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Comment: Are You Joking? (Score 3, Interesting) 182

by eldavojohn (#48625017) Attached to: US Links North Korea To Sony Hacking

> It is not known how the US government has determined that North Korea is the culprit

Of course it's known. The same way they established that Iraq had chemical weapons. The method is known as "because we say so".

Are you joking? I thought it was well established that there were chemical weapons in Iraq we just only found weapons designed by us, built by Europeans in factories in Iraq. And therefore the US didn't trumpet their achievements. In the case of Iraqi chemical weapons, the US established that Iraq had chemical weapons not because they said so but because Western countries had all the receipts.

Comment: Is Bloomberg the New Buzzfeed? (Score 5, Informative) 461

by eldavojohn (#48531349) Attached to: Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies
What the hell is up with the title of this article? Nowhere did I find any indication of anyone being "scared" or "frightened." On the contrary the article presents contradicting information:

Still, the Edison Electric Institute, a trade group representing America’s investor-owned utilities, recently announced that its members will help to encourage electric vehicle use by spending $50 million annually to buy plug-in service trucks and invest in car-charging technology. “Advancing plug-in electric vehicles and technologies is an industry priority,” said EEI President Thomas Kuhn.

Uh, "advancing as a priority" is actually the opposite of fear.

Southern California Edison is planning to spend about $9.2 billion through 2017 to allow the two-way flow of electricity on its system, said Edison International CEO Ted Craver. “We are certainly big supporters of electric transportation,” Craver said. He added: “That electric car isn’t just going to stay at home. It’s going to go other places. It’s going to need to get charged in other places. And I think our ability to provide that glue for all those things that are going to plug into that network is really how we see our core business.”

Again, sounds positive. Actually the only negative thing in the article is that electric cars might cause a load our infrastructure isn't ready for -- to the contrary a solar charging station in the home would mitigate this. Is the new journalism format to title your articles with a thesis directly contrary to all the actual evidence you're about to present?

Comment: Re:we ARE different (Score 1) 355

by eldavojohn (#48506121) Attached to: James Watson's Nobel Prize Goes On Auction This Week

Higher IQs are correlated with a long history of urbanization and economic specialization, where higher IQs provide a selective advantage.

There's no arguing this. But, from what I've read about James Watson, he never said anything close to this. Instead, I can even find on his wikipedia page this quote from one of his books:

He writes that "there is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so"

So it's related to a long history of urbanization and economic specialization? And also Watson's unequal powers of reason? What is he implying if not to say that genetically some people are born without the equal "powers of reason"? He didn't quite say that due to "a long history of urbanization and economic specialization" instead he said due to geographic separation followed by their evolution. Watson's position as a genetic researcher commenting on something that is almost certainly attributed to socioeconomic status is strange, wouldn't you think? Was he commenting on this as an economist or perhaps historian?

I also like how you link to wikipedia pages but not their internal discrepancies on your open and close case that IQ is inherited. Including this quote from your first link:

Eric Turkheimer and colleagues (2003) found that for children of low socioeconomic status heritability of IQ falls almost to zero.

From this source.

You present a perfectly acceptable and fairly logical argument about the advancement of some cultures outpacing others. One need only read "Guns, Germs & Steel" where this sort of thing is discussed in a very sound and well researched way. Do we raise our pitchforks and chase after Jared Diamond with fervor? Not at all. Then again, his arguments didn't rest entirely upon some imaginary gene expression he just hadn't found yet.

Your "political correctness" claim is largely rubbish. While it may appear a knee-jerk reaction, this is the case of people objecting to a statement with no underlying scientific basis while Watson makes claims that we should be able to isolate the "Intelligence Gene." Have we had success in isolating such a gene from the Ashkanazi? Furthermore Watson implies (though never directly says) that lack of similar genes is what keeps Africa repressed -- while making zero reference to the reverberating effects of hundreds of years of European colonizations and their leeching of wealth & resources.

Comment: Of Course It Was (Score 3, Insightful) 355

by eldavojohn (#48505703) Attached to: James Watson's Nobel Prize Goes On Auction This Week

Your comment is extremely racist.

You're goddamn straight it is. The point is that any population -- no matter how high and lofty it is can be the target of stupid shit attributed to their genetic structure with "just so" fallacies. He makes inflammatory statements, doesn't even offer correlation as evidence for them and completely ignores socioeconomic conditions of even the past two hundred years.

How hard is it to turn James Watson's high minded lofty DNA superiority complex against his home city? Not hard at all, it turns out. Simply cherry pick from painfully recent history the horrible stereotypes and wars that their ancestors have and totally ignore any outside forces like ... oh, I don't know, the slave trade ... and then just "painfully" wish you were wrong. Notice how I apologized for having to be the one to first acknowledge something I'm not proving.

What blows my mind is that Africa was for tens of thousands of years in the same state that the rest of the world was in -- hell it's the birthplace of homo sapiens. And the time scale we need to talk about for DNA to change is at the very least tens of thousands of years. 25 million years of human evolution and James Watson measures 'genetic skin-color-intelligence correlation' from his apparently very short knowledge of history. Let's be generous and say he actually considered the past two thousand years which would be odd that he chose not to acknowledge that Europe's age of colonialism had something to do with Africa's current state.

Just like my post listed zero gene expressions, I'm not aware of any he's presented backing his statements. Furthermore, how would one divorce the nature versus nurture in such a test? The long history of racial discrimination the world over would need to be carefully controlled out of the experiment and the fact of the matter is that you can't. I'm not a Nobel prize winning geneticist and even I recognize this.

Comment: Chicago, Illinois: The Real Problem (Score 5, Insightful) 355

by eldavojohn (#48505515) Attached to: James Watson's Nobel Prize Goes On Auction This Week
Do you ever notice how enamored with American football the Chicago population is? How much money they dump into the Chicago Bears? Oh, how I wish that I would be wrong but often science is meant to be inflammatory. The testing simply shows that the people of Chicago are slovenly drunks who cannot help but repose in sloth upon their reclining chairs in their own pitiful squalor. How can we help the people of Chicago when all of our policies revolve around thinking of them as good decent hardworking people?

About a third of the Chicago population is German. Genetically, therefore they have instilled in them a 'Crazy Fourth Reich Fever' that millennia of conditioning by the BLACK Forest of Germany and they simply only want to fight and invade other peaceful peoples that are doing nothing but contributing to the advancement of the human race. Alas, my mind is tortured that nature could be so cruel as to instill a fine specimen like the German with such brutal and total warring instinct. But we simply cannot be able to even begin to help Chicago out of shit-hole status unless we come to terms with their genetically corrupted DNA structure. I know this may seem shocking to you lay people but I have suffered as Galileo has suffered. Science requires I tell you the truth that I seem to have no scientific basis for yet I know deep down in the pit of my Swedish-American stomach to be true.

Another third of the Chicago population is Irish. Genetically the Irish have evolved in an inherently beautiful land that has caused them to drink heavily whenever outside of this land. This is to deal with the squalid landscapes of Chicago. Blame them not, they are only following the unavoidable bonds of nature that tie into their DNA and make them wholesale worthless drunks. There is no hope for them and, verily, we cannot hope to even get them into rehab until we understand that there simply is no rehabilitation for them. Their origin country has a short pitiful record that I can't seem to find records on regarding any suppressors or instigators prior to being a poor island nation hell bent on alcoholism. Oh, if only my scientific inklings were wrong! How I wish I wasn't the one that has to break the news to you. Woe is all that I can feel for having to inform you that genetically the Irish are inferior.

The final third of the Chicago population is Polish. The Poles of Chicago are a daft and rotund people but it is not their fault. The DNA has been shaped by thousands of years of unhealthy food. The cold winters of Poland and Chicago force them indoors where they cannot possibly be industrious but have to sit at microscopes and furrow their brows in a vain attempt to understand these things that I have discovered. Even my high minded Libertarian business attitude can't provide enough jobs for these idle drones. Genetically they suffer from 'Polack Slack' and our policy towards helping them past working on the dock and losing weight will forever fail until we come to accept this. It pains me so to break this news to you but down in my genetically superior innards this idea has been borne and I know it to be true. I know it.

The tests indicate that our great nation would probably be more effective if Chicago and its descendents didn't exist at all. Genetically they will forever be poor and stupid, attached to the glass teat clamoring for more concussions while wallowing about in their fetid sties. Drunk and unable to form simple sentences, our once prosperous country will be held back from truly succeeding.

Ball's in your court, James.

Comment: Re:It seems like squeegeeing is the wrong approach (Score 2) 203

by eldavojohn (#48386159) Attached to: Window Washing a Skyscraper Is Beyond a Robot's Reach

For a human, using a sponge and squeegee combo is probably the most effective way to clean a window. For a robot, I would imagine that the answer is something more like a pressure washer, with a hood which covers the work area and reclaims the wash water. The water would then be filtered and reused until the particulate count rose too high, at which point it would be flushed and replaced with fresh. A sheeting additive would be used to cause the water to run off without spotting.

This probably wouldn't replace human window washing entirely, but it seems like it has the potential to replace at least some of the washes.

I've often wondered if anyone has ever tried a project to make a building which washes itself, using a robot designed for the building, and a building designed for the robot. I can imagine many problems with such a project without even undertaking it, mostly related to critters taking up residence in the mechanisms and/or tracks, but if it operated continuously that might well eliminate some of those objections. A universal window washing robot has a more complicated task than such a device would.

Did you even read the article? You'll find it discusses how the old World Trade Center Towers had built in devices that were made specifically for the building that would automatically go up and down cleaning it. The only problem was they missed the corners and creases of each pane and the rich people at the top of the building didn't want the grimy borders to their new expensive view of NYC.

It sounds like you have a lot of ideas for building a nice big heavy expensive machine that moves up and down a building. Burst forth and implement your idea, I think you'll find that the the weight, the power and the water feed to these devices will push you towards what has already been implemented and did not do a satisfactory job. Humans had to follow up behind the built in robots to clean spots they had missed.

It's funny, I read articles on Slashdot about how AI is the one thing that threatens man. And we can't even implement AI and pattern recognition to replace a window washer -- oh the incongruity!

Comment: Your Thoughts and Use of Post Processing? (Score 3) 35

So I'm not too knowledgeable on photography but one thing I'm aware of is that professional photographers do a lot of post processing. To the point of Adobe Lightroom or higher being so mandatory with DSLRs that they sometimes package it with lenses (especially the ones that distort like a wide angle lens). Do you post process your photos? To what extent? How do you feel about people who use advanced techniques like even adding color to their photos? For example, I came across this photo which was odd to me because I've been to that place and it's beautiful but not like in that photo -- it doesn't need fake pink clouds to be beautiful. It would seem to me a shame to have a tree live 2,000 years and then a human uses a fish eye lens on its knotted trunk to make it seem more old and gnarled and then later adjusts the darkness of the sky to give it a Halloween feel, etc. And then since that's the most artistic shot of it, that's how we remember it.

Comment: Be the Change You Wish to See in the World (Score 5, Interesting) 438

by eldavojohn (#48352337) Attached to: The Students Who Feel They Have the Right To Cheat
When I was younger and I first came across this quote by Mahatma Gandhi:

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

I always thought it was bizarrely tautological. If you wish something to be different and you personally can make a choice for it under your control to be different, then you make the correct choice. For example, I don't throw a soda can out the window of my car while complaining about pollution on the highway. Other people obviously don't care but I control the drop in the bucket I'm responsible for and I make the ethical choice.

But as I got older, I actually found and still find people that think they should be forced to do it the right way even while complaining about the abuse. Case in point, a friend in the medical profession was actually complaining about tax dodges while setting up his own backdoor Roth IRA. When I asked him about abusing the very rules he was decrying, he simply shrugged and said he doesn't make the rules he just follows them. He acknowledged it's shady as hell but pretty much felt like his hands were tied.

It was deeply troubling ... I get a similar feeling about this article. I understand it is sometimes harder to play by ethical rules than legal rules when everyone around you is benefiting from misconduct but ... it seems this is yet another example of the caste system thriving in India. It's simply stupefying on the "My dad is Li Gang" level.

Medicine

Scientists Discover a Virus That Changes the Brain To "Make Humans More Stupid" 275

Posted by samzenpus
from the dumb-bug dept.
concertina226 writes that researchers have found a virus that appears to reduce people’s thinking power and attention span. "Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Medical School and the University of Nebraska have discovered an algae virus that makes us more stupid by infecting our brains. The researchers were conducting a completely unrelated study into throat microbes when they realized that DNA in the throats of healthy people matched the DNA of a chlorovirus virus known as ATCV-1. ATCV-1 is a virus that infects the green algae found in freshwater lakes and ponds. It had previously been thought to be non-infectious to humans, but the scientists found that it actually affects cognitive functions in the brain by shortening attention span and causing a decrease in spatial awareness. For the first time ever, the researchers proved that microorganisms have the ability to trigger delicate physiological changes to the human body, without launching a full-blown attack on the human immune system."

Comment: Self Censorship in Your Industry (Score 1) 58

by eldavojohn (#48310787) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Warren Ellis a Question
I've never really enjoyed main stream comics but the imprints that dodge the archaic Comics Code have pulled me in with various titles -- some of yours even. According to your wikipedia page you left Hellblazer after DC refused to print a controversial comic of yours in such an imprint:

He left that series when DC announced, following the Columbine High School massacre, that it would not publish "Shoot", a Hellblazer story about school shootings, although the story had been written and illustrated prior to the Columbine massacre.

Is this common in comic books/graphic novels? Have you experienced this elsewhere in your career? Do you feel that DC and other big publishers are too afraid of another Fredric Wertham to toe the line?

Social Networks

New GCHQ Chief Says Social Media Aids Terrorists 228

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-tweet-pictures-of-your-breakfast-otherwise-the-terrorists-win dept.
An anonymous reader sends this report from Sky News: The new head of GCHQ has accused social media websites of helping terror groups and called for closer ties with intelligence agencies. "'However much they [tech companies] may dislike it, they have become the command and control networks of choice for terrorists and criminals, who find their services as transformational as the rest of us." ... Mr. Hannigan said that smartphone and other mobile technologies increased the opportunities for terrorist activity to be concealed in the wake of the exposing of secret cables and documents collected by US and UK authorities by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Mr. Hannigan said that smartphone and other mobile technologies increased the opportunities for terrorist activity to be concealed in the wake of the exposing of secret cables and documents collected by US and UK authorities by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Comment: China's Complete Supply Chain (Score 5, Interesting) 62

Recently this year the WTO ruled against China's practices in the rare earth market but some pundits have stated that this ruling doesn't matter because China controls the whole supply chain of rare earths. Would you care to comment on the efficacy of the WTO's ruling? Can you explain what part of the supply chain the US is missing? For example, we're missing mines but if we had mines we're missing refineries but if we had them we're missing ... etc. What throughput of each mineral in our domestic supply chain would we need to put the US government at ease?

Comment: The True Cost of Various Environmental Laws? (Score 5, Interesting) 62

The minerals themselves aren't necessarily rare in an absolute sense, but they're expensive to extract.) The most economically viable deposits are found in China, and rising prices for them as exports to the U.S., the EU, and Japan have raised political hackles. (At the same time, those rising prices have spurred exploration and reexamination of known deposits off the coast of Japan, in the midwestern U.S., and elsewhere.

My understanding revolves around only the crudest idea about modern mining methods and the resulting tailings & water usage they often employ. I assume that in China, they get around these costs by just damaging the environment (like dumping tailings where ever instead of having dedicated settling and filtering ponds). Could you give us some back of the envelope calculations (they could be percentages or additional yearly operating costs) of what these environmental regulations mean for mining operations in the United States versus China? There's an awful lot of talk on Slashdot and other news sites about how cost prohibitive the EPA makes business in America but I've never seen an expert in the industry actually talk hard numbers. Any ballpark estimates would be greatly appreciated. In your experience, are any of these laws and regulations less or more effective than others?

Comment: What Does Systemd Mean to Me? (Score 5, Funny) 928

by eldavojohn (#48276995) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can You Say Something Nice About Systemd?
"What Does Systemd Mean to Me?"
By
eldavojohn

Systemd has a nice ring to it. The way the syllables roll off my tongue pleases me greatly. It could be the title of a great anime series. It could even be the lost name of an ancient forgotten god-king. It might even be the name I give my first born. It sounds much more authoritative and genuine than sysvinit or upstart or inetd. For instance from my non-technical fourth grade perspective this is what I interpret the others to mean:
  • sysvinit - A cheap knockoff of systemd. Sounds sort of like a sexually transmitted disease phase like syphilis virus initialization.
  • upstart - Sounds like you don't know what the hell is going on. "This young upstart" ... leave it to the pros, greenhorn. Leave it to systemd.
  • inetd - What are we, fishing here? You netted? You netted what? At least tell us what you netted. Is it a record breaking fish? Also, nice try with the cheap 'd' knockoff at the end. Leave it to the originals. Leave it to ... systemd.

Contrary to your base assumptions, systemd does not actually boot faster on my Pentium II (Intel inside) system. I just like the way it sounds.

  • Personal Experience - I actually stood up at dinner last night and slammed my fist down on the table and yelled at my wife that "WE WILL ONLY USE SYSTEMD IN THIS HOUSE FROM NOW ON" and I flung her iPad against the wall, shattering it. And then I got down on my knees in tears -- having seen the light -- and swore fealty to systemd.
  • Working Examples - Three nights ago I stole away into the night across town to the Olafsen's house (a predominantly Norwegian family) and (being predominantly of Swedish descent myself) spray painted on the front of their new home: "SYSTEMD BOOT HOME" in blood red paint. This was a Nice Thing in a "never forget" sorta way. I then got down on my knees in tears and applied the spray paint liberally to my upper lip -- the same condition in which I write this post for you, dear reader.
  • Links to Supporting Documentation - [1]

Round Numbers are always false. -- Samuel Johnson

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