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Comment: Re:In before... (Score 1) 259

by bill_mcgonigle (#47940215) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

Can we quibble about the statistical method to use after we've settled the basic cause and effect relationships? Here's the retired TED talk: Religions and Babies.

I think the title is supposed to be provocative but I find it has the opposite effect (two things young men don't want to talk about...) - it's really about assumptions underling the modeling of world population.

Comment: Re:Must be an american thing ??? (Score 2) 46

by mcgrew (#47935755) Attached to: More unsurprisingly conservative ads on slashdot

You can get your old account back if you can remember what your email address was. Send a note to

I'd lost my account and they were very helpful about it.

As to your surgery, LISTEN TO THE DOCTOR!!! Helping that one person could prevent you from helping others in the future. Oh, and I empathize; I had a vitrectomy in 2008. Not the least bit fun.

Comment: Hmmm. (Score 0) 72

by jd (#47921793) Attached to: Astronomers Find Star-Within-a-Star, 40 Years After First Theorized

If Kip Thorne can win a year's worth of Playboys for his bet that Cygnus X1 was a Black Hole, when current theory from Professor Hawking says Black Holes don't really exist, then can Professor Thorne please give me a year's subscription to the porno of my choice due to the non-existent bet that this wasn't such a star?

Comment: Re: Translation... (Score 1) 196

by bill_mcgonigle (#47918467) Attached to: WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

Fascism - aren't you paying attention? Since when is SpaceX selling weaponry - their brand of non-violent commercialism is harmful to the health of the State.

If I were Musk, I'd put up my own space station, if this goes to Boeing. I bet one with rotatational gravity and a zero-G hub is now feasible and commercially desireable. The hub can be arbitrarily long as long as the habitat area is decent for humans, lots of work can get done at the best cost and the zero-G area can be expanded modularly.

Comment: Machine intelligence (Score 1) 7

by mcgrew (#47901717) Attached to: Turing "Test" was Really Alan's Attempt at a Joke

I had an idea that might not be so dangerous and pulled out my fone. âoeComputer,â I said, âoewhat's the best way to knock that bitch out?â
        The fone said âoeParse error, there are no female dogs on board and âknockâ(TM) is not in context. Please rephrase.â
        Who programs these God damned stupid things, anyway? Back when computers were new, science fiction movies had computers that could think. These stupid computers sure can't. God damn it, I was going to have to talk like I went to college... only I ain't went to college, damn it.

Comment: Re:A solution in search of a problem... (Score 3, Interesting) 324

It is a lot like driving with one hand verses two at the ten and two positions. Many people can safely drive with one hand but it is safer to be in the ten and two positions with two hands which is why we need to do it to pass most driving tests.

In theory (one, anyway) 10 and 2 are the best positions, so DMV examiners have been insisting on it.

In reality, it turns out, 9:30 and 3:30 are safer.

In theory, talking on the phone is distracting.

In reality, it's been shown that drivers who are a little bit tired are much safer if they're also talking.

In theory, texing bans will reduce traffic accidents.

In reality, people in those States text below the steering wheel, completely taking their eyes off the road, to avoid cops seeing then, while those in States without such bans tend to text with the phone at the top of the steering wheel, so they can at least keep half an eye on the road. Paradoxically, texting bans are deadly.

Tibbit's "solutions" work in theory, but reality is far more messy. To assume otherwise is hubristic.

Comment: Re:And.... (Score 1) 34

I hadn't heard of it, and I have been an Amazon Prime member for a few years...

Same here, which means they never advertised it on their own site, which means they didn't want it to succeed for some reason.

Lord knows they've have no problem advertising the Fire Phone or various Kindles over the years.

APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I can't read any of them. -- Roy Keir