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Comment: Re:Robots? (Score 3, Insightful) 421

by Sibko (#48124651) Attached to: Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

You're kidding me right?

A woman working under biohazard 4 conditions, wearing a hermetically sealed suit, working with a patient she KNOWS has ebola and is infectious; gets Ebola herself, and you are seriously trying to play it off like it's no worse than HIV? Acting like a know-it-all expert on infectious diseases and trying to reassure everyone that this isn't going anywhere and isn't dangerous?

Look, I'm not trying to fear-monger here for the sake of it, and I'm certainly no ebola-expert, but trying to reassure everyone that this is just going to blow over with this idiocy about how safe Ebola is and how nobody can catch it unless they fucking lick infected blood when that is increasingly not the case just sets me right off. Even the media has done a complete 180 on their usual fear-mongering. Let's suppose for a moment that this woman did something out of procedure - she didn't clean her suit or something, and she touched it, then rubbed her eyes.

That's not HIV-level infectious. That's influenza/cold-level infectious, and that is extremely worrying, because the CDC seems to be grossly incompetent in this entire situation and I'm beginning to wonder if the corporations involved who have the potential to make literal billions to trillions off Ebola vaccines aren't giving little nudges here and there to maintain a certain level of incompetence in the matter. We aren't even quarantining Africa - the CDC says that wouldn't do anything. Like hell it wouldn't. The first thing we did when SARS was worrying people was to quarantine and shut down air travel, but apparently we're finding out only just now that this didn't work and won't work for Ebola, so let's just spend millions trying to screen for it ineffectively at the airports into our countries? I'm sorry, I'm not buying this. I'm not buying anything the mass media are telling us about this disease anymore. How many times does the mass media have to lie to people before they stop actually trusting them?

Did you know that one of the Ebola strains quite possibly moved through an air gap to cause infection?

We also know that the Filovirus family can easily become airborne:

This virus is spreading into the tens of thousands range in West Africa. That's an immense breeding ground for it to adapt to a new host. We know that Ebola strains can become airborne, and we keep having doctors getting sick with the virus in spite of hefty precautions against it. So why are we assuming it can't be airborne and can't be transmitted during its incubation period? Why are we assuming it has low infectivity when doctors in full protective gear are getting it? When people are literally getting this virus from just touching things that ebola victims have touched? Why is nobody taking precautions in case it IS highly infectious? This isn't some joke of a virus that kills 2% of the people it infects; almost everyone who gets it dies. This isn't something to be jovial and careless around, yet we took more precautions around SARS than anything we're doing with Ebola. It's fucking madness, and I keep seeing people parrot this bullshit that we shouldn't be worried, have nothing to fear if we aren't literally bathing in Ebola-blood like West Africans obviously are, and so on.

No, we DO have something to fear from this - you'd be foolish not to be worried - and I am not satisfied in the least with the way our governments are treating this whole thing. It's almost flippant. I think some serious discussion about this virus getting into western countries uncontrollably needs to seriously start happening. What are you going to do if Ebola ends up in your town? Have you even considered talking about it with your family? With your local community? Is the effort involved in being prepared really worth the risk of not being prepared and having to deal with it by the seat of your pants? Hell, that kind of communication in our communities is something that can help dramatically even if Ebola goes nowhere.

I think these are things people need to start doing. Don't sit back and leave it to the government to take care of it for you. Figure out what you should do, talk to your neighbours and discuss what you think the best way of handling this stuff is. Argue with people online about it and get informed. You don't have to go out buying full-body hazard suits and masks blindly, but having some networks to rely on and work with, having plans to deal with failing services, or losing loved ones, is important. This is a dangerous disease, an infectious disease and something that should quite frankly, be taken more seriously than it is right now.

Comment: A different way to look at this: (Score 1) 848

by Sibko (#47780265) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

Not that this will go anywhere but deaf ears, in part because there is a systemic pro-US push on every western website you care to name:

Early 1990's US suffers economic collapse
Texas and several other states secede from the union
Texas produces over half of the US military equipment, a good portion of the food, and can make nuclear weapons
The US keeps these states, especially Texas, within their sphere of influence through economic deals, US Oil pipelines run to South America through Texas
Texas has economic troubles, the US offers no-strings attached bailouts to keep Texas within its sphere of influence
The Soviet Union offers bailouts if Texas implement austerity measures, with the possibility of joining the South American Union and Warsaw Pact at a later date
There is talk in the media that the Soviet Union needs to put a missile defense shield in Texas once it's in the Warsaw Pact to protect itself and South America from Canadian aggression (They have the ability to make nukes, after all)
The US balks at all of this

Texan government takes the US deal, there are small protests in Texas where people argue they're better off with the Soviet Union, they want to split away from the US
These protestors are mostly left-leaning
The Soviet Union funds these protests and they go from small to large: Eventually the protestors perform a coup, replacing the Texan government; evidence (actual recorded phone calls) surface of false flag shootings being used to instigate tensions and violence
The right-leaning people in Texas are appalled, they start a separatist movement in several counties
The Texan government sends in its military to crush the separatist movement
The US begins funding and supplying the separatists with weapons and volunteers to help them
The Soviet Union paints the US as the aggressor, trying to threaten the world and annex countries like Hitler

As someone who has been looking at BOTH sides of this issue I'm fucking amazed that anyone paints Russia with such broad strokes as literal "Bad Guys". Everything they are doing makes sense geopolitically and nationally. Ukraine in NATO with a 'missile defense' in place against 'Iran'. Who are we kidding?

Once you look at the situation as it could apply to the US, it makes it easier to see through the utter bullshit propaganda. This entire thing is nothing more than NATO and the US encroaching on Russia's sphere of influence and territory. Russia ABSOLUTELY will go WW3 over Ukraine. The possibility of US/NATO nuclear weapons sitting in Ukraine is something Russia will not allow to happen, the loss of half of Russia's arms manufacturing cannot be allowed to happen. Ukraine is the first step to a first strike nuclear war scenario that could actually work.

I feel like I'm living in bizarro world where everyone has lost their marbles. I'm Canadian and even I don't support what the US has attempted to do in Ukraine. I'm sure some people will think I'm just eating up russian propaganda that I can't even read, but the truth is that I'm just not blindly siding with America. What the US is doing in Europe is pushing us towards thermonuclear war.

The American and European people need to find our marbles again. This is fucking crazy.

Comment: Re:Thanks for pointing out the "briefly" part. (Score 4, Insightful) 461

by Sibko (#47317319) Attached to: Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly
Are you fucking kidding me?
"Nuclear is a stopgap" and "not poisoning the world for future generations"?

You know how many people have died over the past 60-odd years from radiation poisoning? Direct deaths, including incidents like assassinations and laboratory accidents? 10,000, maybe? Nope. 5000? Nigga we ain't even close yet. 1000? Keep going. 500? Hahaha, get real buddy.

Over 60 years of nuclear power and widespread use of radioactive material and there are less than 400 (estimate 200-300) deaths from direct radiation exposure. You can bump it up to ~10,000-20,000 when you include estimates on cancer related deaths. But you know what? If we're going to count cancer related deaths for nuclear, then how about we count pollution related deaths for coal, oil and gas?

Think you can guess? Maybe 100,000 per year?
Try 7 million:

Even if you went batshit crazy with estimating nuclear's impact - with crazy greenpeace numbers like a million deaths that they pull out of their collective asses. You still come NOWHERE NEAR coal, oil or gas. In fact, by metrics like amount of power produced per death, Nuclear is the safest we have available. Nothing else beats it, including Solar, Wind and Hydro.

Enough with your bullshit FUD. There is nothing wrong with, and there has never been anything wrong with Nuclear. All the facts are stacked against you and all you've brought against it are lies and bullshit fearmongering to convince people who are ignorant of what the nuclear statistics actually look like. I'm fucking sick and tired of you anti-nuclear liars. All you do is help ensure we keep guzzling oil, coal and gas. I don't think the oil industries could've gotten better shills if they paid for them.

Comment: Re:Progenitors? (Score 4, Interesting) 686

by Sibko (#47218581) Attached to: Aliens and the Fermi Paradox
Or maybe the universe is so competitive that anyone who announces their presence eats the bad end of a relativistic weapon.

Who knows - maybe one's already headed for Earth. It's not like we have been hiding our radio transmissions or anything. Sure would be naive of us to assume aliens are all sunshine and rainbows and want nothing more than to love and hug us. Now granted, I think if relativistic weapons flying about were a real issue, we'd probably have seen evidence for it in the universe by now, but anyone who ascribes benevolence to aliens is just a fool ignoring every lesson nature has taught us on this planet.

Personally, I'm against alien contact unless it's US doing the contacting. The kind of power-play dynamic where we're met by aliens only puts us at a serious disadvantage. We're basically blind right now. We need to stay silent, open our eyes and ears, and see what happens around us a little before we go shouting to the galaxy at large "Hey! Over here!"

I think the only comforting fact about it all is that our biodiversity is probably the rarest thing about our planet - so if there is any value in that, any conquerors will at least leave our biosphere intact.

Comment: Common Issues with 'smart' guns (Score 1) 765

by Sibko (#46981021) Attached to: A Look at Smart Gun Technology
There's been a lot of discussion that I've seen already on these 'smart' guns.

Let me try and recap some of the most prominent against them:
>The RFID transmitter to unlock the gun requires batteries and has a limited range
>The RFID signal to unlock the gun can be jammed by a strong/close enough jammer
>The RFID receiver in the gun may require a battery if it has to move any mechanical parts
>The electronics are significantly less resilient than the metal construction of the rest of the gun - I've heard claims of replacement/repair of the firearm after just 2000 rounds fired
>The RFID receiver could be engineered with a 'back door' (Either mandated through legislation or not) which the government could use to lock up your gun (For example: A 'gun free' zone could have transmitters that tell all guns to lock up within range.)
>Depending on how integrated the 'smart' systems are with the mechanics of the gun, an exploited system could allow for things like intentional slamfires/rapidfire, feeding issues or other hazardous effects to the owner - remotely.
>Mechanical or electronic locks can be easily 'jailbroken' by the owner. If the safety of the firearm works by putting something between the firing pin and the cartridge, removing that piece of metal would make the gun less safe, but capable of working even if it is 'locked'. It's also a pretty trivial modification that could be done almost literally by anyone with a room temperature IQ or greater.
>Water could damage the circuitry and prevent the weapon from operating properly.
>Legislation can be introduced mandating that all firearms must be 'smart' guns. (In fact, this has already happened in New Jersey.)
>Smart guns cost significantly more than current firearms (A $500 pistol is now a $1500+ pistol), making it that much harder for the common person to purchase a firearm, especially if legislation makes the sale of non-smart guns illegal.

And what do gun owners gain from any of this? A firearm that - if someone grabbed it off you - wouldn't work? Look, let's not just ignore the elephant in the room here: This isn't about making guns safer. There's no added value in this for your common gun owner. No, this is simply an end run around the Constitution's second amendment - especially if, as in New Jersey - you start forcing people to buy smart guns and make normal firearms illegal. If widespread adoption happened, I guarantee you this type of legislation would be pushed everywhere.

Only the naive are buying into these things. Especially considering the growing distrust and discontent for our Government amongst the NSA/Snowden revelations, worsening 'war on drugs', loss of civil rights from the 'war on terror', bailouts of banks and corporations, and multiple seemingly pointless wars in the middle east.

People are really starting to get antsy about all of this stuff. The idea that the US is turning into a police state used to be laughed at. Today, the US has the largest prison population on the planet - exceeding China and Russia, it spies on its own citizens, tortures 'enemy combatants' and conducts extra-judicial targeted murders on American citizens abroad without due process of law - let alone citizens of other nations, such as the Australian citizen that was murdered this way just a few months ago. The first amendment is a joke when reasonable people can't get any airtime on ANY of the news networks and 'political correctness' groupthink is stamping out valid criticism or opposing viewpoints - even amongst those people who have made such comments in their own privacy. The right to peacefully assemble is a joke when you can only peacefully assemble where you're 'allowed' (and can be peacefully ignored). The two-party system is fundamentally flawed from the get-go, but especially so with the massive amount of corporate bribery and lack of any real investigation or punishment regarding corruption amongst our 'representatives'.

Quite honestly, America is headed for disaster, and these 'smart' guns are literally just one more tiptoe in that direction. The only people who honestly believe these guns are a good idea, are the people who want to take away the right to own firearms completely, and the people who support increasing state control over the population. The rest of us can see how ineffective and pointless these things are in reality.

Fucking christ, watching what is happening to America today is maddening. I feel like I'm watching the Titanic barrel towards the not-so-proverbial iceberg and instead of slowing down or turning, the people in charge are speeding up. I can't change the course, none of the passengers can change the course, and there's so many captains at the helm - most of them utterly daft - that they can't change the course either.

Comment: Re:Robot soldiers more civilian friendly than huma (Score 2) 180

You don't see robots engaging in a My Lai-type massacre.

They also wouldn't commit atrocities against civilians, wonton destruction, killing livestock, rape, beatings, etc. Robots won't rape and pillage.

Well... You won't see them independently decide to do something like that. But orders are literally orders to a robot. You tell them to burn a city to the ground, shoot anyone who tries to flee, and they will burn that city to the ground and shoot everyone who flees. Without remorse, without second guessing orders, without a moment of any hesitation.

Which frankly, worries me a bit more. Because the upper levels of command in just about every model of human hierarchy always seems to have worrying numbers of psychopaths/sociopaths beyond what you'd expect in a normal pool of the population. On top of that - they're physically removed from the carnage. It's a lot easier to order the leveling of a rebel-occupied village when you will never personally see the slaughter of innocents that result.

That's not to say humans never do these things. Just that, humans are capable of refusing to do these things. Robots aren't.

Comment: Re:Simple math (Score 4, Informative) 245

by Sibko (#46741381) Attached to: PC Gaming Alive and Dominant

Today, the PC market isn't really about pushing hardware. Remember Crysis? It sold nothing,

In the first couple weeks, Crysis sold ~90,000 copies. The developers were vocally disappointed by this, and immediately blamed the large amount of piracy of the game for poor sales, Crysis then went on and sold ~1 million copies in the following two months, and is presently sitting somewhere around 3 million copies sold.

Which means Crysis is now #33 in the list of "best selling PC games of all time".

That is not "selling nothing".

Comment: Psychohistory (Score 1) 136

by Sibko (#46732881) Attached to: Crowd Wisdom Better At Predictions Than Top CIA Analysts
This story actually really interested me - On its face, the idea of a website that does these things: Poses user-submitted predictive questions, with user profiles so you can track the most successful predictors, and probably some sort of range voting system for the actual voting process, seems like a really swell idea.

Unfortunately, I've not nearly the technical skills or capability to jump into making a website that aggregates questions, votes, user statistics, graphs, profiles and so on. I went ahead and did the next best thing I could think of: http://psychohis7ory.blogspot....

Comment: Re:Nice but pointless for me (Score 4, Insightful) 377

by Sibko (#46499639) Attached to: Measuring the Xbox One Against PCs With <em>Titanfall</em>

I tried it with Battlefield the last Battlefield game and it was such a trainwreck I uninstalled it and tossed the game in the trash before ever getting to play it. It went something like this:

Buy the physical media ( dvd ) install game. Try to play, find out you have to install Steam, cuss, install Steam, register and do all the BS required. Try to play, find out there is a multi GB PATCH to install before I can play, cuss some more, start download ( which takes HOURS coming from their servers ) finally get it all downloaded, try to play, discover my browser opens up instead of the game...

About the only thing Steam doesn't require here, is a plugin for your browser.
Sorry, I just feel like pointing out the slag that other distribution systems seem to get when Steam does the exact same thing, or is worse. It reminds me of the kind of love Apple used to and still does get.

Comment: Re:Pipe-dream Utopia (Score 1) 888

by Sibko (#46246571) Attached to: Star Trek Economics
>People only work for monetary reward and nothing else.
>If people had all the food and housing they needed, they would just waste away doing nothing their entire life

Can we please kill this meme already?

We have never been motivated solely by monetary greed. People, especially bright and creative people, work to test and improve themselves and their skills.
Wealth stops being a concern for people once they're making over $70,000 a year.

Those people who 'sit and do nothing' at home, _don't_. It's a fantasy in your mind. They're creating things with others, socializing, being HUMAN. Our worth is NOT dependent on how much money we make someone else, or ourselves.

+ - Slashdot BETA Discussion-> 60

Submitted by mugnyte
mugnyte (203225) writes "With Slashdot's recent restyled "BETA" slowly rolled to most users, there's been a lot of griping about the changes. This is nothing new, as past style changes have had similar effects. However, this pass there are significant usability changes: A narrower read pane, limited moderation filtering, and several color/size/font adjustments. BETA implies not yet complete, so taking that cue — please list your specific, detailed opinoins, one per comment, and let's use the best part of slashdot (the moderation system) to raise the attention to these. Change can be jarring, but let's focus on the true usability differences with the new style."
Link to Original Source
United States

Snowden Claims That NSA Collaborated With Israel To Write Stuxnet Virus 491

Posted by samzenpus
from the in-today's-leaked-news dept.
andrewa writes "In an interview with Der Spiegel Snowden claims that the NSA, amongst other things, collaborated with Israel to write the Stuxnet virus. Not that this is news, as it has been suspected that it was a collaborative effort for some time. When asked about active major programs and how international partners help, Snowden says: 'The partners in the "Five Eyes" (behind which are hidden the secret services of the Americans, the British, the Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians -- ed.) sometimes go even further than the NSA people themselves. Take the Tempora program of the British intelligence GCHQ for instance. Tempora is the first "I save everything" approach ("Full take") in the intelligence world. It sucks in all data, no matter what it is, and which rights are violated by it. This buffered storage allows for subsequent monitoring; not a single bit escapes. Right now, the system is capable of saving three days’ worth of traffic, but that will be optimized. Three days may perhaps not sound like a lot, but it's not just about connection metadata. "Full take" means that the system saves everything. If you send a data packet and if makes its way through the UK, we will get it. If you download anything, and the server is in the UK, then we get it. And if the data about your sick daughter is processed through a London call center, then ... Oh, I think you have understood.'"

Comment: Re:"Panspermia" (Score 3, Insightful) 169

by Sibko (#43151967) Attached to: Evidence For Comet-Borne Microfossils Supports Panspermia

Basically, Panspermia solves the issue of the unlikelihood of life developing sporadically on Earth, by saying "Space did it", which is the scientific equivalent of "God did it".

But... technically, space did do it. We are, after all, the example of space doing it.

Question: If we send a probe to Europa, contaminate it with Earth-born bacteria, and 2 billion years from now that moon is crawling with life, does that mean "God did it" too?

Or perhaps panspermia is not the equivalent of 'god dun it' anymore than evolution is.
The idea of panspermia still requires evolution to take place somewhere.

Comment: Youtube Ads (Score 3, Interesting) 978

by Sibko (#43130935) Attached to: Game Site Wonders 'What Next?' When 50% of Users Block Ads
We've been doing renovations on the house here, so I recently moved in with my father for a couple weeks while getting everything done at home. I noticed that suddenly youtube seemed to have an incredible number of ads when I used his computer. I wasn't really sure what had happened, I assumed maybe there was something related to his google account that showed him more ads, or perhaps youtube had suddenly implemented a massive new ad campaign.

Eventually, I realized, my dad's computer didn't have adblock, while mine did. The difference this made was staggering. I'd always assumed Youtube was just really gentle with their advertisements - I'd still get them, but they were quiet and relatively few. Without adblock, jesus, I couldn't believe what the site was like without adblock. It's nearly as bad as cable TV.

The thing is, I happened to be building a new computer at the time and decided to forego the normal adblock install in chrome. That changed after about a week, youtube was a significant part of that decision, but there many many website that would pop-up shit on the screen that would block out all the other content and darken everything except the ad, or there'd be annoying little mini-videos strewn about the page, or they'd blare some noise loudly and randomly.

Seriously, I don't mind ads. They pay for the content I enjoy, but this is too much.

Make headway at work. Continue to let things deteriorate at home.