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Comment Re:How is a captive portal site different from AOL (Score 1) 73

> Not a single thing in business is ever altruistic, nor should it be

That approach to business thinking is surprisingly common place. But there are many non-profit businesses that clearly disagree with this ethical model, and businesses that deal with them have to take the political and social beliefs of their clients into account. Especially at the smaller business level, many employers act out of a shared desire for their employees and their businesses to succeed, and that element of camarederie has real benefits in productivity and product quality.

So yes, such "altruism" is a real factor and affects business decisions every day.

Comment Re:How is a captive portal site different from AOL (Score 1) 73

> In no documentation, literature, or description of the plan is there ever any intent to take away the option to start paying for the otherwise free OTA service in order to get access to the full Internet.

That access would be funneled, fairly forcibly, through the Facebook portal. That would help Facebook "monetize" that traffic for destinations other than the Facebook portal itself.

Comment Re:One super power please (Score 1) 164

Perhaps you're thinking of the German "super-baby", described at ? The kid apparently can't swim without flotation devices, due to the amount of dense muscle in his small build. I'll be fascinated to see if he makes it to adulthood, and certainly hope for his sake that he makes it without dangerous medical complications. If that mutation can be activated, or emulated, without other medical issues it could be very promising for long space flights where muscle loss is a real medical problem.

Comment Re: One super power please (Score 1) 164

> This is largely a solved problem -- a good percentage of women in developed countries elect to deliver via cesarean section.

A caesarian section is a hack, not a solution. On every level.

They are roughly 3 times as dangerous for the mother as a normal vaginal birth where both the fetus and mother are otherwise healthy. The women who "elect to deliver" via caesarian section without specific medical reason to do so are generally being misled about the risks and potential benefits. Even with no negative outcome, having a surgeon cut a foot long slice in your abdomen and reach around to re-arrange things is not a "solved problem", anymore than organ transplants make cancer, blocked arteries, or physical trauma "solved problems".

Comment Re: What should happen but won't (Score 1) 676

Because if I listen to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, I'm just getting soooo much love.

The worst part about partisanship is how a partisan will inevitably accuse a partisan of opposing allegiance of the very character defects the partisan himself possesses... often in the same sentence.

All partisans are fundamentally irrational ethically challenged goons. Full stop.

Comment Re:vague handwaving (Score 2) 164

> so why would anybody go through the trouble of modifying bubonic plague, instead of just picking one of those?

To make it "pneumonic", or airborne and spreadable by coughing for those without The CDC apparently has some fascinating war game style test scenarios of exactly that sort of change in a known, highly lethal pathogen. They;re quite frightening: once the infection rate progresses beyond certain quite low levels, there is _no way_ to contain the diseases effectively in today's modern, highly mobile economy's and travel practices.

Comment Re: What should happen but won't (Score 1) 676

> No, it's because there's literally no reason to wait for nearly a year to appoint a replacement. Literally none.

I can think of several. Embarrassing President Obama is one of them. Getting hung Supreme Court decisions helps preserve existing law until the case can be resolved, which helps protect existing conservative law, especially if it has more money for long court cases. Such cases are typically better funded on the conservative side, so the result is a de facto finding for the side with more lawyers, even if the lack of a finding does not set precedent. Refusing to accept a candidate who is even slightly less than radically conservative helps protect the power of the conservative members of the Supreme Court to rule conservatively.

Comment Re:Stop Idolizing Swartz! (Score 1) 138

Those are the fees for a large university or library. That is full access to _everything_, all periodicals and archives organized by JSTOR. So compared to annual electronic access to all those periodicals, with electronic printing and quoting tools and privileges, it is a very, very modest cost. For smaller institutions they use a very generous sliding scale, down to and including free access for many small or strugging schools and libraries. Quoting from JSTOR's own web page at

> JSTOR provides free or low cost access to more than 1,500 institutions in 69 countries.

> More than 1,500 institutions in Africa and other developing nations receive access to JSTOR free of charge or for steeply reduced fees

Comment Re:Can we stop the Einstein worship now (Score 1) 132

He's just another net kook, or more likely some crank follower of some previous net kook from the grand old days of Usenet. There was this small cabal of anti-Einstein nutters who used to crank out pseudo-scientific babble, including math salads, to proclaim Einstein was totally wrong. I imagine there are still a few around, though the most famous ones like Archimedes Plutonium are dead now.

I first got on Usenet in the last days of that ancient epoch, when Plutonium was popping up and making his grand declarations, and Ed Conrad was declaring he'd dug up a fossilized human penis in his backyard that disproved the geological column. Ah, sometimes I miss those heady days!

Comment Re:Can we stop the Einstein worship now (Score 2) 132

That doesn't even make sense.

I don't get why Einstein gets some people upset. Was it because he was Jewish? Because he didn't declare God Is Real? Did he run over their grandfather's dog?

Einstein built on other peoples work, just as all scientists do, but the idea that Galileo had the vaguest idea, for instance, what an intertial frame of reference was is ludicrous.

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