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Comment Re:Marketplace Justice (Score 1) 74

Silliness aside, until manufacturers have to pay the price in the marketplace for their crappy wares, they won't bother to do it right.

Well, yes, but isn't it a bit naive to think that 'the Market' will magically make them pay? Society - the state, if you will - has to step in and make it very painful for the owners and CEOs of these companies; they quite often seem to take on the attitude of criminals, that 'we are entitled to make money by whatever means, and screw the consequences for others'. Let me emphasise this a bit: it should cost the CEO and other managers, AS WELL AS the major share holders, of a company dearly, if they allow their company to make money by selling crap like this.

This kind of thing also flags up the whole idea of IoT as being desperately stupid; hackers will find ways through any security measures, even the best, if they want to, we know that, and the producers of IoT gadgets don't seem more than vaguely interested in implementing the best practices. On top of that, we hope to rely on the wit of consumers, who by and large don't have any idea about what network security is? What could possibly go wrong?

We have to get the problems with internet scammers and other criminals under control before we proceed with IoT; otherwise, people are going to lose the fundamentally important confidence in all online business - and that would cause significant problems, I think is fair to say.

Comment Re:Nukes (Score 1) 246

Are the only "solution" and Envirowackos won't go for them.

Bravo! By using obscure, mock-insider terms like 'nukes' and insulting people who care about the environment, you have paved the way for constuctive dialogue; success is assured. How would we ever overcome our differences and solve our communal problems if we didn't have people like you?

Comment Re:Well, that's embarrassing (Score 2) 609

Meanwhile... the Quran is the actual scripture of Islam; if it was found to have existed *before* the founder existed (let alone wrote it, received it from Heaven, whatever)? That's kind of like kicking the pillars out from under a rather delicate tower... it would be akin to finding a written account of Jesus' life that carbon-dates to 30-40 BCE... now *that* would be faith-shaking.

Faith, in all religions, is designed to shake off facts that don't fit; that's they are religions, not science. There are many ways to work an earlier date into the doctrine, if needed, don't you worry. Just look at how Jehovah's Witnesses have handled the repeated failure of the end of the world to manifest itself; and they are by no means the only ones. So spare your glee; and any way, I think it is poor form, trying to make your own religion look better by pointing to potential weaknesses in others. You wouldn't need to gloat, if you really believed that what you stand for is better.

Comment Re:not so much on the upside... (Score 5, Insightful) 147

You are right, of course. What amazes me is the fact that there are people in this forum who have modded your comment 'Funny'. Personally, I can't see anything funny in knowing that we as a society, because of our almost complete lack of concern for what crap we are spilling in the environment, cause millions of birds to die a slow, agonizing death. I challenge anybody - especially the idiots who think it is funny - to eat a couple of broken plastic spoons every day and tell me they enjoy the process of dying from pierced intestines.

Apart from whether one should feel a normal level of empathy towards wildlife or not, it is actually a significant issue. It is scientifically well established that different parts of the environment are closely connected - we talk about food webs, for one thing. We know that taking out just one, significant part of the food web can have a dramatic effect on everything, sometimes in surprising ways; a common theme, though, is that when it happens, it introduces instability, and when it finally settles down again, it is a much lower levels than before and with much lower species diversity.

Yet, we keep playing with these things, refusing to open our eyes and ears, like there was no tomorrow; I just hope we don't turn out to be right in that respect.

Comment Re:The above is informative ? (Score 1) 572

Such things really does count against visiting the US compared to taking a week on a beach somewhere else.

It does, indeed. However, common sense would suggest that less intrusive measures would be applied than barcode tattoos if it ever got to this; in fact, common sense suggests that this sort of thing will never be more than the extreme views of a stupid poitician out to grab attention.

There are two things in what you say. One is the fact that many would be visitors stay away from America because of the news coming out. That is a real shame - America has a lot of interesting, impressive and beautiful things to see, and Americans are very nice people, in most cases. Unfortunately, there's also this massive, dark side that looms large in people's consciousness; I have, over the years, seem many, worrying stories in European news about people coming to the states as ordinary tourists and having extremely bad experiences. Things like one Danish young family, who did what all Danes do: go to a small restaurant, leaving the pram with their baby right outside the window where they could keep an eye. So, did criminals snatch it? Not at all, the police turned up, the couple ended up having to fight a long, hard battle in court against losing their child 'for neglect'. That is one couple, whose friends and family will never go to the States again. It is such a shame, because you guys could do a lot better.

The other thing is the question of making people identifiable - to be honest, I wouldn't mind being 'chip-marked' like many pets and horses are now. There are situations where you would definitely like to be identifiable, like if you're found unconscious without ID somewhere. Or perhaps more likely, as a simple convenience; it would be good if I never had to worry about remembering my passport or driving licence. I'm not worried about being monitored - anyone who carries a mobile around is being monitored, and probably hasn't a clue about what is being collected about them. I had a quick look at what is in my phone (Samsung) - something like tens of apps that I have not installed, and which have permission to snoop into everything including using GPS, microphone, camera and networking. If that doesn't worry me, why would I worry about being passively monitored by 'the government' in other ways, by a chip or similar means? At least they don't sell my data to scammers, the way private companies do. I think.

Comment Perhaps not surprising (Score 1) 255

I didn't have the patience to read through the whole article in detail, but I didn't see anything about how long back the study had checked - this may be important for the reulst. Eksperiments in psychology must be particularly difficult to set up and evaluate rigorously, and I suspect we weren't too good at it in the early years. Even in modern, physical medicine, where there now good practices, it can be very difficult to get strong data.

Comment Re:It can't. (Score 1) 105

There's something I've never figured out about this particular theory. All life, even some sort of "patient zero" alien life, had to arise from non-organic substances somewhere, right? If it can happen once, then it should be able to happen any number of times given a set of similar conditions. Given the size of the universe, and even our own galaxy, that's like to be a *lot* of places.

I think you are right, and probably most researchers of this subject would agree. My personal feeling is that life didn't happen because of some amazingly unlikely combination of lucky accidents, it happened because it was likely enough that it must happen almost anywhere the conditionas are right. There is a book that you might enjoy - "The Vital Question" by Nick Lane; a bit technical, but that's why I like it. According to him, prokaryotic life more or less has to happen, but he isn't so sure that eukaryotes are likely to evolve (I disagree, but that's another matter).

As such, why would anyone think it's more plausible for a chunk of life to hitch a ride on some piece of space debris, and then survive re-entry on a coincidentally habitable planet on which it can flourish... than for life to have sprung into existence here, where obviously conditions were optimal for it (or at least life as we know it)?

As far as I understand it, the current thinking is not so much that life evolved in just one place and then travelled as cells or spores to other places, but that a suprisingly large proportion of the molecules needed for life have evolved in the dustclouds around newly formed stars. Panspermia in some form could still have played a large role as well, as it isn't implausible that cells or spores could have been blasted off their home planet and survived the journey / we already know of some on our own planet that could potentially make it.

I have to wonder if the enthusiasm for this theory is partially based on the admittedly exciting prospect that we could be the descendants of exotic alien lifeforms rather than some homegrown slime mold.

Could be, but I think it also has a lot to do with the fact that until fairly recently, we didn't have any really detailed ideas about the first cells might have evolved, and there was a widespread feeling that it was a very improbable event, so the idea of life arising in only a single or a few places and then spreading out was attractive. We now know much more, and it seems like life must be widespread, maybe even universal.

Comment Re:Judging by the story so far... (Score 1) 370

I think there is an important, moral issue here: the fact that the owners of the service entice their customers into using a service that can have grave, social implications, without offering adequate protection and clearly without giving a flying f*ck about what it does to their customers or their families.

It may be true that "The users should have thought about the potential consequences before having an affair", as some will say - but even drug dealers and prostitutes understand that they have to make some effort to protect their customers; the stance taken by the owners of Ashley Madison puts them on a morally lower level than that.

Comment Re:Account should not try to "get knowledgeable" (Score 1) 87

I couldn't agree more - a team leader doesn't necessarily need to be be the expert in everything the team does. That kind of leader will too easily become a fly-fscking micromanager. A great way to lead. if you can pull it off, is what I call 'leading by ignorance'.

What it means is, you build you relationship on your professed ignorance, like you are saying "I don't understand this, could you explain". Real experts love to explain to anybody who is genuinely interested, sometimes in excruciating detail, about their favourite subject, and they love to help you make the best decision. As the manager it is your job to make the final decision, of course, so you'll be the one balancing up all the inputs you receive from the team and you'll be the link to the world of suits. By being genuinely interested, but standing back a bit from the technical issues, you tell the team that you respect them, and that is pure gold to any engineer.

Comment Re: Lying scum (Score 1) 303

We've known this family is full of lying scum for at least 20 years.

Have we? Funny you should say that, because in much of the world outside the US, Clinton was widely admired as one of the better presidents; in fact, he received standing ovations, not least in response to what people perceived as the dignified way he handled the vicious attacks in connection with the Lewinsky affair. Maybe it is only in a narrow circle of extremist Republicans that "we have always known...."?

American politicians seem to be universally hated by Americans - or at least by the opposition. It is a strange thing that you guys can find anybody who is willing to run at all; you would have to be either a masochist or stupid to wish to be exposed to that sort of treatment, where even the smallest error is viciously attacked and nothing is ever forgiven - in God's own Country, where the teachings of Christ are said to be held in respect.

Comment Magnetic beads? (Score 1) 60

According to the article, this device is supposed to use 'magnetic beads' to remove toxins; it is very light on actual detail, and judging on what is in the article, it sounds bogus to me. Magnetism works on magnetic materials - organic molecules like toxins are not likely to be magnetic, so how it that supposed to work? It reminds me of the bizarre superstition that claims that you can somehow clean or soften your household water with a magnet; that doesn't work either - if it was that simple, it would be in pretty much universal use.

I hope there is more to it than what I have listed above; the Wyss Institute as such appears to be genuine enough.

Comment Re:Market in action (Score 1) 54

I assume you mean customers when you say "consumers"?

I have been a database developer and effectively dba for well over a decade, and I have worked with Oracle (from ver 6) as well as DB2, Sybase, Informix and MySQL. In my experience, Oracle win by a respectable margin on many fronts. I find their management interfaces better, nearly everything is visible in special views, for example. Their OCI API is not simple, but it is well worth learning. Their documentation is unparalleled for its thoroughness (but not all that easy to get into), and I have found their support team responsive and professional, although their support contracts are expensive. And the fact that you can freely download their database servers and use them for development and testing, is brilliant.

I don't really know why people seem to be so hostile towards Oracle; they may have their reasons, but I would be surprised if it was because of the things I've seen mentioned here.

Comment Re:Guess what? (Score 1) 301

After years of union with the same person, isn't that normal to want another body? Isn't that a natural and physical need?

No, I don't think it is. At least, not from my point of view. I'm married and would never ever consider cheating.

I have to say, I think it is probably very natural and normal to feel the temptation. But cheating is cheating - if you made a promise, you have to keep it or else make a clean break. And calling it 'a physical need' is just an attempt to say that it isn't your fault that you are a cheat. The right way to go about it is to decide whether your marriage is good enough for you want to work on repairing the things that are not working, or else to get a divource; otherwise you are simply trying to get something without having to pay for it.

What is now proved was once only imagin'd. -- William Blake

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