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Comment: " ... in a _Western_ factory" Wait, what? (Score 1) 318 318

From the post: "This is perhaps the first severe accident of this kind in a western factory, and is sparking debate about who is responsible for the accident, ..."

So this (and worse?) has happened in 'Eastern' factories but was just not worth mentioning until now? Likely this is proof of the continued usefulness of labour Unions.

Comment: Bigger Question: Does Language Matter Anymore? (Score 1) 296 296

It seems like having to make a trip by car between two cities and trying to decide which type of car to use?

So does it really matter if you choose a Ford, Hyundai, Tesla, Ferrari, Saab, Toyota, etc.? In the final analysis, wouldn\t any of those vehicles get you there just fine? Why not go with what you're comfortable with?

Comment: Story a Counterpoint to Earlier /. Article (Score 1) 100 100

I cannot find the link but in the past two weeks or so, there was an 'Ask Slashdot' by a person wanting to find a way of passing on the info contained in his email history before he left his company. His or her reasons were essentially to pass on his corporate knowledge. The person was mostly derided with "Who cares?" It seems however, that given the keen interest in every company email cull that gets left in Wikileaks (or with some reporter), that companies should have an interest in vetting the emails of departing employees to assess what those emails communicate about the company. It seems likely that those emails to give insights in to the explicit known, and implicit unknown, networks a company has established, as well as the 'view from within, at the employee level' of company health (eg. do the grass roots see the company as a sinking ship, _what_ problems did the employee perceive that went unreported, etc.).

Just deleting the email account of a departing employee, is blindly hoping there are no problems that will come up. Reviewing those emails, might proactively ensure there are no surprises in the company's future.

Comment: Astrology posing as Science (Score 1) 310 310

Might as well use the Farmer's Almanac for all the value those predictions have; what models were used, what assumptions, what is the margin of error, what is worst case/best case?

The danger is that now, more than ever, political and policy decisions will be made that will significantly affect people, all based on a _guess_ of unknown quality. Too depressing for words.

The only people who will be happy with this are those who stand to profit.

Comment: Models are for fear mongering, nothing more (Score 1) 193 193

Just wondering if the models came with a prediction score or some measure of their accuracy. As with climate predictions, the untold story is that the models are no more accurate than their inputs and the validity of the theories used to create them. You might expect models to come with warnings, but they don't, at least nothing that gets transmitted to the public.

As the world embraces 'big data' and the modeling it spawns, this should be a bit of a lesson. The worry should be: how many times can models be used to 'cry wolf' before people start ignoring them?

Comment: Why not transfer consciousness vice the head? (Score 0) 203 203

A person with such an attitude towards animals, sees humans the same way. He would have to.

Unfortunately, a head needs a donor body, right?
And you're not going to take a body banged up in a car accident, disabled, or available due to some disease, right?
So, reasonably, a donor would be ... whom?
A person with a mental disability?
A person having suffered severe head trauma?
A person with an expected lower standard of living than the recipient head?

Or maybe a clone of the person? Except that, that would require some advance planning, a clone willing to sacrifice, and of course an answer to the question: why not just transfer the consciousness instead of the whole head.

It just seems that such an act of experimental barbarism should have the whole thing clearly thought out.

Comment: Hoax: taking advantage of people's credulity (Score 1) 366 366

This is a perfect scam:

a) come up with a seemingly plausible idea obscured by high tech and/or science;
b) get investors to contribute to seeing a prototype created
c) have the prototype fail for any number of plausible reasons
d) profit
e) repeat until the profits cease to be worth the effort

The solar sail is a theoretically flawed idea, as achievable as perpetual motion. But it is a cool, elegant concept ... and people can be convinced to buy in to it. The best part is, nobody outside the scammers can verify success or failure. Perfect ...

Comment: Not mentioned: the wifi connection ... (Score 1) 102 102

... because, yeah, it will have an internet connection (though that isn't part of the patent), and the darling toy will guide the child to the desired consumption protocols. Or more disturbingly, who controls when the microphone and camera are on ... yeah, camera. How did you think it was going to tell when someone was looking at it?

"Ask your parents for another playmate like me. Wouldn't that be fun?"
"Let's go to the living room and see what everyone is watching."
"Do _you_ think your parents are hurting you? _I_ do. I can tell someone if you want."
"If you let me stay in mommy and daddy's bedroom tonight, I will tell you everything I hear."
"Shhh! They're watching us."


Comment: Finally 1 semi-sane climatologist (Score 1) 105 105

... hopefully there are more somewhere out there to finally raise a public voice against the insanity that is geoengineering.

Disregarding the doubtful science/engineering for a moment, just the motivation behind geoengineering seems flawed. Seriously, we want to maintain some sort of agreed upon status quo of climate? What in the entire universe is unchanging? Nothing. So why should our climate somehow be exempt?

There is only one action required by people to 'engineer' the planet sanely: stop being wasteful.
Given the size of the human population, the reality of the requirements for survival, and the reality of human nature, we will always need fossil fuels, factories, massive farming, etc. The problem is that we use our resources with gross inefficiency and thoughtlessness. Curb that tendency and accept that things will always change, and our species will probably do fine.

Comment: One word: Gyrocopter (Score 1) 209 209

Existing tech should have had Whitehouse security standing by (not to mention other layers of the security envelope) but didn't.

The tech was fine, clearly the users of it failed. No measures need to be extended, no new and sweeping permissions are required, no new intrusion tech is required.

What's needed are simply intelligent people paying attention. No bill is going to provide that.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?