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Comment: Re:We 'must' compete (Score 1) 34

If the little people start cooperating, doing stuff, changing the world, that's really, really bad. So we must compete, win prizes given by the big people, follow their agenda. Hence, also, attempts to buy into or hijack open-source, communism and altruism on the hoof, cannot be allowed, everything must be monetised.

Seriously? You think all competition is bad?

Comment: Most guys here are missing the point. (Score 1) 252

by hey! (#49763589) Attached to: Study: Science Still Seen As a Male Profession

And that point is encapsulated in a single adverb: still. "Still" is what makes this news; it wouldn't have been news twenty or thirty years ago.

I am old enough to remember when genital equipment was considered employment destiny. When my wife went to oceanography graduate school the sysadmins of the school minicomputers were all female. The all-male faculty called them -- I kid you not -- "Data Dollies". Data dolly was considered a good job for a technically inclined woman because it paid well for an entry level job, involved computers, and was an easy job to hand off when you quit to marry the professor you'd snagged. Plus they'd have a hard time getting work in industry. Clearly that was a transitional moment because there were a substantial minority of women graduate students in the program, but *no* female professors, much less senior administrators.

But given the strong cohort of women in that class, it is surprising the thirty years later there is still a lingering perception in this country that science isn't for women. But maybe it shouldn't be surprising. Change doesn't happen instantaneously, nor does it necessarily ever become complete. When I was in college the notion that women had to become full time homemakers was still predominant -- not among students, but of people over thirty or so, practically everyone in positions of hiring and authority. That attitude seems weird and foreign to a young person today; I expect it's hard for a young person to grasp how pervasive and indeed how genuinely oppressive that belief was. It's a bit like the difference between the way I experience watching Mad Men and the way my kids do. I actually *recognize* that world where smoking was everywhere, big shots drank during office hours, and "womanizing" was a word people actually used without irony. It was fading fast, but still there. To my kids it's like an alien civilization in Doctor Who. So yes, the news that many Americans see science as a profession that somehow belongs to men is a bit like discovering a Silurian in the closet.

The women of my generation fought hard to establish a beachhead in male dominated professions, and if they're sometimes a bit snippy about it, well they earned the right. It wasn't easy to be an oddball among your peers and freak to your parents, teachers and and people in authority generally. And this was at a time when there was no such thing as geek chic to offset the disadvantages being an oddball. Being a geek was bad, period.

Now that cadre of pioneering women is at or approaching the apex of their careers. They're still a minority in their age cohort, but they left a wide open hole in their wake for the next generation. It's taken awhile for that hole to fill up because when opportunities open for a group they go for more high-profile professions (47% of medical students are women, as are 48% of law students). But in another generation I am sure the view that science belongs to one sex or another will be a truly fringe belief.

Comment: Re:Still a hack, but way better than nothing. (Score 1) 39

by Immerman (#49763229) Attached to: Software Patch Fixes Mars Curiosity Rover's Auto-focus Glitch

Well you'd still have to take images to tell the current state of the contrast, after all the camera can only "see" through the lenses when taking a picture. Also a binary search is likely suboptimal for such things, an interpolation search is likely to be far more efficient since you presumably have enough information after the first few images to make a good guess as to where in the spanned range the "sweet spot" will be.

Comment: Re:Wouldn't the new cells have the same diseases? (Score 1) 26

by ScentCone (#49763059) Attached to: Nerve Cells Made From Blood Cells

which perhaps others would do if grants were fairly distributed

Translation: everybody who wants grant money should get it. There should be an infinite supply of other people's money so that everyone engaged in their own pet field of research should be able to do whatever they want, indefinitely, without worrying about demonstrating to anyone else that what they're working on is more interesting, more useful, or even sane, compared to the next guy's project. That would be truly fair. The guy looking to synthesize unicorn DNA from horses and narwhals should definitely get some funds diverted his way from that jerk across the hall in the other lab who's working on that stupid HIV vaccine. Because otherwise it's NOT FAIR.

Comment: Re: My email to (Score 1) 97

ãWhat do we call "taking something you didn't pay for" again? I know there's a word for it, but I forget...

There are several. Depending on context it could be called 'public property', 'marketing material ', 'free samples', 'your birthday' or even 'copyright infringement '.

I find it odd that you only seem to know one name for it and apparently assume that all other variations are that name being euphemised. Doubly ironic when you realise that the name your thinking off actually isn't what that is called. The definition of stealing has nothing about payment anywhere in it. It's defined by lack of consent - which may or may not be gained with payment and it doesn't apply to all things. No amount of lack of consent will make copyright infringement "stealing" for example.

His actions may or may not be illegal but they sure as fuck weren't theft.

Comment: Re:America needs to change as well (Score 1) 170

by ScentCone (#49762765) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

And it is LONG past time for America to tax delivered items.

You mean, increase the taxes on delivered items, right? Because most states already have sales and use taxes, some of them quite high. We'll ignore for the moment those states that have decided they'd rather cover their overhead through things like property taxes or other income taxes, forgoing sales taxes.

If you order a new computer display from an out-of-state vendor, your state's taxes are still owed. Think that just because a business located in some other tax jurisdiction isn't working on behalf of your state to collect and remit your state's taxes on your purchase that somehow you're off the hook? Just wait until you're audited by your state, and you'll find yourself paying those taxes and substantial penalties.

It's not "long past time" for a change, because the situation you want is already in place. If you have a complaint, it should be about your fellow local state citizens who are cheating on their sales and use tax obligations. That's between them and their state government, not between your state government and a business that's located and chartered (and paying taxes) in another state entirely.

Comment: Re:Oversimplification ... (Score 1) 170

by ScentCone (#49762735) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

This is simply because an increase in profits will certainly not result in an increase in wealth for individuals that make up the "labour" part of society

Which is exactly why your average worker with a retirement plan investing in mutual funds and other investments might want to wake up and realize that they, too, own parts of large profit-making companies - and they, too, will have the return on those investments impacted by the taxes the invested-in companies bear.

Comment: Re:To be more precise, Amazon will collect on taxe (Score 1) 170

by ScentCone (#49762727) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

If a business could deal with a 10% increase in tax by raising prices to make higher profits than why are those prices not already being charged and those higher profits already being made?

Because they have competition, which puts pressure on them to keep prices low enough to attract, rather than repel customers. How is this not obvious to you? Everyone should run a retail business for a year or two so they can learn some basic facts, thus making them a far more constructive person for the rest of their lives.

A change in the tax law impacts every business that operates under that law. The way a business structures its pricing has to take into account cost pressures that impact the entire market of retailers (their competition) so they can make judgments about what will leave them in a competitive position on prices. Business owners wrestle with that topic every single day, and are acutely aware of what factors put pressure on them (and only them) and on their entire market segment. Overhead they take onto themselves, for their own convenience (say, operating in a slightly more expensive part of town) is something they may decide not to reflect in their pricing, knowing that the better location will increase volume. Overhead costs (like a bump in taxes) that impacts everyone in their market will result in higher prices across the board. This isn't just a theoretical, you can watch it happen every day.

Comment: Re:Can Political Correctness please wake up? (Score 2) 252

by jellomizer (#49762689) Attached to: Study: Science Still Seen As a Male Profession

There is a New York state law banning male daycare teachers from changing diapers.
There is a strong preference in custody cases that the child will end up with the mother, even if she isn't nearly as fit to parent.

There is actually more of a written inequality against men then woman.

Maternity pay? Now every Tom, Dick and Harry will get pregnant. -- Malcolm Smith