts is the loss between the two antennas") for which you give 50% efficiency, but the paper you cite gives 89-96.5%; I looked for other sources and they corroborate ~90%+ transmission+conversion efficiency for rectennas.

Sunlight from the sun has to get through the atmosphere around earth, and the earth has rotation that puts it out of direct sunlight every so many hours. Peak solar energy production is for just a few hours per day. Where you place a transmission loss on a space-based solar array, you do not put a transmission loss on the ground-based solar array. This is essentially the crux of the mistake.

The sun is the transmitter, and the earth's atmosphere is pretty good at deflecting a certain amount of that, especially if water gets involved (clouds, storms). This is a problem that radio/microwave-based transmission avoids, as the atmosphere is more transparent to the beamed radiation than the sunlight reaching the surface of the Earth. A solar cell in orbit will be in sunlight almost permanently, and with nothing between it and the energy source (the sun), there is essentially zero transmission loss.

Submission + - Drones and satellites spot lost civilizations in unlikely places-> 1

sciencehabit writes: What do the Sahara desert and the Amazon rainforest have in common? Until recently, archaeologists would have told you they were both inhospitable environments devoid of large-scale human settlements. But they were wrong. Here today at the annual meeting of the AAAS, two researchers explained how remote sensing technology, including satellite imaging and drone flights, is revealing the traces of past civilizations that have been hiding in plain sight.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:This doesn't sound... sound (Score 1) 328

We just don't have an actual established science of economics yet.

Today's study of economics is like Astrology and its connections with Astronomy 8,000 years ago. You've got a bunch of old men who noticed patterns in the stars and the seasons and could predict things like full moons or eclipses or when to plant crops and when to harvest - it looked like magic to those who didn't understand, and even those who caught the patterns and exploited them never truly understood what they were observing and predicting; and they would create stories and fables and gods and divinity to explain and control. You had to become a priest to learn their secrets, you had to join their secret societies and open brotherhoods and worship their gods to learn, and then you too could profit from the knowledge.

And when someone comes along and says, "Hey, I figured it out! This is how it all actually works!" they are persecuted, because they upset a certain ignorance amongst the population that a select few were able to exploit for their own personal gain.

This is exactly what economics is like today. There are people out there gaming the system because they've noticed or figured out something the rest of us haven't. They've created entire economic ideologies to waylay anyone looking to bring forth actual knowledge, because the pervasive ignorance of economics is profitable for them, and common understanding and knowledge of how it all really works isn't.

Inevitably the control will slip, as it did with astronomy. Whether thanks to technology, or something else. And ten thousand, or twenty thousand, or a hundred thousand years from now there will be people looking back at our economic policies today, chuckling quietly to themselves about how silly, superstitious and primitive we were about a science that's so easy to understand.

As long as we're going to reinvent the wheel again, we might as well try making it round this time. - Mike Dennison