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Comment Re:Those who can, program. (Score 1) 90

I'm a professional developer with a post-grad degree in Mathematics.

There's an ounce of truth in what he says, not the part about computer scientists or software engineers somehow being better than scientists, on the contrary, you're largely right because most programmers decry maths and claim it doesn't matter to them, but they're really just the dross of the industry. Maths is what separates someone reinventing the wheel by condemning themselves to produce CRUD applications for all eternity from someone who comes up with genuinely new and novel bits of software. Those with an understanding of maths are the ones who give us everything from the highest quality programming languages to Google search, and increasingly beautiful game engines to AI solutions like Siri.

But I digress, the point intended on making is that the fact is that those with computer science have been the ones helping push the largest gains in science in recent years, whether it's the type of data handling required at the LHC or entire subjects like bioinformatics. We've long passed a point where much scientific discovery can come from lone individual geniuses, and are entering an era where many problems are impossible even with merely teams of people. We're at a point where leveraging computing power is essential to much further scientific discovery, and for that you need computer scientists who both understand the science, and the machines needed to drive the discoveries in said science.

In this day and age I'd pity the scientist who looks down on computer scientists, because frankly in most areas of science it means they're building their own path towards irrelevance and failure. It's unlikely they'll ever achieve anything in most scientific fields if they're not willing to work with those who understand how to command the machines, or who do not learn themselves to command the machines and themselves become computer scientists in the process.


Why Car Salesmen Don't Want To Sell Electric Cars 442 writes: Matt Richtel writes in the NYT that one big reason there are only about 330,000 electric vehicles on the road is that car dealers show little enthusiasm for putting consumers into electric cars. Industry insiders say that electric vehicles do not offer dealers the same profits as gas-powered cars, they take more time to sell because of the explaining required, and electric vehicles may require less maintenance, undermining the biggest source of dealer profits — their service departments. Some electric car buyers have said they felt as if they were the ones doing the selling. Chelsea Dell made an appointment to test-drive a used Volt but when she arrived, she said, a salesman told her that the car hadn't been washed, and that he had instead readied a less expensive, gas-powered car. "I was ready to pull the trigger, and they were trying to muscle me into a Chevy Sonic," says Dell. "The thing I was baffled at was that the Volt was a lot more expensive." Marc Deutsch, Nissan's business development manager for electric vehicles says some salespeople just can't rationalize the time it takes to sell the cars. A salesperson "can sell two gas burners in less than it takes to sell a Leaf," Deutsch says. "It's a lot of work for a little pay."

Jared Allen says that service is crucial to dealer profits and that dealers didn't want to push consumers into electric cars that might make them less inclined to return for service. Maybe that helps explains the experience of Robert Kast, who last year leased a Volkswagen e-Golf from a local dealer. He said the salesman offered him a $15-per-month maintenance package that included service for oil changes, belt repair and water pumps. "I said: 'You know it doesn't have any of those things,'" Mr. Kast recalled. He said the salesman excused himself to go confirm this with his manager. Of the whole experience, Mr. Kast, 61, said: "I knew a whole lot more about the car than anyone in the building." "Until selling a plug-in electric car is as quick and easy as selling any other vehicle that nets the dealer the same profit, many dealers will avoid them, for very logical and understandable reasons," says John Voelker. "That means that the appropriate question should be directed to makers of electric cars: What are you doing to make selling electric cars as profitable and painless for your dealers as selling gasoline or diesel vehicles?"

Comment Re:Legality? (Score 1) 313

Agreed, I don't see a legal issue with this, they have the right to serve what they want from their servers assuming it isn't outright malware.

Similarly though, users have every right to use countermeasures to bypass this because they also have the right to do what they want in terms of manipulating any content served to them for display. It's one of the key design features of web standards dating back to even the earliest versions of HTML - the idea that a user agent can process data in a manner that best suits the end user whether that's ripping out style sheets and images, applying high contrast style sheets for better readability, or refusing to accept certain additional content from the server or referenced servers.

Yahoo can do this legally all it wants, but it's just entering an arms race it can never win - the end user has control of their user agent which means the user can always determine what is and isn't rendered to screen at the end of the day and nothing Yahoo can do can ever override that.

Comment Re:Budget (Score 1) 63

It was the Foreign Office but in 2011 they started shifting it onto the license fee and closed a load of services as a result.

Now that they're reversing some of those closures I don't know if that means it's being moved back to the Foreign Office budget or not but I can't see how they can foist the expense of this onto the license fee given that they've already moved some welfare for pensioners onto the license fee. Normally you'd hear the BBC vocally complain if they were, but they seem silent on the issue so far, so I think in this case to be fair it's probably coming from central government again like it used to and not the license fee.


How Anonymous' War With Isis Is Actually Harming Counter-Terrorism ( 386

retroworks writes: According to a recent tweet from the #OpParis account, Anonymous are delivering on their threat to hack Isis, and are now flooding all pro-Isis hastags with the grandfather of all 2007 memes — Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" music video. Whenever a targeted Isis account tries to spread a message, the topic will instead be flooded with countless videos of Rick Astley circa 1987. Not all are praising Anonymous methods, however. While Metro UK reports that the attacks have been successful, finding and shutting down 5,500 Twitter accounts, the article also indicates that professional security agencies have seen sources they monitor shut down. Rick Astley drowns out intelligence as well as recruitment.

How Close Are We To a Mars Mission? ( 173

destinyland writes: NASA is developing the capabilities needed to send humans to an asteroid by 2025 and Mars in the 2030s," reads the official NASA web site. But National Geographic points out that "the details haven't been announced, in large part because such a massive, long-term spending project would require the unlikely support of several successive U.S. presidents." And yet on November 4th, NASA put out a call for astronaut applications "in anticipation of returning human spaceflight launches to American soil, and in preparation for the agency's journey to Mars," and they're currently experimenting with growing food in space. And this week they not only ordered the first commercial mission to the International Space Station, but also quietly announced that they've now partnered with 22 private space companies.

Comment Re:Annoying (Score 1) 329

And that is probably one of the biggest mistakes the losing side of just about every war has ever made - underestimating their enemy.

You're also talking about the sorts of people who have concoted some rather clever IEDs, who have managed to intercept predator drone feeds, and who have been managing to survive in bombarded cities cut off from all food and water supplies for years.

Some, such as the Glasgow airport attackers are even Phd students/graduates. Their explosives experts put together bombs and detonators that take a wealth of scientific knowledge and can counter some of the most advanced jamming tech the world's leading military - the US has been able to research and deploy.

You're talking about people who have been able to create a defacto nation state in the middle of the sovereign territory of two nations that have themselves struggle to even build something loosely resembling a stable state.

Yes, there are a lot of stupid jihadis, the ones who kill themselves are frequently dumb drones who fall for the crock of shit about dying to get a hundred virgins. But behind each of those dumb fuck suicide bombers are incredibly intelligent explosives experts, incredibly clever and manipulative recruiters whispering in their ears and telling them what to do.

So tell me, who do you think goes out buying their equipment, do you think it's the suicide bomber drones themselves, or the people who kit them out in the first place?

To pretend all islamic extremists are merely dumb is dangerous and naive. Even Sun Tzu all those centuries ago understood that you should never underestimate your enemy - and that holds true to this day. To simply write them off as dumb is the surest way to get more of our soldiers and civilians killed.

Comment Not irrelevant. Meaningless. You ask a fallacy. (Score 1) 583

Cause I linked (and quoted) a video of him hearing, thinking over and replying to an explicit "MUSLIM-tracking question".
He replied with a YES. Adding that there should be "a lot" of tracking systems, beyond databases.

Which makes your either-or question a deliberate lie. Not just a terribly embarrassingly set up false dichotomy.
I'm getting fremdschamen just thinking of it.

So it's not a question did I hear the actual exchange. The question is are you just a troll, an idiot, delusional or some combination thereof.
Now, to that the answer would be irrelevant. To me.
But you should check that and hope that you're just a dickhead troll. Mental illness is not something to be taken lightly.

Comment Nope again. Now you're just making shit up. (Score 1) 583

I gave you a link to a video where he is explicitly asked should there be a MUSLIM tracking database.
Not refugee, not immigrant, not Bosnian, Syrian, French, Belgian or Vulcan.
He was explicitly asked should there be a religion-based tracking system.
To which he replied yes, expanding it to "a lot of systems".

The "out of context" situation you are imagining never happened. Explicit question - followed by a mindbogglingly retarded answer.

Now... you can prattle on about him talking about something else, or being confused, or senile, or drunk... which caused him to hear "MUSLIM-tracking" and translate that to "whatever it is that YOU think is less volatile".
The fact is that this is just another case of him showing that he is thinking in "ferner" generalizing metaphors - mostly about brown people.
You know... like those Mexican drug-dealers, criminals and rapists.

Comment Nope. (Score 4, Interesting) 583

He is explicitly asked should there be a Muslim-tracking database system to which he replies the whole nonsense about "There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases" and "signing up at different places" when asked about signing people up at mosques.

Nobody is putting words in his mouth.
He IS an idiot that does not think or listen to other people and talks in thought-terminating cliches but he clearly understood those questions and replied to them in his poorly thought through manner.


Donald Trump Obliquely Backs a Federal Database To Track Muslims 583 writes: Philip Bump reports at the Washington Post that Donald Trump confirmed to NBC on Thursday evening that he supports a database to track Muslims in the United States. The database of Muslims arose after an interview Yahoo News's Hunter Walker conducted with Trump earlier this week, during which he asked the Republican front-runner to weigh in on the current debate over refugees from Syria. "We're going to have to do things that we never did before," Trump told Walker. "Some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule." When pressed on whether these measures might include tracking Muslim Americans in a database or noting their religious affiliations on identification cards, Trump would not go into detail — but did not reject the options. Trump's reply? "We're going to have to — we're going to have to look at a lot of things very closely," he said. "We're going to have to look at the mosques. We're going to have to look very, very carefully." After an event on in Newton, Iowa, on Thursday night, NBC's Vaughn Hillyard pressed the point. "Should there be a database system that tracks Muslims here in this country?," Hillyard asked. "There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases" Trump said. "We should have a lot of systems." Hillyard asked about implementation, including the process of adding people to the system. "Good management procedures," Trump said. Sign people up at mosques, Hillyard asked? "Different places," Trump replied. "You sign them up at different places. But it's all about management."

Comment Re:Thanks! XOXO, Putin (Score 1) 109

The UK doesn't buy gas from Russia:

Our coal however does come from Russia (and Colombia and the US) though, not Ukraine:

So here we've clearly got a policy that actually decreases dependency on Russia, not the contrary as you're claiming.

If the UK ends up fracking then between that and a ramping back up of North Sea gas production (or even Falklands gas extraction) the UK could easily become energy independent for quite some time.

Which isn't to say I in any way support this, I'd much rather just see more renewable, or even nuclear usage. This is just the easiest and lowest risk way of making sure that if the shit hit the fan that we could look after ourselves. Personally I'd rather just see us take more risks on the renewable route though. That way we can become energy independent without all the downsides of fracking and such.

Comment Re:Where is the gas going to come from? (Score 1) 109

"Russia is fine provider. Soviet Union or Russia have kept contracts as signed over the terms and time of the contract, built pipelines into the West as planned and agreed on. Russian gas flowed as expected, offered and paid for. If your nation stops paying mid contract or takes gas in transit, contract is recreated to reflect new costs or currency changes. Russia is not difficult to deal with for a gas pipeline contract. Price is set, product flows as paid for."

So how much does the Kremlin pay you to spout this nonsense?:

Obviously you're completely and utterly full of shit. Please stop shilling so blatantly and at least put some effort into it if nothing else.

Oh wait, don't tell me "All those instance were legitimate because gas was being stolen, or wasn't being paid for blah blah blah". Yeah that's exactly the fucking reason why Russia isn't a trustworthy gas supplier, because when it feels like price gouging you it can. Unfortunately though the instances of shut off all happened to coincide with periods where Russia-Ukrainian political relations were being strained because Ukraine had dared to vote in someone who wasn't pro-Russia as a leader. Funny that eh? What a coincidence?

Meanwhile we can pull in gas from places like Norway or Qatar, where this kind of thing never happens. So much for Russia being reliable.

The trouble with a lot of self-made men is that they worship their creator.