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Comment: Re:Google Streams (Score 2) 83

by Darinbob (#49557781) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed

Or what about people with Android, who get google+, youtube, gmail, etc, without ever asking for that stuff. *Exactly* like people who get itunes & apple store for no reason other than having an iphone... Why do people rage about this but not about iphone? Why do they rage abut unwanted google+ accounts but not unwanted youtube or gmail accounts?

Comment: Re:How did he even get that job? (Score 2) 117

There's no chance of dying from a video game and I start on normal because I play to have fun, not to prove anything to anyone.

How arrogant are you to presume you know what motivated him?

If I play on hard, it's just to see if I can do it and because I got better at the game. But I'm glad you think he "earned" the right (aka he's a stuck up rich asshole who can afford the travel costs and expensive gear) to climb Everest. I think he earned the right to have an avalanche fall on his head.

There are poor people living in awful neighborhoods who wish they could afford a security system or a gun or to move and they're in danger every day. Then there's this rich asshole who's just so bored with his career and life, he has to travel around the world and climb a mountain. He got what he deserved and frankly every poor person he offended agrees with me.

Are you posting this from a poor village in Africa where you're volunteering to give subsistence farmers a better life or are you posting from a nice home in the West working a typical Western job?

You probably spend a similar portion of your wealth on recreational activities as he did. The only difference is he had a lot more money so could spend more. You're a rich asshole who's just so bored with his career and life, he has to surf the Internet on his fancy computer posting on forums. I think you earned the right to have a router fall on your head.

Comment: Re:How did he even get that job? (Score 1) 117

This is not such a good comparison. For one thing, a video game gives you continues

Fine, mountain biking, martial arts, skydiving. There's risk in all of those, I assume you disapprove?

and, other than a factory worker in korea, doesn't exploit poorer cultures in dangerous ways.

Working as a Sherpa can pay an order of magnitude more than other occupations in that economy. That doesn't mean there isn't an ethical dilemma involved but your argument is almost like saying we can't pay them Western salaries so we shouldn't hire them at all.

There's a more subtle problem with your line of thinking that slashmydots pointed out, that the pursuit of everest is selfish. You do not "conquer" this challenge yourself

Neither do the Stanley Cup Champions.

as you might by biking up the col de ventoux

Or riders in the Tour De France.

There is great expense involved, and you would need support from what is practically an aboriginal people.

Climbing without support would be a greater accomplishment, and as I said there's some very dubious expeditions, but they're still accomplishing an extremely difficult task.

(You also cannot actually survive the summit, so you need all of industrialized society behind you to supply you with air/gear).

So? Is scuba diving also immoral?

This is just bad ethics.

You know what is actually bad ethics? Accusing other people of being unethical for relatively arbitrary reasons because you disapprove of their subculture.

See how many chin ups you can do, or what your fastest run of X distance is, or the fastest bike or swim at some interesting location. Climbing everest proves only that you had about 65 thousand dollars to set on fire, and are sadly lacking in imagination.

Oddly enough I find the list of typical everyday activities to be lacking in imagination.

Comment: Re:That's too bad (Score 1) 117

No, because some asshole that did nothing of praise but was latched to a big "tech" biz "living the life" "doing what he loved!" is worthy of front page news unlike the common native peasant carrying his luggage on donkeys up the camp, because "those "weren't living the life" and "doing what they love", but who cares, they are poor because they chose to.

Yes! Lets show off our empathy and great social conscience by calling a dead person an asshole!

Comment: Re:How did he even get that job? (Score 4, Interesting) 117

Climbing Everest is stupid, irresponsible, dangerous, pointless task for people with severe mental problems like constantly needing approval from others or pathological levels of arrogance or constantly feeling inadequate. So I have to wonder how he even got that job at Google with the personality of an Everest climber.

Do you play computer games?

If so do you play on beginner mode or hard mode? Personally I go for the harder modes because accomplishment is a lot more satisfying when there's a legitimate challenge involved.

Climbing Everest isn't anything different. If you really like to climb it's the most accessible major challenge out there, it's true that not everybody who climbs Everest is a dedicated climber who's "earned" the right to take on that challenge, but I see no evidence that Dan Fredinburg was one of those people.

The fact that climbing Everest doesn't personally appeal to you doesn't give you grounds to make up some BS rationalization for insulting those who do.

Personally I have no desire to take on an even moderately dangerous hobby, but I think nothing less of those who do.

Comment: Weird business model (Score 4, Interesting) 121

by quantaman (#49551223) Attached to: Giant Survival Ball Will Help Explorer Survive a Year On an Iceberg

Sharpe hopes the products will be universal—in schools, retirement homes, and private residences, anywhere there is severe weather.

According to the website they sell capsules for 2-10 people. Can you imagine how big a 10 person capsule would be? For a small school of 300 kids you'd still need 30 of them! Even if you had the money where does he expect people to store them?! It doesn't even make sense for paranoid families.

If you're that worried about the weather then you won't stick around for a bad hurricane (or you'd have a safe room built in).

An earthquake won't give you time to reach the survival ball.

Yes it might be useful for the tsunami they focus on, but those are incredibly rare and inconsistent, and if people were that worried they'd already be buying cheap air tanks and respirators.

On the other hand a good usage might be what they're doing now, using it as a lifeboat (assuming the crew is small enough). If a really severe storm comes up and the ship is going down then an impregnable capsule where you can wait for rescue sounds appealing.

Am I missing something or is that the only real market for their product? Their obsession with tsunamis just strikes me as bizarre.

Comment: Re:One of many potential causes (Score 1) 90

by Rei (#49550329) Attached to: Bees Prefer Nectar Laced With Neonicotinoids

Yep. It's wierd because the symptoms can correspond with many different causes. For example, the climate change thing makes sense because bees can be tricked into thinking it's spring and start foraging or even swarming in the middle of winter when they really should stay in the winter cluster. The occasional warm day is good for them to be able to get out and void themselves, but longer periods of significantly fluctuating weather can be bad.

But it also matches other problems. Diseased or dying hives often lead to "desperate" swarming where bees start abandoning the hive to try to establish a new, safe place. Most of these swarms, however, will die. The behavior could be seen as a general "exteme stress" behavior. It could also be seen as a neurological disorder from pesticide exposure.

In short, it could match almost any possible cause. And probably is a result of many of them.

Comment: Re:The study was flawed (Score 4, Informative) 90

by Rei (#49550295) Attached to: Bees Prefer Nectar Laced With Neonicotinoids

I think it's important to ask questions because there's been literally "dozens" of different things "definitively linked" with CCD. The public likes to seize on neonicotinoids, but they're probably one of the least supported of these many different "definitively linked" reasons. Whole countries have gone so far as to outright ban neonicotinoids, with no effect on CCD. France, for example, banned them. The next year they largely switched to blaming the condition on Asian Hornets when the decline rates didn't decrease.

The problem is that when you ban a certain pesticide, people start using others. And going from neonicotinoids to organophosphates is a massive step backwards in terms of general safety, not just to pollinators, but especially to more complex animals as well. But the biggest problem with the neonicotinoid theory is that neonicotinoids are only used in a small fraction of the areas where CCD exists. Bees can only fly several kilometers from the hive, they're not going cross-country and picking up every pesticide in every farmer's arsenal. It even exists among people who are in places where no pesticides at all are used.

It's easy for the general public to latch onto a particular cause. But once you learn more about beekeeping you realize how incredibly much out there is that can utterly f* up a hive. And which have in history regularly collapsed bee populations, far worse than the collapses we have today. Trachael mites once nearly obliterated beekeeping in Europe, saved mainly by the development of the Buckfast bee. Check out this very inexhaustive list of bee pests and diseases. There's even some really counterintuitive effects in that small levels of some pesticides can actually increase hive survival rates, in that they're deadlier to bee pests like mites than to the bees themselves.

The public also tends to totally understand colony collapse disorder in the first place. Normal winter colony death levels are about 15% in most locations (though where I am it's higher). CCD raised the US average to about 30% at its peak. This is painful and expensive to beekeepers, but it has literally no impact on the ability to sustain bee populations. A new beehive can be started with just a queen and a handful of workers. Hives can be made to produce queens en masse through proper management. Hence people can mail order starter hives, and there's never going to be a threat to the ability to produce these starter hives - a single hive can make many dozens per year. Even normal hives not managed for breeding starter hives will naturally produce several swarms every year; beekeepers try to discourage and/or catch these swarms.

In all likelihood, neonicotinoids are one among many different stressors to bees in the modern era that causes CCD. Modern bees are much more "stressed" than bees in the past. We've created an environment where new bee pests and diseases have spread far and wide to bees that never would have encountered them in the wild. We raise them on corn syrup and sugar water in the winter (good for reducing dysintery and increasing honey yields, but robbing them of certain vitamins and minerals). We transport them on flatbed trucks hundreds or thousands of kilometers (these are animals that get confused if you move their hive a couple meters; their ability to navigate by sight is poor, they're best navigating by the sun and dead reckoning). And countless varieties of poisons, even unintentional ones, affect them every day of their lives. There's so many factors now that weaken hives that any "new" factor to an area can push them over the edge.

Comment: Re:The study was flawed (Score 2) 90

by Rei (#49550221) Attached to: Bees Prefer Nectar Laced With Neonicotinoids

I'd really like to read the paper but unfortunately it's down. But for example, do the neonicotinoids add a UV signature to the liquid not present in the sugar water? That would have little to no influence in the case of flowers in nature (where they're not looking at the nectar, and there's all sorts of other chemicals in the nectar). What other chemicals are in the neonicotinoid solution (they're rarely pure, they usually have all sorts of other chemicals to increase their effect)? What's their cleaning and handling procedure for preparing and filling the sample containers? I want to know how they controlled these experiments against factors that humans can't detect but bees absolutely can.

Just the very act of hooking electrodes up to bee neurons I'd have concerns about. Is there any induced electric field involved, or even rubbing against the bee hairs? Bees transfer information to one another via dances, such as the waggle dance. Bees build up an electrostatic charge on their body, and a waggling bee imposes an electrostatic force on the antennae and hairs of all adjacent bees, causing them to feel dance over a short distance. Their stereoscopic sense of the dance lets them know the direction, and that combined with the time allows them to work out a direction to a food source relative to the (moving) direction of the sun. It functions like transferring a memory from one be to another. There's also "negation" behaviors, by other bees who don't like the information giving out; they have a different frequency buzz to say "don't go there", and sometimes different bees may even fight with each other over what's good and what's bad information.

Also note that the linked articles refer to a second study published simultaneously which showed no effect on honeybees next to rapeseed fields sprayed with neonicotinoids versus an altogether unsprayed field. Which is pretty remarkable, because you expect almost *any* pesticide next to your hive to have a profoundly negative effect on it.

Comment: Re:The study was flawed (Score 1) 90

by Rei (#49550205) Attached to: Bees Prefer Nectar Laced With Neonicotinoids

I'm sorry, but calling flagging a "troll" because they misread an article is beyond the pale. None of their behavior was "trollish". Saying that a study is flawed is in no way shape or form engaging in "fraudulent research", aka, deliberately falsifying data to push an agenda.

The Nature article appears to be down. But I have to caution, studying bee behavior is very difficult. Many of our senses, bees lack or have only at low resolution. But they have a number of senses that we don't. They see UV. They see polarized light. They sense electric fields. They're sensitive to a lot of chemicals that we cannot detect. And so forth. It's very, very easy to accidentally give bees signals, which will alter their behavior, that you didn't realize you were giving. I'd like how they attempted to control for all of this, but unfortunately that's not possible now.

Comment: Re:Can we use this? (Score 1) 153

by JMZero (#49549411) Attached to: Wormholes Untangle a Black Hole Paradox

I don't know why I'm continuing this, but if you're going to just reflexively gainsay, you might at least say why the experiments I linked to don't prove what scientists say they do. Bell's work was a long time ago, and while it's still not 1000% nailed down it's very solid. The experiments are all on that side - the only thing on the "alternative" side is vague "I don't think the universe would work that way" crap that has to be very convoluted to match up with experimental reality.

In 1750 Issac Newton became discouraged when he fell up a flight of stairs.