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Comment: Re:Yes, you can (Score 1) 634

by guises (#49800887) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?
We pay money to farmers in order to keep the supply steady and the price of food consistent, and also lobbying, but not because there's a surplus of food. In fact, quite the opposite. The fact that population growth is slowing in some areas is irrelevant, it's still rising globally.

It isn't all about population either, it's also affluence - you've no doubt heard that the average American consumes ~30 times as much energy as the average Indian. In other words, the fact that most of the world is (comparatively) poor is what is allowing us to get by with our current population. So what happens as developing countries develop?

Usually whenever this topic comes up, some yokel will say, "As populations become more affluent, their birthrate goes down. Problem solved." Conveniently overlooking the fact that as populations become more affluent they also consume more, at a faster rate than the birth rate reduction. This is what I meant by something which won't be acted on until it can no longer be denied. There's a lot of denial out there on this subject.

Comment: Re:Yes, you can (Score 1) 634

by guises (#49796395) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?
It's necessary now. The laws won't be changed until after it can no longer be denied, long after it's necessary. The choice you describe is not one which people will put up with, and is unenforceable anyway. There's no way to tell whether or not a man has sired a child.

My guess: whether or not the treatment is difficult / expensive to administer, it will be made very expensive to purchase. Prohibitively expensive. So expensive that relatively few people will be able to get it.

There's a book by Jack Vance about this, sorta, called To Live Forever. Like all of Vance's books it's definitely worth a read, though I'm not sure it really grants any insight here.

Comment: Re:For anyone else wondering what the hell this is (Score 1) 206

I don't think so. The links in the summary were to the paper and to explanations of the results of the paper. As it so happens, in the third link in addition to the paper results there was also an explanation of the feature but there was nothing in the summary that said, "This is the link you click on to find out how to do this."

You're right that I didn't click on the links, but since the links didn't give any indication that one of them was providing the information that I was after I'm not willing to take the blame for that one.

Comment: Re:For anyone else wondering what the hell this is (Score 1) 206

there is no persistent menu bar across the top to hide all your features

There used to be. Is that gone? I wouldn't know - I stay as far away from MacOS as I do from GNOME, and for the same reason: if you want to do anything which even slightly deviates from what the UI designers planned for you to do (like enabling tracking protection) then you either know the secret handshake or you're out of luck.

Actually, the thing which has irritated me the most about Firefox lately is the lack of configurability of shortcuts. Ctrl-w closes a tab while Ctrl-q quits the program... right next to one another. Every time I hit Ctrl-q by mistake I get angry and look for the menu option which lets me configure shortcuts, only to smack myself in the head and remember that it isn't there. The secret handshake for that one used to be a plug-in, but that doesn't work with current versions of Firefox. As annoying as the hamburger menu might be, I would be fine with it if it just had the options there for all of this stuff. You should never need to use the about:config tool if you're not a Firefox dev.

Comment: For anyone else wondering what the hell this is (Score 5, Informative) 206

I had to look this up. For anyone else wondering: this is one of those hidden FIrefox features which is only available to people who know about it ahead of time, through the about:config interface. If you're one of those people who isn't in the club, the boolean you search for is "privacy.trackingprotection.enabled".

[Insert rant about FIrefox's god-awful UI and severely lacking menu system.]

Comment: Re:3.5 million truckers (Score 1) 615

by guises (#49707105) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks
There is no question that this is coming. Honestly, I'll be surprised if it doesn't happen first - automated planes are much easier than automated road vehicles since the skies are less congested, road conditions are more consistent, there are relatively few take-off and landing areas and all are well known with well established flight paths between them.

Also, who says a plane can't pull over on the outskirts of town to meet its harbor pilot? Military drones are remote controlled, why couldn't you have a few remote pilots in a control tower at any given airport, ready to guide the plane in on its final descent?

Comment: Re:Bullets are OK, but... (Score 1) 247

by guises (#49574455) Attached to: Breakthough Makes Transparent Aluminum Affordable
Not for an iPhone 6/7, but possibly for some higher number. That's mostly about marketing though. Hardness effects how easy it is to scratch, but doesn't say much about how likely it is to break. Sapphire is harder than this and was going to be used for iPhones, but as everyone pointed out at the time - that was more about Thinking Different than it was about thinking practical.

The question of whether computers can think is just like the question of whether submarines can swim. -- Edsger W. Dijkstra

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