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Comment Re:That isn't trustful. (Score 3, Insightful) 295

I think being open about what is being transmitted would help. I concede that in modern operating environments, there's a lot of checking for updates and patches, and while we do run a Windows Update Server at the main office (mainly to save some bandwidth and give us more granular control over updates), many of our road warriors and people at the branch offices still have their computers being updated directly by Windows own update services. That means data on software installed is going to Microsoft's servers, but the trade off is we keep our systems up to date.

However, we have a number of government contracts that require safe storage of data, including assuring that no confidential data is transmitted to unauthorized third parties or out of the country. At that point it gets iffy, and I'm trying to put my head around whether "telemetry" data puts us at risk in the breach of contract department. Particularly now as we just got a three year extension on contract which will take us through 2019, we are preparing for large scale upgrades. We've already updated our Windows servers to 2012 R2, and are now in the process of deciding whether to go through the irritation of Windows 7 licenses, or just jump to Windows 10, which has been working fairly well in our test environment.

Microsoft needs to come clean here, and explain what exactly is being sent to their servers.

Comment Re:Two opposed postions on abortion, both libertar (Score 1) 428

No. It would make them sentient dolphins, not "non-human people".

Whatever you want to call them - do you think that they would not be entitled to, at the minimum, a right to life to the same degree as humans (i.e. killing them should be treated as murder)?

If so, then what determines who has that right and who doesn't? Sentience? But zygotes aren't sentient.

Easy peasy!

23 chromosomes is a normal number for humans, but not all humans have 23 chromosomes - Down syndrome, XYY males and XXX females etc.

Ultimately, all this is just accumulated mutations and selection of them over the course of that 6 million years of divergence. By itself, that's still a quantitative difference, not qualitative - i.e. we know that things are different, sure, but they're also different between humans on genetic level. The question is, what exactly about those missing or extra chromosomes and DNA difference is responsible for having or not having natural rights? If you could incrementally edit a chimp's genome to make it human, at which point during the process is it "human enough"?

Comment Re:Two opposed postions on abortion, both libertar (Score 1) 428

Anyone intelligent enough to post on /. is intelligent enough to know that half the DNA isn't enough.

Enough for what? To eventually grow a human, sure. But to be a person? I don't know.

Thus, if self-awareness is the measure of humanity/personhood, it's just as ok to "put down" an eighteen month old human as it is to kill an unwanted dog.

You're correct - i.e. logically speaking, either both are okay, or neither is okay.

Or, possibly, the definition of "person" is more extensive than self-awareness. But I still don't see why it should have anything to do with DNA makeup.

I fail to see the difference between the two.

It's because the definition of "person" is not strict, and for most people who haven't given it consideration, it's basically "I know it when I see it". However, surely you can imagine a hypothetical non-human person, even under whatever subjective definition you subscribe to? E.g. suppose we do determine that dolphins are "intelligent enough", after all, and devise means to communicate with them with a full-fledged language - would that not make them persons?

"Human", on the other hand, is defined entirely in strict biological terms. It's still not a strict definition if you consider corner cases (which extinct hominids were human and which weren't, for example? and at which point the result of our future evolution can no longer be called "human" and becomes a different species?), but for practical purposes, you can just do a DNA test.

Where did I indicate such a thing???

You indicated that natural rights belong to humans, and humans are defined by DNA. I don't see why such differentiation by DNA is fundamentally different from differentiating within homo sapiens sapiens by DNA; the only difference is degree. Just as you can determine the difference between humans and chimps by comparing their genes, so you can determine the difference between different human populations by looking at some genetic markers or others (and yes, there are some that correlate pretty well with black skin, for example).

And don't pretend like the fact that one case straddles species boundary and the other one doesn't makes a huge difference - "species" themselves are a rather arbitrary human construct stemming from our desire to neatly label and categorize everything, but nature doesn't really care about such things. If you want to talk about objective facts, you'll have to show a difference in quality rather than quantity of differences (or demonstrate that some quantity is a threshold meaningful for some reason other than "because I said so").

It is relevant, because with it you boil the argument down to objective facts instead of philosophical and socio-political arguments.

You can't boil the argument down without agreeing on what the argument is about. This particular one is whether personhood or humanity is the defining factor for possessing natural rights, including right to life. Yes, if you arbitrarily resolve this question in favor of humanity, then you can boil it down to objective facts - DNA etc. But that first decision is arbitrary, and not everyone agrees to it.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 2) 233

People don't tend to stay at those places long, but if you haven't been able to get other work it can help pay bills until you can.

Swiping wallets from tourists at a busy attraction can also help you pay the bills until you can, but I don't think that's a valid argument in favor of the person doing so.

Comment Re:Two opposed postions on abortion, both libertar (Score 1) 428

Answer, part #1: Because the the human brain develops naturally from that zygote.

Sure, but why start with zygote? Why not the egg? Why not before? Any point in this chain is pretty arbitrary, and even if you pick one (like you did with "has its own DNA"), it's not clear what it has to do with personhood.

Answer, part #2: Babies with severe microcephaly have no self-awareness, but are still humans.

Sure. And it's a valid question to ask whether they should have the same rights as a self-aware human being. Ditto for braindead people.

Because their DNA is not human.

But then you're not basing your definition of rights on whether someone is a person or not. You're basing it on whether they're human or not (or rather - because there isn't really a hard delimiter between species in general - on whether someone is "sufficiently human"). I don't see why this is, in principle, any better than denying on a scattering of other genetic markers that correspond to dark skin etc.

Biology is irrelevant here, because it does not really concern itself with issues such as "personhood" and "natural rights".

Comment Re:Two opposed postions on abortion, both libertar (Score 1) 428

So self-awareness, and brain in general, is not required to be a person?

Why aren't animals persons, then, and why don't they get all the same rights that a person should? Just because they have a wrong DNA? Does it also apply to humans with "the wrong DNA" (e.g. not sufficiently white)?

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