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Comment Re:Needed: Cast-iron QA (Score 1) 252

We do in lots of places. Python has a database API specification, with implementations for lots of popular databases. Want to write and test with sqlite then move to MySQL, Postress or Oracle? Go ahead. Medical images are stored in PACS systems: databases with software wrapped around them to do network and API access. Any scanner can talk to any big hospital system, or the open source PACS server running on your notebook.

This stuff already exists, and we already use it where it makes sense.

Comment Re:Now we need... (Score 3, Interesting) 203

Education, particularly of women. There's a good talk (TED, I think) about how Bangladesh had tried all kinds of ways to reduce it's world-leading birth rate. None of them really worked. Then there was an unconnected program to send girls to school, and the birth rate fell through the floor.

By the way, the population growth rate of India has been declining since the 80s (and is currently less than the US in the 90s), and China's is currently less than the US. The world population growth rate is also in decline, and is currently less than the US in the 90s.

Comment Re:Now we need... (Score 1) 203

That's too simplistic an analysis. Contraception exists in the natural world, including as a built-in mechanism in many animals. There can be very good survival benefits to not getting pregnant at the wrong time. IIRC, lionesses, for example, can reduce their fertility during famines.

Comment Re:Not a "protoype space station" if it's in space (Score 1) 54

Prototypes often work perfectly well. In fact, if you've got any sense you make sure you've got a prototype that works before you start making non-prototypes.

In this case, they're calling it a prototype because it's a little can that doesn't do much except serve as a docking target.

Comment Re:really... (Score 1) 617

The distinction between whether god faxed a copy or used telepathy seems pretty minor in this context. If a copy of the gospel of Mark was found that predated Mark, that would bear a similar relation to the claim that god made Mark write it as a koran predating Mohammad has to the claim that Mohammad stumbled over the divinely teleported original while taking his evening constitutional.

Comment Re:really... (Score 3, Informative) 617

The Christian faith claims that the bible is the word of god (lots of bibles actually say that on the front), transcribed by particular men upon holy revelation. The church does indeed claim that the bible was merely transcribed, although they do admit that it was transcribed in chunks.

Comment Re:Connecting things to the internet. (Score 1) 149

The successful solution implemented by several cities has been to have real live people in a central traffic command centre monitor and adjust lights. It still requires the sensors and lights to be networked, it just doesn't use software to automatically adjust them (at least not during peak times).

Why are people still talking about stupid things? Because people who think you should give them money for their "ideas" have to come up with those ideas somewhere. It's different this time. Really.

"Gort, klaatu nikto barada." -- The Day the Earth Stood Still