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Comment: Re:The Chinese are not the soviets (Score 1) 233

by hey! (#49793149) Attached to: Neil DeGrasse Tyson Urges America To Challenge China To a Space Race

The chinese and americans make too much money off each other to go to war with each other.

Which of course means we are no threat whatsoever to to each other, because on both sides of the relationship the leadership is and is guaranteed continued to be completely rational.

Comment: Re:next up: ban cars (Score 1) 113

by hey! (#49790609) Attached to: Thanks To the Montreal Protocol, We Avoided Severe Ozone Depletion

Well, driving cars in urban centers generally sucks between the traffic and finding parking. The problem is people are too stubborn to get their act together and provide abundant satellite parking and transit links. Sure, driving your car right up to a store is ideal when you're the only one doing it, but there's a reason malls are built with parking on the periphery and pedestrian access at the core. If parking was the most pleasant and convenient way to get a lot of people into a confined area you'd be able to drive right into Disney World and park your car at Space Mountain.

Comment: Re:nonsense (Score 3, Insightful) 113

by hey! (#49790515) Attached to: Thanks To the Montreal Protocol, We Avoided Severe Ozone Depletion

Anything that happens inflates someone's bank account. If governments ban CFCs then people with CFC substitutes get a windfall. If governments don't ban CFCs then makers of sunscreen and skin cancer treatments get a windfall.

This is how capitalism works -- how it's supposed to work. Problems attract capital, which generates profits. But it's also how market solutions fall short. It's better for the public if someone makes a killing replacing CFC than if someone else makes a killing treating skin cancer.

Comment: Misses the strategic imperative for Android. (Score 1) 322

by hey! (#49790287) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier

Google's core businesses would be seriously damaged if Apple obtained a monopoly on mobile computing. If it breaks even and prevents Apple hegemony it's as much of a success as it needs to be.

As for the supposed switching of Android users to iPhone, notice the tortured stipulations in this sentence: "the 'majority' of those who switched to iPhone had owned a smartphone running Android." It's also no doubt true that the majority of users who switched to new Android phone had owned a smartphone running Android in the past. The vast majority of smartphones out there are Android, and that's been true for years now, so it's not surprising that someone buying a new smartphone of any kind has previously owned *some* android handset.

Comment: Blasting my ears (Score 1) 156

by endus (#49783119) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Will Technology Disrupt the Song?

What amazes me is that the more technology and information we get, the more the music seems to become harsh and random to listen to. All the pop music that has flowed down from dubstep is so jarring...just random ear-raping sounds firing at the listener. This is to say nothing of lyrics which seem to be getting more and more repetitive and less and less creative/sonically flowing.

I'm not saying this to necessarily criticize pop as being simple and vapid, which has been the case since pop has existed and is totally understandable/fine, but just from a sonic perspective popular music just seems...I guess, "not what I would expect people to find appealing to listen to" is what I mean.

Popular rap would be a good example - it used to be about finding creative ways of saying something...that was the whole joy of it. You could talk about having money or cars or partying, but you would flip it in a unique way and with a unique flow. Now popular rap is becoming so unbelievably basic. It's not the subject that's changed, but the way of communicating it has just gotten so incredibly stripped down.

Comment: Re:Showing once again how worthless insurance is (Score 1) 116

A) Insurance NEVER pays to replace a car, even if it is totaled. They give you 80% of the current value.

B) I have 40K to replace MY car which the other guy totaled but which HIS insurance won't pay anything near what it costs me. I could sue him in court for damages to recover the rest of the money but insurance companies have seen to it that you really can't sue in court any more because they would have to do what people are paying them to do.

C) Your donation of a kidney is your choice. That is completely different than someone plowing into me which has happened with every car I have every owned. Mainly as I'm the last guy in line.

Comment: Showing once again how worthless insurance is (Score 0, Troll) 116

Insurance is the biggest scam ever perpetrated in the history of mankind. You pay and pay and pay some more, then, when you need to use it you're given every excuse possible why the coverage you've been paying for doesn't apply.

When one takes into consideration the thousands of dollars each year the average person pours down the drain for insurance, it's no wonder people are going broke. That money could be used for more productive endeavors such as food, housing, education or transportation.

Instead, the money is lost in the ether, used only to enrich a few while the many bleed from a thousand cuts.

Comment: Re:It only increases accountability (Score 4, Interesting) 288

by hey! (#49779303) Attached to: Amtrak Installing Cameras To Watch Train Engineers

Well, speaking of Amtrak employee accountability, I have a story about that. A few years ago my family took a train ride across the country. When we changed trains in Chicago I noticed that the reading light in my sleeping compartment was stuck on, which of course was bad if I wanted to actually sleep. I found the friendly and helpful attendant and reported it, and her reaction was like watching a balloon deflate.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"If we report damage they take it out of our wages," she said.

"What! What do you mean take it out of your wages?" I asked.

"If a car is damaged under my watch I have to pay for it," she said.

"Well," I said, taking out my swiss army knife, "I guess there's nothing to see here."

I have to say that I've never encountered such a nice, enthusiastic, friendly group of people with such an abysmally low morale as the crew of a cross-country train. With passengers they're great, but all through the trip I'd see two or three congregated having low muttered conversations. It didn't take me long to figure out they were talking about management. And while the experience was wonderful, the equipment was in horrible shape. It was like traveling in a third world country.

With management that bad, more data doesn't equal more accountability and better performance. It means scapegoating.

Comment: Re:Maybe science went off the rails... (Score 2) 394

by hey! (#49775243) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?

If 99/100 scientists agree one thing is true, it's more likely to be true than the alternative backed by 1/100 scientists.

Which is beside the point. Consensus isn't about truth, it's about burden of proof.

Suppose Alice and Bob both try to make a perpetual motion machine. Alice claims she has failed, but Bob claims he has succeeded. The scientific community treats Alice's claims of failure without skepticism but it automatically assumes that Bob has made a mistake somewhere.

Does that seem unfair to Bob? Well, imagine you're a rich guy and Alice and Bob are both applying to you for a job. Bob says you should give the job to him because he's your long-lost fraternal twin your parents never told you about and which the hospital hushed up for some reason. When you mention this to Alice she freely admits she is not related to you. You automatically believe Alice, so is it fair to Bob to be skeptical of his claims?

It's a case of "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. In either case Bob can prove his claim, it's more complicated and time consuming because he has to explain what went wrong with all the prior knowledge. Alice's claims in either case are consistent with what you reasonably believe to be true so you can reasonably assume she's correct.

Comment: Re:Is a reduction (Score 5, Informative) 89

by hey! (#49772855) Attached to: Bats' White-Nose Syndrome May Be Cured

As ShanghaiBill says, Bats aren't rodents. I'll just add that bats and rodents are about as taxonomically unrelated as two mammals can possibly be.

Bats are more closely related to horses, bears, rhinos, even whales -- like most mammals they're members of the huge and diverse superorder Laurasiatheria. Rodents are in the much smaller superorder Euarchontoglires, the only non-extinct members of which are: rodents, rabbits, hares, pikas, tree shrews, flying lemurs, and the various primates.

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