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Comment Re:I don't think it will mean much (Score 1) 132

"Meat stock, you're revving up a slippery slope. I'm overriding that shit."

Meat stock? That's only after you're in a severe crash, and all that's left of you is soup. Anyway, traction control is awesome. If you have some actual traction to work with, and your TC is four-wheel, then it is ridiculously great.

Comment Re:Don't contact aliens. Don't. (Score 1) 153

ALONG WITH most alien species are completely AFRAID of humans as they know our true potential. They want NOTHING to do with us until we grow the fuck up (spiritually.)

You must be assuming some galactic police force existing too, then, because if they're afraid of us and developed enough to be aware of us they can almost certainly send us a rock that we can't cope with.

Comment Re:A remarkable number of people are idiots (Score 1) 290

I know this is off topic, but now I'm curious. Do people who are incapable of taking the test still impact the scores? Does a 100 IQ indicate the median score of the set of "successful" test takers, or of the set of "functional humans", or of the entire population of all humans?

I believe you're saying that IQ 48 is approximately the minimum required level of functionality required to successfully take the test, but there is obviously a set of people who can't achieve that. And while 48 may be the lowest point on the curve that can be measured, the continuation of the curve is still implied below that point. People below 48 will still fall along some spectrum of abilities, but they're not measurable using the current test. So there may very well be someone with an "equivalent IQ" of 14; it's just the current IQ test lacks the resolution needed to identify that person.

And I'm not saying we should expend any effort to alter the test to measure lower IQs. I doubt that would add any value to society, nor would it be likely to benefit the people who can't take the test today. Such people are already identifiable as requiring a certain level of care, and most of the disabilities at that point are so profound you probably couldn't even use the scores to predict the costs of caring for them.

Comment Re:Can Verizon Stealth cookies be spoofed? (Score 1) 78

Browser fingerprinting is where it is at, and there is -no- browser that is resistant to this.

Au contraire. Apple iPhones are as common as houseflies, and as indistinguishable. Because Apple doesn't really let their users change anything about their browser configs, all the non-jailbroken Safari browsers for a given iOS version return the same fingerprint. So if you have one of those phones, you can hide in a very large crowd.

That implies the marketplace could actually use a common browser everyone can rely on to not share these details, but erasing fingerprints also means giving up useful functionality. Will people accept a browser that doesn't display a variety of fonts because they could be tracked? Will they be happy if the web sites can't deliver a page to fit their screen size? Are we looking for a tradeoff of not being tracked that only a few thousand privacy wonks will accept?

Comment Re:One sentence stands out as most interesting (Score 1) 110

Triggering crystallisation of a planet's core is left as an exercise for the reader, and would be incredibly difficult, but it's a lot more plausible than trying to supply enough heat to start convection by any other means.

interesting questions might be

  1. How much nuclear waste would have to be dumped down a borehole on Mars to remelt the planetary core; ( I know it's an insane amount, but how insane)?
  2. How long would it take to melt?
  3. How deep would the borehole have to be, at some point the waste would melt and go into "China Syndrome mode" and melt it's way down?
  4. Should we crash some icy asteroids into the planet to get some potential oxygen from water before or after we restart the core?
  5. How many rocky/metallic asteroids should we crash into Mars to get the gravity up?
  6. Would it just be easier to build a ring-world?
  7. Could we harvest gasses for atmosphere from Jupiter?

Comment None of the above (Score 1) 33

The real problem with identity theft is that courts are granting judgements which absolutely should not be granted. Someone got a judgement against me for credit granted on the basis of a check cashing card with my social security number written on it, and not very well I might add.

Of course, another way to fix this problem (and all debt problems) would be to make all debt the responsibility of the lender. They can take risks, they can accept collateral, but the courts couldn't then be used to ruin people's lives in pursuit of profit. The guy who created this bogus debt in my name knew it was bogus, and his filing against my credit report was therefore fraudulent. But the court should have caught it, and they either don't care or want to enable this activity so that they can profit from the assorted fees and justification for their existence.

Comment Re:This is basic planetary physics.. (Score 2, Interesting) 110

The way I understand it the lost of the magnetosphere allows the solar wind to push the ozone back to the nightside and some off into space, this thins ozone lets the UV disassociate more water vapor (that's lighter than air) into hydrogen and oxygen, the hydrogen is lost to space because it's so light and the oxygen that doesn't get blown off into space oxidises any methane or carbon monoxide in the atmosphere on the way back down to the surface. This causes the atmospheric pressure to decrease, which cause the water to boil at a lower temperature, putting more water vapor into the air to be dissociated and lost, in an accelerating death spiral.

Comment Re:Why not just lock down the radio portion? (Score 1) 111

WiFi routers aren't like mobile phones with separate application processor and baseband. Instead, they only have one chip,

some phones have only one chip, and some wifi routers have multiple chips. I have examples here both of wifi routers with the wifi separate and with the wifi integrated.

Only the very cheapest routers can only be implemented with a SoC. Lots of the more expensive ones already aren't.

Comment Re:Show us the data (Score 1) 375

The FAA and other regulatory bodies have to have a notional value of a human life to be able to balance the cost to society of new safety rules against the benefit to society in terms of lives saved.

Yes, but note their interpretations differ, and are either based on some notion of cost, or just made-up bullshit to justify their other actions. The insurance companies are actually paying out money, which is why I suggest looking there. I think they're probably a better reference for the value of health than of life, admittedly.

Comment Re:Remarkable people (Score 1) 290

A remarkable number of people are intelligent, well-adjusted and successful in their lives, and still manage to hold one or several of the beliefs above without ever experiencing any sense of disconnect.

Without ever consciously experiencing any sense of disconnect, you mean.

Those remarkable people

There's nothing remarkable about willful ignorance. It is the normal state for the majority.

Comment Re:not a very good article (Score 2) 153

TFA (not the linked wikipedia article) basically just asks the question, "what if an alien's sensory systems (vision and hearing) were far more acute than ours?", and then gives a rather superficial answer to that question.

I knew it would do that when I started running into grammatical errors. I was right.

TFA seems to be trying to make the argument that if an alien's vision or hearing were better than ours, the alien would not be able to comprehend our electronic visual displays or sound reproductions. The argument is not convincing at all, though. After all, we have color vision, but black and white media still works quite well for us.

They were arguing that our displays depend on persistence of vision, and that this creature won't have any. A preposterous notion, because persistence of vision is in the brain, not the eye, and we've known this for over a hundred years. But this argument pales next to the stupidity of the argument that a creature with a higher hearing range wouldn't be able to perceive our audible communications. Really? That's so stupid, I can't even stupid how stupid it's stupid. We have pets with higher hearing ranges, and they can literally understand what we are saying in some cases as their brains are sufficiently developed. They're claiming a smarter entity with more advanced senses won't be able to understand us? That's nothing short of idiotic.

The truth is that aliens are not unlikely to look a lot like us, because you still have physics to deal with no matter where you go. A creature with four legs is still at a disadvantage when it comes to industrialization. You need some manipulators attached to your body, but not too many because more parts just means more to go wrong, it's actually a liability. Too much hair makes it hard for you to manipulate fire, which you need to advance as a tool maker. If you can't walk upright, you can't free your hands for masturbation.

Comment Re:Bad design? (Score 1) 63

Please tell me what personal information I'm missing that's "foolish beyond reason" to throw out:

I don't think it takes much for it to be foolish beyond reason. If you reason it out, it costs you little to nothing to deal with that stuff some way smarter than throwing it away in the airport or your hotel. Most people won't bother to use reason. Most of them won't actually suffer for it anyway.

Your good nature will bring you unbounded happiness.