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Comment: Political inertia (Score 1) 49

by argStyopa (#48626013) Attached to: Who's To Blame For Rules That Block Tesla Sales In Most US States?

First, let's remember that lawmaking politicians of influence of either party are typically what, 60+ years old? 70+? These guys still have their staff print their emails for them and are surprised when a someone says 'let's watch a movie' and it doesn't involve (at best) a VCR. Not super-quick at adapting to change.

Second, until pretty recently the "target demographic" of electric car buyers was some sprout-eating weirdo from the Bay Area, ie, someone who wouldn't piss on a Republican if they were on fire, ie not someone that ever, in a million years, would VOTE Republican. OTOH, Car Dealerships are relatively typical small businessmen, whose concerns about running a business tend to coincide with GOP viewpoints and platforms. Whether they vote Dem/Rep is irrelevant, it's that they [i]could[/i] vote Republican, so which group would a Republican politician reasonably spend their time serving?

Comment: Economists....yeah (Score 1) 591

by argStyopa (#48616125) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Ask 10 economists a question and you'll get 11 answers.

"...But if we just put it on autopilot, there's no guarantee this will work out...."
That sounds suspiciously like someone wants to run something.
I'd ask - sincerely - if there's a way to tell if world economics has run better since politicians started actually listening to economists? The moment economists moved from descriptive to prescriptive was arguably not a step upward.

Comment: We'll see if Grotius was right (Score 1) 184

by argStyopa (#48609073) Attached to: Denmark Makes Claim To North Pole, Based On Undersea Geography

The world of geopolitics are much more Hobbesian "red in tooth and claw" - certainly there are international "laws" but considering that a) being subject to them is entirely voluntary and b) there are no punishments for law-breakers beyond what other states are willing to exert, "international law" is more like a voluntary coordination of diplomatic efforts than an actual binding structure of laws. I know it didn't help Ukraine for shit (bye Crimea!), and is unlikely to do much for the Philippines or Vietnam in terms of a logical (ie not China-uber-alles) resolution of the various sea-disputes they're in.

If there are truly vast swathes of resources beneath the polar cap, ultimately, it's going to go to whomever can protect it (or who has big enough friends ok with them having it - in particular them having it instead of someone they like less...).

In short, Good Luck Denmark! My suspicion is that legal victory here, if they win, will be short-lived: Denmark *may* have a legitimate claim in the World Court, but this case would be followed almost immediately by a just-as-legitimate claim by Greenlanders for independence from a pre-modern colonial tie.

Comment: Meh (Score 1) 157

by argStyopa (#48601325) Attached to: How Identifiable Are You On the Web?

First, the flippant comment:
I find it astonishing that in this day and age when apparently they can track everything I do, want, and own online without my permission, my ATM still asks me WHAT LANGUAGE I want to use? Seriously? After I've answered that once, it's done. I'm not changing my native language guys. Offering it subsequently is doing a favor only for the foreign-language dude that steals my card.

Second, the serious one:
a) the site itself is fairly vague and misleading:
"Yes! (You can be tracked!)
36.34 % of observed browsers are Chrome, as yours.
27.11 % of observed browsers are Chrome 39.0, as yours.
55.61 % of observed browsers run Windows, as yours.
39.77 % of observed browsers run Windows 7, as yours.
59.03 % of observed browsers have set "en"as their primary language, as yours.
5.51 % of observed browsers have UTC-6 as their timezone, as yours.
You have the only browser out of 24041 with this fingerprint."
I call bullshit on that. You're telling me I'm the only english-language individual running chrome on windows 7 in the UTC-6 timezone? Absolute nonsense.

b) when you pull the 'more details" then it starts to get more plausible, where the specific list of addons I use is rather unique, but they go down to asserting that my browser is 'identifiable' due to WebGL output - really, are vendors doing this to fingerprint my browser (as is implied) or is this more of a forensic "if I was stupid enough to send a ransom note from my browser, the FBI could eventually confirm that it came from my machine if they had physical possession of it and some weeks"?
That's two different contexts of "unique", surely?

Comment: Re:It's just some dipshit with weapons and no hope (Score 1) 865

by argStyopa (#48601201) Attached to: Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

As PT Barnum is reputed to have said (OK I know he didn't say it but roll with the anecdote): "There is no bad publicity."

I've thought for years that the news coverage ITSELF is the problem.

If these individuals didn't know that they'd suddenly gain the attention of millions this would be a far less appealing strategy for them.

Now, imagine for a moment that news services voluntarily refused to share (during OR AFTER the incident):
- the names/identities of the perpetrators
- their "cause"
- their demands
- any details extrinsic to the safety of the public.

This story would hit the news as: "A hostage-event is taking place at a location in Sydney's CBD; several people are believed to be held by an individual, and police are evacuating the CBD as a standard precaution."

I know, it's a utopian idea that news stations actually stop reveling in the carnage they get to cover, and there's no question that crazy-bad people would still do bad things, but it would certainly discourage attention-seekers.

Comment: Re:A Bridge Fuel... (Score 1) 380

by argStyopa (#48592745) Attached to: The Shale Boom Won't Stop Climate Change; It Could Make It Worse

" The solution to climate change isn't finding ever-more-exotic carbon to extact and burn - it's to kill off 2/3 or more of the human population, and convince the rest that living in a subsistence-level squalor is worth it, in hopes that we are able to fix global climate into a steady state of conditions that it's never done on an epochal scale anyway.."

Fixed that for you.

Comment: Re:Clarification (Score 1) 135

by argStyopa (#48573769) Attached to: Rosetta Results: Comets "Did Not Bring Water To Earth"

It's one thing to say "this comet's water suggests (sample size =1) that cometary water isn't the water on earth". That says NOTHING about where the water actually came from, only where it didn't.

It's a pretty clear that "welp, we didn't find it here" *doesn't* therefore mean "it must be there" unless there are a total of two possible alternatives.

I haven't bothered to read the OP determine if the leap of logic is the OP's or the summarizer's.

Comment: the cascade of stories (Score 2) 280

by argStyopa (#48561087) Attached to: Utilities Face Billions In Losses From Distributed Renewables

....smells suspicious - all the meme-generating about "utilities are terrified of renewables" from multiple sources and multiple directions makes me think that someone's laying the ground work to fight the eventual effort of "Ah, so, now that renewables are so fearsome, I guess we need to pull their subsidies".*

*to be clear, I would love to see the subsidies pulled from ALL power generation, conventional, nuclear, and renewable, and let's actually see which wins out in the marketplace as the cheapest (or, if not precisely cheapest, the best compromise for the bulk of the populace between cheap, sustainable, and clean). But that's a Pollyanna belief; I know there's too much money/power in power for it not to be gamed by every side simultaneously.

Comment: Re:From Jack Brennan's response (Score 2) 768

by argStyopa (#48559631) Attached to: CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

Bullshit. The 'moral relativist' argument doesn't work unless you presuppose that there IS a moral difference in the first place. "Wait, if you do this (torture) it means we aren't the good guys!!" ONLY applies if you believed that we were the good guys in the first place, which is the sort of Manichean simplification that the people upset about this like to keep pointing out in their opponents, ironically.

America isn't a magical special place on the hill. America is a country like any other that pursues its own interests ahead of any others, and if it doesn't, its political leaders should be taken out, strung up, and replaced with those who will.

Now you and I can argue all day long about enlightened self-interest and long-term self-interest and whether torture serves them or not, but that's a utilitarian argument, not a moral one. We might actually have a chance if coming to a constructive, non subjective answer.

Finally, as I saw above: "..Of course, if America decides that torturing other people is OK then America has pretty much lost any form of moral high ground, and should expect other countries to torture Americans with impunity...."
Please,: let me know if the many (or even one) instances where Americans weren't tortured because America stood on some mythological high ground?

Comment: Laudable (Score 1) 52

by argStyopa (#48555947) Attached to: Material Possiblities: A Flying Drone Built From Fungus

It's a laudable research goal, more likely as a way to design surveillance devices that are somewhat less detectable than drones made of plastic and bits of metal.

In either of the examples offered, however, the ubiquity and cheapness of drones already suggests that they'll simply be treated as a disposable, no matter WHAT they're made of, unless - as is the constant hurdle for bioplastics in pretty nearly every field of potential use - they become somehow cheaper than normal plastics. In a wildfire or nuclear meltdown, nobody's going to give a flying (get it?) hoot about a dozen ounces of slagged plastic crashing to earth in the area.

Comment: Please can we try to use the English language? (Score 1) 129

by argStyopa (#48547949) Attached to: Economist: US Congress Should Hack Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Nowhere in the Economist article do they use the word "hack" because - again - some dipshit is using the word "hack" to mean approximately whatever the hell they want it to mean.

"Hack" != "use"
"Hack" != "terminate"
"Hack" != "amend"

Either send your editors back to junior high grammar, or maybe exercise some editorial judgement and stop this silliness.

"Why waste negative entropy on comments, when you could use the same entropy to create bugs instead?" -- Steve Elias