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Comment: Isn't that enough? (Score 1) 276

by Okian Warrior (#47895475) Attached to: California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

I know everyone is all over Uber and and the other one because the cars are "nicer" and the service "better" than cabs. But [...]

Um... isn't that enough?

Firstly, you're wrong about the liability.

Secondly, you are confusing the possibility of injury with its probability.

If the probability of injury is small and the cost of injury is also appreciably small, the expected cost of using Lyft or Uber may be much less than the expected cost of using a cab.

For an example, if a ride-share is $6 less than a cab fare, and if there is an average of 1 injury every 100,000 rides, then if the average injury costs less than $600,000 then it's a better deal for everyone to use the ride share.

Using this reference, cabs crash about once every 300,000 miles.

Also note, the number of crashes in regular driving has decreased dramatically over the last few years, probably due to increased safety measures in vehicles and modern roadway improvements (Denver Barriers around bridge supports, for example).

And in any event, most people have health insurance. At the very least, a significant portion of riders would have health insurance - enough to reduce the risk by a further factor of four or more.

SHELL GAME is where you can't win. CASINO GAME is where the odds are against you. Uber and Lyft seem to be decidedly in the passenger's favor.

Cue the irrational fearmongering reply: "unless you are the one injured, then how would you feel!".

Comment: Have we lost judicial oversight? (Score 3, Interesting) 276

by Okian Warrior (#47895361) Attached to: California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

Apropos of nothing, when did we allow unelected regulators complete authority over the law?

It seems that every regulator now has the authority to declare something illegal, judge that an infraction has occurred, assess fines, and force collection.

If someone is in violation of a regulation, shouldn't the regulator present their evidence before a judge? Don't we want an unbiased 3rd party to chime in on whether the law is clear, whether the evidence merits a violation, and whether there are extenuating circumstances?

The policy of default judgement by fiat, with a "go to court to reverse it if you think you've been wronged" is a recipe for injustice and corruption.

When did we lose judicial oversight of our regulations? Did it happen slowly, or was it a sudden change?

Comment: Science at its best (Score 1) 288

by Okian Warrior (#47881311) Attached to: Link Between Salt and High Blood Pressure 'Overstated'

The debate on this issue is far from over, and it'll take years to sort out all the contradictory evidence.

Once again, science is reduced to debate and belief. Medicine is rife with these sorts of "schools of thought"(*), it's almost as bad as economics. This is not the "more refined theory supplants approximate theory" that one finds in, for example, physics. It's "yeah, this looks good and makes sense, so we're 'gonna go with it" science.

This is what allows vested interests to decry science in favor of their own agenda. Who is the average person supposed to trust when scientists keep making and overturning bad conclusions, in the face of authority figures pushing their own agenda?

All I see here, in this forum, is appeal to the difficulty of experimentation. If the original single experiment is so hard or expensive to reproduce, should we be basing our conclusions on the single experiment?

Scientists need to kick it up a notch.

(*) As a typical example (dozens more are easy to find), Helicobacter pylori was identified as the source of gastric ulcers, yet the medical community didn't believe the results for many years. The amount of suffering and loss that occurred while this "school of thought" was slowly overturned is incalculable.

Comment: Re:No Leaders anywhere today... (Score 1) 347

by Okian Warrior (#47873905) Attached to: When Scientists Give Up

So the question isn't really one of giving up... the question is one of choice and priority. If you have no vision and no real sense of purpose beyond enriching yourself when you occupy a position of influence, then the rot will spread and not just Scientists but many others will wither away as well.

I'm starting a new movement "The Boot Party": everyone promises to vote *against* the incumbent regardless of political party.

Government not acting in the interests of the people? Give 'em the boot!

Won't you join me?

Comment: The obvious solution (Score 4, Insightful) 347

by Okian Warrior (#47873695) Attached to: When Scientists Give Up

The obvious solution is to return to traditional methods: establish an independent income, then take up scientific research as a hobby.

Historically, our most notable scientists were working at day jobs or otherwise independently wealthy, and did amazing research on their own as a hobby. Some devoted entire wings of their house towards scientific research, amassing a collection of equipment (or specimens) over decades.

Henry Cavendish, of the Cavendish experiment, is one such example. The experiment was so delicate that air currents would affect the measurements, so Cavendish set up the experiment in a shed on his property and measured the results from a distance, using a telescope.

There used to be a term "Gentleman Scientist" for this, but it might more accurately be called "self-funded research".

Consider Paul Stamets as a modern example. With only an honorary doctorate, he is co-author on many papers and has proposed several medications, including treatments for cancer.

I could also nominate Robert Murray Smith to the position. His YouTube Videos are as good as many published Chemistry papers.

The benefits are obvious: You get to work on whatever you think is interesting (or fruitful), you can set your own pace, and you can draw your own line between supporting your dreams and your lifestyle: If you have a family emergency, you can pause your research and spend more money on personal welfare. It also forces you to come up with more efficient (read: less expensive) ways to work.

There's a wealth of useful equipment on eBay and other places, big expensive equipment is not out of the reach of the dedicated researcher. Ben Krasnow has three (I think) electron microscopes. I personally own a UV/VIS spectrophotometer. a microgram scale, and a Weston cell.

The idea that "research can only be done at the behest of government" or "is only associated with university" is a modern fiction. Government would *like* you to believe that everything depends on their whim and largesse, but it's not the only, nor even the best way.

Build a lab and start tinkering, or join a hackerspace. Lots of people do it. Lots of good science is done this way.

Comment: not compromised server, honeypot (Score 1) 230

by dltaylor (#47818479) Attached to: Akamai Warns: Linux Systems Infiltrated and Controlled In a DDoS Botnet

If the administrator deliberately activates software known to make a system (Linux, Windows, ...) vulnerable to compromise, that is NOT a compromised server, it is a honeypot. If you make a honeypot, you must mitigate any damage it may cause outside your domain.

Sue the admins of those systems into getting a job compatible with their IT skills (probably involving a toilet brush).

Comment: not just servers (Score 1) 613

by dltaylor (#47813183) Attached to: You Got Your Windows In My Linux

Granted, I AM my own "system admin", but BSD goes into my home systems next time I build or upgrade (2-3 weeks, most likely). Can't use Debian or RedHat, so might as well go back BSD (used to run it on my Amiga).

Systemd is yet another example of "fashionista" development (Gnome 3). Ignore the people who really use the system, because "they're idiots", and (attempt to) stuff your favorite fashion du jour down their throats.

I've got a choice, and systemd is NOT going to be part of it.

Comment: no Gbit, no sale (Score 2) 88

by dltaylor (#47792363) Attached to: MIPS Tempts Hackers With Raspbery Pi-like Dev Board

There appears to be enough RAM and enough compute power, but the Ethernet interface is pathetic. Even in an inexpensive experimenters' board, GBit Ethernet should be standard. For one thing, it's hard to judge the real processing power needed (as a fraction of the available) for networking, when the network, itself, is the bottleneck.

Comment: Re:talk about "old tech" (Score 1) 94

by dltaylor (#47789595) Attached to: Google Introduces HTML 5.1 Tag To Chrome

The "one"? Unless it's a form of DRM not supported on a specific platform, many, or all, of the formats are displayable. Of course, the browser will "automagically" know which of the several you want THIS time.

It's still old tech. lseek(), read() or GET. You don't have to pull all the versions from storage with TIFF, either.

Comment: talk about "old tech" (Score 2, Informative) 94

by dltaylor (#47789507) Attached to: Google Introduces HTML 5.1 Tag To Chrome

So now we have a relabeled "TIFF" container?

Tagged Interchange File Format (TIFF) has been around since the 1980s; the Amiga had a nice version, and I used them in a very old document system for the US Navy. The file could hold multiple instances of the same data, in different formats. A picture could be JPEG, GIF, a PDF bitmap, ..., for example, and the platform displayed/printed whatever it could.

Comment: "Paleo Diet" haters (Score 2) 281

by dltaylor (#47752671) Attached to: The Evolution of Diet

Folks, please remember that this is a "fad". There's nothing of intelligence involved in choosing the diet (might make more sense, based on some of the research I've seen, to infect themselves with parasites, as our ancestors were, to retrain their immune systems and reduce inflammation). Providing logical arguments against the "Paleo diet" to a population that has self-selected against intelligence, is, itself, not logical.

Comment: Re:Why Fy? (Score 1) 260

by dltaylor (#47752055) Attached to: How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

Thank you.

I can use that as a model for the "crowded room", or, think, airplane cabin with 8 APs and 300+ clients. Probably still not a lot in aggregate. BTW, given my overall weight and body fat percentage, that 80 kg was just about right for the water content of my body.

As for the radiation source (sometimes) in the sky, I know THAT one kills. When the doctors ask me what SPF sunblock I use, I ask them what is the SPF of the planet Earth. I try to keep it between me and the source whenever possible (harder in summer), and "hard" shade (concrete, steel, not leaves) when not.

Playing "Devil's advocate" may sound ridiculous, but it does, sometimes, elicit useful responses, like yours, rather than just hand-waving.

Comment: Re:will NOT have learned from Target (Score 1) 106

by dltaylor (#47736229) Attached to: Securing Networks In the Internet of Things Era

Actually, they do, but the person in that position doesn't even know what it means, much less how to deal with it.

Picture an internet where home users must havea license to access the iy, or hire a "chaffeur" to manage their systems and there are penalties for failing to secure them. Many fewer bot farms, I suspect.

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard