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Comment: Re:I have an even better idea (Score 1) 304

by Knuckles (#48894637) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

Most cars have an off switch which disables it, some cars have various settings, and on some you cannot completely disable it (e.g., it will in any case reenable at highway speeds) such as the new Ford models.

Not sure about mechanical failsaves, but in any case, while nothing is 100% fail safe I generally trust automotive engineers or I would not step into a car. A hydraulic circuit can fail as well, for example.

Comment: Re:I have an even better idea (Score 1) 304

by Knuckles (#48894041) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

I do not approve of any system that will arbitrarily override my basic controls of the vehicle, it's a bad idea. Why should I or anyone relinquish control of braking to some anonymous software writer(s) that may or may not have covered all possible contingencies properly? Just one more system to fail in your vehicle. No, I propose we educate, train, and test drivers more rigorously, and if they're not truly competent, then they don't get to drive.

You may not approve, but ESC is mandatory for new cars in the US, and has been mandatory for longer in other places. It has very clearly improved safety.

Comment: Re:A Boom in Civilization (Score 2) 227

by Sloppy (#48854533) Attached to: Sid Meier's New Game Is About Starships

May I once again posit that war is not a natural result of being human, but rather one put upon mankind by strong, selfish, sociopaths that profit from it?

It's a natural result of life, apparently. Go look at some pictures of floppy-eared puppies, or fluffy kittens or fish or trees or algae or fungus: awwww, what cute warlike sociopaths. "You're eating my food, competing for my mate, or claiming my turf? Fuck you. DIE!!" Humanity is the only thing I ever heard of, who sometimes isn't sociopathic.

One can hypothesize a space empire without war, but it would require some extreme creativity. If you have an idea for a warless game, that's awesome, but do you really think war is a far-fetched assumption on someone else's part? I know what planet you grew up on, earthling, so quite pretending you're from some other alien background.

Comment: Re:a better question (Score 5, Informative) 592

by Knuckles (#48844373) Attached to: Why Run Linux On Macs?

However, the Apple trackpads are limited to two fingered use on non-Apple operating systems through the use of crippled drivers and therefore something like a Logitech T650 is far superior when using a non-Apple OS.

Wrong. At least on my 2009 MB Pro 3- and 4-finger touch has been working out of the box on Ubuntu for many years.

To answer the question from TFS, I can only echo what others already wrote. When I purchased this laptop, the MB Pro had by far the nicest product design for my needs, and the PC laptops I found in the same price range did not come close: Full-body aluminium instead of plastic, smooth outer shell instead of little knobs and slits everywhere (important, e.g., when having to remove the laptop from the bag at airport security check), low-key LEDs instead of a blinking christmas tree telling me useless stuff like my wifi working (I know, no need to blink for every packet!!!) but require the use of tape when you want to watch a movie.

Comment: Re:The 3 Laws of Robotics (Score 1) 258

by Sloppy (#48797323) Attached to: AI Experts Sign Open Letter Pledging To Protect Mankind From Machines

There seems to be a lot of confusion over the intent of the second one. Some people think nobody should have graven images, some people only a well-regulated militia is allowed to have them, and some people get caught up in trying to figure out how to weaponize engravings in Dwarf Fortress.


Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science 786

Posted by Soulskill
from the because-who-didn't-want-the-worst-parts-of-politics-in-science dept.
Lasrick writes: Michael Mann writes about the ad hominem attacks on scientists, especially climate scientists, that have become much more frequent over the last few decades. Mann should know: his work as a postdoc on the famed "hockey stick" graph led him to be vilified by Fox News and in the Wall Street Journal. Wealthy interests such as the Scaife Foundation and Koch Industries pressured Penn State University to fire him (they didn't). Right-wing elected officials attempted to have Mann's personal records and emails (and those of other climate scientists) subpoenaed and tried to have the "hockey stick" discredited in the media, despite the fact that the National Academy of Sciences reaffirmed the work, and that subsequent reports of the IPCC and the most recent peerreviewed research corroborates it.

Even worse, Mann and his family were targets of death threats. Despite (or perhaps because of) the well-funded and ubiquitous attacks, Mann believes that flat-out climate change denialism is losing favor with the public, and he lays out how and why scientists should engage and not retreat to their labs to conduct research far from the public eye. "We scientists must hold ourselves to a higher standard than the deniers-for-hire. We must be honest as we convey the threat posed by climate change to the public. But we must also be effective. The stakes are simply too great for us to fail to communicate the risks of inaction. The good news is that scientists have truth on their side, and truth will ultimately win out."

To restore a sense of reality, I think Walt Disney should have a Hardluckland. -- Jack Paar