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Comment: Re:Simple English Wikipedia will come in handy (Score 1) 354

by jfengel (#47766743) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

It's not even really the donors, per se, but their voters. Climate change denialism is very popular. The businesses ensure that candidates who favor them connect with those voters, but it's not like the candidate would suddenly change their mind if those donations dried up. They'd continue to be denialists. And if that politician leaves, the denialist voters will be sure to pick up another denialist candidate.

The business help ensure denialism not with the politicians, but by funding denialist news networks and web sites. They also run attack ads (on any subject, not just climate) to defeat candidates who would oppose denialism.

They don't need to buy politicians. They buy voters instead, by scaring them. You won't fix the candidates, who are just doing what their constituents (at least, 50%+1 of them) want. The direct donations are a pittance. It's the overall miasma of denialism that give us anti-intellectual politicians, not the other way around.

I've got no idea how to fix it. It's famously said that you can't fix stupid, and there's a LOT of stupid.

Comment: Re:Backward-thinking by the DMV (Score 1) 470

by jfengel (#47760871) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

I don't necessarily disagree about the time frame, but I'm not sure why you're concerned about the price. The computers and sensors they're talking about putting in are fairly cheap. The software cost a lot of money to develop, but it would be amortized over a lot of people.

I don't think they'd have to go the luxury-car route, the way Tesla has. If anything, I'd expect them to want to sell it under cost, since there's a lot more cool stuff they can do once they can start treating computer-controlled cars as the default. The switchover period will be the least safe.

Comment: Re:Phones + 1 laptop. (Score 1) 259

by arth1 (#47760093) Attached to: How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

Yup.. gigabit is USELESS in the home unless you have a home server.

"A" home server? Who would have just one?
Local DNS, DHCP and DCHPv6 servers need failover, and onsite online backups are done cross-server.
So I'd think any nerd would have at least two.

I also have two different wired networks - one that is used for clients to talk to the servers and the gateway, and one that's used for servers to talk between themselves. There's no reason for traffic between a client and a server or internet to get slowed down just because one server backs itself up to another.

And two different Wireless N networks - one 2.4 and one 5 GHz. That way, using one band won't slow down the other.

Comment: Re:not so fast (Score 1) 125

by arth1 (#47757201) Attached to: Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain

Wow, I can't believe that someone missed the point so completely!
The point being that it is unlikely that the brain is stealing the glucose and thus stunting growth like the article supports, because when kids are fat, that means they have metabolized carbs->glucose->fat, and thus have had plenty of glucose. That fat kids' bones don't appear to shoot past normal kids in growth strongly suggest that there are other reasons why kids don't grow physically to adults in half the time.

I suggest that being smaller and having different proportions to adults triggers the "do not harm" and "protect" instinct in most adults, thus increasing the chance of reaching adulthood and bringing one's genes on.
There are probably other survival advantages, like having less mass and more flexible bones might be adventageous at the age one learns to climb trees and cliffs.
When reaching the age where one is going to procreate and bring up own children, the advantage is to have a more adult body, capable of hunting, foraging, carrying and protecting.

Get it now, or are you going to get sidetracked by a single word again?

Comment: Re:not so fast (Score 1) 125

by arth1 (#47755677) Attached to: Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain

Imply in real-world terms means hint at.

No, it doesn't. You have the wrong idea of what "imply" means. It is not a synonym for "hint at" or "suggest" any more than "implication" is a synonym for "hint" or "suggestion". It is a near synonym to "mean".

That you have two X chromosomes and no Y chromosome implies that you are female. It does not merely hint at it.

When I used the word imply in the real world example of my GPP, it was to say exactly what I said. Not your uneducated guess at what it means.

Comment: not so fast (Score 5, Insightful) 125

by arth1 (#47753549) Attached to: Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain

That there is an inverse correlation between brain glucose use and body growth does not imply that the brain's use of glucose stymies the growth until later.
If that were the case, kids who are overfed carbohydrates would be smarter and taller, not fatter and dumber.

My guess is that slow growth is selected for because children who look like children enjoy special care and protection by adults. Growing to adult size by age 7 might be detrimental to survival.

Comment: Re:Stop calling them clickbait (Score 1) 61

by jfengel (#47752415) Attached to: Facebook Cleans Up News Feed By Reducing Click-Bait Headlines

It's not even really about the headlines, per se. What they're looking for is content that users click through to, but don't read. The clickbait headline was part of that, setting up the expectation that the user would want to at least a little time reading it (and then failing to), but it sounds as if they're trying to eliminate bad content via the measure of whether or not people spend any time reading it.

Comment: Re:Discreet? (Score 1) 575

by jfengel (#47749007) Attached to: New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs

The straw, at least, was clean. I wouldn't want to stick my finger in my drink after I've been in a bar all night. Of course, I like being drugged even less. But carrying around disposable straws or swizzle sticks strikes me as a lot more hygienic.

I guess one can hope that the alcohol will solve that problem, especially since women's garments are notorious for lacking pockets in which to carry such things. That does make this particularly brilliant: you put it on before you go and it's always with you. But I'd still want to wash my hands a lot. (I hope it's durable to hand-washing.)

Comment: Re:The world we live in. (Score 1) 575

by jfengel (#47748949) Attached to: New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs

Date rape doesn't just happen to drunken girls at frat parties. The whole idea of date rape drugs is that they're used in places where women otherwise have a reason to feel safe, with someone they aren't actively afraid of, and having consumed only reasonable amounts of alcohol. It happens in very nice bars by very nice-seeming men, surrounded by other well-behaved people.

They're making good choices, unless we want to tell women that the only good choice is to lock herself in her house. The whole idea of this is to test the drink before she drinks it, and if it's been tampered with, she doesn't.

Comment: Re:Addressing potential problems (Score 3, Insightful) 143

by jfengel (#47748725) Attached to: Airbnb To Hand Over Data On 124 Hosts To New York Attorney General

I've had one negative experience with AirBnB. It wasn't terrible, more disorganized than dangerous, and it's only one out of over a dozen excellent experiences, but that sounds about right: a very small percentage of problems. 124 in New York City also sounds about right for the worst-of-the-worst.

In other words: no, not widespread, but if you can eliminate the few bad actors it increases overall confidence in the system. And if it decreases slightly the hostility from the industry they're trying to displace, it's better for the customer. The only losers in that are those who have been bad, and I just don't see anything wrong with that.

Comment: Re:New for Nerds? (Score 2) 131

Does anybody read them?

In the US, the newspaper industry has been flailing for decades. TV was eating their lunch even before the Internet did. The national "newspapers of record" still have some sway, but they no longer swing elections. They are still the last best hope of serious journalism as the fourth estate, but there's just not much left of it.

In the US, it's not even fishwrap; people just don't buy them. They do get it online, but what little actual news is in that stream is mostly thinly rewritten (or not) wire reports.

Is it any better in Australia?

Comment: Re:Correlation is not causation (Score 1) 175

DC's violent crime rates are largely about its poverty. Aside from the federal government, it has no real industry. It was heavily populated by poor blacks fleeing the South during the civil war, and during the next century-plus they were heavily discriminated against. There were few jobs for them except at the very bottom of service. While the place is on average pretty wealthy, its real population is quite poor.

The real fail of the politicians was that for two centuries the federal government ran the place. They didn't live there permanently, so they didn't treat it well. They eventually established a city government, but it was chronically mis-managed for decades.

They finally got in some good mayors. Poverty and violent crime are falling (though some of that is part of the broader national trend). They still bicker with the feds over governance, but the federal government is still its primary source of income, both directly and from the taxes they collect from people who work for it. That, too, has boomed for a few decades. It's nowhere near the crime capital it used to be.

He: Let's end it all, bequeathin' our brains to science. She: What?!? Science got enough trouble with their OWN brains. -- Walt Kelly