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Comment: Re:Teddy Ruxpin wasn't considered creepy (Score 1) 89

by Hadlock (#49759685) Attached to: Cute Or Creepy? Google's Plan For a Sci-Fi Teddy Bear

I think the thing about Teddy Ruxpin was that he had always moved. If you have an inanimate object for a lifetime, and then suddenly it springs to life but without facial features or moving eyes, yes that is creepy. But if it's advertised as a moving device from the start, it's not creepy as that's expected behavior. It's when things suddenly spring to life that it triggers stalking predator alarm bells in your brain. If your houseplant started talking to you that would be freaky, but if it said hello and goodbye to you every day when you go to work, and helped you keep track of where you put your car keys or to remember to pick up milk on the way home, that's just another family member. Digital assistants will head in that direction eventually. The British series "Black Mirror" had an episode like this, where the AI was held in an "egg".

Comment: Re:There are quite a few haters on this thread but (Score 1) 214

Further, if this was in existence a few decades ago, perhaps we would have nipped Scientology in the bud before it landed in the UK.

If it were in existence ~1400 years ago, perhaps we would have nipped Islam in the bud.

If it were in existence ~2000 years ago, perhaps we would have nipped Christianity in the bud.

And I wonder how many readers agreed with my first line, then threw a shit-fit when they got to my second line.


Comment: Re:Tolls? (Score 1) 825

by Dixie_Flatline (#49739115) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

Yeah, no. Damage increases by the fourth power of axle weight.

It doesn't really matter what the tyres are inflated to, unless they're so large as to distribute the weight across an enormous surface area. But if that were the case, you wouldn't be able to get past a large truck--its wheels would take up the whole road.

Comment: Re:Good thing climate change isn't real! (Score 1) 293

by Alsee (#49707527) Attached to: Larson B Ice Shelf In Antarctica To Disintegrate Within 5 Years

My first hit for "Global warming"+"times faster" yields this link: As the Earth moved out of ice ages over the past million years, the global temperature rose a total of 4 to 7 degrees Celsius over about 5,000 years. In the past century alone, the temperature has climbed 0.7 degrees Celsius, roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming.

All the opinions you mentioned are, at best, poorly informed.


Comment: Re:I can see this running afoul of.... (Score 1) 544

by Hadlock (#49693829) Attached to: California Senate Approves School Vaccine Bill

This is sort of like the minimum drinking age. There's no federal minimum drinking age, yet every state has the age of 21 set as their drinking age. Why is this? Because starting in the 1980's, to get federal highway funding, you had to have a drinking age of 21. In this instance, a lot of states balked and avoided changing it, and their roads deteriorated. But eventually they all gave in. So, you have to have your children vaccinated if you want to send them to public school. The good news is that unlike federal highway funding dollars, there are multiple schooling sources you can choose from, and in many cases are a better option.

Comment: Re:It's not limited to the US (Score 4, Insightful) 219

Australia uses the neonics differently, as I recall. Something about the way they spread the pesticide makes it less likely to interfere with bees.

That said, it's an insecticide. It's meant to kill insects, and they're generally pretty indiscriminate. It's also fairly likely that even if it's a sub-lethal dose for bees, it's a lethal dose for different beneficial insects.

I think there are multiple causes--varroa mites have been around for decades without causing such widespread colony collapse. We've got a changing climate and agricultural monocultures, as well as stress from neonics (which it turns out honeybees may prefer over non-treated nectar).

Looking for single causes is usually hopeless. But we can control our use of pesticides, so it's one of the things on the chopping block. One way or another, we have to bring this problem under control.

Comment: False premise, false dichotomy (Score 1) 244

This article is bad and the author should feel bad.

1) The conversion rate doesn't need to be even close to 1:1. Spotify makes 87-91% of its revenue from the customers that subscribe (depending on what report you read). This is despite the percentage of people paying is around or less than 25%. I've read that Spotify would be profitable if it could just get freemium users to pay $1/3 months.

2) Psy was rich before he was available in North America. The article makes it sound like exposure to the west MADE him. That's exceptional cultural egocentrism.

3) Consumers don't DESERVE free music.

A lot of people on here (rightly) say that nobody DESERVES to make a living being a musician, and that's fair enough. But nobody DESERVES free music, either. But it DOES take work and money and time to make music, so if you're going to listen to it, you should pay for it, one way or another. The thing I can't stand is people listening to music with no intention of giving back. If an artist makes music and nobody listens to it because the music isn't good, or they didn't do a good job spreading the word, well, fair enough. They don't deserve money for that. But I'd be pissed if my company decided to use my work without paying me, and it's understandable that artists (and to a more limited extent, labels) want to be paid for what you're consuming.

If you don't listen, you don't pay for it. Fine. But if you're streaming someone's music, *you should pay for it*. It's not free to make. If you don't want to pay, YOU DON'T GET TO LISTEN. That's the way it works for everything else in your life. Don't want to pay for an Apple Watch? You don't get an Apple Watch. Don't want to pay for a car? Walk. You're not entitled to music just because it's easy to obtain.

Comment: Re:You are quoting losers, so yeah. (Score 1) 950

The common link in all your failed relationships is you. (This isn't a dig at the parent post, it's agreement.)

If you keep dating people that are bad for you, it's because you're picking the wrong people, or putting yourself in situations where you're only meeting the wrong people. And maybe if everyone you end up with--regardless of where you look--is toxic to you, you should sit down and figure out if it's you and not them.

The minimum requirement for being in a relationship with someone is being in good working order, emotionally. If you can't sit down and know that that's true, you should probably work that bit out first.

Any given program, when running, is obsolete.