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Comment: Scientific Proof (Score 1) 497

by hawkeey (#46435373) Attached to: Can Science Ever Be "Settled?"

It is really not possible to prove hypotheses in science. We can only disprove hypotheses, and "proof" only occurs when all other current hypotheses are eliminated except for one.

We can also create models, often with mathematics, that are just another form of hypotheses. So being "settled" is only a transient state until someone else proposes a consistent model with the evidence.

As such, we must embrace "deniers" that challenge the standing hypotheses and ask them to propose their own testable hypotheses.

Religion is often another hypothesis, but it is often not one that cannot one that can be scientifically disproved. An all powerful deity can alter our reality to erase or manipulate evidence.

If we disallow standing hypotheses to be challenged, then Science becomes an institutional religion. True science must always allow hypotheses to be constantly challenged by well formed alternate hypotheses.

Comment: US Hegemony (Score 2) 148

by hawkeey (#45662783) Attached to: Program to Use Russian Nukes for US Electricity Comes to an End

While some people complain about the geopolitical status of the United States, it has to remembered that the US emerged from isolationism outside the Western hemisphere only after the second World War. Sure there was some involvement after the Spanish-American war and the first World War, but current state of affairs was created by the actions of countries around the world. If there is anything especially exceptional about the United States, it is that it is a large political conglomerate that continuously assimilates immigrants.

Cooperation between nuclear powers can only benefit humanity as a whole. A system of friendly competition and cooperation between countries than the wanton destructiveness of general war.

Comment: Reagan created universal healthcare (Score 1) 499

by hawkeey (#45401967) Attached to: How 3 Young Coders Built a Better Portal To

OK, technically Congress under the Reagan administration created universal healthcare by passing EMTALA requiring almost all hospitals to provide treatment regardless of the ability to pay:

The ACA or ObamaCare tries to shift the financial burden back to the individual rather than continuing an unfunded mandate. Don't like it? Pay the $95 or 1% tax.

In summary, Congress under Reagan created universal healthcare. Congress under Obama came up with an effective tax incentive to fund it.

This appearance of this website along with existing health insurance brokers seems to make make the individual healthcare insurance much more transparent. ACA or not, that is a good development.

Comment: Costs and Appstore/Package management (Score 1) 1215

by hawkeey (#43950859) Attached to: What Keeps You On (or Off) Windows in 2013?

I recently assembled a computer around a used motherboard I found at Goodwill with the intention of swapping it out for a better motherboard in 12 - 24 months. The cost of trying to legally license a new copy of Windows (>$100) encouraged me to install Ubuntu first and see how far I could get. The first challenge was trying to get Eve Online to work. After that, LibreOffice and Firefox/Chrome took care of most of my other needs. Eventually, Gimp and Inkscape satisfied the need for graphics creation. Ubuntu took some elbow grease in the beginning to get it to work with my graphics card. After that it has very smoothly scaled with my professional and gaming needs with the large number of ready to use applications.

The cost of Windows was particularly high because I would need to obtain a full version (>$200) rather than a systems builder version since I intended to upgrade the core of my system in a few years. Since Windows was particularly costly for system migration, it just didn't make sense. Windows only begins to make sense for OEM appliances where it's cost is greatly discounted. Installing and updating software on Windows is also a huge pain.

Comment: Watermark and Object Protection (Score 1) 183

by hawkeey (#41318921) Attached to: Intel Demos McAfee Social Protection

It appears to watermark images and use some kind of applet (like Java or Flash?) to block simple screenshots. You need the addon to view the photos I believe. Of course an actual screenshot with a camera would defeat it, but there is obvious quality loss there.

It seems to me that noscript or turning JavaScript off might prevent you from seeing the image all together.

Comment: Re:You get what you pay for (Score 2) 168

by hawkeey (#41273391) Attached to: Internet Brands Sues People For Forking Under CC BY-SA

That is not quite it. To extend your analogy to Leveraged Buy Out, what they did first is first borrow $25 in the name of the lawnmower from the neighbor. When selling the lawnmower, they then told the neighbor that the new owner is the one that owes the $25 that YOU borrowed.

This would be all great if it was summer and the owner could mow lawns in the neighborhood, but now it's getting into the winter and the new owner is going to have to wait six months before they make any money back. Then it turns out that the neighbor wants their $25 back now but the new owner does not have the cash. So instead the neighbor says that they'll just take the lawnmower.

The former owner that you sold it to for $75 is now out $75 and does not have a lawnmower. Now imagine that all the gears and parts of that lawnmower are people. The neighbor that lent the money decides that they don't really need a lawnmower and decide that only the motor is valuable and can quickly recoup the the $25 loan. They throw away all the other parts (fire the people) and sell the motor.

You (Bain Capital) are $75 richer
Initial Buyer (Small investors): $75 and no lawnmower.
Neighbor (lender): Recouped initial $25 loan and maybe some.
Lawn mower parts (employees): Without a purpose (job)

You see this is not just venture capitalism where you are taking a risk with your own money. In this case, you are not even using a lot of your own money or taking any kind of significant risk in doing so. The main capital at risk is equity in the company that you borrowed against in order to buy it. If you did not saddle the company with so much debt, it would not be so bad. At least you have some more time until your creditors come after you. Now sure people should not have put more investment into the company knowing that it had substantial liabilities, but a lot of time this is not very obvious due to how they structure the debt.

Comment: Re:Being awarded for some fairly old work. (Score 1) 75

by hawkeey (#37590960) Attached to: 3 Share Nobel Prize In Medicine For Immune System Work

These prizes have never been about those who come up with immediate applications. It has been for those who began the field as we know it today, whether they stumbled upon it or worked tirelessly towards it. The applications tend to be awarded in terms of their market profitability. The basic fundamental research rarely is awarded, and the Nobel Prize is an opportunity to recognize that work.

Alfred Nobel was fortunate enough to do the initial research on nitroglycerin and then turn that into a profitable product. In a way this is a model by which industry can give back to the basic research from which it sprang.

Comment: Affiliation Tug-of-War (Score 1) 75

by hawkeey (#37590848) Attached to: 3 Share Nobel Prize In Medicine For Immune System Work

It is quite amusing how educational and research institutions try to immediately flaunt their affiliations with the Nobel Laureates. Bruce A. Beutler is a particularly intriguing case. The University of Chicago chalks this up as laureate number 86 as he attended medical school there. The Scripps Research Institute where he was a professor until recently is hailing him as their own. This is despite that as of Septermber 1, 2011, Prof. Beutler is now Director of the Center for the Genetics of Host Defense at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he was a medical resident and a professor from 1986 to 2000 (and began his nobel laureate work).

Nonetheless, congratulations to Dr. Bruce A. Beutler on his award, and all the institutions which fostered his career. Best wishes to him as he joins a growing cadre of formidable researchers in Texas (yes, the same Texas as GH Bush, GW Bush, and presidential candidate Rick Perry).

Shaw Prize Autobiography

UT Southwestern Press Release

Scripps Research Institute Press Release

The University of Chicago front page (right side):

Comment: Re:Research dupe (Score 1) 128

by hawkeey (#33883258) Attached to: Gambling On Bacteria

Not exactly a dupe when a University of California post doctoral fellow is a co-author on the paper.

The authors are Eshel Ben-Jacob and Daniel Schultz. Daniel Schultz was formerly a postdoc at the University of California. See my comment "Original Article" below for the reference and links. The original article is a commentary on another paper which Jose Onuchic was the editor for. Jose Onuchic is the author of the other work that you cite.

Wasn't there something about a PASCAL programmer knowing the value of everything and the Wirth of nothing?