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Comment Re:That won't last long... (Score 2) 792

My first thought was to wonder how she knew the test worked. For example, if I wrote a C parser I could feed known valid C programs into it for testing. If you make an Ebola test, a 16 year old can't just feed Ebola into it for testing. This article does a good job of explaining how she gets around that. The test doesn't need the whole virus. It just needs a protein that the virus makes. I don't think you can run down to the drugstore and get that either, but at least you could probably order it from somewhere without causing an international incident.

Comment Use standard batteries when possible (Score 1) 491

I understand it's not possible to put our current standard batteries in the latest phone. OTOH, a bulky DSLR has no excuse for a proprietary battery.

Related: make your equipment capable of running on both the lower-voltage rechargeable and alkaline. I'm pretty happy with my NiMH charger and AAs, but I know my lantern could be brighter if it hadn't been designed for alkaline. The only reason I have any alkaline in the house is because of this stupid irrigation timer--I just assumed that all modern stuff would work with a wider range of voltage now, but the timer doesn't. It doesn't draw that much power either--worked all summer and barely drained the alkaline batteries, yet it insists on the higher voltage.

Comment Small print (Score 4, Informative) 33

Amazon Studios will grow and evolve over time. As it does, we'll need to adapt the terms of this Agreement. Unless we otherwise note at the time of posting, changes to this Agreement will be effective immediately upon posting. You accept changes by using Amazon Studios after we have posted changes or, if we provide you a means of indicating your acceptance online, by clicking to confirm acceptance.

In order to prevent legal claims that could be disruptive to Amazon Studios participants and impede the ability of Amazon scripts, movies, shows and videos to be developed and released, you agree to irrevocably and forever waive any legal claim you may have under any theory of law in any territory, including, without limitation, copyright infringement or breach of implied in fact contract (idea submission), that your rights were infringed due to any similarity between your Content and any other content that is or may become available on Amazon, unless there is substantial similarity of protectable expression under United States copyright law between your Content and the other content and the other content includes a verbatim copy of a material portion of your script or other written material, if your Content is a script or other written material, or a re-use of a material portion of footage from your movie, show or other video if your Content is a movie, show, or other video. Note that the Account Agreement includes additional waivers of claims related to Content that apply to the Amazon Parties, as defined in Section 11.4 below.

9. Compensation. You will have no right to compensation in connection with the exploitation of rights you grant under this Agreement.

I'm not sure WHAT they could possibly change to rape screenwriters harder, in this, but by God if they think of something, you've already agreed to it! :D

And so another field of human endeavor is Uber-fied

Comment Re:NYC taxi system could DESTROY uber (Score 2) 210

It's different in that when Paris was attacked by terrorists, regular taxi drivers rescued victims and people in danger of being killed, and Uber shut down and was gone during the crisis.

I suppose it could've been worse, they could have hit new highs for surge pricing.

Odd how Slashdot hasn't seen fit to mention this interesting data point...

Comment Re:Fuck the unions. (Score 5, Insightful) 113

Meritocracy only works if it's not a lie. It doesn't magically happen out of nowhere, it's a consequence of a system that can cull bad actors.

Real life is not that system. In real life, bad actors, con artists and CEOs run amok exactly as much as they're allowed to.

Completely deregulate and go full retard (to use what ought to be, but isn't, a more politically correct and inoffensive term for 'free market') and you only guarantee without a shadow of a doubt that your OCRACY is the farthest possible thing from MERIT.

In the best of all possible hypothetical worlds, the best you could hope for is that merit is not actively a disadvantage: nobody's penalized for wasting time and effort getting good. In this world, that's time better spent learning to con people, or building up a social media herd of suckers to fleece, and choose wisely.

Please never all-capitalize meritocracy again. As it is a malicious lie in the absence of a serious and well-organized and administered system with coherent goals and definitions of 'merit', it doesn't deserve even one capital letter, really.

Next you'll be telling me Google, and YouTube, are meritocracy in action. Or Uber.

Comment Re:Fortran's use of GT (Score 1) 304

C has iso646.h and trigraphs and maybe digraphs to work around this issue. Strangely, gt doesn't appear to be in there, perhaps because and there is no trigraph for < either unless I'm missing something. Maybe those characters are mor universal than I thought, and others less so. I've never been in an environment where I had to use these things; but it's something to be aware of...

Comment Re:The general consensus amongst many Americans (Score 5, Insightful) 488

...and that Angels exist, and Elvis can get your wash whiter with this one weird trick.

Science is INTERESTING, chaos theory even more so, and it's easy to see the changes if you know what to look for. The increased energy in the system is already turning all of weather to a parade of freak outliers and unpredictable quirky events that occasionally spike off the charts, and that's exactly in line with the 'chaotic system' model.

I wouldn't have called the 'Earth turning to an alien planet that doesn't support life' thing in thirty years, but if you specify it's to happen in particular (unusual areas) then I'll believe that. Some areas of the planet are already close to uninhabitable and it doesn't take that much to push 'em over the brink. The thing to watch for is not places being rendered uninhabitable by weather extremes, it's more about masses of people/animals displaced because the change is a new thing that nobody's prepared for.

You can probably, right now, buy a 40-year lease on land that might as well be the Moon in 40 years. If you want a real picture of the plausibility of man-made global climate change, don't check scientists or Al Gore, consult actuaries and insurance companies. Pretty sure you'll find they're believers, because they have to actually pay for it if they choose wrong.

Comment An aging population generally won't care (Score 2) 154

I tried to get my father interested in some tech stuff once. He had retired right around the time DBASE III was in general use, and he used that program to do some stuff for a government contractor. So, it's not like he wasn't capable. He just wasn't interested. He had his checks, his visits to the store, occasional trips to see people, good food, a good house, the remote control, etc. He literally told me he just didn't care about that kind of stuff at his age. If the rural population is mostly elderly that are set in their ways, and they've been planting corn and raising chickens twice as long as the presenter has been alive, in ain't broke. They ain't fixin' it.

I don't think this has much to do with the South. I bet it's an aging population they've got.

"Survey says..." -- Richard Dawson, weenie, on "Family Feud"